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November 14th, 2013

Students in costumes

ABOVE: Some of Dr. Andrea Lucky's ENY 2040 students celebrated Halloween in class with these great insect costumes. From left to right: Luna moth, housefly, cockroach, and monarch butterfly (Michelle Dunbar, Sean Ferguson, Derek Ferguson, and Victoria Miller).

Faculty and Staff News

Remembering Dr. Clay McCoy

Dr. Clayton (Clay) William McCoy Jr., 75, of Winter Park, Florida, passed away October 4th, in Orlando, Florida.  Click here for a full memorial prepared by Dr. Drion G. Boucias.


ABOVE: Dr. Clay McCoy had a long and successful career as a faculty researcher at the University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences’ Citrus Research & Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, Florida. He was the first recipient of the University of Florida’s CREC’s Distinguished Professorship in Research and Education. Clay retired from this position in 2005 after a 33-year career in research and education. Clay’s special areas of focus were integrated pest management (IPM) and the biological control of citrus pests. 

Dr. Oscar Liburd gave an invited presentation (October 12th to the 14th) in the symposium on organic agriculture at the annual global health conference in Dalian, China. His speech was titled: "New developments in sustainable management techniques for spotted wing drosophila in small fruits." Dr. Liburd also moderated the session on organic agriculture. 

Dr. Jaret Daniels is in the news again - Green highways: New strategies to manage roadsides as habitat.

Dr. Cory Stanley-Stahr with the Honey Bee Research and Extension lab helped coordinate the Pollinator Symposium and Annual Meeting of the Orchard Bee Association (OBA) in Kaysville, UT, October 10th to the 12th. At the meeting, Dr. Stanley-Stahr was elected to be secretary of the OBA for the coming year. At the meeting, she presented two talks: "Lethal and sublethal effects of fungicides and adjuvants on Osmia lignaria", and "Introduction to pollination in the U.S."

Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Dr. James P. Cuda were featured on the UF Assistance for Teaching web site. The photo on the web site shows Dr. Cuda and Dr. Baldwin participating in a Scholarly Communications Workshop.

Student and Alumni News

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Alumnus Dr. James Dunford, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center Detachment, was recently recognized by the CDC for his efforts developing an instructional video to track insecticide resistance as well as leading federal interagency projects related to controlling disease-transmitting insects.

M.S. student Chloe Hawkings (at IRREC, Fort Pierce) won second place in the UFIC Global Culture Photo Contest 2013 in the section International Students, Scholars and Employees. Besides being a bug-master, she is an amazing photographer and her photographs can be seen online on Facebook.

Congrats to Maria Cristina Carrasquilla (Ph.D. student at the Florida Medical Entomology Lab) for beeing chosen as one of the 2013 ESA Monsanto Grant recipients. Her bio can be seen on the ESA website.

Garima Kakkar (a student working with Dr. Nan-Yao Su) was selected as one of two people to represent CALS for the Alec Courtelis Award. She will receive recognition as one of our outstanding CALS international students at the UF International Center awards night on Thursday, November 21.

Brooke with her poster

ABOVE: Brooke Cantrell presented a poster at the UF 2013 Graduate Student Research Day on her research project completed this summer with Dr. Emma Weeks in Dr. Phillip Kaufman's laboratory. Brooke's poster was entitled "The use of crack and crevice dust treatments for management of the brown dog tick." Brooke is an undergraduate from Agricultural Operations Management; she completed a UF/IFAS Undergraduate Internship this summer and is now a research volunteer in the department working with Dr. Weeks.

Ms. Julie Baniszewski, an undergraduate honors student in Dr. James P. Cuda’s lab, presented a poster on her research at the 2013 Center for Undergraduate Research Board of Students (CURBS) Symposium held at the Reitz Union on October 21st. The title of the poster, which was co-authored by Dr. Cuda and Dr. Emma Weeks was, "Cold tolerance: improving mass rearing of Cricotopus lebetis, the hydrilla tip miner."

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.



November worm ABOVE: This large worm was found in a swimming pool by homeowners in Orlando.  Worried that it was of health concern, they sent it in for identification. With the help of a parasitologist in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, Lyle learned that it was a thorny-headed worm (Phylum Acanthocephala). The close-up picture (right) shows how it gets this name. It is parasitic in various wild animals, and this specimen was probably washed into the pool in some animal feces. The life cycle of the parasite is complex and includes a stage in an intermediate host, usually a crustacean, which is eaten by the vertebrate host. Human infections are rare.

