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September 13th, 2016

Brazil coastline

ABOVE: Dr. James P. Cuda is currently in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, during August and September. Dr. Cuda is conducting  a research project on Brazillian peppertree as part of a Fulbright grant that he received in December 2014.


Faculty and Staff News

A note from Dr. Siegfried

This fall, we welcomed 19 new graduate students to our department. We also have six master's graduates continuing on for their Ph.D. degrees.

At the RECs we have had another new hire for the department! Dr. Xavier Martini has joinined us at the North Florida Research & Education Center to work on insect vectors of plant pathogens. Dr. Martini is also active on Twitter, you can follow him at @XavierMartini.

The International Congress of Entomology (ICE) will be held in Orlando from September 25th-30th. For those attending the upcoming ICE meeting mark your calendars for the joint reception of the Florida Entomological Society and our UF Entomology and Nematology Department.  Please join us on Monday, September 26 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in Room Signature 1 of the Rosen Centre to renew old acquaintances, welcome new members, and learn about all the good things happening in our department and society.

~Dr. Blair Siegfried (on Twitter @Blair_Siegfried)

Faith in India

ABOVE: Dr. Faith Oi was invited to speak at PestWorld East (Aug 27-29, 2016). For the first time, the event was held in India and was co-organized by the Indian Pest Control Association and the National Pest Management Association. A record 529 registrants from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia attended sessions on IPM, mosquito, rodent, cockroach, termite, bed bug control as well as industry professionalism and the global evolution of the pest management industry. Our alumnus Dr. Dini Miller, currently at Virginia Tech, was also invited. A cursory inspection of the Taj Mahal revealed black crazy ants, Paratrechina longicornis; ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum), possibly Camponotus compressus, mosquito larvae and a swarm of unidentified dragon flies spotted at Humuyan’s tomb.

Dr. Adam Dale became an affiliate faculty member of the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology as the landscape entomologist.

Student and Alumni News

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Joshua Hildebrandt, an undergraduate Anthropology major pursuing an Entomology minor, and a well-loved member of our community, passed away September 4th, 2016. Josh was a familiar face around the department and in the entomology community. In addition to being an active member of the Entomology Club and working on an honor's thesis project in Dr. Andrea Lucky's lab, he was also employed at the Division of Plant Industry where he was part of the FDACS Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey trapping program that focused on Old World Bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera).


ABOVE: Josh discovered entomology through a course at Santa Fe College, taught by Dr. Carl Barfield, who pointed him in our direction. Once Josh found his way to the UF Entomology and Nematology Department, as he himself said, he found his home. Josh's enthusiasm for entomology and natural history was irrepressible. He often coordinated student field trips to collect insects and was an eager assistant on a diverse array of research project and at outreach events. His excitement about the insects was surpassed only by his interest in people. As his friends and acquaintances well know, Josh was quick with a joke or a warm comment to put a stranger at ease, and ever ready to help out a friend with a problem.

Josh was born with a congenital heart defect and he was the recipient of a heart transplant six years ago. Despite the health challenges he faced, he refused to let this define him - he wanted to be recognized for his accomplishments and for the person he was, rather than the circumstances that he was born into. He was explicit that his wish was for people to celebrate his life rather than mourning his loss. The entomology community and Josh's family and friends held a remembrance of Josh on the evening of Thursday September 8th by sharing photos and stories of how he touched our lives.

A memorial service will be held next Thursday, September 15th, at 4:30pm at the Harn Museum of Art. All are welcome to join us in honoring Josh. We will also keep his memory alive with the Joshua Hildebrandt Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was created to support students with financial need who are interested in entomological research. Josh's family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to this fund. The undergraduate entomology club chose to remember Josh by planting a native fruit tree in NATL, a place that Josh loved.

From August 8th to the 11th graduate student Benjamin Waldo traveled to Los Cruces New Mexico to attend a 4-day workshop on Nematode Identification hosted by New Mexico State University and taught by Dr. Paul De Lay from UC Riverside.

Doctoral candidate in entomology Anita Neal named new IFAS District Extension Director for South District!  

Lauren Cirino (Ph.D. student) and Paige Carlson (undergraduate student) both in Dr. Christine Miller’s lab, delivered an oral presentation on science communication education entitled “Broadening the voice of science: promoting scientific communication in the undergraduate classroom” at the CALS Teaching Enhancement Symposium. Lauren presented from a co-teacher perspective and Paige presented from the undergraduate student perspective.

We are proud to announce the recipients of the Fall 2016 ENSO Travel Grants:

Lisbeth Espinoza-Lozano
Jason Williams
Qinwen Xia

Each recipient will receive up to $500, jointly funded by Dr. Norm Leppla and ENSO, to cover travel expenses associated with conferences or research.

