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June 18th, 2021

ABOVE:  Mole cricket print from the 1940s, found in storage at Steinmetz Hall. 

Faculty and Staff News

Hidden Treasures Found at Steinmetz Hall

Posters in scolls on table.

ABOVE: Around 105 old posters were found cataloged in five bins in storage at Steinmetz Hall on June 2nd. The posters feature hand-drawn illustrations of insect anatomy and life history. Some of their packaging was dated 1985, while others dated from the 1930s! They are believed to have been used for teaching from the 1930s to the 1960s. If you have any information on who might have drawn these wonderful posters, please email Suzy Rodriguez.

Student and Alumni News

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Dr. Mengyi (Tina) Gu

ABOVE: Dr. Mengyi (Tina) Gu, Ph.D. 2019 with Dr. Crow, got a new job! She is the new Nematologist with the FMC Nematicide Discovery Group in Newark, Delaware. Her new email is Mengyi.gu@fmc.com. Congratulations Tina, we look forward to seeing some great new nematicides from FMC!

Marirose Kuhlman, online Masters student in the Phil Hahn Lab, published a paper about bee communities. Way to go Marirose!

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, UF/IFAS Insect ID Lab manager, has been watching a fireweed (Erechtites hieraciifolius) that popped up in his front yard this spring. Upon taking a closer look, he realized that it was a host for an interesting treehopper called Entylia carinata. The adults have a large notch in their pronotum, and are quite variable in color. The mother was present guarding her nymphs. Constantly photobombing his work were Florida carpenter ants, whom were tending the treehoppers for their honeydew.

Entylia carinata adult and Entylia carinata nymphs and a carpenter ant on Erechtites hieraciifolius.

ABOVE: Entylia carinata adult and Entylia carinata nymphs and a carpenter ant on Erechtites hieraciifolius.

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.

New Publications

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Kim D, DeBriere TJ, Cherukumalli S, White GS, Burkett-Cadena ND. 2021. Infrared light sensors permit rapid recording of wingbeat frequency and bioacoustic species identification of mosquitoes. Scientific Reports. 11:1-9.

Kuhlman MP, Burrows S, Mummey D, Ramsey P, Hahn PG. 2021. Bee communities vary by collection method and flowering richness: implications for understanding patterns in bee community data. Ecological Solutions and Evidence 2:e12071.

Campos M, Hanemaaijer M, Gripkey H, Collier TC, Lee Y, Cornel AJ, Pinto J, Ayala D, Rompão H, Lanzaro GC. 2021. The origin of island populations of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles coluzzii. Communications Biology 4:630.

New on Featured Creatures:

Oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild, 1903), written by Chad L. Cross, Jason L. Williams, and Andrea Lucky.

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

Meetings and Presentations

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Erick J. Rodriguez, doctoral student in the Branham Lab, co-organized and hosted the online meeting of the Tephritidae Diagnostic Group, held on May 19th to the 20th.This meeting provided an opportunity to share and discuss current research on diagnostics of economically important fruit fly species (Diptera: Tephritidae). The 18 members that attended are from the USDA, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina State University, University of Hawaii, University of Idaho, University of Kentucky, and University of Florida.

Dr Ginny Greenway, a postdoc in the Miller Lab, jointly organized a virtual workshop on Professional Development for Animal Behavior Graduate Students, sponsored by the Animal Behavior Society May 27th to the 28th. Over two days, 50 graduate students discussed ways to incorporate Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity practices into their research and ways to create sustainable culturally affirming spaces with several different speakers and a career panel. Over the next year this cohort of students will support each other through peer-mentoring circles introduced during the workshop.

Ashley Morris, Masters student working with Dr. Roberto Pereira, presented her research titled, "The Effect of Ant-Produced Compounds on Microbes", at the National Conference on Urban Entomology on May 24th.

Entomology Education and Outreach News

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Don’t forget the Entomology and Nematology Education and Outreach Program is available and will accommodate to both virtual presentations and approved in person presentations too!

Recent Outreach events:

May 7th Meadowbrook School: Jennifer Standley presented virtually to two groups of 4th and 5th grade classes. She talked about entomology, what entomologists do, and showed off the petting zoo.

Brochures were provided to the United Way for use in the summer survival bags for children ages kindergarten to high school: Thanks to Caitlin Taylor who was able to organize a drop off of these brochures in Ocala.

