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August 13th, 2015

FES Award

ABOVE: Congratulations to Dr. Lance Osborne who was recognized as Entomologist of the Year by the Florida Entomological Society. Pictured here FES President Dr. Phil Stansly, Dr. Osborne, FES Past-President Dr. Cindy McKenzie, and FES Award Chair Dr. Jawwad Qureshi.


Faculty and Staff News

Congratulations to our faculty (and students/staff in the team award) who received the following recognition on August 4th from the Florida Entomological Society at their annual meeting.

Dr. Roberto Pereira was promoted to Research Scientist as of July 1, 2015.

Student and Alumni News

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Congratulations to our students who received the following recognition on August 4th from the Florida Entomological Society at their annual meeting.


  • Luis F. Aristizábal
  • Lucas P. Carnohan

Mini Grants:

  • Omotola Dosunmu
  • Deepak Shrestha

Travel Grants:

  • Luis F. Aristizábal
  • Lindsy E. Iglesias
  • Omotola Dosunmu

Ph.D. Student Paper Competition:

  • 1st place: David Owens
  • 2nd place: Lucas P. Carnohan
  • 3rd place: Lindsy E. Iglesias

M.S. Student Paper Competition:

  • 1st place: Christophen R. Kerr
  • 2nd place: Eric G. LaVeen
  • 3rd place: Keenan Wiggins


We have just finished awarding College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) http://cals.ufl.edu/ scholarships for 2015-2016. In total, CALS awarded $418,800 in scholarships and fellowships to 274 undergraduate students and 48 graduate students. Listed below are the students from Entomology and Nematology who were selected for a scholarship or fellowship.

Graduate Student Awardees:

  • Dale Halbritter: William C. and Bertha M. Cornett Fellowship, $1,500       
  • David Owens: Agricultural Women's Club Scholarship in Memory of Doris Tichenor, $1,000           

Undergraduate Student Awardees:

  • Stefani  Harrison: Price Scholarship $1,000            
  • Gabriella Steele: Coca Cola Scholarship $1,000   
  • Andre Szejner Sigal: Kenneth R. and Waynell Tefertiller Scholarship $1,000

After graduating with her Ph.D. in May, Dr. Erika Machtinger has moved to the USDA in Beltsville, MD to be a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Andrew Li. Erika will be working on research in both the relationships between wildlife and tick movement and integrated management of ticks. 

Kevyn Juneau (MS '09, Dr. Norm Leppla) has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of conservation and environmental science in the Plant and Earth Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in River Falls, Wisconsin. He will begin his new position in January 2016.

Mr. Brendan Bennett, a high school student who participated in UF’s 57th Summer Student Science Training Program, gave two presentations on a research project he conducted in the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda. Mr. Bennett gave an oral presentation titled "Biological control of the Brazilian peppertree" on July 23rd and a poster presentation on the same topic on July 24th. 

Tropical Entomology Field Lab in Honduras

Dr. Jacqueline Miller, Dr. Ronald Cave, and Dr. Deborah Matthews led a troop of nine UF undergraduate and graduate students and three Wichita State University students to Honduras for the 2015 Tropical Entomology Field Lab during July 7-17. The expedition began at the Lodge at Pico Bonito located a few kilometers west of La Ceiba on the north coast of the country. Students were apparently pleased with the plush accommodations of the Lodge and enthralled by the immense species richness of flora and insect fauna.

Mercury-vapor lights were run every night and attracted a plethora of moths, beetles, and bugs, which included the harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus), large longhorn beetles (e.g., Orthomegas monnei), Hercules beetles (Dynastes hercules), giant silk moths, cicadas, and peanut heads (Fulgora laternaria).

During the day, students explored waterfalls, chased Morpho butterflies, flirted with agoutis, and gawked at the wonders of a tropical lowland rainforest. We visited the Museo de Mariposas at the Centro Universitario Regional del Litorál Atlántico where the museum’s creator, Mr. Robert Lehman, explained the immense collection’s creation, purpose, and value. During one morning and one night we explored and collected at the nearby Río Santiago Nature Resort owned by a couple of gold miners from Arizona. Students who tended the lights all night here were rewarded with five Hercules beetles! On the last full day on the north coast, the group was guided through a pineapple plantation and packing facility.

Then it was on to the Panamerican Agricultural University, Zamorano. We stayed in the foothills of Cerro Uyuca at the Chalet Cabot (1,600 m elevation), which is bit more rustic (bunk beds, no internet, and only one shower with hot water [when there was water]) than the posh Lodge at Pico Bonito. During five days at Zamorano, students experienced a cloud forest and a tropical dry forest. Tours of Zamorano’s insect collection, biocontrol natural enemy production labs, seed and grain science center, apiculture lab, and organic horticulture project were offered. During night collecting, students discovered the painful sting of nocturnal vespids (Apoica), the marvel of black witches (Ascalapha odorata), and the joy of jewel scarabs (Chrysina quetzalcoatli).

