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Friday August 21th, 2020

Faculty and Staff News

In late July 2020, Dr. James E. Lloyd, professor emeritus of the University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department, passed away. Dr. Lloyd was a gifted educator, respected scientist, and the author of, A Naturalist’s Long Walk Among Shadows: of North American Photuris. Completed in 2017, this book is the culmination of his life’s work studying fireflies and it is filled with historic photographs and species he described. Below, is a picture of Dr. Lloyd in his office next to a stack of original print copies of his book. After this picture was taken, Dr. Lloyd graciously gifted the photographer (Norm) one of these original copies. Completed in 2017, this book is the culmination of his life’s work studying fireflies and it is filled with historic photographs and species he described. This book is dedicated to his beloved wife, Dorothy, and to the original or naturalized Floridians, Marc Branham, Tom Walker, John Sivinski, and Sandy Fairchild.

Dr. Lloyd

ABOVE: Dr. Lloyd in his office with copies of his book, A Naturalist’s Long Walk Among Shadows: of North American Photuris, behind him. He made his work available online at  http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/lloyd/firefly/Lloyd_2018.pdf. Photo taken by: Norm Leppla.

"Professor Lloyd was one of the elite biologists of his time, being a friend and respected colleague of E. O. Wilson, Ernst Myer, Thomas Eisner, Archie Carr and many other notable scholars who frequently visited him in Gainesville. I was thrilled and somewhat intimidated when Jim invited me to one of their private receptions. At the time, striving to be a behavioral ecologist, I organized a symposium, Sociobiology of Sex, at the 1978 meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Southeastern Branch and invited Jim to be a presenter. Everyone was reading E. O. Wilson’s Sociobiology that was published in 1975. The symposium papers were published in the Florida Entomologist and I have a photograph of Jim down on his elbows and knees beside the highway to Cedar Key taking the reprint cover photograph of lubber grasshoppers. Jim enjoyed our symposium, so together we initiated a series on behavioral ecology that he organized and led for six years at annual meetings of the Florida Entomological Society (https://journals.flvc.org/flaent/issue/view/2758).

Jim was an inspiring educator both in and outside of the classroom. I recall passing the window of his classroom and being captivated by the student’s enthusiasm in conducting exercises on firefly communication and related insect behavior. When Patch Adams, the eccentric physician, heard that Jim could communicate with fireflies he talked him into attending one of his unconventional gatherings as an honored guest. The gatherings were depicted in the 1998 movie about Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. Every summer, Jim drove his camper up the East Coast to New York, stopping along the way to collect fireflies and share his stories about their behavior, featuring the “femme fatale” Photuris species. Carol, my wife, and I were honored for Jim to include a stop in Annapolis, Maryland to visit us on his annual migrations. One year, he arrived when we were having a neighborhood party on our deck overlooking Saltworks Creek. He began talking about fireflies and soon everyone was gathered in a circle around him, enthralled with his stories and completely oblivious to the setting and the food! Jim was naturally charismatic and totally consumed by his entomological activities. This made him seem reclusive at times but he was loved by all who knew him."

-Dr. Norm Leppla

Dr. Ronald Cave sitting at a desk, wins U.K. Royal Entomological society award!

ABOVE: Dr. Ronald Cave, director at Indian River Research & Education Center, wins U.K. Royal Entomological society award! Dr. Cave and his co-author, Dr. Brett C. Ratcliffe, professor and curator of insects at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, are career colleagues who gather and compile data on the Western Hemispheres’ species of dynastine scarab beetles, also known as rhinoceros beetles and Hercules beetles, and sometimes identify species new to science. Cave and Ratcliffe will be honored for their work, “Neotropical Dynastinae Monograph Series,” by members of the Royal Entomological Society at the next International Congress of Entomology, currently scheduled for July 2021 in Helsinki, Finland.

