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February 13th, 2017

insects alive printing station

ABOVE: Insects Alive team members Nathan Duerr (entomology minor) and Shimul Chowdhury talk to visitors about the contest while demonstrating 3-D printing and showing off insects and spiders printed at the Marston Sciences Library.

Faculty and Staff News

Several entomology researchers are involved in the recently awarded $10M CDC award for a Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases!

This achievement is a result of all faculty who put their time in to get the grant submitted within an aggressive one month time period. 

Project 1: Dr. Jeff Bloomquist is a Co-I on Project 1: “Understanding vector ecology, arbovirus infectious rates and insecticide resistance to optimize mosquito control” and leads Specific Aim 3 | “Power vector control tools with strategies to circumvent insecticide resistance.”
Project 3: Dr. Cynthia Lord is a Co-I on Project 3: “Ecological and insecticide-resistance models of tick vectors in Florida” and leads Specific Aim 4 | “Model the phenology and management of Rhipicephalus sanguineus in the presence of varying levels of resistance” of this project.
Project 3: Dr. Phil Kaufman and Dr. Emma Weeks are key personnel on Project 3 with Dr. Lord (above).

Other FMEL scientists include: Dr. Barry Alto and Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena are collaborators with Co-PI Dr. Derek Cummings (UF Biology on Project 4: “Multi-scale, modular models for Vector-Borne Disease”). Dr. Burkett-Cadena is also collaborating with Co-PI Dr. Tom Unnasch (University of South Florida on Project 2: “Breaking the transmission of mosquito-borne zoonotic arboviruses”). Dr. Derrick Mathias is collaborating with co-PI Dr. John Beier (University of Miami on Project 1) and supporting the Public Health Entomology Training Core of the Center.

On January 25th, the FLMNH hosted a pop-up Museum outside of the Marston Sciences Library featuring the Insects Alive 3-D art contest, a project led by Dr. Andrea Lucky, and Dr. Lisa Taylor with their interdisciplinary team of students (see top photo). The event featured 3-D printed ants and spiders, a real-time demonstration of 3-D printing, live ants and spiders, microscopes and art activities. The event was attended by more than 500 people. The contest is open for participation now, the submission deadline is March 15, 2017.

Student and Alumni News

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A paper by Dr. Corraine McNeill, from her Ph.D. research at UF, is listed as the second most highly ranked paper among all Oxford journals in 2016 and is 5th overall for all journals!

danielle with awardABOVE: Danielle Sprague (M.S. student at the North Florida Research and Education Center) was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association. She was presented with a plaque by Katie Bryson, Chairman of the Board at the FFAA Winter Business Meeting in Clearwater, Florida on January 13th.

Lawrence Reeves and Dr. Akito Kawahara were awarded a $19,825 Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from NSF to apply next generation sequencing methods to Lawrence's Ph.D. research on mosquito-host interactions.

The 2016 winner of the annual student award “Appreciation for the Biology of Insect Pests” has been announced!

Daniel Peterson at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst was selected as the recipient of the $500 prize. The committee is looking forward to receiving new submissions for 2017! This award is managed primarily from the Entomology & Nematology Department at the University of Florida by Dr. Jiri Hulcr and the committee members include Dr. Andrea Lucky (UF Entomology Department), Dr. Meg Lowman (California Academy of Sciences), Anthony Cognato (Michigan State University) and Rob Dunn (North Carolina State Unviersity).

vanessa BRASCON

ABOVE: Vanessa Simões Dias de Castro, a Ph.D. candidate in the Hahn Lab, competed at the University level and received the special Emerging STEM Scholar Award being offered by the Association for Academic Women (AAW). This award aims to promote the career of a young woman in a STEM field. Vanessa was recognized by her ability to articulate the importance and transformative potential of her dissertation work, and by her leadership and mentorship roles that help others break down barriers to success.

Her dissertation aims to understand the extent to which antioxidant enzymes can reduce oxidative stress and improve the mating success of sterile insects used in the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). Additionally, Vanessa has been recognized as an outstanding leader for the Brazilian community of graduate students across the United States. In 2016, Vanessa served as president of the Brazilian Student Association at UF, and currently, she is co-founder and one of the general directors of BRASCON, the largest conference of Brazilian Graduate Students abroad. 

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.


ABOVE: Invasive species would be easier to find if they all looked like this one!  Chelymorpha cribraria is a tortoise beetle that was first found in Florida in 1993.  Both of these adult color forms are found in Florida populations, and additional forms exist in South America and the Antilles. Larvae and adults feed on members of the morning glory genus Ipomoea, including sweet potato. Larvae have a “fecal fork”; they attach feces to the tip of their abdomen and carry it over their body like a shield for protection against natural enemies.  If you want to find some of these beetles, you’ll have to go to extreme south Florida (Broward, Dade, and Monroe Counties). 

