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October 12th, 2016

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ABOVE: The National Science Foundation has highlighted the work of Dr. Christine W. Miller’s research team through the newest episode in its video series, Science Nation. More info below!

Faculty and Staff News

The National Science Foundation has highlighted the work of Dr. Christine W. Miller’s research team through the newest episode in its video series, Science Nation. The episode “Insect battles provide clues to evolution” shows how Dr. Miller’s team is using research on mate choice and insect weapons to  better understanding animal behavior, diversity and evolution.Watch the video: Insect battles provide clues to evolution.

Dr. James P. Cuda returned from Brazil on September 30th where he was conducting a Brazilian peppertree research project in collaboration with faculty/students from the University of Blumenau (FURB), Santa Catarina, Brazil. Cuda’s research was funded jointly by the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute and a Fulbright grant awarded in December 2014.


ABOVE: Dr. Akers Pence, our long time friend and colleague, passed away unexpectedly on September 26th. Akers received his Ph.D. in the Entomology and Nematology Department and has been involved with many McGuire Center and Department projects over the years. He is survived by his loving wife Linda.

We were well represented at the “International Entomology Leadership Summit: Improving the Human Condition through Insect Science.” Dr. Roxanne Connelly (FMEL, Vero Beach), Dr. Nan-Yao Su (FLREC, Ft. Lauderdale), and Dr. Faith Oi (Gainesville) attended the invitation-only summit held during the International Congress of Entomology. Colleagues Dr. Chris Geden and Dr. Dan Kline from the USDA-ARS CMAVE unit in Gainesville also participated.

Dr. Su led a breakout session on Scientific Solutions to Global Challenges. “The goal was to engage and empower worldwide entities to take on grand challenges we face in the coming decades to which entomology can make a unique and powerful contribution.” More information on the Summit can be found online.

As part of the session we were invited to submit a poster. Dr. Amanda Hodges led the effort: Florida -Meeting U.S. and International Invasive Species Challenges through Interagency Collaboration. Authors: Dr. Amanda Hodges, Dr. Trevor Smith, Dr. Greg Hodges, Dr. Paul Hornby, Dr. James P. Cuda, Dr. Nan-Yao Su, Dr. Roxanne Connelly, Dr. Blair Siegfried, and Dr. Faith Oi.

It was a busy STEM Education week (Sept 24-Oct 1) for the Department! Our faculty actively supported efforts in STEM education during ICE2016. “The STEMbugs workshop is one of our signature events at the Entomological Foundation,” emailed Chris Stelzig, ESA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. On Saturday (Sept 24), over 30 teachers from across the state attended an in-service training that included breakout sessions by Dr. Rebecca Baldwin (Pollination Station) and Dr. Jennifer Weeks (What can flies in the classroom teach kids about evolution?) and a lunchtime session (Mosquitoes! Learning more about the biology and behavior of the world’s most deadly animal and IPM in schools) by Dr. Faith Oi.

Several UF faculty and students also were involved in the Insect Expo that was host to ~4,000 school-aged kids. The traveling arthropods may have been as busy as those involved with ICE2016-related STEM educational activities as they made a quick trip back to Gainesville to be part of the Oct 1 ButterflyFest held at the Natural History Museum.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman participated in a national olive oil industry strategic planning session at the UC Davis Olive Center on September 18th and 19th. This session was coordinated by the American Olive Oil Producers Association (AOOPA) and was funded by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) planning grant. Dr. Gillett-Kaufman is one of the Co-PDs on the planning grant. At the conclusion of the planning session Dr. Gillett-Kaufman remained in Davis to participate in a four day Master Milling Certificate Course offered by the university.

Dr. Julien Beuzelin, a 2011 graduate of Louisiana State University, and formerly the Field Crops Entomologist at the LSU Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria, Louisiana, has accepted the position of Assistant Professor in Entomology at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center. Dr. Beuzelin’s research and Extension projects will include work with insect pest management issues in corn, sorghum, sugarcane, and rice. We welcome Dr. Beuzelin to the team!

Inaugural INSTAR Workshop hosted by Dr. Bloomquist

After the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Dr. Jeff Bloomquist invited national and international scientists to Gainesville, more specifically to the Emerging Pathogens Institute, for a Workshop on INSecticide and TARgets (INSTAR Workshop)scientists meeting together

ABOVE: The event was attended by over 25 Entomologists from the US, Kenya, France, England, and Japan. It was truly an international gathering of academic and industrial scientists. Transportation was provided to and from Orlando, so the attendees could attend the workshop and return to Orlando for their homeward flights. They went directly from the meeting to a reception at the Bloomquist home.

