January 2004

Faculty News

Dr. Marc Branham joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor specializing in taxonomy and systematics. This appointment is 70% teaching and 30% research with teaching responsibilities that include courses in "Insect Classification," "Immature Insects," and "Behavioral Ecology and Systematics of Insects." Marc's research interests focus on the systematics, behavior, biogeography and evolution of fireflies. Two primary foci of this research are 1) elucidating the higher-level phylogenetic relationships across Lampyridae and 2) the systematics and biogeography of the Caribbean firefly fauna (both fossil and extant.) Marc received his doctoral degree at the Ohio State University and came here from a postdoctoral position at the American Museum of Natural History. Twelve days after arriving in Gainesville, Molly Branham arrived - making Marc and his wife Lori parents for the first time.

Over the next three weeks we will be interviewing candidates for the position of Assistant Research Scientist in Insect Toxicology. This is a 3-year position funded by Proctor & Gamble and IFAS. The candidate will spend 70% of his time investigating novel low-molecular weight insecticides and 30% of his time on his own research in molecular toxicology.

The candidates' application packages are on the counter by the coffee pots in the main Entomology & Nematology office. Please look them over. All candidates will present a research seminar and a teaching seminar. Please try to attend as many as you can.

Research Teaching
Jian-Rong Gao 3:45-4:45 Jan 15 9:00-10:00 Jan. 16
Mike Scharf 1:30-2:30 Jan 22 8:00- 9:00 Jan 23
Zhimou Wen 1:30-2:30 Jan 29 9:00-10:00 Jan 30

If you would like to spend 1/2 an hour or so with a candidate, please let Dr. Heather McAuslane (hjmca@ufl.edu or 352-392-1901 ext. 129) or Pam Howell (pjhowell@ufl.edu) know. All candidates are free on Thursday afternoons except when they are presenting their research seminar. The last two candidates are also available on Friday afternoon.

Also, please consider joining us for lunch on Thursday or Friday or for dinner on Thursday evening. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the candidates in a more casual setting and to enjoy a nice dinner at someone else's expense! Don't be shy. Contact me or Pam if you want to join us. - Heather McAuslane

Advertising for the Insect Physiology position was placed in the ESA newsletter, and the online version of Science. The closing date is 1 March 2003. There is also a notice on the departmental Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/. The committee requests help in recruiting qualified candidates.

New Students

The department welcomed 10 new, and one former, graduate students this semester, bringing our total to 93. If you read our September 2003 issue, and do the math, it appears that eight of our graduate students somehow managed to graduate. Here are the new students, listed by: name, (degree sought) - major advisor:

Bobbie Jo Davis (MS), Veronica Manrique (PhD), Onour Moeri (MS) - Cuda; Christian Salcedo (MS) - Emmel; Colin Hickey (MS), David Melius (MS) - Koehler; Amit Sethi (PhD) - McAuslane; Eric Rohrig (MS) - Sivinski; Michael Whaley (MS) - Slansky; and Shelly Olson (MS) - Teal.

After a seven month break since receiving her MS, Kelly Sims Latsha returned to work on a PhD funded with an Alumni Fellowship. Her major advisors are Drs. Funderburk and Boucias.

Graduate Stories

Angela Brammer graduated in August 2003 with a MS in Entomology. She left immediately for Japan, where she is spending a year teaching English to high school students and others. She has a Web site at http://www.abcdland.com/ that contains text and photographs of her activities in Japan.

New Teaching Lab

As of early January, the destruction phase in the renovation of Jim Nation's old labs (3117-3118-3119) seem to be complete (with hopefully an end to the louder noises), and the installing of new materials (electrical, a/c and heating ducts, concrete block, wallboard, etc.) is now underway. First classes for this lab will be scheduled during the Summer semester.


Medal J, Gandolfo D, Cuda J. 2003. Biology of Gratiana boliviana, the first biocontrol agent released to control tropical soda apple in the USA. EDIS. ENY-826. 3 p.


Dr. John Capinera announced that Dr. Marjorie Hoy would receive the Charles A. Black Award from the Council of Agriculture and Science Technology in recognition of her role in making the public aware of important agricultural issues such as biological control, genetic engineering, and agricultural bio-terrorism.

