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October 11th, 2017

cover photo

ABOVE: Proceedings B cover photo! The leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata, feeds from its local host plant, Opuntia mesacantha. Photo credit: Dr. Christine W Miller.

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Jaret Daniels was on Science Friday discussing the impact of hurricanes on endangered species!

Dr. Carey Minteer was invited to be the keynote speaker for the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council’s annual meeting in Columbia, SC in September. Dr. Minteer gave a presentation titled "Biological Control of Invasive Plants: Tales from Florida."

Dr. Carey Minteer was awarded the 2017 Annual Achievement Award for Extension from the Florida Entomological Society. Dr. Minteer was honored along with Ken Gioeli (St. Lucie Co. Extension) for their work with the air potato biological control program. This award was presented at the FES meeting in July.

Dr. Oscar Liburd was an invited speaker at the 2017 Organic Food and Farming Summit held in Gainesville, Florida, September 17th to the 19th. The title of his presentation was "Managing agricultural pests organically." Dr. Liburd and Lindsy Iglesias (Ph.D. candidate in the Liburd lab) held a workshop at the Summit on using biological control to manage agricultural pests.

On September 7th, Dr. Adam Dale and Dr. Billy Crow hosted the UF/IFAS Evidence-Based Turf Management Short Course - Pest Management at the Entomology and Nematology Department.  A class of 20 turfgrass professionals spent the day getting hands-on training with turfgrass insect and nematode pests.

In early October Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman was named the chair of the UF Extension Engagement Advisory Committee.

Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman was an invited speaker at the 2017 Organic Food and Farming Summit held in Gainesville from September 17th to the 19th. The title of her presentation was "Challenges and opportunities for new specialty crops: Growing olives in Florida."

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station (NCBS) in Cedar Key, on September 22nd. Prior to the construction of the three-story building, IFAS professionals did not have a home base for the ongoing research, teaching and Extension activities conducted in the region. 

Student and Alumni News

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Bethany McGregor, a Ph.D. student in lab of Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena at UF FMEL, attended the International Conference of the Society of Vector Ecology in Mallorca, Spain, October 1st to the 7th. Bethany co-organized the student symposium along with UF FMEL Ph.D. student Casey Parker. Bethany's oral presentation was titled "Effect of trap height on Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) abundance, physiological status, and species composition at a big game preserve in Florida, USA."

Fall 2017 ENSO Travel Grant recipients

First Place: Rebecca Zimler
Second Place: Clancy Short

Our first place winner will receive up to $500 from Dr. Norm Leppla and our second place winner will receive up to $250 from ENSO as reimbursement to cover travel expenses associated with conferences or research.

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.

Mexican bean weevil

ABOVE: A homeowner in Putnam County collected this interesting beetle in her kitchen.  It is the Mexican bean weevil, Zabrotes subfasciatus.  It is a stored food pest that infests a variety of dry beans, including black-eyed peas.

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.


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Allen PE, Miller CW. 2017. Novel host plant leads to the loss of sexual dimorphism in a sexually selected male weapon. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284: 20171269. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.1269

Brar GS, Martini X, Stelinski LL. 2017. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of a novel sulfoximine insecticide, sulfoxaflor, against Asian citrus psyllid and its primary parasitoid under laboratory and field conditions. International Journal of Pest Management 63: 299-308.

Burkett-Cadena ND, Vittor AY. 2017. Deforestation and vector-borne disease: Forest conversion favors important mosquito vectors of human pathogens. Basic and Applied Ecology. Available online 23 September 2017.

Chen XD, Stelinski LL. 2017. Resistance management for Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, in Florida. Insects 8: 103 doi:10.3390/insects8030103.

Chouvenc T, Osorio S, Chakrabarti S, Helmick EE, Li HF, Su NY. 2017. Assessment of genetic markers for the determination of Coptotermes formosanus × Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) F1 hybrids. Florida Entomologist 100:657-659.

Hoyer IJ, Blosser EM, Acevedo C, Thompson AC, Reeves L, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2017. Mammal decline, linked to invasive Burmese python, shifts host use of vector mosquito towards reservoir hosts of a zoonotic disease. Biology Letters 20170353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2017.0353

Hughes MA, Martini X, Kuhns E, Colee J, Mafra-Neto A, Stelinski LL, Smith JA. 2017. Evaluation of repellents for the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, vector of the laurel wilt pathogen. Journal of Applied Entomology 141: 653-664. 