May 18th Baby Gators visit the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab: Jennifer Standley and Chris Oster suited up the 5 year olds and showed them a live bee hive demo.

May 28th Fort Clarke School: Jennifer Standley and Brett Labella virtually presented to five separate 6th and 7th grade classes on entomology. During the discussions of entomophagy, Jennifer ate live mealworms that made the kids explode into laughter. That led to many questions on what other insects she would eat.

Podcast Recording for Tangerine Learning Center: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin provided some super audio clips on “should we be scared of bugs” and “what do entomologist do”.

June 1st Alachua eSchool: Jennifer Standley virtually presented to two separate 4th and 5th grade classes on entomology.

June 2nd Lake Forest Elementary: Jennifer Standley presented virtually to two separate 4th grade classes on careers in entomology. Here’s to new budding entomologists in the making.

June 2nd Gilchrist 4H Summer Camp: Jennifer Standley showed off the arthropod zoo to the youth campers in person.

June 3rd Orange County Public Schools: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Jennifer Standley, and Sarah Tafel gave two tours to 29 Agricultural students. They showed off the Entomology Department and the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab where they saw a live bee hive demo.

Future Outreach events:
Bug Camp (Entomology Field Camp) June 21-25th: This will be in-person… yes, we said it right IN-PERSON. The Ghost-BUG-sters camp will be a week-long event for youth between the ages of 10-18. Campers will learn all about arthropods with ghostly names, see the ghost ant change colors based on diet, learn why the ghost mantis is not permitted in Florida, search for phantom bugs (stick insects) as they field collect, meet a “Scientist of the Day,” and get started on an insect collection they can submit at the Florida 4-H Insectathon. Campers will receive insect collecting equipment they get to keep. If entomology students wish to volunteer as camp leaders, please speak with Dr. Baldwin to receive a Bug Camp Volunteer Guide and register for mandatory youth conference training.

Entomology on the Go -

What’s better than a live show and tell of some really cool arthropods?! Our live petting zoo consists of: tarantulas, scorpions, vinegaroons, bess beetles, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and native insects, when in season. With a short training program, they are available for you to check out should you be leading an outreach event, even if it is virtual. The critters are always popular with both youth and adults and are used as a tool to expose the public to STEM disciplines. We have large wood and Plexiglas cages for viewing our native orb weaving spiders. There is one travel cage and one larger static cage. We also have activity kits and lesson plans that are available as well. Please be sure to contact us and review the protocol on transportation and handling of the animals. If you lead an outreach event, be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter and we can log all outreach events. Also, note that volunteering to assist with outreach events will count as departmental service for ENSO travel grants. (Please note that some venues require background checks or additional screening.)
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please email us.

Cheers! - Jennifer Standley, Outreach Coordinator.

Jennifer Standley giving a virtual presentation to 4th and 5th grade classes at Meaowbrook School on May 7th.

ABOVE: Jennifer Standley giving a virtual presentation to 4th and 5th grade classes at Meaowbrook School on May 7th.

Students in the hallway in orange tshirts.

ABOVE: Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Sarah Tafel getting ready to take the Orange County Public School students on a tour of the entomology department on June 3rd. Photo credit Jennifer Standley.

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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In May, the Natural Area Teaching Lab was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation to enhance and restore the groundcover in a 1-acre section of the Old-Field near the NATL pavilion. This enhancement project has the potential to increase NATL's aesthetic appeal and its usefulness as a teaching area. If anyone is interested to learn more about the project, wants to volunteer their time, or wishes to get involved some other way, please contact Gage Lapierre at gagemo@ufl.edu. This type of conservation project is very new for us at NATL, and we appreciate any support you can offer.

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


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Ghost-BUG-sters Camp (Entomology Field Camp) June 21-25th: If entomology students wish to volunteer as camp leaders, please speak with Dr. Baldwin. Find out more here.

Tuesday, June 22nd 12:00 -1:15pm EDT - APLU for a Webinar Celebrating Pride Month, a diverse panel of LGBTQ+ public university presidents, a faculty member, and a student leader will reflect on their own journeys in higher education, describe challenges they have faced, and explore the role of allies in affirming their identity.

The ESA annual meeting will take place in Denver, Colorado October 31st to November 3rd. Registration now OPEN!

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 Cody Helmer at (352) 392-1975 or chelmer@ufl.edu.