06/28/99 Entomology and Nematology News
A University of Florida Publication


Several faculty and staff received bonuses from the University and department bonus program this year.  Awards were made in recognition of exceptional service in the past year.  Faculty award winners were Don Dickson, Bob Dunn, Tom Fasulo, Howard Frank, Drion Boucias, Jim Maruniak, and Grover Smart.  Staff receiving awards were Glinda Burnett, Debbie Hall, Bob Hemenway, Tom Hewlett, Sharon Hoopaugh, Dr. J. Jeyaprakash, Myrna Litchfield, Jane Medley, FloraMacColl, Khuong Nguyen, Paul Ruppert and Ute Willis.  Congratulations to all.

Congratulations! Robert McSorley was awarded ENSO teacher of the year and Donald Dickson won advisor of the year.

Deanna Branscombe and Clay Scherer were awarded with $1000 each from the National Pest Control Fraternity, Pi Chi Omega.  These scholarships are given on a national basis to students studying Urban Entomology and are very competitive.  Both students were recognized during this past week's Annual Florida Pest Control Association meeting in Panama City, FL.

Janete Brito got the travel grant award from Society of Nematologists/Dow AgroSciences to present her work on "Immunolocalization of proteins involved in the attachment of Pasteuria penetrans to Meloidogyne arenaria" in the joint meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists and American Society of Nematologists on July 6-9, 1999, Monterey, CA.


Congratulations to Jason and Robyn Squitier: Jacob Michael Squitier 5 pounds 8 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long 1:02 PM, June 2, 1999


Jennifer Anderson, a former Master student of Dr. James Maruniak, is currently finishing a one-year Emerging Infectious Disease fellowship at the Center of Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.  She has been accepted this fall in the Ph.D. program at The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Hygiene and Public Health.  In the summer, she will attend a Vector Biology Workshop in New Mexico to investigate Hantavirus host reservoirs.  As part of her current research with Dr. Ben Beard (former Ph.D. student of Dr. Jerry Butler), she will be traveling to Guatemala to collect Reduviidae insects that transmit Chagas Disease.

Billy Crow has been offered a faculty position at Texas A&M University.  He will be an Assistant Professor-Extension Plant Pathologist at the Research and Extension Center in Plano, Texas.  His starting date is August 16, 1999.


Andy Rasmussen traveled to Duluth, Minnesota and attended the North American Benthological Society Annual Meeting (May 24-28). He presented a poster titled: "Caddisfly (Trichoptera) Biodiversity in Florida". After the conference Andy visited family and friends in Northwest Wisconsin and enjoyed some excellent fishing.

Dr. Julio Medal was an invited speaker to the Caribbean Basin Administrative Group Symposium on "Approaches to Mitigating the Effects of Exotic Pests on Trade and Agriculture in the Caribbean Region". This symposium was held at the UF-Tropical Research & Education Center, Homestead, FL during June 16-18, 1999. He presented a paper entitled: "Biological Control of Invasive Weeds in Florida and the Caribbean Region", co-authored by Dr. James Cuda.

Florida Grape Summit

Norm Leppla recently co-organized and chaired the "Florida Grape Industry Summit" in Tallahassee.  As the recently elected vice-chairman of the Florida Viticultural Advisory Council, he helps the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services distribute the viticulture trust funds, works with the council to update the State Viticulture Plan, and generally assists with promoting the Florida grape industry.  Florida has less than 1000 acres of grapes, about 0.1% of the national total, planted in two basic kinds, muscadines and muscadine/vinifera hybrids.  Pure Vitis vinifera cultivars, such as Chardonnay and Zinfandel, are not grown because they are susceptible to Pierce's disease and various fungal diseases.  Currently, there are eight Florida wineries and Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards at Clermont just won a double gold medal for its Blanc Du Bois 1997.  UF, IFAS and FAMU scientists are working diligently on new disease-resistant grape cultivars for Florida and may be near a major breakthrough.  If so, in the near future we may see large tracts of frozen orange groves turned into vineyards.

Urban Pests

Tom Fasulo attended the annual meetings of the Florida Pest Control Association at Panama City Beach. While there he manned the departmental booth displaying software and print publications that the department produces in support of this industry. Many pest control operators commented that they already had most, if not all, of the software Tom has produced in cooperation with other members of the faculty and wanted to know when more would be available.

On July 1, 1999, the "CEU Verification Office," that monitors the use of the computer-verified training tutorials, will move from the Pesticide Information Office to this department. Nancy Sanders and Tom Fasulo will then handle the verification of CEUs and maintain the database that monitors who took which tutorial, and when. Our thanks to Dr. Norm Neshiem and the personnel in his office who have handled this duty for the past two years. After the above date, all CEU attendence forms and the required computer generated test results should be send to the CEU Verification Office, care of the Entomology and Nematology Department, for processing and verification.


Dr. Don Sudbrink (USDA-ARS,Quarantine Lab. Stoneville, MS), and Mr. Daniel Gandolfo (USDA-ARS, Biological Control Lab. Hurlingham, Argentina) visited the department in May and June. These USDA researchers spent 3 and 1-week, respectively, working at the FDACS-DPI quarantine facility in Gainesville, conducting host-specificity tests of the leaf-feeder chrysomelid beetle Gratiana boliviana. This insect, native to South America, is a potential biocontrol agent for tropical soda apple. This project is being conducted as part of a cooperative agreement between Drs. Julio Medal, James Cuda and the USDA-ARS Biocontrol Lab in Argentina.


