July 2008


Faculty News

Dr. Russ Mizell and his Trolling Deer Fly Trap were the subjects of a two-page article in a national pest control magazine's annual fly control issue. The trolling fly trap seems ridiculous at first look, but it works. In fact, it works so well that Mizell's Insects, Traps and Sampling Web site at http://ufinsect.ifas.ufl.edu/ has numerous user testimonials about its efficacy.

"Aging, retired" Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford, our still active but retired Professor Emeritus apiculturist, enters stage right again. He portrays aging, retired Dr. Norman Thayer, Jr. Professor Emeritus, English, University of Pennsylvania, in the play On Golden Pond, running 3-20 July 2008 at the High Springs Community Theater. Is this an example of type casting?

Dr. James P. Cuda and his research project on classical biological control of the aquatic weed Hygrophila were featured on The Florida Environment, a public service broadcast on Florida's PBS radio stations during the week of 23 June.

Dr. James P. Cuda and Lyle Buss participated in a meeting with Dr. Chongua Zhang from China on 3 July. The purpose of the meeting, sponsored by International Programs, was to explore opportunities for developing research and educational partnerships/collaborations with institutions in China.


Staff News

Ms. Pamela Gales recently joined the department's Business Office. She formerly worked at UF/IFAS Sponsored Research.


Student News

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) sponsored undergraduates Spencer Ingley and Frank Fogarty are conducting phylogenetic research on odonates in Dr. Marc Branham's Lab. Each student received $500 competitive grant from the HHMI program for his research project. In addition, Ingley received a $1500 grant from The Explorers Club to conduct a component of his research in Ecuador. His research is "A phylogenetic analysis of the helicopter damselfly feeding and mating behavior (Odonata: Pseudostigmatidae)." Fogarty's research is "Phylogeny of the South American flatwing damselflies (Odonata: Megapodagrionidae)." Both projects include generating morphological and molecular data to be analyzed within a phylogenetic framework. Ph.D student Seth Bybee is serving as their graduate mentor. Visit http://www.clas.ufl.edu/events/news/articles/20060601_hhmi.html for more information on the HHMI Program at UF.

Ph.D. student Jennifer Zaspel, of the Branham Lab, recently returned from a trip to the British Museum in London where she checked Type specimens and scanned copies of hard-to-find taxonomic papers relating to her doctoral research. She is currently in eastern Russia conducting fieldwork on vampire moths. Zaspel's Russian trip is supported by a grant she received from the National Geographic Society.

Ph.D. student Cara Vazquez, working with Dr. Eileen Buss, will receive the Florida Turfgrass Association's Colonel Frank Ward Memorial Scholarship at its 2008 Conference. This year's meeting is at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, 16-19 September 2008.


Publications

Goyal G, Nuessly G. (2008). Corn blotch leafminer, Agromyza parvicornis Loew. Featured Creatures. EENY-435. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/corn_blotch_leafminer.htm

Hall DW. (2008). Red bay psyllid, Trioza magnoliae (Ashmead). Featured Creatures. EENY-438. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/trees/red_bay_psyllid.htm

Manjunath KL, Halbert SE, Ramadugu C, Webb S, Lee RF. 2008. Detection of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus in Diaphorina citri and its importance in the management of citrus huanglongbing in Florida. Phytopathology 98: 387-396.

Hall DW. (2008). Silver-spotted skipper, Epargyreus clarus (Cramer). Featured Creatures. EENY-439. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/silver-spotted_skipper.htm


Meetings and Presentations

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to participate in the 3rd Annual Invasive Plant Teacher Workshop held at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants on 10 June. Cuda spoke on the "Use of biological control to manage invasive plants." The workshop was co-sponsored by the UF Center for Pre-Collegiate Education and Training.

Drs. James P. Cuda, Willam A. Overholt and their Ph.D student Abhishek Mukherjee participated in a field day held at the Lake Toho marina in Osceola County. The focus of the event was to highlight current research and outreach activities on the the Hydrilla and Hygrophila Demonstration Project sponsored by Osceola County Extension.