Meetings and Presentations

UF/IFAS choose Esther Dunn (a Doctor of Plant Medicine (DPM) student who selected our department to graduate from) to represent our department for the 2003-2004 Internationalizing Extension Program. The group of graduate students, extension agents, and faculty from different UF/IFAS disciplines will be heading to Costa Rica this spring to further explore the idea of internationalizing extension in today's global market.

Dr. Julio Medal was an invited speaker at the Quarterly Meeting of the Florida Cattleman's Association held December 4th at the Best Western Gateway Hotel in Gainesville. Medal gave a 20 minute talk on "Current status of the Biological Control Program against tropical soda apple in Florida."

Dr. James P. Cuda attended an interagency TAME Melaleuca technology transfer meeting held at the Indian River REC, Ft. Pierce, FL, on 12 December. TAME Melaleuca is an acronym for "The Areawide Management Evaluation for Melaleuca," a highly invasive tree weed in south Florida. The purpose of this workshop was to review and critique the new Web site for TAME melaleuca, and provide comments on several new brochures that will be available for distribution in 2004.

Posters Posted

Announce new posters or other displays in Building 970. Send author(s) and title to fasulo@ufl.edu. Include location so interested parties can find them.

Poster hanging space is at a premium within the department due to the high cost of cork boards (about $400). At the December faculty meeting, Dr. John Capinera announced that Drs. Eileen Buss and Marjorie Hoy found that it was cheaper to use cork strips instead of cork boards. A 4-foot strip costs $40.00, while an 8-foot strip costs about $60.00. Faculty present voted to go with cork strips. Faculty should decide how many 4-feet and/or 8-feet strips they want and where they wanted them located and submit the request to Dr. Capinera. Posters hung from the strips will require weights on the bottom edges to display properly.

Getting Antsy

A class on Ant Identification, Biology, and Control (ENY 4905/6934) is scheduled this summer (June 28 July 2, 2004. Summer B) at the UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie, Florida (http://flrec.ifas.ufl.edu/). The class offers 2 units (undergraduate/graduate) and will meet for one week, Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5pm. Topics to be covered include ant biology, behavior, taxonomy, and identification; important pest ants and their control in urban settings. Field trips are planned as a part of the course.

Instructors include: Mark A. Deyrup (Archbold Biological Station), Walter R. Tschinkel (Florida State University), John Mangold (Terminix), Rudolf H. Scheffrahn (UF), and William Kern (UF). Costs: Florida Resident Tuition: undergraduate - $185.36; graduate - $ 410.52. Non- Resident Tuition: undergraduate - $920.56; graduate - $1549.06. Enrollment is open to the first 20 students. If space permits, the course may be audited. No charge for persons over 60. To register, please contact: Jane Slane email: jslane@ufl.edu or University of Florida Research and Education Center 3205 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314 954-577-6371 FAX 954-475-4125 Registration begins 1 April 2004, but contact John Warner (jwarner1@ufl.edu) to reserve a space. John is also the class coordinator and you can contact him for more information.

Spring Seminar Series

1/15 - Dr. Jian-Rong Gao (Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts) "Insecticide resistance mechanisms and their detection for management."

1/22 - Dr. Hugh Popenoe (University of Florida, DPM) "The role of termites and earthworms in soil management."

1/29 - Dr. Carol Lauzon (University California - Hayward) "The use of bacteriotherapy to improve the fitness of sterile male medflies."

2/5 - Dr. Gratz (WHO consultant, Geneva) "A global review of the vector-borne diseases."

1/12 - Dr. Brust (research entomologist, Glades Crop Care) "Can area-wide pest management be used in pepper weevil control?"

2/19 - Dr. Fisher (USDA, Corvallis, OR) Title Pending

2/26 - Dr. Davis (USDA, Tifton, GA) "Nematode management in cotton with an emphasis on host plant resistance."

2/27 - Dr. Sithiprasasna (US Army Research Lab, Bangkok) "Remote sensing and geographic information system applications on malaria research in Thailand." (Special Seminar)

3/4 - Dr. Hunter (USDA Fort Pierce) "Glassy-winged sharpshooters and Pierce's disease."

3/11 No Seminar. Spring Break

3/18 - Dr. Joe Eger (Dow AgroSciences) "Pentatomoidea of Rancho Grande, Rondônia, Brazil."

