April 2004

Faculty News

The three-year, non-tenure Toxicology position is filled and Dr. Mike Scharf will join the department on July 1, 2004.

Dr. Marjorie Hoy reports that candidates for the Insect Physiology position will visit the Department during April. Dr. Jeff Fabrick is scheduled for April 12-13, Dr. Dan Hahn on April 19-20, and Dr. Daphne Pham on April 26-27. Interested faculty can visit with the candidates on Mondays between 10 and 11:30 AM. Please call M. Hoy, search committee chair, to request appointments. Students are invited to a luncheon, organized by Jason Meyer and Luis Matos, for each candidate on Mondays. Also, all are invited to the Research Seminars on Monday mornings from 9 to10 AM during these three weeks and to the teaching lectures on Tuesdays from 9:30 to 10:30 AM. Titles of each presentation will be announced.

Dr. Skip Choate reports that the committee on the Lepidoptera Curator Position, to be housed at the new Museum, selected three candidates from six very good applicants. The position is primarily that of a curator, but some teaching requirements are expected with the position. All of the chosen applicants have some teaching experience.

The department received approval to replace the Vet/Med faculty position. Dr. Phil Koehler will form a search committee.

The department also received approval to hire a Youth/Apiculture position, in the next fiscal year, if the UF/IFAS budget is not reduced by the legislature.

New Teaching Lab

The new teaching lab in 3118 is ready for use. In addition to the costs of converting three research labs into one teaching lab, the Dean for Instruction also contributed $130,000 for new microscopes. The lab is fully functional and has an automated screen. A demonstration of the lab's features will be scheduled for faculty and teaching assistants in the future. The entrance door to the lab will be keyed so that any key to the building will open the door. The door to the preparation room will have a separate key. Myrna Litchfield will maintain a sign-out sheet for that key (and access to the designated laptop computer) and the keys to the microscope cabinets. While not designed for lectures and/or seminars, the lab could certainly be used for this when all other conference and seminar rooms were in use. Dr. Capinera suggests that when ordering supplies for teaching a lab, instructors need to include protection paper to keep chemicals from harming table surfaces.


Choate, PM. (March 2004). Florida wrinkled bark beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Rhysodini). http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/choate/rhysodini.htm

Choate, PM. (March 2004). Metallic wood-boring beetles: identification of Florida Chalcophora (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/choate/chalcophora1.htm

Edwards GB. (March 2004). Orb weavers, Neoscona spp. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-316. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/spiders/neoscona.htm

Steck GJ. (March 2004). Bee killers, Mallophora spp. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-315. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/flies/bee_killers.htm


The department nominated Ricky Vazquez for membership in Gamma Sigma Delta, a honor society of the College of Agriculture, due to his scholastic achievement and leadership accomplishments. Gamma Sigma Delta is an elite honorary organization whose membership and alumni include leaders in many fields of agricultural and related sciences, human ecology and natural resources. The society accepted Mr. Vazquez as a member in March, and he will graduate this summer with a M.S. in Entomology under the guidance of Dr. Sanford Porter (USDA). Congratulations!

Meetings and Presentations

At the 2004 American Mosquito Control Association meeting, held in Savannah, Georgia on February 22-26, Aissa Doumbouya reported on - "Sindbis Virus in Two Unlikely Mosquito Species that also Vector North American Encephalitides." - in the Student Presentation Competition. Coauthors included Sandra Allan, Dr. Jonathan Day and Dr. James Maruniak.

Leslie Viguers Rios attended the Florida Medical Entomology Lab Advanced Mosquito Identification and Certification Workshop held at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, in Vero Beach, Florida on March 8-19.

On March 25-26, Andy Rasmussen attended the hosted by the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation spring symposium in New York City. The title of this year's symposium was "Expanding the Ark: The Emerging Science and Practice of Invertebrate Conservation." The title of Andy's poster presentation was "Biodiversity Hot Spots, Exploring Below the Tip of the Iceberg: A Case Study of Caddisfly (Insecta:Trichoptera) Species Diversity in Northern Florida."

