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March 15th, 2016

bee school

ABOVE: At the 2016 UF/IFAS Bee College three generations of the Cutts family (Lawrence, Steven, and Logan) put on bee beards for all to photograph.

Faculty and Staff News

2016 Announcement of UF/IFAS High Impact Research Publications Awardees

UF Authors: Maria C. Carrasquilla and L. Philip Lounibos
Submitting Unit: Florida Medical Entomological Laboratory
Citation: Carrasquilla MC, Lounibos LP. 2015. Satyrization without evidence of successful insemination from interspecific mating between invasive mosquitoes. Biol. Lett. 11: 20150527. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0527

UF Authors: Thomas Chouvenc, Ericka Helmick, and Nan-Yao Su
Submitting Unit: Ft. Lauderdale REC
Citation: Chouvenc TE, Helmick E, Su NY. 2015. Hybridization of two major termite invaders as a consequence of human activity. PloS one. 10(3): p.e0120745.

Dr. Marc Branham has started the appointment of subject editor for the journal ZootaxaZootaxa is a peer-reviewed international journal for the rapid publication of high quality papers focusing on systematic zoology.

Our 2016 UF/IFAS Mid-Career International Travel Award Winner!

PI:  Dr. Chelsea Smartt
Unit: Entomology and Nematology/Florida Medical Entomology Lab – Vero Beach 
Assessment of the vector competence of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes from Bahia, Brazil to zika virus
Research Funding: $10,000

In the News!

A local NPR segment on Bugs and Money in south Florida featured an interview with Dr. Nan-Yao Su and Dr. Thomas Chouvenc about subterranean termites in south Florida the first 12min and the last 5 minutes of the show.

Additional video about the show: Thomas Chouvenc shows what alates of Asian subterranean termites look like, just after a swarming event.

Dr. James P. Cuda and two of his staff (Ms. Adriana  Mitchell and Mr. Eutychus Kariuki) were featured in a video on the hydrilla tip mining midge Cricotopus lebetis that will debut during this year’s  Bug Week.  

In a study published by Dr. Marjorie Hoy in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution (doi:10.1093/gbe/evw048) the researchers detail the initial insights into several remarkable features of the genome of an agriculturally important predatory mite that is widely employed to control plant pests.

A few weeks ago, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin was asked to participate in an interview for the UF video series called Tandem Two Bits. It is to introduce students to various aspects of UF. That video is now posted online as Episode 3

Student and Alumni News

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Dr. Michael Bentley in the Oi Lab successfully defended his dissertation and started a new job as the staff entomologist with the National Pest Management Association. Congratulations, Mike!

UG researchers

ABOVE: Four students from the Lucky lab attended the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference in Tampa, Florida, February 26th to the 27th. This conference is one of the nation's largest multi-disciplinary research conferences in the country for undergraduates. From L-R, students and their project titles: Andrew Nisip: Differences in tarsal morphology between arboreal and non-arboreal ants. Josh Hildebrandt: Aggressive behavior and acceptance in an unusual association: trapjaw ants and snails. Gabe Somarriba: Key to Septobasidium of the Southeastern United States. Michelle Dunbar: Invasive Cogongrass significantly reduces arthropod abundance and diversity. Far right, Dr. Andrea Lucky.

Ms. Rachel Watson, an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda, was presented a certificate for her $500 scholarship award at the department’s Undergraduate Scholarship Reception on 17 February.

Ms. Patricia Prade, a Ph.D. student in  Dr. Cuda’s laboratory,  attended the 38th Annual Meeting of the Florida Weed Science Society held in Haines City, FL, 29 February- 1 March. Ms. Prade gave a presentation titled “Calophya latiforceps: a Potential Biological Control Agent of Brazilian Peppertree in Florida.” The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Cuda and Dr. William A. Overholt.

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: A couple people have sent Lyle photos of a striking black and white caterpillar this month. Its stripes have earned it the common name of convict caterpillar. It feeds on plants in the spider lily, iris, and lily families, including both terrestrial and aquatic plants. The adult, called the Spanish moth, is equally striking. Check it out in the Featured Creatures article. Thanks to Gail Parsons of Odessa, Florida, for the great photo!

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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Alto BW, Lord CC. 2016. Transstadial effects of Bti on traits of Aedes aegypti and infection with dengue virus. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 10(2): e0004370. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004370. Here is an IFAS news release about the article.

