S F S@S .5
Dr. Christine W. Miller recently joined the
Gainesville faculty as an Assistant Research
Scientist specializing in evolutionary
ecology. This appointment is 80% research
and 20% teaching. Dr. Miller's research
interests focus on the evolution of behavior
and morphology, and the majority of this
research has been conducted with the
Coreidae. Her research interests include: 1)
Maternal effects and sexual selection, 2)
Genotype-by-environment interactions on
behavior, and 3) Phenotypic plasticity in
color. She has conducted much of her
previous work at the Smithsonian Tropical
Research Institute in Panama, and plans to
continue this research as well as to study
local species of coreids. Miller received her
doctoral degree at the University of Montana.
She has received numerous grants and
fellowships from the National Science
Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution,
and recently declined a National
Evolutionary Synthesis Center Postdoctoral
Fellowship to join our department.
Last month, Dr. Rudi Scheffrahn, Fort
Lauderdale REC, was the guest of Solange
Issa of Simon Bolivar University and the
Bolivariana Section of the International
Union for the Study of Social Insects at their
biennial meeting in Higuerote, Venezuela.
Scheffrahn gave a plenary talk on Caribbean
termites and met many faculty and students
from South America working primarily on
ants, bees and wasps. Before and after the
meeting Scheffrahn, with Jim Chase and
John Mangold of Terminix International,
conducted a survey of the relatively
undiscovered termite fauna of north central
Venezuela. Additional travel support was
provided by a grant from the IFAS
International Programs Office.
Dr. Philip A. Stansly, Southwest Florida
REC, recently spent two weeks in the
People's Republic of China (PRC) as part of
a scientific cooperation exchange program
discussing the management of Bemisia
tabaci following introductions of the Q
Biotype of this species to the USA and PRC.
Dr. James P. Cuda and his graduate student
Abhishek Mukherjee traveled to India in
September to begin a project on classical
biological control of the aquatic weed
Hygrophilapolysperma. Cuda and
Mukherjee met with collaborators from CAB
International in Delhi and India's Project
Directorate for Biological Control in
Bangalore. Mukherjee will visit herbaria in
Kolkata (Calcutta) and Delhi to examine
plant specimens and then conduct
preliminary field surveys to collect plant
samples for genetic analysis before returning
to the U.S. at the end of October.
Dr. Marjorie A. Hoy recently returned from
Mauritius, where she conducted foreign
exploration for predatory mites that suppress
red palm mite, Raoiella indica, populations.
While there, she was hosted by the Mauritius
Ministry of Agro Industry and presented a
seminar on "Classical Biological Control of
the Red Palm Mite." Dr. Hoy returned with
predatory mites (Phytoseiidae) that appear to
be excellent natural enemies and hopes that
colonies can be established for evaluation in
quarantine. The red palm mite is an invasive
pest in the Caribbean that recently colonized
Puerto Rico and is expected to invade Florida
soon. It is a pest of palms and, in the
Caribbean, attacks bananas and plantains, as
well. See her Featured Creatures publication
on this species at http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/
Dr. Marc Branham was recently elected as
Vice President of the Systematics, Evolution
and Biodiversity Section, Entomological
Society of America for 2008.
The holidays are fast approaching. The social
committee will meet in the next few weeks to
plan activities. Anyone interested in serving
on the committee or just helping out should
contact Chris Pickles.
Leticia Gonzalez is new to Dr. Oscar
Liburd's lab. Gonzalez is with the Global
Outreach Program, a nonprofit organization
that arranges internships for young
professionals who want to learn about U.S.
agriculture. Leticia was born and raised in
Paraguay and in 2006 graduated from
National University of Asuncion with a
degree in agricultural science. She plans to
continue her education with a Master's in
agribusiness, but one of her greatest passions
is playing piano. She also wants to see the
world and learn about other cultures. Leticia
will be studying at UF until December and is
eager to sharpen her English language skills,
so please stop by for a chat with her.
Thomas MC. (2007). Primitive Weevils of
Florida. Featured Creatures. EENY-400.
