September 2007

Faculty News

Drs. Howard Frank and Ron Cave are featured in an NBC video about releases of a parasitic fly that attacks the Mexican bromeliad weevil, dubbed the "evil weevil." The weevil has been devastating populations of Florida bromeliads for almost two decades. Not only are many of the bromeliads endangered, but Florida's unique bromeliads are an important tourist attraction. The fly, Lixadmontia franki, discovered by Cave in Honduras, and named by him for Frank, was a species new to science. The NBC video is available at Information on the weevil is available at

Dr. Billy Crow received ths year's "Syngenta Excellence in Research Award" from the Society of Nematologists.

Thomas Fasulo received the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) Media Excellence Award for the Battle of Olustee Web site he created and maintains for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Division of Recreation and Parks. FRPA is an association of professionals working in parks, and recreation and leisure agencies throughout Florida. The site is featured in two editions of The Civil War on the Web: A Guide to the Very Best Sites, a book published by the Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia, as one of the top 100 Civil War Web sites. Fasulo recently moved the site to a new domain at Fasulo accepted the award with Mike Bullock, the Director of the Florida Park Service and a graduate of UF's Landscape Architecture Department.

Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford, Professor Emeritus, is in Australia attending the 2007 International Apicultural Congress, 9-14 September. He will also visit New Zealand. Follow his travels via his blog He will bee presenting a discussion of The Gobal Bee Breeders Initiative at the Congress. See

Several of our faculty and students received awards at the recent Florida Entomological Society (FES) annual meeting. The Entomology & Nematology Department Awards Committee, chaired by Drs. Amanda Hodges and Jennifer Gillett, helped facilitate the award process. If you know if any award opportunities or would like to nominate a colleague in the department for an award, please let them know.

Dr. Marc Branham received the FES Annual Achievement Award for Teaching in Higher Education.

Dr. Oscar Liburd received the FES Annual Achievement Award for Research.

Dr. Michael Rogers, Citrus REC - Lake Alfred, received the FES Annual Achievement Award for Extension.

Dr. Lance Osborne, Mid-Florida REC - Apopka, received a Certificate of Appreciation for Special Service to the Society.

Dr. James P. Cuda was selected for inclusion in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Who's Who in Science and Engineering.

Staff News

Four members of our staff received Service Awards: Hope Johnson - 5 years, Dr. Ayyamperumal Jeyaprakash - 15 years, Lois Wood - 25 years, and Glinda Burnett - 35 years.

We all know that Jane Medley, Senior Art and Graphics Specialist, is an expert at creating and embellishing computer images, but now she also has a piece of paper to prove it. Jane recently took and passed the closed-book, Adobe Certified Expert exam for Photoshop CS2. This test is administered by an third-party, independent testing company at one of its testing sites.

Student News

Graduate student Michael Bentley received the FES Annual Achievement Award for Teaching in K-12 Education.

Graduate student Amit Sethi received 1st prize (and $200) in the Ph.D. student paper competition at the recent Florida Entomological Society meeting, for his talk "Feeding deterrents for banded cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in latex of a resistant romaine lettuce."

Alumni News

Dr. Marco Toapanta (Ph.D. 2001), Bayer Crop Sciences, received the FES Annual Achievement Award for Industry.


Arevalo HA, Groden E. (July 2007). European fire ant, Myrmica rubra Linnaeus. Featured Creatures. EENY-410.

Stelinski LL, McGhee P, Haas M, Ll'Ichev AL, Gut LJ. 2007. Sprayable microencapsulated sex pheromone formulations for mating disruption of four tortricid species: Effects of application height, rate, frequency, and sticker adjuvant. Journal of Economic Entomology 100: 1360-1369.

Kaur R, Brito JA, Dickson DW. 2007. A first report of Paulownia elongata as a host of Meloidogyne spp. in Florida. Plant Disease 91: 1199.

Zaspel JM, Kononenko VS, Goldstein PZ. (2007). Another blood feeder? Experimental feeding of a fruit-piercing moth on human blood in the Primorye Region of Far Eastern Russia (Noctuidae: Calpinae: Calpini). Journal of Insect Behavior.

This paper was featured in a Finnish nature magazine and a Canadian news magazine under the titles: Verta imevä yökkönen yleistyy Suomessa, Suomen Luonto Finland. (June 15); and "Bloodsucking vampires are on the move, Get out the garlic: Vampire moths are spreading in Europe and Asia." Maclean's News Canada (

Thomas MC. (September 2007). A flower beetle, Euphoria sepulcralis (Fabricius). Featured Creatures. EENY-416.

