home about

March 13th, 2017

dr. Weeks

ABOVE: Dr. Jennifer Weeks organised a booth at the Alachua County Youth Fair on March 6th. 4-H campers from previous years partnered with Dr. Weeks to educate visiting school groups about the role of insects and nematodes in agriculture.

Faculty and Staff News

Two members of the University of Florida faculty have been elected as incoming officers for the southeastern branch Entomological Society of America. Dr. Oscar Liburd is the new President-Elect and Dr. Amanda Hodges is the new Secretary/Treasurer-Elect. Congratulations!

In the news:
Entomology Today wrote a nice piece on the recent paper published by the Su-lab.

PCT (Pest Control Technology) wrote an article on a large field project that Dr. Su has conducted over many years.


ABOVE: Dr. Faith Oi gave a presentation on urban pests, IPM, and the Food Safety Modernization Act at the Publix training to >100 PMPs (Lakeland, FL).

Following the arrival of Dr. Bryony Bonning in early February, personnel have arrived to populate her Insect Pathology and Biotechnology lab: Dr. Suyog Kuwar, Dr. Ruchir Mishra and Dr. Biviana Flores Escobar moved with Bonning from Iowa State University. Dr. Emiliano Canton and Dr. Pavan Kumar (to arrive early April) are new to her lab, arriving from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and the Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell University, respectively.

Their research projects include insect gut physiology and the modification of Bt toxins to improve efficacy against recalcitrant pests, most notably the Asian citrus psyllid.

The first UF Nematologist Faculty Retreat was held on February 17th in Fort Myers.  It was attended by Dr. Crow, Dr. Dickson, Dr. Mengistu, Dr. Grabau, Dr. DiGennaro, Dr. Duncan, Dr. Giblin-Davis, Dr. Desaeger, and Dr. Siegfried. An after-retreat fishing trip was attended by Dr. Crow, Dr. DiGennaro, and Dr. Dickson.

Dr. James P. Cuda and his research on biological control of cogongrass was featured in  in the UF/IFAS Morning Ag Clips on February 23rd.   

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, to serve as an external reviewer for a thesis titled,“The Potential of Hydrellia egeriae Rodrigues (Diptera: Ephydridae) as a Biocontrol Agent for Egeria densa Planch. (Hydrocharitaceae) in South Africa.” He was also invited by the Administrator for the Western Regional Biological Control Project W3185 to review their new 5-year  project proposal titled “Biological Control in Pest Management Systems of Plants.”

Dr. James P. Cuda was interviewed by Brittney Smith, WUFT TV about his research on biological control of cogongrass. The video clip aired on the 5 PM News on February 24th.  

Student and Alumni News

return to top

We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Mr. Gunasegaran (Guna) Chelliah, one of our students in the cooperative Florida A&M University/University of Florida Ph.D. program in Entomology. Guna was researching honey bee health, and at the time of his death on January 31st, was preparing for his qualifying exams. Guna will be remembered for his kindness, strong work ethic, and desire to contribute to scientific discovery and application. The University of Florida will honor his contribution to our academic and research missions with the award of an In Memoriam Degree. Guna leaves behind his loving wife, Saishree, and children, Saiprassad and Sai. For anyone wishing to contribute in his honor, a memorial fund (account number 8980 8697 5659) has been established at the Bank of America. Please make checks payable to Mrs. Saishree Muthuswamy you can contact Dr. Heather McAuslane for her address.

Congratulations to Mr. Nicholas Homziak who has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the UF/IFAS Award of Excellence for Graduate Research-M.S.  He, and his co-advisors Dr. Akito Kawahara and Dr. Marc Branham, will be recognized at the 10th Annual UF/IFAS Agricultural Experiment Station Awards Ceremony and Reception scheduled for Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 at the Harn Museum. Nicholas' M.S. thesis was titled "Systematics and Phylogenomics of the Erebinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea, Erebidae)." He began his Ph.D. in our department in the fall as a Graduate School Fellow.

Award winner

ABOVE: Mengyi Gu, a doctoral student with the Crow Lab, was awarded the Watson Fellowship Scholarship from the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America.

Lary Reeves, a graduate student in the department, won first place in the UF’s Elegance of Science Contest for his picture of a mosquito from French Guiana carrying a load of botfly eggs. At the time, the mosquito was biting Lary, who travelled thousands of miles and crawled through the jungles to collect samples for his doctoral research. Lary also received an honorable mention for another image that depicts underwing moths in flight.

Lary (and other winners) will be recognized in an award ceremony at the Florida Museum of Natural History at noon on March 21st, and will present the science behind their images in a series of short talks. The award ceremony is open to the public.
Details: front classroom, Florida Museum, 12:00 PM -1:30 PM.

