September 2004

Faculty News

On behalf of the search committee, Dr. Phil Koehler reported that the Veterinary Entomology position announcement drew 22 applicants, with one later withdrawing. This position is 40% teaching, 50% research, and 10% extension. The committee chose two applicants to bring to Gainesville for two days each to interview and present research and teaching seminars.

September 30 - October 1: Jeffery K. Tomberlin is currently Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University located in Dallas. He received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Georgia, M.S. in Entomology from Clemson University, and B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Georgia.

October 4-5: Phillip E. Kaufman is currently Research Associate, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. He received his Ph.D. in Livestock Entomology at the University of Wyoming, M.S. in Vegetable Pest Management at the University of Wisconsin, and B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Illinois.

IFAS is not releasing other positions at this time.

Student News

The department welcomed 20 new graduate students this semester, bringing our total to an even 100. (This may be subject to change as some are talking about transferring to universities in states that never see hurricanes.) Students are listed by: name, (degree sought) - major advisor:

Gino Nearns (MS), Jennifer Zaspel (PhD) - Branham; Jason Froeba (MS) - Capinera; Pauric McGroary - Crow; Joey Orajay (PhD), Jason Stanley (MS) - Dickson; Delano Lewis (MS) - Emmel; Scott Portman (MS) - Frank; Kendra Pesko (PhD) - Hoy; Melissa Doyle (MS), Aaron Lloyd (MS) - Kline; Ryan Welch (MS) - Koehler; Kevin Kobylinski (MS), Sean McCann (MS), Julie Maglio (MS) - Lord; Robyn Raban (MS) - Lounibos; Thomas Chouvenc (PhD), Hou-Feng Li (MS), Carl Swienton (MS) - Su; John Leavengood (MS) - Thomas.

Emily Heffernan is also continuing on to a Ph.D. with Dr. Emmel.

Staff News

On August 26th, the following members of our staff received service pins representing their years of continuous service: Debra Boyd - 30 yrs; Steve Lasley - 25 yrs; Jane Medley - 20 yrs; Sam Nguyen - 20 yrs; Reginald Wilcox - 20 yrs; Nick Hostettler - 15 yrs; Pat Hope - 10 yrs; Oscar Hernandez - 5 yrs; and Mike Miller - 5 yrs.

Myrna Litchfield wishes to thank the following members of the Social Committee for helping to make the combined staff and new student "Thank You and Welcome Celebration" such a success: Debbie Hall, Jim Cuda and his helper Judy Gillmore, Norm Leppla, Heather McAuslane, Faith Oi, Jane Medley, and John Capinera. She also thanks all the volunteers for helping to clean up and all those who attended and made it such a great success.


Roi Levin, an M.S. student in Nematology with Dr. Crow, won third place in the graduate student competition at the Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida annual meeting in Tallahassee. Roi's paper was titled "Susceptibility of several perennial ornamentals to four species of root-knot nematodes"


Heffernan EV. (August 2004). An acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-333.

Mead FW. (July 2004). Cotton stainer, Dysdercus suturellus (Herrich-Schaeffer). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-330.

Futch SH, Noling JW. Rootstock/Weeds Screen Saver. Software.

McCoy CW, Castle WS, Graham JH, Syvertsen JP, Schumann AW, Stuart RJ. Pesticides suppress Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and promote differential growth and survival of 'Hamlin' orange trees budded to five rootstocks in a Phytophthora infested grove. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society.

El-Borai FE, Duncan LW, Preston JF. Bionomics of a phoretic association between a putative Paenibacillus sp. and the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema diaprepesi. Journal of Nematology.

Futch SH. Duncan LW, Zekri M. Validation of an area-wide extension program to estimate the seasonal abundance of adult citrus root weevils with un-baited pyramidal traps. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society.

Persad AB, Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA. 2004. High-fidelity PCR assay discriminates between immature Lipolexus oregmae and Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) within their aphid hosts. Florida Entomologist 87:18-24.

Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA. 2004. Multiple displacement amplification in combination with high-fidelity PCR improves detection of bacteria from single females or eggs of Metaseiulus occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 86:111-116.

Hoy MA, Jessey C. 2004. Ageniaspis citricola (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) established in Bermuda. Florida Entomologist 87:229-230.

Persad A, Hoy MA. 2004. Predation by Solenopsis invicta and Blattella asahinai on Toxoptera citricida parasitized by Lysiphlebus testaceipes and Lipolexis oregmae on citrus in Florida. Biological Control 30:531-537.

Denmark, HA, Fasulo TR, Funderburk JE. (August 2004). Cuban laurel thrips, Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marchal). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-324.

Harris DL, Hemenway Jr RC, Whitcomb WH. (July 2004). A ground beetle, Calleida decora (Fabricius) UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-331.

Cuda JP, Brammer AS, Pereira RM, Broza M. 2004. Interference of natural regulation of the aquatic weed mosquito fern (Azolla caroliniana) by the red imported fire ant. Aquatics 26: 20-26.

