Dr. James Ellis, currently doing post-
doctoral work at the University of Georgia,
accepted the Apiculture/Youth Programs
position that we interviewed candidates for
in February. He is expected to join us
sometimes this summer.
Dr. Miguel Angel Mor6n is a visiting
scientist at the Florida State Collection of
Arthropods, sponsored by the Center for
Systematic Entomology. He was here for two
weeks, working with Dr. R.E. Woodruff,
describing several new species of May or
June Beetles (Phyllophaga) from Mexico and
Central America. He has published several
major books and hundreds of papers on
Thanks to the efforts of our IPM Florida
group and predecessors, Dr. Norm Leppla
received the 2006 Entomological Society of
America Award for Excellence in Integrated
Pest Management at the annual meeting of
the Southeastern Branch of the
Entomological Society of America at
Wilmington, North Carolina on 7 March.
Leppla was honored for leading the UF/IFAS
statewide IPM program that is part of the
Entomology and Nematology Department.
This 5-year-old IPM program has the
mission, "IPM Florida provides statewide,
interdisciplinary and inter-unit coordination
and assistance in integrated pest management
to protect agriculture, communities and the
environment." An IPM program of this
scope, magnitude and quality would not be
possible without the continued support of the
Entomology and Nematology Department
faculty and staff.
The President of the Entomological Society
of America (ESA) appointed Dr. Pauline
Lawrence to a three-year term to represent
the Society at the Biological Sciences
Section (BSS) of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
She will report on the activities of the
AAAS/BSS to the ESA Governing Board.
Dr. Lawrence was elected by the
membership of the AAAS to the Committee
on Nominations of that society for a two-year
Dr. Marc Branham recently served on a
National Science Foundation grants advisory
panel for three days at NSF in Arlington,
Dr. Marc Branham is pleased to announce
the premiere of his lab's Web site at
http://www.BranhamLab.com/. The site
covers the work he and his graduate students
are involved in and contains a large number
of photographs from their trips around the
world. Also included are summaries of their
work, publications, contact information, and
curriculum vitae for each of them.
UMVFPSITY Of -lll~ll
Sonja Swiger worked for our business office
over five years. On 28 March, she received a
goodbye party and baby shower in her honor.
Sonja, who is also a graduate student, will
continue to work on her Ph.D. in forensic
entomology; she just will not be employed
by the department.
Lois Wood, Senior Biological Scientist,
attended the two-week Advanced Mosquito
Identification and Certification Course at the
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in
Vero Beach, during 13-24 March 2006. Dr.
The Richard Darsie, Jr., a world renown
mosquito expert, was head instructor. Lois
passed the exams and now has
The following undergraduate entomology
students were named to the Dean's List for
the Fall 2005 semester: Jessica Awad,
Meredith Cenzer, Kimberly Jameson,
Valerie McManus, Daniel Pitt, Samantha
Riesterer, Norisse Tellman, and Natasha
Wright. We are proud to have them as
majors. Keep up the good work. Dr. Carl
Barfield, Undergraduate Coordinator
Kaytora Long graduated from UF in
December 2005, with a B.S. in Animal
Science. However, she is a long time OPS
employee in Dr. Oscar Liburd's lab. Jay
Cee Turner designed a project for Kaytora
to look at the rate of oviposition, survival and
mortality of Geocoris punctipes on three
mediums called "Evaluation of various
mediums for rearing big-eyed bugs, Geocoris
punctipes (Say) a beneficial predator for
controlling insect pest populations." The
three mediums evaluated in this project
included cotton balls, cotton squares, and
polyester/rayon gauze. Kaytora was selected
as a profiled scholar for the Journal of
Undergraduate Research for the University
Scholars Program. See http://www.clas.ufl.
Graduate student Jennifer Zaspel, of Dr.
Marc Branham's lab, was awarded a Vam
C. York Graduate Scholarship ($500)
recently. This scholarship provides financial
assistance to female graduate students within
the College of Agricultural and Life
Welcome Margaret Schwinghammer, a
Ph.D. student at Purdue University, who is a
visiting scholar during April-July, 2006.
Margaret is working on foraging and
trail-following behavior in Reticulitermes
termites in particular, the role of a gene
called "takeout" in regulating these
processes. Margaret is Dr. Gary Bennett's
student at Purdue University. At UF, she will
be located in Dr. Mike Scharf's laboratory.
Emily Saarinen successfully completed her
Ph.D. qualifying exams.
