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August 2012

sting nematode

ABOVE: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Head of Tiger Woods’ bane, the sting nematode. This nematode causes a great deal of damage in turf and many agricultural crops.

Faculty News

Several faculty received awards and special recognition at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society held in Jupiter, Florida on July 22nd to 25th. 

Annual Achievement Award for Research - Dr. Phillip Kaufman

Research Team Award - Dr. Lukasz Stelinski and Dr. Steve Lapointe (USDA)

Entomologist of the Year - Dr. Jawwad A. Qureshi

Recognition of the out-going president - Dr. Gary Leibee

Dr. Marjorie Hoy returned from the woods of northern Michigan where, fueled by Mackinaw Island fudge, she completed 13 of the 14 chapters for Edition Three of Insect Molecular Genetics.  It also helped that there was no TV or shopping to distract her from her writing.

Dr. James P. Cuda travelled to Washington D.C. during the week of June 30th to represent IFAS in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Land Grant University System authorized by the Morrill Act. Dr. Cuda was part of IFAS-wide team of UF faculty and staff that developed/presented an interactive exhibit titled Water: Discovering Sustainable Solutions that focused on the critical role water plays in Florida. 

Recent Obituaries

Mrs. Mary Tarjan, wife of former faculty member Dr. Charlie Tarjan passed away suddenly in June, we apologize for the late posting of this information. 

Dr. Paul "Skip" Merrill Choate, Jr. died on Sunday July 29th after a twelve-year battle with Multiple Myeloma. Skip was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, April 17th, 1948.  He moved to Gainesville to attend graduate school at the University of Florida in 1975 where he received his Ph.D. He was employed in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida where he taught classes in Entomology and Computer Technology.

Skip Choate

Throughout his career Skip published over 37 professional articles and authored a book entitled Tiger Beetles: A Field Guide and Identification Manual for Florida and Eastern United States. Professional memberships included the National Association of College Teachers in Agriculture, Coleopterists Society, Nature Conservancy, and Henning Society. In 1998, he was presented the Achievement Award for Teaching by the Florida Entomological Society.

Dr. Robert "Bob" Bullock died Tuesday, July 31st, at age 87. Dr. Bullock earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in 1954. Dr. Bullock was hired by UF/IFAS to work in Fort Pierce in 1962 and quickly became a unique resource for fellow researchers and, in particular, for citrus growers, who valued his practical advice and tremendous sense of humor. Dr. Bullock retired from IFAS in 1999.

Student News

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The following students received awards and special recognition at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society held in Jupiter, Florida on July 22nd to 25th, 2012.

First Place M.S. Paper Competition: Lindsy Iglesias
Second Place M.S. Paper Competition: Karen Stratman
Third Place M.S. Paper Competition: Lin Xing

First Place Ph.D. Paper Competition: Scott Croxton
Second Place Ph.D. Paper Competition: Evelin VanEckert
Third Place Ph.D. Paper Competition: Teresa Nyoike

Scholarships: Garima Kakkar and Janine Razze

Research Grants: Garima Kakkar, Rouhon Liu, Tamika Garrick, and Erika Matchinger

Travel Awards: Lin Xing, Lindsy Iglesias, Ruhon Liu, Janine Razze, Tofangsai, Tamika Garrick, Sara Brennan, Teresa Nyoike, and Garima Kakkar.


Teresia Nyoike graduated with her Ph.D. on August 10th. The title of her dissertation is: Incorporating economic thresholds and geospatial information technology (GIT) into pest management for twospotted spider mites in strawberries. Major Professor:  Dr. Oscar Liburd, Committee members include Dr. Robert McSorley, Dr. Sabine Grunwald and Dr. Daniel Lee Wonsuk.

Sara Brennan graduated with her M.S. on August 11th. The title of her thesis is: Monitoring of stink bugs in blackberry and life history of Euschistus quadrator Rolston. Major Professor: Dr. Oscar Liburd, Committee members include Dr. Joe Eger and Dr. Eileen Buss.

