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June 16th, 2015

outreach event

ABOVE: Matt Moore shows the giant millipede and death-feigning beetles to participants at the Sweet Dreams Touch-A-Truck fundraiser on Saturday May 16th.


Faculty and Staff News

The UF/IFAS Research Awards Ceremony on May 19th honored three Entomology & Nematology faculty and their colleagues for high impact publications in 2014. Ten such publications were selected for special recognition.

  • Iglesias LE, Nyoike TW, Liburd OE. 2014. Effect of trap design, bait type and age on captures of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in berry crops. Journal of Economic Entomology.107: 1508-1518.
  • Shin DA, Civana A, Acevedo C, Smartt CT. 2014. Transcriptomics of differential vector competence: West Nile virus infection in two populations of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus linked to ovary development. BioMed Central Genomics. 15(1): 513.
  • Hajeri S, Killiny N, El-Mohtar C, Dawson WO, Gowda S. 2014. Citrus tristeza virus-based RNAi in citrus plants induces gene silencing in Diaphorina citri, a phloem-sap sucking insect vector of citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing). Journal of Biotechnology. 176: 42-49.

award recognitionABOVE: Dr. Douglas L. Archer, IFAS Associate Dean for Research, congratulating Ms. Lindsy Iglesias, Dr. Teresia Nyoike, and Dr. Oscar Liburd, at the 2015 UF/IFAS Research Awards Ceremony.

Vote Today!

Two of our faculty are in the running to be the next Vice President of the Florida Entomological Society. Cast your vote today for Dr. Catharine Mannion or Dr. Hugh Smith. Click here for a ballot and email your vote to Dr. Nan-Yao Su.  

Dr. Eileen Buss, Associate Professor and turf and ornamental entomologist, retired due to health issues from the Department at the end of May 2015. She can be reached by email at turfbug1@gmail.com.  

A note from Dr. Marjorie Hoy

~ My retirement started May 4th after 23 years at UF. It has been a challenging and productive time and I hope that I can continue to be productive. So far, my husband (Jim) and I have had a trip to Bonaire to snorkel, and we are planning another to Maine and Nova Scotia this summer. After that, I hope things will settle down a bit. The retirement paperwork is still underway (it is amazing how much there is). I thank all the faculty and staff in the Department for their valued assistance and am grateful for Emeritus status. Please do not hesitate to contact me by email if you have questions. I will be in to the Department to finish some projects, including a possible new book.  

Many thanks for the wonderful 23 years! Sincerely,


Dr. Nur Tabanca, a natural product chemist from the University of Mississippi, is slated to join the Bloomquist Lab this summer as a Research Scientist. She will be isolating new insecticides and spatial repellents from natural sources.

Dr. James P. Cuda and colleagues were featured in the April 14th issue of IFAS NEWS. Their UF/IFAS Extension program on biological control of Tropical Soda Apple won the National Innovative Program Award from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

Dr. James P. Cuda was featured in a Washington Times article published April 18th titled “Biologists hope lice can attack invasive Brazilian peppertree.” Dr. William Overholt and Cuda are proposing to release the leaflet galling psyllid Calophya latiforceps (Hemiptera: Calophyidae) in Florida for biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by our IFAS Extension Administration to become a member of the IFAS Extension Invasive Species Leadership Team.

Dr. Billy Crow attended the SERA IEG 26 (Southern Turfgrass) meeting in Oklahoma City June 2nd to the 3rd and presented an update on turfgrass nematodes. He also got to attend the College Softball World Series that was going on at the same location, and rooted for the Florida Gators as they repeated as National Champions!

Dr. Jim Maruniak received the Student Activities and Involvement award for the Advisor of the Year for 2015. There are almost 1,000 student clubs at the University of Florida, and over 600 faculty advisors, only one faculty member receives this award.

Here is just a portion of the nomination letter from Mason Henehan, the president of the Society for Viral Studies.

“I am writing to nominate Dr. Jim Maruniak for Advisor of the Year due to his outstanding efforts in supporting the Society for Viral Studies student organization. He has deep roots with our organization, as he was the faculty member who was originally approached by the student who started the Society for Viral Studies in 1998. Ever since its inception, Dr. Maruniak has been the advisor for our club and this long-term commitment and experience he has attained in past years has been a bountiful asset in how he has helped us this current academic year. On the whole, the club has grown under his watch to include not only new waves of students each year, but also a diverse array of new activities in various realms from volunteerism to research which highlight his immense impact…. He is incredibly deserving of the honor of “Advisor of the Year”.”

