September 2006

Faculty News

You are invited to drop in and help Dr. John Foltz, forest entomologist, and Dr. Simon Yu, insect toxicologist, celebrate their retirement. The reception is scheduled for 3 to 5 pm Monday, 18 September, in room 1031 of the Entomology and Nematology building. Please see Nancy Sanders if you wish to make a donation for gifts.

Dr. John Foltz retired from the Department at the end of August after more than 29 years of work in forest entomology. One of his major research accomplishments showed that Florida's environment was unsuitable for establishment of the gypsy moth, thus saving state and federal agencies considerable money and effort that had been devoted to annual detection surveys. A major extension accomplishment was the implementation of area-wide management programs for suppression of southern pine beetle outbreaks. When this beetle ran rampant several years ago in Florida, John provided management advice to numerous state and county governments and agencies. John especially enjoyed undergraduate instruction, working with over 300 forestry students in ENY 3541 and 600 entomology students in laboratory sections of ENY 3005. For the latter course, John developed an Insect Orders and Common Families Web site (http://eny3005.ifas.ufl.edu/lab1/) which is not only an excellent resource for those interested in identifying insects and seeing examples of different groups, but a big time saver for those of us who have to answer "What is...?" questions about insects. John was also the major advisor for two Ph.D. and four M.S. graduate students. He is now located in room 2206, extension 191. As part of his service to the community, John donated gallons and gallons of blood over the years, and we still hope to see him standing in line whenever the bloodmobile makes its visit. - Thomas Fasulo

Dr. Simon (Si) Yu retired from the Department at the end of July after 26 years in residence as the Insect Toxicologist for the Department. Si received his bachelor's degree in Entomology from National Taiwan University, and a Master's degree and Ph.D. from McGill University in Canada. He did postdoctoral work at Cornell University, and followed that with a position on the faculty at Oregon State University's Entomology department in Corvallis, OR. In 1980, Si came to UF. His research interests have included detoxification mechanisms, insecticide resistance, enzyme induction, and plant/insect interactions. He published 107 research papers in various refereed journals and seven book chapters. During his tenure at UF, Si supervised about a dozen graduate student and postdoctoral scientists in insect toxicology. Si is currently working on a textbook (for CRC Press) for teaching Insect Toxicology. He is in the same office (3101) he occupied when we moved into our building in 1990. We wish Si a long retirement, with fun-filled and relaxed times for him and his wife Rachel. - Dr. James Nation

Dr. Howard Frank recently had an insect named after him. Lixadmontia franki is a parasitoid tachinid being groomed for classical biological control of the Mexican bromeliad weevil in Florida. To see the fly, visit the Featured Creatures publication on this weevil at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/m_callizona.htm. Look under Management. - Thomas Fasulo

Dr. Marjorie Hoy attended The Genome Access Course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island during 29-30 August for intensive training in genome analysis.

Dr. Marc Branham was elected 2007 ESA Secretary for Section A (Systematics, Morphology and Evolution). This a three-year term of service that progresses to Vice-Chair of Section A in the second year and Chairman of Section A in the third year.

Dr. Phil Kaufman was elected 2007 Secretary for Section D (Medical and Veterinary Entomology) for the Entomological Society of America.

Dr. Verena Lietze left our department to return to her native Germany, where she will work in human nutrition. Dr. Lietze spent four years working with Dr. Drion Boucias as a postdoctoral researcher. Auf Wiedersehen!

Dr. Don Weidhaas passed away on 20 August. He was the former head of USDA in Gainesville and was a courtesy professor in our department.

Staff News

In late August, four members of our staff received pins in recognition of their service to the University and our department: Dr. Bob Hemenway (now retired) - 35 years; Dr. Khuong Nguyen - 25 years; Nancy Sanders - 20 years; and Lyle Buss - five years.

Student News

The UF/IFAS News Web site, at http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/, has stand alone images of students with an American cockroach and a dragonfly. The images are placed there for media use.

