October 2003

New Faculty Positions

Dr. Amanda Hodges joined the faculty as the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network Entomology Educational Coordinator. This is an Assistant in Extension Scientist position which is non-tenure track and is a one-year appointment. Continuance is contingent on continued funding. Her responsibilities include, 1) working to develop a region-wide education program for the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, 2) helping to initiate rapid detection of exotic pests entering the region, especially those that pose a threat to agriculture; and 3) assisting with the identification of client groups and their needs in detecting exotic arthropods. She will develop training materials in all media and coordinate the delivery of products and activities for the program through extension agents, media, and industry organizations. Dr. Hodges will conduct training sessions throughout the 12-state region for county extension agents, Master Gardeners, industry personnel, the general public, etc., and serve as a contact between university personnel, state and federal government agencies, clients and other groups.

Dr. Hodges received her Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Georgia in December 2002. In addition to scientific papers, her C.V. lists a very large number of teaching and extension experiences. The Southern Plant Diagnostic Network Web site is located at http://spdn.ifas.ufl.edu/index.htm.

Dr. Heather McAuslane gave an update on the toxicology position at the last faculty meeting. She had 13 applicants and expects at least five to six well-qualified applicants based on telephone conversations and applications already submitted. This position will be funded for only three years, but has the possibility of becoming permanent. The successful applicant will use Dr. Jerry Butler's labs as he has retired. If this position become permanent, it will probably replace Dr. Simon Yu's position, as he will be retiring in three years.

Dr. John Capinera announced that the department received permission to fill an insect physiologist position. Dr. Marjorie Hoy will chair the committee. Other members of the committee include Drs. James Becnel (USDA), Pauline Lawrence, Oscar Liburd, James Maruniak and Marta Wayne (Zoology). The teaching responsibilities of the new physiologist remain to be determined, but the appointment is 50% instruction.

At the last faculty meeting, Dr. Capinera asked for a redetermination on the needs for new faculty that should be presented to the Deans if another position becomes available. After discussion, the priorities were set as 1) Med/Vet Entomologist, 2) Nematologist and 3) Lepidopterist with 4-H outreach responsibilities. Obviously, these priorities may change over time.

New Teaching Lab

The construction of the new teaching lab is suppose to begin this month, with a "promised" completion date of December 2003. However, since these things tend to take longer than anticipated, classes will not be scheduled in the new lab until Summer 2004. As reported in the last issue, Dr. Jim Nation's research labs are being converted to this use.


Choate Jr PM. 2003. A field guide and identification manual for Florida and Eastern U.S. Tiger Beetles. University Press of Florida. Gainesville. 200p. (Note: Review and order form online at: http://www.upf.com/Spring2003/Choate.htm)

Choate Jr. PM. (2003). Illustrated Key to Florida Species of Tiger Beetles - (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/choate/tigerbeetle_key.pdf

Denmark HA. (June 2003). Giant bark aphid, Longistigma caryae (Harris). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-292. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/giant_bark_aphid.htm

Halbert SE. (October 2003). Coriander aphid, Hyadaphis coriandri (Das). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-296. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/aphid/coriander_aphid.htm

Kern Jr W. (September 2003). Pigeon louse fly, Pseudolychia canariensis (Macquart). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-307. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/livestock/pigeon_fly.htm

Kern Jr W. (September 2003). Neotropical deer ked, Lipoptena mazamae Rondani. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-308. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/livestock/deer_ked.htm

Larson B, Frank JH. 2002. Bromeliads and Bromeliad Weevils of Florida. UF/IFAS SP-321. (Note: Although published in 2003, an editor's error printed 2002 on the card set.)

Serrano D., Foltz JL. 2003. Natural history of Anisota peigleri (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) in Gainesville, Florida. Florida Entomologist 86: 217-218.

Weed AS, Fasulo TR. 2003. Mole Crickets Computer Tutorial. UF/IFAS Bug Tutorials. SW- 168.

Weed AS, Fasulo TR. 2003. Enemies of Mole Crickets Computer Tutorial. UF/IFAS Bug Tutorials. SW-169.


