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April 16th, 2020

Lauren Goldstein, Biology undergraduate, displays her “at home” workstation. Laptop, microscope, lepedoptera

ABOVE: Lauren Goldstein, Biology undergraduate, displays her “at home” workstation.

Faculty and Staff News

The Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory’s (HBREL) “Two Bees in a Podcast” released their first episode in January 2020. As of April 1, 2020, the podcast has reached almost 11,000 total episode plays, with an audience size of almost 600 per episode from 50 countries around the world. In the podcast, the HBREL discuss research updates, beekeeping management practices, and advice about beekeeping from our resident experts, beekeepers, scientists, and other program guests. The podcast is available on many platforms, including: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Podbean and others. If anyone would like to be a guest on our podcast to discuss honey bees/honey bee related topics, please contact us!

Pest Management University is offering free Florida CEUs (continuing education) to our pest management industry in gratitude for their service during this public health crisis. Pest Management University is working to get Georgia CEUs too (pending). UF Entomology and Nematology alum, Dr. Dini Miller spoke on Assessment-based Pest Management for German Cockroaches on April 14th. The second speaker, Dr. Bobby Corrigan, will talk about Urban Rodent Control and Working as an Essential Service on April 21st. Both speakers are internationally known! Register today.

DR mendes teaching student in classroom.

Dr. Maria Mendes, Biological Scientist III in the Landscape Nematology Lab, received the IFAS Superior Accomplishments Award for the Scientific/Technical category and has been nominated for the UF award. Dr. Mendes’ accomplishments are: teaching the lab for Nematode Diagnostics (NEM 6942), maintaining the largest collection of plant-parasitic nematodes in the southeast (and perhaps the entire USA), serving as secretary for the Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America, and conducting her own research while assisting Dr. Crow. Dr. Mendes is a huge asset to Dr. Crow's program, our department, IFAS, and nematology worldwide. Congratulations Maria!

UF Entomology and Nematology faculty from the Urban Entomology and Landscape Entomology Labs, Dr. Phil Koehler, Dr. Roberto Pereira, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, and Dr. Adam Dale were invited by the Florida Pest Management Association to provide a series of continuing education (CEU) webinars with live question and answer sessions with the experts. Each session was limited to 50 individuals for an interactive learning experience. The topics covered license requirements for two credits each of CORE, GHP, WDO and L&O. The webinars and live Q&A were held on April 6, 9, 14, and 16.

Lauren standing for a headshot with plants and brickwals. Steinmetz hall

Dr. Lauren Diepenbrock at the Citrus Research and Education Center received the 2019 Southern Region Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center Friends of IPM- Future Leader Award. Congratulations Dr. Diepenbrock! Read the full story.

It’s termite swarming season in Florida! Dr. Thomas Chouvenc is taking advantage of being at home to improve his photographic skills during the beginning of the termite dispersal flight season in South Florida

termite in flight

ABOVE: Coptotermes gestroi taking its flight. Dr. Thomas Chouvenc was invited to talk about the beginning of the termite dispersal flight season in south Florida on a radio show (WLRN, South Florida NPR station) to help raise awareness about the spread and impact of invasive termites in the area. Find the episode here. (termite segment at 37min).

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to speak at the 2020 Southwest Florida CISMA Invasive Species Symposium held at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida, on the 25th of February. Dr. Cuda gave a presentation titled, “Brazilian Peppertree Biocontrol Releases in Florida: An Update.”

Dr. James P. Cuda attended he 2020 joint meeting of the Weed Science Society of America and the Western Society of Weed Science held in Maui, Hawaii March 2nd to the 5th. Dr. Cuda moderated the Biological Control Session and gave a presentation titled “Progress on Classical Biological Control of Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) in the Southeastern United States.”

Dr. Nathan Daniel Burkett-Cadena from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory was honored as The Pelican Island Audubon Society (PIAS) 2020 Environmental Educator! The award is given for promoting an attitude of environmental awareness and understanding among students. Dr. Burkett-Cadena received the award for providing PIAS after-school Audubon Advocates students with education on the life history of mosquitoes and their many environments for the last five years.

Dr. Andrea Lucky has been selected as a 2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholar. She will be conducting research on entomology education at Charles University in Prague, in the Czech Republic, where she will be spending the 2020-2021 academic year on sabbatical.