Dr. Oscar Liburd reports that two new graduate students joined the Small Fruit and Vegetable IPM laboratory. Corraine Scott, MS student, will investigate how pest populations and beneficial insects within organic vegetable systems are affected by cover crops. Elena Rhodes, Ph.D. student, will use GIS techniques to map the movement of thrips into blueberry systems, as well as assessing the impact of thrips species on blueberry marketable yields. All of Dr. Liburd's students and staff are profiled on the Small Fruit and Vegetables Web site at http://fruitnvegipm.ifas.ufl.edu/.

Ph.D. graduate student Seth Bybee received the Stan Beck Fellowship from the Entomological Society of America. This award assists students at the graduate or undergraduate level of their education in entomology and related disciplines at a college or university in the United States, Mexico or Canada.

Publications

Rhodes EM, Liburd OE. 2006. Evaluation of predatory mites and acramite for control of twospotted spider mites in strawberries in north-central Florida. Journal of Economic Entomology 99: 1291-1298.

Frank JH, Gillett JL. (2006). Glossary of Expressions in Biological Control. EDIS. IPM-143. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN673

Fall 2006 Seminars

This semester's seminar committee members are graduate students Murugesan Rangasamy, Craig Roubos, Seth Bybee, Emily Saarinen and Amit Sethi. Seminars are held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3.45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm.

9/07 - Do orchid bees need orchids? Evidence from a naturalized orchid bee in Florida - Dr. Robert W. Pemberton, USDA-ARS

9/14 - Modeling arboviruses in Florida - Dr. Cynthia Lord, UF/IFAS

9/21 - Eavesdropping between plants increases resistance to herbivores - Dr. Richard Karban, University of California

9/28 - Update on whitefly transmission of Begomoviruses - Dr. Jane E. Polston, UF/IFAS

10/05 - The vegetable entomology program at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center - Dr. Dave Schuster, UF/IFAS

10/12 - Turfgrass Nematology: science with a twist - Dr. Billy Crow, UF/IFAS

10/19 - Examples of IPM on three continents: Where does integration occur? - Dr. Steve Lapointe, USDA

10/26 - Virus reduces glassy-winged sharpshooters - Dr. Wayne Hunter, USDA

11/02 - Monitoring land use, land cover change and implications for biodiversity: Kibale National Park, Uganda - Dr. Jane Southworth, Department of Geography, UF

11/09 - Molecules to metapopulations: integrative biology of insect flight - Dr. Jim Marden, Penn State University

11/16 - Order in chaos: communication and cooperation in ant societies - Dr. Bert Holldobler, Arizona State University

11/30 - Bt plants: are they sustainable? - Dr. Anthony Shelton, Cornell University

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Oscar Liburd reports that the Small Fruit and Vegetable IPM laboratory participated in the Annual Grape Harvest Festival at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, Florida. The general public who attended the event viewed a poster display, as well as field collected grape pests and beneficial insects. They were also able to pick up several extension publications at the exhibit.

Grants

Drs. Julio Medal and James Cuda received a grant (2nd year award) for $27,000 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to continue the work on "Biological Control of Wetland Nightshade, Solanum tampicense," a noxious weed native to Mexico and Central America.

Fumigation School

Registration is now open for the 19th UF/IFAS Annual School of Structural Fumigation, scheduled for 13-17 November at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center. Besides drawing on UF's resources, facilities, and the expertise of several entomology faculty members, the fumigation school also provides instruction and the expertise of representatives from Florida's structural fumigation industry, Dow AgroSciences, and the Florida Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, among others. For more details and registration information, see the 09/05/06 entry on the Pest Alert Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/. - Dr. Brian Cabrera

Books for Soldiers

Thanks to everyone who donated magazines to the Alachua County Library's ongoing Books for Soldiers program. These magazines go to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. I make a delivery about once a week to the Tower Road branch where they are sorted by Friends of the Library volunteers who also provide the funding for packing materials and postage. Stop by that branch to see a wall filled with photographs and thank you's from the troops who received them.

