2/25/00 Entomology and Nematology News
Entomology and Nematology Student Organization
A University of Florida Publication


The most important outcome of education is to help students become independent of formal education.

- Paul E. Gray


In April 2000, Dr. Catharine Mannion will begin her work at TREC. Originally from California, she received her BS in Biology from the University of California, Davis in 1983. She went on to receive her MS in Entomology from North Carolina State University in 1988 where she studied the use of crop rotation and cover crops for the management of soil insects and nematodes. In 1992, she received her Ph.D. from University of Florida where she evaluated the use of entomopathogenic nematodes for the control of sweetpotato weevil. Dr. Mannion was also a postdoctoral associate with the USDA in Tifton, Georgia, working on the control of armyworms with the use of a Tachinid parasitoid.

After her stay with the USDA, Dr. Mannion worked in private industry for two years, evaluating insect growth regulator type compounds. Currently, she is employed with the Nursery Crop Research Station at Tennessee State University. As the primary entomologist at the research station, her responsibilities included looking at insect pest problems in field grown nursery. 

The position at TREC is a new Assistant Professor position with responsibilities in ornamental entomology. Dr. Mannion will develop and conduct a 60% research/40% extension program on insects and mites on landscape and nursery crops. It seems that she will have her work cut out for her, as a major outbreak of citrus canker rages on limes in south Miami-Dade County. An estimated one thousand acres will be destroyed in a concentrated effort to eradicate this disease. The causative pathogen may gain entry into the leaves through mines created by the citrus leaf miner.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Catharine Mannion to her new post!


Cliff Martin and Rob Lowen each received a John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Scholarship in the amount of $500 for outstanding MS and Ph.D. students, respectively. Recipients of the awards were determined by a vote from the Graduate Committee, who based their decision on outstanding academic performance.

Mark Salvato's thesis, "The Factors Influencing the Declining Populations of Three Threatened Butterflies in South Florida and the Lower Florida Keys," was chosen by the Graduate Committee as the best thesis in the department for the 1999 year. His thesis was submitted to IFAS to be entered into competition for the Award of Excellence for best M. S. thesis in IFAS.

William (Billy) Crow's dissertation, "Host-Parasite Relations and Management of Belonolaimus longicuadatus on Potato and Cotton" was chosen by the Graduate Committee as the best dissertation in the department for the 1999. His dissertation was submitted to IFAS to be entered into competition for the Award of Excellence for the best Ph.D. dissertation in IFAS. 

If Mark or Billy should win at the IFAS level, they will be entered into competition at the University level.

Juan Manuel Alvarez has been elected to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges edition 2000, in recognition of outstanding merit and accomplishments as a student at the University of Florida.


Dr. Marjorie Hoy was appointed by U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman to serve on a newly formed Advisory Committee on Biotechnology. The committee, consisting of individuals from universities, organizations and commercial firms across the nation is authorized for two years. The first meeting will be held in March in Washington, D.C.

At the American Mosquito Control Association annual meeting in Atlantic City in March, David Dame will be installed as President. Currently active as immediate Past President of the Society for Vector Ecology and having served last year as immediate Past President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association, he continues to provide guidance to these public health oriented organizations. He and Tom Fasulo are currently preparing a national certification manual for public health pesticide applicators, as part of a joint UF - AMCA project sponsored by a grant from the USDA.


Time is running out for graduate students to submit their research or creative activity for the 2000 Graduate Student Forum! This is an excellent opportunity for students to leave the lab and share their discoveries with the rest of UF. The deadline for submissions is March 3, 2000. 


It's time to begin planning for participation in the Florida Entomological Society's annual meeting, to be held Aug. 6-9 at the Registry Hotel in Naples, FL.


Dr. Jim Cuda attended the 40th Annual Meeting of the Weed Science Society of America held in Toronto, Canada, 6-9 February. He presented the paper, "Growth Suppression of the Aquatic Weed Hydrilla Induced by the Stem Tip Mining Midge Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae). The paper was co-authored by his students Pete Coon and Yen Dao.

Dr. Jim Cuda and his staff hosted a tour of the weed biological control laboratory for high school students attending the 37th Annual Florida Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium (JSEHS) on 7 February. This three-day conference provided opportunities for high school students and their teachers to visit UF research facilities and interact with scientists and engineers.

Dr. Jim Cuda was an invited lecturer for Dr. Howard Frank's graduate level course on biological control of insect pests and weeds (ENY 5241) on February 15th. Dr. Cuda provided the students with an overview of biological control programs against terrestrial weeds in Florida and discussed current issues relating to conflicts of interest and risk assessment.

