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April 12th, 2017


ABOVE: Our Ms. Pamela Gales was recognized in March for 35 years consecutive service to UF, all of which has been in IFAS!

Faculty and Staff News


Did you hear? We are the best in the world!!! It feels great to be ranked #1 and we could not do it without our great students, staff, and faculty. Thank you all for the role you play making us great.

Dr. Rebecca Baldwin was the 2017 recipient of the ESA Southeastern Branch Distinguished Service To The Certification Program Award, for her work with the ESA Certified Entomologist programs.

Dr. James P. Cuda was the 2017 recipient of the ESA Southeastern Branch Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the ESA held in Memphis, TN, 12-15 March. Dr. Cuda was presented with a plaque recognizing his contributions to IPM by ESA-SEB President David Riley at the awards luncheon.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman was the 2017 recipient of the ESA Southeastern Branch Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension for her work with olive growers in Florida.

Dr. Andrea Lucky has been selected to receive the 2017 Educator Award from the North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). The award will be presented at the NACTA annual conference, June 28th to July 2nd at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

PILD conference

ABOVE: Dr. Jiri Hulcr, our Forest Entomologist, visited the D.C. Offices of six US House and Senate representatives for Florida, including the office of Ted Yoho (the Gainesville district representative). Jiri educated the staffers and the representatives on the importance of forests to Florida'a economy and the environment, the threats they face from exotic organisms and climate change, and the work of UF/IFAS extension and research. The visit was a part of an extension conference Public Issues Leadership Development, kindly sponsored by the Dean for Extension's office.

Dr. Christine W. Miller, Dr. Michael Forthman (Postdoctoral Researcher), and Lauren Cirino (Ph.D. student) presented "Fusing Research and Education through Classroom Undergraduate Research Experiences" at the The University of Florida Fusing Research and Teaching Conference on March 31, 2017 at the Harn Museum.

To coincide with the Graduate School's Graduate Student Appreciation week, Entomology & Nematology faculty, staff and post-doctoral scientists enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate our graduate students and honor them for the day with a chili feast in the Steinmetz Hall courtyard. 

Chili cookoff

ABOVE: Everyone was well-fed with nine different chilies (from vegan to venison!), homemade sides, and mouth-watering desserts. The weather cooperated for a wonderful time of conversation, fellowship, and food. While we only take the opportunity to celebrate our students once a year, Department Chair Dr. Blair Siegfried made it clear that we appreciate everything our students do for the department and our research, teaching, and Extension programs every day. Many thanks to chili-makers extraordinaire (Dr. Peter DiGennaro, Dr. Blair Siegfried, Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, Dr. Adam Dale, Dr. Heather McAuslane, Dr. Billy Crow, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Dr. Josh Campbell, and Jenny Carr), Paul Ruppert, and all of the set-up and clean-up crews, for a wonderful event! Photograph by Juan Carlos Tafur-Mejia.

Heather McAuslane, Graduate Coordinator.

The Forest Entomology lab has scored a success in the South Pacific – after a three-year engagement and training of Papua New Guinean government entomologists and coffee agronomists, we have demonstrated that the collaboration is working. The local authorities are now able to find, identify and hopefully eradicate incipient infestations by the Coffee berry borer, a potential disaster for the local economy.

The Bloomquist lab would like to welcome four new postdoctoral associates! Dr. Liu Yang (Leona) Ph.D. from Auburn University to work on mosquito antennal electrophysiology. Dr. Gary Richoux, Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, to work on synthetic organic chemistry and will be making new insecticides and repellents. Dr. Jun-hyung Tak, Ph.D. University of British Columbia, investigating essential oils for mosquito control. Dr. Fabien Demeres, Ph.D. from Paul Sabatier University, France, will do neurophysiological testing of new compounds on insect nerves and in channels.

Four of our great leaders completed LEAD IFAS training in March! Congrats to Glinda Burnett, Dr. Jorge Ray, Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, and Dr. Blair Siegfried. 

