September 2008

Faculty News

At the 2008 annual meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association, Dr. David Dame received the Association's highest award - the Medal of Honor - for contributions to the field of medical entomology "in a career in mosquito control distinguished by leadership, innovation and dedication." Dr. Dame's research endeavors span the same period as his membership and active participation in Association governance, 1960-2008. He served as president of the Association in 2000, of the Society for Vector Ecology in 1999 and of the Florida Mosquito Control Association in 1998.

Dr. Jaret Daniels was featured in a UF/IFAS news release about his new butterfly publications. The publications are designed for newcomers to butterfly watching, a hobby that is gaining interest nationwide. The low-cost materials also supoort the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's effort to spur interest in Florida ecotourism. See for details.

Dr. Kee-Jeong Ahn is spending a 12-month sabbatical with the Department to continue his research on the systematics and evolution of seashore rove beetles (Staphylinidae). Dr. Ahn (who prefers to be called "K.J.") is a Professor of Entomology from Chungnam National University in South Korea. He is hosted by Drs. Marc Branham and Howard Frank. Welcome to Florida, K.J.!

Dr. Steven Arthurs recently joined the entomology faculty at the Mid-Florida REC. His last position was at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Lab where he was a post-doc researching biological-based pesticides to control the codling moth and other orchard insect pests. His specialties are biological control and integrated pest management of insect and mite pests and he also takes special interest in insect pathogens and reduced risk pesticides. In 2001, he received his degree from the University of London's Imperial College.

Dr. Arthurs made this statement about his background and future projects, "I grew up in England but came to the United States in 2001 and never left. I have spent a number of years working with biological control projects for major insect pests. I recently moved from Washington State where I helped test a biological pesticide based on insect viruses. Prior to that I worked at Texas A&M on a parasitic nematode that attacks thrips and before that a fungus that has been developed to control locusts and grasshoppers in Africa and Australia (the product is called Green Muscle). I now am free to work on pretty much any bug that eats ornamental trees and shrubs, which is a bit of a daunting list! I am currently investigating biological control options for aphids, scale and thrips. I have a 30% extension appointment and anticipate working with nursery and landscape managers to achieve the aims. I very much enjoy being at the University of Florida - it is a tremendous opportunity and I am very impressed with the many dedicated people who represent IFAS extension. I am also intrigued with Florida's crazy weather currently alternating between rain and sun - which reminds me of being back home!"

Dr. James P. Cuda and his new project on biological control of the aquatic weed hygrophila were featured on the Florida Environment Radio Show, 26 June.

Dr. James P. Cuda represented the department as one of the Marshalls at the University's Summer Commencement ceremonies held at the O'Connell Center, 9 August.

Staff News

On 4 September, the following individuals received award pins for their service to the University and IFAS:

Hope Johnson, who worked as one of our Senior Art and Publications Specialists, is enroute to California, having left Gainesville to pursue a career in the Bay Area. She accomplished many things during her sojourn here, including graphics for the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Entomology and laying the groundwork for our department's photo database on Flickr. Hope hopes to find work in graphic design or library science and we wish her the best of luck!

Alumni News

Dr. Greg Wheeler (Ph.D 89), of the USDA-ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory was recently mentioned in a USDA news release. He and other entomologists are touring the Outback and Australia's coastal areas in search of biological control agents for the highly invasive Casuarina species commonly called Australian pine. This weed is infiltrating U.S. coastal areas, especially in south Florida, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. See for details.


Scheffrahn RH, Krecek J, Ripa R, Luppichini P. (2008). Endemic origin and vast anthropogenic dispersal of the West Indian drywood termite. Biological Invasions.

Wenninger EJ, Stelinski LL, Hall DG. 2008. Behavioral evidence for a female-produced sex attractant in Diaphorina citri. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 128: 450-459.

Song C, Scharf ME. 2008. Formic acid: a neurologically-active, hydrolyzed metabolite of insecticidal formate esters. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 92: 77-82.

Song C, Scharf ME. 2008. Neurological disruption by low molecular weight compounds from the heterobicyclic and formate ester classes. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 92: 92-100.

Zhou X, Wheeler MM, Oi FM, Scharf ME. 2008. RNA interference in the termite R. flavipes through ingestion of double-stranded RNA. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 38: 805-815.

Sourakov A. (2008). White M hairstreak, Parrhasius m-album (Boisduval & LeConte). Featured Creatures. EENY-441.

