January 2006

Faculty News

At the faculty meeting in early January, a vote was taken on Dr. Jaret Daniels for the combined Lepidopterist position (Department of Entomology and Nematology, and the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera). This position has a 60% research, 20% extension and 20% teaching assignment. The search committee recommended that Dr. Daniels be hired as an assistant professor in Entomology at the McGuire Center. A faculty vote was taken and the recommendation was approved. Dr. Capinera stated that though this is a 12-month appointment, Dr. Daniels has to generate one month of his salary. Dr. Capinera also said that he expects this requirement to become more common in the future.

The committee on the Apiculture/Youth Programs position met and selected a list of the top three applicants. Dr. John Capinera noted the list has several senior people who applied for this entry-level assistant professor position. He said that he will ensure those listed realize this is an entry position and that we cannot hire at a higher level. There is no negotiation on this point. Dr. Glenn Hall, research apiculturist, asked about a candidate who was not selected by the committee but who he felt should also be interviewed due to that applicants's field experience with the Africanized honey bee. After some discussion the faculty voted to include the additional candidate in the evaluation process.

Staff News

During April 2006, Dr. Khuong B. Nguyen will teach Insect Parasitic Nematode Taxonomy, Soil Nematology, and help write a nematode text book at the Department of Entomology, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Student News

Some advice for students planning their studies to ensure there is a job waiting when they graduate. The December issue of the American Association of Retired Persons Bulletin states at the bottom of page six, "81% of the entomologists at the USDA Forest Service are expected to retire by 2007." However, a discussion with Dr. John Foltz, our forest entomologist, suggests this percentage may be overstated.

Graduate student Jennifer Zaspel received The President's Prize for her First Place ranking in the ESA's Section A (Systematics), Student Competition. Her paper was titled "A preliminary phylogeny of the vampire moths and their fruit piercing relatives (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)." Congratulations!

Graduate student Jason Meyer received the Herlong Endowed Graduate Scholarship Award, $5,000 over two years, from UF in appreciation of his research which benefits the citrus industry.

Graduate student James Dunford designed an "Entomology 101" t-shirt for Atlas Screen Printing in Gainesville and donated the $200 he received for the design to the Entomology and Nematology Student Organization (ENSO). The shirts were sold at the Entomological Society of America Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, 15-18 December. Additional shirts are available in the front office for $15. All proceeds go to ENSO.

Dan Sonke, a graduate assistant with the IPM Florida program who worked out of our department, received his Doctor of Plant Medicine degree. He soon starts work as technical and scientific coordinator for Protected Harvest in California, which certifies crops as grown using IPM and sustainable techniques.

Graduate student Veronica Manrique visited Curitiba, Brazil, during 1-10 December to work with Dr. Henrique Pedrosa of the University Federal do Parana. Her purpose was to collect the sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi, a potential biological control agent of Brazilian peppertree, at different sites around Curitiba. Sawfly pupae will be shipped to the quarantine laboratory in Fort Pierce for further studies.

Seminar Series - Spring 2006

This semester's seminar coordinators are Seth Bybee, James Dunford, Luis Matos, Murugesan Rangasamy and Jennifer Zaspel. Seminars begin at 3:45 p.m. in room 1031, Entomology and Nematology (Bldg. 970).

1/19 - New graduate student introduction

1/26 - Dr. Gary Steck, FDACS-DPI, "All Taxon Biological Inventory of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park."

2/2 - Dr. Michael Goodisman, Georgia Institute of Technology, "Evolution and development in social insects."

2/9 - Dr. Peter Stiling, University of South Florida, "The effects of salinity on top-down and bottom-up processes in salt marsh insect communities."

2/16 - Dr. Kathryn Barbara, U.S. Navy Disease Vector and Ecology Control Center, "Worldwide Entomology: An Overview of Entomology in the Navy."

2/23 - Dr. James Nation, University of Florida, "Tips for writing and publishing scientific papers."

3/2 - Dr. Xuguo Zhou, University of Florida, "What can we learn from the termite gut, the most efficient bioreactor on the planet?"

3/9 - Dr. Neil Haskell, St. Joseph's College, "The Maggots Will Tell the Tale."

3/16 - Spring Break

3/23 - Dr. Ring T. Cardé, University of California, "From moths to mosquitoes to honeybees: How the structure of odor plumes mediates odor detection and orientation."

3/30 - Dr. Nora Underwood, Florida State University, "The effects of variance in plant quality on insect herbivore population dynamics."

