May 2000 Entomology and Nematology News
Entomology and Nematology Student Organization
A University of Florida Publication

"The dearth of genius in America is due largely to the continual teasing of mosquitoes."
- Edgar Allen Poe


Oscar Perez
Wednesday, May 3, 2000
9:00am in Room 1031
"Reproductive Incompatibility Between Two Subspecies of Coleomagilla maculata (Degeer) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)


Your Advisor has your Summer 2000 Letter of Appointment (that thing you sign to get paid). Please make sure you and your advisor sign it and return it to Sharon ASAP. All current (Spring) Letters of Appointment expire on May 11, 2000. Lets don't have anyone waiting six weeks to get back on payroll (remember how long it took you to get that first check?).


May 5, 2000 - Last day to register for the Summer A&C Term. Students on Assistantship/Fellowship may not register for Summer A, only. Students must register for the minimum requirement of their funding regardless of graduation status.

May 17, 2000 - Degree Applications due for Summer A&C Term.

May 26, 2000 - Fees due for Summer A&C term.


In addition to the printed version of this newsletter that is distributed through the department, there is an electronic version that goes far afield. The electronic version is delivered by means of a list server to which people can subscribe or unsubscribe as they wish. As of April 14th, 170 subscribers elected to have copies delivered to their e-mail boxes once a month. Since the list is moderated, this is the only message that these subscribers receive from this address

Of the 170 subscribers 12 are currently from within the department and another nine from the Florida Department of Agriculture, mostly entomologists and nematologists at the Division of Plant Industry. There are subscribers from Departments of Agriculture from several other states too. The USDA is also well represented, not only from the two laboratories in Gainesville, but from around the nation. Other subscribers include university scientists from Rutgers, Oregon State, Colorado State, the University of Hawaii and others. Many of our colleagues from the 21 UF/IFAS research centers throughout Florida are also subscribers. If you don't count Disney World (this imagi-nation has one subscriber) then there are subscribers from at least 14 other nations.

A few of the countries represented are Brazil, Iran, Mexico, Italy, Thailand, South Africa, Costa Rica, China and Russia. Tom Fasulo, the "owner" of the list server, couldn't identify all the country abbreviations, nor could he identify individuals from other countries who subscribe under an address that does not include a country identifier.

To subscribe and unsubscribe from the newsletter list server, simply follow the instructions at


Pete Coon has been selected by the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Teacher Recognition Committee to receive the NACTA Graduate Student Teaching Award. Pete and his nominator, Dr. Don Hall, have been invited to attend the NACTA Banquet this June at which time Pete will receive his plaque.

Cynthia Khoo, a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. Lawrence received a certificate of recognition from the International Student Services office for maintaining a 4.0 GPA in all her course work. Fahiem Elborai Kora, a Ph.D. student of Dr. Larry Duncan (CREC Lake Alfred), won first place in the Best Student Paper competition at the 32nd International Organization of Nematologists in Tropical America (ONTA) meeting held in Auburn, Alabama. The meeting lasted one week and involved several presentations and posters. Some credit his success with the color of his poster, a chic but sophisticated shade of pink. In reality, nothing can replace the hard work and effort necessary to produce an award winning poster, whatever the hue.

Congratulations, Pete, Cynthia and Fahiem!


Dr. Gene J. Gerberg was invited to Crystal City, VA by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to serve as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel. The panel met on 7 April and discussed "Insect repellent product performance testing guidelines".

Dr. James P. Cuda participated in half day workshop for extension professionals on the Distance Diagnostics and Identification System (DDIS) held at McCarty Hall, 4 April. DDIS is a new Web-based system that uses digital cameras to send photographs of insects, weeds, and diseased plants from the field to the lab for rapid identification and diagnosis.

Dr. A. Charles Tarjan was the introductory speaker at the opening ceremonies of the biennial meeting of the European Society of Nematologists in Herzliya, Israel. The title of his illustrated lecture was "Nematological Memorabilia - a Principled Peek into the Past". The meeting lasted for six days, one day of which was spent visiting biblical locations such as Jerusalem, Beersheba, Bet Shean, Tiberius, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, the River Jordan (with baptisms going on) and the Golan Heights.