The picture of the worm by the ruler was taken by Edmund Thralls, UF/IFAS Orange County Extension.

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.

Dr. Soumi Joseph

ABOVE: Welcome to Dr. Soumi Joseph, a new postdoctoral associate in the Nematode Assay Laboratory. Dr. Joseph obtained her Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences and Bioengineering from the University of Ghent and the Catholic University of Leuven, both in Belgium. Her doctoral research focused on the analysis of RNA interference (RNAi) strategies against migratory parasitic nematodes of banana.

As a postdoctoral associate, her research will focus on Pasteuria spp., an ancient facultative parasitic bacterium of nematodes. She is very pleased to be working at UF and is convinced that her time at UF will be both exciting and challenging.

For more information on the Nematode Assay Laboratory, please contact the lab manager Dr. Tesfa Mengistu.


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Crow WT. 2013. Effects of a commercial formulation of Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251 on overseeded bermudagrass infested with Belonolaimus longicaudatus. Journal of Nematology 45: 223-227.

Halbert SE, Miller GL, Ames LM. 2013. The genus Sipha (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in North America. Insecta Mundi 0326: 1-6.

Medal J, Halbert S, Smith T, Santa Cruz A. 2013. Suitability of selected plants to the bean plataspid, Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in no-choice tests. Florida Entomologist 96: 631-633.

Overholt WA, Copeland RS, Halbert SE. 2013. First record of Calophya schini (Hemiptera: Calophyidae) in Ethiopia and Kenya. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science doi: 10.1017/S1742758413000301.

Shen W, Halbert SE, Dickstein E, Manjunath KL,Shimwela MM, van Bruggen AHC. 2013. Occurrence and in-grove distribution of citrus huanglongbing in North Central Florida. Journal of Plant Pathology 95: 361-371.

Stratman KN, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Netherland MD, Wilson PC. 2013. Diversity of Chironomidae (Diptera) associated with hydrilla in Florida. Florida Entomologist 96: 654-657.

New on Featured Creatures:

Cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae Linnaeus. Authors: Harsimran Kaur Gill, Harsh Garg and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman, University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department.

Citrus snow scale, Unaspis citri (Comstock). Authors: Courtney R. Buckley and Amanda C. Hodges, Doctor of Plant Medicine Program, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida

Green orchid bee, Euglossa dilemma Friese. Author: Aaron Mullins, Senior Biological Scientist, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center.

Ladybird beetles, recent immigrants to Florida. Authors: Michael C. Thomas and Orland J. Blanchard, Jr., Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry (FDACS DPI).

Rugose spiraling whitefly, Aleurodicus rugioperculatus Martin. Authors: Vivek Kumar, UF Entomology and Nematology, Cindy L. McKenzie, U.S. Horticulture Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Catharine Mannion, UF Entomology and Nematology, Ian Stocks, FDACS DPI, Trevor Smith, FDACS DPI, and Lance S. Osborne, UF Entomology and Nematology.

Woolly oak aphids. Author: Susan E. Halbert, FDACS DPI.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America

The annual meeting of the Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America (ONTA) was held in La Serena, Chile, from October 20th to the 25th.

University of Florida attendees included:  Dr. Don Dickson, Dr. Billy Crow, Dr. Larry Duncan, and Dr. Fahiem El-Borai Kora

Presentations included:

Crow WT.  New tools for nematode management on turfgrasses in the U.S.A.

Crow WT.  Opportunities and challenges to nematode management on golf course putting greens.

Brito JA, Kaur R, Dickson DW, Breman J. Reproduction of Meloidogyne enterolobii and three other Meloidogyne species on selected potato cultivars.

Dickson DW. Past, present and future of nematode management.

Dickson DW, Vau S, Kutsuwa K, Brito J, Drew A. Sting nematode (Belonolaimus sp.) an emerging pathogen on peanut (Arachis hypogaea) in Florida.

El-Borai FE, Campos-Herrera R, Duncan LW. Mechanisms by which soil pH might modulate the population density of an entomopathogenic nematode.

