February 2011

Faculty News

The Selection Committee for The Florida Citrus Hall of Fame announced four distinguished leaders will be inducted into the Hall during a Citrus Celebration Luncheon. Dr. Robert C. Bullock will be one of those recognized among the industryís most noteworthy on Friday, 4 March 4 2011, at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Dr. Bullock joined the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center in June 1961 as an Assistant Professor of Entomology. He came to us from the Republic of Honduras where he had been working as an entomologist for the United Fruit Company in La Lima, Honduras. He dedicated his career to providing distinguished service working directly with citrus growers as they confronted insect pest issues. Dr. Bullock retired from the university in 1999.

Dr. James P. Cuda was a guest lecturer on 31 January for the graduate level course Water Biology (PHC6937). Cudaís lecture focused on aquatic insect taxonomy and ecology, and aquatic weed biological control.

Dr. Philip Stansly recently returned from his parasitoid-hunting trip to China, cooperating with the local research institutions by sharing information on Asian citrus psyllid and Huanlongbing management.

Dr. Moneen M. Jones recently started at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) as a Post-doctoral Associate in Entomological Extension and Research. Dr. Jones received her doctorate from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2010, where she studied the susceptibility of oriental fruit moth to selected insecticides and mixtures. She briefly worked with integrated pest management of bed bugs at Rutgers University as a Research Assistant for the Urban Entomology Department. Current research focuses on management programs for the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of citrus greening disease, a serious threat to citrus production in Florida. Her research emphasizes the development of efficient monitoring methods to evaluate control, economic feasibility, and impact on secondary pests to assist in making rational control decisions. She also evaluates new chemical tools for psyllid suppression and compatibility with natural enemies. She assists growers with planning and evaluation of field tests to develop site specific season-long psyllid control which provides an information bridge between growers and researchers to communicate this information effectively to the industry.

Staff News

Ted Stansly, of the SWFREC, presented a study on how insects were counted from their respective colonies using modern technology. The oral presentation "Incorporation of laser counters for quantifying insects passing through vacuum-pump driven aspirators" gave very promising results. This device was shown to be able to significantly reduce the relative error of ten percent (attained from traditional hand counting methods) down to less than one percent. The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (2 mm in length), and its parasitoid, Tamarixia radiata, (>1 mm in length) were among some of the test subjects for the study, but any size insect could be used. Now that it is shown to be accurate and relatively inexpensive, further studies will seek to find ways to make insect quantification of parasitoid-producing colonies completely autonomous.

Student News

Dr. Carl Barfield, our department's Undergraduate Coordinator, recently passed on some statistics concerning our undergraduate program:

Ph.D. student Ameya Gondhalekar received the 2010 Shripat Kamble Urban Entomology Graduate Student Award for Innovative Research, presented by the Entomological Foundation. This award is provided to a doctoral student who is currently conducting research which demonstrates innovative and realistic approaches to Urban Entomology. The award consists of a $500 research grant and a plaque. Ameya was presented the award at the ESA annual meeting in December.

Ph.D. student Daniel Carrillo received first prize during the Acarology Session during the recent ESA meeting. The prize was awarded by the Acarological Society of America for best student paper. Daniel presented the paper "Prey-stage preference, functional and numerical response of Amblyseius largoensis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) to Raoiella indica (Acari:Tenuipalpidae)."

Daniel Carrillo (right) receives the Acarological Society of America award for best student paper.

Graduate student Joel Mendez received his B. Sc. in Agriculture in 2003 from the University of Zamorano, Honduras. He first worked in the Biological Control Laboratory in Zamorano as a Research Assistant. While there, he was involved in research of fungi for the control of pests in vegetables and as a trainer of vegetable growers in the use of biological agents. This experience helped him to obtain a position as a Research Aide at the OARDC at Ohio state University, working on the maintenance and evaluation of an intensive fruit and vegetable polyculture system in which he was involved in determining the biodiversity of insect species and crop spatial arrangements for pest pressure to develop management strategies. In 2009, he joined the team led by Dr. Phil Stansly at the SWFREC in Immokalee, obtaining relevant knowledge on the control of different stages in the life cycle of the Asian citrus psyllid and the economic impact this pest has as the vector that spreads the citrus greening disease.