Dr. Jim Cuda was invited to attend an Invasive Plant Summit held in Palm Coast, Florida, 21-23 February. The objective of the Summit, which was sponsored by FDEP, was to introduce new ideas and challenge established principles pertaining to the invasive plant problem in Florida.


Powers, L.E., and R. McSorley. 2000. Ecological Principles of Agriculture. Delmar Thomson Learning, Albany, NY.

This is an ecology textbook introducing fundamental ecological principles and covering their application in agricultural systems. It is intended as a textbook for courses in agricultural ecology or sustainable agriculture, or as a background reference for these subject areas.

Medal, J.C., and J.P. Cuda. 2000. Biological control of some exotic weeds by means of insects. pp.75-82. In: Proceedings of the Caribbean Basin Administrative Group Workshop on Approaches to Mitigating the Effects of Exotic Pest on Trade and Agriculture in the Caribbean Region, 16-18 June 1999, Homestead, FL. University of Florida-Tropical Research Education Center, Homestead.

Medal, J.C., R.A. Pitelli, A. Santana, D. Gandolfo, R. Gravena, and D.H. Habeck. 2000. Host specificity of Metriona elatior Klug (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) a potential biological control agent of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum Dunal, in the USA. BioControl 45: 1-16.

Cuda, J.P. and M.C. Zeller. 1999. Ochyromera ligustri (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), an Immigrant Natural Enemy of Chinese Privet Ligustrum sinense Lour. (Oleaceae) in Florida. In D.T. Jones and B.W. Gamble (eds.), Proceedings of the 1998 Joint Symposium of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant council and the Florida Native Plant Society, Palm Beach Gardens, 3-7 June 1998. pp. 357-362.

Cuda, J.P., B.R. Coon, Y. Dao, and T.D. Center. 2000. Growth suppression of the aquatic weed hydrilla induced by the stem tip mining midge Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae). WSSA ABSTRACTS 40: 84.


Lucy Skelley, graduate student, delivered a beautiful and big (8 lb. 14 oz.) baby boy named Matthew. Lucy and Matthew are doing well and Lucy hopes to return to the Department soon, at least on a part time basis.


Julieta Brambila has moved to Gainesville to work full time at the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, located in the Doyle Conner Building. Julieta began her work at FSCA on January 10th. Her supervisor is Dr. Susan Halbert.


In the past few months, our club has certainly kept busy. On January 26, some of our members attended an FPCA management workshop in order to sell publications to pest control operators and company owners. We had a great turnout and made a lot of sales. Not only is this a great opportunity for members to learn firsthand about the industry, but they may also meet potential employers!

Cynthia Tucker and Deanna Branscome each gave talks at the Master Gardeners meeting in Brevard County. Cynthia Tucker, Tom Powell, Larry Jacobs and Dr. Koehler each gave termite talks to homeowners in Jacksonville as well.

We are giving away two scholarships this semester. These scholarships are quite unique in that they are based solely on our resumes posted online. Prospective awardees should post their resumes on our website and the scholarship committee will judge. The internet has proven to be a valuable resource for our organization, particularly in communicating with prospective employers. We encourage everyone to become a member of UES and post their resumes online as well!

While our club does a lot with publication sales, travel grants and scholarships, we do know how to have fun! We had our monthly "happy hour" at Las Margaritas, we played Putt-Putt with ENSO and we had our meeting catered by Boston Market. Our fund-raising activities have been exceptional this year, and we are proud to report that our members have been the primary beneficiaries of our profits! We are fortunate to have made money by selling collections and publications and we like to let our members benefit from that. All of our club activities include family members and children and are paid for by UES.

Due to Spring Break, our monthly meeting will be on March 15th at 6:30 p.m. in the Entomology Courtyard. Like all UES activities, the meeting is open to family members and children, and we will be serving dinner! We hope that everyone will come on out and learn what we are all about!


Erin Britton was just elected to the newly created position of ENSO Historian. Her immediate responsibilities include pictorial documentation of all ENSO functions and the development of an ENSO brochure for distribution to new and prospective students.

Come get wet and have fun raising money for ENSO! No travel grants can be awarded until we replenish our bank account. We will be having a car wash, Saturday March 25th at Florida II Bookstore, located at 34th Street and SW 20th Ave. Meet in the Bookstore parking lot at 9:30 AM. While some members have already volunteered to provide equipment, we encourage others to bring any car wash supplies they can spare to support ENSO. For more information, please contact Tom Merritt.

Feel the thrill of entomology each time you use your keys! ENSO is also selling snazzy key chains of insects preserved in acrylic. You may purchase up to two for $7 each or three or more for $6.50 each. The proceeds go directly to ENSO's bank account. Contact Tom Merritt to purchase.