Chris Holderman successfully defended his M.S. thesis in early July and graduated in August.  Chris' thesis title is: Distribution and mechanisms of insecticide resistance and isolation and evaluation of Beauveria bassiana in Haematobia irritans (L.).  His major professor was Dr. Phil Kaufman and his committee members were Dr. Jeff Bloomquist and Dr. Chris Geden.  Chris will begin his Ph.D. in Dr. Kaufman's laboratory this Fall.

New Students

We have two new nematology students joining the department this fall, Ms. Kanan Kutsuwa (M.S. student from Japan) and Ms. Yuan Weimin (Ph.D. student from China).  Also, Ms. Silvia Vau joined our department as a Ph.D. candidate in January.  Silvia is from Portugal. 

Three new M.S. students are joining the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie HoyMr. Alden Estep will conduct research on the genomics of a predatory mite.   Mr. Aaron Pomerantz comes to us from the entomology program at the University of California, Riverside, and Ms. Haleigh Ray comes to us from Illinois College with a liberal arts degree.


Mr. David Sekora presented his M.S. proposal on July 30th. His research is focused on transgenic plant resistance towards the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita). The research will be conducted both at the nematode assay lab and USDA-ARS, Gainesville.


Dr. Jennifer Zaspel, former doctoral student in the Branham Lab and formerly Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Microbiology, University of Wisconsin – Oskosh, has accepted the position of Assistant Professor and Director of the Purdue Entomological Research Collection at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Dr. Seth Bybee, former doctoral student in the Branham Lab, accepted the position of Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

Lab News

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Dr. Hye Rim Han (Helena) returned to South Korea on July 22nd after spending 14 months working in Dr. Don Dickson's lab.  Helena, who was a visiting scientists, works at the Division of Forest Insect Pests and Diseases, Korea Forest Research Institute, Seoul. While here she helped us a great deal with molecular identification of root-knot nematodes.

Dr. Durdane Yanar, an Associate Professor in the Plant Protection Department of the University of Gaziosmanpaza in Tokat, Turkey has joined the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie Hoy to conduct research for several months.  She conducts research on agricultural mites and biological control in Turkey.


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. Lyle Buss, the Insect ID Lab manager, reported that the lab received 58 samples during the month of July.  Ants and termites were the most common groups, but there were a variety of other arthropods, including a few biting pests of people (bird mites, ticks, and bed bugs).

Think it might be a nematode problem? The Nematode Assay Laboratory serves Florida and other states by providing nematode assay and expert advice regarding nematode management.

The 51st annual Society of Nematologists (SON) meeting will be held in Savannah, Gerogia. The conference will began Sunday August 12th and will conclude Thursday August 16th. The nematology team in Gainesville will present eight different oral and poster presentations at the meeting. More details in the next issue of the newsletter.

For more information on the Nematode Assay Laboratory please contact the Lab Manager, Dr. Tesfa Mengistu.


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The 2011 paper by Oba Y, Branham MA, Fukatsu T. Terrestrial luminous animals in Japan. Zoological Science 28 (11): 771-789 has been highlighted as the most downloaded paper in the journal Zoological Science for nine consecutive months.

Cuda JP, Christ LR, Manrique V, Overholt WA, Wheeler GS, Williams DA.  2012.  Role of molecular genetics in identifying ‘fine tuned’ natural enemies of the invasive Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius: a review. BioControl 57: 227-232.

Gill HK, Goyal G, McSorley R. 2012. Diel activity of fauna in different habitats sampled at the autumnal equinox. Florida Entomologist 95(2): 318-324.

Goyal G, Gill HK, McSorley R. (2012). Common weed hosts of insect-transmitted viruses of Florida vegetable crops. ENY-863, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.

Hall DW. (July 2012). Polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer). Featured Creatures. EENY-531.

Hamel JA, Cocroft, RB. 2012. Negative feedback from maternal signals reduces false alarms by collectively signalling offspring. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences279: 3820-3826.

Igley SJ, Bybee SM, Tennessen KJ, Whiting MF, Branham MA. 2012. Life on the fly: Phylogenetics and evolution of the helicopter damselflies (Odonata: Pseudostigmatidae). Zoologica Scripta, doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00555.x

Paraiso O,  Kairo MTK, Hight SD, Leppla NC, Cuda JP, Owens M, Olexa MT. 2012. Opportunities for improving risk communication during the permitting and importation process of entomophagous biological control agents:  a review of current systems.  BioControl. DOI 10.1007/s10526-012-9464-0.

