April 2012

Faculty News

Dr. Jennifer Hamel was invited to compete in the Warder Clyde Allee Competition at the annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, in June 2012. This is a competition where new PhDs present their doctoral work in a special session of 20-minute talks. A person may only enter it once, and to enter, one submits a manuscript. Not all authors who submit are invited to present their work.

Dr. Lukasz Stelinski, Dr. Rajinder Mann, Jared Ali, Sara Hermann, Dr. Siddharth Tiwari, Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski and Dr. Hans Alborn were all featured in an UF/IFAS news release on their research demonstrating how "Citrus greening bacterium may 'ring the dinner bell' to attract" the Asian citrus psyllid.

Drs. Jorge Rey and David Dame were interviewed for an article, "Warm winter responsible for more mosquitoes this spring, experts say," in the Alligator, UF's student-run newspaper. Florida's mild winter and some other factors have contributed to higher populations of disease-vectoring mosquitoes. While there are no current alerts (there were two counties under alert in January), mosquito-control districts have already reported some virus activity in sentinel chicken flocks, and there are cases of imported dengue and malaria in Florida. For more on Florida's arbovirus reports and mosquito avoidance advice, see the Arbovirus Summary Archives on the UF/IFAS Pest Alert site.

Dr. Christine Miller recently served as a member of a grant review panel for the National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C.

On 6 March, Dr. Jeffrey Bloomquist was issued a patent for his past work at Virginia Tech (VT), which is still ongoing here at UF. The patent title is "Insecticidal Carbamates Exhibiting Species-Selective Inhibition of Acetylcholinesterase (AChE)." His co-inventors from Virginia Tech are Dr. Paul Carlier, Department of Chemistry; Dr. Sally Paulson, Department of Entomology; and Dr. Eric Wong, Department of Animal and Poultry Science. The U.S. Patent Application No. is 12/209,301; and the U.S. Patent No. is 8,129,428

Dr. James P. Cuda travelled to Brazil, during 3-10 March, to collect a new leaflet galling psyllid for his research on biological control of Brazilian peppertree.

Dr. James Cuda was an invited participant in the UF Inventors’ Reception - "A Celebration of Innovation 2012," held at the UF Hilton Conference Center, 27 March. Cuda was honored for his contribution to the licensing of the amino acid methionine for controlling insect and nematode pests.

Student News

Three undergraduate members of Dr. Christine Miller’s lab celebrated awards this past month.

Undergraduate entomology student Christopher Bibbs, who also works in our Nematology Assay Lab, starts graduate work at the University of Arizona this fall. In addition to his Research Assistantship, he was also "chosen to receive the prestigious University of Arizona Graduate Access Fellowship" for the 2012-13 academic year. Chris was very active in our department and this is a well deserved honor. In addition to his other activities, he is senior author of four Featured Creatures: the horned passalus, widow spider parasitoids, saddleback caterpillar, and the Florida woods cockroach. Chris summaries his proposed research as:
At the University of Arizona, I will be working with Dr. Dawn Gouge, School IPM researcher and extension specialist in Maricopa, Arizona. I intend to help Dr. Gouge determine foraging patterns for Centruroides sculpturatus, the bark scorpion [the most venomous scorpion in North America], which is responsible for the highest incidence of envenomations in the southwestern United States. Using nocturnal surveillance and accounting for the effects of the rain seasons in Arizona, we seek to develop pest management plans and control options for this species. We also strive to include Latrodectus hesperus, the western black widow, in these efforts and provide pertinent information for both venomous urban pests.

Alumni News

Crystal Atkinson, (M.S., 2011) a former supervisory teaching assistant for Principles of Entomology, was awarded a prestigious Graduate Teaching Assistant Award by the University. Only 10 to 15 graduate TAs are selected for this honor each year and few are from CALS. Former winners with ties to Entomology & Nematology are Dr. Matt Lehnert (Ph.D., 2010) and Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman. This is a wonderful honor and a well-deserved recognition of Crystal's success in the classroom and in mentoring of the other Principles teaching assistants. She will be honored at a reception on April 27th.


Hall DW, Minno MC, Walker TJ. (March 2012). Cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae (Linnaeus). Featured Creatures. EENY-524. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/bfly2/cloudless_sulphur.htm

Vork D, Connelly CR. (April 2012). A mosquito, Culex (Melanoconion) pilosus (Dyar and Knab). Featured Creatures. EENY-521. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/flies/culex_pilosus.htm

Chi AA, Mizell III RF. (April 2012). Cottonwood leaf beetle, Chrysomela scripta Fabricius. Featured Creatures. EENY-519 http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/beetles/cottonwood_leaf_beetle.htm

Procter DS, Moore AJ, Miller CW. 2012. The form of sexual selection arising from male-male competition depends on the presence of females in the social environment. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25: 803-812.

Cuda JP, Coon BR, Dao YM. Center TD. 2011. Effect of an herbivorous stem mining midge on the growth of hydrilla. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 49: 83-89.

Lewis DS, Cuda JP, Stevens BR. 2011. A novel biorational pesticide: Efficacy of methionine against Heraclides (Papilio) cresphontes, a surrogate of the invasive Princeps (Papilio) demoleus (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 104: 1986-1990.

Medal J, Overholt W, Charudattan R, Mullahey J, Gaskella R, Diaz R, Cuda J. (editors). 2012. Tropical Soda Apple Management Plan: Recommendations from the Florida Tropical Soda Apple Implementation Management Team. University of Florida.

