March 2012

Faculty News

Recently, Dr. Akito Y. Kawahara was appointed as an affiliate member of the faculty of our department. He is an Assistant Curator of Lepidoptera at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, and his research is in insect systematics, evolution and genomics. Dr. Kawahara has a large Web site that covers the activities of his laboratory

The journal Current Biology featured Dr. Andrei Sourakov and his paper on Calisto butterflies in its February 2012 editorial.

Dr. Marc Branham received "Research Associate" status at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. Marc Branham was also a senior consultant on the ten-year traveling exhibit "Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence" which opens later this month in New York and remains there until 6 January 2013. The exhibit was created by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada, and The Field Museum, Chicago. To promote the exhibit, the AMNH produced a UTube video about the making of this 10-year traveling exhibit. The video is said to have been the biggest hit of any they have done (with apparently over 25,000 views on the AMNH facebook page in the first few days after it was uploaded). There is considerable firefly content in the exhibit that does not appear in this video. This exhibit features some of the research conducted by Drs. James Lloyd (UF Emeritus Professor of Entomology) and Marc Branham and includes several anatomically correct 2.5 foot firefly models that emit the appropriate species specific flash pattern at the correct wavelength (color). Past UF M.S. student Alicia Hodson contributed little known details about the firefly Phausis reticulata that she studied in the field.

Friends and colleagues of the late Dr. Eugene Gerberg are invited to join with his family for an informal celebration of his life. The commemoration will be held 31 March, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Best Western Plus Gateway Grand Hotel, 4200 NW 97th Boulevard, Gainesville, Florida 32606-3742, phone: 352-331-3336.

Student News

The Entomology and Nematology Student Organization is excited to announce that an end-of-the-semester camping trip is in order! We will be camping at Wekiwa Springs State Park (1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL 32712) during 13–15 April 2012. The trip will include hiking, canoeing and swimming in the springs. So come out and de-stress before Spring Semester exams. There is a sign-up sheet at the front office, but there are only 16 slots available for the trip. Be sure to sign up soon, as these slots are first come, first served. If you have questions about the trip, please contact Ashley Poplin (

Our department's Linnaean Games team took second place at the recent Southeastern Branch (SEB) meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). As a result, they qualify to participate in the Linnaean Games at the national ESA meetings this fall. In addition, the SEB awarded the team $1000 to help cover travel expenses to the ESA meeting. The members of our team are graduate students (and their advisors):

From left to right: Sarahlynne Guerrero, Garima Kakkar,
then-SEB president Dr. Norm Leppla, Ashley Poplin, Navneet Kaur Gill.

The team members wish to express their appreciation to the department and Dr. John Capinera for supporting their trip to the meeting, and to their coaches, Dr. Amanda Hodges and Dr. Rebecca Baldwin. They are also grateful to Dr. Greg Hodges (FDACS-Division of Plant Industry) for his time and encouragement.

At the SEB meeting, graduate student Erika Machtinger took First Place in the M.S. Student Oral Presentation competition (section III).


Kawahara AY, Emmel TC, Miller JY, Warren AD. (March 2102). A new institution devoted to Insect Science: The Florida Museum of Natural History, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. Wiley Online Library. Insect Science.

Kawahara AY, Rubinoff D. 2012. Three new species of fancy case caterpillars from threatened forests of Hawaii (Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae: Hyposmocoma). ZooKeys 170: 1-20.

Rubinoff D, San Jose M, Kawahara AY. Phylogenetics and species status of Hawaii’s endangered Blackburn’s Sphinx Moth, Manduca blackburni (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Pacific Science 66: 31-41.

Kuhns EH, Pelz-Stelinski K, Stelinski LL. 2012. Reduced mating success of female tortricid moths following intense pheromone auto-exposure varies with sophistication of mating system. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38: 168-175.

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.

Gill HK, McSorley R. 2011. Effects of different organic mulches on the soil surface arthropods community and weeds in snapdragon. International Journal of Pest Management. 58: 33-40.

Qureshi JA, Stansly PA. 2011. Three homopteran pests of citrus as prey for the convergent lady beetle Hippodamia convergens: Suitability and preference. Environmental Entomology 40: 1503-1510.

Kaufman PE, Wood LA. 2012. Indigenous and exotic dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae and Geotrupidae) collected in Florida cattle pastures. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 105: 225-231.

Wells BC. (February 2012). Palm aphid, Cerataphis brasiliensis Hempel. Featured Creatures. EENY-520.

Bibbs CS, Frank HJ. (March 2012). Saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea (Clemens). Featured Creatures. EENY-522.

The following publication was initially reported in this newsletter's November 2011 issue. It is relisted as it has enjoyed five consecutive months "at the top," as the most downloaded paper from the journal Zoological Science for October, November and December 2011, and January and February 2012.

Oba Y, Branham MA, Fukatsu T. 2011. Terrestrial luminous animals in Japan. Zoological Science 28: 771-789.

Meetings and Presentations

On 16 February, the UF/IFAS Southwest Research and Education Center in Immokalee, presented its annual Citrus Scouting and Pest Management Workshop. Presentations included:

The following presentations were given at the recent SEB meetings of the ESA.

Dr. Delano Lewis requested and received a startup grant from the Director's Office, Florida Natural History Museum to support his research projects in several areas.

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.


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

A special thanks to those who participated in the 2012 Florida State Fair! Our booth was located in the Agricultural Hall of Fame building (Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa) and was part of a larger exhibit called Insect Encounters. We had a new theme this year: "Backyard Bugs". It featured informative displays and both live and preserved specimens. Visitors learned about helpful and harmful insects commonly found in their yards. We are still waiting on the attendance numbers.

Our booth at the Florida State Fair: part of the Insect Encounters exhibit. This year's theme was "Backyard Bugs."
In addition to informative displays, the booth featured live arthropods, including: brown widow, black widow,
an orb weaving spider in its web, a harvester ant farm, carpenter ants, lady beetles, bess beetles, termites,
ant lion larvae in their conical sand traps, and mole crickets and side views of their tunnels.

Three-dimensional display at our booth at the Florida State Fair,
which included Riker mounts of insects and their damage to vegetation.

The following programs and outreach events are currently scheduled for March:

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

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to 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, which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors. Thomas Fasulo does the HTML coding.

March 2012.