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


There are more insects in one square mile of rural land than there are human beings on the entire earth.


Dr. Dov Borovsky, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory has been awarded a Research Professorship by the University of Florida Research Foundation. These competitive professorships are awarded to tenured faculty who have a distinguished record of research. Dr. Borovsky's research on the use of biotechnology to develop novel biocontrol strategies for use against arthropod pests has resulted in several patents to the University of Florida.

Dr. Don Hall was selected to receive the Ensminger Interstate Distinguished Teaching Award. This is the most prestigious award given by the National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA).

Debbie Boyd received a superior accomplishment award in the USPS Scientific/Technical category from UF/IFAS.

Scotty Long received the Ruben Capelouto Foundation Scholarship in Entomology, from the Capelouto Foundation for 1999-2000.

Craig Welch was named a UF Presidential Fellow.

Deanna Branscome and Dina Richman both received Pi Chi Omega scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each for the upcoming 2000/2001 year.

Clay Scherer received the National Conference on Urban Entomology Student Scholarship at this year's conference, held in Ft. Lauderdale. The scholarship comes with a nice plaque and a monetary award of $1000. Only four are given out every two years (the frequency of the conference). When asked what he would do with the award, Mr. Scherer said, "I will probably use the $1000 to get my teeth finally cleaned after six years, and buy a few entomology books for references."


Tom Fasulo has two new part time employees: Andy Koehler and Patrick Hope. Dr. Phil Koehler "volunteered" Andy's time last summer to work with Tom to learn HTML. Now Andy starts UF as a freshman during Summer B and as an OPS employee for Tom. Andy produced a slew of Featured Creature files last summer and will be working on more of these as well as other tasks. The other new person who will be hanging out in room 3007 is Patrick Hope, who just finished a tour as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. Patrick is one of the sons of Pat Hope, who also works in our department as a graphic artist. Patrick's last job in the Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine was as a "Combat Webmaster," where he designed WWW sites and managed computers networks for the Corps. Patrick is also continuing his academic career and started as a freshman at Santa Fe Community College this summer.


Everett Y. Yang, a long time OPS employee for Tom Fasulo was denied "tenure" and had to graduate. Everett began working for Tom while earning his BS in Microbiology and received his MS in Computer Science in April. He will spend the summer dropping in on Tom and considering job offers. Vassie Pittman, who handles OPS for us, says that Everett holds the departmental record for submitting time cards late. While Everett usually averaged two to three, at one time he was actually five time cards behind.


Meet your fellow scientists! ENSO will have its next meeting at 12:00 noon on Wednesday June 14th in room 1014. Meetings will continue on the second Wednesday each month. Those attending will have to bring their own lunches until the clubs coffers get filled. We will discuss fundraisers and events.

Also, the 1999-2000 school year is almost over! Please support your favorite teacher and advisor and give them your vote for ENSO Teacher / Advisor of the Year. Ballots will be placed in graduate student mailboxes. Simply write in your choice and place your completed ballot in the ENSO suggestion box, also found near the student mailboxes.


Norm Leppla, Joe Funderburk, Pat Greany, and George Hochmuth recently toured five of the six largest greenhouse vegetable locations in Florida: Ladybug Farms (Naples- 10 acres, tomatoes), Farmhouse Tomatoes (Lake Worth- acre), Osteen Farms (Okeechobee- 4 acres, cucumbers), Burnac Produce (Ft. Pierce- 30 acres, bell peppers), and Mascot Farms (Ft. Pierce- 7 acres, expanding, cucumbers). Beli Farms of Wellborn, the other large producer (cluster tomatoes), was visited previously and we also stopped at a field vegetable location, Orsenigo Farms in Belle Glade (cole crops). Currently, there are about 80 to 100 acres of greenhouse vegetables in Florida with some expansion. A report containing photographs was prepared for each location with categories of information for management, greenhouses, horticulture, pest management, marketing and needs (available on request). Commercial bumblebees are often used for tomato pollination. All of the growers were scouting for pests and using biological control operationally or had at least experimented with natural enemies. Typical examples are Hippodamia convergens for aphid control, Eretmocerus spp. and Encarsia spp. for whiteflies, chalcids for leaf miners, nematodes and Hypoaspis spp. for fungus gnats and lacewings as a general predator. Biopesticides, microbial derivatives and natural products are commonly used, including Dipel, Spintor, insecticidal soap, neem oil, and Naturalis. The most useful chemical pesticides were Admire, Talstar and Permethrin. At least two of the growers employ professional crop consultants. All are selling their products in niche markets, such as farmer's markets, cruise ships and certain grocery stores. Their greatest entomological needs are for alternative pest control methods, pesticide registration for minor crops, identification photographs for pests and natural enemies, and organic farming systems.