Here are the final results of our 2016-2017 ENSO election. Please welcome our new officers! 

President: Paul Joseph
Vice President: Brittany Campbell
Secretary: Mike Vickers
Treasurer/Social Media Chair: Oliver Keller
Fundraising Chair: Ethan Doherty
Historian: Rachel Atchison

New faces around the lab

ABOVE: The Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab is hosting Mubasshir Sohail as a visiting researcher from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. Mubasshir will be with the lab for six months during which time he is conducting experiments on various control measures of wax moths, a common pest of managed honey bee colonies both in Florida and in Pakistan. This research is a part of the work that he is doing for his doctoral dissertation which he will complete at the end of this year.

Alumni in the news!

With the growing threat of Zika,  you might enjoy this video from one of Dr. Roxanne Connolly’s students. Andy Lima received his MS degree in Medical Entomology under Roxanne’s direction several years ago. He is now employed by the Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia and continues to work on mosquito control issues.

Dr. Delano Lewis, Entomology and Nematology Alumni (Ph.D., 2010, graduate from the McGuire Center, Dr. Thomas Emmel), former Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of Research for Northern Caribbean University (NCU) was recently promoted to Associate Professor and asked to serve as Chair of the Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences department. In July, he and his wife and their children, two boys aged 6 and 3, and their 18 month old daughter, visited the McGuire Center FLMNH where he served as a graduate research assistant, post-doc, and assistant scientist/assistant curator.

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.

seen these on blueberry?

ABOVE: Galleries with sawdust-like frass in southern highbush blueberry, characteristic of flatheaded borer injury (left). Flatheaded borer larva found in gallery in southern highbush blueberry (right). The Small Fruit and Vegetable IPM lab is investigating a wood-boring beetle that is attacking blueberries in Florida. The flatheaded borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is found feeding in the canes (older shoots) in galleries packed with a sawdust-like frass. The bark may appear raised and can be easily removed where galleries are found. Please contact the Liburd Lab if you have seen symptoms of flatheaded borer injury in blueberries.

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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Buss, EA, Dale, AG. 2016. Managing scale insects on ornamental plants. EDIS publication #ENY-323. UF/IFAS Extension. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg005

Campbell JW, Carbrera AR, Stanley-Stahr C, Ellis JD. 2016. An evaluation of the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) safety profile of a new systemic insecticide, Flupyradifurone, under field conditions in Florida. Journal of Economic Entomology  http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/tow186

Dale, AG, Harlow, E. 2016. Using neonicotinoids in the landscape. PestPro Magazine. September/October issue.

Gillett-Kaufman JL. 2016. Olive trees: Coming soon to a landscape you manage. PestPro Magazine. September/October issue. 12(5): 25-26.

Kaur N, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Buss EA. 2016. Effect of plant growth regulators on Blissus insularis (Hemiptera: Blissidae). Florida Entomologist. 99: 557-558.

Kuhns EH, Martini X, Hoyte A, Stelinski LL. 2016. Repellent activity of botanical oils against Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Leviidae). Insects. 7: 35. doi:10.3390/insects7030035. 

Liu R, Nyoike TW, Liburd OE. 2016. Evaluation of site-specific tactics using bifenazate and Neoseuilus californicus for management of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) in strawberries. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 70: 189-204.

Lukhtanov VL, Sourakov A, Zakharov EV. 2016. DNA barcodes as a tool in biodiversity research: Testing pre-existing taxonomic hypotheses in Delphic Apollo butterflies (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae). Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2016.1203371

Martini X, Pelz-Stelinski KS, Stelinski LL. 2016. Factors affecting the overwintering abundance of the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Leviidae) in Florida citrus orchards. Florida Entomologist. 99: 178-186.

Martini X, Willett D, Kuhns EH, Stelinski LL. 2016. Disruption of vector host preference with plant volatiles may reduce spread of insect-transmitted plant pathogens. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 42: 357-367. 

Mortensen AN, Ellis JD. 2016. Managed European-derived honey bee, Apis mellifera sspp., colonies reduce African-Matriline honey bee, A. m. scutellata, drones at regional mating congregations. PLoS ONE. 11(8): e0161331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161331

Renkema JM, Haverkamp S, DeBruyn J, Dam A, Hager HA. 2016. Effects of Miscanthus × giganteus and wheat straw on behavior, survival, and growth of Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. doi:10.1093/jee/tow074.

