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In Memoriam
Student Association
Graduate Students
Recent Graduates
Fear Film Festival
Insect Expo
Linnaean Games
Alumni Necrology


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Insect Expo ’98
by Lee Solter and Susan Ratcliffe

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Some things just get bigger and better, and that’s the case with the Insect Expo held annually on the University of Illinois campus. Halloween 1998 shared top billing with the Fourth Annual Insect Expo, a cooperative event created and staffed by the entomology community in Champaign-Urbana. In keeping with the Halloween theme, the 1998 Insect Expo featured the Halloween spider, Araneus marmoreus, on posters, t-shirts, water bottles, and refrigerator magnets and spider rings were distributed to the 7,000 plus visitors as they entered the Expo. Volunteers from the Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, and various state and community organizations hosted the 2-day bug fest.

This year’s event boasted a new look with many new and upgraded displays. Young and old alike laughed (and squealed) with delight as cockroach dragsters raced for the finish line, displaying the characteristic escape response to cerci stimulation. Visitors learned about forensic entomology, corn IPM, and biological control at interactive displays, made arthropod hats at the crafts tables, and were "tattooed" at the tattoo parlor. Participants in the Predator Game, the Spider Web Toss, and the Pheromone Frenzy Game learned principles about insect biology while having fun, and two elementary school teams and two middle school teams competed for prizes in a "Quiz Bowl" of their entomological knowledge. Approximately 1,000 brave souls joined the "I ate a bug" club by consuming a chocolate-covered cricket, and insect balloons were "twisted" for other visitors.

Insect Expo ’99 was previewed in southern Illinois on April 22-23, when the show went on the road. The annual event on campus will in October, possibly in a larger facility to accommodate the crowds. If you are interested in participating in Insect Expo ’99, please contact a member of the organizing committee and be prepared to have fun!

1998-1999 Organizing Committee members:

Michael Jeffords (217)-333-5986, jeffords@uiuc.edu
Mark Metz (217) 333-2824, markmetz@students.uiuc.edu
Carrie Nixon (217) 244-9417, c-nixon@uiuc.edu
Susan Post (217) 244-9417, spost@mail.inhs.uiuc.edu
Susan Ratcliffe (217) 333-6651, sratclif@uiuc.edu
Lee Solter (217) 244-5047, l-solter@uiuc.edu


  • Illinois Natural History Survey
    • Center for Economic Entomology
    • Center for Biodiversity
  • University of Illinois
    • Department of Entomology, LAS
    • Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, ACES
    • Crop Sciences (ACES)
    • Veterinary Pathobiology (CVM)


Integrative Biology University of Illinois

Updated 12/09/99