February 2008

Faculty News

The Entomological Society of America Southeastern Branch Award for Excellence in Integrated Pest Management will be presented to Dr. Oscar Liburd at the Southeastern branch meeting, 2-4 March, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dr. Ghada Salah Refaei joined the laboratory of Dr. Marjorie A. Hoy on 29 January. Dr. Refaei has a Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Program for Egypt Fellowship. She will be here for six weeks working with mites and getting training in molecular genetics.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited by Dr. Andy Kane of the Emerging Pathogens Institute to give a lecture on aquatic insect ecology on 28 January for the new course Water Biology (PHC 6937).

Student News

The Graduate Committee selected Jennifer Armistead (M.S.) and Karla Addesso (Ph.D.) as the Department's nominees for the UF/CALS Awards of Excellence in Graduate Research. As our nominees for this award, they are also automatically awarded the Department's John A. Mulrennan, Sr. Outstanding M.S. and Ph.D. awards. The Mulrennan awards each carry a $500 cash award. The students' thesis, dissertation titles and major advisors are:

Jennifer Armistead (M.S.) - Interactions of Invasive Species in Mosquito Container Communities in Virginia - advisor: Dr. Phil Lounibos

Karla Addesso (Ph.D.) - Nutritional, Behavioral, and Chemical Ecology of Pepper Weevil (Anthonomus eugenii Cano) to Improve Pest Management - advisor: Dr. Heather McAuslane

Graduate student Christian Salcedo successfully passed his Ph.D. qualifying exams.

Dr. James Cuda is sponsoring Ms. Kenia Aguirre, an intern from the Pan American School of Agriculture (Zamorano) in Honduras for part of the spring semester. Kenia, who has training in entomology and plant pathology, is working on several projects related to Brazilian peppertree biological control and will be interning until mid-April.

Alumni News

Dr. Nancy Epsky (Ph.D. 91) was featured in a USDA-ARS news release due to her work on determining which species of fruit fly was best attracted to different baits. See details via the 01/18/08 Pest Alert at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/.

After an enjoyable stay at the University of Maine, conducting research on the behavior, ecology and control of the European fire ant, Myrmica rubra, Dr. H. Alejandro Arevalo (Ph.D. 06) returned to the University of Florida. He is now part of the entomology team at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. His main task is to conduct research and extension outreach on the control of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, vector of the important citrus greening disease. Dr. Arevalo received a 2007 Student and Young Professional Participation Award from the Entomological Society of America, due to his involvement with ESA activities. You may contact him at arevalo.ha@ufl.edu.

Publications

Daniels JC. (2008). Ceraunus blue, Hemiargus ceraunus (Fabricius). Featured Creatures. EENY-425. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/ceraunus_blue.htm

Daniels JC. (2008). Common buckeye, Junonia coenia Hübner. Featured Creatures. EENY-426. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/common_buckeye.htm

Daniels JC. (January 2008). Yucca giant-skipper, Megathymus yuccae (Boisduval & Leconte). Featured Creatures. EENY-427. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/yucca_skipper.htm

Nguyen KB, Hunt D. 2007. Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Systematics. Phylogeny and Bacterial Symbionts. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands-Boston, USA. 816 pp.

Liburd OE, Frank DL. 2007. Synthetic and living mulches for control of Homopteran pests and diseases in vegetables. Pp 67-86. In Saxena G, Mukerji KG (editors), Management of Nematode and Insect-borne Plant Diseases. The Haworth Press, New York, USA.

England GK, Rhodes EM, Liburd OE. 2007. Thrips monitoring in Florida blueberries. EDIS. ENY-839. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN692

Tarver M, Scharf ME. 2008. Termite caste differentiation: a social affair. Pest Control Technology 35(1): 82-86

Scharf ME, Buckspan CE, Grzymala TL, Zhou X. 2007. Regulation of polyphenic differentiation in the termite Reticulitermes flavipes by interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Journal of Experimental Biology 210: 4390-4398.

Ellis J, Ellis A. (2008). African honey bee, Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier. Featured Creatures. EENY-429. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/ahb.htm

Geden CJ, Lietze V-U, Boucias D. 2008. Seasonal prevalence and transmission of salivary gland hypertrophy virus of house flies (Diptera: Muscidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 45: 42-51.

Thancharoen A, Branham MA, Lloyd JE. (2008). Building twilight "light sensors" to study the effects of light pollution on fireflies. The American Biology Teacher. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/ahb.htm

Seminar Series Spring 2008

This semester, graduate students Seth Bybee, Rosie Gill, Heidi Hanspetersen, Craig Roubos, Corraine Scott and Tricia Toth serve on the Seminar Committee. Seminars are held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm. A listing of seminars is available online in the January 2008 issue.

McGuire Center Seminars

The remaining McGuire Center seminars for this semester are:

02/19 - Forty years of taxonomic works on Asian microlepidoptera. Dr. K. T. Park.

03/4 - Applications of niche modeling: Revisiting the Schaus swallowtail and a proposal for modeling an invasive butterfly, Papilio demoleus. Delano Lewis.

03/11 - spring break

03/18 - Lepidoptera and Coleoptera collecting adventures in Guatemala. Dr. Robert Woodruff.

04/1 - TBA. Dr. Jaret Daniels and Stephanie Sanchez.

04/15 - Thailand. Bruce Morgan.

Meetings and Presentations

On 15 January, Dr. Mike Scharf delivered an invited presentation at the Florida Pesticide Regulatory Council meeting, held in Gainesville. His presentation was "Research into low impact alternatives to conventional chemical insecticides."

Grants

Graduate student Christian Salcedo received a $1000 grant from Sigma-Xi Scientific Research Society. He also was awarded an $800 grant from IDEA WILD. The funds will be used to purchase specialized video recording systems to study Heliconius nocturnal roosting habits in the tropics as part of his Ph.D. dissertation.

Segments

Can Asian cockroaches be a beneficial species? They can if they feed on other, more economically important pests. See the 01/15/08 entry in Pest Alert for details - http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/.

Diana Hagan, EDIS Librarian, reports that departmental EDIS publications which began life as Featured Creatures publications were requested a total of 624,186 times in 2007. Authors can request a copy of the Excel spreadsheet (54 KB), provided by Diana, from Thomas Fasulo.

Major league baseball held an online auction for 2007 season memorabilia in December. One item was a can of "bug spray" used in the Yankee's dugout when midges swarmed Cleveland's Jacob Field during the American League playoff. The winning buyer bid $673. Makes you wonder if we should clean out our pesticide locker and get back some of the money we have to return due to the state budget cut.

Entomology and nematology sometimes meet in interesting ways, such as UF's pioneer use of nematodes to control pest mole crickets. Recently, Science Daily reported that entomologists at the University of Arkansas discovered that parasitic nematodes cause the abdomens of ants to bloat and change from black to maroon in color, making the abdomens look like berries. These "berries" are then eaten by birds who spread the nematodes through droppings. Uninfected ants may collect the droppings which starts the cycle anew. This may be the first example of fruit mimicry caused by a parasite. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116142805.htm.

Bug Quote

"Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything." - Herb Caen, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, 1916-1997.

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. You can submit news anytime to him at fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues are published the middle of each month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month.

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February 2008.