The tall high school student working in Tom Fasulo's lab this summer is Andy Koehler.  Andy is the son of Phil Koehler, who "volunteered" his son's afternoons to help Tom with the creation of files for several WWW sites.  In return, Andy is learning HTML skills that will help him when he heads off to college in a year or so. Andy has been helping out with the backlog of Featured Creatures files.


Rejane R. Moraes, James E. Maruniak and Joseph E. Funderburk (1999). Methods for detection of Anticarsia gemmatalis nucleopolyhedrovirus DNA in soil.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 65: 2307-2311.


"The Deptartment Web pages are being revised. The front end to the department is now online. This would be a good time to check pages that you have interest in to make sure links work and topics are up to date. You may email me with your comments at"  Thanks, Skip

Editors note- This would be a great time for any graduate students with web pages to ask Skip to add them to the Department's graduate students web page.  See if you are there  Be sure to send them in.  It looks good if people (some prospective employers) browse through the Departments graduate student names and are able to view the students web page (even better if a CV or resume is available).

Best of the Bugs

The department's Best of the Bugs Committee has selected another site for our Best of the Bugs Award.  This site is the Antlion Pit, which does an excellent job combining text, graphics and video about this insect group.

Featured Creatures

The elves at Featured Creatures were busy lately and information files, graphics and photographs on the following were added to the Featured Creatures WWW site at

Heppner, J.B., and J.H. Frank. Bromeliad pod borerEpimorius testaceellus Ragonot.

Fasulo, T.R., and H.V. Weems. Citrus whitefly, Dialeurodes citri (Ashmead),

Woodruff, R.F.  Click beetles, Alaus spp.

Mead, F.W.  Wheel bug, Arilus cristatus (Linnaeus).

Stange, L.A. Slugs, Gastropoda: Pulmonata.

Capinera, J.L., Ringlegged earwig, Euborellia annulipes (Lucas).

Thomas, M.C.  Tortoise beetle, Chelymorpha cribraria (Fabricius).

Dekle, G.W.  Tessellated scale, Eucalymnatus tessellatus (Signoret).

Creature Citations

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


The berm that is to protect NATL users from the distracting sights and sounds of 34th Street is about half built, but it won't be completed until drier weather returns.  In the meanwhile, here is a progress report.

The spoil from SEEP's re-contouring, which had been piled on Succession Plot C, was hauled to 34th Street and some of it was initially shaped. When it became evident that as much as 1000 cu yds of additional soil would be needed for the berm, IFAS Facilities Operations got a pledge for that amount from the firm that is constructing new dorms on the site of the former organic gardens.  Before the rains stopped progress, some of the 1000 cu yds was hauled to Plot C and some of that was then hauled to the berm site.  (Not very efficient, but the contractors get paid no more or less because of it.)

Site-Tech, the contractor for NATL's berm, initially tried to haul the dirt to the berm along the east and south DPI fence.  Two detours were prepared to protect large longleaf pines, but that route was then abandoned in favor of using Natural Area Drive and Gasline Trail.  The roots of trees along the east end of Gasline Trail were given needed protection by building up the road with soil.

The soil-hauling route is presently a muddy mess, but Site Tech will restore NATL's roads when the berm is completed.  The partially completed berm is not as tall nor as steep as it will be when finished.  This is because the initial shaping is with a bulldozer and another machine will do the final shaping.  So far, no valued trees have been injured, but dirt has flowed around a couple that were to be at the edge of the berm (not in it). This dirt must be removed carefully so as not to damage the trees.  Two trees that were supposed to be within the berm have been protected with cross-tie barriers.


Congratulations to the new officers.
President:  Mary Donohue
Vice President:  Pete Coon
Secretary:   Kathryn Jones
Treasurer:   Eric Hansen

ENSO will have its next meeting during the week after July 4th.  The day and time will be dependent on the responses that we receive from the information surveys (to be distributed next week).



Six students from the Urban Entomological Society attended the Annual Florida Pest Control Association (FPCA) meeting at the Marriott Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida.  The meeting was held on June 22nd through the 24th.  Students in attendance were Erin Monteagudo, Cara Congdon, Thomas Powell, Clay Scherer, Mike Baric, and Brain Eisenberg.

Brain, Mike, and Cara moderated educational sessions for Paul Hardy, Greg Crosslin, and Steve Dwinell respectively.  At the meeting Erin was offered a part-time job from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).  Mike Baric is an undergradute who is graduating in August and had several job interviews as a result of this meeting.

The club has recently elected new officers for this year. They are as followed:
President:   Matt Remmen
Vice President:  Brain Eisenberg
Treasurer:   Laura Collins
Secretary:   Cara Congdon

If you would like to contact the club about activities or events please e-mail us at or come see us in the building at the south end of the Entomology service drive.

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Editor: Michael Patnaude

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

June 1999. Updated May 2003.