home about

March 14th, 2014


ABOVE: The much anticipated theme for the UF/IFAS Southeast Pest Management Conference has been announced. Dr. Roberto Pereira and Dr. Phil Koehler hope to see you May 4-7 in Gainesville so you can work to fight Bug Thugs!

Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Bill Overholt was awarded a fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science that will allow him to spend two weeks in Japan searching for insect herbivores of cogongrass and to present lectures on weed biological control at several universities.

Dr. Jennifer Hamel, a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Christine Miller's lab, has accepted a tenure-track position in the Biology Department of Elon University in North Carolina. She will begin her new position in August 2014.

Student and Alumni News

return to top

UF's Linnaean Team wins first place at the SEB-ESA!

SEB TeamAbove: Congratulations! David Plotkin, John Zukowski, Lucas Carnohan, Garima Kakkar and Chris Holderman make up our team; they regularly are coached by Dr. Rebecca Baldwin. Dr. Amanda Hodges (far right) stepped up to be their faculty advisor at SEB in Dr. Baldwin's absence.

Student Award Winners

Congratulations to Ms. Erika Machtinger! Ms. Machtinger is a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Norm Leppla and Dr. Chris Geden. She won first prize ($500) in the Ph.D. student paper competition at the 2014 annual meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America in Greenville, SC.

Congratulations to Ms. Lorena Lopez. Ms. Lopez, an M.S. student, was an award recipient in the Student Oral Presentation Competition (III) at the 2014 ESA Southeastern Branch meeting (Greenville, SC) for her presentation: "Use of Amblyseius swirskii and banker-plant systems for biological control of Polyphagotarsonemus latus in high-tunnel pepper." The award was associated with a $100 prize. Lorena’s co-authors were Dr. Hugh A. Smith, Dr. Marjorie A. Hoy, Dr. Ronald D. Cave, and Dr. Bielinski M. Santos.

Julie award ABOVE: First prize for an undergraduate talk at ESA-SEB went to Julie Baniszewski!

Congratulations to Ms. Julie Baniszewski, who presented at the 2014 Southeastern branch Entomological Society of America meeting in Greenville, SC (March 2-5, 2014). The talk title was "Designing a more effective hydrilla biocontrol agent, Cricotopus lebetis" with co-authors Dr. Emma Weeks and Dr. Jim Cuda.

Graduate Students Richard Baidoo and Tina Gu were each selected by the Society of Nematologists to receive $1,500 travel grants to present their research at the upcoming 6th International Congress of Nematology in Cape Town, South Africa, in May. 

Ms. Julie Baniszewski presented a poster at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by Florida International University in Miami (February 21-22, 2014). The title of her poster was "Cold tolerance: improving mass rearing of Cricotopus lebetis, the hydrilla tip miner" with co-authors Dr. Emma Weeks and Dr. Jim Cuda.

Aaron Pomerantz presented his M.S. thesis research, "Identification and analysis of potential sex-determination genes in Metaseiulus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae)" on February 11.  Aaron, who works in the Hoy lab, has submitted his first draft of the thesis to the Graduate School.

Haleigh Ray presented her M.S. thesis research, "Evaluation of the predacious mite Hemicheyletia wellsina (Acari: Chelyletidae) as a predator of arthropod pests of orchid" on February 28. Haleigh is a member of the Hoy lab.

Past and future members of the Bloomquist lab were recognized as award winners or finalists of the AGRO Division of the American Chemical Society in 2013.

Dr. Daniel Swale, who earned his Ph.D. through the Bloomquist lab in 2012, was named the 2013 New Investigator Award Winner, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

Dr. Lacey Jensen, who earned her Ph.D. in 2013, was named the First Place for the 2013 AGRO Education Award Finalists, sponsored by Bayer CropScience. In Second Place was Aaron Gross, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Toxicology, with minors in Neuroscience and Entomology at Iowa State University. Aaron expects to finish his PhD in the spring of 2014, and he will join the Bloomquist lab as a Postdoctoral Associate at that time.

Lab News

return to top

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. aphidsABOVE: If you have an ornamental podocarpus shrub in your yard, you are probably familiar with the podocarpus aphid, Neophyllaphis podocarpi (left).  It is a rather attractive aphid, reddish or purple in color, with a dusty coating of white wax.  In 2010, a DPI inspector found some aphids on podocarpus in Naples that looked different.  They turned out to be a new species, which was recently described by Gary Miller and Susan Halbert.  Its name is Neophyllaphis varicolor (right) to reflect the variety of colors found in the nymphs (yellow, orange, red, or purple).

