March 2010


Faculty News

Drs. Amanda Hodges and Lance Osborne were part of a team that created a Chilli Thrips e-Learning Module for the National Plant Diagnostic Network. The module provides users with an introduction to the distribution, life history, and pest status potential for chilli thrips, in the U.S. Upon completing the module, users will: 1) be familiar with the origin and current status of chilli thrips in the U.S., 2) be familiar with damage symptoms, 3) understand the life cycle of chilli thrips, 4) know general management options, 5) be familiar with local resources for obtaining management recommendations, 6) understand thrips sampling techniques, and 7) know how to submit a thrips sample to an appropriate diagnostic laboratory. Information on the module, a link to the site, and additional information on chilli thrips are available under a 02/15/10 Pest Alert heading at http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/#menu.

Dr. Christine Miller recently served on a National Science Foundation panel in Washington D.C. to evaluate graduate student proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) funding.

Interviews of the four candidates for the teaching faculty position in Gainesville will begin on 15 March and continue through 2 April.


Student News

Ph.D student Vivek K. Jha received the Seymour Goldweber Scholarship ($1000) from the Miami-Dade Agri-Council Inc.

Graduate student Garima Kakkar received the Dennis Carpenter Memorial Fellowship ($1000) from the Miami-Dade Agri-Council Inc.

At the recent meeting of the Southeastern Branch (SB) of the Entomological Society of American (ESA), our department's Linnaean Games team took second place. This resulted in their qualifying for the Linnaean Games at the national ESA meetings this Fall. In addition, the SB awarded the team $600 to help cover travel expenses to the ESA meeting. The members of our team are graduate students Melissa Doyle, Rosy Gill, Ameya Gondhalekar (team captain), and Matt Thom. Team members express their appreciation to the department and Dr. John Capinera for supporting their trip the meeting, and their gratitude to Dr. Norman Leppla for moderating the games and fitting in some practice sessions with them. They also thank graduate student Teresia Nyoike for her efforts in organizing the games.


Publications

Hodges A, Osborne L, Beck H, Ludwig S. (February 2010). Chilli thrips e-learning module. National Plant Diagnostic Network. http://cbc.at.ufl.edu/

Montemayor CO, Diaz R, Overholt WA, Hodges A. (February 2010). Myakka bug, Ischnodemus variegatus (Signoret). Featured Creatures. EENY-471. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bugs/myakka_bug.htm

Prompiboon P, Lietze V-U, Denton JSS, Geden CJ, Steenberg T, Boucias DG. 2010. Musca domestica salivary gland hypertrophy virus: a globally distributed insect virus that infects and sterilizes female houseflies. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76: 994-998.

Capinera JL. 2010. Insects and Wildlife: Arthropods and Their Relationships with Wild Vertebrate Animals. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K. 487 pp.

Cuda JP. 2010. Screening of Brazilian peppertree tortricid moth completed. Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area Newsletter 1(1): 2.

Cuda JP. 2010. New candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree? Florida Association of Natural Resource Extextsion Professonals Newsletter 6(1): 8-9.


Meetings and Presentations

On 15 February, Dr. Marjorie Hoy gave an invited seminar at Clemson University, on "Genome analyses of the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis: mitey small and mitey large."

Dr. James P. Cuda attended the 3rd Annual IFAS International Programs Spring Workshop held at the Reitz Union, 4 March. The theme for this year's workshop was "Pathways to Effective International Engagement." Cuda, who is a member of the International Programs Advisory Team, was one of the workshop organizers.


Spring 2010 Entomology and Nematology Seminars

The seminar series is held on Thursday afternoons in room 1031. Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 4:00 pm. For a listing of the speakers and their presentations for Spring 2010, see the department's seminar Web site at http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/seminar/.


Associate Certified Entomologist

In 2004, the Entomological Society of America created an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) program directed specifically toward members of the pest management industry. As of this date, there are 321 ACEs nationwide. Sixty-one of those are from Florida, or 19% of all ACEs.

A recent afternoon/morning class in our department trained pest managment professionals from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, who then took the test. Ninty-two percent of them passed. Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, who organized the class, calculates that 54 ACEs have come through classes in our department, or 17% of all ACEs.

The instructors for the recent class were Wayne Walker (ACE, UF Housing), Tom Jarzynka (ACE, Massey Services), Paul Mitola (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), Jerry Hatch (BCE, PestWest), and Dr. Baldwin.

The department will host the next ACE class on 23-24 July. Due to the training success of the classes in our department, the instructor team is receiving calls from as far away as New Jersey and Arizona. For details on the next class, click here for details.


Grants

Graduate student Maria Checa received a $400 Sigma Xi research grant. Her thesis is "Temporal and spatial patterns of diversity and abundance in butterfly communities: a study case in an Ecuadorian dry forest." The grant was awarded by the Committe on Grants-In-Aid of Research program of Sigma Xi.


Segments

Butterfly experts have suspected for more than 150 years that vision plays a key role in explaining wing color diversity. Now, for the first time, research proves this theory is true — at least in nine Heliconius species. Click here for details.

Ever wondered what a fruit fly thinks about? Now scientists have taken the first brain recordings from flying fruit flies. Click here for details.

Ever wondered if you were getting more than just that "worm" in your bottle of mescal? Well, new research shows that mescal worm DNA leaks into preservative liquids. Click here for details.

A biologist discovered that the "stop" signal in honey bee communications alerts other hive members to stay away from "bad neighborhoods." Click here for details.

Which came first? Lobsters? Millipedes? Cockroaches? Tarantulas? Entomologists may finally have the answer. Click here for details.

Research appears to show that pregnant crickets can pass knowledge of predators onto their unborn progeny. Click here for details.

University of Utah researchers have discovered why the caddisfly larva's silk is sticky when wet and how that may make it valuable as an adhesive tape during surgery. Click here for details.


Bug Quote

Millipede

I used to have a millipede;
I kept him for a pet.
I fed him every day at noon
And took him to the vet.

I knitted him a sweater
And made five hundred pair
Of tiny silken slippers
For my millipede to wear.

And though I treated him so well,
He snuck out on the street,
Then muddied up my carpets
When he didn't wipe his feet.

- from Insect Soup: Bug Poems
by Barry Louis Polisar



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.

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March 2010.