05/20/97 Entomology and Nematology News - Vol. 2, No. 9
A University of Florida Publication


John Strayer was given the 1997 Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Award.

Tom Walker was presented with this year's IFAS Faculty Superior Accomplishment Award for his leadership and hard work on the Natural Area Teaching Laboratory.

Pauline Lawrence was the recipient of an outstanding service award from the Entomological Society of America. She was also appointed to the Editorial Board of the Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, effective January 1997.

Our congratulations to James Tumlinson who was inducted into the National Academy of Science this year.

In April, Clay Scherer was inducted as a member of Florida Blue Key (FBK). FBK is recognized as 'Florida's most prestigious organization' where membership is reserved to only those individuals who have provided outstanding service and leadership to the University of Florida community. The primary activity of FBK among many is producing the worlds largest student-organized pep rally, otherwise known as "Gator Growl". Along with Clay, the Spring Tapping class also included Dr. Andrew Sorensen, President of the University of Alabama (Former Provost of UF), and several distinguished Judges from around the state.

Clay Scherer graduated with his M.S. this May under John Capinera working on the Ecology of grasshoppers. He will continue working in the Dept. on a Ph.D with Phil Koehler. The primary project Clay will be focusing on allergens associated with German cockroach and trying to implement IPM into all Public Buildings in Florida starting with the Public School System.

Also in May, Clay Scherer was appointed "Chief of Staff" under newly elected Student Government President Chris Dorworth. This puts Clay among the top five ranking officials in UF Student Government. Utilizing a budget of over $7.0 Million, Clay will be responsible for directing several initiatives the Action Party campaigned hard and long for, including a solution to the Parking Problem at UF. This marks the first time a graduate student (non-Law School) has held such a high position within Student Government.

Our own Christopher Tipping finished first in his fencing class tournament. He compiled a 27-1 record during the two-week competition. Outstanding!

Carla M. Cuda, 15, daughter of James Cuda won the United States National Award in Mathematics and will be featured in the United States Achievement Academy yearbook. Carla is a sophomore at Eastside High School. Way to go Jim!

Jason Byrd and his involvement with forensic investigations were the subject of an article on the front page of the 'Faces' section of the Gainesville Sun(GS). The article, written by Andrea Billups, did an excellent job covering Jason's life long interest in forensic entomology and the importance of these insects in death investigations. The article is entitled 'Creepshow' and was featured in the Tuesday, May 20 edition of the GS. "I see myself as a scientist in a unique position to contribute to the community," Jason said to the reporter. A unique position indeed, and one that has made many people proud of him. Keep up the good work Jason!!

ENSO's CORNER - From the President

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the officers (Marco, Yasmin, and Enrique) for their hard work and dedication to ENSO. Also, the various chairmen of Ad-Hoc committees were essential to the functioning of ENSO. Claudia has done an outstanding job coordinating the outreach program which entertained over 1000 school children this year. John Petti directed ENSO's fund raising efforts and produced an insect collections which generated hundreds of dollars to support the ENSO travel grant program. Van Sherwood and Hugh Smith did a fantastic job with revamping the Scott Yocom Memorial Butterfly Garden. Their innovations should reduce the number of "weeding parties" necessary, so go out and appreciate their hard work. Denise Johanowicz, noticing the dated material on the ENSO wall poster, took it upon herself to completely overhaul the descriptive poster which is displayed outside the teaching laboratory. All of these folks deserve many thanks. ENSO would be little more than a namesake without their help and support. It has been a pleasure working with such quality leaders that made being President a joy.

I can't express enough to my fellow students the importance of gaining leadership experience while in graduate school. It's easy to dismiss the roles of ENSO (or any other student organization) officers as little more than just "filling time". Nothing could be farther from the truth. These are opportunities which teach us organizational skills, people skills, time management skills, and most of all, communication skills. Nothing in the world is more difficult than effectively communicating, especially with people from diverse backgrounds. I believe about only 70% (Max.) of our "graduate education" will come from the classroom or laboratory. We, as graduate students, should really pursue any opportunities possible to improve our communication skills if we are interested in a career upon graduation. There are a number of opportunities on this campus for graduate students to participate and make a real contribution. Without my past participation in extracurricular activities I would certainly not be in graduate school. I owe much of my success to a few student-run organizations which I was involved with . These experiences taught me to be organized.

With that I say, congratulations to the new officers of whom I am very confident, and goodbye. - Clay Scherer


Heather McAuslane and Simon Yu were the recipients of the 1996-1997 ENSO Advisor and Teacher of the Year Awards, respectively.

