July 2000 Entomology and Nematology News
Entomology and Nematology Student Organization
A University of Florida Publication


Thomas M. Merritt Wednesday, July 5, 2000 9:30am in Room 1031 "The sequencing and analysis of the Neodiprion sertifer Nucleopolyhedrovirus DNA"

Byron Coon Friday, July 7, 2000 9:30am in Room 1031 "Biology of Trichopria columbiana (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae), an endoparasitoid of Hydrellia pakistane (Diptera: Ephydridae), a biological control agent of Hydrilla"

Phillip C. Lake Wednesday, July 19, 2000 9:00am in Room 1031 "Behaviors of Pheropsophus aequinoctialis (Coleoptera: Carabidae) affecting its ability to locate its larval food, eggs of Scapteriscus spp. (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae); and the effect of moisture on oviposition depth in Scapteriscus abbreviatus"

Eric Hansen Thursday, July 20, 2000 10:00am in Room 1031 "Within-plant distribution of Frankliniella spp. (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and Orius insidious (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) on field pepper"


Juan Mauel Alvarez Thursday, July 14, 2000 2:00pm in Room 1031 "Use of molecular tools for discriminating behavior of two populations of the citrus leafminer parasitoid Ageianspis citricola (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae)"


The large piles of soil east of DPI in the Natural Area Teaching Laboratory will be used to cover up the remaining areas of clay in one of NATL's successional plots. "Plot C" is a 1.3-acre plot that will be started on the first of its 40-year-rotations later this year. The clay to be buried is about 4 feet deep and was dumped on what is now NATL in the early seventies, after being dug from the site of UF's dental building. The soil that will overlay the clay is similar to the original soil of the successional plot.

The brochure for NATL's Stormwater Ecological Enhancement Project (SEEP) was revised with Flora MacColl's able help. Copies are available on the north side of the kiosk just inside NATL's east gate.

This spring's record drought dried up SEEP's deepest pool. By 25 May the pool was so shallow that its 6-foot mother alligator and her six young were removed and taken to Lake Alice. By 3 June the pool was totally dry. A week later, the rains came and the SEEP is now full.

The numerous white, 1.5-inch-diameter, PVC stakes around the deep pool and along the Main Trail are artificial refugia for tree frogs. Karen Oven installed them as a means of monitoring the tree frogs of SEEP and adjacent woodland. Her study is a Wetland Wildlife Honors Project.

Permanent signs, paid for by IFAS Facilities Operations, have been posted on NATL's west and south boundary fences, on its vehicular gates, and along Division Trail. Signs identifying the successional plots will soon be posted.


For One Morning and One Morning Only! Come One, Come All, See the FIRST Seminar of the 2000-2001 year! "CrAzY" Tom Merritt will be the sacrificial lamb at the newly renovated podium in Room 1031. See the "Gene Jockey" in his glory. 'Oooh' and 'Ahhh' as the "magic" of DNA sequencing is revealed in all its splendor. Be amazed as the "secrets" of PAUP* are revealed. Applaud wildly as the "Master of Science" makes the fog of baculovirus evolution start to dissipate! You lucky people. Don't Miss It!


The Department home Web page has been updated to include a links to a Student Help page and an online suggestion form for submitting comments, suggestions, etc. The "Online Publications" web page now includes links to the Handbook of Katydids and Crickets, and links to keyword searching of Featured Creatures and EDIS.

Also, now is a good time to review your personal online information and verify its accuracy. You may use online suggestion form on the dept front page or directly email changes to Skip Choate.


Dr. Robert E. Woodruff, Emeritus Entomologist, Florida State Collection of Arthropods & Adjunct Prof. of Entomology, recently spent two weeks in Trinidad assisting the Ministry of Agriculture. His project was sponsored by FAVACA, a Florida volunteer agency for Caribbean countries. His mission was to teach a course in "Identification of beetles imported in lumber". He will return in August to continue this training, as well as teach a course in "Collection development & management". He also spent a week collecting at "Simla", the William Beebe Tropical Research Laboratory, operated by Asa Wright Nature Preserve.

He also spent the month of April in the Dominican Republic, along with Dr. Thomas J. Henry (Mirid specialist at Smithsonian). They traveled nearly 4000 miles on this interesting island & collected over 100,000 specimens. This was Dr. Woodruff's 46th trip there, the specimens resulting representing a substantial special Dominican section at FSCA (DPI). Along with his many trips for FAO in the Caribbean, these collections contribute greatly to our understanding of the West Indian fauna and its origins.


Dr. Manuel L. Pescador was the recipient of the 1999 Florida Association of Benthologists Award of Excellence in Service. The award is in recognition of his exemplary contributions promoting the ecological significance of benthos throughout Florida.


Dr. Chris Tipping has moved on from his teaching position at Arkansas State University to a post-doc at the University of California - Davis. He is working on post-harvest problems associated with grapes.

Dr. Jason H. Byrd, a graduate of the Department of Entomology and Nematology (May 1998), has been named Director of Forensic Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Department of Criminal Justice at VCU is the 8th largest Criminal Justice Department in the United States, and one of only a handful of universities offering a Master of Science in Forensic Science. His current position involves the creation of a new four-year degree program offering a Bachelor of Forensic Science, with a specialization in forensic biology as well as supporting the existing Master of Science program.

Dr. Byrd was honored to be this year's recipient of the University of Florida's Department of Criminology and Law "Outstanding Alumnus Award." He has also distinguished himself by being appointed by the FBI as the Chief Forensic Entomologist for the Virginia State Police. He is also affiliated with the Virginia Department of Forensic Science and Medicine, which is a $75 million dollar institute created by the state of Virginia for forensic science research and education.

