Day of Insects

2017 Day of Insects

Celebrating an Annual Day of Insects

Reiman Gardens is so enthusiastic about insects that we set aside a special day just for them ever year. Our annual Day of Insects brings together professionals, academics, advocates and enthusiasts of all levels from across the country to explore and celebrate entomology (the study of insects). Topics often include insects native to Iowa, exotic insects, endangered insects, conservation efforts and new educational programs aimed at advancing the appreciation of all invertebrates.

Events are open to anyone interested and also include informal time for food and socialization on the night before the Day of Insects, and snacks and lunch during the day.

New this year we will be offering four different workshops on Friday afternoon on invertebrate related topics for those interested in attending.  These workshops are offered in two different time blocks so you will need to decide which topic you are most interested in.  Individuals can participate in the workshops regardless if they are attending any of the other DOI activities.

Again this year for individuals that are in town early the night before we will have an opening reception. Come be casual, enjoy dinner, get to know other insect enthusiasts, there’s more of us than you think.  Anyone attending DOI can sign up to attend the reception and there will be some slots made available for individuals unable to attend DOI so they can participate as well.

WORKSHOPS (Friday, March 24)
*Each workshop has a 20 person limit.

12:45-2:45 p.m. – “Rearing Insects: First You Have to Try; How to do it Wrong, How to do it Right (with a Good Dose of Luck!)” presented by MJ Hatfield, Oneota Biological Field Station & Anita Westphal,  Reiman Gardens
Learn about all the “dos and don’ts” of getting involved in an insect rearing project.  Learn about enclosures, species identification, hostplant care, and simple rearing methods that can be used with a variety of species. What do you need to consider before you start and what constitutes success or failure?  Who can you turn to in a crisis?  How do you share the spoils of your successes (and failures) with the right crowd?

12:45-2:45 p.m. – “Metamorphosis: Pixels to Prints” presented by Linda & Robert Scarth
Selected tips for photographing insects and spiders using a variety of equipment: DSLRs (still and video), compact cameras, smartphones, scanners, a variety of lenses, light sources, etc. Review of camera technique and photographic terms, especially related to macro and close-up photography, with examples. Preparing files for email, the WWW, BugGuide and print.

3:00-5:00 p.m. – “Arachnids Among Us: Spiders & Harvestmen” presented by Eileen Miller & Lloyd Crim
An introduction to common arachnids of Iowa will include a brief overview of pseudoscorpions, ticks and mites, and a more in depth discussion of harvestmen and spiders–focusing on topics of basic anatomy, life cycles, methods of obtaining food, courtship and mating behaviors, eggs and maternal care, preferred habitats, a few tips on identification…

3:00-5:00 p.m. – “The Inside Out of BugGuide” presented by John VanDyk & Laura Jesse,  Iowa State University
Preview the long-awaited BugGuide 2.0! Learn about the new mapping capabilities being brought into BugGuide. Try to stump John with your questions. Tour the server room to see the equipment made possible by your donations and view the blinking lights!

OPENING RECEPTION – (Friday, March 24)

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner, Keynote presentation and behind the scenes Reiman Gardens entomology tour.

Keynote: “Undertaking Conservation – An effort to Save the Endangered American Burying Beetle,” presented by Bob Merz of the St. Louis Zoo.

For more information, contact Nathan Brockman at

CLICK HERE to download the Day of Insects poster.


2017 PRESENTATIONS (Saturday, March 25)

9:10-9:30 a.m. – “Citizen Science – My Pebble in the Pond” presented by Dan Mays

9:30-9:50 a.m. – “Light Up the Night! – National Moth Week: Tips from Five Years of Events” presented by Moni Hayne

9:50-10:10 a.m. – “In Search of Nature’s Undertakers” presented by Chris Smith, Minnesota DOT

10:10-10:30 a.m. – “Host Utilization by Monarch Butterflies in Northeast Iowa” presented by Shannon Meehan & Kirk Larsen, Luther College

10:55-11:15 a.m. – “The Short-Horned Grasshoppers: Forgotten Jewels of the Loess Hills” presented by Marlin Rice

11:15-11:35 a.m. – “Highway 61 Revisited: Chasing Insects on the Goat Prairies of SE Minnesota” presented by James Bess

11:35-11:55 a.m. – “Raingarden Insects” presented by Jessica Miller, University of Minnesota

11:55-12:15 p.m. – “Citizen Science and Insect Conservation” presented by Jennifer Hopwood, Xerces Society

1:15-1:35 p.m.  –  “Which Native Milkweeds are Acceptable Host Plants for Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) within the Midwestern U.S.?” presented by Tori Pocius, Iowa State University

1:35-1:55 p.m. – “Bee-friendly Habitat: An Introduction to Native Bees in the Landscape” presented by Ashley St. Clair, Iowa State University

1:55-2:15 p.m. – “They Come in Peace: Parasitoids as Pest Control Agents in Iowa” presented by Matt Kaiser, Iowa State University

2:15-2:35 p.m. – “Social Insects Rule the World” presented by Alexander Walton, Iowa State University

3:00-3:20 p.m. – “Hiking, Collecting, Discovering: A Myriad of Mutualisms” presented by Sarah Arnold & Dan Barron

3:20-3:40 p.m.  –  “Small Pond Science: Outdoor Laboratories and Invertebrate Research” presented by Jessica Orlofske, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

3:40-4:00 p.m. – “Prairie Skippers: Just Do It” presented by Armund Bartz, Wisconsin DNR

Are you interested in presenting at next year’s 2018 DOI?  Most of the presenters for the day are selected by the DOI committee, but each year we open up two “wild card” slots to the invertebrate community. One of the goals of DOI is to give individuals working on insects an opportunity to share that information with individuals interested in insects. So, what insects fascinate you, what are you working on, are you ready to share your enthusiasm and knowledge with others?  If so, please contact me at

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE FOR DAY OF INSECTS. Attendees must register by March 20, 2017.  We are utilizing a new registration system so please let us know if you have any problems while registering.  When you click the link above make sure to select all items you want to participate in before clicking the “view cart” option. 

Other Information:

Silent Auction to support
Again this year, during DOI, we will be holding a silent auction for participants at DOI to bid on.  If you would like to participate with the auction and bring an item for the auction they can be dropped off at registration in the morning for DOI.  This year all proceeds from the auction will go to supporting and its operations.

Hotel Information
If you are looking for a hotel to stay in while you are in town for DOI.  Gateway Hotel & Conference Center has a DOI rate of $102 a night if you mention “ISU Cardinal Club rate” when you are making your reservation.

Gateway Hotel & Conference Center

2100 Green Hills Drive
Ames, Iowa, 50014, US
Phone: 515/292-8600
Fax: 515/268-2224