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.

Fall Entomology Seminars

Coordinators for this semester are graduate students Veronica Manrique, Rodrigo Diaz and Karla Addesso.

09/16 - Dr. Robert Wiedenmann (Center for Ecological Entomology, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois). "Ecological and physiological factors determining suitability of Cotesia flavipes-complex parasitoids." CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANES!

09/23 - Dr. Arshad Ali (UF/IFAS). "Chironomidae (Diptera) problems: Research approach and field application."

09/30 - Dr. Mark Hunter (Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia). "Insect population ecology and ecosystem processes."

10/07 - Dr. Ronald Cave (UF/IFAS). "New efforts in biological control of pest insects in Florida."

10/14 - Dr. Jane Polston (UF/IFAS). "Interactions of tomato plants, begomoviruses, and the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci."

10/21 - Dr. Baldwyn Torto (UF/IFAS). "Chemical ecology of the small hive beetle: An alarming development for honeybees."

10/28 - Dr. Charles Cowell (University of Louisville, Kentucky). "A summary of forty years of Lepidoptera and mosquito research at the University of Louisville, Kentucky."

11/04 - Dr. Catharine Mannion (UF/IFAS). "Nursery production and exotic insect pests."

11/18 - Dr. Stephen M. Ferkovich (ARS-USDA, Gainesville). "Improvement of artificial diets for beneficial insects with host-derived factors and insect cell lines."

12/02 - Dr. Dave Carlson (ARS-USDA Gainesville). "Chemotaxonomy of insects using surface hydrocarbons."


Dr. William Crow received a grant for $21,000 from the Environmental Institute for Golf and The Florida Golf Course Superintendent's Association to study "Timing of nematicide applications on turf based on soil temperatures, nematode activity, and root development".

Drs. James P. Cuda and William Overholt received a $25,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to conduct surveys for new natural enemies of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius, in Paraguay and the surrounding area. Paraguay is considered part of the native range of Brazilian peppertree, but has not been adequately surveyed for potential biological control agents of this highly invasive weed.

Alumni News

Eric Luc, a former M.S. student of Dr. Crow received a Dow Agrosciences travel award for $500 to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists in Colorado. Eric presented some of his research conducted while at UF. His paper was titled "Effects of Belonolaimus longicaudatus on nitrate leaching in turfgrass lysimeters".

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Marc Branham presented two invited talks in Japan in August. His first presentation entitled "Flashers, Glowers, and Sniffers: Sexual Selection and Signal Evolution in Fireflies" was a keynote lecture at the 13th International Symposium on Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence. This year's conference was held in Yokohama, Japan. Marc's second talk, "The Evolution of Sexual Communication in Fireflies" was presented at The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, located in Osaka, Japan.

Dr. Marjorie A. Hoy will speak on regulatory issues regarding transgenic insects at the upcoming workshop, Biotech Bugs, 20-21 September at the George Washington University Conference Center, Washington, DC. The meeting is sponsored by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology to explore the science, ethics and public policy of genetically modified insects.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to participate in a joint USDA-ARS and UF/IFAS Invasive Species and Agro-Ecosystems Research Partnership Workshop held at the USDA Horticultural Research Laboratory, Ft. Pierce, FL, 17 August. The purpose of this one-day workshop was to develop a joint strategy for strengthening agriculture's role in the restoration of the South Florida Ecosystem. Cuda served as Co-Chair of the Biological Control of Invasive Plants Working Group, and delivered a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the key research issues relating to biological weed control in South Florida and the role that UF/IFAS is playing in addressing these issues. Drs. Norm Leppla, Bill Overholt and Ron Cave also attended the workshop.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in the 5th Annual CALS Teaching Enhancement Symposium held at the University of Florida Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, Gainesville, 18 August.

Dr. James Maruniak attended the Society for Invertebrate Pathology (SIP) meeting in Helsinki, Finland from July 31 to August 5. While there he presented a poster entitled "Neodiprion lecontei and Neodiprion sertifer nucleopolyhedroviruses: Comparative Genomics and Evolution" by Hilary Lauzon, Paolo Zanotto, Alejandra Garcia-Maruniak, Basil Arif and James Maruniak. Dr. Maruniak also started his two-year period as the Chair of the Virology Division for the SIP.

Dr. James Maruniak will participate in a roundtable as an invited speaker for the Viral Society of Brazil (SBV), scheduled for São Pedro, Brazil, 26-29 September. His presentation will be "Complete genome sequence of a Hymenopteran baculovirus, Neodiprion sertifer nucleopolyhedrovirus (NeseNPV)"

The 36th Annual Society for Vector Ecology (SOVE) Conference is scheduled for 26-29 September in Boston, MA. Two of the 12 invited student speakers are from our department. Sandra Garrett's title is "Identifying Possible Mosquito Vectors of West Nile Virus in Florida Alligator Farms." Aissa Doumbouya's title is "Artificial membrane feeding of Culex sp. and the effect of host type on fecundity." The student symposium was co-organized by Leslie Rios and consists of invited student giving 10-minute presentations on their graduate work. Drs. Jonathan Day and Roxanne Rutledge also will be presenting at the meeting. Dr. Day is the Vice-president of SOVE, and this year he is the meeting organizer and session moderator. For more information, please contact Major Dhillon at (909) 340-9792. Information will be posted on the Web site ( as it becomes available.

