October 2010

Faculty News

Drs. James P. Cuda, Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman and William A. Overholt were featured in the Fall 2010 issue of Southern Exposure, a newsletter produced by the Southern Region IPM Center. The article highlighted the new $500,000 USDA NIFA IPM RAMP grant to research Hydrilla awarded to these faculty as well as other University of Florida, Florida A&M University, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers research/extension specialists.

Dr. Julio Medal co-organized the 4th Latin-American Weed Biocontrol Workshop, held 23-27 August 2010 at the Mexico Institute of Water Technology (IMTA) in Jiutepec, Mexico. The workshop was attended by 59 students, technicians, and professionals from seven countries: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua and USA. A course evaluation indicated that 44% of the participants considered the course as excellent, and 56% very good. Dr. Medal presented two talks: "History of weed biocontrol in Latin America," and "Biocontrol of terrestrial weeds." The next workshop is scheduled for August 2011 in Ecuador. The workshop was sponsored by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

On 4 October, Dr. Marc Branham gave an invited seminar on "The evolution of fireflies and their courtship signals," to the Entomology Department at Michigan State University.

The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently recognized the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) for its 2010 Innovative Program Models Partnership Award. The NPDN consists of five regional centers, and the University of Florida hosts the regional center for the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN). One of the UF/IFAS faculty and staff recognized as part of the award was Dr. Amanda Hodges, Associate Director - Entomology, for SPDN.

Dr. Phil Stansly, of the Southwest Florida REC (SWFREC) in Immokalee, recently returned from his parasitoid-hunting trip to China, cooperating with the local research institutions sharing information on Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing management.

Dr. Cesar Monzo obtained his Ph.D. at the Agricultural Research Institute of Valencia, Spain. He joined our department in July as a Post-Doctoral Associate with Dr. Phil Stansly at SWFREC. He is working on determining economic thresholds for the control of the Asian citrus psyllid. Prior to his current position, he obtained his P.hD. working on biological control of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), focusing on the study of native citrus ground-dwelling predators.

Staff News

Five of our staff were awarded year pins for faithful service to the department and UF/IFAS.

(P.S. - "Senior" doesn't mean that they are old.)

Student News

Ping Li, a new Ph.D. student from China, joined Dr. Marjorie Hoy's laboratory this semester.

Graduate student Geoff Gallice is spending the semester (August-December 2010) in Ecuador, wokring on his thesis research on neotropical butterfly ecology. Geoff can be reached at geoff.gallice@gmail.com. If you would like to be kept updated on his adventures chasing butterflies in the Amazon, visit his blog at http://www.neotropicalbutterflyecology.blogspot.com/.

Sarahlynne Guerrero recently received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Alumni and Friends Scholarship at the CALS TailGATOR 2010 Alumni and Friends Barbecue. Her award citation reads, "...an entomology and nematology junior from Sabastian, Florida, balances academics, work, and activities in pursuit of education. Guerrero is a biological science technician for the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This summer, she received a Florida Entomological Society research mini-grant for assessing the efficacy of four different Helicoverpa moth traps. Guerrero was a role model in the UF Fightin' Gator Marching Band for three years. She serves as a First-Year Florida Peer Leader and Peer Leader Mentor and constantly provides entomology through the UF Entomology Club. Guerrero was initiated into Alpha Zeta in Spring 2010 and is a CALS Honors Program participant."

Sarahlynne Guerrero and her proud father.


Ahn KJ, Jeon MJ, Branham MA.2010. Phylogeny, biogeography and stepwise evolutionary transition of micro seashore habitat in the Liparocephalini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae). Cladistics 26: 344-358.

Larrick S, Mitola M. (September 2010). Common carpet beetle, Anthrenus scrophulariae (Linnaeus). Featured Creatures. EENY-482. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/fabric/common_carpet_beetle.htm

Copeland CS, Hoy MA, Jeyaprakash A, Aluja M, Ramirez-Romero R, Sivinski JM. 2010. Genetic characteristics of bisexual and female-only populations of Odontosema anastrephae (Hymenoptera: Figitidae). Florida Entomologist 93: 437-443.

Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA. 2010. Real-time PCR reveals endosymbiont titer fluctuations in Metaseiulus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) colonies held at different temperatures. Florida Entomologist 93: 464-466.

Hoy MA. 2010. Book review: Dust Mites. Colloff MJ. 2009. CSIRO Publications and Springer Science, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Florida Entomologist 93: 474.

