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November 13th, 2014

Faculty and Staff News

The North-Central Florida Turfgrass Field day took place at the Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra, on October 8th. Dr. Billy Crow and his graduate students Sudarshan Aryal and Tina Gu presented their research results to aproximatly 200 stakeholders at the event.

On October 30th, Dr. Billy Crow traveled to Auburn, Alabama, where he presented "Nematode Management on Golf Greens" to the Alabama Turfgrass Association.

Dr. Akito Kawahara was part of the team that published an amazing new find: Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution.

baldwin at santa fe

ABOVE: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Ms. Ruth Brumbaugh representing #UFBugs during Gator Day at Santa Fe where they met with potential transfer students about our degree specializations.

Dr. Lisa Taylor discusses spiders and some of their benefits for IFAS Extension in this great new video.

Entomologists and the Concept of Daylight Saving Time

Dr. Howard Frank has this news to share: Entomologist to thank (or blame) for the concept of daylight saving time. His name was George Vernon Hudson and he was a New Zealander. He proposed two (yes two) extra hours of daylight on summer evenings, perhaps to allow more time for collecting beetles. To his credit, he published in 1934 New Zealand beetles and their larvae: An elementary introduction to the study of our native Coleoptera. With seventeen coloured plates. Wellington; Ferguson and Osborn. 236 pp.

Dan Schmel

ABOVE: Dr. Dan Schmehl was recently hired by Bayer CropScience (Research Triangle Park, NC) as a Scientist II on its Pollinator Safety Team (beginning January 2015). Dan’s primary responsibility will be to conduct pollinator safety evaluations of crop protection products. After receiving his Ph.D. in entomology at Penn State University, Dan began a postdoc (February 2013) in the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Jamie Ellis. His postdoctoral research focused on the impact of pesticides, Varroa mites, and nutrition on honey bee health.

Student and Alumni News

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students in insect costumes

ABOVE: Some creative insect costumes from Dr. Andrea Lucky's class ENY 4161, Insect Classification. From left to right: Teddy Cogley - bed bug, Brooke Borgert - dragonfly, Derek Ferguson - cockroach, Emily Richter - mantis, Marissa Rios - Papilionid caterpillar, Sean Ferguson - house fly.

One of our students Ms. Anita Neal is the director of the UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension Office. With some help from the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Lab (Vero) and some USDA ARS scientists she was busy promoting entomology at the Indian River Lagoon Science Festival! They had several displays: 1) Mosquito Meltdown modeled a science experiment with mosquito larvae and possible experimental controls, tea tree oil versus vegetable oil, 2) Air potato beetle display with Master Gardeners, and 3) hissing cockroach races.

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.

household casebearer

ABOVE: One of the first bugs Lyle learned about when he came to Florida was the household casebearer. As you would figure from the name, the larva lives in a case that it builds, and they are often found in homes and on the outside of buildings. They mainly feed on old spider webs. Usually they are nothing more than a nuisance pest, but since they can feed on woolen products, they do have pest potential. Their case has a hole on each end, so if you watch them closely, you may see the larva retreat from one end, and then poke its head out from the other end.  See our Featured Creatures article if you would like to read more about this insect! 

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: Coming soon to 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 as soon as December 2014.

Burkett-Cadena ND, Bingham AM, Unnasch TR. 2014. Sex-biased avian host use by arbovirus vectors. Royal Society Open Science 1: 140262.

Gillett-Kaufman JL, Allan SA, Bosques-Mendez JH, Buss LJ. 2014. Pests and fungal organisms identified on olives (Olea europaea) in Florida. University of Florida EDIS- Electronic Data Information Source. Extension Publication No. IN 1046.

Gillett-Kaufman JL, Allan SA, Bosques-Mendez JH, Buss LJ. 2014. Plagas y hongos identificados en olivos (Olea europea) en Florida. University of Florida EDIS- Electronic Data Information Source. Extension Publication No. IN 1052.  

Killiny N, Hajera S, Tiwari S, Gowda S, Stelinski LL. 2014. Double stranded RNA uptake through topical application, mediates silencing of five CYP4 genes and suppresses insecticide resistance in Diaphorina citri. PLoS ONE 9(10): e110536.

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. PLoS ONE 9(10): e110874.

New on Featured Creatures:

Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum Koch. Authors: Jeffrey C. Hertz and Phillip E. Kaufman, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

Stained-glass moth, Samea ecclesialis Guenée. Author: James E. Hayden, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Division of Plant Industry.

Tropilaelaps mite, Tropilaelaps spp. Delfinado & Baker. Authors: Ashley N. Mortensen, Sarah Burleson, Gunasegaran Chelliah, Ken Johnson, Daniel R. Schmehl, Jamie D. Ellis, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida.

West Indian flatid planthopper, Melormenis basalis (Walker 1851). Author: Susan E. Halbert, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Division of Plant Industry.

Zombie fly, Apocephalus borealis Brues. Authors: Nicole A. Casuso, Ashley N. Mortensen, and James D. Ellis, 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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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Doctor of Plant Health Program and the University of Florida Doctor of Plant Medicine program (Dr. Amanda Hodges, Director) have co-organized a P-IE Section Symposium for the Entomological Society of America conference in Portland, Oregon.

Title: Entomology- A Foundational Discipline for Integrated Plant Health Training

When: Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

Where: Portland Ballroom 252 (Oregon Convention Center)


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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 October outreach events.

  • 2 October: Presentation at Millhopper Library. Participants: Liam Covey-Shannon, Ashley Egelie, Catherine White
  • 4 October: Petting Zoo at Butterfly Fest. Participants: Natalie Grand'Bois, Stephanie Harrison, Rachel Watson, Liam Covey-Shannon, Ashley Egelie, Catherine White
  • 16 October: Presentation at Rock School Elementary. Participants: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Legacy Terrell, and Johnalyn Gordon
  • 16 October: Petting zoo and games at Cone Park Library. Participants: Madison Goodwin, Rebisi Owhonda, and Catherine White
  • 28 October: Presentation to kindergarten classes at Glen Springs Elementary School. Participants: Legacy Terrell and Catherine White
  • 26 October:  Petting Zoo at the Matheson Museum Fall Festival. Participant: Catherine White
  • 30 October: UF Foundation Associates at Alumni Hall. Participants: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Stefani Harrison, and Catherine White

Upcoming outreach events:

  • 14 November: A Windsor Christian Academy class will be visiting the Department
  • 18 November: Presentation to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders at Idylwild Elementary School

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 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 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.


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Virni Mattson, our grants specialist, reports that from October 1st to October 31st our external funding for all UF Entomology and Nematology faculty (in Gainesville and at RECs) was $569,552.00. This was for 13 new awards or contracts.


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Check out the latest edition of the Florida Melitto Files.

In this Issue:

  • Beekeeper or Pest Control Operator? Understanding the Difference
  • Bee Informed Partnership Activities
  • Robber Bees Take the Honey and Run
  • Winter Management Calendar
  • Operation Pollinator's Ongoing Efforts to Increase Pollinator Habitat
  • What Was That Buzz in West Palm Beach? Florida State Beekeepers Association 94th Annual Fall Convention
  • Native Bee Conservation in Hawaii
  • SAVE THE DATES! 2015 HBREL Extension Calendar

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.