July 2009

Faculty News

Last month, a team of seven entomologists returned to Ft. Lauderdale after a termite survey of northern Colombia, South America. The expedition covered over 3,000 km in an area not previously studied for termite diversity. The expedition team included Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn, Jan Krecek, and Paul M. Ban (Ft. Lauderdale R.E.C.), Jim Chase and John Mangold (Terminix International), Robert Setter (IDTDNA Inc.), and Tom Nishimura (BASF Corp.). Juan Saldarriaga, a protozoologist from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, British Columbia, joined the group at the halfway point to obtain symbiotic flagellates of lower termites for his research. Although much of northern Colombia consists of cattle pastures, the team discovered a stunning number of new taxa including a new Rhynchotermes with a very unusual inflated nasus in the soldier caste. A description of this new species has already been submitted to Zootaxa. This is the 68th expedition since 1990 to survey and describe the termites of the Caribbean Basin.

Dr. James P. Cuda was appointed a member of the Affiliate Faculty for the UF Center for Latin American Studies.

Student News

Please welcome Karen Stauderman, who joins the department as a Masters student in Pest Management. Karen is also a full-time UF/IFAS extension agent in Volusia County, specializing in residential horticulture. Among her many talents is organizing the Master Gardener program with 130+ volunteers and being very active in local TV and radio, e.g. presenting the Gardener's Hotline on WDSC Channel 15. Karen is conducting research for her Masters at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka with her advisors, Drs. Steven Arthurs, Bob Stamps and Lance Osborne. Karen will be evaluating entomopathogenic fungi for use against the Asian citrus psylla. - Dr. Steven Arthurs

Dr. James P. Cuda is hosting two students in his laboratory during Summer C. Catherine Buchanan-McGrath is an undergraduate student from New College, Sarasota, FL, who is majoring in pre-med. Cory Brutman, a high school student from Plantation, FL, is participating in the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training's Student Science Training Program. Both students are researching insects that attack the Brazilian peppertree.

Ph.D student Abhishek Mukherjee, of Dr. James P. Cuda's laboratory, received a CALS Davidson Graduate Student Travel Scholarship. The $300 award will enable Abhishek to attend the 49th Annual Meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 12-15 July.

The Graduate Committee selected Thomas Chouvenc as our department's candidate for the Entomological Society of America's Comstock Award this year. Mr. Chouvenc is a Ph.D. student with Dr. Nan-Yao Su.

Alumni News

Dr. Hanife Genc (Ph.D. 2002) was awarded a Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) Distinguished Young Investigator Award (GEBIP). The objective of TÜBA-GEBIP is to foster young, outstanding scientists. TÜBA supports the awardees for three years and helps them set up their own research groups, and will pay expenses to one international meeting for the next three years. Some support typically continues after the 3-year period. Hanife was one of only 19 awardees in 2009, and only one of two from Life Sciences. According to TÜBA, the success rate for applicants to receive the award is 15%. Hanife was recognized in the Agriculture-Plant Protection field. She becomes an Associate member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), and it is expected that awardees will eventually become members of the Turkish Academy of Science. Hanife teaches Insect Physiology and other entomological sciences at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Department of Plant Protection (Entomology), Canakkale, Turkey


Larrick S, Connelly R. (June 2009). Southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say. Featured Creatures. EENY-457. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/aquatic/southern_house_mosquito.htm

Espinosa A, Hodges A, Hodges G, Howard F, Mannion C. (June 2009). Tessellated scale, Eucalymnatus tessellatus (Signoret). Featured Creatures. EENY-456. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/scales/tessellated_scale.htm

Hodges A, Hodges G. (June 2009). A mealybug, Hypogeococcus pungens Granara de Willink. Featured Creatures. EENY-459. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/mealybug/hypogeococcus_pungens.htm

Sourakov A. (June 2009). Viceroy butterfly, Limenitis archippus (Cramer). Featured Creatures. EENY-458. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/viceroy.htm

Hall DW, Butler JF. (June 2009). Cassius blue, Leptotes cassius (Cramer). Featured Creatures. EENY-460. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/cassius_blue.htm

Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA, Alsopp M. 2009. Multiple Wolbachia strains in Apis mellifera capensis from southern Africa. Apidologie 40: 178-183. DOI:10.1051/apido/2009002

Hoy MA. 2009. Genome analyses of the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis: Mitey small and mitey large. BioEssays 31:581-590. DOI 10. 1002/bies.200800175

Cocco A, Hoy MA. 2009. Feeding, reproduction and development of the red palm mite (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) on selected palms and banana cultivars in quarantine. Florida Entomologist 92: 276-291.

Hoy MA. 2009. Book review of: Bourtzis K, Miller TA. (Editors). Insect Symbiosis. Vol. 3. CRC Press, Boca Raton. Florida Entomologist 92: 409-411.

Qureshi JA, Stansly PA. 2009. Exclusion techniques reveal significant biotic mortality suffered by Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) Populations in Florida Citrus. Biological Control 50: 129-136.

Boina DR, Onagbola EO, Salyani M, Stelinski LL. 2009. Antifeedant and sublethal effects of imidacloprid on Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. Pest Management Science 65: 870-877.

Trivedi P, Sagaram US, Kim J-S, Brlansky RH, Rogers ME, Stelinski LL, Oswalt C, Wang N. 2009. Quantification of viable Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus in hosts using quantitative PCR with the aid of ethidium monoazide (EMA). European Journal of Plant Pathology 124: 553-563.