Coy MR, Salem TZ, Denton JS, Kovaleva E, Liu Z, Barber DS, Campbell JH, Davis DC, Buchman GW, Boucias DG, Scharf ME. 2010. Phenol-oxidizing laccases from the termite gut. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 40: 723-732.

Lietze V-U, Schneider G, Prompiboon P, Boucias DG. 2010. The detection of Bacillus thuringiensis in mass rearing of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Florida Entomologist 93: 385-390.

Medal J, Bustamante N, Vitorino M, Beal L, Overholt W, Diaz R, Cuda J. 2010. Host specificity tests of Gratiana graminea (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a potential biological control agent of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum (Solanaceae). Florida Entomologist 93: 231-242.

Seal DR, Klassen W, Kumar V. 2010. Biological parameters of Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on selected hosts. Environmental Entomology 39: 1389-1398.

Invasive Species Powerpoints

Stephanie Stocks and Dr. Amanda Hodges are involved in leading the launch of a new multi-agency, national educational campaign for invasive species. Educational materials will be delivered for a variety of target audiences, including the following: small farmers, the general public, and K-12 instructors. For more information, visit the Protect U.S., Community Invasive Species Network, web site. The Protect U.S. website was launched in August 2010.

In September, the first PowerPoint for the Protect U.S. series of educational modules was released: "Overview: Invasive Species that Affect Plants" by Amanda Hodges and Stephanie Stocks.

PowerPoint presentations posted on Protect U.S. are available for anyone to download and use for educational purposes.

During September, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) announced five new e-learning modules on the emerald ash borer that are available on the NPDN e-learning site. Module topics include the following:

Module authors include: Eric Wiseman, Sarah Dickinson, Dave Close, and Heather Boyd from Virginia Tech. Technical E-Learning Assistance and Reviewer Edits: Stephanie Stocks, Howard Beck, and Amanda Hodges, University of Florida.

Updates were also made to the chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis, e-learning module. The module was originally released in December 2009, and over 90 learners have completed this course to date. Module authors include: Drs. Amanda Hodges and Lance Osborne, University of Florida; and Scott Ludwig, Texas A&M University. Stephanie Stocks provided editing assistance for the newly released version of the module.

The NPDN is changing its program area committee structures, based on the recently approved NPDN governance document. After serving almost six years as the NPDN Training and Education Subcommittee chair, Dr. Hodges transitioned to a new subcommittee role—Program Area Manager. As of September, the chair for the NPDN Training and Education Subcommittee is Richard Hoenisch, UC-Davis. The new secretary for the NPDN Training and Education Subcommittee is Sharon Dobesh, Kansas State University.

During the September 2010 conference call, the NPDN Training and Education Subcommittee approved the addition of Stephanie Stocks to this committee. Protect U.S. is one of the new NPDN partner programs related to NPDN Training and Education (i.e., First Detector) education. Stephanie was added to the NPDN Training and Education Subcommittee due to her role as the Protect U.S. coordinator.

Some of the above were covered in the September and August NPDN member newsletters if you wish more details. - Dr. Amanda Hodges

Meetings and Presentations

On 18 August, Dr. Marc Branham was invited to present a short talk on "Secrets of success for mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students" as a presenter in the "It's an HONOR - to mentor an undergraduate thesis project!" Session, 11th Annual College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Teaching Enhancement Symposium, Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Marc Branham recently attended the 2nd International Firefly Symposium, held 2–5 August, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. While at the symposium, he presented the talk "Dating the origins of bioluminescence in Coleoptera," J. Light was co-author. Dr. Branham also served as Chairman and Moderator of the "Biology and Behavior" session. Participants came from many countries, including Switzerland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Pakistan, Australia and the United States. Dr. Branham also participated in the Firefly Taxonomy Workshop held just prior to the Symposium at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, 27–31 July. At this workshop, he presented the lecture "DNA barcoding applications to species identification."

Plans are for the 3rd International Firefly Symposium to be held in Gainesville, Florida, in 2013. It will be hosted by the University of Florida and the Branham Lab.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited guest lecturer for the HHMI Science for Life Seminar Series (IDH 3931). Cuda gave a presentation titled, "Biological Control of Florida’s Invasive Weeds."

Dr. Rosie Gill and Ph.D. student Gaurav Goyal participated in the CALS Teaching Enhancement Symposium.

Dr. Amanda Hodges attended the 17th Ornamentals Workshop, 21-23 September, in Hendersonville, North Carolina at the Kanuga Conference Center. She co-delivered the presentation "Plant Sentinels: Educating and training public garden staff as first responders for invasives."

