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February 12th, 2019

Who with this cute baby be as an adult? See the Lab News section to see the amazing transformation!

ABOVE: Who will this cute baby be as an adult? See the Lab News section to see the amazing transformation!


Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Jeff Bloomquist has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the ESA Southeastern Branch Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology.

Using funds awarded through the UF/IFAS Travel Awards for Research Grant Enhancement (TARGET) Program, Dr. Bryony BonningDr. Adam DaleDr. Peter DiGennaroDr. Zane GrabauDr. Andrea Lucky, Dr. Rachel Mallinger, and Dr. Adam Wong traveled to Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC from February 4th to the 6th to visit with program officers with NSF, NIH, EPA, and USDA. This trip was coordinated by Dr. Bonning to promote professional development in grant writing for junior faculty in the department.

The Florida State Fair is in full swing. If you are in Tampa stop by the Insect Encounters section to see our display. Special thanks to Kay Weigel and Suzy Rodiegues for making the design a reality and to Angel Perez for going with them to help set-up the booth!

ABOVE: The Florida State Fair is in full swing. If you are in Tampa stop by the Insect Encounters section to see our display. Special thanks to Kay Weigel and Suzy Rodriguez for making the design a reality and to Angel Perez for going with them to help set-up the booth!

Singing Insects of North America (SINA) is a website established by Emeritus Prof Dr. Tom Walker in 2001. He and his personal assistant Dr. Teresa Cooper are currently using EYN room 2104 and part of room 2115 to give the website a major update. To tempt you to learn more about SINA, they provided this link.

Bahder Lab is running a crowdfunding project “Monitoring the small-but-mighty planthoppers and their potential impacts on plant health in Florida” as part of the ESA Grant Challenge. Please go to the project page to check what they are doing and support the project if you think it is important!

Dr. Rudolf Scheffrahn (Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C.) has launched a new termite website at https://www.rudolfscheffrahn.com/. The site currently contains an identification key for Florida termites, characteristics of economically important termites of Florida and the United States, and images of termites from the U.S., the Neotropics, and beyond. Future postings will include images, distribution maps, and unpublished data of all the termites in the UF collection at FLREC. Currently, the UF termite collection contains 44,053 colony samples.

Selected images of termite species from the United States:
ABOVE: Selected images of termite species from the United States: A. Zootermopsis angusticollis (western rottenwood termite, California), B. Pterotermes occidentis (Arizona), Marginitermes hubbardi (Arizona), Coptotermes gestroi (Asian subterranean termite, Florida).

Dr. James P. Cuda was featured in the inaugural issue of the South African Center for Biological Control Newsletter.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by the South African National Biodiversity Institute to review a chapter on alien aquatic plants in freshwater ecosystems intended for inclusion in a new book titled “Biological Invasions in South Africa.” 

The Chouvenc Lab visited the Gillian Gile Lab at Arizona State University on January 6th to the 12th for a collaborative project involving the research projects of graduate students Joseph Velenovsky and Johnalyn Gordon. During this visit, both students presented their research to the Gile Lab, and learned the general molecular pipeline to characterize protozoan communities within termite guts.

A delegation of 35 people from the French pest control industry visited the FLREC on January 16th. During their visit, Dr. Nan-Yao Su and Dr. Thomas Chouvenc provided an historical perspective of the development of termite baits, and their current implication in termite control procedures.

Dr. Zane Grabau and Ph.D. Candidate Lesley Schumacher attended the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, LA from January 7th to the 10th.  Lesley presented a poster "Vertical Distribution and Population Dynamics of Nematodes as Influenced by Crop Rotation and Irrigation."  Dr. Grabau presented a talk on "Impacts of Brassica carinata and Summer Crop Rotation on Nematode Management" in the Cotton Disease Council session.

Dr. Grabau and Lesley were also invited to give the Michigan State University Department of Entomology Seminar on January 28th in East Lansing, MI.