Dr. Gary R. Buckingham, Retired USDA-ARS Research Entomologist and a world-renowned expert in biological control of weeds passed away on January 16, 2017 at Richmond, CA. Learn more about his life and how he impacted UF scientists.

Student and Alumni News

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Michael Vickers, the Supervisory Teaching Assistant for the Principles of Entomology Labs in the department, won a UF Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award for 2016-2017. This award identifies the University of Florida’s graduate teaching assistants for being the “best, brightest, and most industrious” for their effort within classrooms and laboratories. He will receive his award during an awards ceremony held in late April. Michael’s faculty supervisor for the Principles Labs is Dr. Christine Miller.

In addition to the UF Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Michael was awarded the CALS/IFAS Jack L. Fry Excellence in Teaching Award.  This award is presented annually to an outstanding graduate student who has excelled in the classroom or laboratory teaching in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Michael will be presented with a medal and monetary award at the CALS/IFAS awards banquet held on 04/18/2017. Michael is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Lisa Taylor’s lab.

The UF Entomology Club would like to announce their Executive Board for the 2017-2018 school year.  A big buggy congratulations to:

President: Becca Perry
Vice President: Johanna Schwartz
Treasurer: Rachel Watson
Secretary: Trudi Allyson Durgee
Communications Coordinator: Richard Murphy

Our Patricia Prade in the news! Doctorate candidate working on Florida's Brazilian Peppertree problem.


ABOVE: Rachel Atchison, Master’s student of Entomology and Nematology was selected to receive a 2017 National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. Rachel studies how disturbance shapes native vs. invasive ant interactions and influences the ecology of seed-dispersing ants in longleaf pine forest ecosystems. This research contributes to the scientific understanding of invasion biology and monitors the impacts of current longleaf pine restoration strategies. As a NSF GRFP fellow, she plans to be an ambassador for science education and increase public participation in scientific research.

The University of Florida Society for Viral Studies (Virology Club) took a trip during the Spring Break to Washington, D.C. and to the National Institutes of Health. Read more about their exciting trip!

strawberry pickingfield trip

ABOVE: Over spring break the Field Plant Nematology class went on a week-long field trip around southern Florida.  They visited: Dr. Joe Noling in Dover, Dr. Johan Deseager at the Gulf Coast REC, Sakata Seeds in Fort Myers, Syngenta Flowers in Alva, US Sugar in Clewiston, Everglades REC in Belle Glade, Dr. Robin Giblin-Davis and Dr. Shaddox at the Ft. Lauderdale REC, the USDA Invasive Plant Research lab in Ft. Lauderdale, Dr. Daniel Carrillo at the Tropical REC in Homestead, Syngenta Crop Protection in Vero Beach, and Dr. Kokalis-Burelle at the USDA Horticulture lab in Ft. Pierce. Photo 1: Dr. Joanh Desaeger supervises the class picking strawberries. Photo 2: Dr. Danial Carrillo at TREC teaches the class about Laurel wilt on avocado.

Lab News

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Need to name that bug? A host of experts are available to help Floridians identify any insect or related arthropod. If a mystery creature has six or more legs, the UF Insect ID Lab is the place to call.

bug of the month

ABOVE: Many trees have their new spring flush of leaves, so now is a great time to look for moth caterpillars. Dr. Joe Cicero gave Lyle the idea for this month’s bug when he sent Lyle pictures of one called a “horned spanworm” (Geometridae: Nematocampa resistaria). The caterpillar has two pairs of eversible tentacles that expand when it is alarmed.  They feed on a variety of trees including oak, cherry, and sycamore. The moth is rather striking as well, and comes to lights. Here are pictures of one that Lyle collected and reared on sycamore last year.

Need insect images? You can go to this direct link, pictures are copyrighted material and intended for official UF use only, log onto the website using your Gatorlink credentials.

Lyle Buss is the UF/IFAS Insect ID Lab manager.