Reeves LE, Holderman CJ, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kawahara AY, Kaufman PE. 2016. Maintenance of host DNA integrity in field-preserved mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) blood meals for identification by DNA barcoding. Parasites and Vectors. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-016-1791-z

Xu Y, Buss EA, Boucias DG. 2016. Environmental transmission of the gut symbiont Burkholderia to phloem-feeding Blissus insularis. PLoS ONE. 11: e0161699. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161699

Xu Y, Buss EA, Boucias DG. 2016. Culturing and characterization of the gut symbiont Burkholderia from the Southern chinch bug, Blissus insularis (Hemiptera: Blissidae). Applied Environmental Microbiology. 82: 3319-3330. 

New on Featured Creatures:

Longtailed mealybug, Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti). Authors: Morgan A. Byron and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

A bark beetle, Hypothenemus eruditus Westwood. Authors: YinTse Huang, Jiri Hulcr, Andrew J Johnson, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and Andrea Lucky, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Jumping gall wasp, Neuroterus saltatorius Edwards. Authors: Kirsten M. Prior, Department of Biological Sciences, Binghamton University (State University of New York), and Jiri Hulcr, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, 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. Justin Renkema gave a presentation entitled “Florida strawberries and spotted wing drosophila” at the 8th International Strawberry Symposium, August 13-17 in Quebec City, Canada.

Dr. Justin Renkema and Dr. Adam Dale co-led a workshop on “Scouting for insect pests on ornamental plants”, August 11 at the Manatee County Extension Office in Palmetto FL for about 25 participants.

Dr. Billy Crow taught a class August 16th, during the SiteOne Summer Summit organized by Site One Landscape Supply at the Plant Science Unit in Citra.

Dr. Billy Crow taught a 1-hour webinar on August 30th for golf course superintendents nation-wide. This webinar on New Nematicides was hosted by TurfNet.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale was invited to be a keynote speaker at the 2016 National Workshop on Ornamental Plant Insects and Disease.

Dr. Adam Dale gave two presentations to approximately 250 golf course superintendents and landscape professionals on turfgrass insect management at the SiteOne Summer Summit at the PSREU in Citra.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgThe McGuire Center staff organized the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Lepidopterists’ Society in July. It was at Florissant, Colorado, which was a great site for collecting trips that followed the meeting.

camp in NATL

ABOVE: The first LepCamp that took place at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity was a big success. The purpose of the camp was to introduce middle school students to the art and science of making collections, and inform them about biodiversity and ecology using Lepidoptera as a model group.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Janine Spies and Dr. Elena Rhodes gave invited talks at the Master Gardeners Workshop, September 6 at the Marion County Extension Office. Dr. Spies' talk was titled Common Garden Pests, Beneficials, and IPM and Dr. Rhodes' talk was titled Basic Entomology for Master Gardeners.

Christopher Crockett gave an invited talk titled Integration of Large Agricultural Data to Alleviate Regulatory Pressures at the 2016 ENVI Analytics Symposium, August 23-24 in Boulder, Colorado.



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From the Outreach Coordinator

We would like to introduce our new outreach coordinator, Laurel Lietzenmayer, who is joining us from Transylvania University. She will be working on spider behavior with Dr. Lisa Taylor.

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

  • 19 August- Girl Scout department tour- Erin Powell

Upcoming Events

  • September 30th- Star Christian School department tour
  • October 1st- ButterflyFest at FLMNH
  • October 4th- Educator Open House at FLMNH
  • October 13th- Oak Hall Lower School department tour
  • October 28th- Chiles Elementary School

Girls love bugs
A group of Girl Scouts toured our department in August

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, provided this table to show Fiscal Year 2015-2016 funding acquired by our faculty on campus and at RECs.

FY 15-16





















































Dr. David Julian (PI), Dr. Christine Miller (co-PI), Dr. Ryan Duffy (co-PI), and Dr. David Miller (co-PI) received a five-year grant totaling $2,350,594 from the National Institutes of Health. The title of the funded grant is "GatorSTAR: A New MARC U*STAR Program at the University of Florida". The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) U-STAR awards provide support for undergraduate students who are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to improve their preparation for high-caliber graduate training at the Ph.D. level. Dr. Miller will bring active research from her laboratory into the classroom, training undergraduate MARC students to gather data and think like scientists before moving into research positions.

Dr. Adam Dale was awarded $12,000 over two years in research funding from the Seven Rivers Chapter of the Florida Golf Course Superintendent's Association​.


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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.jpgThe ENY Seminar Series for the upcoming Fall semester has been finalized!
We are looking forward to seeing you there every Friday at 10:30. Many thanks to our student coordinators Omotola Ojutalayo and Heather Erskine for their help!

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.


ABOVE: Save the date! Plan to join the FES meeting next year in Puerto Rico and do your best to motivate your friends and colleagues in all branches of Agriculture and Natural Resources to attend.  You won’t want to miss this FES meeting! Photo from the PR Department of Tourism. 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.