August 2004

Faculty News

Dr. Efat Hammad Abou Fakhr joined Dr. Heather McAuslane's lab in July for a year-long Fulbright-funded sabbatical. Dr. Hammad Abou Fakhr is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon where her main responsibility is teaching (Principles of Entomology, Plant/Pest Interactions, Biological Control, Introduction to Beekeeping, Integrated Pest Management). During her sabbatical, she plans to study the toxicological effects of extracts of Melia azedarach, the chinaberry tree, on Liriomyza sativae and Bemisia argentifolii and their natural enemies. She also hopes to learn new skills and technologies that she can take back to her students in Lebanon. Please take a moment to stop by her office (room 3105) or my lab (room 2128), introduce yourself, and welcome her to the department. - H. McAuslane.

Dr. James P. Cuda was selected for inclusion in the forthcoming 59th edition of Who's Who in America.

Dr. James P. Cuda and Kenyatta Nichols, one of his student workers, were featured in an article entitled, "Living on the Edge" published in the summer issue of IMPACT Magazine. The article highlighted Cuda's research program on biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Florida.

Drs. James P. Cuda, Scotty Long, and Bruce Stevens of the UF College of Medicine were issued United States Patent (No. 6,766,613) on 27 July for developing new materials and methods for controlling certain arthropod pests. Long is a former graduate student currently on duty as a captain in the US Army Reserves.

Student News

This month we award degrees to five graduate students. Listed are their names, degrees, committee chair and immediate plans (if known):

Deanna Branscome - PhD - Koehler - FMC
Susan Gruner - MS - continuing to PhD w/Capinera
Jay Cee Turner - MS - Buss
Ricky Vasquez - MS - Porter - continuing to PhD w/Koehler
Craig Welch - PhD - Frank - postdoc at USDA

Free Lunch

Dr. John Capinera announced that a welcoming reception for our 20+ new graduate students and an employee service pin award ceremony will be combined and followed by a social luncheon for the new and current students, staff, and faculty on August 26. The reception will begin at 10:30 in room 1031 with the luncheon afterwards. Please let Myrna Litchfield ( know if you plan to attend as she needs to order the eats and sweets.


The following students took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the Florida Entomological Society (FES) Student Paper Competitions recently held at the recent FES annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale: (Ph.D level): Rebecca Baldwin, Katie Barbara, Rui Pereira; (M.S. level): Scott Weihman, Daniel Frank and Linda NcHerna.

FES recently awarded $500 scholarships to the following students: Matt Aubuchon, Katie Barbara and Rui Pereira.


Vetter RS, Edwards GB, James LF. 2004. Reports of envenomation by brown recluse spiders (Araneae: Sicariidae) outnumber verifications of Loxosceles spiders in Florida. Journal of Medical Entomology 41: 593-597.

McAuslane HJ, Chen J, Carle RB, Schmalstig J. Influence of Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) Infestation and Squash Silverleaf Disorder on Zucchini Seedling Growth. Journal of Economic Entomology 97:1096-1105.

Stevens BR, Cuda JP, Long LS. 2004. Material and methods for controlling pests. United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Reading Room

Speaking of publications... There are plenty of them available in the department's reading room, and that is where they are suppose to stay. 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 to tidy up after yourself before leaving the room. Those who wish to use the in-room copier should visit the stock room to get a PIN from Nick Hostettler.


FES awarded $100 travel grants, used to attend its recent meeting, to the following students: Alejandro Arevalo, Rebecca Baldwin, Katie Barbara, Crystal Kelts, Rui Pereira, Elena Rhodes, Mirian Hay Roe, Justin Saunders and Jay Cee Turner.

FES also awarded $100 mini-grants (for research) to the following students: Alejandro Arevalo, Rebecca Baldwin, Katie Barbara, Eugene Head, Crystal Kelts, David Melius, Rui Pereira, Elena Rhodes, and Mirian Hay Roe.

Alumni News

Dr. Gregory Evans (1993) recently left his Gainesville position with the Division of Plant Industry for points north. On 4 June, Greg began work as the National Coccidologist Specialist (scale insect taxonomist) for USDA/APHIS/PPQ. Greg states, "Although I work for APHIS, my office is in Beltsville, Maryland, where the national scale insect collection and its vast library is housed. I work beside several of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory taxonomists who work on scale insects, whiteflies, mites, aphids, psyllids and thrips. My primary job is to identify scale insects and sometimes whiteflies that are intercepted at the ports. It's very challenging since shipments are coming in from all over the world." Dr. Evans' Whitefly Taxonomic and Ecological Web site is available at:

Dr. Marian Hay-Roe experienced a media blitz recently when her "talking" butterflies attracted the attention of the press. UF/IFAS generated a story on this aspect of her work and it appeared in several newspapers as well as becoming a lead story on UF Web site's main menu. All as a result of a paper she and USDA researcher Dr. Richard Mankin published in the Journal of Insect Behavior. For details see

Dr. Hanife Genc reports that she and her family are now living in Canakkale, Turkey, her homeland. It is a nice town and close to Greece, as well as Istanbul, Izmir and many other areas attractive to tourists. She and Levent, her husband, both have new jobs at the university there - Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Universitesi. Hanife is in the Plant Protection Department (Entomology) and recently she and Levent applied for assistant professor positions. Hanife will be teaching general entomology courses and doing research in insect pest management. Levent will be also teaching and doing research in GIS and remote sensing. Hanife can be reached at

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. John Foltz participated in the 48th Southern Forest Insect Work Conference in Tampa, Florida, 2-5 August. As an invited speaker in the workshop on forest defoliators, he presented "Orgyia detrita (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), a common and often unrecognized tussock moth in the South." During the poster session, he displayed "Corticeus Species (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) of the Southeastern United States," co-authored with graduate student John Leavengood.

Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt were co-authors on a poster entitled, "Genetic Evidence for Two Introductions of Brazilian Pepper into Florida,"at the annual meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology, held in Miami, FL, 12-15 July. Dr. Colin Hughes, Florida International University, was also a co-author.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the joint annual meeting of the Florida Entomological Society and International Caribbean Conference held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 25-28 July. Cuda, an invited speaker for the Weed Biological Control Symposium, delivered a PowerPoint presentation entitled,"Effect of Experimental Field Releases of the Thrips Pseudophilothrips ichini (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) on the Growth of Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius, in Southeastern Brazil."

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to attend the 2004 Everglades Invasive Species Summit held in Homestead, FL, 29-30 July. The purpose of the summit was to provide participating agencies involved in Everglades restoration with an opportunity to gather and share information about invasive species in the Everglades region. Biological control of Brazilian peppertree, the focus of Cuda's research program, has been identified as a high priority because the plant is an important invader of the Everglades National Park, and poses a significant threat to ongoing restoration efforts.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in a joint meeting of scientists and biologists affiliated with USDA-ARS, South Florida Water Management District, Natural Resources Conservation Service and UF/IFAS to address the invasive plant problem in southwest Florida. The meeting was held at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida REC, in Immokalee, on 5 August.

Lepidoptera Rule!

The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, the world's largest research facility devoted to Lepidoptera, opens 14 August 2004, on the UF campus in Gainesville, Florida. Visit its Web site at to see the schedule of events for that day and later.

Ant School

The two credit course on Ant Identification, Biology, and Control, held at the Ft. Lauderdale REC in July (see the January issue for details), was a success. Ph.D. student John Warner, the class coordinator, reported that in addition to a number of local students and residents (mostly pest control types), several people came down from Gainesville, FL, as well as from three other states. Warner reports that student comments were very positive and all said they learned a great deal and were grateful for the resource CD-ROM and workbooks.

The five-day, one week intensive course included three field trips and many hours of lab time keying out ants and putting together individual collections. Graduate student David Melius commented, "I have taken many entomology classes over the course of my undergraduate and short graduate career, and this has been one of the most interesting and informative classes yet!" Even several of the instructors commented on the good time they had teaching the course. Warner created a photographic review of the course at

Fumigation School

Dr. Brian J. Cabrera, entomologist with the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale REC, announces that registration is now open for the annual School of Structural Fumigation. This is the first year it will be conducted at UF/IFAS. The previous 16 years it was held at Broward Community College. For details see

Making Posters

Jane Medley reports that the department's new HP DesignJet 800 PS plotter is up and running in Room 1023, with most of the bugs worked out. It can print your PowerPoint poster as large as 56" x 42", with much greater resolution and brighter color than our former large-format printer. Please see Jane, Pat Hope, Kathy Milne or Mike Sanford to help you print your poster or display.

Parking Problems

If you have a group coming to the Entomology/Nematology building for a meeting that will need parking permits, please contact Myrna Litchfield ( so she can contact Transportation and Parking to obtain these parking permits. The Department has only a few on hand and they go pretty fast each day. Myrna needs at least three to four days notice.

Bug Quote

"The foreign policy aim of ants can be summed up as follows: restless aggression, territorial conquest, and genocidal annihilation of neighboring colonies whenever possible. If ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably end the world in a week." - from Journey to the Ants by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

Featured Creatures

This popular UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology and FDACS Division of Plant Industry Web site is available at New files are added every month and older files are updated as information becomes available. Looking for some exposure for you and your favorite creature? During the last 12 months, the Featured Creatures Web site recorded 1,376,018 distinct visitors and 2,584,945 page views.

The Top Ten Featured Creatures (and authors) for the period April-June 2004 were: brown recluse spider (GB Edwards - DPI); deer flies (J Squitier - UF/IFAS); bed bug (S Brooks - UF/IFAS); common house spider (GB Edwards - DPI); black flies (JF Butler - UF/IFAS, and JA Hogsette, USDA-ARS); house fly (H Sanchez-Arroyo, UF/IFAS); yellowjackets (EE Grissell, DPI); deer tick (M Patnaude, UF/IFAS and TN Mather, University of Rhode Island); German cockroach (S Valles, USDA-ARS), and lady beetles (JH Frank and RF Mizell, UF/IFAS).

New text and/or photographs were added to melaleuca weevil, click beetles (major revision), glassywinged sharpshooter, papaya fruit fly, twospotted spider mite, oriental fruit fly, crabhole mosquito, Florida SLE mosquito, corn earworm, pine shoot beetle, cyclamen mite, green peach aphid, and diaprepes weevil.

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Please send submissions to him at Issues are published about the middle of each month. Items for each month's issue should be sent no later than the 7th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Building 970. A notice is sent to all those on the UF-Bugnews-l listserv when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at , which contains instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the listserv. Andy Koehler does the coding for the HTML version.

During the last twelve months, the newsletter Web site recorded 35,613 distinct visitors and 58,720 page views. The newsletter listserv has 235 subscribers.

August 2004.