image: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

"In our first effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department, the Entomology and Nematology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee distributed a climate survey that was accessible electronically for the month of July. Approximately, 120 members of the department, including students, staff, post-docs, and faculty from Gainesville and RECs participated in the survey and provided valuable input that will help direct the DEI committee’s efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Nearly every survey respondent said they value diversity and believe that diversity improves the academic and social dynamics of our department. Overall, the climate survey results tell us that most people in the department feel welcomed, supported, and included. However, we must recognize and remember that most of the people in the department, and in society, are not those who often feel excluded, unwelcomed, or judged. Our data are not balanced. It is our duty as a committee, and the duty of each member of our department, to recognize this imbalance and make efforts to include and support individuals within under-represented groups. The survey results have given us specific direction. We have identified weaknesses, issues, and oversights within the department that can and will be addressed. Encouragingly, there are already changes in motion from the university and department that will address several concerns expressed by many survey respondents. For example, annual anti-racism training will soon be required by UF for all faculty, staff, and students, and we will provide clear and accessible guidelines to all members of the department for reporting instances of discrimination or harassment to HR. The DEI committee also welcomes feedback and input on how to improve the department’s climate and will provide a mechanism for doing so anonymously through a suggestion box that will be available on the upcoming DEI webpage, among other resources. Our next steps are to welcome new undergraduate, graduate, and DPM student representatives to the committee and dig deeper into the survey data to identify additional targeted action items. We are encouraged by the level of participation in the survey and the enthusiasm for positive change expressed by individuals in the department. To those who completed the climate survey and have felt unheard in the past, we hear you and are committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive environment."

Respectfully, Adam Dale

Student and Alumni News

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We are proud of our Summer 2020 graduates!

Earning a PhD this summer are:
Natasha Agramonte,
Lauren Cirino,
Alexandros Dritsoulas,
Babu Panthi,
Casey Parker,
Patricia Prade,
Michael Vickers, and
Rebecca Zimler.

Our graduating MS students are:
Victoria Adeleye,
Rachel Atchison,
Jessica Awad,
Andrew Branch,
Samantha Gallagher,
Michelle Gregory,
Lidia Komondy,
Sean McKay,
Matthew Miller,
Emily Noordyke,
Rebecca Perry,
Matthew Pileggi,
Gabriella Steele, and
Sarah Steele Cabrera.

Graduating with a BS degree are:
Jessica Martin, and
Zach O’Shea.

Rebecca Perry, graduate student in Dr. Adam Dale’s Lab, successfully defended her MS thesis titled, "Investigating the effects of plant diversity and nutrients on drivers of monarch fitness and abundance" on July 14th. Congratulations Becca!

image: Sang-Bin's headshot.

ABOVE: Sang-Bin Lee, Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Nan-Yao Su’s Lab at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, received the Shripat Kamble Urban Entomology Graduate Student Award from the Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) section in the Entomological Society of America! Sing-Bin’s research is focused on the foraging and task allocation behaviors of Formosan subterranean termites. Way to go Sang-Bin!

Kristin Sloyer, a Ph.D. candidate working at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, received the MUVE student travel Award! Kristin is interested in medical entomology and studies a variety of taxa including black flies, biting midges, and mosquitoes. Congratulations Kristin!

Jayshree Patel is a Ph.D. student working with Dr. Nan-Yao Su. Jayshree received the MUVE student travel Award! Jayshree’s research focuses on understanding the biological characteristics of the hybrid termites of two invasive species, Coptotermes formosanus and Coptotermes gestroi, relative to their damaging potential. Congratulations Jayshree!

Tse-Yu Chen, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Chelsea Smartt's lab at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, reiceived the the MUVE student travel Award! His research area of interest is the molecular-level interaction between viruses and immune pathways of mosquitoes.

Winners of the MUVE Travel Awards: Kristin Sloyer, Jayshree Patel, and Tse-Yu Chen.

ABOVE: Winners of the MUVE Travel Awards: Kristin Sloyer, Jayshree Patel, and Tse-Yu Chen.

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.

While walking in the UF Natural Area recently, Lyle Buss, a senior biological scientist and the Insect ID Lab manager, found this impressive pine devil caterpillar feeding on a pine tree. You may notice some similarities to its close relative, the hickory horned devil, which is also out now. In the photo on the right, the caterpillar is already 70 mm long!

Pine devil, penultimate instar (left) and last instar (right).
ABOVE: Pine devil, penultimate instar (left) and last instar (right).

If you need insect images for a publication or presentation for your UF/IFAS Extension or teaching work, you can go to this direct link, pictures are copyrighted material and intended for official UF use only. Log onto the website using your Gatorlink credentials.

Lyle Buss is the UF/IFAS 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. Billy Crow.


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Allen PE & Miller CW. 2020. The hidden cost of group living for aggregating juveniles in a sexually dimorphic species. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blaa090

Allan SA, George J, Stelinski LL, Lapointe SL. 2020. Attributes of yellow traps affecting attraction of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Insects. 11, 452. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070452.

Chen XD, Ebert TA, Pelz-Stelinski KS, Stelinski LL. 2020. Fitness costs associated with thiamethoxam and imidacloprid resistance in three field populations of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) from Florida. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 110: 512-520.