Think it might be a nematode problem? The Nematode Assay Laboratory serves Florida and other states by providing nematode assays and expert advice regarding nematode management.

For more information on the Nematode Assay Laboratory, please contact the lab manager Dr. Tesfa Mengistu.


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Blosser EM, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2017. Oviposition strategies of Florida Culex (Melanoconion) Mosquitoes. Journal of Medical Entomology tjx052, JME-2016-0408.R1.

Chen XD, Seo M, Stelinski LL. 2017. Behavioral and hormetic effects of the butenolide insecticide, flupyradifurone, on Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphrina citri. Crop Protection. 98: 102-107. 

Chong, JC, Dale, AG, et al. 2017 Southeastern U.S. Arthropod Pest Control. Pest Control Guide for Nursery Crops and Landscape Plantings. Southern Nursery IPM Working Group. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/southeastern-us-pest-control-guide-for-nursery-crops-and-landscape-plantings.​

Cicero JM. 2017. Stylet biogenesis in Bactericera cockerelli. Arthropod Structure and Development. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asd.2016.12.007.

Dale AG. 2017. Scales and mealybugs in turf. PestPro Magazine. March/April 13(2): 11-15.

Dale AG, Frank SD. 2017. Warming and drought combine to increase pest insect fitness on urban trees. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173844. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173844

Holderman, CJ, Wood LA, Geden CJ, Kaufman PE. 2017. Discovery, development, and evaluation of a horn fly-isolated (Diptera: Muscidae) Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Cordyciptaceae) strain from Florida, U.S.A. Journal of Insect Science. 17: 51. http://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iex019

Kariithi HM, Yao X, Yu F, Teal PE, Verhoeven CP, Boucias DG. 2017. Responses of the housefly, Musca domestica, to the Hytrosavirus replication: Impacts on host's vitellogenesis and immunity. Frontiers in Microbiology-Virology 8: 583. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00583.

Moore MR, Jameson ML, Garner BH, Audibert C, Smith ABT, Seidel M. 2017. Synopsis of the pelidnotine scarabs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Rutelini) and annotated catalog of the species and subspecies. ZooKeys. 666: 1-349. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.666.9191.

Pelz-Stelinski KS, Kingdom-Gibbard H, Martini X, Stelinski LL. 2017. Overwintering habitat use of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, vector of a major phytopathogen. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 19: 171-180. 

Stockton D, Martini X, Stelinski LL. 2017. Male psyllids differentially learn in the context of copulation. Insects. 8: 16. doi:10.3390/insects8010016. 

Wang N, Stelinski LL, Pelz-Stelinsk K, Graham JH, Zhang Y. 2017. Tale of the huanglongbing disease pyramid in the context of the citrus microbiome. Phytopathology. 107: 380-387. 

New on Featured Creatures:

Pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor (Linnaeus 1771). Author: Donald W. Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Polydamas swallowtail, Battus polydamas lucayus (Rothschild & Jordan). Author: Donald W. Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Balios wasp (suggested common name), Baeoentedon balios Wang, Huang & Polaszek. Authors: Muhammad Z Ahmed, Yisell Velazquez Hernandez, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida; Antonio Francis, FDACS; Gregory Evans, USDA-APHIS; Eric Rohrig, FDACS; Lance S. Osborne, Catharine Mannion, UF.


Do you have a favorite creature? Learn how to make it into a Featured Creatures!

Meetings and Presentations

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Dr. James P. Cuda delivered an oral presentation at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the ESA held in Memphis, TN, March 12th to the 15th.  The presentation that was titled “Efficacy assessments of leaf galling psyllids (Calophya spp.), potential biological control agents of Brazilian peppertree (Anacardiaceae)”, was co-authored Patricia Prade.

Ms. Patricia Prade, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Cuda’s laboratory, presented a poster at the 6th Biennial FWC-IFAS Research Review held in Orlando, FL, March 14th to the 15th. The poster, which was titled ”Biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Florida”, was co-authored by Dr. James P. Cuda, Dr. Carey R. Minteer, and Dr. William A. Overholt. 