4/6 - Dr. Claudia Husseneder, Louisiana State University, "Bugs in Bugs: Symbiosis in the termite gut."

4/13 - Dr. James Lloyd, University of Florida, "Firefly Natural History and Intrusive Light."

McGuire Center Seminars

The McGuire Center Seminar Series is held Tuesdays in room 233 on the second floor. Lunch is served at noon and the seminar begins at 12:15.

01/17 - Christopher Wheat, "Functional Genomics Research on Butterflies."

01/24 - Charles V. Covell, Jr., "Project Ponceanus and Early Work on Butterfly Conservation in Florida."

01/31 - Dr. Thomas C. Emmel and Voara Randrianasolo, "Biodiversity and Conservation in Madagascar."


Mayfield AE. (November 2005). Cypress weevil, Eudociminus mannerheimii (Boheman). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-360. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/beetles/cypress_weevil.htm

Baldwin RW, Fasulo TR. 2005. Cockroaches. UF/IFAS SW 184. CD-ROM. (see http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/fasulo/pests/software/det_roaches.htm)

Alto BW, Lounibos LP, Higgs S, Juliano SA. 2005. Larval competition differentially affects arbovirus infection in Aedes mosquitoes. Ecology 86: 3279-3288.

Alto BW, Yanoviak SP, Lounibos LP, Drake BG. 2005. Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on water chemistry and mosquito growth under competitive conditions in container habitats. Florida Entomologist 88: 372-382.

Wiggers MS, Pratt PD, Tipping PW, Welbourn C, Cuda JP. 2005. Within plant distribution and diversity of mites associated with Schinus terebinthifolius (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), an invasive plant of Florida, USA. Environmental Entomology 34: 953-962.

Williams DA, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Hughes CR. 2005. Chloroplast and microsatellite DNA diversity reveal the introduction history of Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) in Florida. Molecular Ecology 14: 3643-3656.

Dunford JC, Somma LA, Serrano D. 2006. Earwigflies in the Great Smokies. Southeastern Biology 53: 27-29. [journal request to reprint article from 2005 ATBI Quarterly 6: 1]

Qiu L, Hu X, Hou Y, Ei S, Nguyen KB, Pang Y. 2005. Steinernema akhursti n. sp. (Nematoda: Steinernematidae) from Yunan, China. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 90: 151-160.

Qiu L, Hu X, Zhou Y, Pang Y, Nguyen KB. 2005. Steinernema beddingi n. sp. (Nematoda: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from Yunan, China. Nematology 7: 737-749.

Nguyen KB, Tesfamariam M, Gozel U, Gaugler R, Adams BJ. 2005. Steinernema yirgalemense n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) from Ethiopia. Nematology 6: 839-856.

Qiu L, Yan X, Nguyen KB, Pang Y. 2005. Steinernema aciari n. sp. (Nematoda: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from Guangdong, China. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 88: 58-69.

Qiu L, Fang YU, Zhou Y, Pang Y, Nguyen KB. 2004. Steinernema guangdongense n. sp. (Nematoda: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from southern China with a note on S. serratum (nomen nudum). Zootaxa 704: 1-20 (see http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2004f/zt00704.pdf)

Nguyen KB, Shapiro-Ilan DI, Stuart RJ, McCoy CW, James RR, Adams BJ. 2004. Heterorhabditis mexicana n. sp. (Heterorhabditidae: Rhabditida) from Tamaulipas, Mexico, with morphological studies of bursa of Heterorhabditis spp. Nematology 6: 231-244.

Tarver MR, Shade RE, Tarver RD, Liang Y, Krishnamurthi G, Pittendrigh BR, Murdock LL. 2006. Use of micro-CAT scans to understand cowpea seed resistance to Callosobruchus maculatus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 118: 33-39. (See http://www.entm.purdue.edu/pittendrigh_lab/catscan.html)

Meyer JL, Hoy MA, Jeyaprakash A. 2005. Insertion of a yeast metallothionein gene into the model insect Drosophila melanogaster (Diptera: Drosophilidae) to assess the potential for its use in genetic improvement programs with natural enemies. Biological Control 36: 129-138.

Meetings and Presentations

Graduate student Bobbie Jo Davis presented the following poster at the ESA meeting in Fort Lauderdale, 15-18 December: "Effect of solasodine on feeding behavior and oviposition of Anthonomus tenebrosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a potential biological control agent of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum." Co-authors were Drs. Julio Medal, Jim Cuda, and Frank Slansky, Jr.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to the Hydrilla Management Workshop in Orlando, 6-7 December. The workshop, sponsored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, was designed to assist the agency in developing new strategies for managing the submersed aquatic weed hydrilla that recently developed herbicide resistance.

