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March 14th, 2013

Gallinipper on the left with an Aedes albopictus (a common, but on the small-side, Florida mosquito) on the right

ABOVE: The gallinipper on the left with an Aedes albopictus (a common but relatively small Florida mosquito) on the right. The gallinipper mosquito made the news thanks to a press release by UF/IFAS News Reporter Tom Nordlie.

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Roxanne Connelly is now the president of the American Mosquito Control Association. She took office on February 27th during the organization’s 79th annual meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Read more in the ESA News.

The Department received a patent for repellent technology intended for Asian citrus psyllid control. This technology repels psyllids from their hosts. It is being pursued by ISCA Technologies, a pest management company that focuses on insect behavior modification for pest control. Dr. Rouseff and Dr. Stelinski. Methods and compositions for the treatment and prevention of citrus greening disease. Provisional patent, Docket no. 10457-121, filed 8/25/2008, Serial No. 12/547,095. Official grant of U. S. Patent No. 8,372,443 - Issued 2/12/2013.

Dr. Oscar Liburd received the "Distinguished Achievement Award in Horticultural Entomology" at the Southeastern Branch ESA meeting in Baton Rouge, LA.

Dan Lisenko, one of Dr. Faith Oi's collaborators for the Florida School IPM program was awarded one of the six Southern Region IPM Center's Friends of IPM awards in the category of IPM Implementer. Dan is the IPM coordinator for Manatee Public Schools in Florida.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to serve as a peer reviewer of petitions to release candidate biological control agents into South Africa.

Dr. James P. Cuda and Dr. William Overholt traveled to Tanzania from 11-21 February to collect noctuid stem borers of the genus Acrapex, which are natural enemies of Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica. Cuda and Overholt collected over 500 larvae that were transported under permit to the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya and to the UF/IFAS Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory, Ft. Pierce, FL, for the purpose of establish laboratory colonies. If successful, biological and host range studies of the stem borer will be conducted.

Ms. Linda Pederson, our business manager, has been selected to receive a 2013 UF/IFAS Superior Accomplishment Award in the Administrative/Supervisory category. She will receive the award and $200.00 at a recognition ceremony on March 25th. Linda is now in the running for a campus-wide UF Superior Accomplishment Award!

Student News

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Julie Baniszewski, undergraduate honors student working with Dr. Jim Cuda and Dr. Emma Weeks has been awarded a Weed Science Society of America Undergraduate Research Award for her proposal " Improvements for Mass Rearing of the midge, Cricotopus lebetis for Biological Control of Hydrilla." Julie will receive $1000 for her research costs this year.

At the Southeastern Branch ESA meeting in Baton Rouge, Erika Machtinger won first place in the Ph.D. poster session II for her poster titled "Parasitism of house and stable fly pupae in different microhabitats by Spalangia cameroni (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)."

Alumni news

Dr. Ken Tennessen (Ph.D. Entomology-Odonata, Dr. Habeck Committee Chair, 1975) wrote a novel, titled Utterly Bugged, a story about an entomologist who imagines all kinds of strange things happening with insects in his life. It was just published by Red Dragonfly Press.

Utterly bugged book cover
ABOVE: Utterly Bugged is available for purchase through Red Dragonfly Press for $15.00. It is also available through Small Press Distribution and Amazon.com.

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 is the Insect ID Lab manager.

an exotic coreid bug, Eubule spartocerana

ABOVE: The most interesting samples in February were of an exotic coreid bug, Eubule spartocerana. This species was first discovered in Florida by a DPI inspector in Miami-Dade County in August of 2012. In February of this year a gardener in Palm Beach County found many of these bugson the side of her house. Kim Gabel, a UF horticulture county extension faculty member, sent Lyle pictures of the bug from Monroe County. Lastly Lyle noticed a specimen in a student collection, collected in Broward County. All three of these samples represent new county records for this insect, so it appears to be on the move and increasing in number. We do not currently know what plants it feeds on.

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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Aryal SK, Crow WT, McSorley R, Giblin-Davis RM, Kenworthy KE. 2012. Establishment rate of tolerant bermudagrass germplasm in a field infested with Belonolaimus longicaudatus. Journal of Nematology 44: 450.

Baidoo R, Mengistu TM, Brito JA, Crow WT. 2012. Molecular diagnostics of root-knot nematodes on Pittosporum tobira in Florida. Journal of Nematology 44: 450.

