May 2007

Faculty News

The department will interview two candidates for the insect toxicology faculty position. Dr. Michael Scharf will interview on May 29-30, and Dr. Jianguo Tan will interview on May 31-June 1. [NOTE (added May 18th): Dr. Tan withdrew from the interview process in Mid-May, citing his intent to remain at Cornell due to personal and professional reasons.] Each candidate will present two seminars while interviewing, one on teaching and one on research. If you wish to have a 30-minute meeting with either candidate, please contact Pam Howell ( so she can add you to their schedules. Please note that we will schedule a time for "new faculty" to meet as a group with the candidates to provide input on new faculty issues.

Are cell phones responsible for Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder? See what Dr. Jamie Ellis, our apiculturist, says about this theory on the ABC News Video Web site at [Warning, you may have to wade through a commercial or two.] This video was a partial result of an interview Dr. Ellis gave to Good Morning America when they came to his house one night after he posted an article on honey bee colony collapse disorder to our Pest Alert Web site at In the 15 days during April 16-30 that the article was posted, it was viewed 2,259 times.

In late April, Dr. Koon-Hui Wang began working as an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa, in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences. She will be working closely with Entomologists and Nematologists at UH. While at UF, Dr. Wang, originally from Singapore, worked in our department for six years with Dr. Bob McSorley, initially as a post-doc, but later as an Assistant Research Scientist. Dr. Wang was very productive while at UF/IFAS and a list of the publications she authored is at

Dr. Marc Branham visited Thailand in April where he served on the graduate committee (dissertation defense) of Ms. Anchana Thancharoen, Mahidol University, who he co-advises. Ms. Thancharoen did very well on her defense and will graduate this summer. The topic of her dissertation was "The biology and mating behavior of an aquatic firefly species, Luciola aquatilis Thancharoen (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) - implications to the conservation of fireflies."

Dr. James P. Cuda was nominated to serve on the Faculty Academic Council for the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

The Deans approved the formation of the University of Florida Invasive Species Coordinating Council proposed by Drs. Lance Osborne, James Cuda, Charles Jacoby and Ken Langeland. The goal of the Council is to facilitate communication, coordination and collaboration within the University on all aspects of the invasive species problem in Florida.

Staff News

After four years of service, Josh Crews left our departmental Graduate Coordinator's office early this month. Josh graduated from the Department of Architecture and is employed full-time in Jacksonville.

Laura White recently joined our department and fills the position that Josh Crews vacated.

Linda Pedersen joined our department's fiscal team. Linda has responsibility for handling payables, purchase orders and to help Sharon Hoopaugh in many other areas, as she becomes more familiar with our operation.

Student News

Dr. Jason Meyer successfully completed his dissertation defense and graduated May 3. His dissertation was "Microbial associates of the Asian citrus psyllid and its two parasitoids: symbionts and pathogens." The new Dr. Meyer begins a postdoctoral position at Purdue University in June.

Alumni News

Dr. Steve Valles (Ph.D. 1995) was featured in a USDA-ARS news release concerning his work on a virus that controls imported fire ants. The USDA is seeking a marketing partner to commercialize the virus. See the 04/18/07 Pest Alert at for details.

Roxanne Burrus (M.S. 2004), now serving as an officer and entomologist in the U.S. Navy, reports she will be returning to our department this Fall to pursue a Ph.D.

Dr. Juan Manuel Alvarez (Ph.D. 2000) received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor of Entomology at the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences of the University of Idaho.


Cuda JP, Dunford JC, Leavengood JM. 2007. Invertebrate fauna associated with torpedograss Panicum repens (Cyperales: Poaceae), in Lake Okeechobee, Florida, and prospects for biological control. Florida Entomologist 90: 238-248.

Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA. 2007. The mitochondrial genome of the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Arthropoda: Chelicerata: Acari: Phytoseiidae) is unexpectedly large and contains several novel features. Gene 391: 264-274.

Zappala L, Hoy MA, Cave RD. 2007. Interactions between the red imported fire ant, the citrus leafminer, and its parasitoid Ageniaspis citricola (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae): Laboratory and field evaluations. Biocontrol Science and Technology 17: 353-363.

Hall DW, Minno M, Butler JF. (April 2007). Harvester, Feniseca tarquinius (Fabricius). Featured Creatures. EENY-404.

Nguyen SN, Song C Scharf ME. 2007. Toxicity, synergism and neurological effects of novel volatile insecticides to insecticide-susceptible and -resistant Drosophila strains. Journal of Economic Entomology 100: 534-544.

Cuda JP, Fasulo TR, Johnson G, Buss LB. (2007). Beneficial Arthropods - Predators. University of Florida/IFAS. CD-ROM. SW 189.

Dunford JC, Steiner Jr WE. (April 2007). Madagascar beetle, Leichenum canaliculatum variegatum (Klug). Featured Creatures. EENY-399.

Gökçe A, Stelinski LL, Gut LJ, Whalon ME. 2007. Comparative behavioral and EAG responses of female obliquebanded and redbanded leafroller moths (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) to their sex pheromone components. European Journal of Entomology 104: 187-194.

Stelinski LL, Miller JR, Ledebuhr R, Siegert P, Gut LJ. 2007. Season-long mating disruption of Grapholita molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) by one machine application of pheromone in wax drops (SPLAT-OFM). Journal of Pest Science 80: 109-117.

Grissell EE. (April 2007). Zethus mason wasps of Florida. Featured Creatures. EENY-402.

Grissell EE. (April 2007). Eumenes potter wasps of Florida. Featured Creatures. EENY-403.