Ms. Patricia Prade  presented a paper in the Ph.D. Student Competition at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the ESA held in Memphis, TN, March 12th to the 15th. The presentation was titled “Host range of Calophya terebinthifolii and Calophya lutea: Potential biological control agents of Brazilian peppertree” and was co-authored by Dr. James P. Cuda, Dr. Carey R. Minteer, and Dr. William A. Overholt.

Ms. Patricia Prade also presented a paper at the S1058 Regional Biological Control Project Symposium  at the ESA-SEB conference,  The paper was titled “Biological control of Brazilian peppertree: Overview” and was co-authored by  Dr. James P. Cuda, Dr. Carey R. Minteer, and Dr. William A. Overholt.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for a Weed Control CEU Variety Pack workshop sponsored by the Pinellas Co. Extension Office, Largo, FL, March 16th.  Cuda gave a  presentation titled “Biocontrol in aquatic and natural areas.”  

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn March 1st, Dr. Billy Crow presented "Earthworms, friend or foe?" at the Florida Turfgrass Association regional seminar in Venice FL.

On March 2nd, Dr. Billy Crow presented "Earthworms, friend or foe?" at the Florida Turfgrass Association regional seminar in Estero FL.

On March 28th, Dr. Billy Crow presented "Turfgrass nematicide BMP's" at the US Golf Association Regional Conference in Pinehurst NC.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale gave a presentation at the ESA Southeastern Branch meeting in Memphis, TN on March 15th titled, “Manipulating turfgrass diversity as an insect pest management strategy”.

Dr. Adam Dale gave a presentation at the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology Urban Landscape Summit on March 16th titled, “Manipulating turfgrass diversity as an insect pest management strategy”.

Dr. Adam Dale gave a presentation at the South Florida Turfgrass Field Day at the Fort Lauderdale REC on March 23rd about the effects of mixing St. Augustinegrass cultivars in lawns on insect pests and aesthetic quality.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered for March’s outreach events!

  • March 1st – Cornerstone Academy – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • March 13th – Buffalo Creek Middle School – Rebecca Baldwin, Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • March 16th – Wiles Head Start, Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • March 18th – Girl Scouts Animals are Amazing – Kyle Schnepp and Mac Arguez
  • March 21st – Ambleside School of Ocala – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • March 23rd – FFA Westwood – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • March 24th – Valencia College – Rebecca Baldwin and Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • March 28th – Alachua Homeschooling – Laurel Lietzenmayer and Abby Prohofsky
  • March 29th – Littlewood Afterschool Program – Kristen Gaines
  • March 30th – Magnolia Montessori Academy and Elementary School – Rebecca Baldwin, Lettie Cronin, and Heather Erskine
  • March 30th – Westwood Middle School Science Night – Laurel Lietzenmayer

Upcoming Events

  • April 13th – Family First High School Biology – 10am-12pm 
  • April 27th – Science Night with Mrs. Bugg – 5:30pm-7:30pm 
  • April 27th – Queen of Peace Catholic Academy – 12:30pm-2:30pm 
  • April 28th – Archer Elementary PTA Carvinal – 4pm-7pm
  • April 29th – Migratory Bird Day – 10am-3pm 
  • May 6th – Learning Gate Community School BioBlitz 2.0 – 8am-12pm 
  • May 11th – Joseph Williams Elementary – 5:30pm-7pm
  • May 12th – Destiny Leadership Academy – 10:30am-12:30pm
  • May 12th – Star Christian Academy – 1pm-3pm

outreach event

ABOVE: Students from Ambleside School of Ocala try to find all of the life stages of the mealworm colony.