For Sale Publications

We have too many stories to relate here of people asking why our department does not have any for-sale, color publications that help people to identify pests. To help correct that misconception, our department's Web site now has an entire page dedicated to our many for-sale materials. While the page is part of the department's site, it will be housed on one of Thomas Fasulo's domains so he can easily update it. The new page is at

Meetings and Presentations

The Society of Nematologists held its annual meeting in San Diego California during 28 July - 1 August. Drs. Don Dickson, Billy Crow, Robin Giblin-Davis, Joe Noling, Janete Brito, and Dorota Porazinska attended the meeting.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to give a presentation on biological control of Brazilian peppertree at the First Coast Invasive Species Working Group Meeting in Yulee, FL, 23 August. Interest in Brazilian peppertree management is increasing in northeast Florida with the recent discovery of Brazilian peppertree in Duval and Nassau Counties.

Dr. James Cuda delivered the presentation "IPM and biological control of aquatic weeds" at an in-service training on aquatic plant management held at the Duval County Extension office on 24 August.

Entomology Seminars

This semester, graduate students Murugesan Rangasamy (Chair), Amit Sethi, Craig Roubos, Seth Bybee, Andrew Derksen, Corraine Scott and Jennifer Zaspel serve on the Seminar Committee. Seminars are held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm.

09/06 - Multitrophic interactions between insects, fungi and plants: using naturally produced chemicals to solve an invasive species problem. - Dr. Peter Teal, USDA, Gainesville

09/13 - Chemical ecology and behavioral studies of neotropical butterflies - Dr. Mirian Medina Hay-Roe, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

09/20 - Maternal effects and sexual selection in the Heliconia bug (Leptoscelis tricolor). Dr. Christine Miller, UF

09/27 - Periodical cicadas, the plague and the puzzle. - Dr. Gene Kritsky, College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati

10/04 - Evolutionary history of host-parasite associations: mammals and their ectoparasitic lice" - Dr. Jessica Light

10/11 - Plant-aphid interactions: molecular and ecological perspectives. - Dr. Fiona Goggin, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

10/18 - Polydnaviruses: symbionts and potent immunosuppressive pathogens of insects. - Dr. Mike Strand, University of Georgia, Athens

10/25 - Insects in aboriginal mythologies around the world. - Dr. Ron Cherry, UF

11/01 - Superclones: A functional genomics approach. - Dr. Alex Wilson, University of Miami

11/08 - The impact of plant-herbivore coevolution on the chemical structure of tropical plant communities. Dr. Judith Becerra, University of Arizona

11/15 - Development of transgenic insects for functional genomics and biological control. - November 15 - Dr. Alfred Handler, USDA, Gainesville

11/29 - Sexual conflict, immune function and the evolution of insect mating strategies. - Dr. Ken Fedorka, University of Central Florida, Orlando


Graduate student Jennifer Zaspel received the following grants: from the National Park Service Inventories and Monitoring Program for "Preliminary survey of the macrolepidopteran moth diversity in Big Cypress National Preserve" ($5,287); and three grants to support travel to the SEL Congress of Lepidopterology, Berlin, Germany: a Graduate Student Council Travel Grant ($250); an IFAS CALS Travel Grant ($200); and an Entomology and Nematology Travel Grant ($200).

Graduate student Amit Sethi received a Best Student Scholarship ($500) and a mini-research grant ($100) from the Florida Entomological Society at its recent annual meeting.

Drs. Julio Medal and James Cuda received a 3rd year (July 2007-June 2008) extension of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant ($30,000) to continue the host-specificity testing and foreign explorations in Mexico and Central America of potential biocontrol agents for wetland nightshade, Solanum tampicense (Solanaceae), a non-native invasive weed in Florida.

Drs. James Cuda and William Overholt were awarded three research grants from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Invasive Plant Management. Two of the grants totaling $57,065 were for the Brazilian peppertree biological control project and a grant for $35,422 was for a new project on biological control of the aquatic weed hygrophila.

Reading Room

The Reading Room Committee once again reminds us that no one is allowed to take materials out of the reading room, and no one is allowed to take food or drink in. You are also reminded that Reading Room users are monitored on closed-circuit TV, so wave and say hi. In addition, the committee asks that you tidy up after yourself before leaving the room. Those who wish to use the in-room copier should visit the stock room and get a PIN from Nick Hostettler.


ARS scientists with the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, were in the news again. Dr. Hans T. Alborn led the team that helped discover a new class of compounds, called "caeliferins," that should help shed more light on how plants respond to insect attacks, and also may determine whether American grasshoppers are solitary or gregarious. If so, the compounds may be found to influence swarming behavior of locusts. For details, see the 08/15/07 Pest Alert at

Bug Quote

"The only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey... and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it. " - Winnie-the-Pooh (actually A.A. Milne)

Newsletter Minutiae

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. Thomas Fasulo coded the HTML version.

September 2007.