January 2009


Faculty News

Dr. Don Hall plans to retire in December 2009 For the past several years, while still continuing his teaching and research responsibilities, he also served as Graduate Student Coordinator. He stepped down from this position early so he will still be around to serve as an advisor to the new Coordinator when necessary.

Dr. Heather McAuslane assumed the duties of Graduate Student Coordinator in addition to her other responsbilities. In this position, Dr. McAuslane's office hours are 9:00 am - 11:00 am in room 1029 (Graduate Coordinator's Office). However, she is also available by appointment. Please make requests for such an appointment by sending e-mail to hjmca@ufl.edu.

Dr. James P. Cuda represented the department as one of the Marshals at the University's three Fall Semester Commencement ceremonies held at the O'Connell Center, 19-20 December 2008.


Staff News

Lyle J. Buss, Senior Biological Scientist, operates the department's Insect ID and Photography laboratories, providing information and images to our entire department, IFAS state-wide, the media and countless others in industry and education. Recently, he joined four other members of IFAS Extension on a trip to the People's Republic of China where they explored crop protection partnerships with that country. Unfortunately, he somehow missed out on experiencing the "Scorpions on a Stick" fast food that was featured on a news broadcast during the recent Olmypics. See details at http://international.ifas.ufl.edu/focus_newsletters/2008/December/ChinaExtension.shtml.


Student News

In addition to the Ph.D. graduates listed in the December 2008 issue, the following students received their Master's degrees last month:

Please see the redesigned Entomology Nematology Student Organization (ENSO) Web site at http://enso.ifas.ufl.edu/index.htm.


Alumni News

Dr. Juan Manuel Alvarez (Ph.D. 2000) was invited to present a Keynote Talk at the XXIII Latin American Potato Association Congress, held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in December 2008. His topic was "How virus infections affect the biology of aphid vectors." He also hooded his second Ph.D. student at the University of Idaho's December graduation ceremony.


Spring Entomology Seminars

The following graduate students are members of this semester's committee: Roxanne Burrus, Rosie Gill, Ameya Gondhalekar, Guarav Goyal, Vivek Kumar, Teresia Nyoike, Heidi HansPetersen, Will Sanders, Corraine Scott (Chair). Seminars are held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm.

January 15 - "Discovery and application of chemicals for mediating mosquito host-seeking and finding" - Dr. Ulrich Bernier, USDA CMAVE, Gainesville, FL

January 22 - "Nuisance flies and international implications" - Dr. Jerome Hogsette, USDA CMAVE, Gainesville, FL

January 29 - Topic: TBA - Dr. Patrick O'Grady, University of California, Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management

February 5 - "Reaching out: Educational opportunities in entomology - Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology

February 12 - Topic: TBA - Dr. Marc Branham, University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology

February 19 - "Distribution, biology and management of chili thrips Scirtothrips dorsalis" - Dr. Dakshina Seal, University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center

February 26 - "Fore-armed: The case for strategic research on classical biological control" - Dr. Moses Kairo, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Center for Biological Control/CESTA

March 5 - "Nutritional regulation of juvenile hormone synthesis in mosquitoes: to survive in hard times sometimes is better not to use your head" - Dr. Fernando Noriega, Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences

March 12 - SPRING BREAK - NO SEMINAR

March 19 - Topic: TBA - Dr. Wade Winterhalter, University of Central Florida, Department of Biology

March 26 - "Involvement of bacteria in insect semiochemical production: lessons from cockroach aggregation and mosquito oviposition" - Dr. Coby Schal, North Carolina State University, Department of Entomology

April 2 - "Like comparing apples and oranges: Applying chemical ecology to evolutionary biology versus pest management" - Dr. Lukasz Stelinski, University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center

April 9 - "Predicting the response of terrestrial ectotherms to global warming" - Dr. Wade Winterhalter, from University of Central Florida

April 16 - "Mixed vegetable insects: research stimulus" - Dr. Alvin Simmons, USDA, Charleston, SC


Publications

Kostromytska O, Buss EA. 2008. Seasonal phenology and management of Tomarus subtropicus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in St. Augustinegrass. Journal of Economic Entomology 101: 1847-1855.

Lewis DS, Covell Jr CV. 2008. A review of the neotropical genus Cyllopoda. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Sterrhinae: Cyllopodini). Tropical Lepidoptera Research 18: 88-101.

Hoy MA, Jeyaparkash A. 2008. Symbionts, including pathogens, of the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis: current and future analysis methods. Experimental & Applied Acarology 46: 329-347.

Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA. 2009. First divergence time estimate of spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks (Subphylum: Chelicerata) inferred from mitochondrial phylogeny. Experimental & Applied Acarology 47: 1-18.

Cocco A, Hoy MA. 2008. Toxicity of organosilicone adjuvants and selected pesticides to the Asian citrus psyllid and it parasitoid Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Florida Entomologist 91: 610-620.

Meyer JM, Hoy MA. 2008. Removal of fungal contaminants and their DNA from the surface of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) prior to a molecular survey of endosymbionts. Florida Entomologist 91: 702-705.

Zaspel JM, Hoy MA. 2008. Microbial diversity associated with the fruit-piercing and blood-feeding moth Calyptra thalictri (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101: 1050-1055.

Manrique V, Cuda JP, Overholt WA, Williams D. 2008. Evaluating the performance of Episimus utilis (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) on the invasive Brazilian peppertree in Florida, p. 60. In Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (eds. Julien MH, Sforza R, Bon MC, Evans HC, Hatcher PE, Hinz HL, Rector BG.), CAB International Wallingford, UK.

Cuda JP, Moeri AE, Overholt WA, Manrique V, Bloem S, Carpenter JE, Medal JC, Pedrosa-Macedo JH. 2008. Novel approaches for risk assessment: feasibility studies on temporary reversible releases of biocontrol agents, p. 102. In Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (eds. Julien MH, Sforza R, Bon MC, Evans HC, Hatcher PE, Hinz HL, Rector BG.), CAB International Wallingford, UK.

Faria ABV, Barretto RW, Cuda JP. 2008. Fungal pathogens of Schinus terebinthifolius from Brazil as potential biological control agents, pp. 270-277. In Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (eds. Julien MH, Sforza R, Bon MC, Evans HC, Hatcher PE, Hinz HL, Rector BG.), CAB International Wallingford, UK.

Diaz R, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Pratt PD. 2008. Impact of Ischnodemus variegatus (Hemiptera: Blissidae) on the invasive grass Hymenachne amplexicaulis in Florida, p.355. In Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (eds. Julien MH, Sforza R, Bon MC, Evans HC, Hatcher PE, Hinz HL, Rector BG.), CAB International Wallingford, UK.

Medal JC, Overholt WA, Stansly PA, Roda A, Osborne LS, Hibbard K, Gaskella R, Burns E, Chong J, Sellers B, Hight SD, Cuda JP, Vitorino M, Bredow E, Pedrosa-Macedo JH, Wikler C. 2008. Establishment, spread and initial impacts of Gratiana boliviana (Chrysomelidae) on Solanum viarum in Florida, pp. 589-593. In Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (eds. Julien MH, Sforza R, Bon MC, Evans HC, Hatcher PE, Hinz HL, Rector BG.), CAB International Wallingford, UK.


Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Christine Miller presented a talk at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology conference in Boston, MA, 3-7 January. Her talk was "The type and the timing of social information influenced offspring production in the cactus bug, Chelinidea vittiger (Hemiptera: Coreidae)."

Dr. James P. Cuda was an invited speaker for the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Florida Association of Benthologists held in Crystal River, FL, 8-11 December 2008. Cuda gave the presentation "Herbivores and Hydrilla: Did Chironomid herbivory contribute to the decline of Hydrilla in Florida's Crystal River watershed?"


The Nan-Yao Su Award

Dr. Nan-Yao Su "donated $250,000 to the Entomological Society of America (ESA) for the establishment of an endowment to award creative entomologists who have demonstrated the ability to find alternative solutions to problems that significantly impact entomology. Each year, the interest from the $250,000 will be presented to the winner of ESA's newest award, the Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation and Creativity in Entomology."

While Dr. Su is a international reknown termite researcher, he developed the award "to identify and honor innovative works accomplished by creative individuals... regardless of their fields."

The award will be presented for the first time at the ESA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, December 13-16, 2009. Details on eligibility requirements, nomination procedures, and evaluation criteria, are available at at http://www.entsoc.org/awards/professional/nan-yao-su.htm.


Grants

Lindsey R. Christ, one of Dr. James P. Cuda's graduate students, was awarded a Weed Science Society of America $1,000 travel grant to attend the 2009 Joint Annual Meeting of the Weed Science Society of America/Southern Weed Science Society, in Orlando, FL, 8-13 February.


