08/30/99 Entomology and Nematology News
Entomology and Nematology Student Organization
A University of Florida Publication



Miss Cynthia Khoo is a new Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. Pauline Lawrence and will be working on characterization of a rhabdovirus from the parasitic wasp Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, a parasite of the Caribbean fruit fly.  Cynthia comes to us from the University Sains Malaysia where she completed her Masters of Science degree on the chemical ecology of the tephritid fruit fly, Bactrocera papayae.

Welcome to our newest staff member, Seth Ambler.  Seth started working here on Aug. 2 taking JoAnn Dippel's position.  Seth does computer graphics, artwork, web pages, and handles other duties as required.  He comes to us from Polk Community College in Winter Haven.  Seth is taking a course at Sante Fe this semester and will enroll at the UF as a part-time student in the Spring.  He plans to major in English and his goal is to someday teach English either at high school level or university level.  Welcome to the department.


Thomas Powell won first place in the graduate student paper competition held in the department sponsored by the University of Florida Urban Entomology Society. The title of his paper was "Eastern subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) tunneling activity in builders sand and fine loamy sand." Claudia Riegel and Juan Manual Alvarez tied for second with the respective titles "Evaluation of several methods of 1,3-dichloropropene application in Florida sand soils" and "Molecular evidence for cryptic species in Ageniaspis, a parasitoid of the citrus leafminer."

Juan Manual Alvarez has had an outstanding record lately. He won second prize for the student competition at the joint meeting of the Florida Entomological Society and the 4th International Caribbean Conference of Entomology in San Juan, Puerto Rico in July 1999.  He was also awarded a minigrant from the Florida Entomological Society for his Ph.D. thesis research and a ($500) scholarship.

Dr. Lawrence was named the 1999 Pioneer Lecturer Honoree at the Fourth International Caribbean Conference, 82 nd Annual meeting of the Florida Entomological Society, July 25-29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The meeting commemorated the contributions of Dr. George Norton Wolcott to U.S and Caribbean entomology. She was also appointed for a four-year term to the Board of Directors of the University of Florida Foundation.

Dr. Lawrence was appointed for a second term to the Advisory Panel of the National Science Foundation, Integrative Biology and Neuroscience Division, Washington, D.C.

Norm Leppla received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Florida Entomological Society (FES) for "outstanding service to the benefit of the Society and the profession of entomology as Chairman of the Pioneer Lecture Award Series Committee."  FES President John Sivinski at the Fourth International Caribbean Conference of Entomology and 82nd annual meeting of the Florida Entomological Society at San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 27, 1999 presented this award.

Philip G. Koehler, Thomas R. Fasulo and Clay W. Scherer received the Florida Entomological Society's 1999 Team Award for the development and implementation of School IPM in Florida and establishment of a National School IPM WWW site. The award was presented to them at the FES meeting in Puerto Rico in late July.

Dr. James P. Cuda was nominated to replace Dr. Dale Habeck as a voting member of the S-267 Regional Project- Biological Control of Selected Arthopod Pests and Weeds. The goal of this project is to coordinate research programs in the Southern Region to improve implementation and evaluation of biological control by natural enemies for key regional pest groups, and to monitor the effects of exotic natural enemies on non-target organisms.

Dr. James P. Cuda was awarded a grant of $99,640 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for research on classical biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Florida.


Billy Crow is now a new Ph.D. graduate from this department.  He successfully defended his dissertation and will meet the deadline for turning in his thesis today, 2 August.  Dr. Crow is leaving for his new job with Texas A&M University Thursday 5 August. His appointment is 100% extension with responsibilities for turfgrass and ornamentals for the Ft. Worth-Dallas Metro Plex and the northeastern portion of Texas.  We wish him great success with his new duties.


Dina Richmond finished her internship for Dow AgroSciences.  She spent the summer doing Sentricon Quality Assurance Reviews: two months in Florida, one month in California.


Dr. Maria de Lourdes spent 6 weeks in D. W. Dickson's lab working on nematode literature and other projects.  She returned to University of Loudrina, Parana State, Brazil on the July 31st.

Professor Sang Chan Han completed his 6-month sabbatical in D. W. Dickson's lab.  He returned to Andong University, Andong, Korea.  Professor Han worked with us on a nematode parasite of ring nematodes (Pasteuria sp.) and was able to present a poster on this work during the Society of Nematologists annual meeting in Monterey, CA.

