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01/04/99 Entomology and Nematology News
A University of Florida Publication
This ought to convince us of our ignorance of the mutual relationships of all organic beings; a conviction
as necessary as it is difficult to acquire. -Charles Darwin
Marjorie A. Hoy presented the Alexander Lecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on
December 14. She also presented a talk to the IPM class on the 15th. Fortunately, there was no snow on
the ground in Amherst (and everyone was talking about how mild it was!), but it was sufficiently cold to
remind her how much she liked Florida.
Dr. Tom Sanford was invited to participate in the organization of a Secretariat on diseases in beneficial
insects (honey bees) to be housed at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. If the proposal is accepted by donor
countries, then the addition of this program will mean a good deal extra funds will be available for training
and research in honey bee culture around the world. The funding is expected to be deposited in a trust fund
and will not be part of FAO's annual budget.
On November 18-19, Phil Koehler spoke at the southern meeting of the Georgia Pest Control Association
on the management of cockroaches and fleas. Tom Fasulo, Tom Powell and Cindy Tucker personneld" the
department's booth in the meeting's exhibit hall.
On December 3, Tom Fasulo, Tom Powell and Jerry Gahlhoff manned the department's booth at the
Florida Pest Control Association's Termite Symposium which was attended by industry leaders from
across the country.
Congratulations are in order for Janete Brito, Claudia Riegel, and Billy Crow for winning travel grants to
attend the American Phytopathological Society/Entomological Society of America joint meeting in Las
Vegas. Janete's paper won 3rd place in the competition (The Donald E. Mathre travel grant award). Not
bad for nematology students competing with plant pathology students nation wide. A tally showed that
three awards to one University was a record. The papers are posted on the bulletin boards along the
nematology section hall way.
Don Dickson presented invited papers on developments in biological control of nematodes at the APS/ESA
meeting in Las Vegas and the ONTA meeting in Mendoza, Argentina (October 1998).
For those who missed Dr. Rick Davis's departmental seminar last week you should check out the
commentary, Plant parasitic nematodes: Digesting a page from the microbe book, published in Proc. Natl.
Acad. Sci, 95:4789-4790. For sure, you missed an outstanding seminar. For those who do not remember,
Rick received both his M.S. and Ph. D. degrees from this department.
On December 19, 1998, Dini Miller received her Ph.D; on December 20, 1998, Dini married Tim McCoy,
another urban entomology student working on his M.S.; and on April 1, 1999, she will begin work as the
Virginia state urban extension entomologist with teaching responsibilities. Until then, she will be working
as a post-doc in the UF Urban Entomology lab.
Tom Fasulo received the 1998 Orkin Excellence in Research Award for his work in support of the urban
pest control industry. The award includes a tidy cash award to support his work.
Claudia, Billy Crow, and Janete Brito recieved American Phytopatholical Society Foundation Travel
awards of $350 each.
Dr. Phil Stansly, entomologist at the University of Florida's Southwest Florida Research and Education
Center, has posted a report to the Florida Pest Alert on the new outbreaks of California red scale on Florida
citrus, and its apparent tie-in to Nextor, a miticide. A link to the description and life cycle of California red
scale is also available in the report. Pest Alert is available on the WWW at: http://PestAlert,ifas.ufl.edu/
Hall, D. W. and J.F. Butler. (November 1998). Polydamas swallowtail, Battuspolydamas lucayus
(Rothschild & Jordan). UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY-62. http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/bfly/
Every year in preparation for Christmas, it is a tradition to spotlessly clean the house. Dust bunnies are
asked to find new lodgings and dirty shoes are strictly forbidden in the house. Spiders, being small and
grievously misunderstood, were shown the door during Christmas cleaning and their webs were rolled into
balls and given the boot. In one home occupied by a very poor family, a young girl was struck by the sad
plight of the spiders. She took this up with God in the form of a prayer, asking if the spiders might be
allowed to enjoy Christmas along with the rest of her family.
Just before midnight on Christmas eve, the young girl was awakened by the tiny sound of thousands of
marching spider feet -- a sound so soft that only a child's small ear could possibly hear it. Leaping from
her bed, she watched in horror as the spiders entered and covered her entire Christmas tree with drab gray
webs. Being very poor, her family didn't have the means to decorate their tree, but left naturally, it was a
fine and beautiful tree. Now the spiders had made a mess of it all. Greatly saddened, the little girl went off
to bed, sorry that she had ever prayed for the little spiders.
During the night, the Christ child visited the tree as he does to all Christmas trees and transformed the
webs from a drab gray, to brilliant silver and gold. In the morning light of Christmas day, the tree
absolutely glowed and was the most beautifully trimmed tree anyone had ever seen.
News of the miracle spread to the village, countryside and throughout the world. Even today the miracle is
still celebrated whenever you decorate your Christmas tree with silver and gold streamers. Now, if you
happen to find a spider and its web on your Christmas tree, it is considered the best luck of all
Copyright 1994 by Mirthworks Creations
Drab gray webs, indeed. I personally think spiders webs are more beautiful than the artificial shiny plastic
streamers. Obviously this wasn't written by an entomologist/acarologist. editor's note
A hard copy of this newsletter is given to department members in Building 970 only. All others can obtain
an electronic subscription by sending a request to listserv(lists.ufl.edu and in the text of the message type:
subscribe UF-bugnews-L yourfirstname yourlastname
Turn off any signature file, if you have one. You will receive instructions for confirming your subscription
and further information on the rules for the list server.
Editor: Michael Patnaude
This version of the newsletter is prepared for the Web by Kathryn Jones.
December 1998. Updated March 2003.
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