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Department of Entomology

Department of Entomology
123 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004

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Ramaswamy, Sonny

Ramaswamy, Sonny Former Department Head Fax: (785) 532-6232 Purdue UniversityArea(s) of Specialization:
Insect physiology, endocrinology, sex pheromones, insect/plant and insect/insect interactions, chemical ecology and behavior

Bio Brief

My role as department head is to provide leadership in all aspects of departmental administration such as budgeting, personnel issues and evaluations, graduate program coordination, facilitation of research, extension, and teaching activities, resource and space allocation, and advocacy at higher administrative levels.

I am a member of the Entomological Society of America, Sigma Xi, International Society of Chemical Ecology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Association of University Professors.

At the 2004 annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Salt Lake City, I did a talk on effective grantsmanship, a link to which is available on this page.

My favorite insect is the Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, because of its perseverance, tenacity and stamina! I have had an opportunity to see the Monarch's overwintering sites in the Mexican highlands a couple of times, most recently in February 2005. I have posted some neat pictures from that trip.

In addition to my entomological activities, I enjoy interacting with students, working On-stage and Off, working with Apple computers, web authoring, bungee jumping. elbow lifting, solving and creating crossword puzzles, and motorcycling. I own a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster-Hugger, which is a lot of fun to ride.

My wife, Gita , is a professor and interim head in the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design at KState and works in the area of textiles, especially kenaf. Our daughter, Megha, graduated in May 1999 from Manhattan High School in Manhattan, KS. On May 16, 2002, Megha graduated from New York University in the Big Apple. She completed her Master's in Public Health from the University of Kansas-Medical Center. Megha now lives in Manhattan (New York, that is) and is coordinating an NIH-funded study on HIV-AIDS at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She was married on May 15, 2004 in Manhattan (Kansas, that is). Our dog, Atuk, is an Alaskan Malamute.

Recent honors include:

February 2002: Named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

April 2002: Named Presidential Outstanding Department Head, Kansas State University

March 2003: Co-recipient (along with Lee Manske and Ralph Charlton) of Educational Project Award from the Board Certified Entomologists for the design of the KSU Insect Zoo

October 2003: Dennis M. Fenton Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award, Rutgers University

March 2004: Recipient of the Entomology Recognition Award at the Entomological Society of America-Northcentral Branch Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO

April 2004: Named University Distinguished Professor, Kansas State University


B.S. , University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore India, 1973
M.S. , University of Agriclutral Sciences, Bangalore India, 1976
Ph.D. , Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ, 1980


  • Problems in Entomology [ENTOM 799]


I maintain a research program in the area of insect behavioral physiology, of course, living vicariously through the efforts of an outstanding group of research associates/students. We are particularly interested in the reproductive physiology of insects. These studies involve various methods, including gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, olfactometry, electrophysiology, microsurgery, and various molecular and biochemical techniques. We have been concentrating on deciphering the dynamics of juvenile hormone and reproduction in Heliothis virescens, funded by grants from USDA-NRICGP and NIH. My lab is involved also in research on sex pheromones and insect-host interactions of various species of insects. Recently we received funding from NSF for examing the entomopathogenic nematode infection process. We successfully developed a diagnostic kit for field identification of the eggs of Helithis virescens and Helicoverpa zea. A field diagnostic kit - Hel-ID - is marketed by an Indiana company, AgDia. Just recently we have started a project on determining the feasibility of developing a diagnostic kit for identifying larvae of Heliothis virescens and Helicoverpa zea. We are also involved in a research consortium created with funding from the USDA-CSREES-RAMP prgram to deal with insect pests of stored products, and our laboratory specifically is involved in deciphering the chemical ecology and optimizing the sex pheromone of the saw-toothed grain beetle. Finally, we have a project on deciphering the overwintering ecology of lesser grain borer funded by a project from the EPA.


Pszczolkowski, M.A., E. Olson, C. Rhine, and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2008. Role for calcium in the development of ovarial patency in Heliothis virescens. Journal of Insect Physiology 54: 358-366.

