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December 12th, 2012

Happy holidays

ABOVE: From everyone in the Entomology & Nematology family we hope you and yours have a very safe and happy holiday break. See you in January!

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Andrea Lucky and the School of Ants have announced the winner of the School of Ants Essay Contest: Congratulations to Ph.D. student Carly Tribull for her amazing submission, a graphic novella about the introduction of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, to the USA. Her essay won the grand prize of $500, and is now posted on the School of Ants website (www.schoolofants.org). Three essays have received honorable mentions and will be posted on the site. These entries were selected from dozens of student entries submitted to the contest, which aimed to promote science communication by scientists to the general public.

Dr. James P. Cuda’s research on biological control of the aquatic weed hygrophila was featured on the NPR show “The Florida Environment”, which aired on the 26th of November.

Dr. Thomas J. Walker was awarded a 2012 University of Florida Open Access Award for his work in Open Access Journals. The University Libraries Committee, with support from the University Libraries, sponsors the new UF Open Access Awards. The awards recognize contributions to Open Access from across campus and across the full Gator Nation.

Visiting Scientist from Turkey

Visiting scientist in the lab
ABOVE: Anil Frat is a research associate at the University of Ordu in Turkey. He is a visiting scholar in the Nematode Systematics and Assay Lab, where he is working on the molecular identification of root-knot nematode isolates from Turkey. The work is part of his M.Sc. research funded by the Turkish Ministry of Science.

Student News

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Daniel Swale successfully defended his dissertation "Characterization of Insect Acetylcholinesterase Enzyme:  DMSO-Mediated Allosteric Effects, Inhibitor Pharmacological Profile, and Role in the Neurotoxicity of Insect Repellents" on December 3rd. Daniel works in the Bloomquist Lab.

Awards and Scholarships

Kara Tyler-Julian is a masters student working with Dr. Joe Funderburk at NFREC Quincy. She received second place for the ESA Student Competition for the President’s prize in P-IE 7 for her poster "Management of thrips on tomato and pepper using cultural methods."

This unannounced win makes UF the school with the most student awards at ESA!

Lacey Jenson was awarded the R. Eldred Carpenter Jr. Scholarship from the Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association ($2000). Lacey works in the Bloomquist Lab.

Graduate student Kylie Zirbel was awarded the 2012 T. Wainwright Miller, Jr. Florida Mosquito Control Association Scholarship (October). Kylie is a member of the Alto lab.

Graduate student Eva Buckner was the 2nd place winner of the 2012 T. Wainwright Miller, Jr. Florida Mosquito Control Association Scholarship (October). Eva is a member of the Lounibos and Alto labs.

UF Student Presentations at ESA

The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) was held in Knoxville, TN in mid November. A few presentations and awards are listed in the November issue of the newsletter. Use the online searchable program to learn about all the presentations at ESA and to see virtual posters.

Doctoral student Azhar A. Khan (University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan) presented "Development and reproduction of the two-spotted ladybeetle (Adalia bipunctata) on diets of Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) and corn leaf aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis)" and "Feeding and reproduction of the brown lacewings (Sympherobius barberi) on diets of Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) and flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella)" as poster presentations. Azhar is a member of the Stansly Lab.

Masters student Joel A. Mendez presented "Comparison of different diets for development of the ashy-gray ladybird beetle (Olla v-nigrum) and the green lacewing (Ceraeochrysa cubana) in the laboratory" as a poster and "Olfactory response by Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) when presented with Diaphorina citri (Homoptera: Psyllidae) and Aphis craccivora (Homoptera: Aphididae)" as an oral presentation. Joel is a member of the Stansly Lab.

Doctoral student Scott D. Croxton presented his talk "Metalized polyethylene mulch to reduce incidence of huanglongbing and improve growth of new citrus plantings." Scott is a member of the Stansly Lab.

Scott CH, Zaspel J, Weller SJ, Branham MA. "A molecular phylogeny of the lichen moth tribe Lithosiini (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) with a preliminary assessment of lichen phenolic sequestration." Oral presentation (student competition).

Louton JE, Branham MA, Bybee SM. "A phylogeny of Hetaerina Hagen (Odonata: Calopterygidae) based on morphological data with an examination of potential correlated evolution between sexually selected characters." Poster presentation (student competition).