ABOVE: Dr. Grabau and Lesley were also invited to give the Michigan State University Department of Entomology Seminar on January 28th in East Lansing, MI. The title of the presentation was "Pest Management and Soil Ecology in Agricultural Systems."  

Student and Alumni News

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Oliver Keller, graduate student in the Branham Lab, was voted  to be the 2019 president of the Center for Systematic Entomology. The CSE is non-profit corporation designed to further systematics in its broadest sense, and the publisher of the journal Insecta Mundi.

Liburd Lab M.Sc. student Krystal Ashman was voted onto the board of directors of the Center for Systematic Entomology for the years 2019-2021.

Matthew Borden, DPM and M.Sc. student in the Dale Lab, was selected to receive the 2019 Southern Region IPM Center Friends of IPM Graduate Student Award in the Master's category. This is a highly competitive award that comes with a $2,000 honorarium. Please congratulate Matt on this accomplishment.

Jillian Rutkowski recently joined the laboratory of Dr. James P. Cuda. Jillian is an undergraduate intern who will be involved in laboratory rearing of the Brazilian peppertree weevil Apocnemidophorus pipitzi, and maintaining some of our nursery plants, especially cogongrass.

We are proud to welcome 11 new graduate students this spring.

Our new MS students are: Rosan Adhikari, Xiomara Flores, Kimberly Kester, Kristine Persing, Odette Reza-Brown, Lisa Rodriguez, Tyler Shaw, Bryce Shirk, Noemi Soto, and Mussie Tsegay.

Our new Ph.D. student is Mohamed Farouk Ali.

Casey Parker attended and judged the Science Fair at East Marion Elementary School on January 23rd.

Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory graduate students Bethany McGregor and Casey Parker were recognized for their service to the Society for Vector Ecology with an Appreciation of Service Award.

We Award Scholarship to Two 4-H Recipients

Every year, the high scoring individual at the Florida 4-H Insectathon contest receives a $500 four-year scholarship to the department. This year, two individuals were awarded the scholarship – Taylor Dykes and Will Eubanks from Alachua County 4-H.

Taylor and Will have been 4-H members and teammates together for more than six years. Taylor is a 16 year old homeschool student and is president of Town & Country 4-H and Alachua County 4-H Council.

ABOVE: Taylor and Will have been 4-H members and teammates together for more than six years. Taylor is a 16 year old homeschool student and is president of Town & Country 4-H and Alachua County 4-H Council. Will is a 16 year old PK Yonge school student and is the Micanopy 4-H president and Alachua County 4-H Council treasurer. They are both officers with District V 4-H Council and serve as members of the Florida 4-H State Executive Board. 

After attending and being inspired by the UF Bug Camp and Dr. Baldwin, Taylor and Will became heavily involved with the entomology project. They helped form the first 4-H entomology team in Florida and teach insect collecting, basic insect ID, and more around Florida.  To encourage more 4-H members in the entomology project, Will and Taylor helped start and teach a weeklong bug day camp in Alachua County for elementary students.  They are now planning the fifth day camp for the summer of 2019.  For the 2019 Insectathon, Will was the high scoring individual for the Insect ID Contest and Taylor was the high scoring individual for the Insect Collection Contest. 

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.

One of the larger weevils in Florida is the agave weevil,
One of the larger weevils in Florida is the agave weevil, Scyphophorus acupunctatus. They attack agave, yucca, and various other plants in the families Agavaceae and Dracaenaceae. They are a major pest of cultivated agaves in Mexico, and attack wild and ornamental plants in Florida. The larvae bore in the roots and stems of the plant. Adults are about 10-15 mm long and solid black, and the larvae are large, legless grubs whose abdomen ends with a pair of projections (see top photo).

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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Campbell JW, Grodsky SM, Halbritter DA, Vigueira CC, Vigueira PA, Keller O, Greenberg CH. 2019. Asian needle ant (Brachyponera chinensis) and woodland ant responses to repeated applications of fuel reduction methods. Ecospheres 10(1): e02547.

