October 2009

Faculty News

In September, Dr. Lance Osborne received the Society of American Florists Alex Laurie Award for Research and Education. This award was established in 1948 and is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to research and education in the floriculture industry. Dr. Osborne is only the third entomologist, and the first entomologist from Florida, to receive this award. To read the award letter click here.

Drs. Greg Hodges, Gary Leibee, Lance Osborne and David Schuster were part of a 12-member team that received the Florida Entomological Society's 2009 Team Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research. The title of the team's effort was "Investigating the Q Invasion - Distribution of Bemisia tabaci Biotypes in Florida."

Dr. Mike Scharf visited the Department of Entomology at Louisiana State University as a distinguished lecturer. Dr. Scharf spent two days visiting with students and faculty, and presented the seminar "New molecular insights into termite caste differentiation and lignocellulose digestion".

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to serve on the International Programs Advisory Teamís Planning Committee. The duties of the Planning Committee are to decide on the date, topics, and theme for the Annual Spring Workshop as well as to identify and invite speakers for the workshop.

Staff News

Boudanath (Vinda) Maharajh passed away on 22 August at the intensive cardiac care facility in Miami after suffering from heart problems. Born in Trinidad, Vinda worked as a biological scientist in the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) termite section under Dr. Rudolf H. Scheffrahn for 15 years. In addition to his regular research duties, Vinda participated in termite collecting expeditions to numerous countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. Vinda was known for his warm and friendly nature and will be missed by all at FLREC. Vinda was cremated following Hindu traditions.

Alumni News

Dr. Mike Patnaude ('01) still keeps track of the blacklegged tick Featured Creatures publication he wrote while a student in the department and occasionally provides updates. In the first nine months of 2009, this publication recorded over 13,700 page views. Mike recently reported that his photograph of the female in this publication will be featured in an exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.


Lapointe SL, Stelinski LL, Evens TJ, Niedz RP, Hall DG, Mafra-Neto A. 2009. Sensory imbalance as mechanism of orientation disruption in the leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella: elucidation by multivariate geometric designs and response surface models. Journal of Chemical Ecology 35: 896-903.

Scott C, Kaufman PE. (September 2009). Buck moth, Hemileuca maia (Drury). Featured Creatures. EENY-464. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/moths/buck_moth.htm

Gill HK, McSorley R, Treadwell DD. 2009. Comparative performance of different plastic films for soil solarization and weed suppression. HortTechnology 19: 769-774.

McSorley R, Wang K-H, Rosskopf EN, Kokalis-Burelle N, HansPetersen HN, Gill HK, Krueger R. 2009. Nonfumigant alternatives to methyl bromide for management of nematodes, soil-borne diseases, and weeds in production of snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus). International Journal of Pest Management 55: 265-273.

Espinosa A, Hodges A, Hodges G. (September 2009). Palmetto scale, Comstockiella sabalis Comstock. Featured Creatures. EENY-465. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/palms/palmetto_scale.htm

Cuda JP, Gordon DR, DiTomaso, JM. 2009. Cultivating non-native plants in Florida for biomass production: Hope or harm? Wildland Weeds 12: 21.

Cuda JP. 2009. Chapter 5: Aquatic plants, mosquitoes and public health, pp. 31-34. In Haller WT, Gettys LA, Bellaud M (editors), Best Management Practices Manual for Aquatic Plants. Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation, Marietta, GA. http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/pdfs/AERF_handbook.pdf

Cuda JP. 2009. Chapter 8: Introduction to biological control of aquatic weeds, pp. 47-54. In Haller WT, Gettys LA, Bellaud M (editors), Best Management Practices Manual for Aquatic Plants. Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation, Marietta, GA. http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/pdfs/AERF_handbook.pdf

Cuda JP. 2009. Chapter 9: Insects for biocontrol of aquatic weeds, pp. 55-60. In Haller WT, Gettys LA, Bellaud M (editors), Best Management Practices Manual for Aquatic Plants. Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation, Marietta, GA. http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/pdfs/AERF_handbook.pdf

Meetings and Presentations

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to participate in an extension training workshop on Natural Areas Weed Control held at the Lee County Extension Office, Ft. Myers, FL, on 23 September. Cuda conducted a training session on "Biological Control Agents for Invasive Species Management in Florida."

Dr. James Cuda was an invited speaker for the Fall Semester Seminar Series held at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity on 6 October. Cudaís presentation was "Episimus unguiculus Clarke (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), a candidate for biological control of Brazilian peppertree in Florida: biology, host range, and impact studies."


Drs. Betty Dunckel, Jaret Daniels and Joy Jordan received a National Science Foundation supplement award of $86,757 for "Project Butterfly WINGS: Winning Investigative Network for Great Science."

Drs. Betty Dunckel, Jaret Daniels, Joy Jordan and Paul Boyle received a National Science Foundation award of $494,509 for "Call the Wild: Fostering Understanding of the Nature of Science." This technology project explores the use of mobile technology at enhancing the public's understanding of the nature of science through wildlife viewing.

Dr. Mike Scharf received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with Chesapeake-PERL Inc., in Savage, Maryland. The project title is "Identification, production and characterization of novel lignase proteins from termites for biomass pre-treatment". The total award amount is $750,000, with $200,000 coming to UF.


It makes mosquitoes buzz off three times longer than DEET. It does not have the unpleasant odor of DEET. And it does not cause DEET's sticky-skin sensation. But it may never make it to market. Why? Click here for details.

As the new drones emerge from their brood cells, the queen bee can look fondly upon them and know that they are her sons. Or are they? There is a "sexual revolution" taking place in at least one bee species that raises doubt about who mom is. Click here for details.

Bug Quote

On September 19th, 1863, during the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga in northwestern Georgia, one Union brigade commander had an unusual problem.

"Colonel Luther Bradley's Illinoisans had gotten off to a rocky start. While watching his brigade come into line, Bradley noticed the men of the 22nd Illinois break ranks. They danced about idiotically. Bradley pulled aside their commander. 'What's the matter here?' he asked. 'Yellow jackets, sir,' Lieutenant Colonel Francis Swanwick answered sheepishly. 'We've got into a yellow jacket's nest.' 'Damn the yellow jackets,' replied Bradley. 'Get your men into line, we may move any minute.' Try as they might, the two colonels were no match for the bees, who had the full attention of the soldiers. 'We couldn't get them into line. They were hopping about like a lot of lunatics, swinging their hats, and slapping their legs, without regard to orders or anything else. We had to form four companies some rods to the rear before they would stand quietly,' he recalled."

from This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga by Peter Cozzens


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:

Our new M.S. students know that eventually they will be Teaching Assistants and hopefully are looking forward to that great experience. One part of this experience is grading homework, quizzes, and exams. Here is how it is done.

Meanwhile our new Ph.D. students are embarking on a great adventure — the Search for the Lost Dissertation. That exciting five-part journey begins here.

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.

In the last 12 months, the newsletter Web site recorded 107,164 page views.

October 2009.