Lab News

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Need to name that bug? Numerous 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.

As usual, the number of samples received started declining in November. Fewer bugs are active as the weather gets colder, and people get more concerned with holiday preparations than with bugs! 

One type of sample that does become more prevalent in the fall is the “invisible itch” type. Clients feel biting, stinging, or crawling sensations on their skin and suspect some kind of bug. Based on samples I have examined, bugs are rarely the true cause. The real problem may be related to allergies or other medical issues, dry skin, stress, or a great number of other possibilities, all outside of the realm of entomology.

The Insect ID Lab manager is Lyle Buss.

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.

Good news! The Nematode Assay Lab now offers a sampling service! The sampling service includes a site visit to your location by an Assay Lab employee, sampling of your problem areas, a brief instruction on scouting and sampling practices, as well as our soil sample analysis and management recommendations by an extension nematologist. 

Single Sample Pricing- Within 30 miles of our location- $40.00

                                30-50 miles- $55.00

                                50-75 miles- $75.00

                                More than 75 miles- $75.00 + $0.15 per mile

Additional samples during the site visit are $25.00 per sample.

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


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Akyazi F, Ansari MA, Ahmed BI, Crow WT, Mekete T. 2012. Fırst record of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) from Nigerian soil and their morphometrical and ribosomal DNA sequence analysis. Nematologia Mediterranea 40(2).

Alto BW, Malicoate J, Elliott SM, Taylor J. 2012. Demographic consequences of predators on prey: trait and density mediated effects on mosquito larvae in containers. PLoS ONE 7: e45785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045785.

Alto BW, Muturi EJ, Lampman RL. 2012. Effects of nutrition and density-dependence in Culex pipiens. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 26: 396-406.

Austin JD, Miller CW, Fletcher Jr RJ. 2012. What role can natural selection and phenotypic plasticity play in wildlife adaptation to climate change? In Brodie J, Post E, Berger J, Doak D (Eds). Conserving Wildlife Populations in a Changing Climate. University of Chicago Press.

Frank JH, Morón MA. 2012. Natural history of four species of Platydracus Thomson (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) in Heliconia bourgaeana Petersen (Zingiberales: Heliconiaceae) flower bracts. Insecta Mundi 0258: 1-12.

Guénard B, McCaffrey KA, Lucky A, Dunn RR. 2012. Ants of North Carolina: an updated list (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3552: 1-36.

Lopez-Nicora HD, Mekete T, Taylor NJ, Niblack TL. 2012. First report of lesion nematode (Pratylenchus vulnus) on boxwood in Ohio. Plant Disease 96(9): 1385.

Ragland GJ, Sim SB, Goudarzi S, Feder JL, Hahn DA. 2012. Environmental interactions during host race formation: host fruit environment moderates a seasonal shift in phenology in host races of Rhagoletis pomonella. Functional Ecology 26: 921-931.

Richards SL, Anderson SL, Alto BW. 2012. Vector competence of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) for dengue virus in the Florida Keys. Journal of Medical Entomology 49: 942-946.

Nyoike TW, Mekete T, McSorley R, Weibelzahl-Kakarigi E, Liburd OE. 2012. Confirmation of Meloidogyne hapla on strawberry in Florida using molecular and morphological techniques. Nematropica 42: 253-259.

New on Featured Creatures:

amaryllis lesion nematode, Pratylenchus hippeastri Inserra et al., 2006. Author: William T. Crow, University of Florida.

puss caterpillar (larva), southern flannel moth (adult), Megalopyge opercularis (J. E. Smith 1797). Author: Donald W. Hall, University of Florida.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Fume School

The 25th University of Florida School of Structural Fumigation was held at the Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C. from the12th to the 16th of November. The annual “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. This is the only school of its kind in the world and the school’s silver anniversary witnessed the 900th student to complete the program.  

Fume school

This year’s class included 55 students from Florida and ten other states and participants from Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago. Following the school, Joe Parker of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services proctored the State certification exam for the Florida attendees, of whom 96% accomplished a passing score. 