Department Receives $5 Million Gift

Charles and Lynn Steinmetz have committed $5 million to our department. Their gift will be used to "create five new permanent endowments, including three professorships, one of which is an entrepreneurship fellowship, a research fund and additional support for an existing student scholarship..." that the Steinmetz's previously endowed. Our department currently has 60 undergraduate majors and well over 100 graduate students. Over the years, this commitment will have a spreading effect in the field of entomology that cannot be measured.

While the grant is tied to a life insurance policy, the UF President's office will provide 4% funding for the next three years for start-up purposes. The gift is also eligible for state-matching funds in the future. It is also proposed that the Entomology and Nematology building—long known by the impressive name 'Building 970'— be named after the donor. A naming ceremony is tentatively scheduled for April, while awaiting approval by the University Board of Regents.

Mr. Steinmetz received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Florida in 1999.


Mukherjee A, Christman MC, Overholt WA, Cuda JP. 2011. Prioritizing areas in the native range of hygrophila for surveys to collect biological control agents. Biological Control 56: 254-262.

Medal JC, Cuda JP. 2010. Establishment and initial impact of Gratiana boliviana (Chrysomelidae), first biocontrol agent released against tropical soda apple in Florida. Florida Entomologist 93: 493-500.

Kaufman PE, Mann RS, Butler JF. 2011. Insecticidal potency of novel compounds on multiple insect species of medical and veterinary importance. Pest Management Science 67: 26-35.

Pitzer JB, Kaufman PE, TenBroeck SH. 2010. Assessing permethrin resistance in the stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) in Florida using laboratory selections and field evaluations. Journal of Economic Entomology 103: 2258-2263.

Obenauer PJ, Allan SA, Kaufman PE. 2010. Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) oviposition response to organic infusions from common flora of suburban Florida. Journal of Vector Ecology 35: 301-306.

Mann RS, Kaufman PE. 2010. Colonization of Lutzomyia shannoni (Diptera: Psychodidae) utilizing an artificial blood feeding technique. Journal of Vector Ecology 35: 286-294

Pitzer JB, Kaufman PE, TenBroeck SH, Maruniak JE. 2011. Host blood meal identification by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for dispersal evidence of stable flies (Diptera: Muscidae) between livestock facilities. Journal of Medical Entomology 48: 53-60.

DeBerry S. (January 2011). Redheaded pine sawfly, Neodiprion lecontei (Fitch). Featured Creatures. EENY-488. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/sawfly/redheaded_pine_sawfly.htm

Hahn DA, Denlinger DL. 2011. Energetics of diapause. Annual Review of Entomology 56: 103-121.

Hall HG, Ascher JS. 2010. Surveys of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) in natural areas of Alachua County in north-central Florida. Florida Entomologist 93: 609-629.

Change in Florida Entomologist Editorship

I turned over the editorship of Florida Entomologist to Dr. Waldemar Klassen effective January 1, 2011. I have edited the Florida Entomologist for the past seven years with the effective help of the Associate Editors. The editorship has been a meaningful way for me to stay connected to entomology since my retirement in 2003. I will continue to help Dr. Klassen during 2011 in order to ensure a smooth transition of the editorship. Dr. Klassen had a distinguished career as an entomologist with the USDA, with FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, and most recently as Director of the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) in Homestead, FL. Dr. Klassen is now retired in Homestead, FL, but maintains an office at the TREC where he can receive e-mail and postal service mail.

Dr. Klassen's e-mail address for receiving journal communications is editor.flaentsoc@gmail.com. His mailing address is University of Florida, TREC, 18905 SW 280th Street, Homestead, FL 33031-3314. I plan to continue teaching the undergraduate Honors Program course Global Environmental Issues in the fall term for several more years, contingent, of course, upon the program allowing me to do that. - Dr. James Nation

Spring 2011 Entomology Seminars

We have a great list of speakers for the Spring 2011 Entomology Seminar Series. You can visit http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/seminar/ for a listing and the most up-to-date information on the seminars, as some presentation titles are not yet provided. If you wish to meet with a speaker while he or she is visiting, please let the organizer (listed for that speaker) know or send me an email. - Dr. Christine Miller

Meetings and Presentations

Drs. James P. Cuda and William A. Overholt co-authored two presentations at the ESA meeting in December. The first was an oral presentation by Dr. Veronica Manrique (Ph.D, '08) on "Classical biological control of Brazilian peppertree: A graduate student perspective." The second was a poster presentation by Ms. Lindsey Christ (M.S. '10) on "Biology, impact and feeding preferences of Calophya terebinthifolii (Hemiptera: Calophyidae), a candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae)."

