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December 16th, 2014

holiday tree

ABOVE: Our #UFBugs Global Holiday Celebration was a wonderful reminder of all the friends and family we have around the world. Have a safe and happy winter break!

Faculty and Staff News

Read more about faculty in the news:

Dr. Carrillo: UF/IFAS scientists find potential biological control for avocado-ravaging disease.

Dr. Liburd: UF organic strawberry project included in new e-book.


ABOVE: We have a new #UFBugs entomologist in the family! Here she is- Kaya Luna Kawahara (8lbs 6oz born 12/10/14). Proud parents Dr. Lisa Taylor and Dr. Akito Kawahara have returned from the hospital and let us know they are all happy and healthy.

Dr. Billy Crow delivered a 4-hour workshop on turfgrass nematodes for the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendent's Association in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on November 18th.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a guest lecturer for Aquatic Weed Control (PLS 4613), a senior level course offered by the Agronomy Department, on October 13th. Cuda’s lecture was titled “Biological Control of Invasive Aquatic Weeds in Florida.”

Dr. Baldwin is a STAR: The Urban Entomology Lab in cooperation with IFAS Communications has made quite an impression on social media with the publication of the YouTube video on how to make a homemade bed bug monitor.

The video explains how to use household items such as recyclable deli containers, tape and talc, to create a bed bug monitoring trap that can be placed under furniture. Collected insects can then be identified as bed bugs or not. The video has been viewed 129,679 times since it was published in May for BugWeek@UF. The video can be viewed at Bed Bug Trap video.

The University of Florida School of Structural Fumigation was held at the Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C. November 17-21, 2014. 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 26th anniversary had a record attendance of 59 students (below).  

fume school stuents

This year’s class included students from Florida, Arizona, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, and Texas as well as Curacao, Greece, and Trinidad. The school yielded a 100% passing rate for students who opted to take the Florida State certification exam in fumigation. Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn and Dr. Bill Kern have coordinated the Fume School at FLREC for the past 11 years.

Student and Alumni News

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Student Awards

Chris Holderman, Garima Kakkar and Erika Machtinger were awarded ESA Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Section scholarships at the Annual ESA meeting in Portland, OR. Awardees were selected based on contributions including senior and junior authored refereed publications, non-refereed publications, teaching experience either as teaching assistants or guest lectures, outreach, and extension experience with specific emphasis on service to the Entomological Society of America.

Click here fore a listing of Student Paper/Poster award winners at ESA .

Read more about students and alumni in the news:

Mysterious 'glow worm' discovered in the Peruvian rainforest. 

One of our alumni, Dr. Gurpreet Brar, has joined Syngenta as a scientist with their insect control group in Vero Beach, Florida.

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.

termite alate

ABOVE: A few samples of termite swarmers are still coming in to the lab this late in the year. Most of them are the southern dampwood termite, Neotermes castaneus.  Their alates are the largest of the Florida termites, and their peak flight time is in November. Dampwood termites are in the same family as drywood termites, but they have a higher moisture requirement. Because of this, they are rarely pests of structures. Their alates are attracted to lights, so alates found indoors usually originated from a tree or wooded area near the house. To learn more about dampwood termites, review the Featured Creatures article.

Lyle Buss is the 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. Tesfa Mengistu.


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Bug Babies!

bug babies

ABOVE: Print yours today! The UF Entomology & Nematology website: A printable, 2015 calendar with the theme "Bug Babies." Each month has an adorable photo of young #UFBugs of the arthropod or gastropod persuasion. You can download and print or e-mail this colorful calendar. You can purchase a printed copy in the front office for $5.00.

Alto BW, Smartt CT, Shin D, Bettinardi D, Malicoate J, Anderson SL, Richards SL. 2014. Susceptibility of Florida Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to dengue viruses from Puerto Rico. Journal of Vector Ecology. 39: 406-413.

Avery PB, Kumar V, Simmonds MSJ, Faull J. 2015. Influence of leaf trichome type and density on the host plant selection by the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology. DOI: 10.1007/s13355-014-0308-5.