Tofangsazi N, Arthurs SP, Giblin-Davis RM. (July 2012). Entomopathogenic nematodes, families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae. Featured Creatures. EENY-530.

Meetings and Presentations

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On July 29th Dr. Lance Osborne (MFREC), Mary Beth Henry (Polk County Cooperative Extension), and Dr. Hugh Smith (GC REC) gave a three-hour multi-media workshop entitled “Good Bug Bad Bug ID” at the Small Farms Conference in Kissimmee.  The workshop used live video feed, PowerPoint, and hands-on microscope sessions to teach participants the basics of identifying and managing key pest arthropods and commercially available biological control agents.  There were about forty participants.

Special thanks to the following assistants: Irma Herrera and Fabieli Irizarry with the MFREC; and the following DPM student presenters: Courtney Buckley, Tatiana Sanchez, Nina Zagvazdina, Carmen Collazo, and Rebecca Barocco.

Dr. Don Dickson and Silvia Vau provided one day of training on plant-parasitic nematodes for 11 representatives of DuPont.  The recently completed Stronach facility at the Plant Science Unit-Citra was used for the training.

Dr. Don Dickson and Janete Brito provided training and education about plant-parasitic nematodes to a group of visiting students from Mississippi State and Auburn Universities. 

Jay Cee Turner attended the 2012 Plant-Parasitic Nematode Identification Course held in Clemson, SC, 19-25 May.  Accurate nematode identification is important in the management of turfgrass, field and fruit crops, and vegetables.  The course, taught by Dr. Paula Agudelo, provides beginning training in separation of nematodes from soil and plant material and identification of nematodes to genus. Seven Continuing Education Units and a certificate were given for successful completion of the course. 

95th Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society

Several Faculty, Staff and Students presented at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society held in Jupiter, Florida on July 22nd to 25th.

Symposium at FES meeting

Drs. Jawwad Qureshi and Norm Leppla organized a symposium "Tamarixia radiata for Managing Asian Citrus Psyllid in Florida."

Presentations at FES meeting

Dr. Phil Stansly spoke briefly about the “History of Tamarixia radiata in Florida citrus”.  Presenters also included post-docs Dr. Moneen Jones, “Effect of ACP control on citrus leafminer – Can both pests be managed simultaneously?, and Dr. Cesar Monzo, “Asian citrus psyllid control strategies and phytoseiid mites abundance, diversity, and consequences for secondary pest populations”. 

Senior Biological Scientist, Barry Kostyk, presented “Methods and timing of applications to manage whiteflies and TYLCV with new insecticides in field grown tomatoes.”

Kaufman PE.  2012.  Flies and pies:  Florida’s livestock pests.  Native or Invasive: Florida harbors everyone symposia.  Florida Entomological Society Annual Meeting, Jupiter Beach, FL.

Kaufman PE.  2012.  Relationship of Florida’s cattle and equine farms from a flies perspective.  Symposia to honor Howard Weems.  Florida Entomological Society Annual Meeting, Jupiter Beach, FL.

M.S. Student Competition

Joel Mendez presented “Comparison of different diets for development of Olla v-nigrum (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Ceraeochrysa cubana (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) in the laboratory” and Xulin Chen presented, “Anesthetization with CO2 of Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera:Eulophidae), parasitoid of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), both Masters students of Dr. Phil Stansly

Seraydar KKaufman PE. 2012.  The role of house fly behavior in resistance expression to QuickBayt.  Florida Entomological Society Meeting, Jupiter Beach, FL.

Ph.D. Student Competition

Azhar Khan, doctoral student of Drs. Phil Stansly and Jawwad Qureshi, presented “Feeding and reproduction of the brown lacewing, Sympherobius barberi (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae) on diets of Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) and flour moth Ephestia kuehniella (Lepidotera: Pyralidae)”. 

Eiden AL, Kaufman PE, Oi FM.  2012.  Acaricide resistance in Florida Rhipicephalus sanguineus populations.  Florida Entomological Society Meeting, Jupiter Beach, FL.


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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.