Graduate student Luis Matos was selected
for a fellowship in the Science Partners in
Inquiry-base Collaborative Education
(SPICE) program (http://spice.ees.ufl.edu/).
The primary goals of SPICE are to: (1)
enrich the education of graduate students and
(2) encourage underprivileged students to
pursue careers in Science.
Ms. Anchana Thancharoen, a doctoral
student from Mahidol University, Thailand,
is spending seven months in Dr. Marc
Branham's lab studying the effects of light
pollution on the firefly Photinus collustrans.
The data she collects from this Florida
species will be compared to a firefly species
she is studying in Thailand with the ultimate
goal being the conservation of firefly species
in Thailand. Ms. Thancharoen's research is
funded through a Royal Golden Jubilee
Dr. Dini Miller was interviewed as a bed
bug expert for articles on the Microsoft
Network. Since receiving her Ph.D. here,
Dini has been the urban entomologist at
Virginia Tech University. To read her
comments and see a photograph, visit
For details on the bed bug, see http://
Seminar Series Spring 2006
This semester's seminar coordinators are
Seth Bybee, James Dunford, Luis Matos,
Murugesan Rangasamy and Jennifer
Zaspel. Seminars begin at 3:45 p.m. in room
1031, Entomology and Nematology (Bldg.
970). A listing of the topics and speakers is
in the January 2006 issue, available online at
McGuire Center Seminars
Seminar are held Tuesdays in room 233 on
the second floor. Lunch is served at noon and
the seminar begins at 12:15. April's seminars
are listed at http://life.ifas.ufl.edu/2006/0331/
Zhou X, Oi FM, Scharf ME. 2006. Social
exploitation of hexamerin: RNAi reveals a
major caste-regulatory factor in termites.
Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences USA 103: 4499-4504. [Special
thanks to Lyle Buss for some excellent
termite photos included in this publication.]
Gyeltshen J, Hodges AC. (March 2006).
Viburnum leaf beetle, Pyrrhalta viburni
(Paykull). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures.
beetles/viburnum leaf beetle.htm
Saarinen EV, Daniels JC. 2006. Miami blue
butterfly larvae (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): New
information on the symbionts of an
endangered taxon. Florida Entomologist
Zaspel JM, Weller SJ. 2006. Review of
generic limits of the tiger moth genera Virbia
Walker and Holomelina Herrich-Schaffer
(Lepidoptera: Arctiidae: Arctiinae) and their
biogeography. Zootaxa 1159: 1-68.
Nearns EH. Steiner WE. 2006. A new
species of Plectromerus Haldeman
(Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) from Navassa
Island, Greater Antilles. Zootaxa 1163: 61-
Buss LB, Fasulo TR. 2006. Stored Product
Pests. UF/IFAS. SW 185. CD-ROM.
Dunford JC, Young DK, Krauth SJ. 2006.
.Steti/,h'a i% ovata (LeConte) (Curculionidae)
on eastern prairie fringed orchid [Platanthera
leucophaea (Nutall) Lindley] in Wisconsin.
The Coleopterists Bulletin 60: 51-52.
Meetings and Presentations
Dr. Julio Medal was invited to give a talk on
"Biological Control of Tropical Soda Apple
in Florida: A Research Update" at the
Ministry of Agriculture in San Jose, Costa
Rica. Medal also did field explorations for
three weeks searching for natural enemies of
wetland nightshade (WLNS), Solanum
tampicense, in Guatemala, Honduras,
Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Fifteen insect
species were found feeding on WLNS in
Guatemala and Costa Rica. Of these, at least
seven (including four weevils) may have
potential as biocontrol agents of WLNS.
Preliminary host-specificity testing are
currently underway by researcher
collaborators in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Dr. Julio Medal is organizing the Third
Latin-American Short-Course on Biological
Control of Weeds to be held 12-15 June
2006, at the Seminole Plaza Hotel in
Managua, Nicaragua. Participants will gain a
basic understanding of the principles and
concepts of biological control of weeds using
insects and pathogens, and will receive
training in how to implement a weed
biocontrol program. Group discussions will
focus on the prospects for and limitations of
biological weed control in Latin America.
About 15 weed biocontrol experts and 100
trainees from at least 15 developing countries
will be involved. Information and registration
are at http://www.biocontrol.ifas.ufl.edu/.
Dr. Oscar Liburd and graduate student H.