Cuda JP. 2012. Can nematodes control tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum)?, pp. 77-79. In Medal J, Overholt W, Charudattan R, Mullahey J, Gaskella R, Diaz R, Cuda J. (editors). Tropical Soda Apple Management Plan: Recommendations from the Florida Tropical Soda Apple Implementation Management Team. University of Florida.

Cuda JP. 2012. Can native Leptinotarsa beetles control tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum)?, pp. 80-85. In Medal J, Overholt W, Charudattan R, Mullahey J, Gaskella R, Diaz R, Cuda J. (editors). Tropical Soda Apple Management Plan: Recommendations from the Florida Tropical Soda Apple Implementation Management Team. University of Florida.

Mukherjee A, Jones JW, Cuda JP, Kiker G, Overholt WA. 2012. Effects of simulated herbivory on growth and biomass accumulation of the invasive weed hygrophila and its mathematical modeling. Biological Control 60: 271-279.

Chi AA, Mizell III RF. (April 2012). Western leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus zonatus (Dallas). Featured Creatures. EENY-517. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/citrus/leptoglossus_zonatus.htm

Kumar V, Seal DR, Kakkar G, McKenzie CL, Osborne L. 2012. New tropical fruit hosts of Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and its relative abundance on them in south Florida. Florida Entomologist 95: 205-207.

Brennan SA, Eger J, Liburd OE. (April 2012). A stink bug, Euschistus quadrator Rolston. Featured Creatures. EENY-523. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/field/bugs/euschistus_quadrator.htm

Spring 2012 Entomology Seminars

The department's entomology seminars take place on Thursday afternoons in Room 1031, unless indicated otherwise. The talks start at 3:30 pm. with refreshments served at 3:20 pm. Other details, as well as a listing of this semester's talks, are available on the seminar site.

Spring 2012 Nematology Seminars

The department's nematology seminars take place on Monday afternoons in Room 1031, unless indicated otherwise. The talks start at 3:45 pm. with refreshments served at 3:30 pm. For details on this semester's presentations, click here.

Meetings and Presentations

On 5 April, Dr. Christine Miller gave an invited seminar to the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida.

Drs. James Cuda and Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman co-authored the poster presentation "Hydrilla IPM RAMP- Starting a Statewide Project." The poster was presented at the 3rd Biennial UF Water Institute Symposium- Sustainable Water Resources: Complex Challenges, Integrated Solutions, held at the Reitz Union, 15-16 February.

Dr. James Cuda attended the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Florida Weed Science Society held in Haines City, Florida, 27-28 February. Cuda spoke on "Reciprocal allelopathy: The wax myrtle and Brazilian peppertree story."

Dr. James Cuda co-authored the oral presentations "Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae), a fortuitous biological control agent of Hydrilla verticillata," and "Introduction history of Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) and prospects for its biological control in Florida." The papers were presented at the Joint Meeting of the ESA Southeastern and Southwestern Branches held in Little Rock, Arkansas, 4-7 March.

Dr. James Cuda co-authored the poster "Developing a sustainable IPM approach for management of herbicide resistant hydrilla in the U.S." at the 7th International IPM Symposium held in Memphis, Tennessee, 27-29 March.

Dr. James Cuda was an invited lecturer for the Colloquium on Plant Pests of Regulatory Significance held in Fifield Hall, 28 March. Cuda spoke on “Recent advances in biological control of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius.”

Dr. James Cuda participated in the UF Teaching Excellence Workshop held at the George A. Smathers Library East, 6 April.

Dr. James Cuda attended the International Programs’ Spring Workshop "UF International Engagement in Haiti and Beyond," held in the Reitz Union, 21 March.


The department's outreach program was featured in the current edition of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Connection magazine. In the article, Charlotte Emerson, director of student development and recruiting for CALS, suggests that other departments "should model their outreach program efforts after [ours]." And not only does the article have a nice photograph of Dale Harbritter, our Outreach Coordinator, but they used a photo of Dr. Teresa Balser, the CALS dean, holding one of our scorpions at the latest IFAS TailGator. The article mentions that, in 2010, our outreach program reached over 76,000 students from kindegarten through the college level. In 2011, the total number of confirmed contacts was over 94,000.

Our second annual BugFest hosted over 500 people during the evening of 4 April. The event was featured in a UF/IFAS News Release and followed up the next day by an article in the student-run Alligator newspaper.

Thank you to those members and friends of the department who have volunteered for our March and early April outreaches:

The following are programs and outreach events currently scheduled for April: The live critters are always a hit with children and adults alike. The critters are available for you to check out should you be leading an outreach event. We have doubles of our most popular critters, as well as various native insect species depending on the time of year. We have large wood and plexiglas cages for viewing our native orb weaving spiders. There is one traveling cage and one larger static cage. Please be sure to contact me and review the protocol on transporting and handling the critters if you are not already familiar with it. If you lead an outreach, be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter and so that we can log all outreach events. If you would like to schedule an event or have any outreach questions, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club Web site and contact us. - Dale A. Halbritter, Outreach Coordinator

March 30th tour group. Keith Gerber (right) shows off our Arthropod Petting Zoo in its new location in room 2219.


Dr. James Cuda received a 2012 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Summer Internship to support an undergraduate student in his laboratory. The internship provides $3,360 stipend for the Summer C Semester.

Featured Creatures Web Statistics

For the first three months of 2012, Featured Creatures had 916,877 page views, compared with 863,807 for the same period last year.

Top Ten for Page Views

New Editor

Beginning with the May 2012 issue, Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman is the new newsletter editor. She will notify faculty, staff and students on several different ways to submit news before the next issue.

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Issues usually are published by early mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news, which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors. Thomas Fasulo does the HTML coding.

April 2012.