Grants

Ph.D. student Christian Salcedo received a $980 grant from The Explorers Club, a New York-based organization that supports exploration and research. The funds will be used for research in Heliconius chemical communication in nocturnal aggregations.


Student Fellowship Available

The ESA's Entomological Foundation announces the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Graduate Student Fellowship program. The fellowship features a $12,500 yearly stipend for up to four years or until completion of the graduate degree.

Funded by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a DuPont subsidiary, the fellowship is designed to ease the financial burdens associated with higher education, permitting the winner to dedicate more time to pursuing their academic goals.

The student selected for the Fellowship must be either already a graduate student or accepted into an accredited graduate program at the time the award is made. The student must attend a college or university in the United States and demonstrate excellence in the study of entomology or a related discipline. The studentís proposed research program must address a key insect or complex of insects that affect corn, soybean, canola or other significant commodity crop.

Application packages must be postmarked by 1 August 2008. For application guidelines visit http://www.entsoc.org/awards/student/pioneer.htm. The winner will be selected by 1 September 2008. For questions contact Melodie Dziduch, Entomological Foundation, at 301-459-9082 or melodie@entfdn.org.


Segments

Ever been kept awake by a 235-pound mosquito? BigDog sounds like a mosquito and, despite its four legs, even looks somewhat like one. Called the most advanced quadruped robot on earth, it is capable of carrying 340 pounds. See and hear it in action at http://www.komando.com/videos/4-3.asp.

Apparently there are more bees buzzing around than we think. Scientists now say there are more bee species (19,200+) than the number of mammal and bird species combined. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611135020.htm for details.

Looking for a way to teach your second instar nymph the alphabet? The Smithsonian Institute added Alphabet of Insects to its series of "Alphabet of" books. Written for children four through eight, each letter is devoted to a different colorful insect and includes a short poem. In addition, the book comes with a CD-ROM and a large poster. The book lists at US$15.95, but goes for less on Amazon.com or Half.com.

Computer scientists are simulating the activity of ants (swarm theory) to reduce airline delays. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2008/0406-planes_trains_and_ant_hills.htm for details.

Get up close with the beautiful and the creepy-crawly. New Orleans' Audubon Insectarium opened on 13 June. It is the first major tourist attraction to open in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. See http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/06/24/insectarium.ap/index.html for details.

For several months now, Dr. Jamie Ellis' Colony Collapse Disorder report has been the most read file on the UF/IFAS Pest Alert Web site. A previous "Segments" selection in this newsletter reported on the ice cream industry's concern about the potential impact of honey bee losses to its fruit-flavored ice creams. Haagen-Dazs now has a Help The Honey Bee Web site at http://helpthehoneybees.com/ that is interesting to wander through. The site also offers a 19-page downloadable lesson plan. Haagen-Dazs promises to donate funds to honey bee research for each carton of its new honey-flavored ice cream purchased. Now you have a good reason to eat ice cream.


Bug Quote

"In the so-called Battle of the Bees during World War I, both British and German forces fighting in the east African city of Tanga were tormented by swarms of angry bees provoked by machine-gun fire disturbing their nests. During the Battle of Antietam in the American Civil War, the 132nd Pennsylvania Infantry was routed by bees after Confederates shells broke open a nearby farmer's beehives." - from The Greatest War Stories Never Told, by Rick Beyer


Bug Cartoons

Many comic Web sites limit the length of time a panel appears to just 30 days. Others may require you to register to view previous panels, which you may not wish to do. In either case, the sooner you visit the site, the greater chance you have to view the following:

So, how do insects read in bed? http://www.comics.com/comics/brevity/archive/brevity-20080624.html


Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to fasulo@ufl.edu. Issues usually are published by early mid-month. Submit items for an issue by the 7th of that month. Detailed articles are edited by Hope Johnson (hopej@ufl.edu) and must be submitted before the 1st of the month for that month's issue.

UF-Bugnews-L listserv subscribers receive notices when issues are posted on the newsletter Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/ , which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors. Thomas Fasulo does the HTML coding.

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July 2008.