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March 14th, 2018

Dr. Adam Dale kicks off the first annual Florida Ornamental IPM workshop

ABOVE: Dr. Adam Dale kicks off the first annual Florida Ornamental IPM workshop (more info on this workshop can be found in the Meetings and Presentations section below).

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Robert C. Hemenway died on January 25th during an illness following a fall before Christmas. He was born on November 25th, 1941 in Carlsbad, NM. In September 1971 he was offered a permanent position at UF as laboratory technician II by Dr. Willard Whitcomb. His employment did not change when Dr. Whitcomb retired, because Dr. Howard Frank took the laboratory in June 1985 and was glad to take Bob.

Dr. Robert C. Hemenway died on January 25, 2018

ABOVE: One of many of Dr. Bob Hemenway's tasks was to rear insects. Because of an ongoing biological control program against pest mole crickets, they and their predators and parasitoids were needed in large numbers. The only insect Bob failed to rear was the native northern mole cricket. He operated traps routinely, every week for years on end to monitor the mole crickets and to detect changes in their population level.

Dr. Hemenway had no siblings and never married. He will be remembered as kind and pleasant and helpful, thus a joy, to many faculty, staff, and students over the course of his 40-year employment in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida.

Dr. Leigh Boardman, a postdoc in the Hahn lab, recently returned from McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica.

ABOVE: Dr. Leigh Boardman, a postdoc in the Hahn lab, recently returned from McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. She participated in the 2018 NSF Advanced Training Program in Antarctica for Early-Career Scientists: Biological Adaptations to Environmental Change. This course aims to introduce scientists to the diversity of biological organisms living in Antarctica, and how they have adapted to live in extreme environments. Together with 19 other participants from around the world, and eight instructors, she spent four weeks in Antarctica, attending lectures on Antarctic ecology and biological adaptation; and performing a small research project. A definite highlight was being interrupted by Adelié penguins while working on the ice! 

Dr. James P. Cuda’s research on the hydrilla midge Cricotopus lebetis was featured in the UF/IFAS March 1st edition of Morning Ag Clips and two online industry publications: Growing America and Southeast AgNet. 

Dr. Charles V. Covell Jr., Courtesy Professor in the Department and Curator at the McGuire Center, FLMNH, has been selected as the 2018 "Distinguished Alumnus in Entomology" by his alma mater. Charlie received his MS (1962) and Ph.D. (1965) in Entomology from Virginia Tech, spent 40 years in the Biology Department at the University of Louisville, and nears completion of 14 years at the McGuire Center.  He has taught Aquatic Entomology and served on four graduate committees in our Department since 2004.

Student and Alumni News

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On March 5th in Orlando, the UF Entomology and Nematology Linnean Team placed first in the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America games. They will compete at the national level in Vancouver in November. The team members were: David Plotkin (Captain), Lindsy Iglesias, Zach Kaplan, Ariane McCorquodale, Cory Penca, Sierra Short, and Jason Williams. The coaches were Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Dr. Amanda Hodges.

Congratulations to Casey Parker, Ph.D. student at the UF/IFAS/Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, on winning the student competition at the Southeastern Branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Casey’s paper, Container mosquito community control: An inside-out approach, won the Extension, Teaching and Outreach section of the competition.

Edward Traczyk (Dr. Xavier Martini 's lab, NFREC) won the first place in the Master student poster competition at the last Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America meeting in Orlando!

Scholarship winners

ABOVE: We held our annual Undergraduate Scholarship Reception on February 21st. We were pleased to have several family members from our scholarship donors share this time with us. Dr. Blair Siegfried and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin announced this year’s awardees:

  • The Leland A. Davis scholarship was received by Gabriella Steele.
  • The Robert E. Dixon scholarship was received by Madison Goodwin, Kylie Lennon, and Rachel Watson.
  • The Dr. Lawrence A. Hetrick scholarship was received by Katherine Carroll and Ebony Taylor.
  • The J.L. Knapp scholarship was received by Katherine Arguez, Nathan Duerr, and Gabe Somarriba.
  • The Everett R. Mitchell scholarship was received by Sara Alvarez and Ann Deaderick.
  • The John A. Mulrennan, Sr. scholarship was received by Madison Cook, Tanner Felbinger, and Rebecca Perry.
  • The Milledge Murphey scholarship was received by Abigail Prohofsky and Johanna Schwartz.
  • The Carolyn D. Richardson scholarship was received by Richard Murphy.
  • The Dempsey R. Sapp Sr. scholarship was received by Lettie Cronin and Britton Simkins.
  • The David Williams scholarship was received by Trudi Durgee.

