August 2006

Faculty News

Dr. Koon-Hui Wang, assistant research nematologist, received the William Boright Hewitt and Maybelle Ellen Ball Hewitt Award from The American Phytopathological Society (APS) during the society's meeting in Quebec City, on 1 August. This award recognizes a scientist, within five years of receiving his or her Ph.D. degree, who has made an outstanding, innovative contribution toward the control of plant disease.

Born in Malaysia, Dr. Wang received her degrees in Taiwan and Hawaii before beginning her postdoctoral research in our department. Her research focuses on the integrated management of soil-borne pest problems, including nematodes, fungi and weeds. Her main focus and strength is integration of multiple tactics including soil solarization, cover crops, organic amendments, plant resistance and biological control as alternatives to methyl bromide. The most impressive feature of her work is that her efforts are integrated into the larger context of soil and plant health management. She emphasizes that nutrient cycling by free-living nematodes benefits plants by improving nutrient uptake and plant health. Dr. Wang made significant progress in understanding the ecological conditions and use of organic amendments for stimulating natural enemies of nematodes. She served APS as chair of the Nematology Committee, organized a nematology symposium at the 2005 meeting and co-organized another at the 2004 meeting. Finally, Dr. Wang organized and taught a course on nematode biological control in our department. [Summarized from the award text.]

On 7 August, Dr. James (Jamie) Ellis joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor specializing in honey bee extension and research. His appointment is 70% extension, 20% research, and 10% instruction. Jamie will also serve as the department's Outreach Coordinator. His extension efforts will focus primarily on honey bee husbandry, Africanized honey bees, and entomologically based youth programs. His research emphases will include investigating 1) techniques to improve honey bee management, 2) honey bee behavioral ecology, and 3) colony maladies. Dr. Ellis received his B.S. degree in biology from the University of Georgia (UGA), followed by his doctoral degree in entomology from Rhodes University in South Africa. He came to UF from a postdoctoral position at UGA. He is joined by his wife Amanda who is completing her Ph.D. in entomology at UGA

Dr. Oscar Liburd was elected Vice President of the Florida Entomological Society (FES) at its annual meeting last month.

Dr. James Nation received the FES Achievement Award for Teaching.

Dr. Brian Cabrera received the FES Achievement Award for Extension

Dr. Norman Leppla received the FES Entomologist of the Year Award.

Mr. Patrick Conant of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Hilo, visited Dr. James P. Cuda's laboratory on 27 June. The HDOA and UF are collaborating on biological control of Brazilian peppertree.

Dr. James P. Cuda and graduate student Onour Moeri were invited to tour the laboratory of Dr. James Carpenter at the USDA, ARS Crop Protection and Management Research Unit in Tifton, GA, on 13 July. The laboratory currently is conducting research on the sterile insect technique for suppressing the invasive cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum in the southeastern United States.

Staff News

After working for the department for 35 years, Dr. Bob Hemenway will retire 31 August. Over the years he reared and/or observed mole crickets, ground beetles, parasitic flies, various predacious and plant-feeding bugs, house crickets, mealworms, and several other insects. Bob was originally supervised by the late Dr. Will Whitcomb. Senior faculty and staff members will understand why this was a memorable experience. Since 1985, Dr. Hemenway has worked with Dr. Howard Frank, with distinction, as neither ever got steamed at the other. He has no definite retirement plans but is seriously considering moving back to Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Student News

Graduate students Amit Sethi and Jennifer Zaspel received $500 Scholarships from the Florida Entomological Society at its recent annual meeting.

A number of our students participated in the paper competitions at the FES meetings.

In the Ph.D. student competition, Karla Addesso, Joseph Smith and Amit Sethi took 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Awards.

In the M.S. student competition, Jeff Hertz, Hou-Feng Li and Teresia Nyoike, took 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Awards.

Alumni News

At the FES meeting, Dr. Marco Toapanta (Ph.D. 2001) of Bayer CropScience and an adjunct assistant professor of the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research & Education Center, at Balm, FL, presented a paper co-authored by Dr. Dave Schuster on "Oberon: a new resistance management tool for whitefly control in vegetables."


Vazquez C, Buss EA. (July 2006). Southern chinch bug feeding impact on St. Augustinegrass growth under different irrigation regimes. Applied Turfgrass Science.

Barbara KA, Buss EA. 2006. Augmentative applications of Steinernema scapterisci (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) for mole cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) control on golf courses. Florida Entomologist 89: 257-262.

Denmark HA, Welbourn WC, Fasulo TR. (July 2006). Southern red mite, Oligonychus ilicis (McGregor). Featured Creatures. EENY-376.

Denmark HA. (July 2006). A false spider mite, Brevipalpus californicus (Banks). Featured Creatures. EENY-384.

Weems HV. (July 2006). A picture-winged fly, Delphinia picta (Fabricius). Featured Creatures. EENY-380.

