August/September 2000 Entomology and Nematology News
Entomology and Nematology Student Organization
A University of Florida Publication

By: Susan Webb, Chair, Section C, ESA

After spending a few days in July at the Program Committee Meeting for this year's joint ESA/ESC/SEQ meeting in Montreal, I would like to pass on the following information:

1. The meeting begins early this year--a full schedule of symposia, informal conferences, and paper sessions starting at 8 AM on Sunday morning. Plan on arriving Saturday to do some sightseeing and learn the route to the convention center.

2. Bring warm clothes or plan on spending all your time underground! All the hotels are at least a 15- to 20-minute walk from the convention center. During the morning rush hour, it may take this long to go by subway. Also have footwear that will allow you to walk safely on icy, if not snowy sidewalks.

3. If you need a visa to get into Canada and back into the US, start the paperwork early! For US citizens, a passport is still the easiest form of ID.


If you are interested in receiving a Graduate Student Council Travel Grant to attend the December ESA Montreal Meeting, please download the application from The Grant is a $150 reimbursement after your trip. Only students who are presenting papers, posters, or participating on the Linnaean Team are eligible. You are allowed one grant per school year. Please either mail the completed application to the GSC office or give it Dina Richman as soon as possible.


Marco A. Toapanta won the First Prize in the Student Paper Competition in the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society, held in Naples, FL during Aug. 6-9, 2000. Marco presented a paper on the life history parameters of the pepper weevil under constant temperatures, which he co-authored with his advisors, Drs. D. Schuster, P. Stansly, J. Eger, and R. Nguyen. This is the second consecutive year that Marco wins the first prize in that competition.

In addition, Marco also won the First Prize in the 2nd Annual Student Competition sponsored by the Urban Entomological Student Association of our Dept.

Marco is "the man"!


Dr. Pauline Lawrence was awarded a four-year grant for $440,000 from the National Science Foundation entitled "Interactions of an entomopoxvirus, its parasitic wasp symbiont and their insect host: viral morphogenesis and gene expression".


Marjorie A. Hoy presented three symposium talks at the International Congress of Entomology at Iguassu Falls, Brazil. The falls are fantastic--much more impressive in person than in photos!

Dr. Hoy attended graduation and hooded Juan Manuel Alvarez when he was awarded the Ph.D. in the August graduation ceremonies. Clint McFarland and Oscar Perez also obtained the M.S. degree in the same August ceremonies.

Dr. Lawrence recently attended the XXI International Congress of Entomology in Iguassu Falls, Brazil (August 20-26,2000) where she presented an invited paper in a symposium on Molecular and Physiological Interactions Between Parasitoids and their Hosts . Her paper was entitled "Parasitism specific proteins and a symbiotic entomopoxvirus from Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, a parasite of tephritid fruit flies".

Ms. Cynthia Khoo, a Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Pauline Lawrence, attended the XXI International Congress of Entomology in Iguassu Falls, Brazil (August 20-26,2000) where she presented a poster entitled "Localization and characterization of a novel rhabdovirus from a parasitic wasp Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, a parasite of the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa". Cynthia acknowledges support for her travel from the Department of Entomology and Nematology, Graduate Student Council, Office of the Dean for Instruction, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Dr. Lawrence.


Drs. James Cuda and Howard Frank traveled to the SFWMD Headquarters, West Palm Beach, on 20 July. Cuda and Frank were invited to attend a public comment session on the United States Invasive Species Management Plan recently drafted by the National Invasive Species Council. The session in Florida was the last of five scheduled public comment meetings held across the United States.

Dr. James Cuda was elected to serve on the University Senate for a two year term beginning Fall 2000.

Dr. James Cuda was invited to participate in the Meet the Researchers program at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 82nd Annual conference to be held in Orlando, FL.


Smith, H. A., and R. McSorley. 2000. Potential of field corn as a barrier crop and eggplant as a trap crop for management of Bemisia argentifolii on common bean in north Florida. Florida Entomologist. 83: 145-158.

Smith, H. A., R. L. Koenig, H. J. McAuslane and R. McSorley. 2000. Effect of silver reflective mulch and a summer squash trap crop on densities of immature Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on organic bean. Journal of Economic Entomology 93: 726 - 731.