Cuda JP, Gillmore JL, Conant P, Medal JC, Pedrosa-Macedo JH. 2019. Risk Assessment of Episimus unguiculus (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), a Biological Control Agent of Schinus terebinthifolia (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae) in Hawaii, USA. Biocontrol Science and Technology 29(2): DOI: 10.1080/09583157.2018.1562041.

Klimaszewski J, Webster RP, Langor DW, Brunke A, Davies A, Bourdon C, Labrecque M, Newton AF, Dorval J-A , Frank JH. 2019. Aleocharine Rove Beetles of Eastern Canada (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Aleocharinae): A Glimpse of Megadiversity. Springer International; Cham, Switzerland. ISBN-13: 978-3319773438, hardback, XVI + 906 pp.

Ledesma NA, Kaufman PE, Xue RD, Leyen C, Macapagal MJ, Winokur OC, Harrington LA. 2019. Entomological and socio-behavioral components of dog heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infection in two Florida communities with a high or low prevalence of dogs with heartworm infection. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 254: 93-103. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.254.1.93

Penca C, Hodges AC. 2018. First report of brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) reproduction and localized establishment in Florida. Florida Entomologist 101(4): 708-712.

Ramsey SD, Ochoa R, Bauchan G, Gulbronson C, Mowery JD, Cohen A, Lim D, Joklik J, Cicero JM, Ellis JD, Hawthorne D, vanEngelsdorp D. 2019. Varroa destructor feeds primarily on honey bee fat body tissue and not hemolymph. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(5): 1792-1801.   ​

Stelinski LL, Willett D, Rivera MJ, Ali JG. 2019. ‘Tuning’ communication among four trophic levels of the root biome to facilitate biological control. Biological Control 131: 49-53.

Dr. Lary Reeves' 2018 publication on mosquitoes feeding from worms and leeches in the Communications Biology was selected by the editors to be included in a collection of 24 publications commemorating the one-year anniversary of the journal and celebrating its content (https://www.nature.com/collections/ejjbjdddff/content/editors'-picks).

Reeves LE, Holderman CJ, Blosser EM, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Kawahara AY, Kaufman PE, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2018. Identification of Uranotaenia sapphirinaas a specialist of annelids broadens known mosquito host use patterns. Communications Biology 1: 92. (DOI: 10.1038/s42003-018-0096-5).

New on Featured Creatures:

Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål. Authors: Cory Penca and Amanda Hodges.

Grass root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne graminis Whitehead. Author: William T. Crow.

Marsh rams-horn snail, Helisoma (Planorbella) trivolvis (Say). Authors: Carrie Suen and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman.

Flea beetles, of the genus Altica. Authors: Eleanor F. Phillips and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman


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

Meetings and Presentations

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Dr. Thomas Chouvenc was invited to give a seminar at the Social Insect Research Group (SIRG) weekly seminar series, during his visit at ASU, Tempe AZ, on Jan 11th.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgSeveral students gave (excellent) talks on January 19th at the annual conference of the Center for Systematic Entomology. The event took place in Gainesville at the McGuire seminar room. 

Oliver Keller and Marc A. Branham. A trip to Paris and the state of West Indian fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae).

Matthew R. Moore. CO1 barcoding Anastrepha fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Trypetinae: Toxotrypanini) for the enhancement of immature identification.

Jessica Awad. Building a diagnostic framework for the genus Synopeas (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) using reared specimens from Papua New Guinea.

Jose I. Martinez. Review of a new genus of jaguar moth (Noctuidae: Pantheinae) from South America.

Kristin Dunn. Developing an optimal protocol for nano-CT scanning the light organs of fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae).

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Wong was invited to visit the Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi, China on January 7th to the 12th, where he presented a talk titled The Drosophila Microbiomes: Discoveries and Applications.