Dr. Eileen Buss and graduate students Cara Congdon and Olga Kostromytska presented talks and a poster at the ESA meeting. Dr. Buss was invited to speak on "Advances in southern chinch bug IPM" in the Developing Ecosystem-oriented Approaches for Managing Turfgrass and Ornamental Pests Symposium. Congdon's talk was titled "Mass rearing methods for the southern chinch bug," and Kostromytska's poster was titled "Biology and management of Tomarus subtropicus in warm season turfgrass."

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to participate in a National Invasive Aquatic Plants Workshop in La Jolla, California, 14-15 December. Participants of the workshop, co-sponsored by the California Departments of Food & Agriculture and Fish & Game, Portland State University, and the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, were charged with developing research priorities for invasive submersed aquatic plants in the United States. Cuda chaired the Biological Control Working Group, which included researchers from Washington, California, Minnesota, and Mississippi.

Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt were invited to participate in the Symposium "Weed Biological Control in Natural Areas" during the ESA Meeting. Cuda's talk was "Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius, in Florida: A Retrospective and Prospective Analysis" was presented by Overholt. Cuda was co-author on Overholt's presentation "Genetic Diversity of Brazilian pepper and its Implications for Biological Control."

Drs. Marc Branham, Paul Goldstein and Jackie Miller co-organized and moderated the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Entomological Collections Network held 14-15 December in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Dr. James P. Cuda delivered two PowerPoint presentations at the National Aquatic Invasive Plants Workshop in La Jolla, California, 14-15 December. The titles were "Biological Control of Aquatic Weeds: Current Status and Future Prospects," and "Biological Control of Aquatic Weeds: Critical Assessment of Research Needs."

Dr. Marc Branham, graduate student James Dunford, and Dr. Daniel Young presented the poster "The Vanishing Immature Insects Course" at the ESA meeting.

At the ESA meeting, graduate student Onour E. Moeri presentated the poster "Evaluating the F1 sterile insect technique for field host range testing of the Brazilian peppertree natural enemy Episimus utilis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)." Co-authors included James P. Cuda, William A. Overholt, Stephanie Bloem and James E. Carpenter.

Graduate student Veronica Manrique presented a poster at the ESA Meeting titled "Greenhouse evaluation of the performance of Heteroperreyia hubrichi on Brazilian peppertree growing under different salinity and soil moisture conditions." Co-authors are Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt.

Graduate student Gino Nearns, of Dr. Marc Branham's Lab, presented an invited talk on "Preliminary findings into the morphology and systematics of Curiini (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)" at the Symposium on the Systematics and Faunistics of Cerambycidae, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Graduate students Seth Bybee and Jennifer Zaspel, both from Dr. Marc Branham's lab, presented talks at the ESA meeting. Bybee's talk was "Toward a phylogeny of Holodonata: getting down and dirty with the fossil record and missing data," while Zaspel's talk was "A preliminary phylogeny of the vampire moths and their fruit piercing relatives (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)." Jennifer Zaspel received The President's Prize for her First Place ranking in the Section A (Systematics), Student Competition. Congratulations!

Dr. Marc Branham, Jennifer Zaspel, Seth Bybee, Gino Nearns and Kyle Beucke, attended a two day "Phylogenetics Symposium and Workshop" held at The Ohio State University. An international group of leading researchers in systematics spoke on cladistic analysis and demonstrated their software. Representatives from systematics labs from across the eastern U.S. attended.

On 6 December, Dr. Amanda C. Hodges attended the annual meeting of the Georgia Turfgrass Association and gave three presentations: "Mission of the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN)," "Quality and Secure Sample Submission," and "Emerging Exotic Arthropod Pests for the Georgia Landscape."

Dr. Amanda Hodges spoke on "The National Plant Diagnostic Network's Efforts to Enhance Taxonomic Training in Entomology" at the ESA meeting on 18 December.

Dr. Amanda Hodges co-organized a symposium titled "The Role of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) and Land Grant University Cooperative Extension Service in Promoting the Early Detection of Exotic Pests" at the ESA meeting. Other organizers of the symposium included Drs. Susan Ratcliffe (North Central IPM Center), Steve Toth (Southern Region IPM Center), and Kenneth Sorensen (NC State). Attendance at the symposium ranged between 35 and 55 participants.