Ulmer BJ, Duncan RE, Prena J, Pefia JE.
(2007). A weevil, Eurhinus magnificus
Gyllenhal. Featured Creatures. EENY-417.
Toth PL. (2007). Elongate twig ant,
Pseudomyrmex gracilis (Fabricius). Featured
Creatures. EENY-418. http://creatures.ifas.
Stelinski LL, McKenzie D, Gut LJ, Isaacs R,
Brunner J. 2007. Comparison of female
attractiveness and male response among
populations of Choristoneura rosaceana
(Harris) in western and eastern U.S. apple
orchards. Environmental Entomology
Dunford JC, Kovarik PW, Somma LA,
Serrano D. 2007. First state records for
Merope tuber (Mecoptera: Meropeidae) in
Florida and biogeographical implications.
Florida Entomologist 90: 581-584.
Somma LA, Dunford JC. 2007. Etymology
of the earwigfly, Merope tuber Newman
(Mecoptera: Meropeidae): Simply dull or just
inscrutable? Insecta Mundi 13: 1-5.
Skelley PE, Dunford JC, Somma LA,
Serrano D. 2007. Merope tuber Newman,
(Meropeidae-earwigfly), male genitalia.
American Entomologist 53: 93, 124.
Weihman SW, Liburd OE. 2007. Seasonal
distribution and evaluation of two trap types
for monitoring grape root borer Vitacea
polistiformis (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) in
Florida vineyards. Florida Entomologist 90:
PD Shirk, Bossin H, Furlong RB, Gillett
JL. 2007. Regulation ofJunonia coenia
densovirus P9 promoter expression. Insect
Molecular Biology 16: 623-633.
Merritt JL, Leppla NC, Gillett JL. 2007.
Tomato & Pepper Insects. University of
Florida/IFAS. Card Set. SP 436.
Hall DW, Buss LJ. (2007). Leaf-rolling
weevil, Homoeolabus analis (Illiger); and
thief weevil, Pterocolus ovatus Fabricius.
Featured Creatures. EENY-420.
nalis P ovatus.htm
Bredow E, Pedrosa-Macedo JH, Medal JC,
Cuda JP. 2007. Open field host specificity
tests in Brazil for risk assessment of
Metriona elatior (Coleoptera:
Chrysomelidae), a potential biological
control agent of Solanum viarum
(Solanaceae) in Florida. Florida
Entomologist 90: 559-564.
Meetings and Presentations
Dr. Julio Medal attended the 9th
International Conference on the Ecology and
Management of Alien Plant Invasions in
Perth, Australia, 17-21 September. Medal
presented the paper "Biological control of
Solanum viarum (Solanaceae) in the USA:
Current status and perspectives." Medal also
gave the poster presentation "Open field
host-specificity tests in the area of origin as a
risk assessment tool of potential weed
biocontrol agents: case study." The
presentations were co-authored by Drs.
Philip Stansly, William Overholt, Amy
Roda (USDA-APHIS), Kenneth Hibbard
(FDACS-DPI), Stephen Hight (USDA-ARS),
and James Cuda. During his stay in
Australia, the Ministry of Agriculture and
Food invited Medal to present a talk on his
research on invasive plants in Florida.
In September, Dr. Lukasz Stelinski, Citrus
REC, presented the paper "On the
physiological and behavioral mechanisms of
pheromone-based mating disruption:
Effective control of Lepidoptera in crops
ranging from pome fruit to citrus," at the 5th
International Conference on Arthropods:
Chemical, Physiological and Environmental
Aspects in Bialka Tatrzanska, Poland.
Fall Entomology Seminars
Graduate students Murugesan Rangasamy
(Chair), Amit Sethi, Craig Roubos, Seth
Bybee, Andrew Derksen, Corraine Scott
and Jennifer Zaspel serve on this semester's
Seminar Committee. Seminars are held on
Thursday afternoons in room 1031:
refreshments at 3:45 pm; seminar at 4:00
pm. A listing of seminars is available online
in the September 2007 issue.
