The 2017 Combined Congress of the Entomological and Zoological Societies of Southern Africa took place from 3-7 July at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. Over 400 people attended the congress, moving between four parallel sessions covering a wide variety of thematic areas. The congress hosted plenary presentations by eminent scientists, including Professors Daniel Simberloff, Phil Stevenson and Bill Karasov while lunchtime workshops discussed topics such as career paths and skills and applications for funding, with Prof. Bernard Slippers serving as one of the guest speakers. Prof. Slippers was also elected as the Vice-President of ESSA.

Sixteen FABIans, including academic staff, postdoctoral Fellows and postgraduate students attended the congress, making a significant contribution to the meeting of 11 oral presentations and seven posters. All oral presentations and posters from FABI (listed below) were well received by participants of the congress, underlining the quality of research at the Institute.

Oral Presenation:

Novel natural enemy encounters of an invasive forest insect pest - M Wondafrash, B Slippers, J Garnas, BP Hurley

Behavioral response of the bark beetle, Ips typographus, to commonly associated ophiosomatoid fungi - D Kandasamy, A Hammerbacher

Host specificity of the parasitoid Psyllaephagus bliteus, a biological control agent of Glycaspis brimblecombei - S Bush, B Slippers, BP Hurley

The Leptocybe invasa genome: a window to understanding the biology of a serious invasive Eucalyptus pest - G Dittrich-Schröder, BP Hurley, MJ Wingfield, A Postma- Smidt, B Slippers

The complex Leptocybe invasa gall community on Eucalyptus - CR Gevers, G Dittrich-Schröder, SJ Bush, A Morris, I Germishuizen, B Slippers, BP Hurley

Influence of reproductive biology on the invasive capacity of Hymenoptera species: Sirex noctilio as a case study - J Queffelec, J Allison, B Slippers

Genetic diversity of Deladenus siricidicola, the biological control agent of the woodwasp Sirex noctilio - K Fitza, J Garnas, M Ayres, F Krivak-Tetley, K Dodds, M Lombardero, Ecki Brockerhoff, MJ Wingfield, B Slippers

Diversity in the Sirex-Amylostereum-Deladenus complex: understanding pest invasion and guiding management through biological control - XO Mlonyeni, BD Wingfield, JM Greeff, MJ Wingfield, B Slippers

Molecular and chemical ecology are important for the management of emerging pests in plantation forestry - B Slippers, BP Hurley, J Allison, MJ Wingfield

Speed Talks:

Management of insect pests in planted forests: Challenges of developing economies - BP Hurley, B Slippers, S Sathyapala, MJ Wingfield

Optimization of pheromone traps for Coryphodema tristis (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) - M Bouwer, J Allison, B Slippers


Sirex noctilio host susceptibility and utilisation patterns - L Eksteen, J Garnas, BP Hurley

A survey of entomopathogenic Beauveria spp. in South African plantations - ZW de Beer, H de Bruin, WJ Nel, B Slippers

Evidence for convergent evolution of ambrosia fungi in the Ophiostomatales (Ascomycota) - M Erasmus, TA Duong, MJ Wingfield, ZW de Beer

Novel fungal symbionts of Dendroctonus valens (Curculionidae, Scolytinae) - S Marincowtiz, SJ Taerum, TA Duong, MJ Wingfield, ZW de Beer

Fungal associates of conifer-infesting bark beetles and their phoretic mites from Yunnan province, China - R Chang, TA Duong, SA Taerum, MJ Wingfield, ZW de Beer

Identification and evolutionary relationships of genes linked to colour vision in Sirex noctilio - Q Guignard, B Slippers, J Allison

Distribution and thermal thresholds of Gonipterus species (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Australia - M Schroder, H Nahrung, S Lawson, B Slippers, MJ Wingfield, BP Hurley