Ms. Rachel Watson, an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda, was invited by CALS to participate in the University Scholars Program for  2017-2018.

Linda Dao, a 3rd year Biology major, and researcher in the DiGennaro Lab, has been accepted into the 2017-2018 University Scholars Program with the project “Hyperparasite Microsporidia as a Potential Biocontrol Agent of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.”

The Landscape Entomology Lab (Dale lab) recently hired Alex LoCastro, a recent UF Entomology & Nematology graduate, as a lab technician to assist with various research projects focused on urban ecology. Please welcome him back to the department as you see him around.

Lab News

return to top

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: Dr. Andrei Sourakov had an unwelcome visitor living in the handle of his shovel. Mexican twig ants (Pseudomyrmex gracilis) had made their nest in cavities in the wood. Twig ants usually rely on pre-existing cavities, using hollow plant stems or tunnels made by other insects such as cerambycid larvae. Please contact Dr. Sourakov for permission to reproduce this image.

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.


return to top

Aldridge RL, Kaufman PE, Bloomquist JR, Gezan SA, Linthicum KJ.  2016. Comparative topical application site efficacy of permethrin and malathion on Culex quinquefasciatus. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 32: 300-307.

Burkett-Cadena ND, Blosser EM. 2017. Aedeomyia squamipennis (Diptera: Culicidae) in Florida, USA, a new state and country record. Journal of Medical Entomology 1-5 doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw226.

Carnohan LP, Kaufman PE, Allan SA, Gezan SA, Weeks ENI. 2017. Evaluation of brown dog tick responses to semiochemicals in two olfactometers. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 8: 226-234. DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.11.003.

Carter E, Rowland D, Tillman B, Erickson J, Grey T, Gillett-Kaufman J, Clark M. 2017. Pod maturity in the shelling process. Peanut Science http://dx.doi.org/10.3146/PS16-17.1.

Dale AG. 2017. Managing scale insects and mealybugs on turfgrass. UF/IFAS EDIS publication. Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida. EDIS# ENY-340. 

Doumayrou J, Sheber M, Bonning BC, Miller WA. 2017. Quantification of Pea enation mosaic virus 1 and 2 during infection of Pisum sativum by one step real-time RT-PCR. Journal of Virology Methods 240: 63-68.  doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2016.11.013.

Du H, Chouvenc T, Osbrink WLA, Su NY. 2017. Heterogeneous distribution of castes/instars and behaviors in the nest of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Insectes Sociaux 64: 103-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00040-016-0520-0.

Gámez Herrera C, Niño AA, Avery PB, Cave RD. 2016. Efecto del hongo  Isaria fumosorosea Wize sobre la herbivoría por los adultos del escarabajo de margen amarillo, Microtheca ochroloma Stål (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Ceiba 54: 119-127. doi: 10.5377/ceiba.v54i2.2772.

Lin Y, Hussain M, Avery PB, Qasim M, Wu G, Wang L. 2017. The herbivore-induced plant volatiles methyl salicylate and menthol positively affect growth and pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungi. Scientific Reports 7: 40494. doi: 10.1038/srep40494.

Liu S, Chen Y, Sappington TW, Bonning BC. 2017. Genome sequence of the first coleopteran iflavirus isolated from western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. Genome Announcements 5(6) e01530-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01530-16.

Nolen ZJ, Allen PE, Miller CW. 2017. Seasonal resource value and male size influence male aggressive interactions in the leaf footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata. Behavioural Processes 138: 1-6.

Penca C, Hodges AC, Davis LL, Leppla NC, Hochmuth RC. 2017. Abundance and diversity of beneficial and pest arthropods in buckwheat on blueberry and vegetable farms in north Florida. Florida Entomologist 100(1).

Tomson M, Sahayaraj K, Kumar V, Avery, P, McKenzie C, Osborne L. 2017. Mass rearing and augmentative biological control evaluation of Rhynocoris fuscipes (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) against multiple pests of cotton. Pest Management Science doi: 10.1002/ps.4532.

Stockton DG, Martini X, Stelinski LL. 2017. Male psyllids differentially learn in the context of copulation. Insects 8.1: 16.

Su NY, Chouvenc T, Li HF. 2017. Potential hybridization between two Invasive termite species, Coptotermes formosanus and C. gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), and its biological and economic implications. Insects 8: 1-14.  https://doi.org/10.3390/insects8010014.

Vander Meer RK, Milne DE. 2017. Enhanced pest ant control with hydrophobic bait. Journal of Economic Entomology https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/tow300.

The paper was published February 20th along with a press release from the Entomological Society of America highlighting the research results and in an Entomology Today Blog post.