Marjorie Hoy attended the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology March 29-30 in Washington, D.C. Members of the committee include a number of academics, the executive director for the National Campaign for Pesticide Policy Reform, a member of the National Cotton Council, a vice president from Monsanto, a director of the Food Policy Institute of the Consumer Federation, the president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, a senior scientist from the Environmental Defense Fund, a member of the Consumer Policy Institute, an executive vice president from DuPont, an attorney in Washington, an executive director of the Monterey County (California) Farm Bureau, the policy program director from Organic Farming Research Foundation, an attorney from Little Rock, Arkansas, the program director from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the chief operating officer of Seald Sweet (FL), an entomologist from the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, the chairman of the Livestock and Dairy GRITS committee, a member of the Center for the Application of Molecular Biology to International Agriculture (Australia), the president of the National Corn Growers Association, president of the North American Grain Company, director of Agricultural Policy of the Rural Advancement Foundation International, a member of the United Soybean Board, a senior vice president for General Mills, a senior vice president of Monsanto, president of the South Carolina Farm Bureau, vice president of Whole Foods Market, and the chairman of the American Soybean Association. The committee is chaired by Dennis Eckart, a former congressman from Ohio. The meeting focused on developing an understanding of the committee's scope, purpose and process. The committee heard from Cliff Gabriel, White House Office of Science Technology Policy on the federal regulatory framework, Warren Muir, of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as several officials from the USDA and EPA. The next meeting will take place in July.

Marjorie Hoy attended the 51st Annual Meeting of the AIBS, "Biology: Challenges for the New Millennium, March 22-24, 200 in Washington, D.C. The meeting, co-sponsored with The Smithsonian Institution met in the Smithsonian. One of the most memorable events was the keynote talk by Ernst Mayr, who was the awardee of the AIBS Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Mayr, who was born in 1904, presented a thought provoking and vigorous talk on evolution! At the age of 97, Dr. Mayr is currently working on THREE books; he is the author of more than a dozen books and many other publications on evolution. Plenary speakers included Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Janzen, Gene Likens, Lynn Margulis, Gordon Orians, Ghillean Prance, Marvalee Wake and E. O. Wilson, who were charged with reviewing major advances in organismal and integrative biology during the last century and to speculate about future challenges and opportunities. The meeting also included a Town Meeting on Teaching Evolution in association with the National Association of Biology Teachers. The next AIBS meeting will take place in Washington, DC in March 2001 and the theme will be "From Biodiversity to Biocomplexity". The AIBS meetings are a wonderful opportunity to gain a broad perspective on organismal biology and ecology.


Matthew Brightman
Laura Collins
Brian Eisenberg
Michael Miller
Frederick Pearce
Matthew Remmen
Sally Simmons
Karl Van Gool

Mary Donohue
Kathryn Jones
Clint McFarland
Karen McKenzie
Oscar Perez
Thomas Powell
Craig Welch
Tasha Williams

Ph. D.
Claudia Riegel
Alonso Suazo
Likui Yang


The Entomology/Nematology Student Organization held elections at their most recent meeting and welcome the new board members:

Mike Patnaude - President David Serrano - Vice President Melanie Tremelling - Secretary Matthew Brightman - Treasurer Erin Britton - Historian

The Spring Picnic was arguably the most successful event of the year! The picnic was held on April 1st (no foolin'!) at Lake Wauburg. Food was provided in large part by Sgt. Hanley, whose generous donation of thirty pizzas kept energy levels high, as well as various dishes provided by the students and faculty in attendance. Games of ultimate Frisbee, kickball and whiffleball interspersed with canoeing and kayaking added to the day's enjoyment. The ENSO Social Committee would like to thank everyone involved in making preparations for the picnic, and special thanks to Sgt. Hanley for providing enough food for an "army" of entomologists and nematologists!

Team ENSO continued to support community endeavors earlier this month by sending a team of students to participate in the MS Walk 2000. The 5K event began at the Hippodrome theater and ended with free pizza from Dominoes and prize giveaways. Katie Barbara won a $25 gift certificate to CJ's and Erin Britton won a white-water rafting trip for two. The team had great fun and raised over $500. Thanks to everyone who participated and supported the cause:

Katie Barbara - team captain Juan Alvarez Erin Britton Eric Hansen Shane Hill Clint McFarland Tom Merritt Mike Patnaude Richard Pluke

Last, but certainly not least, ENSO has a number of insect keychains available for purchase. For more information, please contact Tom Merritt.