Florida State Fair - Insects as Food

The Florida Entomological Society will sponsor Insect Encounters at the State Fair in Tampa, FL during February 5-16, 2009. Come to the Agricultural Hall of Fame at the state fairgrounds to visit insect displays staffed by the University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department, the Florida Department of Agriculture - Division of Plant Industries, the USDA Center for Medical and Veterinary Entomology, the Florida School IPM Program, The McGuire Center for Lepidopteran, the Florida Pest Management Association, and more. Displays will include information about entomophagy, which is the use of insects as food, honey production in Florida, and invasion and management of fire ants. We will have termite farms, insect displays, insect eating demonstrations, and much, much more. Don't miss Insect Encounters at the state fair.

As noted above, our department will have a booth and we need volunteers to staff the booth throughout the fair. We hope to get at least two volunteers per day. The signup sheet for volunteers is on the glass partition at the front office.

This year, the title of our booth is "Bug Bites." Volunteers will secure transportation to and from the fair (We have an outreach truck they can use.), staff the booth from approximately 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, and be ready, willing and able to answer insect-related questions from the general public.

For students, volunteering for the fair is a good way to satisfy your semester departmental outreach requirement. If you have questions about the state fair, please email Dr. Jamie Ellis (jdellis@ufl.edu), Dr. Rebecca Baldwin (baldwinr@ufl.edu), or Jane Medley (medley@ufl.edu). Specific information about the fair and our booth will be provided after you sign up. - Dr. Rebecca Baldwin and Dr. Jamie Ellis, Outreach committee

P.S. Don't forget to rent one of the "State Fair" movies that were made from the wonderful Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. If you volunteer, you too might find your own true love.


Segments

Research suggests that honey bees do more than just make sweet honey, polinate plants, and provide wax for candles that burn without soot. They also help protect plants against caterpillars. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222143511.htm for details.

But there are still "bad bees," because honey making is not all that is going on in the hive. In fact, researchers have found that honey bees on cocaine tend to exaggerate. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091308.htm for the sordid details.

Just in case you didn't know it... Honey bees employ a symbolic dance language in which the position of the sun is symbolically represented by gravity, and a trained observer can watch their dances and predict where they are foraging. If that turns you on, then get out your pen, pencil or word processor and submit an essay and a chance to win up to $750 through the 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest. See http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/honeybee/extension/4H.shtml for details.

Wikipedia's Featured Article for January 8th was on Alfred Russel Wallace, who is best known for independently proposing a theory of natural selection which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory. Besides being co-discoverer of natural selection, Wallace also contributed the concept of warning colouration in animals, and the Wallace effect, a hypothesis on how natural selection could contribute to speciation by encouraging the development of barriers against hybridization. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Russel_Wallace. (Note: A Wikipedia article is only awarded Featured Article status when it is considered to be exceptionally well written.)

New reserarch shows that parasitoid wasps are likely to attack empty exuviae of aphids, resulting in a lower attack rate on their previous occupants. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218213627.htm for details.

How flies smell: ancient odor-detecting mechanism in insects discovered. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108121625.htm for details.

Not quite what we think of when we think of "pollination": Clathrus ruber (commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage) is a saprobic species of fungus in the family Phallaceae. This inedible species has a fetid odor, described by some as rotting meat, that attracts flies and other insects to help disperse the spores. See https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Clathrus_ruber for details.


Florida Agriculture in the Classroom

More than 7,200 students around Florida will experience agricultural projects close-up as part of 36 teacher grants Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. is funding for the 2008-09 school year. The non-profit, Gainesville-based organization will provide more than $29,000 for these projects. Florida Agriculture in the Classroom is funded solely by sales of the agriculture specialty license plate also known as the "Ag Tag."

Included in these grants are the following insect-related projects:

BEE Earth Smart - Third graders at Umatilla Elementary in Lake County will learn about bees and their importance to the Florida agriculture industry from a guest speaker and Florida Agriculture in the Classroom lessons.

Horticulture for Healing: The Outdoor Living Classroom - Special needs students in the third, fourth and fifth grade at Lake Hills School in Lake County will learn about beneficial insects and the plant life cycle by establishing a butterfly garden.

Palma Sola's Earthbox Research, Square-Foot Gardening and Hydroponics Growing Project Within the Reader's Workshop - Third graders at Palma Sola Elementary in Manatee County will learn how plants grow using different growing systems, what beneficial insects' role is in plant production and how their Florida ancestors grew and processed food.


Bug Quote

"Nothing seems to please a fly so much as to be taken for a currant; and if it can be baked in a cake and palmed off on the unwary, it dies happy." - Mark Twain (1835-1910)


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:

Recently, Calvin and Hobbs demonstrated some of the latest techniques in bed bug management to countless readers across the United States, if not the world. See http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2008/12/21/?campid=0&ssns=9& for details.


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.

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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January 2009.