Ramos-Rodriguez, O., J.F. Campbell, E.E. Lewis, D.I. Shapiro-Ilan and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2007. Dynamics of carbon dioxide release from insects infected with entomopathogenic nematodes. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 94: 64-69.

Ramos-Rodriguez, O., J.F. Campbell and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2007. Efficacy of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernemariobrave against the stored-product insect pests Triboliumcastaneum and Plodiainterpunctella. Biological Control 40: 15-21

Gelman, D.B, M.A. Pszczolkowski, M.B. Blackburn and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2007. Ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones of whiteflies, important insect vectors for plant viruses. Journal of Insect Physiology 53: 274-284

Jia, F.Y., E. Maghirang, F. Dowell, C. Abel and S. Ramaswamy. 2007. differentiating tobacco budworm and corn earworm using near-infrared spectroscopy. Journal of Economic Entomology 100: 759-764

Christen, J.M., J.F. Campbell, E.E. Lewis, D.I. Shapiro-Ilan and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2007. Responses of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema riobrave to its insect hosts, Galleria mellonella and Tenbrio molitor. Parasitology 134: 889-898

Ramos-Rodriguez, O., J.F. Campbell, J.M. Christen, D.I. Shapiro-Ilan, E.E. Lewis and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2007. Attraction behaviour of three entomopathogenic nematode species towards infected and uninfected hosts. Parasitology 134: 729-738

Qureshi, J.A., L.L. Buschman, J.E. Throne, and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2006. Dispersal of adult Diatraea grandiosella (Lepidoptera : Crambidae) and its implications for corn borer resistance management in Bacillus thuringiensis maize. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 99: 279-291.

Pszczolkowski, M. A., A. Peterson, A. Srinivasan, and S. B. Ramaswamy. Pharmacological analysis of ovarial patency in Heliothis virescens Journal of Insect Physiology, 51:445-453

Toews, M.D., J.F. Campbell, F.H. Arthur, and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2006. Outdoor flight ctivity and immigration of Rhyzopertha dominica into seed wheat warehouses. Entomologica Experimentalis et Applicata 121: 73-85

Pszczolkowski, M.A., S.B. Ramaswamy, C. Anelli, and J.J. Brown. 2005. Effects of L- and D-aminophosphono acids on feeding in neonate docling moth Cydia pomonella. Proceedings of the VI International conference on Arthropod Physiology, Zanopane, Poland.

Pszczolkowski, M.A., J.J. Brown, and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2006. Effect of metbotropic glutamate receptor agonists and signal transduction modulators on feeding by a caterpillar. Pharmacology, Biochemisty, and Behavior (accepted Dec. 2005).

Pszczolkowski, M.A., E.E. Olson, and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2005. The road to identifying the juvenile hormone membrane receptor: Pharmacological studies on ovaril patency in Heliothis virescens. Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Arthropod Physiology, Zanopane, Poland.

Pszczolkowski, M.A., A. Tucker, A. Srinivasan, and S.B. Ramaswamy. 2005. The raison d'etre for juvenile hormone in male moth abdomens. Journal of Insect Physiology (in press).

Qureshi, J.A., L.L. Buschman, J.E. Throne, and S.B. Ramasamy. 2005. Adult dispersal of Ostrinia nubilalis Hubner (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and its implications for resistance management in Bt-maize. Journal of Applied Entomology 129: 281-292

Christen, J.M., Campbell, J.F., Zurek, L. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2006. Role of symbiotic bacteria (Xenorhabdus sp.) in the host-infection process of Steinernema riobrave. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology (in press)

Christen, J.M., Campbell, J.F. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2006. Responses of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema riobrave, to its insects hosts, Galleria mellonella and Tenbrio molitor. Parasitology (in press)

Mbata, G. N., S. Shu, and S. B. Ramaswamy. 2000. Sex pheromone of Callosobruchussubinnotatus and C. maculatus: Congeneric responses and responses in the presence and absence of air currents. Bull. Entomol. Res. 90: 147-154.