At the Fall Meeting of the Florida Citrus Production Managers Association, Dr. Alejandro Arevalo (Ph.D. '06), Postdoctoral associate at SWFREC, presented a research report on the "Effects of foliar nutrition and ACP (Asian citrus psyllid) management on psyllid populations and the health and production of Valencia oranges in Southwest Florida."

Dr. Cesar Monzo attended the 8th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance, held 26 September-1 October in Valencia, Spain. This symposium focused on the latest research on fruit flies. Dr. Monzo gave an oral presentation about the importance of conservation biological control strategies of citrus ground-dwelling predators as a tool to regulate Medfly populations.


Stephanie Stocks, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, and Dr. Amanda Hodges represented the department at our booth for the CALS TailGATOR 2010 Alumni and Friends Barbecue. This year the booth focused on the following theme: Exotic Arthropods-A Biosecurity Risk? Over 600 alumni and friends attended the event. A few members of our department were fortunate enough to be smeared with barbecue sauce, as their photographs were included in the collage on the event's placemat.

Stephanie Stocks and friend at TailGATOR.

Thank you to those members and friends of the department who participated in our September outreaches:

Here are several upcoming outreach events for which we may need assistance (even if it is only setting up a tent or table for our displays): 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, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club Web site and contact us. — Dale A Halbritter, Outreach Coordinator

Undergraduate Entomology Club Formal Events for the Month of September - Maggie Paxson (Events Coordinator)

Departmental Web site

"Be sure to visit the newly redesigned home page for our department at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/. At lower left you'll see a new link for our new undergrad video. It takes you to our new YouTube page, which gives you access to a growing library of videos. Here's your opportunity to show the world your insect videos. If you have any footage you want to share on the "UF Entomology channel," please contact Kay Weigel or Jane Medley. Local or national news footage is welcome if you have a video file.

"The new undergrad video was a collaboration created by Marcos Gomez and Jane Medley at the request of Dr. John Capinera. Voiceover was provided by Ph.D. student Dan Fitzpatrick. Many students, faculty and staff contributed their smiling faces and/or shooting locations, and we thank them all. Several undergrad students appear onscreen, including Paula Cohen, Hannah McKenrick, Maggie Paxson, Danae Perry, Alyssa Porter, Lauren Stewart, and Roxanne Wagner. Also appearing are Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Gurpreet Brar, Felix Cervantes, Dan Fitzpatrick, Melissa Headrick, Verena Lietze, Christian Salcedo, Amy Stone, Wayne Walker, Kay Weigel and her daughters, Emily and Lydia. Special thanks to Dr. Phil Koehler for his support and input. If I missed your name, contact me and we'll give you a shoutout. Thank you!

"The next project is under way; it's an informational video aimed at potential grad students. Stay tuned." — Jane Medley, Senior Art and Graphics Specialist

Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing

The HLB bibliographical database is maintained by Dr. Alejandro Arevalo, Aimee Fraulo, Dr. Phil Stansly from the SWFREC in Immokalee, and G. Snyder from the Center for Library Automation. The database now has 1,935 citations, 74% of which are linked to their original sources. Eighty-seven percent of the entries are in English, the remaining 13% are in Spanish, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Vietnamese, Dutch, Farsi, Arabic, Czech, and Hebrew, making it a worldwide source of information for Huanglongbing related information.

Drs. Phil Stansly and Alejandro Arevalo are gearing up for the 3rd Annual Cooperative Area Wide ACP Management program in southwest Florida. They will be collaborating with Dr. Mongi Zekri, of the UF/IFAS Hendry County Cooperative Extension Service office; Paul Mears from the Florida Departmnet of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI) in Immokalee, Florida; and the Gulf Citrus Growers Association.

Drs. Jawwad Qureshi and Phil Stansly report that Tamarixia radiata, an ectoparasitoid of ACP, Diaphorina citri, was imported from Pakistan, south China and North Vietnam and colonies were established at the FDACS-DPI in Gainesville. So far, a total of 48,079, 49,495, and 38,544 adults of T. radiata produced by Pakistan, south China and North Vietnam colonies, respectively, have been released in the conventional and organic groves of Florida and are contributing to an overall reduction in psyllid population.


Two of our faculty received 2011 UF/IFAS Research Innovation Grant Awards.

Drs. William Overholt and James Cuda were awarded $18,000 by the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. This two-year grant will supoort a hydrilla research project conducted by Karen Stratman, a new Masters-level student in our department.

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.

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October 2010.