Elena Llacer is visiting the Hoy lab for 4 months.  She is a graduate student from Valencia, Spain (Departament de Proteccio Vegetal I Biotecnologia, Institut Valencia d'Investigacions Agraries) and is conducting research on parasitoids of the citrus leafminer for her thesis.


Jim Cuda, John Foltz, and Nan-Yao Su attended the 43rd Southern Forest Insect Work Conference held August 2-5 in Pensacola Beach.  The five sets of concurrent sessions featured 15 workshops on a wide variety of subjects. Nan-Yao Su was one of the panelists in the workshop on wood destroying insects.  As part of a workshop on biocontrol of exotic plants, Jim Cuda presented information on the prospects for classical biological control of woody weeds in the Southeastern U. S. John Foltz, besides participating in various workshops, received first place awards in the photo salon for his entries in 2 of the 5 slide categories.

Dr. Julio Medal attended the X International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds during July 4 to 9 at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Julio presented (as author and/or co-author) four posters on biological control of tropical soda apple and Brazilian peppertree. He also attended the Florida Entomological Society meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 25-29. At this meeting, he presented a poster on 'Progress and Prospects for Biological Control of Tropical Soda Apple in Florida.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker at the 19th Annual Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference held at the Sheraton Hotel, Gainesville, August 16-18. Cuda gave a presentation on "Progress Towards Classical Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius, in Florida."

Turfgrass Bugs

The Florida Turfgrass Association held its annual meeting in Gainesville, August 9-12.  The department had three booths in the exhibit hall where we displayed our research and extension activities in a multimedia presentation of our free and for sale publications with lights, computers and mole cricket songs.  There would have been more multimedia, but the specially ordered, mole cricket hand puppets didn't arrive in time. Thomas Fasulo, extension entomologist, coordinated the displays with assistance from Howard Frank and Tom Walker, research entomologists, and Robert Dunn, extension nematologist.  The students who helped set up and worked the booths and the visitors were Lucy Treadwell, Jerry Gahlhoff, Clay Scherer, Larry Jacobs, Marie Knox and Everett Yang (graduate students); and Matt Remmen, Russ Horton, Charlie Stuhl and Laura Collins (undergraduate students). Departmental staff who also assisted with display preparation included Jane Medley, Frank Woods and Jerry Wenzel who provided technical advice to Tom on building a wooden frame for one of the displays.  "Hey Tom, try hitting the nail with the flat end of the hammer."

Norm Leppla attended the Fourth International Caribbean Conference of Entomology and the Eighty-Second Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society, in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Entomological Society on July 25-29 in San Juan.  He organized and conducted a symposium, "Biological Control of Pests in Ornamental Crops of the Caribbean."  Talks were presented on pink hibiscus mealybug (Moses Kairo), silverleaf whitefly (Cindy McKenzie), coconut mite (Bill Howard and Edwin Abreu), thrips (Joe Funderburk), banana moth (Suzanne Wainwright), and aphids (Edwin Abreau).  Ornamentals collectively are one of the most valuable crops, perhaps $8 billion worldwide.  Interest in developing biological control of pests on ornamentals is increasing because of worker protection and other laws, pesticide registration limitations and application costs, phytotoxicity, insecticide resistance and non-target effects, and it is more sustainable.  There are more than 2,000 species of mealybugs in 300 plus genera.  The pink hibiscus mealybug entered the Caribbean from Africa or Asia in about 1995 and by 1998, it was found on at least 20 islands.  Control is being achieved with Cryptolaemus spp. and Anagyrus spp.  There are many mealybug pests of ornamentals.  The coconut mite occurs in Florida, the Caribbean, Africa, India and southeast Asia.  In some locations it is a serious problem for coconut fiber production.  Thrips can be a serious problem on ornamentals and vegetables.  Orius insidiosus and a parasitic nematode, Thripenema fuscum provide control in certain situations because thrips and the natural enemies both tend to occupy flowers.  The banana moth has a wide host range, infesting banana, bromeliads, sugar cane and palms.  Nursery operators need more training in monitoring and control with nematodes.  In 1996-97, Puerto Rico had $33 million in crop damage due to aphids and 17 species that infest ornamentals.  Predators, such as Lysiphlebus, Hippodamia and Chilocorus spp., are used for their control.  It is generally agreed that much more research and quantification is needed on the efficacy of natural enemies used for biological control in ornamental crops.

