May 2004

Faculty News

Dr. Philip Koehler announced that the Veterinary entomology faculty position description was approved and assigned #931390. Formal review of applications will begin August 3, 2004. This position has 40% teaching, 50% research and 10% Extension responsibilities. Currently the search committee consists of Drs. Phil Koehler (, Oscar Liburd, Roxanne Rutledge Connelly, Jerry A. Hogsette, Ellis Greiner, Saundra H. BenBroeck, and Jonathan Day. Details are available on the department's Web site at

In late April, a vote was taken on the candidates for the Insect Physiology position, but the department chair is away and there is no word if the selected candidate accepted, refused or is in negotiation. The June issue will carry the announcement, although it will be old news to most by then.

Dr Graham White joined the faculty as Research Scientist coordinating the newly funded Deployed Warfighter Protection Against Disease-carrying Insects Research Program (DWFP) sponsored by the Department of Defense through the Armed Forces Pest Management Board ( to facilitate the development and acquisition of novel chemistries and formulations for public health pesticides, and application equipment for military and public use. He is based at the USDA/ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology, half-a-mile east of the Department of Entomology & Nematology, working in association with the Mosquito & Fly Research Unit and its several Courtesy Professors of our Faculty. Dr White's role involves R&D liaison between universities, industry, military entomologists and five Research Centers of the USDA/ARS ( working to improve personal protection against arthropod vectors of human diseases. With funding of $5 million/year, for at least 5 years approved, this program complements current moves by EPA to review vector control product needs (

Dr White is British with career background as former head of the Medical Entomology Section at the British Museum of Natural History; former faculty of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; the Institute of Pathobiology at Addis Ababa University and the East African Institute of Malaria and Vector-Borne Diseases. For 12 years he was global vector control product manager with multinational chemical companies and also served during that period on the Board of the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature. He brings to the faculty his honorary role as founding editor of the quarterly research journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology ( from the Royal Entomological Society, London, U.K.

Dr. John Burand, Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, visited our department and Dr. Jim Maruniak during the week of April 5th. Dr. Burand presented a seminar on "Evolution of Virulence of Sexually Transmitted Viruses in Insects."

Dr. Kris Bramen, University of Georgia, invited Dr. James P. Cuda to rewrite the objectives for the new S-303 Regional Project on Biological Control of Arthropod Pests and Weeds. Cuda revised Objective II- Exploration, importation and assessment of natural enemies for invasive pests, and solicited comments from other classical biological control researchers in the Southeast.

Drs. James P. Cuda, Julio Medal and Ph.D. student Veronica Manrique. traveled to South America during 6-17 March to survey for natural enemies of Brazilian peppertree and tropical soda. They conducted surveys in northern Argentina in collaboration with scientists from the USDA-ARS South American Biological Control Laboratory located in Buenos Aires. They discovered several new natural enemies, including a weevil whose larvae probably attack the stems and twigs of Brazilian peppertree, according to weevil taxonomist Dr. Charlie O' Brien of FAMU University. The adults are voracious leaf feeders that attack the young leaflets. Cuda is attempting to establish a small colony in quarantine in order to conduct host range tests. See the UF press release at


Fairchild GB, Weems HV, Fasulo TR. (April 2004).Yellow fly, Diachlorus ferrugatus (Fabricius). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-320.

Rios L, Maruniak J. (April 2004). Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-319.


In December 2004, we announced that Pamela Howell, one of our senior word processors, was an IFAS Division Superior Accomplishment award winner in the Clerical/Office Support category. We are now very pleased to report that in March she was selected for the University-wide Superior Accomplishment Award, which includes a plaque and a $1,000 check. It is important to note that there is only one winner in each category at the University level. In addition to that nice check, the University President will host all the University-wide winners and their guest at a football game this fall in his SkyBox. Part of the reason Ms. Howell won the award for 2003 year was for proofreading and editing a three-volume, 4000 page encyclopedia of insects, and volunteering to help process all the department's backlog of about 80 travels during an employee's extended illness and absence.

Esther Dunn, a DPM student (Ent/Nem-based) working with the IPM Florida program, and Wendy Wilber, Alachua County Horticulture Extension Agent, received a Silver Award in the 2004 IFAS IMAGE Awards Program for their IPM Toolboxes project.

Scotty Long, who just received his PhD, also received the University of Florida Women's Club Graduate Student of the Year Award which includes $1,000. Dr. Long was nominated for the award by Dr. Heather McAuslane and was a student in Dr. James Cuda's laboratory.

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council presented Dr. James P. Cuda with a plaque for his service as a member of its Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004. Cuda received the plaque at the Council's Annual Meeting, in Pensacola Beach, FL, 27-30 April.

