November 2004

Faculty News

Dr. Frank Slansky's Cuterebra bot fly Web site ( and photos were recently featured on two other Web sites: 1) An article by Bill Hilton Jr. titled "Holey Squirrels", which comprised the 15-21 September 2004 topic for "This Week at Hilton Pond." This is the weekly e-newsletter of the Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in York, SC, at Bill was a coauthor with Slansky on a 2003 publication titled "Distribution of the bot fly Cuterebra emasculator (Diptera: Cuterebridae) in South Carolina". (J. Urban & Agric. Entomol. 20: 82-91); 2) An article by Sherry Kughn titled "Squirrels with Barnacles" in the Jacksonville State University (Alabama) News at

Dr. Xuguo "Joe" Zhou recently joined the department as a post-doc working with Drs. Mike Scharf and Faith Oi. Joe received his BS and MS from Beijing Agricultural College and China Agricultural University, respectively, in entomology and insect toxicology. In 2002, Joe received his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in insect biochemistry and toxicology, working under Prof. Blair Siegfried. After one-year as a post-doc at Purdue University working on termite molecular biology, Joe came to UF to join Mike Scharf, who also recently moved to UF from Purdue. Joe is currently working on functional characterization of termite genes involved in caste differentiation, and on cellulase genes/proteins from termites and their endosymbiotic fauna. Joe is joined by his wife Dr. Lan Kong. Lan holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is responsible for the recently completed renovations to the Insect Toxicology Web site at Joe and Lan are also expecting a new addition to their family this November!

Dr. James Cuda was invited by Dr. Steve Lapointe, President of the Florida Entomological Society, to Chair the Society's Committee on Managing Invasive Species that was previously Chaired by Dr. Norman Leppla.

Student News

Members of an industry advisory committee, that the department had established, told us they used the Web to look at C.V.s of prospective employees. The committee included representatives of government and private organizations, major corporations, consulting firms and other entities interested in hiring our graduates. They then asked why our students did not have their C.V.s online. This was in 1995! As of October 2004, only three out of 100 graduate students currently listed on our departmental Web site ( have C.V.s posted online. Possibly the rest either already have jobs or do not want to interrupt their studies by going to job interviews until the week before graduation.

Speaking of graduate students, UF/IFAS released data, for Fall 2004, showing that our department has the highest number of graduate students in the college.

At the last faculty meeting a provisional motion was passed that requires all students to take the Biology GRE and rank in the 25 percentile. Students must take the exam in their first semester or before they come to UF. If they do not reach the 25 percentile they must take it again as soon as it is offered. Students must take the test and have 25 percentile before taking qualifying exams. The motion is provisional as campus faculty felt that center faculty should be consulted and asked to vote on this issue. The issue will be discussed at the next faculty meeting on December 9th at 1:00 pm.

Alumni News

Dr. Mirian Medina Hay-Roe, of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, was selected for the 2005 Edition of the Who'sWho in America. In addition, her BBC interview on the Talking Butterflies (see the August 2004 issue) aired on November 4th (


Serrano D, Foltz JL. (October 2004). Yellowstriped oakworm, Anisota peigleri (Riotte). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-335.

Tipping C, Mizell III RF. (October 2004). Sharpshooters. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-334.

Martin CG, Cuda JP, Awadzi KD, Medal JC, Habeck DH, Pedrosa-Macedo JH. 2004. Biology and laboratory rearing of Episimus utilis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), a candidate for classical biological control of Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae) in Florida. Environ. Entomol. 33: 1351-1361.

Medal J, Ohashi D, Gandolfo D, McKay F, Cuda J. 2004. Risk assessment of Gratiana boliviana (Chrysomelidae), a potential biocontrol agent of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum (Solanaceae) in the USA. pp. 292-296. In Cullen JM, et al. (eds.). Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, April 27-May 2, 2003. Canberra, Australia.

Medal J. 2004. Perspectives on biological control of invasive plants in Latin-America. pp. 425-427. In Cullen JM, et al. (eds.). Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, April 27-May 2, 2003. Canberra, Australia.

Liburd OE, Finn EM. 2004. Small fruit pests and their management. In Capinera JL (ed.), Encyclopedia of Entomology. Vol. 3. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrect, The Netherlands. Pages 2013-2029.

Liburd OE. 2004. Host volatile compounds for monitoring blueberry maggot fly. In Forney CF, Eaton LJ (eds). Proceedings of the 9th North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers Conference. Food Products Press, Inc, New York. Pages 307-312.

Fasulo TR. 2004. History and Insects. In Capinera JL (ed.), Encyclopedia of Entomology. Vol. 2. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrect, The Netherlands. Pages 1076-1090.

Fall Entomology Seminars

Remaining seminars are:

11/18 - Dr. Stephen M. Ferkovich (ARS-USDA, Gainesville). "Improvement of artificial diets for beneficial insects with host-derived factors and insect cell lines."

12/02 - Dr. Dave Carlson (ARS-USDA Gainesville). "Chemotaxonomy of insects using surface hydrocarbons."


Dr. James Cuda was awarded a $1,000 travel grant from IFAS International Programs. The grant will be used for travel in Paraguay to survey for natural enemies of Brazilian peppertree.

Frank Wessels and Dr. James Cuda were awarded a grant for $1,860 from the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's Invasive Plant Research Program to study the dispersal ecology of the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum (Myrtaceae), in Florida.