Please - a reminder that magazines should not be older than three months, or four weeks for news magazines. The library's project coordinator instructed me to place older issues in the county's orange recycling bin, as volunteers do not have time to sort through issues to see if anything is still timely. And unless the category is listed on the box in our department's reception area, other magazines (such as industry trade mags) are also recycled. If you have questions, please see me. - Thomas Fasulo

"Hits" vs. "Distinct Visitors"

Every month I report the number of distinct visitors and page views recorded on our newsletter Web site. Several people have told me that so-and-so university or person records over 400,000 "hits" on a Web site every month. As such, they think our current 51,093 distinct visitors for the last twelve months reflects a poor showing. Comparing "distinct visitors" and "hits" is like comparing apples and bunches of grapes. If someone eats an apple a day, then they eat one fruit per day, but if someone eats a bunch of grapes a day does that mean they eat 20-25 fruits per day?

A "distinct visitor" is someone who comes to a Web site and stays for awhile. They might view one page or several hundred, which is why I also report "page views." As IFAS IT set it up for our Web sites, unless visitors leave the site or their desk and do not return for at least 30 minutes, they are not counted as a second distinct visitor. On the other hand, when anyone visits a Web site file, they initiate one or more file calls ("hits") every time they return to that file. These file calls include the Web page itself (the code you see when you "View - Source"), and any graphics or other software programs not contained "inside" that HTML file. For example, one of our Featured Creatures pages might have seven thumbnails displayed on it, in addition to the standard logo, the standard background and the text of the HTML itself. So, if someone visits this page they generate 10 "hits."

Numerous Web sites call many graphics or other files from a specific page, and this can even be several calls to the same file, such as the small, colored balls often used to highlight points on a page, which are counted as separate hits. A local community organization boasts of 40,000 hits a month, but it has over 70 file calls on its main index page. Seventy into 40,000 results in 571 potential visitors, a lot less than they think they are getting. As a further example, Featured Creatures has recorded over 2.5 million distinct visitors in the past 12 months, yet in each of those months it has recorded over 2 million hits, or well over 24 million hits for the year.

This is why I report "distinct visitors" and "page views" to the people or organizations I cooperate with in developing Web sites. In the future, when someone tells you their Web site generates a large number of hits, ask them for the number of distinct visitors. It may be that they are not even aware of the distinction, as hits is a set of data that Web-developing individuals or companies use to make their clients believe that the service is worth whatever is being charged. - Thomas Fasulo

Bug Quote

The Beetle Maid

"Oh a beetle maid sat in a glade,
an' she lamented sadly,
‘Mah love's gone off tae fight the bees,
ah'm feared that he'll fare badly .

Those bumbly bees are fierce wee things,
wi' stripey shirts an' wee small wings.
Their bottoms carry nasty stings,
they're feisty aye an' buzzy!

Och, mah Berty Beetle looked so stern,
he didnae think ‘twas funny,
when ah said that ah'd no' kiss him,
‘til he brought me some honey.

He took his club from off the shelf,
an' said tae me so gravely,
‘Ah'll fetch ye honey back the noo,'
an' he marched off right bravely.

‘Twas some lang time ‘ere he returned,
mah poor love injured sorely.
Ah spread him wi' some liniment,
an' listened tae his story.

Alas, poor me tae love a fool.
Did nae beast tell this fellow,
those bees that don't wear fuzzy shirts,
are wasps striped back an' yellow?

Wi' a hey an' a hoe an' a lacky doodle don,
midst all this shameful fuss.
‘Tis not just birds who live in trees,
an' not just bees that buzz!"

– Sung by Wild Doogy Plumm in Rakkety Tam by Brian Jacques

Newsletter Minutia

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.

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://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/news/ , which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing. Pam Howell and Nancy Sanders review the newsletter for errors and prepare the print version for distribution. Andrew Puckett and Thomas Fasulo code the HTML version.

During the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 51,093 distinct visitors and 88,732 page views. In addition, visitors downloaded 4,436 PDF files during January-August 2006.



September 2006.