This year, Entomology and Nematology women won all four scholarships ($500 each) awarded by the UF/IFAS Agricultural Women's Club. The Club honored recipients Erika Anderson, Rebecca Baldwin, Katie Barbara, and Cara Congdon, at a luncheon on April 15.

Pupil Emergence

Two of our undergraduates received their B.S. in Entomology at the end of the Spring Semester: Rhiannon Lewis (with honors) and Flavio Vasquez.

We also awarded degrees to 13 graduate students. Listed below are their names, degrees, where they are going (if known) and their committee chair:

Matthew T. Brightman (MS - private sector in Chicago - Stimac);
Roxanne G. Burrus (MS - U.S. Navy - Koehler);
Julie Cara Congdon (MS - PhD at UF - Buss);
Marcus W. Griswold (MS - OPS at UF for summer 2004 - Lounibos);
Mirian Hay-Roe (PhD - OPS at UF - Emmel);
Emily V. Heffernan (MS - OPS at UF summer 2004 - Emmel);
Lewis Scotty Long (PhD - U.S. Army - Cuda);
John E. Luc (MS - PhD at Clemson - Crow);
Erin J. Monteagudo (MS - PhD at UF - Su);
An Duc Nguyen (MS - PhD Vet School at UF - Koehler);
Richard Pluke (PhD - Postdoc in Puerto Rico - Liebee);
Andrew Rasmussen (PhD - Postdoc at FAMU - Pescador);
Aureline Tartar (PhD - ? - Boucias);
Jeffery White (MS - OPS at UF - Liburd).

New Students

The department received one four-year Alumni Fellowship from the Office of the Provost for Kendra Pesko (University of Michigan). Kendra will join Dr. Hoy's lab later this year.

While we did not admit any new graduate students for Summer 2004, two MS recipients on the above list will continue work on a PhD under their current supervisor.

Will Study For Cash

Dr. Pauline Lawrence created an endowment for insect physiology or biochemistry that will be used to provide a stipend for graduate students working in this field.

FAO Summer School

The Department is currently hosting an FAO-International Atomic Energy Agency interregional training course on the use of sterile insect technology and related techniques for integrated area- wide management of insect pests. Entomologists from 25 countries are here for a month of instruction, field trips and demonstrations of area-wide pest management. Lecturers from North and South America, Asia and Europe will present documentation of successful area-wide programs and details of the technology used. Although fruit fly and screwworm sterility programs are the most well-known examples of this approach, many other serious pests are either managed by area-wide programs or are under consideration. The USDA, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry and the Department are providing staff and facilities for the course. Attendees of the course come from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cuba, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya (2), Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela and Vietnam. Drs David Dame, Pat Greany, and Mirian Hay-Roe are the contacts for the course.


Dr. Bill Overholt reports that the opening dedication of the new quarantine facility at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce is scheduled for July 9th. The time is not yet determined. The facility is located near the corner of Pruitt Research and Rock Roads. Some of us have already been invited and others can be added, based on involvement and interest. Please let Dr. Overholt ( know if you would like to attend. If there is sufficient interest, Dr. Norm Leppla is willing to arrange transportation from Gainesville to Ft. Pierce and back. The one way distance is 219 miles, so plan for a long day.

Meetings and Presentations

Drs. James P. Cuda attended a Biological Control Implementation Project Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, on March 25th. The Project Delivery Team, which is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, invited Cuda to become a member.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in a tour of the Holiday Park TAME melaleuca demonstration site in Broward Co, FL, on 20 April. TAME melaleuca is The Areawide Management Evaluation of Melaleuca, a biological control based integrated weed management project co-sponsored by USDA-ARS, SFWMD, and UF/IFAS.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the second quarter Board of Directors Meeting of the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society held in St. Petersburg, FL, on 21 April.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended a joint meeting of the 6th Annual Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council and the 19th Annual Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council held in Pensacola Beach, FL, 28-30 April. His presentation entitled, "Is the Defoliating Sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi (Hymenoptera: Pergidae) Safe to Release in Florida for Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree?" The presentation was co-authored by Dr. Julio Medal and Ms. Judy Gillmore. Cuda also was a co-author on another oral presentation and four poster presentations.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker at the Annual Aquatic Weed Control short course held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 3-7 May. His presentation was entitled,"Biological Control of Aquatic Weeds in Florida", and he also served as a moderator for another oral presentation session.

Seminar Announcements

Spider Biosystematics - ENY6932 - Fall 2004: Time Friday, Period 6 Instructor: Dr. G. B. Edwards, FDACS-DPI (

Instructor will provide a systematic overview of spiders. Students will be required to give one 25- 30 minute seminar chosen from an aspect of spider biology (e.g., ecology, ethology), morphology, physiology, systematics, or interaction with people (e.g., agricultural, medical). Student talks will coordinate with instructor presentations. A list of suggested seminar topics will be provided at a later date.