Dr. Marjorie Hoy attended the Steering Committee meeting on "Designer Insects" organized by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, March 29, 2004 in Washington, DC. The goal of the meeting was to develop an agenda for a two-day conference on the scientific, ethical and public policy issues surrounding the release of genetically modified insects, which will take place in the fall of 2004 in Washington, DC.

Dr. Michael Rogers, Citrus Research and Education Center, received the 2004 John Henry Comstock Graduate Student award from the Entomological Society of America's north-central branch and will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the society's annual meeting in Salt Lake City this November.

Drs. Robin Stuart, Fahiem El-borai (Citrus Research and Education Center), Phil Stansly (Southwest Florida Research and Education Center), Jorge Peña (Tropical Research and Education Center) and nearly 30 University of Florida/IFAS scientists participated in the International Society of Citriculture (ISC) Xth Congress on February 15-20 in Agadir, Morocco. The meeting included oral and poster presentations, symposia and optional tours to citrus operations, research facilities and cultural sites in Morocco. Their oral and poster presentations were:

Oral: Food Web Involvement in the Regulation of Citrus Pests and Diseases by Entomopathogenic Nematodes Duncan L, El-borai FE.

Oral: Impact of Paenibacillus sp. on the Effectiveness of Entomopathogenic Nematode Steinernema diaprepesi El-Borai FE, Duncan LW, Preston JF, Dunn D.

Oral: Reducing the Risk of Citrus Canker in Florida Through Improved Biological Control of Citrus Leafminer Stansly P, Jaques J, Urbaneja A.

Poster: Diaprepes Root Weevil Management Zones Related to Characteristics of a Sandy Alfisols in Florida Citrus Hong Li, Syvertsen JP, Stuart RJ, McCoy CW, Schumann AW.

Poster: Recovery of Parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae and Trichogrammatidae) Released for Biological Control of Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) in Florida Peña JE, Hall DG, Nguyen R, McCoy CW, Amalin D, Stansly P, Adair R, Lapointe S, Duncan R, Hoyte A.

Poster: Entomopathogenic Nematodes And Biological Control of the Citrus Root Weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus: Virulence of New Strains of Steinernema riobrave Stuart RJ, Shapiro-Ilan DI, James RR, Nguyen KK, McCoy CW.

Posters Posted?

Announce new posters or other displays in Building 970. Send author(s) and title to fasulo@ufl.edu. Include location so interested parties can find them.

Entomology Seminars

4/15 - Dr. Oscar Liburd (University of Florida, Entomology/Nematology) "Developing an IPM program in Small Fruit and Vegetables."

Nematology Seminars

4/12 - Roi Levin "Woody and perennial ornamental plants susceptibility to four Meloidogyne spp."

4/19 - Marisol Davila "Heat units required for Meloidogyne spp. for development."


Dr. Don Dickson and Jon Hamill received a grant from the Florida Tomato Growers Association in the amount of $23,155 for a project titled "Reduction of rates of methyl bromide and Telone C35 through the use of virtually impermeable film technology and its impacts on weeds and nematodes on primary and second cropped vegetables."

Drs. Kris Braman (University of Georgia) and Eileen Buss (UF) received $72,680 from the Southern Regional IPM program for "Optimizing alternative pest management for turfgrass in the Southeast." This research seeks to integrate biocontrol with host plant resistance and alternative pesticide technologies against fall armyworms, southern chinch bugs, and tawny mole crickets.

Dr. Michael Rogers, Citrus Research and Education Center, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) travel grant to attend the XXII International Congress of Entomology scheduled for August 15-21 in Brisbane, Australia.

Alumni News

After a year working on green peach aphids on lupins in the land down under (Oz, a.k.a. Australia), Dr. Yasmin Cardoza is now in Madison, Wisconsin, working on bark-beetle associations with Ophiostomatoid fungi in forest systems. She has a 2 1/2 year postdoctoral research appointment with Dr. Kenneth Raffa in the Department of Entomology there. Dr. Cardoza send her best regards and the URL for her Web site (http://entomology.wisc.edu/~cardoza/) in case she can be of service to her old (?) colleagues at UF.