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.


return to top

Capinera JL. 2014. Host plant selection by Romalea microptera (Orthoptera: Romaeidae). Florida Entomologist 97: 38-49.

Chazot N, Willmott KR, Santacruz EP, Toporov A, Jiggins RICD, Elias M. 2014. Mutualistic mimicry and filtering by altitude shape the structure of Andean butterfly communities. The American Naturalist 183: 26-39.

Crow WT. 2014. Avid: A new weapon in the fight against nematodes. Florida Turf Digest 31: 22-23.

Giraldo CE, Willmott KR, Vila R, Uribe SI. 2013. Ithomiini butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) of Antioquia, Colombia. Neotropical Entomology 42: 146-157.

Kavi, LAK, Kaufman PE, Scott JG. 2014. Genetics and mechanisms of imidacloprid resistance in house flies. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 109: 64-69.

Kuhns EH, Tribuiani Y, Martini X, Meyer WL, Peña J, Hulcr J, Stelinski LL. 2014. Volatiles from the symbiotic fungus, Raffaelea lauricola, are synergistic with Manuka lures for increased capture of Redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 16: 87-94.

*Lopez-Martinez G, Carpenter JE, Hight SD, Hahn DA. 2014. Low-oxygen atmospheric treatment improves the performance of irradiation-sterilized male cactus moths used in SIT. Journal of Economic Entomology 107: 185-197.

*Lopez-Martinez G, Hahn DA. 2014. Early life hormetic treatments decrease irradiation-induced oxidative damage, increase longevity, and enhance sexual performance during old age in the Caribbean fruit fly. PLoS ONE 9: e88128.

*These publications stirred up a bit of press; the work was covered by more than a dozen online outlets including Wired and Futurity and was reported on our local ABC TV 20 and NPR. The research was done by former Hahn lab Postdoctoral Associate Dr. Giancarlo Lopez-Martinez, now an Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University. 

Miller GL, Halbert SE. 2014. A new species of Neophyllaphis (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Neophyllaphidinae) with keys to species on Podocarpus (Pinales: Podocarpaceae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 116: 69-79.

Rozen JG, Jr, Hall HG. 2014. Nest site selection and nesting behavior of the bee Lithurgopsis apicalis (Megachilidae: Lithurginae). American Museum Novitates 3796: 1-24.

Shannag HK, Capinera JL, Freihat NM. 2013. Use of neem-based insecticides against southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Trends in Entomology 9: 45-53.

Shannag HK, Capinera JL, Freihat NM. 2014. Efficacy of different neem-based biopesticides against green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae). International Journal of Agricultural Policy Research 2: 61-68.

Sourakov A. 2013. Larvae of Io Moth, Automeris io, on the Coral Bean, Erythrina herbacea, in Florida the limitations of polyphagy. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 67: 291-298.

Sourakov A. 2013. The Tropical Swallowtail Moth, Lyssa zampa (Uraniidae) – another victim of lymph-thirsty parasites in Vietnam. News of Lepidopterists’ Society 55: 106-107.

Dr. Billy Crow revised the following EDIS publications:

IN470 Nematode management for bedding plants.
IN490 Nematode management for perennial landscape plants.
NG005 Nematode management in the vegetable garden.
NG039 Nematode management in residential lawns.
IN124 Nematode management for golf courses in Florida.
IN126 Nematode management for non-residential lawns, athletic fields, racetracks, and cemeteries.

New on Featured Creatures:

el crisomélido de tropical soda apple, Gratiana boliviana Spaeth Spanish Translation: Rodrigo Diaz and Veronica Manrique, Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida.

fir tussock moth, Orgyia detrita Guérin-Méneville
whitemarked tussock moth, Orgyia leucostigma (J.E. Smith, 1797)
definite tussock moth, Orgyia definita Packard Authors: Donald W. Hall and Lyle Buss, 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

return to top

Dr. Emma Weeks was invited to present in the student symposium of the 2014 Southeastern branch Entomological Society of America meeting in Greenville, SC (March 2-5, 2014). The talk title was “Host location cues for management of the brown dog tick” with co-authors Dr. Phil Kaufman, Dr. Sandra Allan and Lucas Carnohan.

Dr. Emma Weeks presented a poster at the 2014 Southeastern branch Entomological Society of America meeting in Greenville, SC (March 2-5 2014). The poster title was "Evaluation of methionine as a larvicide, and its potential for use in mosquito IPM" with co-authors Dr. Sandra Allan, Julie Baniszewski, Alissa Berro, Dr. Bruce Stevens and Dr. James P. Cuda.