Weeks ENI, Machtinger ET, Gezan SA, Kaufman PE, Geden CJ. 2016. Effect of four commercial fungal formulations on mortality and sporulation of house flies (Musca domestica) and stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans). Medical and Veterinary Entomology 31: 15-22.  DOI: 10.1111/mve.12201.

New on Featured Creatures:

Winter ant (suggested common name), Prenolepis imparis (Say) Authors: Jason L. Williams and Andrea Lucky, University of Florida.

A hister beetle, Carcinops pumilio (Erichson) Authors: Matthew R. Moore, and Phillip E. Kaufman, University of Florida.

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

Meetings and Presentations

return to top

Another concurrent session at PMU! Congratulations to March 1-3 L&O Foundations graduates from Ambassador Pest Management, Bug Out Service, McCall Service, Native Pest Management, Titan Pest and Lawn Services. Special shout out to Julie McConnell (Bay County Extension) and Sheila Dunning (Okaloosa County Extension) who also attended and are adding Extension capacity in their counties. Also, congratulations to our March 2-3 WDO Inspections graduates from Crenshaw Termite Pest Control, Ecologix, Geiger's Pest Services, Good News Pest Solutions, Pillar to Post, Service First Termite & Pest, Sunshine Greenery, and Wilton Pest Control!

PMU students

ABOVE: Dr. Adam Dale, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Marble (Environmental Horticulture) and Dr. Shad Ali hosted a Foundations of Landscape & Ornamental pest management workshop with PMU for 10 pest control operators from across Florida at MREC in Apopka, FL. Dr. Chris Marble (MREC, weed scientist) providing guidance on how to measure tree diameters for product calculations exercise with Dr. Adam Dale (entomologist) looking on. County faculty Julie McConnell (Bay County) and Sheila Dunning (Okaloosa County) as part of team exercise.


The University of Florida’s School of Structural Fumigation was held at the Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C. during February 20th to the 24th. The now semiannual "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.  Since its inception, the Fume School has been attended by 1,195 students. This remains the only school of its kind in the world, and the school’s 29th anniversary had another full attendance of 60 students (below).

Fume school

ABOVE: This latest class included students from Florida, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Texas as well as The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and, for the first time, Cuba. The school yielded a 93% passing rate for students who opted to take the Florida State certification exams in fumigation. Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn, Dr. Bill Kern, and Renny Perez coordinate the school which brings expert instruction from manufacturers (Bayer, Douglas, Drexel, Ensystex), suppliers (Cardinal, Univar), fumigators (Dead Bug Edwards and Emory Brantley & Sons), regulators (FLDACS), FL Dept. of Transportation, USDA, and Certified Pest Control Operators of Florida.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Xavier Martini (North Florida Research and Education Center) organized the first ‘Citrus Health Forum’, an Extension event that gathered more than 70 Extension agents and citrus growers of north Florida in Quincy on February 23rd. Dr. Martini made a presentation on Asian citrus psyllid management, and Dr. Lukasz Stelinski(Citrus Research and Education Center) a presentation on citrus leafminer management.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Thomas Chouvenc presented an update of his research on March 1st, at the Ft Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) monthly seminar series: “Sex, drugs and poop. If you thought termites weren’t cool enough.” He also provided this great termite video.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn February 23rd Cory Penca gave a presentation titled "Invasive Species, the Caribbean Pathway, and Cuba" to a meeting of USDA-APHIS-PPQ state leadership team at the State Plant Health Director's office in Gainesville, Florida.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDPM student Matt Borden (Landscape Entomology, Dr. Adam Dale) gave several presentations to 45 Seminole County Master Gardeners in Sanford, FL on February 9th. He covered plant damage recognition, landscape IPM tactics, and insect identification.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was invited by the Reclamation Technical Advisory Committee of the Florida Industrial Phosphate Research Institute, Bartow, FL, to present a research proposal for funding consideration on February 10th. The presentation was titled “Screening of the Gall Midge Orseolia javanica, a Candidate BioControl Agent of Cogongrass.”

Dr. James P. Cuda and Dr. Emma N. I. Weeks were invited by the Invasive Plant Program Supervisor of the St. Johns River Water Management District to give a presentation about their hydrilla IPM research. The presentation, which was titled “Combining Different Control Tactics to Reduce Hydrilla Biomass” was co-authored by Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, and Mr. Eutychus Kariuki.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn February 25th, members of the Minteer Lab hosted a booth at Nature Fest at the Manatee Center in Fort Pierce. Members of the lab presented information about the biological control of air potato and Brazilian peppertree. The booth featured live plants and air potato leaf beetles, as well as a sneak peek of the natural enemies for Brazilian peppertree that are currently in the Containment facility at IRREC awaiting approval for relase. Two-thousand people attended the event.

