March 2011

Faculty News

Dr. Harsimran "Rosie" Gill worked as a postdoctoral assistant with Dr. Bob McSorley after completing her Ph.D. in August 2010. She is now working as a postdoctoral assistant with Dr Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred. Dr. Gill is testing different insecticide peptides for management of Asian citrus psyllid using the citrus tristeza virus as a delivery system.

Dr. James P. Cuda was invited to stand as a candidate for one of the Advisory Board positions for the newly formed North American Invasive Species Network.

Dr. James Cuda hosted a group of high school science students and teachers for a lab tour on 7 February. The students and teachers were part of the 2011 Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium sponsored by UF’s Center for Precollegiate Education and Training.

Last Fall, Dr. Hugh Smith returned to the University of Florida from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station where he was involved with integrated pest management on a number of crops, including ornamentals, strawberries and cigar wrapper tobacco. However, his specialty is management of insects and mites in vegetable crops, with a special interest in biological control, habitat manipulation to enhance biological control, grower outreach and pest management training in Spanish. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida in 1999. He has experience as an entomologist working in California, Central America, and in Pacific. His appointment as a member of our faculty was previously announced, but only recently did his Web page become available.

Student News

Ph.D. student Abhishek Mukherjee, a member of Dr. James Cuda’s program, was invited to interview for a postdoctoral research position in biological control at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, on 2 March. Mukherjee gave a seminar on "Prospects for biological bontrol of Hygrophila polysperma, an aquatic invasive weed in Florida and Texas."

Bug Fest 2011

On 6 April, our department will sponsor a "Bug Fest" and open house oriented to UF undergraduates. The event is hosted by the undergraduate Entomology Club. From 6-8 pm, there will be games, prizes, live giant arthropods (just to pet, not take home), tours of our facility, information on entomology degrees, movies and even "bug songs." The intent is to increase our already large number of undergraduates who either major or minor in Bugology. Also, there will be FREE pizza and FREE passes to the UF/IFAS McGuire Center Butterfly Rainforest for the first 400 attendees.

Click here to view the announcement.


Kalsi M, Seal DR. (February 2011). Milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus. Featured Creatures. EENY-489.

de Macedo DM, Pinho DB, Barreto RW, Pereira OL, Cuda JP. 2010. Black mildew fungi (Meliolaceae) associated with Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper tree) in Brazil. Mycotaxon 114: 429–437.

Walker TJ, Collins N. 2010. New World thermometer crickets: the Oecanthus rileyi species group and a new species from North America. Journal of Orthoptera Research 19: 371-376. [This article is the first JOR article to include online supplementary material, which in this case includes a video of the holotype calling.]

Gill HK, McSorley R, Buss L. (January 201l). The insect community on the soil surface. EDIS.

Gondhalekar AD, Song C, Scharf ME. 2011. Development of strategies for monitoring indoxacarb and gel bait susceptibility in the German cockroach (Blattodea: Blattellidae). Pest Management Science 67: 262–270.

Tiwari S, Pelz-Stelinski K, Mann RS, Stelinski LL. 2011. Glutathione S-transferase and cytochrome P450 (general oxidase) activity levels in Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus-infected and uninfected Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104: 297-305.

Boina DR, Youn Y, Folimonova S, Stelinski LL. 2011. Effects of pymetrozine, an antifeedant of Hemiptera, on Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, feeding behavior, survival, and transmission of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Pest Management Science 67: 146-155.

2011 Forensic Entomology Summer Camp

This summer, the department will hold its 2nd annual entomology camp with the theme "Forensic Entomology." This 5-day camp (8:30-4:30) is for middle schoolers and will be held at the department during 20-24 June. Space is limited to 20 students, so sign up early. Additional information is available on the Bug Club Web site. For images from last year's camp, click here.

2011 Entomology Seminars

We have a great list of speakers for the Spring 2011 Entomology Seminar Series. You can visit for a listing and the most up-to-date information on the seminars, as some presentation titles are not yet provided. If you wish to meet with a speaker while he or she is visiting, please let the organizer (listed for that speaker) know or send me an email. - Dr. Christine Miller

Meetings and Presentations

Drs. Harsimran "Rosie" Gill and Gaurav Goyal both served as judges for the poster session of the Graduate Student Council Interdisciplinary Research Conference held on the campus of the University of Florida, 2 February 2011.