The next morning, they arrived at the Emerging Pathogens Institute, where they were given a tour of the facilities. The workshop discussions focused on the challenges of insecticide discovery, including but not limited to: the difficulty of translating lab results into field effective products; economic attributes of a successful compound from an industry perspective; intellectual property management and commercialization from an academic perspective; novel delivery mechanisms; etc. A white paper is being written from the meeting minutes for peer reviewed publication.

Dr. Jennina Taylor-Wells, a postdoc in Dr. Bloomquist’s lab was hired by Oxitech to work on genetically modified mosquitoes. In addition, Dr. Nur Tabanca, also of Dr. Bloomquist’s group was offered and accepted a permanent staff scientist position at the USDA ARS laboratory in Miami, to work on natural products for insect control.

Student and Alumni News

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Ms. Patricia Prade, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda, won 2nd place in the Graduate Student Poster Competition: Biological Control and Insect Pathology at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology. The poster was titled "Host specificity of the psyllid Calophya terebinthifolii (Hemiptera: Calophyidae), a potential biological control agent against Brazilian peppertree in Florida, USA."

Ms. Vanessa Simões Dias de Castro, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Hahn's lab, won 2nd place in the Graduate Student Oral Competition: Functional Genomics and Transgenesis at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology. The paper was titled "Can transgenic flies overexpressing antioxidant enzymes blunt radiation-induced oxidative stress and improve mating success?"

Congratulations to Ms. Casey Parker! The Student Awards Committee of the Southeastern Branch of the ESA has selected Casey as the SEB-ESA MS Student recipient of the Kirby L. Hays Memorial Award. She was recognized for her outstanding research on mosquito trap development, completed in Dr. Phil Koehler’s lab, and her extensive Extension, teaching and outreach activities. She will continue with her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Roxanne Connelly.

One post-doc (Dr. Michael Forthman), two graduate students (Ms. Lauren Cirino and Mr. Pablo Allen), and one undergraduate (Ms. Paige Carlson), all from the Miller Lab, presented some of their research at the 2016 International Congress of Entomology. Dr. Michael Forthman, Ms. Lauren Cirino, and Mr. Pablo Allen all gave oral presentation on their research, while Ms. Paige Carlson gave a poster presentation. Presentation titles and the correspond authors were: “Millipede assassin bugs (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Ectrichodiinae) show off: evolution of aposematic coloration and extreme sexual dimorphism” by Dr. Forthman, “Hind legs used as a risky decoy in the leaf-footed bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus” by Ms. Carlson, “Seasonal effects on the morphology of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae)” by Ms. Cirino, and “Longer is better: Mouthpart plasticity in a novel environment” by Mr. Allen.

award winners

ABOVE: Two of our students were awarded MUVE scholarchips at the 2016 XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando! Congratulations to Ms. Brittany Campbell and Ms. Casey Parker! Awards presented by UF alum Dr. Dini Miller.

Two Ph.D. students were awarded scholarships through the Florida Mosquito Control Association and the Florida Mosquito Control Foundation.

Ms. Rebecca Zimler was selected as the 1st place winner of the 2016 T. Wainwright Miller, Jr. Scholarship. The award includes a check for $2,000 and hotel and meeting registration costs paid for the annual meeting of the Florida Mosquito Control Association in November, 2016. Additionally, Rebecca will receive a one-year gratis membership in the FMCA. Advisor: Dr. Barry Alto.

Mr. Robert Aldridge was selected as the winner of the 2016 Cyrus R. Lesser Memorial Scholarship. The award includes a check for $2,000 and hotel and meeting registration costs paid for the annual meeting of the Florida Mosquito Control Association in November, 2016. Additionally, Bobby will receive a one-year gratis membership in the FMCA. Advisors: Dr. Roxanne Connelly and Dr. Barry Alto.

Two of our undergraduate attendees and presenters at the International Congress of Entomology, Mr. Gabriel (Gabe) Somarriba and Mr. Andrew Nisip, led a local natural history and ant collecting tour for visiting myrmecologists during the ICE meeting. On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 28th, they accompanied a dozen ant researchers to Lake Louisa State Park. This was an excellent opportunity for the students to learn about field techniques from the pros, while the visitors got a close look at native Florida scrub and hardwood hammock habitat. Gabe is the founder and president of the undergraduate club FERNH (Field Exploration and Recreational Natural History). Gabe and Andrew are both members of Dr. Andrea Lucky's laboratory. 

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.

Need insect images? We want to remind everyone that the Entomology and Nematology Department has a large collection of images of insects and insect relatives for use in your Extension, teaching, and research work. This collection is available for use by UF/IFAS personnel on the main campus, at the Research and Education Centers, and at the county Extension offices around the state. A set of the best images are accessible online from your own computer.

