10/16/95 Entomology and Nematology News - Vol. 1, No. 2
A University of Florida Publication


Denise Johanowicz received a $400 travel award from the Acarological Society of America to give a talk at its annual meeting, at the ESA meetings in Las Vegas.

Steven Valles has been chosen as this year's recipient of the southeastern branch of the Entomological Society of America J. Henry Comstock Award. This prestigious award is presented to outstanding doctoral students for superior achievement in entomological research. We congratulate Steve for the national recognition of his work in the field of entomology. Steve is only the 2nd UF student to be recognized with the Comstock Award.

Congratulations to Julieta Brambila Coulliette for being chosen by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a recipient of the Florida Agriculture Scholastic Achievement Award ($1000.00).

Congratulations to Dini Miller for being chosen as this year's recipient of the Entomological Society of America, Jeffrey P. LaFage Graduate Research Award. This award is given for innovative research in the area of biology and control of urban pests. Dini is the third UF student to receive the LaFage Scholarship.

Congratulations to Dr. Philip Koehler. Last month Dr. Koehler was presented with the USDA Superior Service Award by the Secretary of Agriculture in Washington D.C. The award was given for outstanding leadership in developing and transferring new pest management technologies to reduce environmental contamination and human exposure to pesticides. Dr. Koehler was also presented with a certificate of merit from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

Again, congratulations to Dr. Koehler for receiving the 1995 PCT/Zeneca Leadership Award. Of the 60 recipients of the Leadership Award since 1989 only one other has been an academician, Dr. John Osmun, professor emeritus of Purdue University.


Congratulations to Paul and Kathleen Ruppert for their baby boy Mathew Michael born on September 19.

Marjorie A. Hoy attended the National Genetics Resources Advisory Council meeting in Washington, D.C. The NGRAC is charged with providing advice to the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the national germ plasm resources program. Germ plasm resources for crop and animal breeding are key to maintaining agricultural productivity. In addition, the NGRAC is considering needs for fish resources, forestry, microorganisms, and arthropods. One research area identified that is of high priority is cryopreservation methods for arthropods. The NGRAC will recommend that funding be allocated for a competitive grant program to develop cryopreservation methods for arthropods. Recent advances with cryopreservation for Drosophila suggest that such methods can be developed. Some day we may be able to store insects indefinitely, eliminating the high costs of rearing and reducing the negative effects of inbreeding selection for adaptations to laboratory conditions, and genetic drift.

Dr. M.T. Sanford attended the 10th annual American Bee Research Conference in Athens, GA October 24-26, 1994. This meeting featured speakers from the U.S. and Mexico giving presentations on the latest in African honey bees, parasitic mites on bees and a wide array of other topics. This meeting also encompassed the annual business meeting of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists. Dr. Sanford was the charter president of this association and long-time secretary treasurer.

Dr. Jon Allen was invited to participate in a conference in Aman, Jordan from September 10-15. This conference sponsored by the USDA FAS/ICD and the US State Department is a part of the "Peace Process" in the middle east. The conference objective was to get Israelis, Palestinians, Jordainians and Egyptians to cooperate on agricultural research problems of mutual concern. He presented some examples of application of satellite image data to agricultural problems on a "regional" scale. The best part was the "picnic" on the Dead Sea Sept 13th with people from all the countries present.

Dr. Jon Allen also attended a conference in Brisbane, Australia from, Oct 5-13. The conference was on the effects of Global Change on Agriculture with particular reference to the Australian agroecosystem. He presented a paper entitled "Spatiotemporal Models of Insects in Regional Crop Systems". This paper outlines the methodology he is developing for simulating large scale insect dynamics in relation to the cropping system.