Everyone pencil in the Spring Picnic for faculty, staff, students and family to be held Saturday April 1st. Details forthcoming. If you are interested in helping plan this exciting event, please attend the social committee meetings every Tuesday at noon in the courtyard. If you are interested but unable to attend the meetings, contact Phillip Lake.

Thanks to all of you who came out and helped pull potatoes for the G.E.A.R First Annual Potato Roundup. Not only was the event of great benefit to Gainesville, but also lots of fun for all that participated.

And to let you all know, don't ever think you can't make a difference. Thanks to the efforts of Tom Merritt, the ENSO president, in the future all student organizations will now be able to sell items at the State Fair without paying the vendor's fee of $400-500.

The end of the school year is coming up fast, and the ENSO officers' terms are about to end. ENSO members should consider nominations for the following positions: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. We will take nominations at our next meeting in March. The elections will take place in April and the old officers will step down beginning Summer A. 

The next ENSO meeting will be Wednesday, March 15th at 5:15 PM in room 1031.


Our department has bravely put forward a soccer team to battle the might of the UF intramural men's' league. We have up to now played three games and have managed to find consistent form.

Whereas the results haven't been as electrifying as we would have hoped, the team has pulled together and produced some creditable performances. Two Sundays ago our team was up to full strength and we had a magnificent game against "House of Pain". We were leading 2-1 at half time, thanks to goals by Aurelien and TJ. Before full time, Russell had netted two (one being disallowed) and we had just managed to avoid our first win - c'est la guerre.

Please come and support our final game of the qualifying rounds, which we play this Sunday (2/27) at 6pm. Our opponents will be "Islam on Campus", who currently top the league table. We need all the support (and players) we can get. For more information about practices and game times, contact Richard Pluke at


Pineland burned! On Feb. 4, Alan Long (Forest Resources & Conservation), with help from his forest management class and the Alachua County brush-fire unit, completed a controlled burn of the upland pine in NATL's high-use area (the part of NATL that is east of the DPI compound). This pineland, previously burned in 1996 and 1998, is now free enough of laurel oaks for volunteers to go to the next step of accelerated restoration. Jack Putz, of the Botany Department, plans to sterilize the soil at spots scattered throughout the area by burning stacks of logs from dead laurel oaks. These spots will be used to start colonies of wiregrass and upland-pine forbs. He also hopes to plant grass-stage longleaf pines in these spots. There should soon be opportunities for volunteers from this department to help Jack with the stacking, burning, and planting.

The four explanatory poster panels on the south side of the kiosk at NATL's east entrance were installed about 18 months ago. Jane Medley printed new panels with fresh colors to replace the old, weathered panels. Some minor information updates have also been completed, so be sure to take a look the next time you visit the NATL.

NATL has five plots of a little more than an acre each that will be managed continuously to show five diverse stages of old field succession. Plot C, the southwest most of the plots is one of two 40-year rotation plots to be initiated later this year. In preparation for its start up, soil from the old organic garden site will be used to fill in where clay was excavated for NATL's 34th Street berm. Additional soil from the same source will be spread over some of the remaining clay, which was dumped there about 30 years ago, when it was excavated from the site of UF's dental sciences building. The west edge of plot C has some native soil, which will provide a contrast with the clay and hauled-in soil. Some of the soil that is to be spread is already stored at the south edge of Plot A, a 10-year-rotation plot due to be started in 2002.

EYN uses NATL the most! A recently completed survey found that seventeen Entomology and Nematology faculty members teach courses in which the classes visit NATL one or more times. Of the 31 courses for which such use was planned, 23 had used NATL in the past. At least eight other departments use NATL, but two have not returned their surveys. So far, Botany is runner-up for most classes with plans to visit NATL-specifically 8, with all 8 being previous users.


Tom Fasulo has developed, in cooperation with other members of this department, 16 CEU/Training computer-verified tutorials that pesticide applicators can use to re-certify within Florida. Recently the state of Georgia authorized three of those tutorials, developed with Phil Koehler, for CEUS in that state.


David Dame and Tom Fasulo are cooperating on a USDA grant to develop the new national Public Health Pest Control manual for the United States. This will be both a printed and electronic manual. As each chapter is finished it will be made available on the WWW site in both HTML and PDF formats. Chapter 10, "The Safe Use of Pesticides," is the first chapter available. When the manual is complete a copy will be sent to each state in both printed and electronic formats. The site also includes links to related list servers and WWW sites.


The latest WWW site to receive our department's Best of the Bugs award is Nova's "Tales From The Hive", a companion site to its TV show by the same name.


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.

Capinera, J.L. Diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.
Richmond, D.L. Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai.
Su, N., and R.H. Scheffrahn. Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus.
Scheffrahn, R.H., and N. Su. Florida dampwood termites, Neotermes

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

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

February 2000. Updated May 2003.