Drs. Amanda Hodges, Eileen Buss, Lance Osborne, and Jennifer Gillett co-organized a statewide video conference on chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis, on 13 December. Presentations were given by Drs. Joe Funderburk, Lance Osborne and Dak Seal of the University of Florida and Mr. Richard Clark of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. The presentations are available on the SPDN chilli thrips page at http://spdn.ifas.ufl.edu/Chillithrips.htm. Approximately 45 participants at 15 locations attended the training. Two out-of-state locations, Texas and Louisiana, were accommodated. Attendees consisted of 13 county extension agents, one Master Gardener, six industry personnel, four FDACS-DPI employees, two USDA-APHIS-PPQ employees, two out-of-state extension specialists, and 17 general UF/IFAS faculty or staff employees. Feedback from the training was extremely positive.


The Florida Entomological Society awarded $200 grants for travel to the national ESA meeting to the following students: Alejandro Arevalo, Rebecca Baldwin, Cara Congdon, Kirphton Fray, David Melius, Jason Meyer, Onour Moeri, Amit Sethi and Joseph Smith.

Dr. Eileen Buss and Dr. Laurie Trenholm (Environmental Horticulture) received $6,346 from the Florida Turfgrass Association (FTGA) for their proposal "Effect of nitrogen fertilization on southern chinch bug population dynamics."

Dr. Eileen Buss received $13,895 from the FTGA to support a project that Ta-I Huang, her new Master's student, will work on. Ta-I Huang will investigate the billbug species complex and its seasonality and management in Florida.

Beetle Workshop

On 22-25 May, 2006, the SPDN will hold an intensive Coleoptera taxonomic workshop on Cerambycidae, Scolytinae, and Chrysomelidae beetles in Blacksburg, VA. Visit the Coleoptera Workshop Web site at http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/coleoptera/ for more information. One of the speakers will be UF/IFAS graduate student Gino Nearns. Enrollment space is limited. If you have questions regarding the workshop, contact Dr. Amanda Hodges at achodges@ufl.edu.

Softball Team

Get in shape for those summer field collecting trips. Join the Entomology and Nematology softball team this spring semester. Students, faculty, staff and spouses are all eligible to play intramural softball. Send e-mail to Jennifer Meyer at jsteill4@ufl.edu by 23 January to let her know if you are interested and which position you would like to play. The team needs at least five males and five females to have a team, but the more teammates the better. There will be one game a week at the same time each week for four weeks and one bye, then playoffs. Each game is limited to just 60 minutes.

LIFE in the Department

The December 9th issue covers insect communication, the Apopka termite training facility, the UF Medieval Bugge Faire, and Ph.D. student Jim Dunford receiving the Jack Fry Excellence in Teaching Award.

The December 23rd issue covers the activities of our medical entomologists and their students, and four of our students (Rebecca Baldwin, Emily Saarinen, Amit Sethi, and Jennifer Zaspel) who were honored by the ESA with their selection for The President's Prize standing at the recent national conference.

The January 6th issue reviews some of the events of 2005, as well as firefly pupation, new students, and other topics.

Mike Sanford edits this photographic journal of our department, located at http://life.ifas.ufl.edu/index.html.

Featured Creatures

There are now over 360 Featured Creatures publications online or undergoing review. During 2005, the Featured Creatures Web site recorded 2,015,031 distinct visitors and 3,865,511 page views. A distinct visitor is anyone who enters the site for any length of time, and who is only counted again if inactive (as in stepped out for lunch, took a nap at their desk, etc.) for 30 minutes. See http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/.

The Top 20 Featured Creatures for 2005, based on distinct visitors, were: brown recluse spider (80,124), house fly (50,656), lovebug (41,223), bed bug (41,214), German cockroach (34,458), lady beetles (32,297), common house spider (27,982), southern house spider (27,393), hornets and yellowjackets (25,659), black flies (23,592), red imported fire ant (21,988), cat flea (21,663), deer fly (20,810), brown garden snail (20,358), European earwig (17,935), American cockroach (17,038), brown dog tick (16,129), carpenter bees (14,355), land planarians (13,629), deer tick (11,958), soil nematodes (12,713).

Roach Approach

When Noah loaded the Ark he took two of every species. Fortunately or not, depending on your perspective, he also took along two cockroaches. Now a company is producing DVD movies that tell the story of the Ark, and other adventures, from a cockroach perspective. For more details see http://www.wackyworld.tv/roach/.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. 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 http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/, which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors and prepare the print version for distribution.

During the last twelve months, the newsletter Web site recorded 42,640 distinct visitors and 73,849 page views.

January 2006.