Advisor of the Year on a trip to Peru
ABOVE: Dr. Jim Maruniak took the Virology Club from May 4th to May 12th, to Lima and Iquitos, Peru for their annual international study abroad.  On this trip they went to the Cayetano Hospital and the Tropical Medical Institute in Lima. They saw patients with leishmaniasis disease which is transmitted by phlebotomine sandflies. They also saw patients with HIV, Cytomegalovirus, Tuberculosis, herpes simplex, and Kaposi’s sarcoma. They also observed two separate births, one delivered twins. After Lima, they traveled to Iquitos on the Amazon River and visited two indigenous tribes.

Student and Alumni News

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Mr. Paulo Bertolla, a undergraduate student participating in the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, joined the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda on May 27th. Mr. Bertolla will be conducting laboratory experiments with Apocnemidophorus pipitzi, a stem boring weevil of the invasive Brazilian peppertree.

Ms. Nicole Miller, an undergraduate microbiology student, joined the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda on May 12th as part of the 2015 FAES Summer Research Internship Program. Ms. Miller will be conducting experiments with the hydrilla midge Cricotopus lebetis.


Several students received scholarships at the Southeast Pest Management Conference in May.

Jonathan Simpkins,owner of Insect IQ and a graduate of the University of Florida, presented $500 scholarships from Insect IQ All Florida Bee Removal to Heather Erskine and Brittany Delong Campbell. A plaque honoring the scholarship recipients was presented to the Urban Entomology Lab and will be on display near the cockroach statue.

John Cooksey, representing the Florida Pest Management Foundation, presented scholarships to four students researching urban pests. The 2015 recipients of the FPMF scholarships are Michael Bentley, Brittany Delong Campbell, Kristen Donovan, Casey Parker, and Mason Russo. Please join us in congratulating these students on their achievements.

We appreciate the support of Insect IQ: All Florida Bee Removal and the Florida Pest Management Foundation for their support of our students.

After graduating with his Ph.D. in May, Dr. Sudarshan Aryal has moved to U.C. Riverside to be a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Adler Dillman.

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.

fly from colony

ABOVE: Grayson McWhorter (from Dr. Christine Miller’s lab) collected an interesting fly in his leaf-footed bug colonies. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t a parasitic fly attacking his bugs. It turned out to be a tephritid fly called Xanthaciura insecta. They were actually emerging from the flowers of the Bidens alba plants that Grayson is using in his colony.

Lyle Buss is the 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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Bloomquist JR, Tong F, Jenson LJ. 2015. Published patent application, Induced expression of proteins in insect cells. World Intellectual Property Organization. PCT/US2014/054433.

Boina DR, Bloomquist JR. 2015. Chemical control of the Asian citrus psyllid and of huanglongbing disease in citrus. Pest Management Science. 71: 808-823.  Special Issue Dedicated to Dr. Gerry Brooks.

Eiden AL, Kaufman PE, Oi FM, Miller RJ. 2015. Detection of permethrin resistance and fipronil tolerance in Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States. Journal of Medical Entomology. 52: 429-436. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjv005

Islam RM, Bloomquist JR. 2015. A method for assessing chemically-induced paralysis in headless mosquito larvae. MethodsX. 2: 19-23.

Lee JA, Halbert SE, Dawson WO, Robertson CJ, Keesling JE, Singer BH. 2015. Asymptomatic spread of huanglongbing and implications for disease control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1508253112

Thany S, Tong F, Bloomquist JR. 2015. Pre-treatment of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with sublethal dose of imidacloprid impairs behavioral avoidance induced by lemon oil and DEET. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 29: 99-103.

Verma A, Wong DM, Islam R, Tong F, Ghavami M, Mutunga JM, Slebodnicka C, Li J, Viayna E, Lam PC-H, Totrov MM, Bloomquist JR, Carlier PR.  2015.  3-Oxoisoxazole-2(3H)-carboxamides and isoxazol-3-yl carbamates: Resistance-breaking acetylcholinesterase inhibitors targeting the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae.  Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 23: 1321-1340. 

