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October 16th, 2012

black light collecting

ABOVE: Doctor of Plant Medicine students, and their families (total of 30 participants) had a black light insect collecting field trip, trolley ride, and dinner at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center.

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Pasco Avery, at the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, won the FES 2012 Annual Achievement Award for Teaching K-12 for his work supporting the Research Coast Florida Junior Academy of Science and Treasure Coast Regional Science Fair (in IFAS Matters- September 2012).

The International Nematode Diagnosis and Identification Course 2012 was held from September 29th to October 4th at the Transitional Zone Agriculture Institute in Eskisehir, Turkey. The meeting was attended by 26 participants representing seven countries. At the opening ceremony, welcome speeches were given by Dr. Birol Akbas, the Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies, Turkish Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock and Dr. Sabri Cakir, Institute Director.

Tesfa in Turkey

The training occurred over four days and emphasized practical skills for molecular and morphological identification methods. The training was organized by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and given by Dr. Tesfa Mengistu.

Pest Management University (PMU), in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, offered its first state examinations for wood-destroying organisms with a pass rate of 100%. Those who pass the examinations become certified operators, opening doors for company advancement and career potential. Special thanks to the Steinmetz Endowment Advance Funds for partial salary support for PMU instructor Dr. Faith Oi.

Dr. James P. Cuda and Dr. Verena Lietze were hosts for a UF exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History, October 3rd and 5th. The exhibit, titled “Water: Discovering and Sharing Solutions,” is part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Morrill Act that enabled the creation of UF and other land-grant universities.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in a Cogongrass Roundtable Workshop held at the Myakka River State Park, September 26th. The goal of the workshop was to examine various aspects of the weed’s biology, current research efforts, control tactics and outreach activities. Cuda gave a brief presentation on prospects for biological control of this invasive grass. 

Student News

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Sandy Koi, Master's student under the direction of Dr. Jaret Daniels, was asked to present preliminary biological data on the imperiled butterfly, Eumaeus atala, for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Imperiled Butterfly Working Group, on October 4th in Homestead. The insect was thought to be extinct for over fifty years in southeast Florida; this research will complete missing biological data that will ultimately help develop management protocols for natural areas. 

Stephanie Hill and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin hosted a group of pre-service teachers for a Project Wild workshop on October 13th. Teachers participated in projects designed to introduce students to science using wildlife. Teachers were able to observe ants and their foraging behavior, search for and measure ant lion pits, participate in an insect scavenger hunt, and observe that even small animals, like insects, can leave tracks.  Each participant received a curriculum provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a certificate of attendance, and continuing education units for their teacher certification.

Doctoral candidates Tim Davis and Amanda Eiden were invited participants in the Student Symposium at the Society of Vector Ecology meeting held in St. Augustine.  Tim's presentation was titled "The effects of larval habitat quality on Aedes albopictus (Skuse) installment egg laying over multiple ovisites." Amanda's presentation was titled  "Acaricide resistance in Rhipicephalus sanguineus." Both students work in the Kaufman Lab.

Ms. Julie Baniszewski is an undergraduate from the CALS Honors Program majoring in biology with an interest in environmental ecology, wetlands and invasive species. She will be doing an honors project with Dr. James P. Cuda related to mass rearing the hydrilla miner Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae). 

Awards and Scholarships

Congratulations SARE Graduate Student Grant Recipient!

Lindsy Iglesias is a Master's student in the Interdisciplinary Ecology program conducting her research under Dr. Oscar Liburd. Her project is entitled "Developing an integrated pest management program for a newly introduced pest in Florida blueberries: the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii."

2012 Entomology and Nematology Department Scholarship Recipients

Anthony Riggio – Mulrennan Scholarship
James Christian Fleming – Mulrennan Scholarship
Keith Gerber –  Hetrick Scholarship
Sabrina White – Su Scholarship
Christopher Lewis – Su Scholarship
Andrea Darmanjian – Su Scholarship
Joshua  Fonzi – Su Scholarship   
Holly Beard – Dixon Scholarship
Jade Hilliard – Williams Scholarship
Josh Gibson-Weston – Sapp Scholarship
Sarah Dombrowski – Hetrick Scholarship
Casey Parker – Murphey Scholarship
Gabriella Milanes – Murphey Scholarship
Rachael Keels – Richardson Scholarship
Ryan Huether – Mitchell Scholarship
Lindsay Wheeler  – Hetrick Scholarship  
Stafani  Harrison – Knapp Scholarship
Andre Szejner-Sigal – Davis Scholarship
Mary Karcher – Su Scholarship

Bee Craft 2013 Calendar Competition

Cynthia Brast is a resident of San Juan Island, WA and a distance graduate entomology student. She is studying under the direction of Dr. Jamie Ellis. She was selected as a double winner in the Bee Craft 2013 calendar competition.  Her photos will be featured in the February and December 2013 issues. 

