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Nov. 19, 2009 Volume 31, No. 13

This bug's for you

Some university professors have buildings named after them. Robert Sites, professor of entomology, recently had a giant bug from Thailand named in his honor. Sites was the first to collect the species of cicada that now bears his name.

This cicada, named Megapomponia sitesi, is found in southern Thailand. With a wingspan of more than seven inches, it is notable by its extreme size. The cicada is the latest of a half dozen insect species named after Sites. Allen Sanborn of Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., gave Sites the honor. They have collaborated on several cicada projects and published a paper together.

Sites, whose research interests include the ecology and systems of aquatic insects, has collected hundreds of cicadas from Thailand and routinely sent them to Sanborn for identification.