Epler, J.H., J.P. Cuda and T.D. Center. 2000. Redescription of Cricotopus lebetis (Diptera: Chironomidae), a potential biocontrol agent of the aquatic weed hydrilla (Hydrocharitaceae). Florida Entomologist. 83(2): 171-180.

Pescador, M.L., A.K. Rasmussen, B.A. Richard. 2000. A guide to the stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Florida. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee. 170pp.

This free publication is available upon request to Joy Jackson.
Bureau of Laboratories
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400


David Dame has a touch of jet lag remaining after travel to Switzerland, Austria and Australia in April, May and July. In Geneva, he represented the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) at the meeting of WHO's Global Collaboration for Development of Pesticides for Public Health (GCDPP). In Vienna, he was on assignment with the International Atomic Energy Agency as an advisor for their sterile insect program on tsetse flies in Africa. Also in May, he participated in AMCA's Legislative Days sessions in Washington, DC during which public health issues related to arthropod vectors were discussed with legislators and their staffs. In Australia he presented a keynote address at the Joint Arbovirus Research and Mosquito Control Association of Australia Conference held near Brisbane and visited mosquito control agencies.


Shi-Yih Hung joins the department as a Biological Scientist working in Drion Boucias' lab.

Michael Miller has also joined the department as a Biological Scientist working with Susan Webb.

Dr. William (Billy) T. Crow accepted the landscape nematologist position as an Assistant Professor. Billy began work on September 1, 2000.

Byron (Pete) Coon was hired by the department with a title of Lecturer. Pete and Professor Don Hall, will teach a new department course, beginning Fall 2000, entitled "Life Science". This is a course for undergraduate education majors. There will be one lecture section and six lab sections to be taught. Dr. Hall and Pete deserve a pat-on-the-back for the enormous amount of work that goes into creating and teaching a course for the first time. Yeah team!!


The Entomology/Nematology Reading Room is room 2105. It has a fine collection of scientific journals and trade magazines, and an assortment of books. The door is kept unlocked from 8:00 to 5:00 on weekdays, and at other times can be unlocked with your key to the building. The Reading Room has some very simple rules:

  1. Reading materials may not be borrowed, so either read them there, or photocopy what you need there.
  2. The photocopy machine accepts cash.
  3. You may obtain a charge card for the machine from Nik Hostettler.
  4. Do not take food or drinks into the Reading Room.
  5. Tidy up after yourself (re-shelve books and journals).

FROM: Departmental Reading Room Committee.


Since our department's Linnaean team took second place at the southeastern branch of the ESA, they will compete at the ESA meeting this coming December in Montreal. At least one if not two of the original team members will need to be replaced. Linnaean game practice will start sometime this month. At the same time, another team should form and start practicing for the next SEB meeting. Contact the Linnaean team coach, Dr. Zenger, for more information.


The first meeting of the graduate student forum was on Tuesday, September 12 at 5:00pm in Room 1014. New this year, the graduate student forum offers students the chance to meet and discuss issues in entomology and nematology in a professional, academic setting. A variety of topics, ranging from journal and grant writing to current issues in science, receive attention in these meetings that are exclusively offered for and structured by graduate students in the Entomology/Nematology department. When desired, participants in the forum may serve as an audience for anyone wishing to give their presentation a trial run. Ultimately, this organization will be self-perpetuating, without elected positions or any one person "in charge." Most importantly, the graduate student forum gives students an opportunity for professional advancement outside the classroom. For more information, contact Scotty Long or Josh King.


The ENSO meeting was held on Wednesday, September 13 at 5pm.

In fundraising news, ENSO is proud to announce that we are selling Cornell drawers, insect nets and T-shirts. Cornell drawers are $40 each, and insect nets are $20 each. The T-shirts will be sold at $15 apiece once we receive them from the artist. This year, the shirts are heather gray and the design is an embroidered red and blue plant hopper featuring the ENSO logo.

For more information, please contact Mike Patnaude.


It was a beautiful, slightly windy day at Lake Wauburg. The main ticket was a fearsome competition between UES and ENSO presidents and vice presidents. Somehow, the president of UES, former Navy seal Shawn Brooks, found any excuse from "but my vice is expecting" to "I'll just let two other UES people compete" when the suggestion was made to grab anyone else. So, ENSO took its first win as an unsatisfying forfeit.

