November 2005

Faculty News

Drs. Jennifer Gillett and Amanda Hodges are co-chairs of the department's Awards committee. Please see one of them if you want to volunteer for this committee. The committee handles all awards for individuals at the department, local, national, or international levels. If you wish to nominate someone for an award please notify either Jennifer or Amanda.

Dr. John Capinera announced that, to create more interaction with the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera, a joint faculty position is under consideration. The incumbent will have an office in the department, but will perform research at the McGuire Center. This position will be a Lepidoptera/Insect Conservation assistant professorship with 20% teaching, 60% research and 20% extension. It will be funded by the Museum of Natural History, UF/IFAS and the incumbent. This individual will create and teach a course in conservation biology and be involved in the ecotourism program. This will be an in-house search. Discussion followed concerning the pros and cons of an in-house search as opposed to a national search. A vote was taken on whether or not we should go forward with this position. The vote was 20 for and 4 against. A search committee will be appointed of faculty from the McGuire Center and the department.

Dr. Paul Goldstein (Florida Museum of Natural History) was recently elected Secretary for Section A (Systematics, Morphology, and Evolution) of the Entomological Society of America. This is a four-year term that leads to Chair of Section A.

Student News

Ph.D. student Matt Tarver will receive the Larry Larson Graduate Student Award for Leadership in Applied Entomology from Dow AgroSciences at the 2005 ESA meeting. This leadership award acknowledges Master's students who exhibit exceptional interest in the study and application of entomology through outstanding research and leadership skills. Matt earned the award for the research he did for his M.S. degree at Purdue University: "Responses of cowpea bruchid, Callosobruchus maculatus, to natural and pyramided seed resistance." The award is for $2,000 and a trip that includes a tour of Dow AgroScience.

Staff News

The time has come to bid Myrna Litchfield a fond farewell as her retirement beckons. Yes, we'll miss her smiling, capable assistance, her banana pudding, and her cookies; but it's been 35 years and that's a lot of cookies. She and her oven deserve a break!

Join us at a reception in Myrna's honor on Tuesday, November 15, at 3:00 to 5:00 pm in Room 1031 for some cake, coffee and camaraderie. Those who wish to tell a story or say a few words about Myrna will get the opportunity.

Before November 15: If you wish to submit a card or letter to be placed in a retirement book for Myrna, please send or bring it to Debbie Hall, Room 1028. Debbie also will accept cash donations toward the purchase of a parting gift for Myrna. - Jane Medley


The Handbook of Pest Control is one of the most important reference books for the pest control industry and the scientists who support it. The 9th edition, published in 2004, has almost 1400 pages and contains the writings of two dozen highly respected authorities in this area. One of the two technical editors/reviewers for this massive work was our own Angela Brammer (M.S. 03).

Meanwhile, two other alumni wrote chapters in this edition of the Handbook: Dr. Nancy Hinkle (92), veterinary entomologist at the University of Georgia, wrote "Ectoparasites, Part One: Fleas & Lice"; and Dr. Richard Kramer (87), who runs a consulting firm, wrote "Integrated Pest Management." Dr. Thomas Phillips, an entomologist at Oklahoma State University who was a post-doctoral scientist at UF, is co-author of "Fumigation."

Debbie Boyd recently called several members of the department for some computer advice. When asked how she was enjoying her retirement, she replied that she was having the time of her life and was so busy that she hadn't had time to do any of the things she had planned to do.

LIFE in the Department

The October 14th issue includes information on Dr. Jim Lloyd's search for the rare fiddler-crab firefly; Dr. Jim Maruniak's trip to Guatemala with the student members of the Society for Viral Studies, a group of people who have figured out how to get college credit for their Spring Break vacations; and Dr. Tom Emmel's work with butterflies as an indicator of global climate change.

The October 28th issue includes information on Drs. Jim Cuda and Bill Overholt's trip to Africa in search of the source of the Nile or, not finding that, a biological control agent for hydrilla; Dr. Jim Lloyd's firefly class and their field trip to the corner of 34th Street and Hull Road; as well as more details on graduate student Rebecca Baldwin's trip to Nashville to accept an award and sample Tennessee cooking.

Mike Sanford edits this photographic journal of our department, which is located at


Subramanyam S, Sardesai N, Puthoff DP, Meyer JM, Nemacheck JA, Gonzalo M,Williams CE. Expression of two wheat defense-response genes, Hfr-1 and Wci-1, under biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant Science 170 (2006): 90-103.

Hahn DA. 2005. Larval nutrition affects lipid storage and growth, but not carbohydrate or protein storage in newly eclosed adults of the grasshopper, Schistocerca americana. Journal of Insect Physiology 51:1210-1219.

Pelz-Stelinski KS, Gut LJ, Stelinski LL, Liburd OE, Isaacs R. 2005. Captures of Rhagoletis mendax and R. cingulata (Diptera: Tephritidae) on sticky traps are influenced by adjacent host fruit and fruit juice concentrates. Environmental Entomology 34: 1013-1018.

Rhodes EM, Liburd OE. (November 2005). A predatory mite, Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-359.

Meetings and Presentations

Check the Entomological Society of America Web site at for updates on the annual meeting, which, thanks to Hurricane Wilma, is now rescheduled for 15-18 December at Fort Lauderdale. While there, don't forget to eat at The Rustic Inn, in nearby Hollywood, for the best garlic crabs on the coast.

Leppla NC. A 30-year effort to develop the mole cricket nematode product, Nematac S. Annual Conference of the Association of Natural Bio-control Producers, 12 October, Guadalajara, Mexico.

Leppla NC. Instructor. Principals and procedures for rearing quality insects. A five-day workshop for Insectary Managers and Insect Rearing Specialists. 16-21 October, Mississippi State, Mississippi.

Gillett JL. IPM Florida building through partnerships. SPDN 2005 Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Gillett JL. IPM Florida, UF/IFAS - Tomato and Pepper IPM Decision Source Book. Multi-state (AL, GA, NC, MS, FL) In-service Training on the Management of Tomato Diseases, Quincy.

Dr. Oscar Liburd gave a presentation at the Florida Blueberry Growers Association Meeting in Bartow, FL, on 1 November. His talk was "Dispersion behavior and injury caused by flower thrips in early season blueberries." Graduate student H. Alejandro Arevalo was second author on this presentation.

Entomology Seminars

A listing of topics and other information concerning this semester's departmental entomology seminars is available on the newsletter Web site, in the September 2005 issue.

On the Air

National Public Radio has a short feature in the morning that is funded by an environmental group. The feature covers all sorts of environmental topics and airs in our area at about 8:30 a.m. in late October. Two UF/IFAS entomologists were featured. Dr. Roxanne Rutledge explained why biting midges were in short supply this past summer, and Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn spoke about two invasive species of ants (the crazy and Caribbean crazy ants) which are causing problems in Florida. The theme of each segment was continued for several days. At the end, the spokesperson told listeners that more information was available on the Featured Creatures Web site and gave the URL.

Bloodsuckers Get Blood Sucked

According to a recent study, a small, East African jumping spider, Evarcha culicivora, has a taste for blood. It satisfies this need by feeding only on female mosquitoes that have just feasted on blood. See for details.

Bug Quote

"After the planet becomes theirs, many millions of years will have to pass before a beetle particularly loved by God, at the end of its calculations will find written on a sheet of paper in letters of fire that energy is equal to the mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light. The new kings of the world will live tranquilly for a long time, confining themselves to devouring each other and being parasites among each other on a cottage industry scale." - Primo Levi (1919-1987 Italian chemist and author)

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Send submissions to him at Issues are published the middle of each month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

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November 2005.