LAKE ALFRED - Citrus growers were reminded of the costly and catastrophic consequences of spreading diseases and pests such as canker and Diaprepes root weevil at the Diaprepes Short Course at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) on March 22. "We must preach and practice sanitation," implored Haines City citrus grower Buster Pratt, referring to sanitary practices, including appropriate cleaning of farm equipment and tools, to prevent the spread of pests and disease. Pratt has been one of the citrus industry's leaders in the battle against the Diaprepes root weevil, a devastating insect pest that many refer to as "The Evil Weevil."

Diaprepes root weevil feeds on citrus, ornamental plants, sugar cane and nearly 300 other plant species. Native to the Caribbean, it was first found in an Apopka nursery in the 1960's. Since then, the insect has spread to 140,000 acres in Florida, and costs in the citrus industry now exceed $72 million annually. Because the insect does not travel great distances on its own, much of its spread has been attributed to man's movement of infested material.

The one-day Diaprepes Short Course, organized by UF Citrus Extension Agent Dr. Steve Futch, provided an opportunity for growers, crop advisors and others in the citrus industry to learn about pest management practices for this destructive insect. Over 140 people from throughout Florida's citrus-growing regions were in attendance.

The problem isn't just the Diaprepes root weevil, warned Dr. James Graham, CREC plant pathologist. Damage to tree roots by larval feeding increases the tree's susceptibility to fungal infection by Phytophthora. The combination of Diaprepes and Phytophthora is a devastating 1-2 punch for the tree, causing a rapid decline in root health and subsequently, its productivity. Improved soil drainage, careful irrigation and fertilizer management and chemical treatments for Phytophthora were recommendations for helping trees withstand the Diaprepes-Phytophthora complex.

According to CREC's Dr. Clay McCoy, an integrated pest management program for Diaprepes root weevil includes foliar insecticides to control adults and eggs, soil-applied insecticides and parasitic nematodes to control the larvae underground, chemical treatments for Phytophthora fungal infection, and good horticultural care to improve tree tolerance to root damage caused by the larval feeding. Although these treatments are expensive, CREC economist Ron Muraro presented a cost-benefit analysis that indicated investments in Diaprepes pest management will pay off in improved production.

Florida's citrus and ornamental nurseries are also impacted by this pest, pointed out Dr. David Hall, a researcher with the U.S. Sugar Corporation in Clewiston. And lest growers think the Diaprepes root weevil is their only concern, this insect has a lot of relatives. Dr. Charles O'Brien, Florida A&M insect taxonomist, said that weevils are a part of the largest family of living organisms known, with more than 65,000 described species, and thousands more undescribed species throughout the world.

The University of Florida, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, U.S. Sugar Corporation, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture and other universities and agencies are conducting research on many fronts to find better pest management options for one of the biggest challenges facing the citrus industry today.


-from the UF Dairy and Poultry newsletter, April 2000

ARS applies for a patent for BEETLBAR, a new plastic barrier that blocks pesky beetles from boring into wood structures. It will save poultry farmers money in losses from beetle-damaged broiler houses that cost thousands of dollars more to heat and cool than undamaged houses. Beetle-damaged insulation can cost more than $30,000 a house to repair. ARS researchers developed this nontoxic barrier, which can be placed around trees, poultry house foundations, and a variety of residential, commercial, industrial, and farm buildings. Two insects in particular pose problems for poultry farmers - darkling beetles, also called lesser mealworms, and hide beetles. The larvae of these beetles develop in poultry litter and manure under high-rise poultry houses, then crawl up walls and posts into ceiling insulation, burrowing many holes and causing major structural damage. In Georgia and Virginia alone, annual losses from these insects are estimated at $9.8 million and $15.9 million, respectively. BEETLBAR's slick surface prevents this migration. Another problem: Floor-reared birds feed on migrating beetles, which can harbor Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, tapeworms, and avian leukosis virus, leading to major economic losses for farmers. The new barrier is strong, long lasting, lightweight, and easy to apply and clean. It is pesticide free and it reduces pesticides needed to control litter beetles. ARS has filed for a patent on this new invention (PATENT APPLICATION NO. 09/216,513). For more information, contact David A. Carlson ( or Christopher J. Geden ( Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Mosquito and Fly Research Unit, Gainesville, FL; phone: 352/ 374-5931.