Dr. Philip Koehler and Tom Fasulo will attend the annual meeting of the National Pest Control Association in Orlando, Oct 28-Nov 3. Six entomology students (Dini Miller, Chuck Strong, Wayne Grush, John Cooksey, Jon Morehouse, and Clay Scherer) will also attend. They will have a display booth in the exhibit hall, demonstrating the urban pest control software and publications developed by this department. Dr. Koehler and Dr. Dave Williams of the USDA MAVERL will also present a "Research Updates" education session dealing with urban pest management.


Students going to meetings and presenting papers should check with Dini Miller about travel funding.


The parasite Ageniaspis citricola, which was released beginning in May 1994 in a classical biological control program against the citrus leafminer, has successfully overwintered in Florida. A survey between May and September 1995 showed the parasite has established in a number of release sites and is spreading. In some sites, parasitism rates are over 95%. This classical biological control project is being conducted by Marjorie Hoy jointly with Ru Nguyen of the Division of Plant Industry. It is also a joint endeavor with a number of IFAS entomologists, including Phil Stansly (Immokalee), Robert Bullock (Ft. Pierce), Jorge Pena (Homestead), Joe Knapp and Harold Browning (Lake Alfred), who identify appropriate release sites and evaluate the establishment and impact of the parasite on leafminer populations.


The department welcomes Deborah Hall and Flora McCall. Deborah was hired as program assistant in Dr. Tarjan office. Flora was hired as Editoral Assistant.

Dr. James K. Presnail, has taken a new postdoctoral position. His new address is Box 241 Schoolhouse Road, Landenberg, PA 19350.

Dr. Jain Min Tseng, who received his Ph.D in entomology from this department in 1981, is working two days a week out of room 3102. Dr. Tseng works for the Bureau of Entomology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where he is the Coordinator for Pest Control Examination and Certification for the State of Florida. He is working with Dr. Koehler and Tom Fasulo on a long term project to computerize the entire testing and recertification process for all pest control operators in Florida.


The Department Book of Insect Records compiled by Dr. Walker's students was featured on a weekly radio show in Belgium and a chapter is printed every two weeks in a local Belgium newspaper.


The Campus Natural Area and Outdoor Teaching Laboratory (NATL) is a 40+ acre tract between our building and the DPI compound and southward to the south border of campus. Dedicated to teaching students and the public about ecology and biotic diversity, the tract contains significant samples of three ecosystems characteristic of uplands in north peninsular Florida: hammock, upland pine, and old-field succession. It also has a small sinkhole pond and a large retention pond. Seven departments, in three colleges, plan to use the CNA for their courses. A self-guided nature trail, beginning at the Education and Exhibits Center of the Florida Museum of Natural History (now under construction; to open in 1997), is planned for the northern half of the area and will interpret the retention pond and the three upland ecosystems. To keep vehicles from entering the area and dumping trash, IFAS Facilities Operations recently built a board fence on the east border of the NATL across the street from our greenhouses. Physical Plant has prepared an official UF information sign that will identify the area to passers-by. A Natural Area Advisory Committee is preparing a pamphlet and a World Wide Web site that describe the NATL and explain plans for its management. Two student clubs have projects this fall in the NATL. The Wetlands Club (based in UF's Center for Wetlands) is planning how best to manage the retention pond for biotic diversity, education, aesthetics, and used to locate features and boundaries storm-water retention. The UF chapter of the Students Geomatics Association will survey the boundaries of the NATL and establish a rectilinear grid consisting of squares 100 m on a side. The grid will be within the NATL. Other activities planned for NATL this year includeù *Picking up litter. *Eliminating Johnsongrass and elephantgrass. *Beginning the restoration of the upland pine by controlled burning in January or February of some of a tract just east of DPI. *Organizing a biotic inventory of plants and animals of the NATL. Robert McSorley and Don Hall are the organizers for nematodes and arthropods respectively. The botanists made a good start on the mosses and vascular plants last spring and have recorded 240 species thus far.


Dr. Skip Choate has completely remodeled the Department's home page on the www. It is now undergoing some final modifications. Look for it soon.