Renny Perez, the School director and UF faculty instructors Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn and Dr. Bill Kern are already planning next year’s program, proceeds of which support graduate education at FLREC. Many thanks to our sponsors and instructors from Dow AgroSciences, Ensystex, Drexel Chemical, Bayer Corp., Univar, and Cardinal Professional Products.

Dr. Marc Branham presented Data Management, one of two talks presented annually in the Responsible Conduct of Research “Ethics Week” workshops hosted by the Marsten Science Library at the University of Florida. This presentation covered data management plans, data ownership perspectives, best practices in data management and case studies.

The annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America was held in Knoxville, TN in mid November. A few presentations and awards are listed in the November issue of the newsletter. Use the online searchable program to learn about all the presentations at ESA and to see virtual posters.

Research Associate Scientist Dr. Jawwad A. Qureshi presented his research, "Biological control to reduce Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing in Florida." 

Post-doctoral associates Dr. Cesar Monzo and Dr. Moneen Jones presented their individual research "Asian citrus psyllid control strategies and phytoseiid mite abundance, diversity, and consequences for secondary pest populations" and "Effect of ACP control on citrus leafminer – can both pests be managed simultaneously?", respectively, as oral presentations.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a Co-organizer/Co-moderator of a Member Symposium titled "Improving the Safety and Effectiveness of Biological Control Agents of Weeds in the U.S.A." He also presented the symposium paper titled, "Reversible field testing of host plant specificity in the U.S.A."  Cuda also was co-author of a submitted paper titled, "Exploiting insect susceptibility to an essential amino acid used as an insecticide: Papilio cresphontes bioassays on methionine."

Dr. Phil Stansly presented two talks, "Integrated management of Asian citrus psyllid to reduce huanglongbing in Florida" and "Keiferia lycopersicella as a pest and a non-pest in south Florida: Would Tuta absoluta do the same?"

Member Symposium: Asian Citrus Psyllid and "Huanglonbing": Devastating Pest-Disease Complex and Threat to Citrus Production Worldwide was moderated and organized by Dr. Jawwad Qureshi and Dr. Philip Stansly.


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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.

Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory wants you to follow them on twitter to find out about upcoming events and interesting stories about honey bees @UFHoneybeelab.

From the Outreach Coordinator

Thanks go out to the following volunteers for helping with outreaches this past month:
Derrick Conover for helping with the November 15th visit to the Department along with Alissa Berro and Bennett Jordan. Dr. James P. Cuda’s laboratory staff  hosted a group of seven students and their teacher from the Cornerstone School in Ocala as part of this tour. Thanks to Wendy Helmey-Hartman for helping with the December 3rd visit to the department along with Christine Miller’s lab and Sandy Koi.

We also had outreach events on:
November 16 at Lawton Chiles Elementary
November 28 at Kanapaha Middle School
November 30 at Cornerstone Academy
December 4 at St. Augustine Church

We have one more outreach event this year on December 17 at Lawton Chiles Elementary. Thanks in advance to David Owens for volunteering for this 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 would like to schedule an event or have any outreach questions, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club Website and contact us.

- Stephanie Stocks, Outreach Coordinator 
- Office number  352-273-3958


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Virni Mattson, our Grants Specialist, reports that from November 1st to November 30th we have had five new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $235,156.80 in external funding for all Entomology and Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

Dr. Tesfa Mengistu recently received three financial awards to support his research. He received $5,000 in funding from the UF/IFAS Dean for Research for a project on the development of molecular methods to detect root-knot nematodes in Florida. He received $38,000 in funding from Syngenta for a research project on the genotypic and bio-efficacy/virulence-typing of the Pn-1 formulation and an additional $57,000 from Syngenta for research to determine optimal growth conditions for culturing Pn-1 in vivo.


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Spread the Word

The University of Florida’s 1st Annual Caribbean Bee College (CBC) will be held January 3rd to 5th, 2013 in Grenada, West Indies. The CBC is a partnership between the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, the East Caribbean Bee Research and Extension Center at St. Georges University in Grenada, the Association of Caribbean Beekeepers’ Organizations, and the Grenada Association of Beekeepers.

For more information: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honeybee/index.shtml
To register: http://caribbeanbeecollege.eventbrite.com/
Contact Jeanette Klopchin to sponsor a rural Caribbean farmer, jklopchin@ufl.edu

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.