Aryal SK, Crow WT, McSorley R,Giblin-Davis RM,Rowland DL, Poudel B, Kenworthy KE. 2015. Effects of infection by Belonolaimus longicaudatus on rooting dynamics among St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass genotypes. Journal of Nematology 47: 316-321.

Capinera JL, Dickens K. 2016. Some effects of copper-based fungicides on plant-feeding terrestrial molluscs: A role for repellents in mollusc management. Crop Protection 83: 76-82.

Du H, Chouvenc T, Osbrink WL, Su NY. 2016. Social interactions in the central nest of Coptotermes formosanus juvenile colonies. Insectes Sociaux, pp.1-12.

Kakkar G, Chouvenc T, Su NY. 2016. Postecdysis sclerotization of mouthparts of the Formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, p.tov394.

New on Featured Creatures:

brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa (Fabricius). Authors: Shiyao Jiang and Andrea Lucky, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus C.L. Koch. Author: Donald W. Hall, 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. Phil Stansly gave a plenary talk at the International Whitefly Symposium in Arusha, Tanzania, on February 14th.  The talk was titled "Biological Management of Whiteflies in Vegetable Crops: Lessons from Greenhouse to Open Field."

The University of Florida’s School of Structural Fumigation was held at the Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C. February 15-19, 2016. The annual "Fume School" provides classroom, laboratory, and field training for pest control professionals who wish to supervise or conduct fumigations of buildings and goods against various pest infestations.  Because of recent demand, two sessions were scheduled for 2016 (February and November).  This remains the only school of its kind in the world, and the school’s 28th anniversary had another record attendance of 61 students (below). 

fume school

ABOVE: This year’s class included students from Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Virginia, as well as Aruba, Cayman Is., Curacao, St. Kitts/Nevis, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago. The school yielded a 96% passing rate for students who opted to take the Florida State certification exams in fumigation. Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn and Dr. Bill Kern have coordinated the Fume School at FLREC for the past 13 years.

Dr. James P. Cuda  was an invited speaker at the 20th Annual Southwest Florida Invasive Species Workshop held at Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL, 24 February. Cuda’s presentation, was titled "Testing a New IPM Approach for Hydrilla Management: an  Update." The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Emma Weeks. 

Dr. Billy Crow presented two seminars a day for three days in a row! He presented "New nematicides for 2016" and "Diagnosis and management of nematodes in lawns and landscapes" at Florida Turfgrass Association educational seminars in Milton, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville on February 16, 17, and 18, respectively.

On February 23, Dr. Thomas Chouvenc and Dr. Phil Koehler were in New Orleans to teach at the yearly Termite Academy organized by city of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

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

  • February 4th-15th Florida State Fair- Thank you to everyone who helped the fair run smoothly this year! 
  • February 13th - Buc Toucs at Camp Shands- Matt Moore and Chris Crockett
  • February16th- Gator Day at the Capitol- Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Evan Waite, Ruhiyyih Dyrdahl-Young, Marice Laurenti, Anil Baniya
  • February 19th- One World Conference “Reality Check”- Casey Parker and Chris Crockett
  • February 24th- Easter Seals Altrusa House- Erin Powell and Sage Thompson
  • February 25th- Umatilla High School- Chris Holderman and Casey Parker

Upcoming Events

  • March 19th- Silver River State Park
  • March 25th- Classical Conversations homeschool group tour
  • April 2nd- Bug Fest     
  • April 8th- Gator Encounters
  • April 9th- Bioblitz in Lutz, FL


Katherine Arguez and Erin Powell interact with visitors at the Florida State Fair on February 14th.

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 February 1st to February 29th, we have had 18 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $3,836,943.82 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).


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Register for Insect Field Camp 2016

It is again time to register for the Insect Field Camp to be held at the Entomology and Nematology Department (Steinmetz Hall). This summer, the camp will run from June 20-24 from 8:30-4:00. The cost of the camp is $175 per camper. There is a discount of $25 per camper if there are multiple campers from the same immediate family ($150 each). If you are a former camper, and are now in High School (14 years old or older), you may register for the camp as a Junior Leader. Please indicate that when you register. The cost for Jr. Leaders will be $125 per camper. Jr. Leaders will have some time during the camp to take a campus tour and to visit some of the research labs within the department. Please visit our website for registration forms.  We look forward to seeing you in June!

Special Seminar!

special seminar March 17th

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.