Marjorie Hoy attended the XIV International Plant Protection Congress, "Plant Protection Towards the Third Millenium--Where Chemistry Meets Ecology" in Jerusalem, Israel from July 25-30.  She presented the opening session Plenary Lecture,  "The David Rosen Memorial Lecture Biological Control in Citrus" honoring David Rosen.  Dr. Rosen had served as a visiting professor in this department several years ago and was a co-editor with John Capinera and Fred Bennett of the two volumes "Pest Management in the Subtropics--A Florida Perspective" published by Intercept in 1994. David Rosen made significant contributions to classical biological control and IPM in citrus.

Marjorie Hoy also presented an invited presentation in the symposium, "Issues Facing the Regulatory Community in Regards to Biotechnology, Genetically Modified Organisms and Transgenic Crops"; her talk was on, "Transgenic Arthropods for Pest Management Programs: Risk and Realities".


Cardoza, Y. J., H. J. McAuslane and S. E. Webb. 1999. Resistance to Squash Silverleaf Disorder in Sister Lines of ZUC-76-SLR Zucchini Breeding Line. Arthropod management Tests, 24(M22).

Richman, D. L., P. G. Koehler, R. J. Brenner. 1999. "Spray-Dried Bovine Blood: an Effective Laboratory Diet for Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)" Journal of Med. Ent. 36:219-221.


Marjorie Hoy and Ru Nguyen (Division of Plant Industry) received permission to release a parasitoid of the Asian citrus psylla (Diaphorina citri) on July 12, 1999.  The first releases were actually made on July 15 of Tamarixia radiata near Ft Pierce and Indiantown.  The Asian citrus psylla was first discovered in south Florida in June 1998.  It is a pest of young citrus foliage, causing direct feeding damage and serving as a vector of a serious disease of citrus (Asian greening disease).  A second parasitoid of this pest is under study for future releases into Florida's citrus.  The psyllid also feeds on citrus jasmine (Murraya paniculata), which is a popular ornamental shrub in south Florida.


Featured Creatures

The UF Entomology and Nematology Department and the FDACS Division of Plant Industry have added files on the following organisms to the Featured Creatures WWW site at:

Tarjan, A.C. and E.J. Keppner.  Illustrated key to the genera of free-living marine nematodes in the superfamily Chromadoroidea exclusive of the Chromadoridae.

Capinera, J.L. Southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Cramer).

Hall, D. W. and J.F. Butler. Eastern pigmy blue, Brephidium isophthalma pseudofoea (Morrison).

Hall, D. W. and J.F. Butler.  Redbanded hairstreak, Calycopis cecrops (Fabricius).

Scheffrahn, R.H., and N. Su. Florida dark-winged subterranean termite, Amitermes floridensis Scheffrahn, Su, and Mangold.

Hall, D. W. and J.F. Butler. Phaon crescent, Phyciodes phaon (Edwards).

Hall, D. W. and J.F. Butler. Great purple hairstreak, Atlides halesus (Cramer).

Steck, G.J.  Pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard).

To save space in the newsletter, the citations for Featured Creatures are not listed exactly as they should be referenced in a list of publications. The complete citation is: Author(s). (Date). Title. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY- ##. URL

Termites? Surf to...

The Florida Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control has launched WWW sites that provide information on its services as well as help in understanding and identifying termite problems, consumer publications, the proposed Florida Building Code Modifications for Termites, filing a complaint, and other questions.

The oriental fruit fly continues to pop up in east, central Florida.  Fortunately, it's only being found one at a time, but over an increasingly larger area.  Details are available on the Florida Pest Alert WWW site.  You can subscribe to the list server on this site and receive Pest Alerts as they happen.

Drs. John Foltz, entomologist - University of Florida, and James Meeker, entomologist - FDACS Division of Forestry, have posted a file to Florida Pest Alert on new infestations of southern pine beetle in Hernando, Volusia and Levy counties and the continuing infestations in Hamilton, Madison and Suwannee counties. The file includes population management information and links to other sites with more detailed information.


The current issue of UF's alumni magazine, UF Today, has a beautifully illustrated, informative article on our "Campus Wilderness" (the Natural Area Teaching Laboratory).  To give you the flavor of the article, it begins with "Why is Don Hall, renowned on the University of Florida campus for using technology to teach, getting back to nature?" and ends with "Sometimes the best classrooms aren't rooms at all."  A copy is posted near the main office.