Dr. Billy Crow presented "Nematode management for lawns landscapes" at the Florida Turfgrass Association seminar in Milton, FL on 18 February.  He also presented "Nematode management for golf course turf, 2014" at the FTGA seminars in Jacksonville, FL on 19 February and Orlando, FL on 20 February.

The UF/IFAS Master Beekeeper Program held its biannual training and exams on Thursday, March 6th, at the Whitney Lab in Marineland, Florida.The Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) is a beekeeper training and certification program and boasts nearly 300 active members. This collection of registered beekeepers performs public service credits as a part of program advancement. To date, they have collectively reached nearly three million people in the state of Florida and beyond. They serve as bee ambassadors to beginning beekeepers, the public, and our community by teaching and serving as an extension of UF/HBREL

Click here for more information about the Master Beekeeper Program.


return to top

From the Outreach Coordinator

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.

Thank you to all the labs that helped with Insect Encounters from February 6th to the 17th at the Agriculture Hall of Fame at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

Bugology booth at the Florida State Fair

ABOVE: Our exhibit was Bugology: Fact or Fiction, where entomology volunteers busted myths about arthropods and hosted an arthropod petting zoo.

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

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.


return to top

Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, reports that from February 1st to February 28th, 2014, we have had 5 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $138,125.26 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).

Dr. Eileen A. Buss was awarded a research grant in the amount of $13,530 by IR-4 Biopesticide for the period of one year. The grant will fund the project titled "Effectiveness of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae against the southern chinch bug (Hemiptera: Blissidae)."

Dr. Emma Weeks received a grant from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation for "Development of a Crack and Crevice Treatment as an Alternative to Conventional Pesticide Applications for the Brown Dog Tick." $12,960.00


return to top

From the Doctor of Plant Medicine Blog

Please share this post by Dr. Amanda Hodges: The University of Florida’s Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) program is currently accepting applications for Fall Semester 2014 and Spring Semester 2015 First Year Assistantships. The DPM program is a professional doctorate degree for plant health practitioners. DPM students receive comprehensive training within the core discipline areas of entomology, agronomy, nematology, plant pathology, horticulture, and soil science.

To be considered for the DPM Program First Year Assistantship, the following qualifications are preferred:

1. M.S. degree from one of the DPM discipline departments,

2. A strong letter of interest related to the DPM program, and

3. Letters of recommendation indicating the applicant’s interest in the DPM program.

DPM-specific application questions can be directed to Program Assistant Elena Alyanaya or Program Director Dr. Amanda Hodges.

For full consideration, please submit your application prior to April 1, 2014.

For more DPM updates visit the Doctor of Plant Medicine Blog!

97th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society.

Do not miss your opportunity to submit a symposium or workshop idea for consideration for the 97th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society (August 3rd to the 6th, 2014 at the Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa in Jupiter, Florida). 
Any FES member who would like to organize a symposium or workshop for the annual meeting should e-mail (preferable), phone, or fax, their suggestions to the Program Chair, Dr. Cindy McKenzie by the new deadline: March 31, 2014.

Symposia/workshop organizers are expected to arrange for speakers and moderate their sessions. Speakers should be requested to provide their details (addresses, etc.), title of presentation, and abstract in BOTH English and Spanish. Symposium Chairs will organize and send a finished file of abstracts, etc. to Program Chair. A form will be provided. The Program Committee will assist organizers with equipment needs (projectors, laptops, etc.). However, it is preferable if the organizers arrange for their own equipment needs.

Symposium or Workshop?

A symposium is a session organized around a common theme and is for researchers to inform others of what they are doing.

A workshop is designed to train participants about a specific subject.  Workshops are fee-based and participants can earn credits or CEUs.  Those who do not register and pay for the workshop are NOT supposed to attend.  Workshops have traditionally been on the last day of the meeting because many participants only want to attend that day, and just that workshop.

Exhibitors/Vendors are welcome, and for a fee can set up a booth for all 3 days of the meeting. Two lunch tickets are included.

Call for Paper/Poster Submissions is open / deadline is May 31 – see website for Abstract Submission Forms – Please send all submissions to:

Cindy McKenzie, Ph.D., Research Entomologist, US Horticultural Research Laboratory / ARS-USDA, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945
772.462.5917 office
772.462.5911 lab
772.462.5986 fax

About this Newsletter

return to top
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 and Don Wasik, who built the web page design.