ENTOMOLOGY and NEMATOLOGY NEWS
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January 10th, 2018

graduates

ABOVE: Some of our Ph.D. grads from December: Dr. Kevin Langdon, Dr. Eutychus Kariuki, Dr. Ashley Mortensen,Dr. Chase Kimmel, Dr. Morgan Byron (DPM), and Dr. Lawrence Reeves.

Faculty and Staff News

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A note from Dr. Siegfried

I hope that everyone had a safe and restful winter break. I have always looked forward to winter break but get anxious to return to work when I am away for too long. The cold weather in Nebraska and Pennsylvania, where most of my family resides, has made me especially grateful for my decision to not travel over break.  

Many positive things have happened in the last year (e.g., ground-breaking for the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, five new faculty joined the department, and a number of significant recognitions were received by our faculty). Another important event was the recent contribution from Judy and Fred Donaldson to support student scholarships. 

Fred Donaldson graduated in 1959 majoring in Entomology.

ABOVE: Fred Donaldson graduated in 1959 majoring in Entomology. He was first employed by the State Plant Board (now the Division of Plant Industry) as a laboratory technician working primarily in identification of plant parasitic nematodes. After six years of laboratory work, in 1966 he decided to go into the farm pesticide business. He worked for a number of companies before he joined the Bayer Agricultural Chemical Company, where he worked in Louisiana and Mississippi for 25 years. Fred retired in 1999 and returned to his family farm near Waldo, FL. After Fred’s passing in June of last year, we were contacted by his wife, Judy, about their wish to support the department. 

I clearly remember seeing the plaques outside our classroom during my interview and was impressed by the number of scholarships that we award to our students. Visitors from other departments both on- and off- campus, have expressed envy of these scholarships, and we are extremely fortunate to have generous donors. The Donaldson’s are the latest example of this generosity that I hope will some day, require another wall to display the students that are supported.

Happy New Year,
~Dr. Blair Siegfried

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.

Dr. James P. Cuda was selected by the Southern Region IPM Center to receive the 2017 Friends of IPM Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to individuals in recognition of achievement and involvement in the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) during their professional career. The award recognizes Dr. Cuda’s contributions to IPM implementation in Florida and beyond and his leadership in the IPM community for several decades. The award ceremony will be held at either the 2018 SEB-ESA meeting in Orlando, FL or the 9th International IPM Symposium in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Adam Dale was selected to receive the 2018 Friends of Southern Region IPM - Future Leader Award, which is awarded annually by the USDA-NIFA Southern IPM Center. Dr. Dale will be presented with the award at the ESA Southeastern Branch meeting in Orlando, FL in March.

Dr. Jennifer Weeks was selected to participate in the Roche Teaching Scholars Program. Dr. Weeks is one of seven faculty members from across CALS selected to participate in the inaugural class of the Roche Teaching Scholars Program, a competitive academic fellowship geared toward toward enhancing the learning experience for CALS students by developing dynamic teaching leaders. As part of the program, Dr. Weeks will will engage in a year-long program that includes professional development sessions, course development and a department-level project. 

Dr. Gregg Nuessly recently traveled to the World Food Prize meetings in Iowa as part of an IFAS team that rallied international attention to the threat of the fall armyworm in Africa. Dr. Payne published this column on the importance of Dr. Nuessly’s work.

Dr. Virendra Gupta, a retired professor from our department, died on December 24th in Gainesville at the age of 85.

Student and Alumni News

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Last December the following students graduated from the Department!

Ph.D. students: Dr. Eutychus Kariuki, Dr. Chase Kimmel, Dr. Kevin Langdon, Dr. Ashley Mortensen, Dr. Elena Ortiz, Dr. Lawrence Reeves, and Dr. Kylie Zirbel.

MS students: Lisbeth Espinoza, Ryan Fessenden, Dana Johnson, Zulaikha Mazlan, Ariane McCorquodale, and Darren Van Steenwyk.

BS students: Katherine Arguez, Rebecca Perry, Tyler Shaw, Gabrielle Steele, and Joshua Ore.

We are very proud of our graduates!

Kubra Khan, an undergraduate student from Dr. Adam Wong's lab, was selected as the UF Emerging Scholar and will receive a generous scholarship to support her research for two semesters.

Matthew Borden, DPM and M.S. graduate student in the Dale Lab, was selected to receive a 2018 Florida Fertilizer and Agrochemical Association (FFAA) graduate student scholarship in the amount of $2,500.

On December 20th, Oliver Keller gave an online presentation about general entomology and fireflies to 4th graders in Tuckerton, NJ via a new outreach initiative called Skype a Scientist.

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.

This beauty is Graminorthezia tillandsiae, the spanish moss orthezia. It is a scale insect in the family Ortheziidae. Unlike many scales, these orthezids have long legs and are quite mobile. Females produce an ovisac that can be much longer than their body.

ABOVE: How many bugs can you name that feed on Spanish moss? This beauty is Graminorthezia tillandsiae, the spanish moss orthezia. It is a scale insect in the family Ortheziidae. Unlike many scales, these orthezids have long legs and are quite mobile.  Females produce an ovisac that can be much longer than their body.

Need insect images? 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. Tesfa Mengistu.

Publications

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Akyazi R, Ueckermann EA, Liburd OE. 2017. New report of Brevipalpus yothersi (Prostigmata:Tenuipalpidae) on blueberry in Florida. Florida Entomologist 100: 731-739.

Barden P, Boudinot B, Lucky A. 2017. Where fossils dare and males matter: Combined morphological and molecular analysis untangles the evolutionary history of the spider ant genus Leptomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Dolichoderinae). Invertebrate Systematics 31: 765-780.