We are all very proud of our scholarship recipients!

Garett Miller, a research undergrad in Dr. Adam Wong's lab, was awarded with the University Scholars Program scholarship. ​

Benjamin Waldo and Brandon Jones (MS students with Dr. Billy Crow) presented “Turfgrass nematology research 2017” at Florida Turfgrass Association regional seminars in Tallahassee and Palmetto on February 14th and 28th, respectively.

Kristin Sloyer presented her final seminar March 13th in Vero Beach​. Her thesis title is Evaluating sampling strategies and ecological niche models for Florida no-see-ums (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae: Culicoides).

Recent graduate Dr. Lary Reeves is starting a postdoctoral fellowship in the Burkett-Cadena lab at FMEL in Vero Beach.

Elise Richardson (Undergraduate Intern of the Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-borne Diseases project) and Zachary Kaplan (Entomology and Nematology Dept. MS student) presenting their research at EPI Research Day.

ABOVE: Elise Richardson (Undergraduate Intern of the Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-borne Diseases project) and Zachary Kaplan (Entomology and Nematology Dept. MS student) presenting their research at EPI Research Day. Both students work with Dr. Emma Weeks on acaricide resistance in lone star ticks.

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.

In the spring, you can find four very similar hairstreaks feeding simultaneously on the sweet clover

ABOVE: In the spring, you can find four very similar hairstreaks feeding simultaneously on the sweet clover in NATL. Check out this great guide compiled by Dr. Andrei Sourakov.

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. Billy Crow.


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Alto BW, Wiggins K, Eastmond B, Ortiz S, Zirbel K, Lounibos LP. 2018. Diurnal temperature range and chikungunya virus infection in invasive mosquito vectors. Journal of Medical Entomology 55: 217-224.

Capinera JL. 2017. Biology and dietary of an invasive snail, Allopeas gracile (Hutton, 1834) (Gastropoda: Subulinidae). Florida Entomologist 100: 116-123.

Cuda JP. 2018. Incorporating biocontrol agents into an integrated management plan: Practical considerations. Research Methods in Aquatic Plant Management. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management Supplement  56s: 97-100.

Burkhalter KL, Wiggins K, Burkett-Cadena N, Alto BW. 2018. Laboratory evaluation of commercially available platforms to detect West Nile and Zika viruses from honey cards. Journal of Medical Entomology DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjy005

Dickens KL, Capinera JL, Smith TR. 2017. Laboratory assessment of growth and reproduction of Lissachatina fulica (Gastropoda: Achatinidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies 84: 46-53.

Dickens KL, Capinera JL, Smith TR. 2017. 2017. Suitability of selected ornamental plants for growth and survival of Lissachatina fulica (Gastropoda: Achatinidae). Florida Entomologist 100: 698-703.

Gokce A, Stelinski LL, Whalon ME. 2018. The effects of non-host plant extracts on electroantennogram responses, behavior, and egg hatching of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.). Journal of Pest Science 91: 681-690.

Menocal O, Cruz LF, Kendra PE, Crane JH, Cooperband MF, Ploetz RC, Carrillo D. 2018. Xyleborus bispinatus reared on artificial media in the presence or absence of the laurel wilt pathogen (Raffaelea lauricola). Insects DOI: 10.3390/insects9010030

Seo M, Rivera MJ, Stelinski LL, Martini X. 2018. Ladybird beetle trails reduce host acceptance by Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Biological Control 121: 30-35.

Sourakov A. 2018. Size, spines and crochets: Defences of luna moth caterpillars against predation by brown anoles. Journal of Natural History 52(7-8): 483-490.

Zhao L, Alto BW, Smartt CT, Shin D. 2018. Transcription profiling for defensins of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) during development and in response to infection with chikungunya and Zika viruses. Journal of Medical Entomology 55: 78-89.