Recently a six-foot alligator well away from the shoreline hissed at a student circumnavigating NATL's diversified retention pond.  The gator proved to be guarding a nest!  Signs have been posted around the site and all are asked to keep out--for safety and for mother's sake.  On the evening of August 14, someone driving north on Surge Area Drive tried to straighten it out.  They failed and instead took out a section of NATL's wooden fence.  The police got to the scene of the accident in time to insure that a report was written.  The driver's insurance company will pay to repair the fence.

NATL's Main Trail is still a muddy mess.  If we get a week of dry weather, the trail will be repaired and the dirt that has been stored in successional plot C will be hauled away to complete the berm along 34th Street.  (The berm will shield those in NATL's upland pine from the sights and sounds of six lanes of heavy traffic.)


The departmental Reading Room (room 2105) is unlocked from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Outside those hours, the door may be unlocked with a building key. It has two basic rules: (1) no food or drink permitted. (2) No reading materials may be taken from the room. A photocopy machine is provided on which you may copy materials -- you can obtain a PIN number for the machine by taking cash to Nick Hostettler.


Donations to Reading Room

Several faculty members donate some of the journals to which they subscribe to the Reading Room.  If you subscribe to an entomological or nematological journal which is not among the Reading Room's inventory, the Reading Room committee would like to hear from you.  Alternatively, maybe you would consider taking out a subscription to an entomological or nematological journal not on the inventory -- and donating that journal. The committee members are D. Dickson, G. Gerberg, J. Foltz, H. Frank, F. Slansky and T. Walker.


Sept 2  Student Introductions

Sept 9  Dr. Brian Forschler, University of Georgia
  "Just When You Thought You Had All Things Sussed Out: Tales of Pragmatic Dogma and Attempts to Decipher the Biology of a Cryptic,  Eusocial Insect"

Sept 16 Dr. Susan Halbert, Division of Plant Industries, Gainesville, Florida
  "Recent Challenges for Regulatory Entomology in Florida"

Sept 23 TBA

Sept 30 Dr. Mark Moffett, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of
  California-Berkeley  "Ants Around the World: Social Organization in Foraging"

Oct 7  Dr. Al Handler, USDA, Gainesville, Florida
  "Gene Transfer in Mediterranean and Caribbean Fruit Flies with the Piggybac Transposon Vector from Trichoplusia ni"

Oct 14  Dr. Tom Moore, University of Michigan
  "Behavior of Acoustically Orienting Sarcophagid Flies Parasitic on Okanagana Cicadas"

Oct 21  Dr. Bruce Gill, Entomology Unit, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  "The Starry Sky Beetle (a.k.a. Asian Longhorn Beetle): The Newest Threat to the Eastern Hardwood Forests"

Oct 28  Dr. Tom Walker, University of Florida
  "The Electronic Future of Scientific Journals"

Nov 4  Dr. Glenn Hall, University of Florida
  "Gene Flow Between African and European Honey Bee Populations Followed with DNA Markers"

Nov 18  Dr. John Sivinski, USDA, Gainesville, Florida
  "Ovipositor Length, Wing Shape, and Judicious Biological Control"

Dec 2  TBA

Seminars take place on Thursdays at 3:30 P.M. in room 1031 of the entomology building


Social committee

Informal meetings of ENSO's social committee take place every Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the lounge area near the stockroom (Entomology building). Lets get together to discuss our ideas for social events (bring your lunch).

ENSO's movie night will begin with the classic movie "Them!" (giant ants) on September 16th at 7:00 P.M. in room 1031.  Popcorn and admission is free.  Soda will be 50 cents each.

Movie Calendar

16th Them (1954)
30th Antz (1998, PG)

21st  Angels and Insects (1996,R)
28th Ticks (1993, R)

18th Microcosmos (1996)

A hard copy of this newsletter is given to department members in Building 970 only. All others can obtain an electronic subscription by sending a request to listserv@lists.ufl.eduand in the text of the message type:
subscribe UF-bugnews-L yourfirstname yourlastname

Turn off any signature file, if you have one. You will receive instructions for confirming your subscription and further information on the rules for the list server.

Editor: Michael Patnaude

This version of the newsletter is prepared for the Web by Kathryn Jones.

August 1999. Updated May 2003.