Long I, Sourakov A. 2017. Remarkable longevity of the chemically defended moth, Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) and the factors that affect it. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 71: 173-176. http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.18473/lepi.71i3.a8

Rivera MJ, Martini X, Khrimian A, Stelinski LL. 2017. A weevil sex pheromone serves as an attractant for its entomopathogenic nematode predators. Chemoecology 27: 199-206

Sourakov A. 2017. Giving eyespots a shiner: Pharmacologic manipulation of the Io moth wing pattern. F1000Research 6: 1319. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.12258.2

Sourakov A, Houlihan PR. 2017. Note on nocturnal activity of a skipper, Pseudonascus paulliniae, in French Guiana. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 27: 26-27.

Zukowski J, Su NY. 2017. Survival of termites (Isoptera) exposed to various levels of relative humidity (RH) and water availability, and their RH preferences. Florida Entomologist 100: 532-538.

New on Featured Creatures:

water hyacinth planthopper, Megamelus scutellaris Berg. Authors:Jeremiah Foley, Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Carey R. Minteer, Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida. 

hairy rove beetle, Creophilus maxillosus (Linnaeus). Authors: Nicholas JohnstonPhilip Stansly, and Andrea Lucky, 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. Janine Spies, post-doc in Oscar Liburd’s Lab, gave a talk titled "Beneficial Insects and IPM" to the Master Gardeners of Marion County, Florida on August 30, 2017.

Congratulations to the last PMU L&O Foundations course of 2017! Companies represented: Blue Ocean Pest Control, Bug Out Service, Dean's Service, Environmental Pest Services, Hoffer Pest Solutions, Hoskins Pest Control, McCall Service, One Two Tree, Premium Pest Control, Southern Care Lawn and Pest, Sunshine Greenery, Termite Lawn and Pest, The Masters Lawn Care, and Vulcan Pest Control.

On Sept 18th, Dr. Thomas Chouvenc from the FLREC was the guest of Jiri Hulcr’s Insect Symbiosis Seminar FOR/ENY 6934. On Sept 29th, he was invited to give a talk at the SWPMC event organized by Dr. Koehler and Dr. Pereira in Ft. Myers.

4-H Ag Adventure camp

ABOVE: During a five day event (September 25th to the 29th), Dr. Xavier Martini, and graduate students Iris Strzyzewski, Danielle Sprague and Edward Traczyk manned the entomology station at the 4-H Ag Adventure camp at the NFREC. Approximately 800 students stopped by the station to learn about benefits that we receive from insects.

On October 4th Dr. Billy Crow spoke to the North Texas Golf Course Superintendents Association in Dallas TX on "Earthworms: Friend or Foe?"

The Florida Turfgrass Association Annual Conference and Show was held from September 25th to the 27th.  Dr. Adam Dale spoke about "Incorporating wildflowers to conserve beneficial wildlife and reduce pest management needs" and "Manipulating St. Augustinegrass diversity as a pest management strategy."  Dr. Billy Crow presented "Interactions among nematodes, turf roots, water and fertilizer."


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From the Outreach Coordinator

Here are our events from September:

  • September 19th- Meadowbrook Elementary – Oliver Keller
  • September 20th – STEM is Elementary Showcase – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • September 21st – Glen Springs Elementary School – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • September 23rd – Fun 4 Gators Touch-a-Truck – Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • September 26th – Meadowbrook Elementary – Oliver Keller
  • September 30th – TailGator – Sara Alvarez, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Genhsy Monzon, Becca Perry, George Roman, Johanna Schwartz

Upcoming Events

  • October 15th – Alachua County Library
  • October 21st – Brooker Creek Preserve
  • October 24th – Chiles Elementary
  • October 26th – Hidden Oak Elementary
  • October 26th – Science and Robotics Night at Howard Bishop Middle School
  • October 28th – Tallahassee Science Festival
  • November 2nd – Science Night at Metcalfe Elementary
  • November 3rd – College Career Fair
  • November 9th – Oak Hall Lower School
  • November 16th – Meadowbrook Elementary


ABOVE: (from left to right) Sara Alvarez, Rebecca Baldwin, Becca Perry, George Roman, Genhsy Monzon, and Johanna Schwartz pose with bugs from the arthropod petting zoo at TailGator.

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!


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Graduate Student, Lorena Lopez received a student grant in the amount of  $16,245 from the Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education). The project is titled "Development of an integrated pest and disease management program utilizing companion plants and inundative biological control for organic squash production."  Her proposal was one of the 13 proposals selected (out of 80) that were submitted for funding. Her major professor is Dr. Oscar Liburd.


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Attention landscape professionals, nursery growers, arborists, pest control professionals, regulatory professionals, county Extension faculty, and others who work with trees, shrubs, and other ornamental plants!

First Annual Florida Ornamental IPM Workshop

Registration is now open for the First Annual Florida Ornamental IPM Workshop. Register here, https://dalelab.org/registration/​.

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.

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.