Nearns EH, Branham MA, Bybee SM. 2006. Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) types of the Fernando de Zayas Collection, Havana, Cuba. Zootaxa 1270: 1-17.

Nearns EH, Ray AM. 2006. A new species of Curius Newman (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) from Venezuela with notes on sexual dimorphism within the genus. Zootaxa 1256: 49-57.

Howard FW, Gallo S, Steinberg B. (July 2006). Mahogany webworm, Macalla thyrsisalis Walker. Featured Creatures. EENY-383.

Howard FW, Gallo S, Steinberg B. (July 2006). El gusano tejedor de la caoba, Macalla thyrsisalis Walker. Featured Creatures. EENY-385.

Denmark HA, Fasulo TR. (July 2006). Red and black flat mite, Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes). Featured Creatures. EENY-381.

Woodruff RE. (July 2006). Cactus weevils, Gerstaeckeria spp. Featured Creatures. EENY-382.

Gillett JL, Hodges AC, Thomas RK. (July 2006). Videoconferencing (Polycom) distance education. EDIS. IPM-142.

Cuda JP, Medal JC, Pedrosa-Macedo JH, Overholt WA. 2006. Request for field release of a nonindigenous sawfly Heteroperryia hubrichi (Hymenoptera: Pergidae) for classical biological control of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae), in Florida. TAG petition 06-05, APHIS PPQ. 55 pp.

Cuda JP. 2006. Pilot release of a non-indigenous sawfly, Heteroperreyia hubrichi (Hymenoptera: Pergidae), for biological control of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae), in Florida. Draft Environmental Assessment, APHIS PPQ. 65 pp.

Moeri O, Cuda JP. 2006. Biocontrol of Brazilian peppertree with Episimus utilis: an innovative application of F1 sterility for field host range testing. UF School of Natural Resources and Environment, Min-Grant Programs Annual Report. pp. 9-17.

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Jaret C. Daniels presented the paper "Ecology and population biology of Florida's endangered Miami blue butterfly" at the annual meeting of the Lepidopterists' Society held in Gainesville, 14-18 June.

Dr. Jaret Daniels presented the paper "Citizen science through compound eyes: the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network" at the Lepidopterists' Society Educational Workshop in Gainesville, 13 June.

Dr. Phil Kaufman participated in the 50th Annual Livestock Insect Workers Conference (LIWC) in Amarillo, TX, 24-28 June, 2006. He moderated the Beef Cattle session and serves on the LIWC advisory council.

Drs. Lance Osborne, Phil Stansly and Dave Schuster participated in a symposium on "Biotype Q of the sweetpotato whitefly: an emerging threat to Florida vegetable and ornamental crops" at the recent FES annual meeting. Dr. Osborne discussed "What is Biotype Q and where did it come from?," Dr. Stansly discussed "Prospects for biological control of Biotype Q," and Dr. Schuster summarized "Insecticide resistance in Biotype Q."

Dr. Tom Sanford, retired apiculturist, attended the recent Eastern Apicultural Society meeting in Young Harris, Georgia. He reported that a copy of Thomas Fasulo's article on Africanized bees, "Yanks, Rebs & Bees: how to be safe in the field," that appeared in the May 2006 issue of The Civil War Times was prominently posted.

Dr. Jim Nation attended the 22nd Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE) in Barcelona, Spain, 15-19 July. About 200 participants met in the Biology Department of the University of Barcelona. The program was well organized, and papers covered a wide range of topics. Barcelona is a beautiful city with interesting museums, parks, and a striking harbor on the Mediterranean Sea. At least four of the scientists at the meeting, including Jim, lost their wallets to pickpocket artists. Jim was accompanied by his wife, Dorothy, and an adult daughter, and after the meeting, Jim and Dorothy flew to Zurich, Switzerland, and enjoyed sightseeing for a week in the area where they had spent a sabbatical in 1983. Most of Europe was experiencing a heat wave and drought. Jim reports that it was about as hot in Barcelona and Switzerland as here in Gainesville, and Barcelona has received no rain since February. The next ISCE meeting is scheduled for July, 2007, in Jena, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute.

During a joint meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Canadian Phytopathological Society, and the Mycological Society of America, 29 July - 2 August in Quebec City, Canada, the following posters were presented:

DPM student Denise Thomas, Dr. R. J. McGovern, Dr. Norm Leppla, and DPM student T. Durham - "The new University of Florida's certificate in plant pest risk assessment and management."

Drs. Jennnifer Gillett and Norm Leppla - "IPM Florida building through partnerships: the UF, IFAS statewide IPM program."

At the same meeting, Drs. Jennifer Gillett and J.W. Kimbrough gave the presentation and abstract - "A modified method to visualize infection sites of spores of Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogen on the citrus root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus.