Dr. James P. Cuda and his Ph.D. student Ms. Alissa Berro participated in the 2012 Plant Camp held at the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants during the week of June 17th. Dr. Cuda organized a weed biocontrol insect scavenger hunt for the 24 primary and secondary school teachers who attended the week-long workshop.    

Thank you to those members and friends of the department who have volunteered for our July and early August outreaches:

  • 11 July: Presentation on entomophagy at the Oak Hammock retirement community. Volunteers: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Dale Halbritter
    • Attendance: 25 residents
  • 11 July: Presentation on insects at the Hawthorne city library. Volunteer: Dale Halbritter
    • Attendance: 40 children and parents
  • 11 July: Workshop/tabling at the Southeast Dairy Conference. Volunteers: Stephanie Hill and Jodi Scott
    • Attendance: 160
  • 11 July: Workshop/tabling at the Ocala Discovery Center. Volunteer: Stephanie Hill
    • Attendance: 20
  • 12 July: Department tour for high schoolers in the College Reach Out Program. Volunteers: Dan Fitzpatrick, Dale Halbritter, and Ephraim Ragasa
    • Attendance: 20
  • 16 July: Presentation on insects at Baby Gator. Volunteer: Constantine Granatosky
    • Attendance: 15 children
  • 19 July: Presentation on insects at Sprout Learning Resources. Volunteer: Dale Halbritter
    • Attendance: 10 children
  • 20 July: Department tour for Sumter Co. Bug & Critter Camp. Volunteers: Eddie Cayia, Stephanie Hill, Ben Hottel, and Ephraim Ragasa
    • Attendance: 19 children, 6 adults
  • 25 July: Presentation on insects at the Alachua Co. main library in Gainesville. Volunteers: Dale Halbritter and Lindsay Wheeler
    • Attendance: 110 children, parents, and staff
  • 26 July: Presentation on insects at the Alachua city library. Volunteers: Dale Halbritter and Lindsay Wheeler
    • 70 children, parents, and staff
  • 8 August: Department tour for Morningside Nature Center Summer Camp. Volunteers: Dale Halbritter, Sandy Koi, Ephraim Ragasa, and Lindsay Wheeler
    • Attendance: 30 children and staff

The following programs and outreach events are currently scheduled for August:

  • 13 August: Presentation on insects at Baby Gator
  • 18 August: Tabling at the Alachua Co. Fairgrounds for National Honey Bee Awareness Day

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 traveling 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 so that we can log all outreach events.

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.

It has been a pleasure serving as your graduate outreach coordinator these past two years. Stephanie Stocks will be assuming my position as coordinator beginning this Fall semester.

Our program will continue to inspire those with an interest in insects and other arthropods, address common arthropod misconceptions, and facilitate respect and admiration for the ecological importance and sheer diversity of our arthropod comrades. An active outreach program is essential for sharing our science with the public, especially with young and curious minds. I am sure I speak for the whole department when I say all of our volunteers are highly appreciated. Keep up the good work!

Dale A. Halbritter, Outreach Coordinator 


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Dr. James P. Cuda was the recipient of a $1,500  mini-grant awarded by the 2012 Florida Cooperative Extension Service Professional Development Program. The funds will be used to cover Dr. Cuda’s travel expenses for the 60th  ESA Annual meeting to be held in Knoxville, TN.

Dr. Phil Kaufman was awarded $29,850 by the Southeast Milk Check-off group for a project entitled:  Reduced Risk Management and Current Status of Insecticide Resistance of Horn Flies On Southeastern Dairies.  This one-year study will examine the efficacy of a non-insecticidal horn fly vacuum device placed on four dairies in near Mayo, FL.


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Spread the word- Assistant Professor of Medical Entomology position now available in the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Florida.

On August 1st, the Nature Features section of the BBC’s website highlighted a new paper titled “Life on the fly, phylogenetics and evolution of the helicopter damselflies” being published this month in the journal Zoologica Scripta. Spencer Ingley, the lead author on the paper conducted this research as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Fellow. Seth Bybee, second author and former doctoral student in the Entomology Department was his graduate mentor. Both students conducted this research while in the Branham Lab.

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 7th of that month.

We would 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 Dr. Verena Lietze and Nancy Sanders who reviewed the newsletter for errors and to Jane Medley who built the web page.