Qureshi, J.A., Buschman, L.L., Ramaswamy, S.G., Throne, J.E. and Whaley, P.M. 2004. Evaluation of rubidium chloride and cesium chloride incorporated in a meridic diet to mark Diatraea grandiosella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) for dispersal studies. Environmental Entomology 33: 487-498.

Mbata, G.N., Shu, S., Phillips, T.W. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2004. Semiochemical cues used by Pteromalus cerealellae (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to locate its host, Callosobruchus maculatus (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 97: 353-360.

Crook, D.J., Hopper, J.A., Ramaswamy, S.B.and Higgins, R.A. 2004. Courtship behavior of the soybean stem borer Dectes texanus texanus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): Evidence for a female contact sex pheromone. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 97: 600-604.

Qureshi, J.A., Buschman, L.L., Throne, J.E., and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2004. Oil-soluble dyes incorporated in meridic diet of Diatraea grandiosella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) as markers for adult dispersal studies. Journal of Economic Entomology 97: 836-845.

Qureshi, J.A., Buschman, L.L., Throne, J.E., Whaley, P.M. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2004. Rubidium chloride and cesium chloride sprayed on maize plants and evaluated for marking Diatraea grandiosella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in mark-recapture dispersal studies. Environmental Entomology 33: 930-940.

Cheng, L.I., Howard, R.W., Campbell, J.F., Charlton, R.E., Nechols, J.R. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2004. Mating behavior of Cephalonoma tarsalis (Ashmead)(Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) and the effect of female mating frequency on offspring production. Journal of Insect Behavior 17: 227-245.

Cheng, L.L., Howard, R.W., Campbell, J.R., Charlton, R.W., Nechols, J.R. and Ramaswamy, S. 2003. Behavioral interaction between males of Cephalonomia tarsalis (Ashmead)(Hymenoptera: Behylidae) competing for females. Journal of Insect Behavior 16: 625-645.

Crook, D.J., Higgins, R.A. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2003. Antennal morphology of the soybean stemborere Dectes texanus texanus LeConte (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76: 397-405.

Rachinsky, A., Srinivasan, A., and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2003. Regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis in Heliothis virescens by Manduca sexta allatotropin. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 54 121-123.

Villamil, S.C., Nechols, J.R. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2003. The effect of pre-adult and adult temperatures on oocyte development of the field bindweed moth, Tyta luctuosa (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76: 442-446.

Cole, T.J., Ramaswamy, S.B., Srinivasan, A. and Dorn, S. 2002. Juvenile hormone catabolism and oviposition in the docling moth, Cydia pomonella, as functions of age, mating status, and hormone treatment. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 49: 10-21.

Kopper, B.J., Shu, S.Q., Charlton, R.E. and Ramaswamy, S.B. 2001. Evidence for reproductive diapause in the fritillary Speyeria idalia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 94: 427-432.

Zeng, F., S. Shu, S. B. Ramaswamy, and A. Srinivasan. 2000. Vitellogenin in hemolymph of pupal Diatraea grandiosella (Lepidoptera : Pyralidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 93:291-294.

Keita, S. M., C. Vincent, J-P. Schmit, S. B. Ramaswamy, and A. Belanger. 2000. Effect of various essential oils on Callosobruchus maculatus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera : Bruchidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 36:355-364.

Palli, S. R., T. R. Ladd, W. L. Tomkins, S. Shu, S. B. Ramaswamy, Y. Tanaka, and A. Retnakaran. 2000. Choristoneura fumiferana entomopoxvirus prevents metamorphosis by modulating juvenile hormone and ecdysteroid titers. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 30: 863-868.

Ramaswamy, S.B., Shu, S.Q., Mbata, G.N., Rachinsky, A., Park, Y.I, Crigler, L., Donald, S. and Srinivasan, A. 2000. Role of juvenile hormone-esterase in mating-stimulated egg development in the moth Heliothis virescens. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 30: 785-791.