Nature fest

ABOVE: Dr. Carey Minteer and biological technicians Emily Gaskin and Carolina Arguijo talk to visitors about the air potato leaf beetle and biological control.  

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Billy Crow presented a half-day workshop "Assembling a Nematode Management Plan" at the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America Educational Conference in Orlando on February 6th.

Dr. Billy Crow presented "Divanem: a new abamectin nematicide" at the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America Educational Conference in Orlando on February 8th.

Dr. Billy Crow presented "Earthworms: Friend or foe?" at the Florida Turfgrass Associated seminar in Plant City of February 28th.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale presented about insect management on golf courses and landscapes at the FTGA conference in Milton, FL.

Dr. Adam Dale gave a presentation on managing insect pests of urban trees to over 200 arborists and landscape professionals at the Tree and Landscape Short Course in Plant City, FL.

Dr. Adam Dale was an invited speaker at the Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association annual conference in Baltimore, MD, where he talked about managing insects and trees in urban landscapes to over 200 landscape professionals.


return to top

From the Outreach Coordinator

A big thank you to the students and faculty who volunteered for February’s outreach events, especially the State Fair!

state fair booth

ABOVE: Johanna, Dylan, and Richard at the Florida State Fair, featuring one of our Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Thanks to all that helped make the fair a success!

  • February 6th - Expressions Learning Arts Academy – Lettie Cronin, Laurel Lietzenmayer, and WinDi Sanchez
  • February 9th – Micanopy Elementary Science Night – Sara Alvarez, Rachel Atchison, and Marice Laurenti
  • February 9th-20th – Florida State Fair – We had 33 total volunteers!

Upcoming Events

  • March 14th – Jordan Glen School, 9:45am-11:45am 
  • March 15th – Wiles Head Start, 9am-11am
  • March 21st - Ambleside School of Ocala, Time TBA 
  • March 24th – Department Tour for Valencia College, 1:30pm-2:30pm 
  • March 28th – Alachua Homeschooling Families, 10am-12pm
  • March 29th – Littlewood Elementary After School Program, 4pm-5pm

science night

ABOVE: Maricé Lopez (Liburd lab), Rachel Atchison and Sara Alvarez (Lucky lab)
lead an insect communication activity at Micanopy Area Co-op School’s Science

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!


return to top

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 (PI) and Dr. Janine Spies (Co-PI) received an On-Farm Research Grant in the amount of $13,137 from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. The project is titled “Evaluating the effect of biological control and planting mixed varieties to manage whitefly and aphid pests in organic squash.”

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgPatricia Prade has been awarded a UF Graduate Student Council travel grant for $350 to support her travel to the Hemiptera-Plant Interactions Symposium in Madrid.


return to top

BUGFEST 2017 – Fantastic Bugs and Where to Find Them

Discover science through entomology! BugFest is an annual event designed to introduce the community and students to the opportunities that the study of insects has to offer. Join us for games such as cockroach races, an arthropod petting zoo, cricket spitting competition, interactive events such as a live beehive demonstration, maggot art, insects from around the world, and insect collecting techniques. In the process, you will learn about our department, the courses offered, the major and minor, academic specializations, and the Entomology Club in a fun and interactive way! You can also experience art in a new way through ornaments and jewelry made with insects. We expect to see many participants break out of their comfort zones and gain an understanding and appreciation the insect life that surrounds us.

The event is hosted by the UF Entomology Club, and members will be responsible for its execution as well as facilitating an exciting and festive experience for visitors. We hope this event will be a memorable one that will continue to promote Entomology at the University of Florida in the years to come.

Date: Saturday, April 8th from 10:00-2:00
Location: Steinmetz Hall, UF Entomology and Nematology Department, 1881 Natural Area Drive Gainesville, FL

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, 352-273-3974.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgCalling all arachnophiles with a desire to color!

The Taylor Lab has just released the first edition of their Spiderpalooza coloring book, designed and put together by members of the lab. This coloring book is the perfect relaxing activity for spider lovers of all ages to use to de-stress a bit during exam time, release your creative spirit on your lunch break, or print out and bring home for your kids to do as a fun art project.The goal of this outreach initiative is to spread the love for spiders and decrease arachnophobia in the world by showing everyone how cute these little guys can be. Access the FREE PDF to print and color. Feel free to share your colored in drawings on social media with #coloringwithspiders and #spiderpalooza, and #UFBugs post your creations to the Taylor Lab's facebook page at facebook.com/taylorlabuf. Help us spread the love of spiders!

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).

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgSpecial 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.

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!

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

return to top

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.