Honors and Awards:

Dr. Larry Duncan was inaugurated as Vice President of ONTA; he will become the ONTA President at the next meeting.

Dr. Larry Duncan was made an Honorary Member of ONTA, the highest recognition bestowed by the society.

Dr. Don Dickson was given Recognition for Extraordinary Service (AKA, the Monster Nematologist Award) for his 50 years of outstanding service in nematology.

The Honey Bee Research and Extension lab held their Fall UF/IFAS Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) training and exams starting on October 31st at the Washington County Extension Office in Chipley, Florida. A lot happened at the Washington Co. Ext. Office over the three days. This was the first time the UF/IFAS Master Beekeeper Program, the FSBA Convention, and the Panhandle’s Beekeeper Field Day & Trade Show joined together!

Dr. Verena-Ulrike Lietze and Dr. James P. Cuda hosted a booth at the 37th Annual Training Conference of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society (FAPMS), October 15th to 17th in St. Augustine. Two banners and a number of educational items informed FAPMS members on the USDA-funded Hydrilla IPM RAMP research and demonstration project.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the McGuire Center Seminar Series on September 17th.  Cuda gave a presentation titled "Surveys in East Africa for Acrapex sp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a stemboring natural enemy of the invasive cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica."

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited to present a poster at the 40th Annual Natural Areas Conference held in Chicago, IL, October 1st to the 4th. Cuda’s poster was titled, "Biological control of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica): preliminary results of natural enemy surveys in East Africa," and was co-authored by Dr. William Overholt and Dr. Bruno Le Ru.

The North Central Florida Turfgrass Field Day took place on October 9th at the PSREU in Citra. Dr. Billy Crow and graduate students Sudarshan Aryal and Tina Gu presented results from their field trials.

Dr. Billy Crow presented a webinar on “Nematode management on golf course turf” to over 100 participants nationally on October 1st.

Dr. Billy Crow presented his research results with Avid 0.15 EC for management of nematodes on golf greens to Syngenta Lawn and Garden representatives and their distributers in Florida in conjunction with Avid 0.15 EC receiving a 24(c) registration for nematode management on golf course greens in Florida. This was part of a webinar conducted on October 29th.


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#UFBugs Tour and Florida Museum of Natural History Reception

The National Association of Science Writers kicked off their annual conference on November 1st with tours of the Natural Area Teaching Lab (NATL)* and the Department. After a welcome by Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman and time with our zoo animals and Stephanie Stocks, participants were able to choose one of several special topic tours:

1. Insect urban legends and myths with Stephanie Stocks
2. Bees, pollination services and UF Native Buzz with Dr. Cory Stanley-Stahr and Jason Graham
3. The Doctor of Plant Medicine Program with Dr. Amanda Hodges and Carla Burkle
4.  Forensic Entomology with Sue Gruner
5. Citizen science programs with Dr. Andrea Lucky, Sedonia Steininger, Tyler Vitone, Caroline Storer and Craig Bateman
6. Roaches and bedbugs- Urban Lab tour with Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Dr. Phil Koehler

* NATL tours led by Morgan Conn and Amanda Abel.

That evening, at the Florida Museum of Natural History, we had a very successful reception for the conference attendees. During the reception, the Museum had select collections displayed, and all staff and students of the McGuire Center were present to talk to the writers. Approximately 400 people attended, and most of the writers went through the collections that evening.

Here are some tweets and blog posts (Entomology Tour, Pinning Butterflies, McGuire Tour) that resulted from tours of the Department and McGuire Center. 

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker at the 37th Annual Training Conference of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society held in St. Augustine, FL, October 14th to the 17th. Cuda gave a presentation titled, "Combining control tactics to reduce hydrilla biomass," which was co-authored by Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman, Dr. Verena Lietze and Dr. William Overholt.

Graduate students Tina Gu and Richard Baidoo participated in the Nematology booth at the Butterflyfest event on October 19th and 20th. Lary Reeves, Chris Johns, Morgan Conn and Amanda Abel participated at the Butterflyfest by staffing the NATL booth; they also helped represent the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory.

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.

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 from October 1st to October 31st, 2013, we have had 20 new grants or contracts awarded for a total of $1,356,474.00 in external funding for all Entomology & Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs).


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

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.

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 and Don Wasik who built the web page design.