Dr. Byrd has recently completed two book publications, "Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations," published by CRC Press, and "A Color Atlas of Forensic Entomology." Both projects are scheduled for release in September 2000.

Currently Dr. Byrd is serving as a forensic entomology consultant for 95 law enforcement agencies in the United States, including the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Dr. Byrd is continuing his service to the State of Florida by doing casework as well as annual training workshops for the Metro-Dade County Police Department, the Martin County Sheriff's Office, the Duval County Sheriff's Office, the Tallahassee Police Department, and the Florida Homicide Investigators Association. Currently, both his MS and PhD students are researching cocaine metabolites in maggots feeding on human tissues, and the bioaccumulation of toxins in blow flies. For those of you wishing to contact Dr. Byrd, he can be reached at the following address:

Dr. J. H. Byrd
Diplomate, American Board of Forensic Entomology
Department of Criminal Justice
Virginia Commonwealth University
P.O. Box 842017
816 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23284-2017


Phillip Lake has accepted an assignment in the Peace Corps to work in the IPM program in Guatemala. He will be leaving Gainesville after graduation this summer and then leaving the country in mid September. If you want to make sure he writes you when he is away, send him your permanent address in an email.

In a related note: he will be having a "fleeing the country sale" on most of his worldly possessions. If you would like something of his, it just might be for sale or trade.

Tom Merritt (aka "CrAzY" Tom) was accepted as a PhD candidate to the University of Texas-Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Houston Medical Center starting in Fall 2000. He will be majoring in Human Gene Therapy and working in conjunction with NASA's Johnson Space Center for his future research. He leaves on July 14th at 4 MY-GOD-THAT'S-EARLY-in-the-morning, so wish him well


Flora MacColl (Art/Publications Production Specialist) attended a three-day workshop on Advanced Adobe Photoshop Techniques and Adobe InDesign Fasttrack Training in Orlando in June and received Training Certification from Adobe Systems, Inc.


Tom Fasulo "personned" a departmental booth at the Certified Pest Control Operators of Florida annual meeting at Ft. Lauderdale, April 25-27. The booth displayed entomology publications (paper and software) developed by the department in support of this industry. The highlight of the meeting, as always, was the two nights Tom ate huge crab dinners at The Rustic Inn, which is famous for its garlic crabs.


Tom Fasulo, Clay Scherer and Shawn Brooks attended the annual conference of the Florida Pest Control Association at Tarpon Springs, June 20-22. Once again the departmental booth was busy with representatives of the industry snapping up printed and electronic copies of our publications. In addition, the three interacted with hundreds of government, education and business representatives about their pest control problems. Shawn even came away with a tentative job offer, and he has just started his graduate program. As if that weren't enough good news, the departmental booth won the "Most Educational Booth" award out of more than 100 exhibits on display. The booth was created by Shawn Brooks, Tom Fasulo, Jane Medley and Clay Scherer.

It's T.R.U.E.

In addition to the high school science students that some of our faculty are hosting in their labs this summer, Tom Fasulo is also hosting two high school science teachers who are part of the TRUE program [TRUE stands for Teacher's Research Update Experience]. MaryAnn Richardson teaches science in the Chicago school district, while Gerry Adams teaches high school for the Department of Defense in Germany. MaryAnn and Gerry are very appreciative of the faculty and students who have shared time with them in the labs and on field trips. While their project for the summer will be to develop a computer-verified training tutorial on insects for the high school level, their experiences with the department are opening their eyes to the many varied fields within entomology.


Drs. James P. Cuda and Julio Medal traveled to Brazil to attend the Third International Weed Science Congress held at Foz do Iguassu, 6-11 June. They presented the poster, "Host Specificity Studies of the thrips Pseudophilothrips ichini (Hood), a Potential Biocontrol Agent for Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae), in the United States." After the conference, they spent a few days in Curitiba and Jaguarina where they met with scientists collaborating on the Brazilian peppertreee project.

The Florida Entomological Society will be having a symposium on Mosquito-borne diseases at their meeting in Naples on Tuesday, August 8th. Speakers include: Walter Tabachnick, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, IFAS, University of Florida, Lillian Stark, Florida Department of Health, and Alan Curtis, Indian River Mosquito Control District.


Slansky, F. and L, R. Kenyon, 2000. Lumpy squirrels: Bugged by bot flies. Wildlife Rehabilitation Today 11 (spring/summer): 24-31

Cuda, J.P. and M.C. Zeller. 2000. Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense: Prospects for classical biological control in the southeastern United States. Wildland Weeds 3: 17-19.


A PDF version, complete with graphics, of Chapter 11, "Equipment Used in Public Health Pest Management," of the new national Public Health Pest Control manual is now available at


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:

Steck, G.J., P.M. Lyrene and J.A. Payne. Blueberry gall midge, Dasineura oxycoccana (Johnson)."

Hamon, A.B., R. Nguyen, and H.W. Browning. Bayberry whitefly, Parabemisia myricae (Kuwana).

Capinera, J.L. Melon thrips, Thrips palmi Karny.

Brooks, S.E. Bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus.

Dekle, G.W. and T.R. Fasulo. Azalea caterpillar, Datana major Grote & Robinson.

To save space, these publication are not listed exactly as they should be cited. The complete citation is: Author(s). (date of publication). Full title. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY- ##. URL

Something missing from your newsletter? If there is something you would like to see in future editions of the newsletter, please send all thoughts, suggestions and supportive criticisms to Erin Britton, Editor.

The next newsletter will be published on Monday, July 31st. The deadline for contributions is Friday, July 28th. 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 and in the text of the message type:

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July 2000. Updated May 2003.