Alejandro Arevalo presented at the Florida
Blueberry Growers Association's Spring
Blueberry Field Day. The meeting was on 7
March. Dr. Liburd's talk was "Management
of key insect pests and mites in blueberries
using conventional and reduced-risk
insecticides." Alejandro's was, "Advances in
understanding the relationship between
flower thrips ad blueberries in Florida."
Dr. Oscar Liburd attended the Organic
Blueberry Working Group Organizational
Meeting on 17 March Alma, GA. The
attendees at this meeting discussed needs for
research, extension support, and
infrastructure that would facilitate continued
development of organic blueberry production
Dr. Oscar Liburd attended the LEAD IFAS
Session 2 at Haines City, FL, during 20-22
Graduate students Alejandro Arevalo,
Craig Roubos, Elena Rhodes, Aimee
Fraulo, Teresia Nyoike, and biological
scientist Jay Cee Turner attended the
in-service training and workshop updates on
High Risk Plant Diseases and Hemipteran
Pests of Concern to Florida on 14 March.
Elena Rhodes continued with the meeting
during 15-16 March. The workshop was held
in the Department. The workshop focused
on pests, diagnostics, epidemiology, and
Graduate student Alejandro Arvalo attended
the Thrips Sampling and Identification
Workshop from 15-17 March. The workshop
was held in the department. The program
focused on sampling procedures for thrips on
crops and other plant hosts; plus
identification of thrips to family, genus, and
Dr. Mike Scharf attended the annual
meeting of the Consortium for Plant
Biotechnology Research, held in Washington
DC. Dr. Scharf presented a proposal at the
meeting (with Co-PIs Dr. Faith Oi and
Drion Boucias) titled "Genomic dissection
of cellulose utilization in termites".
Dr. Phil Kaufman, Don Rutz and Kathy
Murray presented the paper "Insecticide
resistance in lesser mealworms collected
from poultry facilities" at the SEB-ESA
meeting in Wilmington, NC. 5-8 March.
Dr. Norm Leppla presented the keynote
address, "IPM's Time has Arrived!" at the
40th Annual Conference of the Association
of Applied IPM Ecologists in Oxnard, CA on
5-7 February 5-7. Leppla was also asked to
deliver two additional talks on UF/IFAS
projects, "Increasing Adoption of IPM in the
Production of Woody Ornamentals" and
"Opportunities for Biocontrol in
Greenhouses." The theme of the conference
was "40 Years of Making a Difference."
At the 5th National IPM Symposium held in
St. Louis, MO, 4-6 April, Drs Norm Leppla
and JenniferGillett.were co-authors of a
poster "IPM Florida Partnerships: The UF,
IFAS Statewide IPM. In addition, co-authors
Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, Dr. Faith Oi, M.
Lame, E. Lewellan, R. Smith, S. Scalera,
Dr. Norm Leppla, and Dr. Jennifer Gillett
presented the poster "A Model for School
IPM in Florida."
Graduate student Seth Bybee represented the
Entomology & Nematology Department at
the sixth annual IFAS College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences graduate
research symposium on 24 March, with a
presentation titled "Toward a Phylogeny of
Holodonata: getting down and dirty with the
fossil record and missing data."
Dr. Marc Branham gave the invited talk
"Using Phylogeny to Study the Evolution of
Behavior in Insects: Examples from Fireflies
and Vampire Moths" in the Biodiversity
Research and Systematics Symposium, at the
Entomological Society of America -
Southeastern Branch Conference,
Drs. Julio Medal and James Cuda were
awarded a grant for $180,000 from the
USDA-APHIS to continue the
"Implementation of Biological Control of
Tropical Soda Apple" in 2006. Field releases
in Florida of the leaf-beetle Gratiana
boliviana from South America began in the
summer 2003, and approximately 45,000
beetles have been released in Florida,
Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina in
collaboration with FDACS-Division of Plant
Industry & Forestry Division, and
USDA-APHIS & ARS.
Dr. Julio Medal received a grant for $3,000
from The Academy of Sciences for the
Developing World for the "Organization of
the III Latin American Short-Course on
Weed Biological Control" to be held in
Managua, Nicaragua from 12-15 June 2006.
Dr. David Williams gave the Keynote
Address at the 2006 Imported Fire Ant
Conference in Mobile, AL. His talk was "A
Brief History of the Red Imported Fire Ant in
the United States."