Student and Alumni News

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The Department of Entomology and Nematology is pleased to announce our list of spring, 2020 graduates!

Earning Ph.D. degrees are:
Cameron Jack—Dr. Ellis
Oliver Keller—Dr. Branham and
Lesley Schumacher—Dr. Grabau

Our new MS graduates are:,
Matthew Borden—Dr. Dale
Rafael Gonzalez—Dr. Giblin-Davis
Bridget Lyons—Dr. D. Hahn
Grace McMackin—Dr. Ellis
Sierra Short—Dr. Wong and
Sage Thompson—Dr. Hodges

Graduating with a BS degree are:
Chanakya Bhosale,
Melody Bloch,
Constance Darrisaw,
Jessica Diaz,
Ashley Morris,
Tarolyn Plumley,
Abigail Prohofsky,
Rachel Shepherd, and
Paul Smith.

Congratulations to all our 2020 graduates!

2020 virtual spring undergraduate research symposium

ABOVE: Many of our Entomology and Nematology undergraduate students have participated in the 2020 Virtual Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium! It can be accessed here: https://cur.aa.ufl.edu/2020-spring-symposium/.

Ms. Gabrielle Cintron joined the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda on March 31st. Gabby will be maintaining the colony of the Brazilian peppertree stem boring weevil Apocnemidophorus pipitzi as well as the Brazilian peppertree and cogongrass plants in the department’s nursery.

ABOVE: Dr. Lucky lab members traveled to elementary and middle schools in Alachua and Palm Beach Counties to engage students in ant research. Students participated in ant sampling and identification. These visits were supported by a Thompson Earth Science Institute (TESI) K-12 Education grant awarded to Jacob Hornfeldt, Miles Zhang, VR Seagal, and Rachel Atchison. More information about these visits can be accessed here.

Lexie Nielsen and Brandon Mai, undergraduate researchers in Dr. Andrea Lucky’s lab, presented posters for the 21st Annual UF Undergraduate Research Symposium, held virtually on April 2nd. Mentored by Ph.D. candidate Jason Williams, Brandon Mai’s poster was titled “Imaging of Ants in the Genus Nylanderia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) for Two-dimensional Geometric Morphometric Analysis.” Lexie Nielsen’s poster was titled “Effects of the Invasive Little Fire Ant on Ant Community Composition on UF Campus” and can be accessed here: https://cur.aa.ufl.edu/2020/04/14/nielsen-alexandra/

ABOVE: Brandon Mai and his presented poster for the virtual UF Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Graduate students and postdocs needed! The UF Genetics Institute needs involvement in an outreach program that places you in virtual classrooms with Florida high school students. Here, you will share pre-made and prompted modules on either Plant Immunity or Pharmacogenomics and share your research passions and career paths with Florida high schools’ classrooms. To sign up, visit dna.ufgi.ufl.edu.

Undergraduate student Genhsy Monzon was accepted by the NSF REU Organization for Tropical Studies undergraduate research program in Costa Rica for the summer of 2020. Although the trip has been cancelled due to the current crisis, we are very proud of Genhsy's achievement and know they are in an excellent position to begin their career in entomology 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.

The bugs that the Insect ID Lab has been getting the most complaints about lately are thrips. Usually Lyle gets questions about thrips that are damaging ornamental or vegetable plants. But lately the problem has been thrips raining down from oak trees! People under the trees may feel crawling, itching, or biting sensations on their skin. The thrips seem to be coming from the oak catkins, and the ones Lyle has identified so far have been Florida flower thrips, Frankliniella bispinosa. Since the catkins have already fallen from most of the oaks, the thrips have likely been moving to various flowers.

Oak catkins and thrips on catkins
ABOVE: From left to right, Oak catkins and thrips on catkins.

If you need insect images for a publication or presentation for your UF/IFAS Extension or teaching work, 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. Billy Crow.


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Baniszewski J, Miller N, Kariuki EM, Cuda JP, Weeks ENI. 2020. Cricotopus lebetis intraspecific competition and damage to hydrilla. Florida Entomologist 103: 32-37.