Outreach Activities

Erika Andersen (M.S. graduate student) is our current Insect Outreach Program Coordinator. You can contact her at 352-392-1901 or UFBugs@ifas.ufl.edu for information and scheduling.

Erika reports below on recent Outreach activities, but first of all, she wishes to thank everyone who helped out with the department's booth at the Florida State Fair in Tampa from February 6-16th.

On February 4th, Rebecca Baldwin, Dr. Carl Barfield, Jennifer Steill and Erika Andersen spoke with undergraduate students considering various career and graduate opportunities at the UF College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Fair. Later that same day, Erika presented a program on insects to about 30 children at the Tower Road Library, Gainesville.

On February 12th, Erika gave another presentation to 3rd through 5th graders at the Mi Casa Su Casa program, Sandhill Elementary in Haines City, FL. Our Outreach personnel usually do not travel that far, but the Mi Casa Su Casa program is a federally funded program for children of low income families and Erika had the opportunity to talk to over 300 children of citrus grove workers.

Although Haines City is about 120 miles south of Gainesville, it was not as far as State College, PA. On February 26-29th, Erika attended a Penn State University teachers' workshop on Integrated Pest Management in Philadelphia, participated in an IPM/entomology outreach at the Science Museum of Harrisburg, and toured and learned about the outreach program (with the BugMobile) at the State College campus.

Other activities included presentations at Lake Forest Elementary School (March 4th), where Erika worked with about 30 1st graders; Lincoln Middle School (also March 4th), with Erika presented to about 100 6th through 7th graders; Cornerstone School (on March 19th), when Jason Meyer and Erika spoke to about 25 1st graders; Gainesville Country Day Preschool (March 24th) where Karla Addesso and Erika visited to about 16 3- to 4-year-olds; and finally (at least for this issue) at the Florida Museum (March 20th) where Jason Meyer and Erika Andersen taught the wonders of arthropods to about 100 6th to 8th graders from Lincoln Middle School.

All this because our department has an assistantship to support a graduate student to do outreach activities. Students (usually a M.S. student) are offered the assistantship, when it becomes vacant, due to their prior experience and statement of purpose in their application. Most receive the assistantship for the course of their degree program (often two years at the Master's level). Sometimes their program limits this. For example, Justin Harbison, the previous Outreach Coordinator, is spending eight months in Africa doing research. In any case, the assistantship is not used as a crutch to support an unfunded student, but is assigned to a student who has shown a real interest and has experience in outreach activities at the undergraduate or graduate level. Erika Anderson, the current Outreach Coordinator, was very active in this area as an undergraduate.

Bug Quote

"It would appear that socialism really works under some circumstances. Karl Marx just had the wrong species." - from Journey to the Ants by Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson

Piled Higher...

PhinisheD is a support group for people who cannot seem to finish their thesis or dissertations. Its Web site is located at http://www.phinished.org/.

Featured Creatures

This popular UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology and FDACS Division of Plant Industry Web site is available at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/. 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 1,259,063 distinct visitors and 2,336,889 page views.

New text and/or photographs were added to the files on: Caribbean crazy ant and fig wax scale.

The Top 10 Featured Creatures (with the most page views) for the first quarter of 2004 were: bed bug (by S. Brooks), house fly (H. Sanchez-Arroyo), brown recluse spider (G.B. Edwards), soil nematodes (R. McSorley), lady beetles (H. Frank / R. Mizell), German cockroach (S. Valles), brown garden snail (G. Dekle / T. Fasulo), common house spider (G.B. Edwards), cat flea (D. Zentko / D. Richman), and the red imported fire ant (L. Collins / R. Scheffrahn).

A recent comment about Featured Creatures: "Featured Creatures is outstanding!" - Dr. Fred Santana, Sarasota County IPM Coordinator

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Please send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published about the middle of each month. Items for each month's issue should be sent no later than the 9th 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 http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/ , which contains instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the listserv. Andy Koehler does the coding for the HTML version.

During March, the newsletter Web site recorded 3,645 distinct visitors and 7,193 page views. The newsletter listserv has 239 subscribers.

April 2004.