You can go to this direct link, http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/imgs  or you can go through our departmental homepage by choosing the About Us tab and then clicking on Resources. 

Since the pictures are copyrighted material and intended for official UF use only, you will be asked to log onto the website using your Gatorlink credentials. If you are not using an official UF computer, or you are using a Macintosh, then enter UFAD\ before your Username. If you are using a Macintosh computer, you may have to use the Safari browser. Please check it out, and if you have any questions or comments about the image collection, let Lyle Buss know at  LJBuss@ufl.edu

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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Blosser EM, Stenn T, Acevedo C, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2016. Host use and seasonality of Culex (Melanoconion) iolambdis (Diptera: Culicidae) from eastern Florida, USA. Acta Tropica  10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.10.001

Baniszewski J, Cuda JP, Gezan SA, Sharma S, Weeks ENI. 2016. Stem fragment regrowth of Hydrilla verticillata following desiccation. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 54: 53-60.

Campbell BE, Koehler PG, Buss LJ, Baldwin RW. 2016. Recent documentation of the tropical bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) in Florida since the common bed bug resurgence. Florida Entomologist 99: 549-551. 

Chouvenc T, Scheffrahn RH, Su NY. 2016. Establishment and spread of two invasive subterranean termite species (Coptotermes formosanus and C. gestroi; Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in metropolitan southeastern Florida (1990-2015). Florida Entomologist 99: 187-191.

Cuda JP, Gillmore JL, Mitchell AO, Bricker J, Watson RA, Garcete-Barrett BR, Mukherjee A. 2016. Laboratory biology and impact of a stem boring weevil Apocnemidophorus pipitzi (Faust) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Schinus terebinthifolia. Biocontrol Science and Technology 26: 1249-1266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2016.1193844

Garrick, TA, Liburd OE, Funderburk J. 2016. Effect of humidity on fecundity and egg incubation of Frankliniella bispinosa and Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Florida Entomologist 99: 505-508.

Iglesias LE, Liburd OE. 2016. The effect of border sprays and between-row soil tillage on Drosophila suzukii in organic blackberries. Journal of Applied Entomology doi: 10.1111/jen.12352

Kakkar G, Chouvenc T, Osbrink W, Su NY. 2016. Temporal assessment of molting in workers of formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 109(4), p.tow180. (7pages)

Kakkar G, Chouvenc T, Su NY. 2016. Postecdysis sclerotization of mouthparts of the formosan subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 109: 792-799.

McCullough E, Miller CW, Emlen DE. 2016. Why sexually-selected weapons are not ornaments. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 31: 742-751. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.07.004.

Mukherjee A, Williams D, Gitzendanner MA, Overholt WA, Cuda JP. 2016.  Microsatellite and chloroplast DNA diversity of the invasive aquatic weed  Hygrophila polysperma in native and invasive ranges. Aquatic Botany 129: 55-61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2015.12.004

​Su NY, Guidry E, Cottone C. 2016. Sustainable management of subterranean termite populations (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Armstrong Park, New Orleans, with durable baits. Journal of Economic Entomology 109(4), p.tow41. (7pages).

Su NY, Guidry E, Mullins AJ, Cotonne C. 2016. Reinvasion dynamics of subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) following the elimination of all detectable colonies in a large area. Journal of Economic Entomology 109: 809-814.

New on Featured Creatures:

Insidious flower bug, Orius insidiosus Say. Authors: Danielle Sprague and Joe Funderburk, North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida.

Tuliptree scale, Toumeyella liriodendri (Gmelin). Authors: Matthew Borden and Adam Dale, 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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Bethany McGregor, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena's lab gave a presentation entitled "Host utilization by Culicoides biting midges at a captive deer preserve in Florida" at the 47th Annual Conference of Society for Vector Ecology in Anchorage, Alaska, September 11th to the 15th.

Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena presented a poster entitled "Host movement, vector density and risk of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in northern Florida" at the 47th Annual Conference of Society for Vector Ecology in Anchorage, Alaska, September 11th to the 15th.

Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena gave a presentation entitled "Deforestation and human disease” in the symposium "Insect Effects on Ecosystem Services" at the 2016 XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL, Sep. 27, 2016.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn September 21st, Dr. Thomas Chouvenc gave a presentation to the Florida Pest Management Association in south Miami to discuss the current and upcoming problems associated with the spread of two termite pest species in south Florida.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn September 28 Dr. Billy Crow presented "What do nematode thresholds on turf mean?" at the Florida Turfgrass Association annual conference in Palm Harbor, FL.