Dale AG, Birdsell T, Sidebottom J. 2020. Evaluating the invasive potential of an exotic scale insect associated with annual Christmas tree harvest and distribution in the southeastern U.S. Trees, Forests and People. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2020.100013

Emberts Z, Miller CW, Skojec C, Shepherd R, St. Mary CM. 2020. Leaf-footed bugs possess multiple hidden contrasting color signals, but only one is associated with increased body size. Ecology & Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6468

Jones WB, Kruse JK, Enloe HA, Crow WT. 2020. Effects of pre-planting incorporation or post-planting top-dressing of organic amendments on bermudagrass for tolerance to Belonolaimus longicaudatus. Nematropica 50:59-66.

Lord CC, Lounibos LP, Pohedra JJ, Alto BW. 2020. Effects of mosquito biology on modeled chikungunya virus invasion potential in Florida. Viruses 12(8): 830.

New on Featured Creatures:

Red and black mason wasp, Pachodynerus erynnis (Lepeletier). Authors: Kelly Laplante, Wayne Hobbs, and Adam Dale.

Taro planthopper, Tarophagus colocasiae (Matsumura). Authors: Alexander Tasi, and Adam Dale

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Dr. Adam Dale gave a virtual presentation about sustainable landscape pest management practices for the IFAS Extension Leon County Master Gardener Volunteer program on July 15th.

Dr. Adam Dale recorded two green screen virtual presentations about entomology and integrated pest management at the UF COLT for the IFAS Extension Collegiate Master Gardener Series on July 15th.

Screencapture of Florida First Detector first virtual workshop

ABOVE: Florida First Detector hosted its first virtual workshop on July 16th! Participants learned how to navigate the Distance Diagnostic and Identification Service website, general pest ID, the "murder" hornet, and invasive plant pathogen, Ralstoia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2. The student organizers were Sage Thompson and Shannnon McAmis. Other speakers included Dr. Bill Lester, Dr. Gideon Alake, Morgan Pinkerton, Dr. Amanda Hodges, Jennifer Carr, Trevor Forsberg, Dr. Morgan Byron, Benjamin Waldo and Sarah Tefel.

Dr. Billy Crow presented a webinar titled “Turf Nematology 2020” for TurfNet University on July 20th. It was recorded and can be viewed at https://www.turfnet.com/webinar_archives.html/.

Dr. Billy Crow presented a webinar “Nematicide options that promote turf performance” as part of the Florida Turfgrass Association CEU Roundup on July 29.

Dr. Billy Crow and Dr. Johan Desaeger were panelists on a webinar “Nematodes: the hidden enemy” on July 31st. It was recorded and can be viewed at here: https://tinyurl.com/yy5ej9u2


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No outreach reported this month.

Outreach is a large part of our departments culture and we are looking forward to resuming outreach activities as soon as they can be done safely. Check out our upcoming events under announcements!

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 have any questions, please email me.

Thank you —Clayton Bania, 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!

Use #UFBugs so our department can find and share your social posts easily!

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.


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Dr. Jaret Daniels (PI), Dr. Adam Dale (CoPI), and four others from three UF departments were awarded $85,000 for their UF Research Opportunity Seed Fund proposal titled, "Biodiversity Certified Plants for the Rapidly Expanding Urban Landscape Market."

Want grant writing tips? Check out the UF Libraries Grants Management Program


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Entomology 2020—ESA’s Virtual Annual Meeting is November 11th to the 25th!  (with live-stream content November 16th to the 19th) Abstracts are due August 30th, registration opens September 1st. More at https://www.entsoc.org/events/annual-meeting

The Termite Course for Professionals has been rescheduled for December 2nd to the 4th 2020. https://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/termitepro/.

The Annual UF BugFest Open House has been tentatively rescheduled for October 24th. The undergraduate Entomology Club sponsors this event that brings in 300 to 500 people to learn about the UF Entomology and Nematology Department each year.

Want to stay up to date? Check out our website home page for a link to our Google calendar.

About this Newsletter

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Suzy Rodriguez is the newsletter editor and does the HTML coding. Newsletters usually are published around mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the seventh of the 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 James Brown and Nancy Sanders for reviewing the newsletter for errors, and to Jane Medley and Don Wasik for webpage build and design.

Give Back
Want to support the UF Entomology & Nematology Department? Consider making an online gift today! Questions can be directed to Christy Chiarelli at (352) 392-1975 or ccw@ufl.edu.