Rebecca Baldwin, a Ph.D. student, recently received the NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award at the 49th Annual Conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture hosted by Cal Polytechnic State University and held in San Luis Obispo, CA. This award is to recognize and reward graduate students who excel as teachers in the agricultural disciplines. The student must be involved in classroom instruction for a minimum of one year. Criteria included in the evaluation are the student's teaching philosophy, statement of support from supervising faculty, evaluations submitted by current and former students, administrative officers, and peers, a self evaluation, and involvement in teaching outside the classroom. Dr. Don Hall nominated Rebecca for this award.

Rebecca has taught the online version of ENY 3005 Principles of Entomology (with a lab requirement) for several semesters, including the summer term. As a result, Ms. Baldwin constantly receives mail from the UF Graduate School addressed to Dr. Baldwin, and she receives a lot of kidding about this. See http://webbugs.ifas.ufl.edu/ for details on the course.

Pi Chi Omega, a National Professional Pest Control Fraternity, selected Rebecca Baldwin as one of four national recipients of a $1,500 Graduate Student Scholarship for research in Urban Entomology for 2003/2004.

Matt Aubuchon and Deanna Branscome received Florida Entomological Society (FES) Graduate Student Scholarships for 2003/2004.

Rebecca Baldwin placed second in the student paper competition at the Annual FES meeting in July with her talk, "The toxicity of household cleaners to urban pests."

Matt Aubuchon, Rebecca Baldwin, Deanna Branscome, Joe Smith, and Cindy Tucker received FES mini-grants for research and travel.

New Post-Doc

Alonso Suazo-Caliz received his Ph.D. from this department in 2000 and then worked at the USDA/ARS lab in Gainesville and most recently at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia. Dr. Howard Frank hired Alonso as a Post-doctoral Associate to research a potential biological control agent of the Mexican bromeliad weevil in Honduras.


Drs. James P. Cuda, Julio Medal and Bill Overholt attended the 2nd Annual Florida Weed Biocontrol Research Retreat held at the Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, FL, 7-8 October. The purpose of the retreat was to establish a cohesive body of USDA/ARS and UF/IFAS scientists that can represent weed biological interests in Florida, prioritize projects, share resources and develop collaborative research/extension programs.


Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to attend the Annual Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group for Biological Control Agents of Weeds held in Spokane, WA, 9-11 September. Cuda gave presentations on the following topics, "Proposed Release of Pseudophilothrips ichini (Hood) (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) for Classical Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolilus Raddi (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae) in Florida (Petition 02-04)", and "Proposal for a Pilot Release of the Brazilian Peppertree Sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi Malaise (Hymenoptera: Pergidae) in Florida (Petition 96-11)".

Dr. James P. Cuda traveled to France to attend the 10th Workshop of the International Organization for Biological Control Working Group on Arthropod Mass Rearing and Quality Control. The workshop was held at the Agropolis International in Montpellier, 21-25 September. Cuda organized and moderated a session on Production Techniques and gave a presentation entitled, "Mass Production of Arthropods for the Biological Control of Weeds: A Florida Focus", which was co-authored by Divina Amalin.

Dr. John Foltz was part of the team that conducted southern pine beetle (SPB) prevention workshops in Quincy, Tallahassee, and Gainesville during September. The goals of the workshops were to inform forest landowners and urban residents of methods for managing trees and forests to reduce SPB outbreak frequency and severity. John opened each of the workshops with information on beetle biology, behavior and ecology. Others then spoke on topics such as reducing risk, silvicultural techniques, and working with loggers and tree service companies.


Drs. Howard Frank, Ron Cave and Barbra Larson obtained a renewal of a Florida Park Service grant for biological control of the Mexican bromeliad weevil for 2003-2004. The renewal was for $54,924.

Drs. Norm Leppla and Barbra Larson received a grant from USDA/PMAP for $49,959 entitled "Incorporating Alternative, Multi-tactic IPM into the Crop Planning Process of Florida Vegetable Growers."

Fall Seminar Series

The remaining seminars are:

10/16 - Dr. B. Magalhaes (EMBRAPA, Brazil) "The use of Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum against the grasshopper Rhammatocerus schistocercoides in Brazil."

10/23 - Mr. G. Jones (University of Florida and Santa Fe College) "Avian insectivores as agents of biocontrol in cropping systems."

10/30 - Dr. L. Wiener (St. John's College, NM) "All about spiders."