Garcia-Maruniak A, Maruniak JE, Farmerie W, Boucias DG. (2008). Sequence analysis of a non-classified, non-occluded DNA virus that causes salivary gland hypertrophy of Musca domestica, MdSGHV. Virology 377: 184-196.

Bybee SM, Ogden TH, Branham MA, Whiting MF 2008. Molecules, morphology and fossils: A comprehensive approach to Odonate phylogeny and the evolution of the Odonate wing. Cladistics 24: 477-514.

Fletcher Jr RJ, Miller CW. 2008. The type and timing of social information alters offspring production. Biology Letters 4: 482-485.

Gandolfo D, Medal JC, Cuda JP. 2008. Effects of temperature on the development and survival of Metriona elatior (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) immatures. Florida Entomologist 91: 491-493.

Meetings and Presentations

During February, in Penang, Malaysia, Dr. David Dame participated in a WHO workshop to update international space spray guidelines for arthropods of public health interest, which are scheduled for release in 2009. During July, in Seattle, Washington, he participated in a three-day Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vector Control workshop designed to provide guidance and insight for the Foundation's recently announced initiative on malaria control and eradication.

Drs. James P. Cuda and Howard Frank co-organized a symposium on biological control of invasive arthropods and weeds at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomology Society (FES) held in Jupiter Beach, FL, 13-16 July. Cuda gave the presentation "Overview of Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree," which was co-authored by Drs. Julio C. Medal and William A. Overholt.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in the 2008 Everglades Invasive Species Summit held at Florida International University, Miami, FL, 16-18 July. Cuda gave a presentation on the currrent status of established arthropod and weed biological control agents.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 2008 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Meeting held in Naples, FL, 28 July-1 August, Naples, FL. Cuda presented the poster "A model for sustainable management of Brazilian peppertree." The poster was developed with the assistance of Hope Johnson, formerly of this department.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 9th Annual CALS Teaching Enhancement Symposium held at the UF Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, 12 August.

Dr. Marc A. Branham was scheduled to present a talk "Using fossils to date the origin of bioluminescence in fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)" at the International Symposium on Diversity and Conservation of Fireflies in Celebration of HM Queen Sirikit's 76th Birthday, Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Chiang Mai, Thailand. However, adverse weather, as a result of tropical storm Fay, caused his flight out of Jacksonville to be canceled. Nevertheless, the poster "Species diversity in Colombian fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)," by Bradley W. Smith and Dr. Branham was displayed as tropical storm Fay could not stop the U.S. Postal Service.

Entomology Seminars

This semester, graduate students Craig Roubos, Heidi Hanspetersen, Tricia Toth, Corraine Scott and Rosie Gill 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. The listing of titles is not complete as yet. The remaining seminars are:

09/18 - "Plight of the honey bee." Dr. Jamie Ellis, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida.

09/25 - "A decade of West Nile virus." Dr. Maureen Long, Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

10/02 - "Food pest entomology: protecting the post-harvest value and safety of food???." Dr. Linda Mason, Department of Entomology, Purdue University.

10/09 - "The origin and control of polyphenic development in insects." Dr. Fred Nijhout, Department of Biology, Duke University.

10/16 - "Biodiversity in and around California vineyards." Dr. Robert Bugg, University of California, Davis.

10/23 - "Bio-ecology of maize-infesting picture-winged flies." Dr. Gregg Nuessly, Everglades REC, University of Florida.

10/30 - "Automated pattern analysis: a new silent partner in insect acoustic detection studies." Dr. Richard Mankin, USDA, Gainesville, FL.

11/06 - "From one pest to another: From mosquitoes to termites." Dr. Monique Coy, Department of Entomology and /Nematology, University of Florida.

11/13 - "Ants, plants and elephants: long term dynamics of a multi-species mutualism in East Africa." Dr. Todd Palmer, Department of Zoology, University of Florida.

11/20 - no seminar - ESA meeting

11/27 - no seminar - Thanksgiving Holiday

12/04 - "Are fatter flies fitter? ... and other adventures in life history physiology." Dr. Dan Hahn, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida.


Drs. Mike Scharf, Drion Boucias and Faith Oi received a $120,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research in support of the project: "Genomic dissection of cellulose utilization in termites."

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.

For-Sale Publications

We ask statewide faculty to review the department's For-Sale Publications page at for any missing UF/IFAS Extension or third party publications. Please send the titles, publication numbers and Web page that offers the publication to Thomas Fasulo at

Newsletter Minutiae

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September 2008.