Keeping You Posted

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

Let's Party, Dude

Dr. John Capinera asked that we create a Social Committee to plan and organize social events for the department. Volunteers will serve on a rotating basis and the committee should consist of faculty, staff and students. Volunteers were himself and Drs. Jim Cuda, Heather McAuslane, Norm Leppla, Faith Oi, and Mrs. Myrna Litchfield. Myrna will request staff and students volunteers by e-mail.

Compendia Online - FREE

The online version of CAB International's Compendia, an encyclopedia of animal and plant diseases and pests, is now available free to land grant university employees at The Compendia synthesize a wide range of scientific information that is useful for scientists and extension educators, particularly when called upon to provide fast and accurate information regarding newly emerging animal diseases and plant pests. The regularly updated Compendia are comprised of peer reviewed and edited information from thousands of specialists throughout the world. The Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers and the National Plant Diagnostic Centers are making the three compendia available to land grant university faculty and staff members, free of charge, with funding provided by CSREES.


Dr. James P. Cuda received a $2400 grant from Office of the Dean for Research to participate in the 2004 Undergraduate Summer Internship Program. The undergraduate student, Maurio Andrews, will work on developing a rearing technique of a leaf-galling psyllid that attacks Brazilian peppertree.

Drs. Norm Leppla, Barbra Larson, Eileen Buss, Mark Shelby, Norm Nesheim and Susan Williams received a grant for $40,000 from the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program for the project "Landscape Maintenance IPM Training to Promote Reduced-Risk Pest Management Practices."

Luis Matos successfully completed his Ph.D. qualifying examinations and also received a $500.00 research grant from the Sigma Xi Scientific Society to support his Ph.D. research on the vertical transmission of the Diachasmimorpha longicaudata entomopoxvirus (DlEPV) to wasp offspring.

Alumni News

On May 3rd, Dr Dini Miller, Urban Pest entomologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, returned to UF to present the keynote address on the opening day of the Southeastern Pest Management Conference in Gainesville. Her topic was "Return of King Cockroach: The Story of Cockroach Bait Failures."

Club Virology

Dr. Jim Maruniak is the advisor for the Society for Virological Studies (SVS). This is a student organization that promotes the study of viruses with monthly seminars, invited speakers and a yearly "field trip" to virus-related locations. Past trips included visits to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, National Institute of Health in Washington, and Institute Pedro Kouri in Cuba. During Spring break 2004, Dr. Maruniak and eight SVS students journeyed to Puerto Rico to visit the CDC unit and the University of Puerto Rico. Any student interested in becoming a member should contact Dr. Maruniak ( See the UF press release at The club's Web site is at

Support Your Local Virus

The Society for Virological Studies hosted its first West Niler 3-Miler run/walk through the University of Florida. Some of the comments heard about the course after the race were: "very exciting," "challenging," and "beautiful" since it was mostly through the University woods. Dr. Jim Maruniak was in charge of the welcoming speech and the starting command of the race. Graduate student Sandy Garrett represented the Department of Entomology and Nematology and also received a prize for her good time. All the prizes were "mosquito" related. We hope to see more "entomological faces" next year!

Reaching Out

Erika Andersen (M.S. graduate student) is our current Insect Outreach Program Coordinator. You can contact her at 352-392-1901 or for information and scheduling. Recent activities include:

April 1: Sandra Garrett spoke with students from Wiles Elementary School at Kanapaha park.

April 9-10: Dr. Carl Barfield, Erika Andersen, Jennifer Meyer, and Jason Meyer spoke with high school and undergraduate students at the College of Agriculture's Gator Encounters to promote interest in the department among these students.

Erika Andersen spoke to the following: April 13: ~80 kindergartners at Norton Elementary School; April 14: ~120 elementary students at Rawlings Elementary School; April 21: ~100 preschoolers at Winter Park Congregational Preschool in Winter Park, FL: April 22: ~30 special-needs students at Forest Lake Elementary School in Deltona, FL; April 23: ~100 fourth graders from Belleview Elementary School in Belleview, FL.

April 29: John Leavengood spoke at Career Day at Trenton Elementary School. His presentations were so well-received that the school requested he stay for an extra presentation after the fair was over!

Bug Quote

What is a butterfly? At best
He's but a caterpillar dressed.
- Benjamin Franklin

Featured Creatures

This popular UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department 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 1,271,757 distinct visitors and 2,388,771 page views.

New text and/or photographs were added to the files on: Asian subterranean termite (major revision), Mexican fruit fly (major revision), red imported fire ant, white-footed ant, orb weaver and American serpentine leafminer.

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 36,754 distinct visitors and 61,167 page views. The newsletter listserv has 244 subscribers.

May 2004.