3/25 - Dr. Lluberas (medical entomology consultant, Jacksonville) Title Pending

4/1 - Dr. Burckhardt (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, Siwtzerland) Title Pending

4/8 - Dr. Dan Suiter (University of Georgia- Griffin research station) "Formosan termites in Atlanta GA: Thank you Louisiana!"

4/15 - Dr. Oscar Liburd (University of Florida, Entomology/Nematology) "Developing an IPM program in Small Fruit and Vegetables."


Esther Dunn (DPM student graduating from our department) received a $2,000 grant from Rod Clouser, Northeast Florida District Director. The grant will be used to distribute IPM toolboxes throughout Northeast Florida. The IPM toolboxes are an interactive curriculum developed by Dunn through her work with IPM Florida. The program has been a success, with participation in 15 of the 17 counties.

Climbing Fern To Be Bugged?

Cataclysta camptozonale, a pyralid moth, received APHIS's Technical Advisory Group's approval for release in south Florida as a biocontrol agent of the noxious weed Lygodium microphyllum, the old world climbing fern. Bob Pemberton, USDA/ARS Invasive Plants Research Lab, Ft. Lauderdale, is the lead scientist on this project. Chris Bennett, working under a cooperative agreement between the USDA and UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology, conducted the host-range tests for this insect at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) quarantine facility in Gainesville. Release from quarantine is pending final Federal and State approval. Funding for this project was provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District. - Susan Wineriter

Natural Bugs

The High Springs town library has an exhibit of "bugs" made by a local artist from natural materials. Unlike what you might find in craft shows, these are very attractive and imaginative handiworks made using materials found along the river. The artist created them to amuse her children and the head librarian says there is a story written to go with each one.

Outreach Activities

Erika Andersen is our new Insect Outreach Program Coordinator. You can contact her at 352- 392-1901 for information and scheduling.

Reach Out And Touch...

...9, instead of 8. After all the years of asking us to dial 8-1-###-###-#### to obtain cheaper rates with Florida SunCom, the University of Florida obtained a discount with a service provider that makes it even less expensive to use 9 instead of 8. So please dial 9-1-# etc. for long distance calls and save our department $.

Reach Out and Catch...

...something. Most insect management activities are dependent upon population counts or estimates. A new Web site developed by Dr. Russ Mizell, of the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, is all about traps and trapping. The site (http://ufinsect.ifas.ufl.edu/), includes photographs of the famous Trolling Deer Fly Trap that has earned Mizell kudos and testimonials from numerous users who no longer fear these bloodsuckers.

Credit Seminars

Our department has a seminar requirement for students. Master's students must take 1-credit hour of seminar during their program and PhD students must take two. We will try to offer one or two topics each semester. The following topics are currently scheduled for 2004.

SPRING: Symbiosis - offered by Dr. Marjorie Hoy; Invasive Forest Pests - offered by Dr. John Foltz. FALL: Urban Pests - offered by Dr. Faith Oi.

If students have topics they would like to see covered in a seminar, we will try to organize it if enough students express interest in that area. Let Dr. Heather McAuslane (hjmca@ufl.edu or (352) 392-1901 ext. 129) know of your interests.

Bug Joke

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Featured Creatures

The UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology and the FDACS Division of Plant Industry now have 314 UF/IFAS publications on the Featured Creatures WWW site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/, with more undergoing development. During 2003, the Featured Creatures Web site recorded 1,211,557distinct visitors and 2,157,516 page views.

New text and/or photographs were added to the files on: land planarians, cloudywinged whitefly, and the red imported fire ant.

"New to gardening I found myself with a mysterious moth that appeared one day. Your website with beautiful pictures allowed me to quickly figure out what it was, an io moth, and to deal with the situation appropriately. Thank you again." - Sooz Riskin

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Please send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published about the middle of each month. Items for each month's issue should be sent no later than the 10th 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 http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/ , which contains instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the listserv. Andy Koehler does the coding for the HTML version.

During 2003, the newsletter Web site recorded 35,498 distinct visitors and 56,504 page views. The newsletter listserv has 230 subscribers, with at least 17 international subscribers that I could identify.

January 2004.