Distance Education Degrees

The department now offers two Master of Science degrees (non-thesis) via distance education: M.S. in Entomology and M.S. in Pest Management. Links to several Web pages describing the requirements are available from the UF/IFAS Pest Alert site at See the entry for 08/30/04.

Reaching Out

Curious about outreach events the department held this summer? Here is a summary:

City Parks & Recreation Summer Camp Program totaled approximately 400 of Gainesville's elementary and middle schoolers: June 8: Westwood Middle School; June 10: Howard Bishop Middle School; July 12: Eastside Community Center; and July 19: Northeast Community Center.

Tours of the department for interested families with children: June 3 and 11.

Other events and presentations included the following groups: June 16: Anchor Center Summer School Program; June 17: Medieval Bug Faire at Turlington Plaza for Dr. Barfield's Bugs and People class; June 19: Alachua Branch Library; June 23: Apopka Research Center Science Camp for Middle Schoolers; June 29 and July 14: Insect Discovery Camp at the Florida Museum of Natural History; July 13: College Reach-Out Program for Minority Students; July 16: A Child's Place; July 26: Brownie Troop 93 of Alachua, FL; July 29: 4-H Congress; July 30: Discovery Camp of Ocala, FL; August 4: Incalf Montessori School; and August 18: Girls' Club of Alachua County

As of late August, Erika Andersen turned over outreach coordinator responsibilities to Justin Harbison. He can be reached at 392-1901 x 205 or


While members of the department, on the Gainesville campus, suffered varying degrees of damage and inconvenience due to Hurricane Frances (loss of power, downed trees, etc.) at their homes, our building on campus weathered it well. Two large pines came down, with one barely missing the outside emergency generator and another narrowly missing a state vehicle. Please park state vehicles in the concrete parking garage near the museum during future emergencies. However, the Pesticide Storage Shed flooded again and Dr. John Capinera said that if anyone has anything stored there they should forget about it for now until EH&S pumps it out. Capinera talked to IFAS about relocating the storage because it has proven to be a bad site.

Bug Quote

"In South Florida, we have industrial cockroaches that have to be equipped with loud warning beepers so you can get out of their way when they back up." - Dave Barry

Pest Alert

Pest Alert is a means by which UF/IFAS delivers timely information on new and reoccurring pest problems. Other important contributors to Pest Alert are the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and its agricultural regulatory unit, the Division of Plant Industry; and the Florida Department of Health with its arbovirus summaries and reports. The Pest Alert site is located at Join a moderated (only information on postings is sent to the list; no subscriber messages) listserv that includes over 500 subscribers worldwide, as many of our problems (and solutions) have impact in many other countries.

Due to the expected surge of mosquito populations resulting from the recent hurricanes that impacted Florida and other states, the Pest Alert Web site - Arbovirus Summary page - now includes a section listing files added over the last three years that contain information on mosquito repellents, traps and their use, as well as other relevant information.

Faculty Senate Report

President Machen spoke to the Faculty Senate and discussed goals for the Fall, which includes help in responding to issues raised in the recent Faculty Survey. One of his main points was that faculty and staff deserve improved salary and benefits. He is so concerned about personnel issues identified in the Survey that he will hire a new Vice President for Personnel Matters that would deal with both faculty and staff issues. He also announced that he is initiating a new "President's Challenge" in an effort to obtain $150 million in private support to give faculty the necessary tools to enhance classroom instruction and conduct world-class research. Funds donated will be matched by State matching funds and he has pledged to add to each gift of $1 million or more, $250,000 from a special discretionary fund established with private donations specifically for the Faculty Challenge until the fund is exhausted. Dr. Machen indicated the Faculty Survey will be repeated during 2005 and 2006 to see if progress is being made. Dr. Machen noted that the undergraduate class size is the same for 2004-2005, but the quality is greater than it has ever been. The number of graduate students has increased somewhat. Dr. Machen noted that new faculty are needed to help carry the work load of our current enrollment. See the Faculty Senate website: - Dr. Marjorie Hoy, Faculty Senator

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 1,405,696 distinct visitors and 2,682,717 page views.

New text and/or photographs were added to diaprepes root weevil, green peach aphid, cyclamen mite, lesser cornstalk borer, thorn bug, hover fly, deer tick, varroa mite, melon fly (major revision), Florida SLE mosquito, sap beetles, gladiolus thrips, redbanded thrips (major revision), melon thrips, and greenhouse thrips (major revision).

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 35,987 distinct visitors and 60,267 page views. The newsletter listserv has 236 subscribers.

September 2004.