Really Small Important Stuff
Drs. Jim Maruniak and Ale Garcia-
Maruniak announce ENY 6822C -
Molecular biology techniques of
invertebrates and their pathogens, a hands-
on laboratory course during Summer A 2006
(15 May 23 June). It targets Entomology
and Nematology graduate students interested
in learning, understanding and applying
molecular biology techniques for their own
research projects. Credits: 4; Prerequisites:
Any basic course in genetics, biochemistry or
molecular biology. Enrollment limited to 8
students. Contact either instructor at 392-
1901, ext. 203 or 148.
Students will extract DNA from their
organism of interest and it will be used for
further experiments. Some of the techniques
taught will include PCR, RFLP,
microsatellite analysis, sequencing and
bioinformatics. Maintenance of an adequate
laboratory notebook, oral presentation of a
project using the techniques learned,
attendance and active participation in every
aspect of the course will be the major criteria
for grades. Classes held Monday through
Friday, 8:00 noon (1st through 3rd period),
in room 3130 (Insect Virology Lab), Bldg
970. The course will not be offered again
until Summer 2008.
Why Not The Average Antilles?
In mid-February, Dr. Marc Branham and
graduate students Gino Nearns and Seth
Bybee returned to Cuba for a week of
collections-based research. They traveled on
a U.S. State Department License that allows
UF staff and graduate students to visit Cuba
to conduct research. The Branham Lab is
generally interested in the biogeography of
the Caribbean (both the Greater and Lesser
Antilles). Due to its large area and location
very near to Florida, Cuba is perhaps the
most important Caribbean island in terms of
the insect fauna found in Florida. The site
includes the only known photograph of Dr.
Branham puffing on a cigar.
LIFE in the Department
The March 31st issue covers classifying
stuff, the Thrips Sampling and ID Workshop,
our Cuban connection, and How Not To
Submit Bugs For Identification.
The March 17th issue covers scary
campsites, fruit and vegetable IPM, lobate
lac scales, and German nematologists.
Mike Sanford edits this photographic
journal of our department, located at
"Busy as a Bee" Web Site
Whether it be a pest, beneficial or just a part
of the natural diversity, if you are looking for
some more exposure for your favorite
arthropod then you might want to add it to
the Featured Creatures Web site. I will not
list the names here, but entomology faculty
from a number of universities, with large
extension components and significant
presence on the Web, have told me over the
years that when an arthropod is included in
Featured Creatures they usually refer their
clients to our site.
When you do a Featured Creatures, you get
"two-for-one." Once a Featured Creatures
publication is completed it is also converted
into an EDIS publication by Glinda Burnett.
In addition, updates to existing Featured
Creatures, and we spend as much time
updating Featured Creatures as we do
creating new ones, are also forwarded to
Glinda so she can update the EDIS copies.
The continual updating of Featured Creatures
is one of the reasons for its popularity. Much
of the information is "current," with
individual files listing the revision dates.
Whereas, many other sources of arthropod
information on the Web have not been
touched since they were first created.
During the last 12 months, the Featured
Creatures Web site recorded 2,218,949
distinct visitors and 3,887,480 page views.
See http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/. Thomas
Old-Fashioned Pest Control
Sometimes old-fashioned pest control,
literally smashing the bug, is not a good idea,
as one person found out. Robert Colla was
teaching students at an adult education class
when he picked up a paperweight and
slammed it down on a "bug" crossing his
desk. The paperweight, a 40 mm shell,
exploded and severed his right hand, as well
as causing other injuries. See
ight. explosion. ap/.
Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn, president of the
Florida Entomological Society, reports that
the 2006 meeting is scheduled for 23-26 July,
at the Jupiter Beach Resort in Jupiter,
Florida. For more information on this and the
2007 meeting, see
What do you suppose?
A bee sat on my nose.
Then what do you think?
He gave me a wink
And said, "I beg your pardon,
I thought you were the garden."
- old English rhyme
Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. You
can send news to him at email@example.com.
Issues are published the middle of each
month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of
Printed copies are distributed only within
Building 970. UF-Bugnews-L listserv
subscribers receive notices when HTML and
PDF copies are posted on the newsletter Web
site at http://entnews.ifas.ufl.edu/, which
has instructions for subscribing and
unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy
Sanders review the newsletter for errors and
prepare the print version for distribution.
During the last 12 months, the newsletter
Web site recorded 45,352 distinct visitors
and 80,483 page views. In addition, visitors
downloaded 1,735 PDF files during January-