The new 1996-1997 elected ENSO officers are Jason Squittier (Treasurer), Claudia Riegel (Secretary), Tim McCoy (Vice-president) and Yasmin Cardoza (President). Congratulations!


After a year of diligent work from our friend John Petti, our first insect collection has been completed. The beautiful cockroach collection was on display at the SE Pest Management Conference and has raised a couple hundred dollars that will go to increase our travel grant fund for graduate students in this department. Well done John!


Claudia is looking for volunteers to help out with two field trips on May 22 and 23, if you would like to help, please contact her ASAP.

Let's Picnic

There will be an ENSO-sponsored picnic on Thursday, May 29 at 12:30 pm in the Entomology and Nematology lunch area. Everyone is invited. Please come join us for a good time and bring your favorite salad or side dish to share.


Pamela Howell started work on April 28 in the administrative office filling the position left vacant by Tammy Browning who received a promotion to the Department of Pharmacy at Shands. If you have not yet met her please come by the administrative office, say hello and welcome her to the department.

Sofia Grajal-Puche daughter of Alejandro Grajal and Helena Puche, a former student of this department, was born Friday, May 2, 1997 at 6:30 pm. Helena and Sofia are in excellent condition. Sofia weighed 6 lb. 15 oz. (about 3.2 kg), and her parents think that she is beautiful, all pink and plump. Helena has recuperated admirably, and their first night at home went smoothly.


Dr. Allen and Jason Byrd have received a grant from the National Institute of Justice. This $35,000 grant is for dissertation support for research in the use of insects in determining postmortem interval estimations in death investigations. One focus of this project is to develop a computer model that will simulate insect development on a human cadaver. This investigative tool will aid law enforcement officials and cooperating entomologists in establishing more accurate postmortem interval estimations than what is currently possible.

James Cuda was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Aquatic Plant Management, to evaluate insects for biological control of wetland nightshade, Solanum tampicense Dunal. Wetland nightshade, a native of Mexico, the West Indies and Belize, occurs in regularly flooded wetlands such as along rivers and in cypress domes. This solanaceous weed was first reported in a marsh south of Punta Gorda, Charlotte Co., in 1983. Wetland nightshade apparently does not pose a threat to upland sites such as pastures or oak hammocks where tropical soda apple and other weedy solanums occur.


On April 26, 1997, the first biocontrol candidate of Melaleuca, Oxyops vitiosa (Curculionidae) or the Melaleuca weevil, was released at Holiday State Park near Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The weevil feeds on the young growth of Melaleuca quinquenervia, an exotic plant/tree from Australia that infests all 10 Florida counties. Dr. Joe Balciunas, USDA/ARS Research Entomologist and former student of the department, conducted host-range studies in Australia. Dr. Gary Buckingham, USDA/ARS Research Entomologist and adjunct professor of the department, conducted host-range studies in quarantine at the Florida Biological Control Lab, DPI. Dr. Ted Center, USDA/ARS Research Entomologist and former student of the department, will evaluate the establishment, spread, and effectiveness of the weevil as a biocontrol agent. Congratulations to all the people involved, specially Dr. Buckingham, who has worked long and hard on the project. Dr. Dale Habeck was the first to survey melaleuca for biocontrol agents in 1977. More recently, he has furthered the progress of the melaleuca project by representing the department on the cooperative research agreement between the USDA/ARS and the university.


Tom Walker gave invitational talks on butterfly migration and the electronic future of entomology at Kansas State University, April 24 and 25. In preparing these talks, he tried something new: he established a Web page that has most of the slides used in the talks and has hotlinks to many Web sites pertinent to the second talk. [Did you know there is a free PowerPoint viewer that "plugs in" to your browser and allows anyone to view PowerPoint presentations from WWW?]

The Southeast Pest Management conference was held at the Reitz Union May 5-7. This three day event was coordinated and presented by UF professors Philip Koehler, Richard Patterson, Rudy Scheffrahn, Nan-Yao Su, Gary Simone, Don Short, and Robert Dunn. Presentations covering current concepts in the management of general household pests, lawn and ornamental pests, and termites. Dina Richman, Chuck Strong, Dini Miller, Hussein Sanchez-Arroyo, John Petti, and Tim McCoy each gave presentations on various topics in Urban Entomology. Special thanks goes out to Glenda Barnett who worked tirelessly to ensure this conference ran smoothly.

James Cuda attended the 1997 Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Workshop held at the Whitney Laboratory, Marin eland, FL., 9-10 May. The workshop was sponsored by the University of Florida.

Marjorie Hoy presented the 1997 Mike Duke Seminar in the Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina on April 4.