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. James Cuda was an invited speaker for the 2004-2005 Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Park's Natural History Speaker Series held in St. Petersburg, FL, 12 October. Cuda gave a presentation entitled, "Classical biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Florida: An update."

Dr. James Cuda attended the Annual Meeting of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society held in Deerfield Beach, FL, 18-20 October. Cuda moderated one of the paper sessions and delivered two presentations titled, "Can Leaf Defoliators be Effective Biocontrol Agents of Brazilian Peppertree?" that was co-authored by graduate student Lucy Treadwell; and, "Where did Brazilian Peppertree Come From?", which was co-authored by Dr. Bill Overholt, Dean Williams and Colin Hughes.

Dr. Russ Mizell organized and hosted a Wood Borer Workshop in Orlando, November 4-5. Attending from Gainesville were Drs. Eileen Buss and John Foltz and graduate students David Serrano, John Leavengood, Michael Merida, and Samantha Pink. Speakers included UF alumni Drs. Bob Haack and Will Hudson. Also present were alumni Drs. Helena Puche and Chris Tipping.

Dr. Oscar Liburd gave a presentation at the fall blueberry meeting titled "Research update on insect pest management in blueberries." Approximately 75 growers, extension personnel and agricultural consultants attended the meeting.

Neat Bugs!

Dr. John Capinera is pleased to report that Russell Hill of Pensacola, FL, donated 15 Cornell drawers of exotic insects (from Africa, Near East, and Europe). Another such donation by Mr. Hill is planned. These are very nice display items (Oh-my or Gee-whiz specimens) which are to remain in the Entomology-Nematology building. They are locked in a cabinet in room 2216, and if you want to view them or put them on display for visitors or students, you can obtain the key from Myrna. Please do not take them out of the building as they are valuable specimens and will not withstand transport.

This room also contains a set of Riker mounts containing domestic and exotic butterflies (a previous donation from another source). Those of you needing gee-whiz display items may borrow the Riker mounts (they are in the wood wall cabinets), as they hold up well to handling; but let Myrna know if you remove them, and please return them promptly.

Buy Me Some Peanuts...

The Flycatchers, our department's intramural co-ed softball team, entered the playoffs with a winning record (3-1) and defeated the Black Sox on 1 November to advance to the second round. Unfortunately, the Flycatchers were eliminated from the playoffs in a valiant but losing effort against Where's Matt O on 9 November. To advance to the second round of the playoffs was remarkable in light of the fact that our team had little experience playing together as a unit and rarely practiced. Wait till next year! Congratulations to Dr. Jim Cuda, Trey Deller, Aissa Doumbouya, Jim Dunford, Collin Hickey, Crystal Kelts, Jennifer Meyer, Sonja Peters, Dr. Malcolm Sanford, Harry Scheulen, and Gisette Seferina.

Bug Quote

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write a sonnet, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - from Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlein

5,000 Acres

Scott Mitchell is the director of the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center, at Silver River State Park, just east of Ocala. The Center consists of a wonderful Florida natural history and historical museum, classrooms (with full time instructors), research library, and a large Cracker Village. Monday through Friday, the Center hosts 4th and 7th grade classes from the Marion County School District. The center is open to the public on weekends; the park all week. Like all state parks, there is an admission fee.

The 5,000 acre park includes ten distinct ecological communities, including sandhill, scrub, oak, hammock, swamp and flood plain forests, as well as the beautiful Silver River itself. Scott is interested in cooperating with UF departments and can make areas available for research. Faculty can contact him at with proposals for using park resources.

On November 13-14, the park hosts its annual Ocali Country Cracker Days from 9am-4pm. The Cracker Village is the focal point for demonstrations of bygone skills from numerous living history reenactors representing all periods in Florida's history. The park site is available at See Tom Fasulo for a brochure of the event.

sniff... sniff... Woof !

It is said that you are addicted to the Web if your pet has its own Web site. However, if your pet is a major source of your income and a working stiff like yourself, then this may not be true. The department's latest Web site is Termite Detecting Canines at The content managers are Dr. Philip Koehler and graduate students David Melius and Justin Saunders. The Webmaster/designer is Thomas Fasulo.

Featured Creatures

This popular UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology and FDACS Division of Plant Industry Web site is available at New files are added every month and older files are updated as information becomes available. Looking for some exposure for you and your favorite creature? During the last 12 months, the Featured Creatures Web site recorded 1,376,103 distinct visitors and 2,751,776 page views.

New text and/or photographs were added to proturans, Formosan subterranean termite.

In addition to images, some Featured Creatures also include video. Ph.D. student John Warner was the first author to include video in some of his ant articles. Dr. Chris Tipping recently added video of a proturan walking and exhibiting defensive behavior to the article he wrote when he was a Ph.D. student, and his new sharpshooter article includes videos of sharpshooters depositing eggs, brochosomes and excreting waste.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Please send submissions to him at Issues are published about the middle of each month. Items for each month's issue should be sent no later then the 7th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Building 970. A notice is sent to all those on the UF-Bugnews-l listserv when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at , which contains instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the listserv. Andy Koehler does the coding for the HTML version.

During the last twelve months, the newsletter Web site recorded 33,906 distinct visitors and 59,128 page views. The newsletter listserv has 236 subscribers.

November 2004.