Boucias DG, Cai Y, Sun Y, Lietze V, Sen R, Raychoudhury R, Scharf ME. 2013. The microbiome of the lignocellulose-degrading termite Reticulitermes flavipes: resistance to perturbation in response to diet. Molecular Ecology (doi: 10.1111/mec.12230).

Boucias DG, Kariithi HM, Bourtzis K, Schneider DI, Kelley K, Miller WJ, Parker A, Abd-Alla AMM. 2013. Transgenerational transmission of the Glossina pallidipes hytrosavirus depends on the presence of a functional symbiome. PLos One. 

Brar GS, Capinera JL, McLean S, Kendra PE, Ploetz RC, Peña JE. 2012. Effect of trap size, trap height and age of lure on sampling Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), and its flight periodicity and seasonality. Florida Entomologist 94: 1003-1011.

Capinera JL. 2013. Culture of terrestrial slugs and snails (Gastropoda): Acceptance and suitability of synthetic insect diets. Florida Entomologist 95: 1077-1085.

Crow WT. 2012. Efficacy of MCW-2 as a nematicide for turf. Journal of Nematology 44: 459.

Crow WT. 2012. Prepare yourself for a job you love! Journal of Nematology 44: 459.

Diaz R, Medal J, Hibbard K, Roda A, Fox A, Hight S, Stansly P, Sellers B, Cuda J, Overholt WA. 2012. Classical biological control of tropical soda apple with Gratiana boliviana. ENY-865, Florida Cooperative Extension Service.

Luc JE, Crow WT. 2012. Efficacy of Multiguard Protect EC at increasing depths in turfgrass. Journal of Nematology 44: 474-475.

Raychoudhury R, Sen R, Cai Y, Sun Y, Lietze V-U, Boucias DG, Scharf ME. 2013. Comparative metatranscriptomic signatures of wood and paper feeding in the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Insect Molecular Biology 22: 155-71.

Sampson BJ, Roubos CR, Stringer SJ, Marshall D, Liburd OE. 2013. Biology and efficacy of Aprostocetus (Eulophidae: Hymenoptera) as a parasitoid of the blueberry gall midge complex: Dasineura oxycoccana and Prodiplosis vaccinia (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 106: 73-79.

Sekora NS, Crow WT, Mekete, T. 2012. A knife in the dark: Meloidogyne spp. of Florida's golf courses. Journal of Nematology 44: 489.

Sekora D, Huffaker A, Crow WT, Kaplan F, Alborn HT, Mekete T. 2012. The effect of transgenic endogenous defense elicitors in Arabidopsis on root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) Journal of Nematology 44: 489.

Stelinski L, Tiwari S. 2013. Vertical T-maze choice assay for arthropod response to odorants. Journal of Visualized Experiments (72), e50229, doi:10.3791/50229.

Stratman KN, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Netherland MD, Wilson PC. 2013. Host range and searching behavior of Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae), a tip miner of Hydrilla verticillata (Hydrocharitaceae). Biocontrol Science and Technology 23: 317-334.

Tiwari S, Killiny N, Stelinski LL. 2013. Dynamic insecticide susceptibility changes in Florida populations of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 106: 393-399.

Weeks ENI, Logan, JG, Birkett, MA, Pickett, JA, Cameron MM. 2013. Tracking bed bugs (Cimex lectularius): a study of the effect of physiological and extrinsic factors on the response to bed bug-derived volatiles. Journal of Experimental Biology 216: 460-469.

New on Featured Creatures:

We are launching a new look. We hope you like the new layout and functions!

Blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria Say. Authors: Alden Estep, Catherine Zettel-Nalen, USDA-ARS-CMAVE, and James D. Ellis.

Bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis Haworth. Authors: Brooke L. Moffis and Steven P. Arthurs.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Multi-agency invasive species workshops

Lake County Residential Horticulture Extension Agent II Brooke Moffis hosted the first of a series of multi-agency invasive species workshops scheduled for 2013. The half-day training included approximately 25 Master Gardeners and the following training topics: Invasive Species Agency Overview, Pest Pathways, Giant African Land Snail, Bagrada Bug, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Tuta absoluta, European Pepper Moth, Mexican Rice Borer, and Sample Submission.