Entomology and Nematology Student Organization (ENSO) 2012-2013 Officers

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for our new ENSO officers. We had over three times the number of students vote this year as we did last year! Your new ENSO officers are:

President: Ashley Poplin
Vice President: Sarahlynne Guerrero
Secretary: Chris Holderman
Treasurer: Dehlia Albrecht
Fundraiser Chair: Janine Razze
Historian: Dale Halbritter

Thanks for all of those who ran for a position, and congratulations to our new officers. The new officers assumed their positions at the October ENSO meeting.

Gators in Greece

Four UF Entomology and Nematology students, Stephanie Hill, Ephraim Ragassa, Casey Parker, and Jade Hilliard, had the opportunity to travel to Thessaloniki, Greece with Dr. Rebecca Baldwin on a site visit to Perrotis College at the American Farm School. The Entomology and Nematology Department received an IFAS Teaching Enhancement Grant to fund the trip to set up a study abroad program focusing on agritourism and ecotourism. 

Perrotis College sits on a 165-acre facility where students from first grade through college learn agricultural practices and techniques in animal science. The students were able to visit a dairy, poultry facility, mosquito research lab, greenhouses, apiary, and fields and groves featuring chickpeas, olives, grapes, corn, and rice. Students worked with the USDA Biocontrol Lab located in Greece to identify mosquitoes and sand flies and participate in discussions on the issues Greece is having with West Nile Virus and Leishmaniasis. As an added bonus, the city of Thessaloniki was hosting Insectopia, an insect zoo.

The group is working on publishing reusable learning objects (RLOs) on ecotourism, agritourism, and medical entomology in Greece for the Global Education Lab and UF’s EcoLearnIT. The UF International Center will be promoting the 2013 Entomology Study Abroad Program, Gators In Greece. If you are interested in the program, please contact Dr. Rebecca Baldwin.

See pictures from their trip in our Facebook album. You don't need to be a Facebook member to see the album!

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. Lyle Buss, the Insect ID Lab manager, reported that the lab received 41 samples in September, with a wide variety of household and landscape insects. A quarter of the samples were ants, representing nine different species of indoor and yard pests.

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


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Benda N, Possley J, Powell D, Buchanan-McGrath C, Cuda J. 2012. New host plant record for the poison ivy sawfly, Arge humeralis (Beauvois) (Hymenoptera: Argidae), and its performance on two host plant species. Florida Entomologist 95: 529-531.

Copeland RS, Gidudu B, Wanda F, Epler JH,  Cuda JP,  Overholt WA. 2012. Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) associated with Hydrilla verticillata (Alismatales: Hydrocharitaceae) and other submersed aquatic macrophytes in Lake Bisina and other Ugandan lakes, with a new country list. Journal of East African Natural History 101: 29-66.

Hulcr J, Roundtree NR, Diamonds SE, Stelinski LL, Fierer N, Dunn RR. 2012. Mycangia of ambrosia beetles host communities of bacteria. Microbial Ecology 64: 784-793.

Kaufman PE, Reasor C, Waldron JK, Rutz DA. 2012. Individual and paired releases of Muscidifurax raptor and M. raptorellus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) as a biological control tactic targeting house flies in dairy calf facilities. Journal of Medical Entomology 49: 1059-1066.

Lopez-Martinez G, Hahn DA. 2012. Short-term anoxic conditioning hormesis boosts antioxidant defenses, lowers oxidative damage following irradiation, and enhances male sexual performance in the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa. Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 2150-2161.

This paper is the first in a series that explores the physiology of irradiation in the context of important questions in improving tools for applied pest management, like the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) or irradiation as a post-harvest phytosanitary treatment.

Pick DA, Avery PB, Hunter WB, Powell CA, Arthurs SP. 2012. Effect of Isaria fumosorosea (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) and Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Hymenoptera: Aphidiinae) on the brown citrus aphid: Preliminary assessment of a compatibility study. Florida Entomologist 95: 774-776.

Teets NM, Peyton JT, Ragland GJ, Colinet H, Renault D, Hahn DA, Denlinger DL. 2012. Uncovering molecular mechanisms of cold tolerance in a temperate flesh fly using a combined transcriptomic and metabolomic approach. Physiological Genomics 44: 764-767.

This paper was selected as a Faculty of 1000 recommended paper by Ary Hoffman because it makes an important contribution to our understanding of how organisms cope with environmental stress and their capacity for adaptation to global climate change.

Tiwari S, Clayson PJ, Kuhns EH,  Stelinski LL. 2012. Effects of buprofezin and diflubenzuron on various developmental stages of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. Pest Management Science 68: 1405-1412.