Carrillo D, Dunlap CA, Avery PB, Navarrete J, Duncan RE, Jackson MA, Behle RW, Cave R, Crane J, Rooney AP, Peña JP. 2015. Entomopathogenic fungi as biological control agents for the vector of the laurel wilt disease, the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Biological Control. 81: 44-50.

Geden CJ, Johnson S, Kaufman PE, Boohene CK.  2014.  Competition between the filth fly parasitoids Muscidifurax raptor and M. raptorellus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Journal of Vector Ecology. 39: 278-287.

Gillespie SR, Tudor MS, Moore AJ, Miller CW. 2014. Sexual selection is influenced by both developmental and adult environments. Evolution. 68(12): 3421-3432.

Huang F, Qureshi JA, Meagher RL Jr, Reisig DD, Head GP. 2014. Cry1F resistance in fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda: Single gene versus pyramided Bt maize. PLoS ONE 9(11): e112958. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112958.

Knight AL, Hilton R, Basoalto E, Stelinski LL. 2014. Use of glacial acetic acid to enhance bisexual monitoring of tortricid pests with kairomone lures in pome fruits. Environmental Entomology. 43: 1628-1640.

Le Ru BP, Capdevielle-Dulac C, Toussaint EFA, Conlong DE, Van den Berg J, Pallangyo B, Ong’amo G, Molo R, Overholt W, Cuda J, Kergoat GJ. 2014. Integrative taxonomy of Acrapex stem borers (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Apameini): Combining morphology and Poisson Tree Process analyses. Invertebrate Systematics. 28: 451-475.

Monzo C., Qureshi JA and Stansly PA. 2014. Insecticide sprays, natural enemy assemblages and predation on Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri K. (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research. 104(5): 576-585.

Moorthi PV, Balasubramanian C, Avery PB, Kubendran T, Rathinakumar T, Banu AN. 2014. Pathogenicity and proteome production of Isaria fumosorosea (=Paecilomyces fumosoroseus) Wise isolates against lemon butterfly, Papilio demoleus (Papilionidae: Lepidoptera). African Journal of Biotechnology. 13: 4176-4182.

Pomerantz AF, Hoy MA. 2014. RNAi-mediated knockdown of transformer-2 in the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis via oral delivery of double-stranded RNA. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 65: 17-27. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-014-9852-5.

Pomerantz AF, Hoy MA. 2015. Expression analysis of Drosophila doublesex, transformer-2, intersex, fruitless-like, and vitellogenin homologs in the parahaploid predator Metaseiulus occidentalis (Chelicerata: Acari: Phytoseiidae). Experimental and Applied Acarology. 65: 1-16.

Qureshi JA, Kostyk BC, Stansly PA. 2014. Insecticidal suppression of Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) vector of Huanglongbing pathogens. PLoS ONE 9(12): e112331. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112331.

Ray HA, Hoy MA. 2014. Role of silk webbing in the biology of Hemicheyletia wellsina (Acari: Cheyletidae). International Journal of Acarology. 40: 577-581. http:doi:org/ 10.1080/01647954.2014.963668.

Russell ND, Qureshi JA, Halbert SE, Stansly PA. 2014. Host suitability of citrus and Zanthoxylum spp. for Leuronota fagarae Burckhardt and Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psylloidea). Florida Entomologist. 97(4): 1481-1492.

Sahayaraj K, Kumar V, Avery PB. 2015. Functional response of Rhynocoris kumarii (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) on Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in the laboratory. European Journal of Entomology. DOI: 10.14411/eje.2015.020.

Stratman KN, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Mukherjee A, Diaz R, Netherland MD, Wilson PC. 2014. Temperature-dependent development, cold tolerance, and potential distribution of Cricotopus lebetis, a tip miner of Hydrilla verticillata. Journal of Insect Science. 14(153): DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/ieu015.

Wu K, Hoy MA. 2014 Clathrin heavy chain protein is important for viability, oviposition, embryogenesis and systemic RNAi response in the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis. PLoSONE 9(10): e110874.

Yu SJ. 2014. Toxicology and Biochemistry of Insecticides. 2nd Edition. CRC Press. Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida. 380 Pages.