The live critters are always a hit with children and adults alike. The critters are available for you to check out should you be leading an outreach event. We have doubles of our most popular critters, as well as various native insect species depending on the time of year. We have large wood and Plexiglas cages for viewing our native orb weaving spiders. There is one travel cage and one larger static cage. Please be sure to contact us and review the protocol on transporting and handling the critters if you are not already familiar with it. If you lead an outreach, be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter and we can log all outreach events.

If you have any questions, please email me.

Thank you — Laurel Lietzenmayer, Outreach Coordinator.

If you would like to schedule an event or have any outreach questions, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club website and contact us. Getting social!


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Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, will report on grant numbers next month!

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Oscar Liburd, Lindsy Iglesias, Dr. Janine Spies, and Dr. Elena Rhodes received a Critical and Emerging Issues Grant from the Southern IPM Center. The project is titled “Survey for an Unidentified Flatheaded Borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in Blueberries in the Southeastern U.S.”



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FES Honors and Awards 2017

The Honors and Awards Committee are requesting nominations for 2017 in the following categories:

Entomologist of the year.
Annual Achievement Award for Research.
Annual Achievement Award for Extension.
Annual Achievement Award for Industry.
Annual Achievement Award for Teaching.
Annual Achievement Award for Regulatory Entomology.
Achievement Award for a Collaborative Research Team.

Winners will be announced at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Each nomination should be accompanied with a justification narrative that will be read at the awards luncheon.

Nomination deadline is June 20, 2017.

You can see previous winners at http://www.flaentsoc.org/honors-awards-tributes.html

Nominations should be sent to:

Dr. Jawwad Qureshi
University of Florida, IFAS
Indian River Research and Education Center
Fort Pierce, FL 34945
Ph: 772-577-7339
Fax: 772-468-5668
E-mail: jawwadq@ufl.edu

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgThe Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society will be held on July 16-22, 2017 in Isla Verde (San Juan Puerto Rico). This is the second call for submission of presentations (oral, poster, and short movie). The deadline is extended to March 31, 2017. This will be a joint meeting with the Florida Entomological Society. Registrants for either meeting will be entitled to attend any technical sessions or joint events. Optional field trips are being arranged for July 20 (Guánica Dry Forest through FES) and 21 July (CFCS to be announced). The venue is the Verdanza Hotel ($105/night).

Don’t miss the 100th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society July 16-20, Isla Verde (San Juan) Puerto Rico

·        Joint Meeting with the Caribbean Food Crops Society: http://cfcs.eea.uprm.edu/

Registration with either society entitles you to: Joint opening session, joint socials and poster sessions, access to all technical sessions (See program at http://www.flaentsoc.org/annual.shtml)

Venue:  Verdanza Hotel: Verdanza Hotel, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico 
Two blocks from the best beach in San Juan.  Lots of nearby restaurants and places to shop.  Deadline for reservations: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pioneer lecture honoring Dr. Bill Buren of (Solenopis invicta Buren fame) to be given by Dr. Robert Vander Meer at Joint Opening Session of Annual FES and CFCS Meeting in San Juan Puerto Rico.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgGetting social!

We have several social media sites for the Entomology & Nematology Department. To make them easily searchable, all three (YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) have the same page name: UFEntomology. Please share these links with past students or colleagues who may have an interest in departmental activities.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgWant to stay up to date? Check out our website home page for a link to our Google calendar.

About this Newsletter

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Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman is the newsletter editor and does the HTML coding. Issues usually are published by mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the seventh of that month.

We like to share news when it happens using our social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Follow us on these sites for daily updates! When you send news, we will post it on one or more of these sites and again in the monthly newsletter. Please be sure you have permission from people in photographs you submit for publication.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues are posted. Our home page has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing.

Special thanks to Haleigh Ray and Nancy Sanders, who reviewed the newsletter for errors, and to Jane Medley and Don Wasik, who built the web page design.

Give Back
Want to support the UF Entomology & Nematology Department? Consider making an online gift today! Questions can be directed to Christy Chiarelli at (352) 392-1975 or ccw@ufl.edu.