Meetings and Presentations

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The University of Florida’s 32nd School of Structural Fumigation was held at the Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C. during February 19th to the 23rd. The semiannual "Fume School" provides classroom, laboratory, and field training for pest control professionals who wish to supervise or conduct fumigations of buildings and goods against various pest infestations.  Since its inception, the Fume School has been attended by 1,292 students. This remains the only school of its kind in the world. The next session will take place in Nov 2018.

This latest Fume School class included 37 students
ABOVE: This latest Fume School class included 37 students from Florida, Texas, Arizona, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, and Bermuda. The school yielded an 89% passing rate for students who opted to take the Florida State certification exams in fumigation. Dr. Thomas Chouvenc, Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn, Dr. Bill Kern, and Renny Perez coordinated the school which brings expert instruction from manufacturers (Bayer, Douglas, Drexel, Ensystex), suppliers (Cardinal, Univar), fumigators (Dead Bug Edwards and Emory Brantley & Sons), regulators (FLDACS), the Florida Department of Transportation, USDA, and Certified Pest Control Operators of Florida.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the UF/IFAS strategizing workshop titled Advancing interdisciplinary invasion science at the University of Florida: Current strengths and emerging opportunities. This international workshop was held at the Reitz Union, February 20th to the 22nd. Dr. Cuda gave a brief presentation highlighting Dr. Carey Minteer’s and his laboratory’s research. Dr. Cuda’s research on Brazilian peppertree was recognized by Dr. Daniel Simberloff, one of the world’s leading authorities on invasion biology.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 22nd Annual Southwest Florida Invasive Species Workshop held at Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL, 22 February. Dr. Cuda gave a presentation titled "The gall midge Orseolia javanica (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a candidate biological control agent of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica)."  The presentation was co-authored by Dr. William A. Overholt.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Adam Dale, Dr. Amanda Hodges, Dr. Catharine Mannion, and graduate student, Matthew Borden, hosted the first annual Florida Ornamental IPM Workshop on February 7th and 8th in Gainesville. This event brought in over 50 ornamental plant professionals from 20 counties and multiple states, where they learned about the identification and management of the state's most important insect and disease pests of trees and shrubs.

Dr. Adam Dale was invited to give two presentations about insect pest management on lawns and urban trees at the South Carolina Pest Control Summit in Charleston, SC on February 13th.

On February 21st to the 23rd, Dr. Adam Dale, Dr. Chris Marble (Environmental Horticulture), Dr. Shad Ali (Plant Pathology), and Joe Jonovich taught the Foundations of Landscape and Ornamental course to over 20 landscape management professionals at Pest Management University at MREC in Apopka, FL.

Dr. Adam Dale gave presentations about insect pest management practices on golf courses and urban landscapes for lawn and golf course professionals at the regional FTGA seminars in Jacksonville, Palmetto, and Plant City, FL.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Billy Crow presented "Interactions among nematodes, turf roots, water, and fertilizer" at Florida Turfgrass Association regional seminars in Milton and Fort Myers on February 13 and 27, respectively.

Dr. Billy Crow presented an invited presentation "New Turfgrass Nematicides" at the annual meeting of the Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society in Fayetteville, AR on February 18.


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From the Outreach Coordinator

Here are our events from February:

  • February 8th-19th – Florida State Fair – Thank you to the 27 volunteers that attended the fair!
  • February 15th – Gator Day in Tallahassee, Dr. Amanda Hodges and Ploy Kurdmongkoltham
  • February 15th – Imagine Learning Center, Laurel Lietzenmayer and Dr. Lisa Taylor
  • February 23rd – The Child’s Place, Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • February 27th – East Marion Elementary, Laurel Lietzenmayer

Upcoming Events:

  • March 15th – Belleview Public Library
  • March 22nd – East Marion STEAM Showcase
  • March 23rd – Homeschooling Group
  • April 5th – Westwood Middle School Kids in the Woods Night
  • April 16th – Classical Conversations
  • April 20th – Cornerstone Academy

Dr. Jennifer Weeks, undergraduate Trudi Durgee, and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin showing off some of our live arthropods at the Florida State Fair. Thank you to all of the volunteers that attended the event!

Dr. Jennifer Weeks, undergraduate Trudi Durgee, and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin showing off some of our live arthropods at the Florida State Fair. Thank you to all of the volunteers that attended the event!

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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Dr. Brian Bahder has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the International Society of Arboriculture's Florida Chapter to investigate the epidemiology of palm infecting phytoplasmas.


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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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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.