A Citrus Scouting and Pest Manamgment workshop was arranged by Dr. Mongi Zekri, Multi-County Citrus Agent, Hendry County Extension, and held at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center on 10 February. Dr. Phil Stansly presented, "Scouting citrus for pests and beneficials", Dr. Jawwad Qureshi presented, "Biological control to enhance management of Asian citrus psyllid and other citrus pests", and senior biological scientist Barry Kostyk presented "Insecticide trials to control citrus rust mite and psyllid." The meeting was recorded for educational purposes by Stephanie Stocks, Coordinator for Protect US, which is part of a larger network - Community Invasive Species Network. The meeting was followed by field demonstrations of tap sampling.

Dr. James Cuda participated in the UF-Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science for Life Open House held in the Infirmary Building on UF’s campus, 14 February. Cuda presented a poster created by Justin Bricker, one of his HHMI undergraduate students.


Thank you to those members and friends of the department who participated in our February outreach activities:

Our booth at the Florida State Fair: part of the Insect Encounters exhibit. The booth featured a hands-on
pollinating bee puppet, scented model flowers, live Painted Lady butterflies, a miniature representation
of a bed bug-infested mattress and bed frame, live bed bugs in sealed petri dishes, and many other
informative displays.

Dr. Rebecca Baldwin explains bed bug management techniques,
from an entomologist's perspective, to curious Fair visitors.

A special thanks to those who participated in the Florida State Fair! Once again, our booth was in the Agricultural Hall of Fame building (Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa) and was part of a larger exhibit called Insect Encounters. Our booth featured two main topics: pollination of plants by insects and bed bugs. Approximately 78,000 people came through the Agricultural Hall of Fame building this year.

The following are outreach events currently scheduled for March:

The live critters are always a hit with children and adults alike. The critters are available for you to check out should you be leading an outreach event. If you lead an outreach, please be sure to fill out a documentation form so your event can be included in the newsletter and so that we can log all outreach events. If you would like to schedule an event or have any outreach questions, go to the Outreach pages on our Bug Club Web site and contact us. - Dale A. Halbritter, Outreach Coordinator

Nominations for FES Annual Awards

The Honors and Awards committee for the Florida Entomological Society needs your assistance in identifying and nominating individuals and groups for the following awards:

Please nominate your deserving colleague(s). Groups may also be nominated. Each nomination should be accompanied with a justification narrative (1 page maximum) outlining the specific contribution of that individual or group to the profession of entomology, science, the community, or the FES. State the present employment of the nominee and category for which nomination is sought. Winners will be announced at the 2011 Annual Meeting in Fort Myers. You can see previous winners at This year's awards will be posted online in a ‘plaque-like’ format. The deadline for nominations is 15 June.

Nominations should be forwarded to the chair of the award committee:

Dr. Steven Arthurs
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center
2725 Binion Rd, Apopka, FL 32703
Fax: 407-814-6186


To be a serious agriculturist you need to be deeply interested in the economics of crop production. As a graduate student I felt that agricultural economics was one of the best courses I ever took. However, since then there have been tremendous, I will even say revolutionary, advances in agricultural economics and production. For example, all food can be free. All you have to do is sell it at the farmer's market. And we should concentrate on developing a perfect pesticide that is good for people, even the slaves on the East Coast, and for the food too. And let's not forget the vegetable trees either! Like, I mean, click here to learn how.

The Tampa (Florida) Museum of Science and Industry is Buggin Out with an exhibit on insects, including art, food and an iMax film. The exhibit ends May 31st.

Thomas Fasulo reports that the department's Featured Creatures Web site recorded 5,260,092 page views in 2010. The Ten Top articles (in order) were: house fly, biting midges, io moth, brown dog tick, saltmarsh caterpillar, deer fly, eastern lubber grasshopper, yellow fly, Edwards wasp moth and the green lynx spider.

Nematodes are everywhere, even in space. Click here for details.

Zombie ants! Not just a movie anymore. Click here for details.

Literary Bugs

"In popular films and plays such as the 1948 radio play Leiningen Versus the Ants (made into a film starring Charlton Heston in 1954) and the 1954 film Them! Film makers portrayed insects as mindless mass killers overrunning the countryside just as Americans feared that Communists, Nazis, and other totalitarian types might. Insects were ‘an evil force,' a member of the House of Representatives said, one that made people dissatisfied. ‘I do not need to tell you,' he added, ‘that dissatisfaction breeds communism.' Exterminating commie pinko insects with DDT, in other words, became downright patriotic. – from The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Mankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah


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:

There are some insect birthday parties you should not attend. Click here for details.

Did you know that Smokey the Bear hated walking sticks? Do you know why? Click here for details.

And there have been some recent advancements in insect collecting. Click here for details.

Newsletter Minutiae

Thomas Fasulo is the newsletter editor. Departmental faculty, staff, students and alumni can submit news anytime to 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, 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 162,336 page views.

March 2011.