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May 11th, 2016

bugs in the library

ABOVE: UF President Fuchs presents Ms. Virni Mattson with the Divisional Superior Accomplishment Award (see below for more information).

Faculty and Staff News

The Stelinski lab received the Best Publication award for 2014 and 2015 from the Royal Entomological Society in 2016. The award will be presented at their annual meeting in September. Scroll down to the bottom of this link for more information.

ABOVE: Ms. Virni Mattson was nominated by Dr. Norm Leppla for the Divisional Superior Accomplishment Award. With support from many, she was selected for the Administrative/Supervisory (category 4) award. She also went on to the University Level Superior Accomplishment Awards, and was selected for the Standard Insurance Company award. Several people accompanied Virni to the awards ceremony. From left to right Dr. Marc Branham, Ms. Barbara Mattson (Virni’s mom), Ms. Glinda Burnett, Ms. Virni Mattson and Dr. Norm Leppla.

We are pleased to announce the 2016 UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology awardees of support for Hatch Multi-State REEport projects.

PI: Dr. James Cuda
Title: Quarantine Laboratory Rearing in Brazilian Peppertree Natural Enemies.

PI: Dr. Jamie Ellis
Title: Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health.

PI: Dr. Philip Kaufman
Title: Development of Novel UF Patented Semiochemical Based Insecticides as Larvicides for House Flies.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by Dr. Chris Pakes, Graduate Research Coordinator, La Trobe University, Victoria Australia, to be an external reviewer of a dissertation by Ms. Raelene Kwong titled- The invasive aquatic macrophyte Sagittaria platyphylla (Alismataceae): Is it a suitable target for classical biological control?

Student and Alumni News

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Chris Crockett, Ph.D. student in Dr. Oscar Liburd’s Lab, won the Graduate Student Appreciation YouTube Video Contest. Chris uses drones to look for pest hot spots in strawberry fields. Check out his video.

Lindsy Iglesias, Ph.D. student in Dr. Oscar Liburd’s Lab presented a paper titled ‘Border sprays and cultivation tactics for control of Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) in organic blackberries’ in the PhD student paper competition at the Southeastern Branch ESA Meeting, March 13-15 in Raleigh, NC. Paper coauthor: Dr. Oscar E. Liburd.

Babu Panthi, gave a poster presentation on his Master’s research titled ‘Host Selection, Growth, and Survival of Melonworm, Diaphania hyalinata L. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), on Four Cucurbit Crops Under Laboratory Conditions’ at the Southeastern Branch ESA Meeting, March 13-15 in Raleigh, NC. Paper coauthors: Dr. Dakshina Seal, Dr. Gregg Nuessly, and Dr. John Capinera.

ABOVE: Mr. Ian McKay is a distance M.S. student (seated far left) who came all the way from Devon, England, with his wife and children to attend commencement (and to see Universal Studios).

Congratulations to all of our graduates!

Entomology and Nematology undergraduates earning Bachelors of Science degrees this semester include: Deanna Bott, Stefani Harrison, Alexander LoCastro, Michael Grayson McWhorter, and Andre Szejner Sigal.

Entomology and Nematology students earning Masters of Science degrees this semester include:

Robert Aldridge, committee chair Dr. Kaufman

Katrina Dickens, committee chair Dr. Capinera

Ashley Egelie, committee chair Dr. Gillett-Kaufman

Paul Joseph, committee chair Dr. Miller

Thomas Skarlinsky, committee chair Dr. Funderburk

Vijay Pai, committee chair Dr. Koehler

William Yap, committee chair Dr. Koehler

Entomology and Nematology students earning Doctor of Philosophy degrees this semester include:

Dr. He Du, committee chair Dr. Su

Dr. David Owens, committee chair Dr. Nuessly

Dr. Thomson Paris, committee chair Dr. Stansly

Dr. Jodi Scott, committee chair Dr. Koehler

Dr. Denis Willett, committee chair Dr. Stelinski

ABOVE: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Dr. Phil Koehler with Brittany Campbell (center) after she passed her qualifying exams and is now officially a Ph.D. candidate!

Ms. Courtney Stachowiak, an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda, graduated this semester. She earned a BS degree with honors in Marine Biology. Congratulations, Courtney!

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: Dr. Andrei Sourakov, Collections Coordinator at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity studies crambid moths that attack coral bean, Erythrina herbacea. One of these insects is the erythrina borer, Terastia meticulosalis. Andrei took these pictures of the erythrina borer right here on campus in the Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (NATL). Early in the season, the damage will frequently be to flowering shoots or seed pods, and later the larvae will be found inside the stems. The next time you encounter coral bean plants, check for this borer and also the erythrina leaf-roller, as described in Andrei’s Featured Creatures article.

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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Dale AG, Youngsteadt E, Frank SD. 2016. Forecasting the effects of heat and pests on urban trees: Impervious surface thresholds and the ‘Pace to Plant’ technique. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 42(3).