Dr. Mike Scharf, Dr. Joe Zhou, and graduate students Matt Tarver, Caitlin Buckspan and Margaret Schwinghammer recently attended the 15th congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, held 29 July - 4 August, in Washington, DC. At the meeting, Dr. Scharf presented an invited symposium paper on molecular influences of juvenile hormone on Reticulitermes spp., while Dr. Zhou and Matt Tarver (respectively) presented posters on termite cellulase genomics and soldier-derived semiochemicals. Highlights of their meeting included participation in the first meeting of the international termite genome consortium, hearing talks by Dr. Edward O. Wilson, and a sushi dinner with the Miura lab from Hokkaido University.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to participate in an Environmental Science Workshop for middle school teachers on 21 June sponsored by UF's Center for Precollegiate Education and Training. Cuda gave a presentation on biological control of invasive plants and participated in a hands-on laboratory showcasing biocontrol agents of the aquatic plants alligatorweed, water hyacinth, water lettuce and hydrilla.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended a quarterly Board of Directors meeting of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council held at the Palm Beach County Extension Office, 28 June. Cuda, who is the current chair of the Brazilian peppertree Task Force, provide an updated on current research and extension activities.

At the FES meeting, Dr. James P. Cuda organized and chaired a meeting of the ad hoc Committee on Managing Invasive Species. He also gave a presentation on "Brazilian peppertree leaflet galling psyllid Calophya terebinthifollii (Hemiptera: Psyllidae): Field host range and impact studies," and was a co-author on a presentation about lovebugs by Dr. Norm Leppla.

Mona St. Val, an undergraduate SEAGEP student who spent the summer working in Dr. Cuda's laboratory, gave a presentation on her research project at UF's Particle Engineering Research Center on 28 July. Mona's presentation was "Testing of the biorational compound Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki on the Brazilian peppertree natural enemy Episimus utilis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)."

The following papers were presented in the student paper competitions at the FES meeting:

"Economic injury level and description of the damage inflicted by flower thrips, Frankliniella spp. in early-season blueberries," by H. Alejandro Arevalo and Dr. O.E. Liburd.

"Evaluation of trap design and color to improve grape root borer (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) monitoring," by Craig Roubos, Dr. O.E. Liburd, and S. Weihman.

"Effect of timed releases of Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor) in controlling the twospotted spider mite in strawberries," by Aimee Fraulo and Dr. O.E. Liburd.

"Effect of living and synthetic mulches with and without a reduced-risk insecticide for the control of whiteflies and aphids in cucurbit," by Teresia Nyoike and Dr. O.E. Liburd.


Dr. Jaret C. Daniels received a $18,400 grant from Disney's Wildlife Conservation Fund for work on the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network. See .

Drs. Mike Scharf (PI) and Xuguo Zhou (co-PI) successfully competed for a grant in the USDA-NRI Genomics of Arthropods and Nematodes program. They received $370,000 for the project "Soldier-derived semiochemicals in termites: templates for prototype termiticides that act via caste disruption," which will run from 12/01/06 through 11/30/09.

Dr. Mike Scharf received a gift of $50,000 from DuPont to fund research to develop tools for monitoring indoxacarb susceptibility and resistance evolution in German cockroach field populations.

Dr. Phil Kaufman received a $627,000 grant from the U.S. Army's Deployed War Fighters Protection Program to identify new insecticides for management of medically important Diptera. Drs. Jerry Butler, Professor Emeritus, and Peter Perkins, Courtesy Faculty, are consultants on the project. The grant is funded over a three year period.

Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt received a three year grant for $124,000 from the EPA to survey for natural enemies of the aquatic weed Hygrophila polysperma (Acanthaceae) in India. Hygrophila is a rooted submersed or emersed aquatic plant of shallow water areas and saturated shorelines in Florida that is causing serious problems in many locations formerly occupied by hydrilla.

The Florida Entomological Society provided Mini- and Travel Grants to the following graduate students:

$100 Mini-Grants: Karla Addesso, Kaushalya Amarasekare, Alejandro Arevalo, Jeff Hertz, Olga Kostromytska, Jason Meyer, Teresia Nyoike, Murugesan Rangasamy, Amit Sethi and Joseph Smith.

$100 Travel Grants: Karla Addesso, Alejandro Arevalo, Jeff Hertz, Olga Kostromytska, Teresia Nyoike, Craig Roubos, Amit Sethi, and Joseph Smith.

Florida Butterfly Festival

Plan to attend the Florida Butterfly Festival at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera Study on 14-15 October. Actually, events begin on Thursday and continue all weekend: movies, presentations, tours, field trips, dances, contests and more for butterfly lovers of all ages. See for a complete listing.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. You can send news to him at Issues are published the middle of each month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Building 970. UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at , which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors and prepare the print version for distribution. Andrew Puckett and Thomas Fasulo code the HTML version.

During the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 50,672 distinct visitors and 89,096 page views. In addition, visitors downloaded 3,950 PDF files during January-July 2006.

August 2006.