Insects continue to show us who's in charge. Pests in the News is a biweekly feature of PEST ALERT that summarizes insect problems from around the world. For example, the lowly mealy bugs are making growers pay attention in Central America. And the giant mealy bug is causing concern in California. But we do have a sense of humor about it. Witness the annual Fire Ant Festival in Texas. To access PEST ALERT see


In September, the ants in the Entomology Building were assaulted by the Super Ant Fighter, John Cooksey, a new urban entomology Masters student. Faculty and staff were asked to pinpoint all areas where ants were a problem. John identified the ants as mostly imported fire ants, Pharaoh ants, and ghost ants. He then identified the best baits to use in the building. For the fire ants and Pharaoh ants he made hundreds of bait placements with MaxForce granular bait placed in weigh boats. For the ghost ants he formulated a 1% boric acid bait (1 qt water, 7 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon boric acid). The boric acid bait was put in cotton-stoppered vials so the ants could suck the bait from the soaked cotton. John noticed that baits placed at 9:00 AM were completely consumed by noon. So he had to replace the baits frequently. The verdict has been that the ant problem was significantly reduced inside the building. However, John was concerned that fire ants living around the building would rapidly reinvade. So, after baiting the entire Entomology Building, he bought 10 pounds of Amdro Fire Ant Bait to spread around the outside of the building. He arranged for Darryl Hall, USDA super technician, to treat the outside with an ATV rigged for outdoor broadcast bait application. All areas between the building and the parking lot or fence were completely treated with the Amdro bait. The berms around the building were hand treated so nests there received special treatment. Within minutes, ants were seen carrying the bait back to their nests. We all thank John and Darryl Hall for helping the entire department with a serious problem.


From Steve Lasley, Computer Support Services-

Should you wish to upgrade to Windows 95, IFAS Ent/Nem Computer Support Services wants to help. Windows 95 may not run all your old software; on the other hand, it may actually improve how some applications run. We'd be glad to advise you how you might be affected before it becomes an issue. It is possible to set up Windows 95 so that it becomes a "bad network neighbor". We want to make sure this doesn't happen and would appreciate being involved with your installation. Stop by and see Steve Lasley in room 1013, or email him at

I had a total of four responses from my request for interest in departmental computer workshops. I intend to continue with the idea, however, under the assumption that interest might grow over time. I am setting aside the lunch hour on Tuesdays as a time when I will be in the lab and available to provide advice/instruction for whoever is so inclined. All are invited to come and take advantage of this time to learn more about the lab and its software. If another time would be more convenient to most, please let me know.

The annual UF Computer Fair is being held at the Reitz Union, October 17th and 18th. Hours are 9-5 on Tuesday and 9-3 on Wednesday. A listing of presentations is displayed in both lobbies of the Ent/Nem department. Recommended.


Julieta Coulliette is looking for volunteers to help in the Entomology and Nematology display at the Gator Expo. The event is planned for November 2-3. She mostly needs somebody to take her place for two hours while she is in class on Tuesday Nov 2 from 9-11:00 AM.


Did you know that 52% of all the named species of organisms on this planet are insects?

The Food and Drug Administration considers chocolate acceptable for public consumption as long as there are less than 60 microscopic insect fragments per 100 grams (four ounces, or approximately two candy bars).


Dr. Phil Koehler along with his students and staff will host an Open House, Friday, Nov. 3, 1995 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM in the new Urban Entomology Lab (Located behind the Entomology and Nematology building). All students, faculty and staff are invited to come and celebrate cockroach diversity while touring the new laboratories. Also be sure to check out the new graduate student rearing area. Refreshments will be served.

A hard copy of this newsletter is given to department members in Building 970 only. All others can obtain an electronic subscription by subscribing to the listserv This issue, and back copies, are maintained at

The next newsletter will be published Wednesday, November 15. Deadline for contributions is Friday, November 10.

Editor: Enrique Perez

This version of the newsletter is published for the Web by Tim McCoy.

October 1995. Updated March 2003.