George J, Robbins PS, Alessandro RT, Stelinski LL, Lapointe SL. 2016. Formic and acetic acids in degradation products of plant volatiles elicit olfactory and behavioral responses from an insect vector. Chemical Senses. 41: 325-338.

Holdcraft R, Rodriguez-Saona C, Stelinski LL. 2016. Pheromone autodetection: Evidence and implication. Insects.7:17; doi:10.3390/insects7020017.

Holladay BH, Willett DS, Stelinski LL. 2016. High throughput nematode counting with automated image processing. BioControl. 61: 177-183.

Iglesias LE, Price JF, Roubos CR, Renkema JM, Liburd OE. 2016. Spotted wing drosophila in Florida berry culture. EDIS Publication # ENY869. IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in998

Knight A, Basoalto E, Stelinski LL. 2016. Variability of the efficacy of sex pheromone lures for monitoring of Oriental fruit moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Journal of Applied Entomology. 140: 261-267.

Lin Y, Hussain M, Avery PB, Qasim M, Fang D, Wang L. 2016. Volatiles from plants induced by multiple attacks by aphids promote conidial performance of Lecanicillium lecanii. PLoS ONE doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151844

Montemayor C, Avery PB, Cave RD. 2016. Infectivity of Microtheca ochroloma (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) by Isaria fumosorosea under laboratory conditions. Biocontrol Science and Technology 26: 605-616.

Sasson DA, Munoz PR, Gezan SA, Miller CW. 2016. Resource quality affects weapon and testis size and the ability of these traits to respond to selection in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata. Ecology & Evolution. 6: 2098-2108. DOI - 10.1002/ece3.2017

New on Featured Creatures:

Bluegrass billbug, Sphenophorus parvulus Gyllenhal. Authors: Luis F. Aristizábal and Eileen A. Buss, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Rustic sphinx, Manduca rustica (Fabricius). Authors: Morgan A. Byron and , 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. Adam Dale gave a presentation about the ecology of scale insects on urban trees at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center on April 21st in Gainesville.

Dr. Elena Rhodes, post-doc and biological scientist in Oscar Liburd’s lab, presented a paper titled ‘Monitoring and Distribution of Blueberry Gall Midge, Dasineura oxycoccana Johnson, in Rabbiteye Blueberries in Florida’ at the International Vaccinium Meeting, April 10-13 in Orlando, FL. Paper coauthors: Nicole Benda and Oscar E. Liburd.

Dr. Oscar Liburd moderated the entomology symposium and presented a paper titled ‘Identification of Biorational Insecticides for Managing Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Blueberry Production’ at the International Vaccinium Meeting, April 10-13 in Orlando, FL. Paper coauthor: Lindsy Iglesias.


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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.

  • April 7th Alachua Elementary Carnival- Michael Gonzalez
  • April 8th Gator Encounters- WinDi Sanchez and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin
  • April 9th Bioblitz in Lutz, FL- Andrew Nisip, Gabe Somarriba, Evan Waite, Matt Moore, and Erin Powell
  • April 15th Homeschool department tour- Erin Powell
  • April 16th Cub scout event- Casey Parker and Chris Crockett
  • April 20th Homeschool department tour- Erin Powell
  • April 21st Oak Hammock lecture- Erin Powell
  • April 22nd Earth Day at Dudley Farms- WinDi Sanchez and Juliana Carillo
  • April 22nd Earth Day at Silver River- Dr. Joe Cicero
  • April 29th J.J. Finley Elementary School- Erin Powell

Upcoming events

  • May 12th FFA Middle school tour
  • May 13th Wiles Elementary school
  • May 13th Orange Park Elementary tour
  • May 18th Newberry Elementary
  • May 21st Fun4GatorKids Touch-a-Truck fundraiser

Casey Parker and Chris Crockett hold the Chilean rose hair tarantula at a Boy Scouts event in Marion County.

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 March 1st to April 30th, we have had 30 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $942,411.04 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs). Virni would like you all to know that there have been a few updates to IFAS-Research website and it slightly changed our REEport web address. The new link is: http://research.ifas.ufl.edu/main-menu-tab/resources/reeport-system/ .


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The Taylor lab is looking for two summer volunteer research assistants to collect jumping spiders and to help feed and care for our lab colony of jumping spiders and their insect prey. We specifically need people who can work 1-2 hours in the lab any time of the day on M, W, and F (for feeding) as well as to devote an additional 1-2 hours per week to collecting spiders, as needed. Availability over the entire summer is ideal, but not required.

While the main duty will initially be feeding and collecting spiders, there may be other opportunities for getting involved in research in the lab. The research assistants must be very responsible and reliable and able to work both independently and as part of the research team (~10 researchers). Previous research experience is not required and all training will be provided. If interested, please contact Dr. Lisa Taylor by email (lisa.taylor@ufl.edu) with the subject heading RESEARCH ASSISTANT.

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, and to Kay Weigel for loading and linking the web page this month.