Members from ENSO and UES climbed into their canoes like soldiers heading into battle. After a few minutes of practice, the participants lined up at shore and after a count of three followed by "GO" they were off. You could hear the well toned muscles typical of most entomologists and nematologists strain as the students raced ahead. Urban members Tim Elliott and Joe Jonovich eventually pulled into a comfortable lead. They rounded the buoy and started to head back, before they realized they went around the wrong way and were facing many canoes set at ramming speed. With careful maneuvering they continued, but they were too strong for their own good and with a double power stroke on the same side of the canoe they found themselves testing the theory whether alligators attack swimmers. This was the break the others needed and at the last leg of the race two canoes were seen neck and neck. One canoe had the ENSO president and vice-president (Mike Patnaude and David Serrano) and the other held two other ENSO members (Shawn Twiss and Erin Gentry). Everything went silent as the only sound to be heard was that of a canoe hitting the sand on the shore. By near inches Mike and David walked away as the winners. Shawn and Erin were second and Erin Britton and Shane Hill came in third. The rescue boat was sent out to help the UES members and they returned safely to shore. The winners receive as the grand prize: bragging rights until next year.

By: Norm Leppla

A workshop was conducted in September to assess the current and potential impacts of Cactoblastis cactorum (cactus moth) on Opuntia species (prickly pears) in North America. A plan of action will be developed to study and manage this non-indigenous insect. Because of their weedy nature, prickly pears have long been the target of biological control programs and significant success has occurred in Australia and South Africa. One of the important biological control organisms has been C. cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), a native of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Biological control successes in the Old World prompted attempts to control weedy Opuntia species in the New World. This was during a period when potential impacts on native non-target species were not viewed as importantly as it is today. In 1957, C. cactorum was introduced into the island of Nevis in the Caribbean, and subsequently into Montserrat and Antigua. From those locations of purposeful introduction, the cactus moth expanded its range, apparently by natural spread, to other Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Bahamas. It was first recorded from the Florida Keys in 1989, and has since become established on the Florida mainland. There is uncertainty as to how C. cactorum arrived in Florida. Two theories have been proposed: natural spread and in commerce of cultivated prickly pear. C. cactorum has also been found in the Yucatan of Mexico, where it likely spread naturally from the Caribbean islands. Its establishment on continental North America could pose significant environmental problems. Although much research has been conducted on the use of C. cactorum as a weed control agent, relatively little is known about how to control the insect.


A new extension State Major Program, "Delivery of Biological Control Information and Technology," is being organized to deliver information and technology to extension professionals within Florida. The proposed mission is to "Provide leadership and deliver biological control in IPM as the preferred pest management strategy in the priority areas of agriculture, horticulture, structures, natural resources and public health." Currently there are six primary activities:

  1. Assist county faculty in delivering information,
  2. Link extension specialists and researchers with county extension faculty,
  3. Enhance teaching of biological control,
  4. Establish and maintain a biological control website,
  5. Advance commercial biological control in Florida, and
  6. Determine educational and technical needs and opportunities for biological control.
The Web site sections may include extension contacts, extension trouble shooting, hot topics, frequently asked questions, biological control links, teaching biological control, commercial biological control, environmental assessments, biological control glossary, and pest identification assistance. Everyone involved in biological control is encouraged to join this SMP. Questions and comments can be sent to Jim Cuda, Norm Leppla or Howard Frank.


The Florida Turfgrass Association held its annual meeting in Gainesville at the O'Connell Center on August 14-16. The department had a booth in the FTGA exhibit hall with two tables. Tom Fasulo coordinated the displays for the department and Deanna Branscome coordinated sales of entomology and nematology publications for the Urban Entomological Society (UES).

What's Eating The Lawn?

Think you're an expert on southeastern United States turfgrass pest management? Take the series of Lawn Pests Tests now being made available on the WWW. Dr. Paul Choate, Tom Fasulo and Patrick Hope are demonstrating for certain agencies the ability to provide computer-verified testing and record keeping on the WWW.

Lawn Pests Test #1 through #5 are now available and is linked to from the Florida Pest Alert WWW site. Each test displays different capabilities regarding question and answer formats and record keeping.