Justin Bricker, an Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate student in Dr. James Cudaís laboratory, presented a poster at the 2011 Creativity in the Arts and Sciences Event held at the Reitz Union, 16 January. Justinís poster was "Modeling the Population Dynamics and Impact of the Exotic Weevil Apocnemidophorus pipitzi on the the invasive Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius."

Dr. Jawwad Qureshi presented the paper "Insecticidal sprays in winter provide significant reduction in Asian citrus psyllid populations and opportunity for additional suppression through conservative and augmentative biological control" at the 2nd International Research Conference on Huanglongbing. He also presented the poster "Suitability of Diaphorina citri, Toxoptera citricida, and Aphis spiraecola as prey for the ladybeetle Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)." Dr. Qureshi's paper presentation at the annual ESA meeting was on the "Influence of shoot production on Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) populations in citrus." These presentations were coauthored by Dr. Phil Stansly.

While at the recent ESA meeting, Ph.D. student Scott Croxton, working under Dr. Phil Stansly, gave a presentation on the effects of Temik® and Movento® applications on the Asian citrus psyllid in the student presentation contest. He also presented a poster evaluating the survival rates of Tamarixia radiata on multiple artificial diets.

Dr. Cesar Monzo, Post-doctoral associate at SWFREC, gave an oral presentation at the recent ESA meeting regarding the importance of conservation biological control of generalist predators in citrus. He explained how these predators, when acting as assemblages, show some advantages that specialists do not have. This hypothesis was tested and demonstrated by studying the influence of citrus ground-dwelling predators on the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). Activity-density of these predators was assessed in citrus agro-systems, predation efficiency was evaluated under laboratory conditions, and PCR gut-content analysis was used to corroborate laboratory results under field conditions.

Dr. Cesar Monzo also presented the first results on the research he is conducting at the 2nd International Research Conference on Huanglongbing, held in Orlando. This study seeks to determine economic thresholds for vector control in young citrus treated for symptoms of Huanglongbing with a Nutrient/SAR package.

Dr. Phil Stansly gave the oral presentation "Prospects for area wide management of Asian citrus psyllid in Florida," at the recent ESA meeting.

Bee College

The 2011 University of Florida Bee College is scheduled for 11-12 March, in St. Augustine, Florida. The event is open to anyone with an interest in bees at any level. In 2010, over 250 people attended. This program is authorized for CEUs in several categories.

Nematode Assay Lab Moves

The UF/IFAS Nematode Assay Laboratory has moved, and there are several other changes. Former Laboratory Manager Frank E. Woods retired. Dr. John Eric Luc, the interim lab manager, resumed his Post-Doctorate duties, and will leave campus at some point in the future.

The new manager and Nematologist for the University of Florida Nematode Assay Lab is Dr. Tesfamariam (Tesfa) Mengistu. He has assumed all managerial responsibilities for the lab, and our forms and future correspondence will reflect this change.

The Nematode Assay Lab is now located in a different building. The new address is:

University of Florida
Entomology and Nematology Department
Building 970 Natural Area Drive
Gainesville, Fl 32611-0620
Tel: 352-392-1994
Fax: 352-392-0190

Another change is in the additional services the Nematode Assay Lab will offer. We plan to provide morphological species identification and molecular characterization using PCR and sequencing. We also plan to provide our sampling instructions and forms online, as well as publications we use for education on nematode conditions. As a result, we have delayed offering new sample kits, Not only are the kits expensive to assemble, but there is a time delay in shipping and handling. We are developing menthods to provide the information you need on short notice or as required. A benefit to you is the elimination of the need to store kits that may go out of date as information changes.


Thank you to those members and friends of the department who participated in our January outreach activities:

Here are the outreaches scheduled for February: We still need a few more volunteers for the State Fair! Please see the sign-up sheet on the window at the department's main office. 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. If you lead an outreach, please be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter. 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

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to fasulo@ufl.edu. 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.

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February 2011.