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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Agramonte NM, Gezan SA, Bernier UR. 2016. Comparative evaluation of a silicone membrane as an alternative to skin for testing mosquito repellents. Journal of Medical Entomology. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw207.

Baniszewski J, Weeks ENI, Cuda JP. 2016. Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki reduces competition by Parapoynx diminutalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in colonies of the hydrilla biological control agent Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae).  Florida Entomologist 99: 644-647.

Brandon CJ, Sourakov A. 2016. Evaluation of mechanical defense provided by pericarps of three different Crotalaria species to their seeds against a specialist herbivore, Utetheisa ornatrix: A case for a possible host-herbivore evolutionary arms race. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 26: 85-92.

Cicero JM, Fisher TW, Qureshi JA, Stansly PA, Brown JK. 2016. Colonization and intrusive invasion of potato psyllid by ‘Ca. Liberibacter 1 solanacearum’. Phyopathology 107: 36-49.

Cirino LA, Miller CW. 2017. Seasonal effects on the population, morphology and reproductive behavior of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). Insects 8: 1-16. DOI:10.3390/insects8010013.

Cuda JP. 2016. The Brazilian peppertree thrips Pseudophilothrips ichini (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) as a biological control agent: A reappraisal of the timeline of events and attribution of credit. Florida Entomologist 99: 799-800.

Dale AG. 2017. Increasing turfgrass diversity to manage pests – A realistic approach? Turfgrass Producers of Florida Clippings Newsletter. Winter 2016 issue.

Dale AG. 2017. Incorporating IPM into your landscape management program. PestPro Magazine. January/February issue.

Dale AG. 2017. Protecting pollinators and ourselves in turfgrass pest management. FTGA Turf Digest. January/February issue.

Hulcr J, Stelinski LL. 2017. The ambrosia symbiosis: From evolutionary ecology to practical management. Annual Review of Entomology 62: 285-303. 

Khan AA, Qureshi JA, Afzal M, Stansly PA. 2016. Two-spotted ladybeetle Adalia bipunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): A commercially available predator to control Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae). PLoS ONE 11 (9): e0162843. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162843

Liu B, Coy MR, Wang J-J, Stelinski LL. 2017. Characterization of the voltage-gated sodium channel of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. Insect Science 24: 47-59. 

Niu Y, Qureshi JA, Ni X, Head GP, Price PA, Meagher RL, Kerns D, Levy R, Yang X. 2016. Estimation of resistance allele frequency to maize incorporated Bacillus thuringiensis Cry2Ab2 protein in field populations of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) from the southern United States. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 138: 66-72.

Overholt WA, Hidayat P, LeRu B, Takasu K, Goolsby JA, Racelis A, Burrell AM, Amalin D, Agum W, Njaku M, Pallangyo B, Klein PE, Cuda JP. 2016.  Potential biological control agents for management of cogongrass [Imperata cylindrica   (L.) P. Beauv.  (Poaceae)] in the southeastern USA.  Florida Entomologist 99: 734-739.

Special publication note from the George A. Smathers Libraries

The George A. Smathers Libraries are very pleased to announce the reinstatement of the University of Florida Open Access Publishing (UFOAP) Fund.

Thanks to the financial commitment of the Office of the Provost and the endorsement of the Faculty Senate Research and Scholarship Council, funding of $120,000/year for four years has been committed to support open access publishing by UF faculty, staff and students. The UFOAP Fund began accepting applications on January 1st, 2017.

Faculty, graduate students, staff and post-doctoral researchers who are the first named or corresponding author of open access scholarly articles accepted for publication after November 15, 2016 and who do not have access to funding through grants or other financial means of support will be eligible to apply for financial assistance in paying article processing charges assessed by open access journals.

For more information on eligibility criteria including eligible publications and required documentation for applications, please review the UFOAP Fund Policies and Procedures.

Contact: Michelle Leonard, 273-2866; for workshops! She is happy to teach us more about library resources, citation management, and/or ORCID implementation, and do not forget to use the EntNem Libguide!

New on Featured Creatures:

Striped mealybug, Ferrisia virgata Cockerell. Authors: Ariane McCorquodale and Amanda Hodges, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Wheel bug, Arilus cristatus (Linnaeus). (a major revision) Authors: F.W. Mead, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Donald W. Hall, 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. Adam Dale and Dr. Billy Crow, along with UF/IFAS faculty from Agronomy and Environmental Horticulture hosted the first "Evidence-based Turfgrass Pest Management" course for county Extension faculty and turfgrass professionals in Florida. The workshop was held at the UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale REC and was well attended by 28 turfgrass professionals from all over the state. The second "Evidence-based Turfgrass Pest Management" course will be held in Gainesville in September 2017.