Marjorie Hoy also presented an invited seminar, "Transgenic Arthropods for Pest Management Programs: Pragmatism, Prophecy, and Prudence", to the Entomology and Ecology Departments at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia on May 1.

Julieta Brambilla gave a short talk in Spanish on Spartocera batatas (the giant sweetpotato bug) on April 15 at the Dade Co. Agricultural Extension Center on the Workshop of the Pests of Tropical Vegetables and Fruits for Spanish-speaking growers in Dade Co. and translated the circular from DPI on this species into Spanish for local distribution.

Pauline Lawrence and Michael Miller were invited to present their work on the parasitic wasp Biosteres arisanus to the Department of Citrus, Board of Directors in Lakeland, Florida in February. B. arisanus is an egg-pupal parasite of the Medfly and Oriental fruit fly in Hawaii and Malaysia and is currently being evaluated as a potential biocontrol agent for the Caribbean fruit fly in Florida.


Ken Prestwich, from Holly Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts, will be visiting Tom Walker and studying the acoustic physiology of crickets for the next three weeks. He will set up his equipment in the Insect Ecology Lab (EYN 2116). You know how helium will make a person sound like Mickey Mouse? Well, what do you think a cricket sounds like if you substitute helium for the nitrogen in its normal atmosphere? Stop by, and Ken may have found out.

Dr. Jerome Gaspard from Nematec Co. in Japan visited Don Dickson's laboratory 24-25 March to discuss research on Pasteuria spp. It appears that Nematec is going to produce Pasteuria for sell to the Japanese market.

Dr. Ulrich Zunke from Institut fuer Angewandte Botanik, Hamburg, Germany visited our department 27th March. During his visit he presented a seminar on the behavior of the lesion nematode, Pratylenchus penetrans. Dr. Zunke is an expert in video-enhanced microscopy.

Dr. Koichi Komaki, Chief Researcher from Japan visited Don Dickson's laboratory to discuss biological control work on plant-parasitic nematodes.


Tom Fasulo (room 3103) still has some whitefly publications with lots of pretty pictures that Phil Stansly of the SWFLREC sent up for distribution. Also, a color poster of 35 urban pests. Stop by and get a copy of one or each.


McAuslane, H.J. (April 1997). Giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes Cramer. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-8.

McAuslane, H.J. (April 1997). Oleander caterpillar, Syntomeida epilais Walker. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-9.

Dr. Jim Castner and Jason Byrd have begun work on a book entitled "Entomological Evidence: Utility of arthropods in legal investigations" to be published with CRC Press. This will be an edited work whose target audience is crime scene technicians, death investigators, attorneys, medical examiners, and coroners. It will discuss all aspects of forensic entomology and bring many unique aspects of the use of insects in human death investigation together in one work. It is only the third work ever published that deals exclusively with forensic entomology.

Zeneca Professional Products, Tom Fasulo and Phil Koehler of this department have cooperated in developing four computer-verified training tutorials on Zeneca Labels. These labels are Demand CS, Demon WP, Talon-G and Prelude. These tutorials are DOS-based and can be run from the diskette or copied to a hard drive for faster performance. These are the last DOS-based programs to be developed by the Entomology and Nematology Department. While the tutorials display a graphic before each set of questions, the best way to use the tutorials is to take them with a copy of the label in hand. Each of the tutorials are authorized for one (1) CEU in CORE by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control. Zeneca is giving away the tutorials to its customers. Contact your Zeneca Professional Products representative for more information.


Where Is Your CV?

Evidently few of the graduate students are aware that the department will post a curriculum vitae for each of us online on the departmental web site. Presently there are only six students that have a link to their C.V. If you are interested in placing your CV online give a copy of it to Skip Choate.

Dr. Robert Dunn has posted a file to Pest Alert on "Nematicides for Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens." Pest Alert is available at

The Pest Alert and Florida Insect and Nematode Management databases are also available, through the World Wide Web, on the home page (under Publications) of the University of Florida's Department of Entomology and Nematology at:

DPI Circulars

Tom Fasulo also has WordPefect files of the listings of the different circulars produced by DPI in Entomology, Nematology, Pathology and Botany. These listings are useful for searches to see if DPI has a circular on the arthropod or plant you wish information on. If you'd like a copy send him a 3.5" diskette.

The next newsletter will be published Thursday, June 19. Deadline for contributions is Monday, June 16.

You can obtain an electronic subscription by joining the listserv.

This version of the newsletter is edited and published for the Web by Tim McCoy.

Editors: Yasmin Cardoza & Tim McCoy

May 1997. Revised March 2003.