Listed are the remaining Fall seminars at the
McGuire Center for Biodiversity and
Lepidoptera. The presentations are in the
McGuire Conference Room from 12:00-1:00
pm and include lunch.
10/16 Project Ponceanus and notes on south
Florida Lepidoptera activities in the 1970s. -
Dr. Charles V. Covell, Jr.
10/30 Conservation genetics and the Miami
blue butterfly. Emily Saarinen
11/13 Biodiversity and taxonomy of the
Castniidae (the butterfly moths). Dr.
Jacqueline Y. Miller
11/27 Chemical communication in
Heliconius roosting. Christian Salcedo
12/04 Title Pending. Dr. Andrew D.
Dr. Mike Scharf, along with Drs. Drion
Boucias, Aurelien Tartar, Joe Zhou, Faith
Oi and graduate student Marsha Wheeler
received a 2007 IFAS innovation grant to
work on functional genomics of the termite
digestive system. The project, "Biomass
Conversion Using Termite Ligno-Cellulases:
A commercialization pilot study using
recombinant enzyme technology," was
selected to receive $50,000 in support.
Center for Systematic Entomology
Ph.D. student Jennifer M. Zaspel is chair of
the membership committee for the Center of
Systematic Entomology (CSE), and provides
the following information:
For over 20 years, CSE has served as a
non-profit corporation designed to further
systematics in its broadest sense. CSE
supports the Florida State Collection of
Arthropods (FSCA), i.e., purchase of
computer software, library materials,
museum study trips, and labor for bulk
sample sorting, etc. CSE also provides grants
for specialists to study at the FSCA. Because
the Research Associate program supports
insect systematics in many of the same ways,
we believe that membership in CSE provides
another way Research Associates can assist
in this area.
Joining CSE does more than assist FSCA and
CSE projects. Members receive the world-
class insect systematics journal Insecta
Mundi, along with the opportunity to publish
in this journal without page charges; a
newsletter of CSE activities and news;
opportunities to participate in development
of field facilities on a Caribbean island; and
support activities related to Lacey Act
considerations. For complete details, see
CSE's Web site at
The latest Web site to receive our Best of the
Bugs award is Australian Ants Online. This
site developed by the Australian
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization, "...provides an
overview of the fascinating and diverse
Australian ant fauna. It includes information
on all genera and many of the species known
to occur on mainland Australia, Tasmania
and nearby islands." Find this site and others
In Omachi, Japan, hunters catch digger
wasps in nearby forests. The wasps are
boiled, dried, then sprinkled over a cracker
dough. The crackers are called jibachi
senbei and are sold in packages of 20. See
Attend the ButterflyFest at the Florida
Museum of Natural History during October
13-14. See http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/
butterflyfest/ for details.
Once again, the Department participated in
the annual UF/IFAS Share Banquet and Tail
Gator event held in the O'Connell Center
during the September 15th football weekend.
Dr. James P. Cuda represented the
department, and he worked with Jane
Medley to develop a table top display
focusing on weed biological control research
and extension programs. A photograph of our
display is available in the online HTML
version of this issue.
Want to obtain usage data on your Featured
Creatures publications for the UNIFAS
report? Ask Thomas Fasulo for the file
How to Urchin.rtf. IFAS IT recently
licensed Urchin 5, a Web stats package
owned by Google, to monitor Web statistics.
This software is easier to use than LiveStats,
the software previously used by IFAS, and is
not restricted to Internet Explorer as
Dr. Marc Branham was interviewed for an
article on fireflies which will appear in an
upcoming issue of "Texas Parks and Wildlife
"Academics have to be
boredom-invulnerable. Otherwise we'd walk
out of faculty meetings, and if you do that,
you don't get tenure. You have to go get real
jobs." Dr. Louisa Bourebonette, a
character in The First Eagle, a book by
Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. You
can submit news anytime to him at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Issues are published the
middle of each month. Submit items for an
issue by the 7th of that month.
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.
Thomas Fasulo codes the HTML version.
In the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site
recorded 61,722 visitor sessions, 81,202
HTML page views and 8,280 PDF