Dr. Adam Dale, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Marble and Dr. Shad Ali (Environmental Horticulture/MREC) taught a "Foundations of Landscape & Ornamental Management" training course through Pest Management University at the UF/IFAS MREC in Apopka, FL on January 25-27. This was the most well-attended single L&O course at PMU since 2015 with 23 landscape professionals from all over Florida and as far away as the northwestern U.S. The next "Foundations of L&O" will be held March 1, 2017 in the same location.

Dr. Adam Dale gave four presentations covering the latest information and strategies for managing insects in turfgrass systems on golf courses and in urban landscapes for the Florida Turfgrass Association regional turf seminar series in Ocala, Orlando, and Cocoa, FL. 

Dr. Adam Dale presented a webinar for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) webinar series​ titled, "Insect pest management on landscape plants: Does it matter for structural pest managers?"

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn January 5 Dr. Billy Crow presented "How to select a nematicide" at the G. C. Horn Turfgrass seminar in Ft. Myers, FL. On January 12 he presented "New nematicides" at the Arkansas Turfgrass Association meeting in Hot Springs, AR. On January 12 he presented "Earthworms, friend or foe?" at the Arkansas Turfgrass Association meeting in Hot Springs, AR. On January 12 he presented "How to select a nematicide" at the Arkansas Turfgrass Association meeting in Hot Springs, AR. On January 24 he presented "Earthworms, friend or foe?" at the Florida Turfgrass Association seminar in Ocala, FL. On January 25 he presented "Earthworms, friend or foe?" at the Florida Turfgrass Association seminar in Orlando, FL. On January 26 he presented "Earthworms, friend or foe?" at the Florida Turfgrass Association seminar in Cocoa Beach, FL. And on January 28 he presented "Nematode management update" at Ornamental and Turf Pest Management Workshop in Orlando, FL.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 21st Annual Southwest Florida Invasive Species Workshop held at Florida Gulf Coast University, February 2nd. Dr. Cuda gave a presentation titled “BioControl of Brazilian Peppertree:  Thrips and Psyllids on the Horizon.”  The presenation was co-authored by Dr. Cuda’s Ph.D. student Ms. Patricia Prade.    


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From the Outreach Coordinator

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

  • January 13th - Career Day at Santa Fe High – Michael Gonzalez
  • January 17th – Oak Hammock– Laurel Lietzenmayer and Evan Waite
  • January 19th – Library Partnership – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • January 21st – Pinellas County Youth Program – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • January 23rd – Brilliant Minds 4-H – Rachel Atchison, Lettie Cronin, Laurel Lietzenmayer, Dr. Andrea Lucky, Jason Williams
  • January 27th – One Room School House – Michael Gonzalez
  • January 28th – Great Invader Raider Rally – Laurel Lietzenmayer, Sarah Nguyentran, Rebecca Perry, Rachel Watson
  • January 31st – East Marion Elementary School – Laurel Lietzenmayer

Upcoming Events

  • February 9th-20th  – Florida State Fair
  • March 1st – Cornerstone Academy
  • March 11-12th – Marion County Master Gardeners Spring Festival
  • March 14th – Jordan Glen School

Students with insects

ABOVE: East Marion Elementary School students check out the arthropod petting zoo during their visit to the Entomology and Nematology Department.

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. Brian Bahder at FLREC was awarded the FNGLA research endowment through UF for $5,000 to work on the vector for TPPD. 

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgPI: Steven Benner, Firebird Biomolecular Sciences LLC. Co-PI: Barry Alto. Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award, R21). Title: Meeting urgent needs in surveillance and diagnostics. Zika. $310,172.

PI: Barry Alto. Co-PI: Steven Benner, Firebird Biomolecular Sciences LLC. Funding Agency: Florida Department of Health (Zika Research Grant
Initiative). Title: Point of sampling rapid detection of Zika and other mosquito-borne pathogens. Science, technology, and product delivery. $199,144.


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The George A. Smathers Libraries presents an exhibition that reflects upon bark beetles, their destructive capacity, and the art they unintentionally create. On view January 9 through March 10, 2017, Beetle │Book │Bark includes original works of art that incorporate large scale, high resolution images of the beetles juxtaposed with their three-dimensional habitats, as well as rare entomological books from the Library illustrating the evolution of scientific accuracy and imagination.

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.