If the annoying problems with rental vehicles are ignored, then the expedition was a great success. There were lots of good bugs, good habitat, and good weather. Even the food was good as students found the pizza from La Casona Restaurant worthy of a second experience and the bean and quesadilla anafres were the culinary highlight of the trip.

tropical entomology field trip

ABOVE: Upper left: The Tropical Entomology Field Lab at the Lodge at Pico Bonito, some still wearing their hair nets from the tour of the pineapple packing plant. Upper right: Jose Monroy of Dole explaining pineapple pest management near La Ceiba (Photo by R. Cave). Middle left: Robert Lehman displaying his Museo de Mariposas (Photo by S. Harrison). Middle right: Students collecting at a mercury-vapor light on the bird tower at the Lodge at Pico Bonito (Photo by D. Matthews). Bottom left: Rogelio Trabanino describing natural enemy production in Zamorano’s biological control lab (Photo by R. Cave). Bottom right: Students working on their family lists in the Zamorano insect collection (Photo by R. Cave).

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.

Need bug pictures? The Entomology and Nematology Department maintains a large collection of insect images for use in our extension, teaching, and research work.  This collection is available for use by UF IFAS personnel on the main campus, at the Research and Education Centers, and at the county extension offices around the state.  You can access the collection from your own computer using a web browser.  If you are using a Macintosh computer, use your Safari browser. 

Go to this link:  http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/imgs 

The pictures are copyrighted material and intended for official UF use only, you will be asked to log onto the website using your Gatorlink credentials.  If you are not using an official UF computer, or you are using a Macintosh, then enter UFAD\ before your username.  If you have any questions or comments about the image collection, please let Lyle know.

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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Arcella T, Hood GR, Powell THQ, Sim SB, Yee WL, Schwarz D, Egan SP, Goughnour RB, Smith JJ, Feder JL. 2015. Hybridization and the spread of the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella (Diptera: Tephritidae), in the northwestern United States. Evolutionary Applications (online early). DOI: 10.1111/eva.12298.

Avery PB, Kumar V, Simmonds MSJ, Faull J. 2015. Influence of leaf trichome type and density on the host plant selection by the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology. 50: 79-87.

Avery PB, Simmonds MSJ, Faull J. 2015. Comparative growth and efficacy of Trinidadian strains of Isaria fumosorosea blastosporesfor controlling Trialeurodes vaporariorum on bean plants. Journal of Biopesticides. 8: 1-12.

Bybee SM, Hansen Q, Busse S, Cahill Wightman HM, Branham MA. 2015. For consistency’s sake: The precise use of larva, nymph and naiad within Insecta. Systematic Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/syen.12136 

Egan SP, Ragland GJ, Assour L, Powell THQ, Hood GR, Emrich S, Nosil P, Feder JL. 2015. Experimental evidence of genome-wide impact of ecological selection during early stages of speciation-with-gene-flow. Ecology Letters. 18: 817-825.

Martini X, Hughes MA, Smith JA, Stelinski LL. 2015. Attraction of redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleboris glabratus, to leaf volatiles of its host plants in North America. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 41: 613-621. 

Martini X, Pelz-Stelinski KS, Stelinski LL. 2015. Absence of windbreaks and replanting citrus in solid sets increase density of Asian citrus psyllid populations. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 212: 168-174. 

Meyer W, Gurman P, Stelinski LL, Elman NM. 2015. Functional nano-dispensers (FNDs) for delivery of insecticides against phytopathogen vectors. Green Chemistry. 17: 4173-4177.

Patt JM, Chow A, Meikle WG, Garcia C, Jackson MA, Flores D, Sétamou M, Dunlap CA, Avery PB, Hunter WB, Mafra-Neto A, Adamczyk JJ. 2015. Development of an autodisseminator for an entomopathogenic fungus, Isaria fumosorosea, to suppress Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, in non-commercial and organic citrus. Biological Control. 88: 37-45.

Sourakov, A. 2015. Temperature-dependent phenotypic plasticity in wing pattern of Utetheisa ornatrix bella (Erebidae, Arctiinae). Tropical Lepidoptera Research. 25(1): 33-45.

New on Featured Creatures:

coconut rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) Author: Mike Dornberg, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

dagger nematodes, Xiphinema spp. Authors: William K. Heve, William T. Crow, and Tesfamarian Mengistu, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida

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 attended the 98th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society held in Fort Myers, FL, Aug 2nd to 5th. Cuda delivered an oral presentation titled "Biology of a stem boring weevil Apocnemidophorus pipitzi (Faust) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and its impact on Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia."  The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Julio Medal and former undergraduate student Mr. Justin Bricker.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

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 — Erin Powell, 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!

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.


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Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, reports that our grant reporting system is ghanging! She will report on external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs) in the newsletter next month!

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded a $1,000 grant from the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station to support his travel to the annual meeting of the Multistate Regional Project titled Biological control of arthropod pests and weeds.


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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 7th 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.