New on Featured Creatures:

A sand fly, Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva). Authors: María C. Carrasquilla and Phillip E. Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Tea shot-hole borer, Euwallacea fornicatus (Eichhoff). Authors: You Li, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Andrea Lucky, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Jiri Hulcr, School of Forest Resources and Conservation and Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Major revision: Black turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus terebrans (Olivier). Authors: Albert E. Mayfield III, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station; Jiri Hulcr, School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida; John L. Foltz, University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Entomology Field Camp

From June 22nd to the 26th the Entomology and Nematology Education and Outreach program will host the Entomology Field Camp in room 2218.

entomology camp logo for 2015

ABOVE: We will have 33 middle school students participating in InStar Wars as they learn about arthropod defenses. Besides building an insect collection, this year, the camp will complete the Level 3 4-H Record Book where students can earn a medal for Entomology and Beekeeping. Volunteers include both graduate and undergraduate students from the Kaufman, Branham, Taylor, Daniels, Miller, Koehler, Ellis, and Baldwin labs. The volunteers will work with the campers to explore collecting techniques, perform experiments, and build a cell phone microscope. If you have any questions about the summer camp, please contact Dr. Rebecca Baldwin.  

Backyard Bark Beetle Project

The backyard bark beetle citizen science protocol developed by Ms. Sedonia Steininger, Dr. Jiri Hulcr, and Dr. Andrea Lucky is starting a life of its own around the world. The protocol is being used to monitor scolytine populations in agricultural settings in Ecuador. At the Universidad Técnica Estatal de Quevedo, Ing. Malena Martinez, MS, used the traps to survey scolytines in balsa plantations infected with a fungus "pata roja" (see photo below). At Agrocalidad Guayas, Ing. Agr. Imelda Fèlix Barrera, MSc, and colleagues used the traps the survey scolytines in various plantations including teak and banana. Using the local brand of hand sanitizer they have been able to leave the traps out for one to two weeks, and they have indicated that the traps attract beetles even after the first week. Collaborators at Michigan State University (A. Cognato and S. M. Smith) have already identified the first lot of beetles and the results show that the traps are catching a diversity of species.

The framework is being adopted in schools around the US. The instructor of the Invertebrate Biology class at the Bethel University, MN, implemented the project and reported that “The learning outcomes were fantastic with students increasing in their desire to become involved in future citizen science projects.” The students also collected and reported a species not known in Minnesota before.

back yard beetle trap made from an empty water bottle and a paper plate

ABOVE: Traps used to survey scolytines in balsa plantations infected with a fungus "pata roja" in Quevedo, Ecuador. Photo by Malena Martinez.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered at our May outreach events.

May Outreach:

13 May- Newberry Elementary Education Fair. Participants: Erin Powell.
15 May- Alachua Elementary Career Fair. Participants: Lauren Cirino, Chris Holderman, Alexandria Spencer, and Erin Powell.
16 May- Sweet Dreams Touch-A-Truck Fundraiser. Participants: Matt Moore and Erin Powell.
19 May- Norton Elementary. Participants: Erin Powell.
28 May- The Village Retirement Community. Participants: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Ruth Brumbaugh.

Upcoming events:

  • 16 June-Finley Elementary
  • 18 June- GPD Camp Department Visit
  • 22-26 June- InStar Wars BUG CAMP
Interested in speaking at Bug Camp? We would love to have any faculty or graduate students give talks or demonstrations to our campers. Please contact Erin if you are available to volunteer.

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 from April 1st to May 31st, 2015, we have had 16 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $634,367.77 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).


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FES Honors and Awards 2015

The Florida Entomological Society Honors and Awards Committee are requesting nominations for 2015 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 2015 Annual Meeting. Each nomination should be accompanied with a justification narrative that will be read at the awards luncheon. View previous winners.

Nomination deadline is July 1, 2015.

Nominations should be emailed to: Dr. Jawwad Qureshi
Chair, Honors and Awards Committee
University of Florida-IFAS-SWFREC
Phone: 239-658-3451

FES Call for Submissions 2015

Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in a great meeting by submitting your abstract for an oral or poster presentation at the 98th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society.  August 2-5, 2014 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa 17260 Harbour Pointe Drive, Fort Myers , FL 33908.

Find the Meeting Registration Form and the Submitted Paper Form online. The extended deadline is June 30th, 2015. Email your submission to the Program Chair Phil Stansly.

We have an exciting program planned for this year including six symposia with subjects as diverse as Termites, Mosquitos, Thrips, Whiteflies, Fall Armyworm and an Industry Update. Not to mention the comradery and really great venue. Friends and family welcome of course so don’t miss it! Check the website for more information.

Note for Exhibitors/Vendors You can set up a booth for a reasonable fee that covers all three days of the meeting. Two lunch tickets included.

Submissions should be emailed to: Dr. Phil Stansly
Professor of Entomology
University of Florida-IFAS-SWFREC
Phone: 239-658-3427

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.

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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.