The Rocky Mountain Conference of Entomologists in Woodland Park, Colorado will be held during August 6-10, 2000. Edmond L. Bonjour, treasurer and acting secretary of the conference, has announced that the organization will sponsor twelve graduate students. This sponsorship includes lodging, meals and registration and does not apply to members of faculty or staff. For further information, please contact: Edmond L. Bonjour
Senior Research Specialist
Oklahoma State University
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
127 Noble Research Center
Stillwater, OK 74078-3033
405-744-5099 (office)
405-744-6039 (fax)


Carla Cuda, daughter of James and Lynne Cuda, was nominated for membership in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an honor society for high achieving first and second year college students. Carla is majoring in Microbiology here at UF.


The Pest Alert WWW site and list server was intended to serve scientists and growers within the state of Florida. However, numerous individuals from universities, government agencies and industries from outside the state have joined the list server. And as of April 1st, there were subscribers from at least 16 other countries that list owner Tom Fasulo could identify. The response to the information and links posted on Pest Alert is always interesting. For example, on April 4th Phil Stansly of the SW Florida REC requested that a link to that center's biological and chemical insecticide reports be added to Pest Alert. A short notice was sent to list subscribers notifying them of this addition. Within hours, Dr. Lee Eavy, IPM and Crop Protection Team Leader for Northern Marianas College on Saipan, responded with the following, "Thanks so much for your notice. I have been looking for current information on silverleaf whitefly and Helicoverpa management options for weeks now, in my new position here on Saipan. I also need to find IPM program/system options for these and other pests, including DBM and phytophagous lady beetles and aphids, that we can adapt to our tropical agriculture conditions in vegetable production here. Small (1-5 ha.) family-owned farms are the rule here." The Pest Alert site, with instructions for subscribing to the list, is available at


Tom Fasulo has been using a WWW site that displayed examples of citing different online sources as a guide for his WWW sites and the department's Featured Creatures publications. He recently accessed this site again and found that it has moved to the Columbia University Press WWW site for Online Style. Tom also noticed that the format for citing online sources has changed somewhat. For details on how to cite online sources, access the Columbia Guide to Online Style at There are different styles for the humanities and sciences.


Need to talk about ants to clients, students or anyone else? Tom Weissling, Phil Koehler and Betty Ferster have posted a 3.9 MB PowerPoint presentation on the IFAS Presentations and Tutorials WWW site at

This presentation is titled "Biology, Identification and Management of Ants Common in Urban Settings" and covers 11 species of ants in Florida.

The UF/IFAS Presentations and Tutorials WWW site requires an IFAS username and password to gain access to it. A box appears when you try to enter the site. Type in your username and password. Please read and follow the requirements for the use of these presentations and tutorials.


Three new computer-verified training packages have been added to the Bug Tutorial series, bringing the total to fourteen. The new tutorials are

Beneficial Insects #2 (SW-141) - T.R. Fasulo and E.Y. Yang
Wasps and Bees (SW-142) - T.R. Fasulo, P.G. Koehler and E.Y. Yang
Occasional Invaders (SW-143) - T.R. Fasulo, P.G. Koehler and E.Y. Yang

These tutorials are authorized for CEUs in a number of pesticide licensing categories by the State of Florida. For detailed information access the Buggy Software WWW site available through


The UF Entomology and Nematology Department and the FDACS Division of Plant Industry have added files on the following organisms to the Featured Creatures WWW site at:

Scheffrahn, R.H., and N. Su. West Indian subterranean termite (proposed name), Heterotermes sp.

Scheffrahn, R.H., and N. Su. Haviland's subterranean termite, Coptotermes havilandi Holmgren

To save space in the newsletter, the citations for Featured Creatures are not listed exactly as they should be referenced in a list of publications. The complete citation is: Author(s). (date of publication). Full title. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY- ##. URL

Please send all thoughts, suggestions and supportive criticisms to:

Erin Britton, editor

A hard copy of this newsletter is given to department members in Building 970 only. All others can obtain an electronic subscription by sending a request to and in the text of the message type: 

subscribe UF-bugnews-L yourfirstnameyourlastname

Turn off any signature file, if you have one. You will receive instructions for confirming your subscription and further information on the rules for the list server.

This version of the newsletter is prepared for the Web by Andy Koehler.

May 2000. Updated May 2003.