11/6 - Dr M. Kairo (CABI, Trinidad) Title pending

11/13 - Dr. B. Unruh (University of Florida, West Florida REC - Jay) "The role of the extension specialist: past, present, and future."

11/20 - Dr. L. Morrison (USDA, Gainesville) "The island biogeography and metapopulation dynamics of Bahamian ants."

11/27 - Thanksgiving

12/4 - Dr. L. Duncan (University of Florida, Citrus REC - Lake Alfred) Title pending

M.S. Thesis Defense

During the September faculty meeting, Dr. Don Hall recommended that Master students have their final defense two weeks before the deadline for submission of their thesis to the Graduate School. This gives the student time to make any changes on their thesis recommended by their committee. The faculty voted and approved the ruling that Master students must defend two weeks before the deadline set by the Graduate School to hand in their thesis. This will become effective in the 2004 spring semester.


The Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association obtained approval from the American Society of Agronomy to authorize the UF/IFAS Core2 Pesticide Labeling and the Core6 Emergency Response to Harmful Effects of Pesticides, Heat Stress and Heat Stoke computer tutorials for Certified Crop Advisor CEUs. Due to reciprocity agreements, these tutorials, developed by Thomas Fasulo, and Drs. Norm Nesheim and Philip Koehler, are also eligible for Certified Crop Advisor CEUs in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

A link to the FFAA CEU Web site is available from UF/IFAS Pest Alert site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/, as is a link to the Core2 and Core6 tutorial descriptions.

West Virginia approved the Maxforce Bait Label Tutorial, developed by Rebecca Baldwin, Thomas Fasulo and Andrew Koehler, for CEUs in that state. West Virginia also added a new category to the previously approved Mosquito Tutorials, developed by Thomas Fasulo and Dr. David Dame.

Arthropod Sex

Richard Pluke reports that the Entomo-l listserv carried this item from New Scientist: "The discovery of the world's oldest genitals proves that little has changed over the last 400 million years - at least for daddy-long-legs. Fossils of harvestmen arachnids (Opiliones) were found by palaeontologists in an ancient rock at Rhynie near Aberdeen in Scotland. Preserved within a male is a penis two-thirds the length of his body, and on a female there is a long egg-laying organ known as an ovipositor. The organs are remarkably similar to those in modern-day species of harvestmen. As well as genitals, the fossils have the oldest known arachnid respiratory system, suggesting harvestmen's ancestors had long since crawled out of the sea and learned to breathe."

Available at http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994175

Fire Ants and Flies

Dr. Sanford Porter, entomologist with the USDA Gainesville Lab, and Adrian Hunsberger, Urban Horticulture Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator with the UF/IFAS / Miami-Dade County Extension Service. will be featured in a National Geographic story on the fire ant decapitating flies (Phoridae) sometime this Fall on the National Geographic News (TV).

Featured Creatures

The UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department and the FDACS Division of Plant Industry now have over 300 UF/IFAS publications on the Featured Creatures WWW site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/, with more undergoing development. During September 2003, the Featured Creatures Web site recorded 140,303 distinct visitors and 259,909 page views.

A recent comment from a visitor: "I'm searching for (G.B. Edwards) to give a big thank you. You see, last night after coming home from a late movie I walked up my walk-way towards the front door of my home and had to stop dead in my tracks due to a "spider crossing." I don't know how my attention was caught but somehow my focus beamed in on a spider hanging in midair about chest level. I have never seen a spider like this, and stood in the dark admiring the web before I decided to go inside to grab a flashlight so as to get a better view. I want to say thank you for your help in identifying this unknown spider as a tropical orb weaver. It is your identification page on the Featured Creatures page that helped me to learn more about my new neighbor. I just wanted to let you know that I found the information useful and fun to investigate." - Jesse Ratkey

Newsletter Minutia

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Please send submissions to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published about the middle of each month. Items for each month's issue should be sent no later than the 10th of that month.

Printed copies are distributed only within Bldg. 970. A notice is sent to all those on the UF- Bugnews-l listserv when HTML and PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/, which contains instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the listserv. Andy Koehler does the coding for the HTML version.

During September 2003, the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology Newsletter Web site recorded 3,456 distinct visitors and 4,835 page views. The newsletter listserv contains 218 subscribers.

October 2003.