On  September 29 Dr. Billy Crow presented "New turfgrass nematicides" at a meeting of the North Texas Golf Course Superintendent's Association in Dallas TX.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale gave a presentation at ICE entitled, "The effects of urbanization on herbivores and their street tree hosts" in a symposium about the effects of climate change on plant-insect interactions.

Dr. Adam Dale gave a presentation on integrated pest management in urban landscapes for a large group of Orange County Master Gardeners at the Orange County Extension office in Orlando, FL.

Lindsy Iglesias (Ph.D. student) gave a talk titled “Survey of Zaprionus indianus in Florida and oviposition behavior in berries” at the XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL (Sept. 24-30). Coauthor: Oscar E. Liburd

Dr. Elena Rhodes gave a presentation titled “Surveys for spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, in strawberries and other small fruits in Alachua Co. Florida” at the XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL (Sept. 24-30).

Dr. Janine Spies gave a talk titled “Evaluating the implementation of trap crops to manage thrips populations in strawberries” at the XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL (Sept. 24-30).

Omotola Dosunmu (Ph.D. student) gave a talk titled “Monitoring of activity patterns of early-instar Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) and R. cruentatus (Fabricius) over multi-week periods: Implications for early detection of infestations” at the XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL (Sept. 24-30).

Christopher Crockett (Ph.D. student) gave a talk titled “Drones and strawberry production: New directions for Florida small fruit pest scouting” at the XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL (Sept. 24-30).

Dr. Oscar Liburd gave a talk titled “Overview of key pests and potential invasive species in Florida blueberries” at the XXV International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, FL (Sept. 24-30).

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgMs. Patricia Prade, a Ph.D. student in the Cuda lab, presented a poster titled “Host specificity of the psyllid Calophya terebinthifolii (Hemiptera: Calophyidae), a potential biological control agent against Brazilian peppertree in Florida, USA (D3061)” at the 2016 ICE conference held in Orlando, FL, 25-30 September.  The poster was co-authored by Dr. James P. Cuda and Dr. William A. Overholt.

Mr. Eutychus Kariuki, a Ph.D. student in Cuda’s lab, also presented a poster at the 2016 ICE conference. The poster was titled “Field host specificity of a potential hydrilla biological control agent, Cricotopus lebetis Sublette (Diptera: Chironomidae)”, was co-authored by Dr. James P. Cuda, Dr. Raymond L. Hix, Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, and Dr. Stephen Hight.

Cuda with poster

ABOVE: Dr. James P. Cuda was co-author on a poster presented at the annual Multidisciplinary Integrated Teaching, Research, and Extension (MIPE) meeting held on the campus of the University of Bluemenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil 28-30 September. The poster was titled "Avaliacão dos danos causados por Calophya terebinthifolii (Hemiptera: Psyllidae): Potencial agente de controle biológico de Schinus terebinthifolia (Anacardiaceae) (Aroeira-vermelha)."


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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.

  • September 10th- Taylor County 4-H Tour- Erin Powell, Michael Gonzalez, Laurel Lietzenmayer, and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin
  • September 28th- ICE Expo
  • September 30th- Starke Christian School Tour- Emily Payne and Laurel Lietzenmayer

Upcoming Events

  • October 13th- Oak Hall Lower School tour
  • October  20th- Bishop Middle School Science Night
  • October 28th- Chiles Elementary School
  • October 30th- Ask a Scientist: Not So Scary Science
  • November 9th-13th- Ocali Days


Two children overly excited about petting the Giant African Millipede at ButterflyFest.

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!

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, will report on grant numbers next month!

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda and his Ph.D. student Ms. Patricia Prade were awarded a $9,000 grant from the FWC Invasive Plant Section to support Patricia’s research on Brazilian peppertree.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale was awarded $5,000 from the FNGLA SHARE Endowment Research Fund to work on a project developing novel cultural strategies for managing insect pests of St. Augustinegrass.


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The Florida State Beekeepers Association Conference will be in Gainesville this year from October 20th to the 22nd. Dr. Jamie Ellis and the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory will be holding a congruent UF Master Beekeeper Program training and testing day on Saturday October 22. Registration for MBP training and testing can be found online.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgFES 2017 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico

The next FES Annual meeting will be held jointly in Puerto Rico with the Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS). The meeting is set to commence on July 16th 2017 with a tentative venue in Isla Verde, close to the airport and with the best beaches in San Juan. The CFCS meeting will run through Friday, July 22nd whereas FES will have our customary three day meeting with arrival on Sunday July 16th and meetings through Wednesday, July 19th.

Also, everyone should pay their dues to FES ASAP as membership fees are about to increase!

Announcement submitted by FES President Dr. Phil Stansly.

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.