Dr. Adam Wong was invited to give a talk at the George Washington University on February 7th. His talk was titled Translating Drosophila-microbe Research into Agriculture and Human Health.

Dr. Adam Wong was invited as a faculty speaker and panel member for the iDigTRIO Biological Sciences Career Conference​ on February 1st and 2nd, to talk with high school and university students about diversity, education and career development.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 2019 Hort Talks held at the Manatee Co. Extension Office, Palemetto, FL on February 6th. Cuda gave a presentation titled, “Prospects for Biological Control of Cogongrass.”

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale, Dr. Chris Marble (Environmental Horticulture, MREC), Joe Jonovich, Paul Mitola (FDACS), and Gul Shad Ali (Plant Pathology, MREC) taught Foundations of Lawn and Ornamental course for 20 landscape pest management industry professionals on January 9th to the 11th at the UF/IFAS MREC in Apopka, FL.

Dr. Adam Dale presented information about managing insect pests and creating conservation habitats in golf course out-of-play areas at the annual GC Horn ​Seminar on January 10th in Naples, FL.

Dr. Adam Dale presented updates on insect and mite pests of turf and ornamentals and their management at the Annual Winter Pest Management Conference in Orlando, FL on January 12th at the UF/IFAS Orange County Extension Office.

Dr. Adam Dale gave 3 hour entomology training workshops for Master Gardeners in Seminole and Volusia Counties on January 16th and 31st, respectively.

Dr. Adam Dale gave two presentations about managing insect and mite pests in residential lawns and on golf courses at the FTGA Turf Seminar in Ocala, FL on January 29th.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

January Outreach Events:
Jan 10th- Career Day Santa Fe: Dr. Baldwin
Jan 11th- Homeschool tour Steinmetz: Sage Thompson, Morgan Pinkerton
Jan 26th-Insectathon!!- Oliver Keller, Dr. Branham, Johanna Schwartz, Matt Borden, Cleveland Ivey, Keara Clancy

state fair

ABOVE: Do your part and sign up to work at our booth at the State Fair! Contact Clayton for available dates.

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!

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. Adam Wong was awarded a UF/IFAS Early Career Scientist Seed Grant ($48,000) for 2 years.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was awarded a $28,574 research enhancement grant from the Southern Region IPM Center to evaluate the gall midge Orseolia javanica (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) as a candidate biological control agent for cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale, in collaboration with Dr. Jaret Daniels and Dr. Bryan Unruh (Environmental Horticulture), was awarded a Southern Region IPM Research Enhancement Grant for $28,500 to develop wetland monarch conservation habitats for southeastern golf course IPM programs.

Dr. Adam Dale was awarded the GC Horn Scholarship for $10,000 from the Everglades Golf Course Superintendents Association, which will help support Rebecca Perry's MS thesis research on developing golf course conservation habitat recommendations.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgWant grant writing tips? Check out the UF Libraries Grants Management Program!


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The 2019 Termite Course registration is open for non-credit students. This weeklong course is an in-depth session on general termite biology, and will focus on evolution, ecology, symbiosis, behavior, and control. The course will be provided by a panel of 12 international instructors with robust knowledge of termite biology. The course will take place on June 3rd to the 8th 2019 at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgUF in Greece - From Ancient Farms to Modern Tables (ENY 4905)

A new study abroad program offered in 2019. This Summer-A program will be based on the campus of the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, Greece, and will include classes (taught in English) on Greek agriculture, food, culture, and several field trips to visit local agrobusinesses, museums and other locations that will illustrate the role of agriculture and insects in human history. 

This 3-credit course will run from June 8 to 23, 2019. The program fee is $3,883 for undergraduates, and $4,131 for graduate students, and that includes tuition, all in-country transportation, some meals, accommodations, field trips, guided tours, international health insurance and emergency medical assistance. Not included in the fees are the airfare, some meals, additional travel and personal expenses. Financial aid that would be used on campus usually can be applied toward the cost of the program. 

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 Eleanor Phillips 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.