Gandolfo D, McKay F, Medal JC, Cuda JP. 2007. Open-field host specificity test of Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biological control agent of tropical soda apple (Solanaceae) in the United States. Florida Entomologist 90: 223-228.

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Tom Walker spoke on "Should publishers offer OA?" at the 2007 BioOne Publishers and Partners Meeting, in Alexandria, Virginia, 11 April 2007. He explained how the Florida Entomological Society and the Entomological Society of America generate revenue by offering immediate, free, Web access to all or some of the articles in their journals.

Dr. Marc Branham gave two invited talks during his recent trip to Thailand. His first talk, "The evolution of sexual communication in fireflies," was presented to The Royal Golden Jubilee PhD Congress, VIII, in Pattaya, Thailand. His second talk, same title, was presented to faculty and students at Mahidol University, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Bangkok, Thailand.

Ph.D. student Gaurav Goyal, participated in the 7th Annual CALS Graduate Research symposium held 21 March, where he presented a poster on his research, "Establishing identity of corn silk flies." The poster was co-authored by Drs. Gary J. Steck, DPI, Gregg S. Nuessly and John L. Capinera, UF/IFAS. Goyal also presented this poster at the Graduate Student Council's 2007 Spring Forum, 4 April.

Dr. Mirian Medina Hay-Roe was an invited speaker at the II Conference on Neotropical Lepidoptera hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama, 29 April-4 May. Her presentation was "Behavioral and Ecological Studies in Heliconius Butterflies."

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the XIIth International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds held in La Grande Motte, France, 22-27 April. The Organizing Committee invited Dr. Cuda to give an oral presentation on, "Novel approaches for risk assessment: feasibility studies on temporary reversible releases of biocontrol agents." The presentation was co-authored by Onour Moeri, Dr. Julio Medal, Dr. William Overholt, and Veronica Manrique.

Dr. James Cuda was a co-author on several poster presentations at the XIIth International Weed Biocontrol Symposium, including: "Evaluating the performance of Episimus utilis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) on the invasive Brazilian peppertree in Florida" by Veronica Manrique; "Mass rearing of Callophya terebinthifolii (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) on Brazilian peppertree" by M. D. Vitorino, University of Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil; "Impact of Ischnodemus variegatus (Hemiptera: Blissidae)on the invasive grass Hymenachne amplexicaulis in Florida" by Rodrigo Diaz and Dr. Willam Overholt; "Specificity tests and biology of Gratiana graminea (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae), a potential bpiocontrol agent of Solanum viarum" by M. D. Vitorino and DR. Julio C. Medal; and "Establishment, spread, and initial impacts of Gratiana boliviana (Chrysomelidae) on Solanum viarum in Florida" by Drs. Julio C. Medal, William A Overholt, Phil Stansly, and Lance Osborne.


Ph.D. student Seth Bybee received a $2,500 grant from the Systematics Association and Linnean Society of London ( to travel, sometime this Fall, to The Natural History Museum in London to digitally archive their fossil odonate holdings.

Ph.D. student Gaurav Goyal received a $200 IFAS travel grant to attend the Southeastern Branch meeting of Entomological Society of America, Knoxville, TN, in March.

Dr. James P. Cuda received a $655 2007 Professional Development Mini-grant for practical training in the use of ArcGIS for natural resource applications.

Dr. James Cuda, Dr. Drion Boucias, Thomas Fasulo, Lyle Buss, Ken Gioeli, and Sydney Park-Brown received a $4,500 Mini-Grant from the IFAS Extension's Agriculture and Natural Resources Awareness Initiative. The funds will be used to develop an Image Gallery CD-ROM of parasitoids and pathogens of Florida's Key Arthropod Pests.

Crystal River Preserve

Crystal River Preserve State Park ( is a 27,000 acre coastal preserve located in western Citrus County on the Gulf of Mexico. The Preserve is managed by DEP, Division of Recreation and Parks (DRP). Plant communities found here include estuarine tidal marsh (black needle rush dominated), tidal swamp (mangrove), marsh prairie hammock, flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, hydric and mesic hammock, floodplain swamp, basin marsh and some coastal scrub/sandhill. Active exotic plant/animal eradication, prescribed fire, restoration and monitoring are used to manage this property. Though much of the site has not been disturbed, some sections have histories as turpentine industry sites, pine plantation, cattle ranch, or hunting leases. Ample opportunity exists for entomological studies here, including field trips and graduate research. The known species list is small and little baseline inventory has been done, meaning potential for discovery of new information, range expansions, new records, etc., is high. Park biological staff can facilitate any visitation on a one time or recurring basis with maps, access, help with DRP permitting and general information. We welcome interest from your department. Please contact: Keith Morin, Park Biologist, at (352)563-0450, or


Dr. Tom Walker reports that self-guided nature trails explaining the three upland ecosystems in the UF Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (NATL) ( now open. The trailheads for the Upland Pine and Old Field Nature Trails are on the north edge of NATL just south of Powell Hall and the Phillips Center. The Hammock Nature Trail begins near the west end of NATL's Main Trail. Trail guides, updated monthly, are available at the start of each trail. Before his "retirement," Dr. Walker devoted considerable time and effort in the development of NATL and ensuring its survival. Since then, he has remained very active in NATL activities.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts a Big Bugs & Killer Plants exhibit from 28 April-31 October. And these bugs are big! The 17 arthropod sculptures vary in weight from 30 to 1200 pounds, and range in size from seven feet to twenty-five feet in length. For more information visit

This summer the Alachua County Library Reading Program will distribute over 5,000 of our department's attractive bookmarks, designed by Jane Medley, to school children.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. You can submit news anytime 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 57,159 distinct visitors, 78,245 page views, and 7,303 downloaded PDF files.

May 2007.