New on Featured Creatures:

An Asian ground beetle, Mochtherus tetraspilotus (MacLeay) by: Paul M. Choate, University of Florida

Florida scorpionfly, Panorpa floridana Byers by: Louis A. Somma and James C. Dunford, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry

Pepper fruit fly, Atherigona orientalis (Schiner) by: Kenneth L. Hibbard, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry; and William A. Overholt, University of Florida

Citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) by: Harsimran Kaur Gill, Gaurav Goyal, and Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman,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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Dr. Verena-Ulrike Lietze and Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman hosted a booth at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society (FAPMS), October 9th to 11th in St. Augustine. Two posters and a number of educational items informed FAPMS members on the USDA-funded Hydrilla IPM RAMP research and demonstration project.

Bradshaw J, Cuda, J, Gillett-Kaufman J, Gioeli K, Hix R, Lietze V-U, Overholt W, Shearer J. New IPM approach for managing hydrilla in Florida. 2012 Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society (FAPMS) Contributed Papers.

Dr. Hugh Smith, Dr. Gary Vallad, and Dr. Bielinski Santos put on a Vegetable Pest, Disease and Nutrient Workshop at the GCREC on Oct 2nd in collaboration with Gene McAvoy (Hendry Co. Extension), Alicia Whidden (Hillsborough Co Extension) and Crystal Snodgrass (Manatee Co. Extension). There were about 54 participants.


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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.
 UF Miami-Dade Extension Whiteflies Workshop

Over 70 participants attended a workshop presented by Dr. Catherine Mannion, Dr. Lance Osborne and UF Miami-Dade Extension faculty Ms. Vanessa Campoverde. They discussed several topics, including- identification of the current whiteflies species affecting Miami-Dade ornamental plants; chemical management; resistance due to wrong identification; and the UF new online tool- The UF/IFAS Extension Whitefly Website.

From the Outreach Coordinator

We have had a few outreach events in the past month (with many more booked for the month of October – we are always good for the creepy crawler topic). This past month we had an outreach at J. Williams Elementary for around 100 fourth grade students. In that outreach, I delivered a new presentation correlated to the fourth grade Sunshine State Standards on Insect Behaviors and Insect Life Cycles. We also attended the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Educators Outreach event on October 3rd.  Special thanks to Stephanie Hill for participating in that event. Though attendance was down this year, we kept busy by questions from teachers, students, and parents. Dr. Dan Hahn took several critters to his son’s school for an outreach event on October 4th. 

We are very busy this month with outreaches scheduled for Talbot Elementary (October 16th), and Ocali Days (November 6th-11th).  I do need volunteers for the Ocali Days event on Thursday, November 8th and Saturday November 10th. Please email me if you are able to help with 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. I look forward to working with all of you over the next four years.

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


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Virni Mattson, our Grants Specialist, reports that June 30th, 2012 to September 30th, 2012 we have had 35 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $1,729,897 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

The National Geographic Society awarded a Florida Museum of Natural History butterfly and moth specialist a $24,000 research grant. Congratulations to Dr. Akito Kawahara, he received the one-year grant to do field research in Central America to investigate the tobacco hornworm and relatives.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a co-recipient of a $37,950 research grant awarded by the FWC Invasive Plant Management Program. The funds will be used to conduct surveys in East Africa for potential biological control agents of cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica.


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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. The position and description are posted online.

Departmental Vans

The department has three vans available for general use. Personnel are reminded that when returning vans after the administrative office has closed, the vans should be locked and the keys deposited in the "mail slot" on the office door. This ensures that people who reserved the vans for the next day have immediate access to the keys. Placing the keys under the driver's seat in an unlocked van is not an acceptable substitute. The worst case scenario in this case is a stolen van to which no one has access. Keeping the keys in your pocket, lab or office until you remember to turn them in is also discourteous to others as it might affect their work schedule. Some additional guidelines are:

  • The vans were acquired for transport of students to the field for laboratory periods. This activity takes precedence over others.
  • The vans should only be used for transport of large groups, not as a substitute for regular autos or trucks. It is not logical or economic to use these large vehicles that are expensive to operate and maintain as substitutes for small vehicles.
  • Anyone needing transport regularly for other than student laboratories should borrow a vehicle from another lab, acquire a vehicle for their lab, or rent a vehicle (Avis or Enterprise).
  • The vans are fine for local transport but are now over 10 years old, so long distance driving should be avoided.

The 3 Rs - Reading Room Rules

The Reading Room Committee reminds us that no one is allowed to take materials out of the reading room, and no one is allowed to take food or drink in. You are also reminded that Reading Room users are monitored on closed-circuit TV. The committee requests that you tidy up after yourself before leaving the room. Those who wish to use the in-room copier should visit the stock room to obtain a PIN from Nick Hostettler.

Trivia Time- Find the answer below for our September trivia question!

Septembers question- Do you know the entomological significance of this vehicle?  

Do you know the entomological significance of this vehicle

These photos were taken by Dr. John Capinera at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head Village, Maine. Below is a hint. Can you figure it out?

Car hint

It is the scarab! The 1935 Stout Scarab pictured here is a unique U.S. automobile designed by William Bushnell Stout. Learn more about this vehicle on Wikipedia.

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.