New on Featured Creatures:

Wellsina mite, Hemicheyletia wellsina (De Leon). Authors: Haleigh Ray and Marjorie A. Hoy, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Io moth, Automeris io (Fabricius). Author: Donald W. Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, 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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Presentations at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) conference in Portland, Oregon.

Baniszewski J, Bradshaw J, Cuda JP, Gillett-Kaufman JL, Gioeli K, Hix RL, Kariuki E, Lietze V-U, Shearer J, Weeks ENI. 2014.  Hydrilla integrated pest management: Research is improving extension efforts. Invited presentation. Entomology 2014. Portland, Oregon. November 16th.

Baniszewski J, Weeks ENI, Allan SA, Berro AM, Cuda JP, Stevens BR. Methionine: a new biopesticide for use in mosquito management. Poster. Entomology 2014. Portland, Oregon. November 19th.

Baniszewski J, Weeks ENI, Cuda JP. Improving hydrilla biological control via the hydrilla midge tip miner. Oral Presentation. Entomology 2014. Portland, Oregon. November 19th.

Gillett-Kaufman JL, Lietze V-U, Weeks ENI, Cuda JP. 2014. On-site training on hydrilla IPM: How to reach new audiences. Poster. Entomology 2014. Portland, Oregon. November 19th.

Weeks ENI, Baniszewski J, Cuda JP, Denslow N, Ellis JD, Kroll K,  Schmehl D, Stevens BR, Tomé H. Non-target organism acute toxicity testing of methionine, a novel mosquito larvicide. Poster. Entomology 2014. Portland, Oregon. November 19th.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 2014 Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society’s Annual Training Conference held in Daytona Beach, FL, 13-16 October.  Cuda gave a presentation titled “Current Biocontrol Agents and New Successes.” 

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for a webinar sponsored by the Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAS) on 22 October. Cuda gave a presentation titled “Integrated Management of Hydrilla in Florida,” which was co-authored by Drs. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, Raymond Hix, Verena-Ulrike Lietze and Emma Weeks.

Drs. James P. Cuda, Rodrigo Diaz, and  William Overholt were co-authors on a virtual poster presentation by Ms. Patricia Prade at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America held in Portland, OR, 16-19 November. The poster was titled “Galls induced by Calophya latiforceps (Hemiptera: Calophyidae) reduce photosynthesis, chlorophyll, and leaf growth of Brazilian peppertree saplings.”


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From the Outreach Coordinator

Thank you to all of the staff, students, and friends of the department who participated in our November outreach events.

Ocali days fun

ABOVE: Ray and Millicent Hawley had a great time at Ocali Days, and she LOVED getting to hold the beetle and cockroach at our tent with the help of Chris Crockett.

Overall Ocali Days went very well this year and many of the department’s students volunteered their day to help out. Thanks to Dale Halbritter, Casey Parker, Brian Ertley, Qinwen Xia, Vanessa Simoes Dias de Castro, Matt Moore, Chris Crockett, Oliver Keller, Lindsay Wheeler, Minyuan Tie, and Gabriella Steele for helping the event go smoothly.

Other events:

  • 13 November: Presentation at Norton Elementary School. Participant: Catherine White
  • 14 November: Basic Physiology and Grasshopper dissections with Windsor Christian Academy. Participants: Natalie Grand’Bois, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, and Catherine White
  • 18 November: Arthropod Petting Zoo at Idylwild Elementary School. Participant: Catherine White
  • 20 November: Arthropod Petting Zoo at the Grand Guard Reception. Participants: Heather Erskine and Mason Russo

Upcoming events:

  • Planning for the Florida State Fair is under way. Keep an eye out for updates and requests for volunteers.

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. Please be sure to contact us and review the protocol on transporting and handling the critters if you are not already familiar with the process. 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 — Catherine White, 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 UF Entomology and Nematology Department. To make them easily searchable, all four (YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, 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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Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, reports that from November 1st to November 30th our external funding for all UF Entomology and Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs) was $484,477.00. This was for seven new awards or contracts.

Dr. James P. Cuda was the recipient of a $1,500 grant from the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic & Invasive Plants. The funds will be used to support aquatic plant research.     


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Our offices will be closed on December 25th and will reopen on January 2nd. Have a safe and fun winter break!

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 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.