Marco A. Toapanta went to Tepic, Mexico last March to collect parasitoids of the pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii. He spent several days in that area collecting infested fruit from several varieties of peppers. He found a new species of braconid wasp in the genus Triaspis. This parasitoid has recently being described as a new species by Dr. R. Wharton from Texas A&M. Marco and his advisors, Drs. D. Schuster, P. Stansly, and R. Nguyen have a collaborating research project on the biological control of the pepper weevil with INIFAP, the institute for agricultural research in Mexico. Currently, a colony of this parasitoid is maintained in the quarantine facilities at DPI.


Manny Pescador and Andy Rasmussen hosted the Florida Association of Benthologists (FAB) Spring Workshop (March 30 - 31) at Florida A&M University. Program chair for this year's workshop was Marc Minno (President F.A.B.) and the topic was aquatic biota of ravines and steepheads. The workshop featured presentations on ravine aquatic insects and amphibians, and anthropogenic effects threatening these rare and unique ecosystems. The workshop included a tour of the mayfly collections housed at FAMU, as well as a field trip to The Nature Conservancy Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. Workshop participants also enjoyed a barbecue picnic at Maclay State Park and a canoe trip down the Wakulla River.

Dr. Julio Medal attended the 15th annual meeting of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council held in Key Largo, Florida on May 16-19. Medal gave a presentation entitled "Is Biological Control of Tropical Soda Apple Feasible?"

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the annual S-267 Regional Classical Biological Control Project workshop held in Orlando, FL, 1 May. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare a new 5-year project proposal for biological control activities in the southern region.

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in an extension design team leader-training workshop held at the Austin Carey Memorial Forest Conference Center, Gainesville, FL, on 2 May.

Drs. James P. Cuda and Julio C. Medal were invited to participate in a Tropical Soda Apple Task Force meeting held in Sebring, FL, 11 May. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an overview of ongoing biological control research activities. Dr. Medal gave a research update of the research activities on biological control of this invasive weed.

Dr. James P. Cuda attended a strategic planning workshop and quarterly council meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences held at the Orlando, FL, Science Center, 13 May.

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker at the annual Aquatic Weed Control Shortcourse held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 15-16 May. Dr. Cuda gave a presentation on "Technique of Biological Control of Weeds."

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 15th Annual Meeting of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council held in Key Largo, FL, 17-19 May. Dr. Cuda moderated a session on biological control of invasive weeds, and presented the paper, "Host Specificity Studies on the Thrips Pseudophilothrips ichini (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), a Potential Biocontrol Agent for Brazilian Peppertree." The paper was co-authored by Julio Medal, Judy Gillmore, and Dale Habeck.


Wiersema, N.A. and L.S. Long. 2000. Plauditus grandis (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae), a new small minnow mayfly from Tennessee. Entomological News 111:45-48. (I discovered this species as a part of my MS thesis work at Middle Tennessee State University.)


The department has developed a number of software tutorials (19 and growing) that offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) to licensed pesticide applicators seeking to renew their licenses. The first such tutorials were offered in early 1996. We also developed a CEU Verification Office that verifies the CEUs. During the entire fiscal year 1996-1997, the Verification Office received a total of 40 CEU "attendance forms" to verify. Since then the number of licensed applicators using the software has increased and during just the 5-day week of May 22-26, 2000, the Verification Office received 31 CEU "attendance forms." Looks like the idea is catching on. For detailed information see the Buggy Software WWW site available


Our Featured Creatures WWW site stepped over a threshold during the two weeks spanning May 8-22. For the first time we had over 100 hits a day - with108 hits per day on the site. Tom Fasulo now has two new part time employees on board and one of them will be working primarily on new files for Featured Creatures.

Patricia Beckley, an extension associate at LSU, had this to say about the website: "Featured Creatures is perfect...we are always getting questions about seasonal insects...will refer to your page."

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:

Atkinson, T.H., J.L. Foltz, R.C. Wilkinson and R.F. Mizell. An Asian ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky).
McAuslane, H.J., Sweetpotato whitefly B biotype or silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) or Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring.
McAuslane, H.J., Larger canna leaf roller, Calpodes ethlius (Stoll).
McAuslane, H.J., Lesser canna leaf roller, Geshna cannalis (Quaintance).
Mead, F.W., and T.R. Fasulo. Scentless plant bugs, Jadera spp.
O'Meara, G.F. Crabhole mosquito, Deinocerites cancer Theobald.

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 Friday, June 30th. The deadline for contributions is Wednesday, June 28th.

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This version of the newsletter is prepared for the Web by Andy Koehler.

June 2000. Updated May 2003.