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in the 2009 Joint Annual Meeting of the Florida State Horticultural Society (FSHS) and the Soil & Crop Science Society of Florida held in Jacksonville, FL, 7-9 June. Cuda presented the paper "Cultivating non-native plants in Florida for biomass production: hope or harm?" The paper was co-authored by Dr. Doria Gordon, of The Nature Conservancy, and Dr. Joe DiTomaso, University of California, Davis.

Graduate student Cecil O. Montemayor Aizpurua participated in the FSHS meeting. She received the 3rd place award for her oral presentation, "Prospects for biological control of the yellowmargined leaf beetle," which includes a $100 prize. Her advisor is Dr. Ronald D. Cave.

Dr. Marjorie Hoy attended the Third Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium in Kansas City, 11-14 June.


Dr. Christine W. Miller received a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on sexual selection in cactus bugs.

Dr. James P. Cuda received a $23,000 grant from Osceola County, Florida, to continue research on classical biological control of the aquatic weed hygrophila polysperma.

Drs. Keith R. Willmott and Andrei Sourakov received a $495,989 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of their proposal "Integrating an extraordinary Lepidoptera collection: The Ulf Eitschberger collection at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity of the Florida Museum of Natural History." This award will make possible the curatorial integration of the huge Eitschberger collection from The Entomologisches Museum, donated recently by Bill McGuire, into the McGuire Center's collection. It includes support for Dr. Vladimir A. Lukhtanov to come as a visiting curator, from St. Petersburg State University, Russia, to help in curating the almost two million specimens of Lepidoptera. It also includes support for students to be trained as preparators in curatorial techniques. The award is effective 1 July 2009, and covers three years. - Dr. Thomas Emmel, Director, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity

Gardening in a Minute

If you listen to National Public Radio (in Florida) on a regular basis, you have heard at least one of the 60-second "Gardening in a Minute" informational segments from the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. These short radio interludes cover more than just garden plants, as some of our specialists already know. Many deal with arthropods, nematodes, earthworms, pesticides, IPM and other areas that people in our department work in.

Recently, Emily Eubanks (eee@ufl.edu), Coordinator of the Center's Information Office, and Tom Wichman (twichman@ufl.edu), the Florida Master Gardener Coordinator, visited with Dr. John Capinera and Thomas Fasulo to discuss additional opportunities for our department.

Not only are they interested in furthering our cooperation with the "Gardening in a Minute" program, but they are creating short Web pages to provide more details than can be given to the public in a 125-word, 60-second radio segment. These pages will then link to EDIS publications with still more information. Tom and Emily are interested in three different areas of "bug news": year-long: that can air at any time; seasonal: for those once or twice-a-year bugs; and emergency: where we have to get the information out fast. If you review the "Gardening in a Minute" site above, you will see that they are interested in more than just pests. You can either review an on-line sheet or listen to a recording of the air segment.

In addition, the Center will be cooperating with the University of Georgia on a TV program that university has that features southern gardening. As such, specialists are needed who can provide information and can appear on the program.

Based upon listener feedback and Web statistical data, the Center plans to provide informational ideas in this newsletter for our personnel to respond to. And Dr. Capinera would like our graduate students to participate in this opportunity. The Center's staff does most of the writing for the segments, based upon your input and review, and works approximately three months ahead of air time. As of this issue, they are working on September and October programs. You can directly contact Tom Wichman and Emily Eubanks at any time with ideas for future or "emergency" segments. In addition, segments listed on the "Gardening in a Minute" site may be in need of updating and your comments are most welcome.


Dr. James P. Cuda and Ph.D. student Abhishek Mukherjee participated in the 2009 Plant Camp held at the Center for Aquatic & Invasive Plants, 14-18 June. The Plant Camp, sponsored by the The Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative, was created to provide upper elementary, middle and high school educators with the information and resources they need to teach about the benefits of Florida’s native plants and the harmful impacts that some invasive, non-native plants are having on our natural areas and neighborhoods. Cuda and Mukherjee provided an overview of Florida’s aquatic weed biological control programs and demonstrated how to survey and collect arthropod biological control agents for class projects.


Are you among those who lose sleep at night wondering how flies evade a flyswatter? Now you can view a video taken with a 6,000 frames per second camera that shows how flies get away with it. Go to http://www.sciencefriday.com/videos/watch/10144 to watch the details, and click on the arrow below the video to begin the show. Actually, while the video does show the almost instantaneous movement of the fly, I do not think this particular fly was reacting to a perceived threat. I once read that flies will jump backward to avoid a predator (me?), thus confusing the stupid predator who thinks the fly will try to escape by moving forward. Therefore, the secret is to aim the fly swatter an inch or so to the rear of the fly. Then when your flyswatter lands it will be where the fly is, and splat! By using this concept, I was able to increase my FSO (Flies Swatted Out) score.

Sex and the Nematode - a new video by Caltech researchers. Click here for details.

Biologist discovers pink-winged moth in the Chiracahua Mountains. Click here for details.

The next time some of your younger friends ask you to baby sit their children, cancel any other plans and do it! Caring for the young helps your brain grow younger, at least, that is the effect it has in bees. Click here for details.

Will studying locusts help shed light on the treatment of migraines, stroke and epilepsy in humans? Click here for details.

Bug Quote

The firefly is a funny bug,
He hasn't any mind.
He blunders all the way through life,
With his headlights on behind.
— anonymous


Many comic Web sites limit the length of time a panel appears to just 30 days. Others may require you to register to view previous panels, which you may not wish to do. In either case, the sooner you visit the site, the greater chance you have to view the following:

Ants work hard. They haul heavy, dead caterpillar larvae to the nest, and then race off to do their next chore, like taking their dirty laundry to the hamper, etc.

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues usually are published by early mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues 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. Thomas Fasulo does the HTML coding.

In the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 106,981 page views.

July 2009.