Giordano V, Bartlett SK, Falcon DA, Lucas RP, Tressler MJ, Campbell LP. 2020. Mosquito community composition, seasonal distributions, and trap bias in northeastern Florida. Journal of Medical Entomology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjaa053.

Giordano R, et al. (Bonning BC 25th of 63 authors). 2020. Soybean aphid biotype 1 genome: Insights into the invasive biology and adaptive evolution of a major agricultural pest. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 120:103334. DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2020.103334.

Hinson KR, Chandler DS, Keller O. 2020. New country record for Clambus formosanus japonicus Endrödy-Younga (Coleoptera: Clambidae) from the USA, with an updated key to the species of Clambus Fischer von Waldheim of North America north of Mexico. The Coleopterists Bulletin 74: 181-187. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1649/0010-065X-74.1.181.

Ibanez F LL, Stelinski L. 2020. Temporal dynamics of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus titer in mature leaves from Citrus sinensis cv Valencia are associated with vegetative growth. Journal of Economic Entomology 113: 589-595.

Lopez L, Liburd OE. 2020. Injury to southern highbush blueberries by southern red mites and management using various miticides. Insects 11: 1-10. DOI:10.3390/insects11040233.

Paige A, Bellamy S, Alto BW, Dean C, Yee D. 2019. Linking nutrient stoichiometry to Zika virus transmission in a mosquito. Oecologia 191: 1-10.

Reid MK, Coetzee JA, Hill MP, Gettys LA, Diaz R, Cuda JP, Reid CS. 2020. Surveys for potential biological control agents for Nymphaea mexicana Zuccarini, with notes on field host specificity. Florida Entomologist 103: 54-63.

Rojas Araya D, Alto BW, Burkett-Cadena N, Cummings DAT. 2020. Detection of fluorescent powders and their effect on survival and recapture of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 57: 266-272.

New on Featured Creatures:

Boxwood leafminer, Monarthropalpus flavus (Schrank) Authors: Balwinder Kaur and Adam Dale.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Autumn Angelus, MS Student gave a presentation titled "Jamestown Canyon virus in New Jersey and Salem County, New Jersey " at the New Jersey Mosquito Control Association Meeting on March 4. We (NJMCA) were lucky enough to also have Dr. Lawrence Reeves attend and present about Uranotaenia sapphirina.

Dr. Thomas Chouvenc was invited to talk about termite problems in trees at a Lawn & Ornamental meeting organized by the West Palm Beach extension office on the 12th of March.

Dr. James P. Cuda presented a webinar on Brazilian Peppertree management on the 12th of March. This webinar is one of series of training modules on current and emerging invasive species that is accessible on the IFAS-Invasive Species Team’s website.


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Little outreach was reported this month. Please refer to Announcements to read about rescheduled outreach events!

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 —Clayton Bania, 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!

Use #UFBugs so our department can find and share your social posts easily!

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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Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded a $2,475 grant from the UF/IFAS International Travel Awards Program. Cuda will be travelling to the Galapagos Islands to research biological control of the invasive guava tree (Psidium guajava) in collaboration with Charles Darwin Foundation.

Want grant writing tips? Check out the UF Libraries Grants Management Program!


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The Termite Course for Professionals has been rescheduled for December 2nd to the 4th 2020. https://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/termitepro/.

Register for a free PMU course taught by Dr. Bobby Corrigan who will talk about Urban Rodent Control and Working as an Essential Service on April 21. Register here: https://pestmanagementuniversity.org/course/online-webinar-series/.

The Annual UF BUGFest Open House has been tentatively rescheduled for October 24th. The undergraduate Entomology Club sponsors this event that brings in 300 to 500 people to learn about the UF Entomology and Nematology Department each year.

The 11th annual summer UF Entomology Field Camp will be cancelled, and a virtual Bug Camp with family activities will be held instead (June 22 to 25). Bug Camp families will receive information from Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and the UF Education and Outreach Program. Bug Camp refunds are being issued through Eventbrite until June 14. Other Virtual Bug Camps are being offered through IFAS Extension, so please contact your local 4-H office for more details. For information about the 4-H Insectathon competition that will take place in January, please visit http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/insectathon/. Families may begin the insect collection and art projects now for the competition in January.

Want 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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Suzy Rodriguez 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 Eleanor Phillips and Nancy Sanders, and 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.