The multi-agency invasive species series is part of a $150,000 USDA-APHIS-PPQ Farm Bill 10201 Cooperative Agreement awarded to Dr. Amanda Hodges (PI) in 2012 titled Collaborative and Enhanced First Detector Training for Florida and California. Post-doctoral associate Dr. Jennifer Hamel provided primary workshop coordination through her work in the Entomology and Nematology Department, Biosecurity Research and Extension Laboratory. Additional team coordination members include Dr. Amanda Hodges, Dr. Leroy Whilby (FDACS-DPI State CAPS Coordinator), and Mrs. Stephanie Stocks.

Amanda Hodges at workshop

ABOVE: Dr. Amanda Hodges examines specimens for the multi-agency invasive species workshop.

Entomology and Nematology Department speakers for the workshop included:  Dr. Jennifer Hamel, Dr. Amanda Hodges, Ms. Stephanie Stocks, and post-doctoral associate Dr. Gurpreet Brar. Ms. Julieta Brambila represented USDA-APHIS-PPQ and CAPS. Western Plant Diagnostic Network (WPDN) and UC-Davis Collaborator Mr. Richard Hoenisch also delivered a presentation for the workshop.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Hamel or Dr. Amanda Hodges.

Southeastern Branch ESA meeting in Baton Rouge

Several Entomology and Nematology Department faculty and students attended the 2013 Southeastern Branch Entomological Society of America annual meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 3rd to 6th.

Symposia organized or co-organized by departmental members included: Multi-Disciplinary Graduate Programs Symposium: Doctor of Plant Medicine and Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management Degrees, organized by Dr. Amanda C. Hodges and Dr. Greg S. Hodges and Student Symposium- Invasive Species and Novel Methods of Identification, Monitoring and Control, organized by Stephanie Weldon (University of Georgia) and Erika Machtinger (University of Florida).

University of Florida presentations delivered within the multi-disciplinary graduate programs symposium included:

The University of Florida's Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) Program-Accomplishments and Future Plans by Amanda C. Hodges, Associate Extension Scientist and DPM Program Director, Department of Entomology and Nematology.

The Value of Internships and Multidisciplinary Plant Health Programs: A Student's Perspective, by Eric LeVeen, Doctor of Plant Medicine Student,  Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Doctor of Plant Medicine Program:  Paving the Way to Safe, Sustainable Crop Production by Bonnie Wells, Doctor of Plant Medicine Student.

DPM alumnus Raghuwinder Singh, Louisiana State University, presented on Plant Doctors as Diagnosticians: Challenges and Success.

Dr. Catharine Mannion was nominated and elected to the office of SEB-ESA President. Dr. Mannion will serve as President-Elect during 2013, and she will conclude her presidency at the 2015 SEB-ESA annual meeting. Dr. Mannion served as a member of the Program Committee for 2013.  Program Committee members work with the program chair (or co-chairs) to review the program in prior to the meeting.  In addition Dr. Mannion served on the Audit Committee for the SEB-ESA annual meeting. 

Dr. Norm Leppla was present at the meeting for the Executive Committee as the Past President. In his role as Past President, Dr. Leppla served as chair of the Ad Hoc Officer and Committee Guidelines Committee. The SEB-ESA operational guidelines have been extensively revised by Dr. Leppla and his committee. 

Dr. Eileen Buss concluded her term as a member of the Executive Committee and a Member-at-Large. The Executive Committee is responsible for reviewing all aspects of SEB-ESA operations. 

Dr. Gregg Nuessley concluded his service on the Student Awards Committee (2013) by serving as chair. The Student Awards Committee chair is responsible for coordinating the Comstock and Hays awards the previous year. Additionally, the Student Awards Committee Chair coordinates moderators and judges for all student competitions.

Mrs. Erika Machtinger concluded her service as the Florida Student Affairs Committee representative. 

Dr. Faith Oi currently serves as an SEB-ESA representative to the ESA Central Finance Committee.

Dr. Oscar Liburd concluded his service on the SEB-ESA education committee  (2013). Dr. Liburd presented- Montoring, distribution and control of spotted wing drosophila, a new invasive species in Florida, at the SEB-ESA meeting in Baton Rouge, LA.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the Student Symposium on Invasive Species at the SEB-ESA Meeting. Cuda's presentation was titled Progress on developing a novel IPM research and demonstration project for the aquatic weed hydrilla in Florida. Cuda was co-author on another presentation and poster on investigating biological control of hydrilla. Cuda also participated in the new SDC351 regional project meeting on Biological Control of Arthropod Pests and Weeds.