Cuda JP. 2017. Biological control of weeds: Update. ECISMA Newsletter 7: 2-3.

Lietzenmayer LB, Wagner JD. 2017. Effects of nectar feeding on cannibalism in striped lynx spiderlings Oxyopes salticus (Araneae: Oxyopidae). Journal of Arachnology 45: 356-360.

Menocal O, Cruz LF, Kendra PE, Crane JH, Ploetz RC, Carrillo D. 2017. Rearing Xyleborus volvulus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on media containing sawdust from avocado or silkbay, with or without Raffaelea lauricola (Ophiostomatales: Ophiostomataceae). Environmental Entomology 46: 1275-1283.

Mevers E, Chouvenc T, Su NY, Clardy J. 2017. Chemical interaction among termite-associated microbes. Journal of Chemical Ecology 43: 1078-1085.

Ray HA, Stuhl CJ, Gillett-Kaufman JL. 2018. Floral fragrance analysis of Prosthechea cochleata (Orchidaceae), an endangered native, epiphytic orchid in Florida. Plant Signaling and Behavior https://doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2017.1422461

Sourakov A, St. Laurent RA, Dexter K, Doll C. 2017. Experimental evidence for polyphenism in Automeris io (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) in north Florida. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 27(2): 117-119.

Sourakov A, recently co-authored “The Book of Caterpillars. A life-size guide to six hundred species from around the world.” (James DJ, editor). 2017. University of Chicago Press. 656pp.

New on Featured Creatures:

Cattail mosquito, Coquillettidia perturbans (Walker). Authors: Lethia R. Johnson,  James P. Cuda, and Nathan Burkett-Cadena.

Fiery skipper, Hylephila phyleus (Drury). Authors: Taryn B. Griffith and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman.

Forked fungus beetle, Bolitotherus cornutus (Panzer). Authors: Ummat Somjee and Andrea Lucky.

Soybean looper, Chrysodeixis includens (Walker). Authors: Ethan Carter and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman.

South American fruit fly, Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann). Authors: Vanessa Simões Dias 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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The University of Florida’s School of Structural Fumigation was held at the Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C. during November 13th to the 17th, 2017. The now semiannual Fume School provides classroom, laboratory, and field training for pest control professionals who wish to supervise or conduct fumigations of buildings and goods against various pest infestations.  Since its inception, the Fume School has been attended by 1,255 students. This remains the only school of its kind in the world, and the school’s 29th anniversary had another full attendance of 60 students (below). A supplementary session of the fume school will take place in February 2018.

he latest Fume School class included students from Florida, New York, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago California.

ABOVE: The latest Fume School class included students from Florida, New York, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago and California. The school yielded a 93% passing rate for students who opted to take the Florida State certification exams in fumigation. Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn, Dr. Bill Kern, Dr. Thomas Chouvenc and Renny Perez coordinate the school which brings expert instruction from manufacturers (Bayer, Douglas, Drexel, Ensystex), suppliers (Cardinal, Univar), fumigators (Dead Bug Edwards and Emory Brantley & Sons), regulators (FLDACS), Florida Department of Transportation, USDA, and Certified Pest Control Operators of Florida.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgThis month three members of the Miller Lab (Dr. Christine Miller, Dr. Pablo Allen, and Zachary Emberts) headed to San Francisco, California to present their research at the 2018 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting. Dr. Miller presented on “Bug battles: previous experience with females affects male contest escalation and outcomes,” Dr. Allen presented on “Adaptive plasticity and genetic differences in mouthpart length across a broad landscape in a cactus-feeding bug,” and Zachary presented on “Losing a leg up on the competition: consequences of losing a sexually-selected weapon.”

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgOn December 7th, Dr. Billy Crow and several other turfgrass faculty hosted the Central Florida Sports Turf Managers for a field day at PSREU in Citra.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpg

An international group of mosquito ecologists convened December 8th and 9th in Fort Pierce for a Workshop on Mosquito Ecology and Evolution

ABOVE: An international group of mosquito ecologists convened December 8th and 9th in Fort Pierce for a Workshop on Mosquito Ecology and Evolution to discuss recent developments and future directions in the field and to commemorate the career of Distinguished Professor L. Phil Lounibos, who recently retired from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL). The workshop, sponsored by the FMEL, was held at the Indian River Research and Education Center and was attended by over 80 top researchers in the field.

Outreach

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From the Outreach Coordinator

Here are our events from December:

  • December 4th – STEM Night at Stephen Foster Elementary – Nicholas Martin
  • December 12th – Healthy Learning Academy – Madison Gibbony and Laurel Lietzenmayer
  • December 14th – Fort White Elementary – Sara Alvarez, Laurel Lietzenmayer, and Eleanor Phillips

Upcoming Events

  • January 18th – Science Night at Littlewood Elementary
  • January 20th – 4-H Insectathon at Steinmetz Hall
  • January 23rd – Alachua County eSchool
  • January 26th – Putnam County 4-H

Undergraduate Sara Alvarez showing off a Madagascar hissing cockroach to 4th graders at Fort White Elementary.


ABOVE:
Undergraduate Sara Alvarez showing off a Madagascar hissing cockroach to 4th graders at Fort White Elementary.

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 — Laurel Lietzenmayer, 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 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.

Grants

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Dr. Brian Bahder received a $5,000 grant from the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association to develop a digital PCR assay for detecting phytoplasma in insect salivary glands.

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2010-2012/images/divider.jpgDr. Thomas Chouvenc (FLREC) was one of the recipients of the 2018 UF/IFAS Early Career Scientist Seed Fund ($49,916), to evaluate control methods against the Asian subterranean termites in the south Florida urban tree canopy. 

Announcements

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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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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 seventh 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.

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.