Due to a death in Dr. Crow's family,  Biological Scientist Thomas Bean presented "Nematode IPM on Golf Course Turf" and "Nematode Management in Florida Landscapes" at educational seminars for the Florida Turfgrass Association in Jacksonville and Orlando in February.  Word has it that Tom did an outstanding job. Thanks Tom!

Dr. Verena Lietze was invited to present progress on the Hydrilla IPM Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Project (RAMP) at the Florida Lakes Management Society’s Central Chapter Winter Workshop in Kissimmee on February 12. The workshop took place at the Berlinsky Community House, a few steps from Lake Tohopekaliga. This lake provides a perfect example of the tremendous economic and environmental impacts caused by large hydrilla infestations. All 41 workshop participants were highly interested in the development and implementation of novel hydrilla IPM strategies and signed up for the project newsletter. A PDF version of the presentation is posted on the Hydrilla IPM RAMP website.


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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.

The DPM program would like to invite our newsletter readers to like their Facebook page to keep up with DPM events and developments. Be sure and "Like" the DPM Facebook page.

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

Outreach has been very busy this year. We participated in Timucuan Adventure day in Jacksonville and Buc Tuocs in Hawthorne, and we had an outreach for the entire 3rd grade at Meadowbrook Elementary School.

We were also at the state fair this year. The theme for the state fair was backyard bugs, and we featured research being done in our nematology and entomology labs. Thanks go out to Dr. Crow’s lab, Dr. Liburd’s lab, Dr. Oi's lab, Dr. Kaufman’s lab, Dr. Cuda’s lab, Dr. Koehler’s lab, Dr. Ellis’ lab, Dr. Miller’s lab, Dr. Buss’ lab, Dr. Lucky’s lab, and to the Insect Diagnostic lab led by Lyle Buss for participating.

We have several lab tours and outreaches scheduled for the month of March, so if you are interested in participating, please contact Stephanie Stocks at sstocks@ufl.edu.

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 February 1st to 28th, 2013, we have had 12 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $822,292 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

Dr. Emma Weeks was awarded a two year grant $104,867 from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation OAK grant program: Identification of semiochemicals for the prevention of tick-borne disease transmission in dogs. Co-PIs: Dr. Phil Kaufman and Dr. Sandy Allan (CMAVE-USDA).

Dr. Emma Weeks was awarded $11,267 from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Internal Heptagon Funding: Semiochemicals of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, for monitoring and control. PIs: Dr. J. Logan and Dr. Cameron, Collaborator Weeks. 12 months. Started January 2013 - Emma spent four weeks at the School in January setting up the project, training new members of staff, and discussing future collaborations.

Dr. Emma Weeks was awarded $33,737 from the California Mosquito Research Foundation to evaluate the amino acid methionine as a mosquito larvicide.

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded $31,677 from the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute for the first year of a three year project to screen a new candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree.


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Tell your friends that everyone’s favorite insect macro-photographer, Dr. Alex Wild, will be in town to give an Entomology Seminar on Thursday, April 4. He will also be giving a talk on macro-photography that evening at the Art Museum. The talk at the Harn is open to the public, so feel free to bring friends and family!

If you'd like to meet with Dr. Wild while he is here, please email Dr. Andrea Lucky to schedule a meeting.

Register now: On May 21st, a Vegetable Crop Health Management Workshop will be available at the GCREC. Instructors include Dr. Nathan Boyd, Dr. Bielinski Santos, Dr. Hugh Smith, Dr. Gary Vallad (GC REC), Gene McAvoy (Hendry County Cooperative Extension), Crystal Snodgrass (Manatee County Cooperative Extension), and Alicia Whidden (Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension).

The workshop is designed for growers, scouts, crop advisors, extension faculty, Master Gardeners, and other crop protection professionals. CEUs and Crop advisor credits will be applied for. Extension faculty can attend this workshop as an IST!  Limited funding will be available to help cover the travel costs of extension faculty who attend.

Contact Dr. Hugh Smith for more information.

2013 Southeast Pest Management Conference

Southeast Pest Logo

We are ready for you! The registration for the 2013 Southeast Pest Management Conference "Special Pest Ops" is open. Check the website. You can register online and check what we have scheduled for the conference. We will see you here in Gainesville on May 5th to the 8th! 

The 96th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society

FES will be held July 14th to the 17th at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Naples, Florida. Hotel reservations are available at the FES rate ($129.00).

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