The Florida Pest Alert WWW site is available at

A Dog and His Boy

The July 2000 issue of Pest Control Magazine had a photograph of graduate student Shawn Brooks and his dog Wolfgang. The article covered Wolfgang's training as a termite sniffer, how quickly he learned how to smell out termites and the techniques he uses to make his recommendations. Wolfgang demonstrated his technical competence before a crowd of 200 pest control professionals at the University of Florida's Southeast Pest Management Conference in early May. Under the photo - titled "A Nose Knows," was the caption," Termite Specialist Wolfgang, pictured here with his associate Shane Brook." Don't sweat the incorrect listing of your name Shawn, at least you got your picture in the magazine. That, with a letter of recommendation from Wolfgang, might get you a job someday.


An opening for an Assistant in Pest Management Information is open in the University of Florida Pesticide Information Office. A link to details, plus a listing for all UF state level positions, in available from the Florida Pest Alert WWW site under 08/08/00/. The Florida Pest Alert WWW site is available at


Tom Fasulo is one of thousands of experts who volunteer their services for the site. Tom handles many questions on insects and occasionally receives some he has difficulty with. One recent visitor asked the following:

"What is the name of the flesh eating spider? Where does it live? Does it really lay eggs on the human skin after the mother bites the host? Is it the eggs that eat the flesh or the parent? How do you kill it? I was under the impression that it feeds off shedding skin? Or does it eat through skin and subcutaneous tissue? What is the treatment (Antibiotics)? Does the area affected have to be amputated or debrided? Can the person die?"

Public Health Pest Control Manual

Five chapter in the new national manual, written by Dr. David Dame and Thomas Fasulo are now available at


Dr. Thomas Weissling, who had teaching and extension duties at the Ft. Lauderdale REC, has left UF/IFAS and now works for the USDA. Before Tom left he was kind enough to share most of the computer presentations on insects he developed for his classes with other faculty, via the Presentations and Tutorials WWW site available through An IFAS username and password is required to access the site.

There were some typos in the presentations and a number of them did not include final credit and/or opening screens. As a result, we have modified these presentations to include all the opening screens, final credit screens and to correct some typos. These corrections were made by Patrick Hope, who works for Tom Fasulo. Any errors found in Tom Weissling's presentations should be brought to the attention of Tom Fasulo, who assumes responsibility for errors in these presentations. There are nine of Weissling's presentations currently available, with six more to be added later. A big thank you to Dr. Weissling, and best wishes, too!


An update on the three final candidates for the turfgrass and ornamentals entomologist position is available in Pest Alert site under "08/08/00 State Level Positions." Read about the adventures that the department has experienced in trying to bring the mole cricket nematode back into commercial product under "08/04/00 Production and Application of Steinernema scapterisci for Mole Cricket Control." The new "IPM in Florida Tomatoes" brochure is available at "07/21/00 Florida Tomatoes and IPM."

The Florida Pest Alert WWW site is at


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:

Brooks, S.E. and J.C. Nickerson. Little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger).
Barbara, K.A. American cockroach, Periplaneta americana Linnaeus.
Capinera, J.L. Corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie).
Deisler, J.E. Tree snails of Florida.
Edwards, G.B. and K. McCanless. Southern house spider, Kukulcania hibernalis Hentz.
Fasulo, T.R. and H.A. Denmark. Twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch.
Hamon, A.B. and T.R. Fasulo. False oleander scale, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley).
Jacques, R.L. Jr. Potato beetles, Leptinotarsa spp.
Nickerson, J.C., and K.A. Barbara. Crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille).
Nguyen, R., and A.B. Hamon. Ash whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday).
Patnaude, M.R. Blacklegged or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis Say.

To save space, these publication are not listed exactly as they should be cited. The complete citation is: Author(s). (date of publication). Full title. UF/IFAS Featured Creatures. EENY- ##. URL

We frequently make minor revisions to Featured Creatures files when the author(s) provides new information or an additional photograph or two. These are usually not reported. However, the following is a major revision:

Weems, H.V., J.B. Heppner and J.L. Nation. Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel).

By: Tom Fasulo

Here is some updated information on this newsletter's staff. Erin Britton is the current editor of the departmental newsletter and does, by far, most of the work. She follows in the footsteps of previous editors: Mike Patnaude, Tim McCoy, Enrique Perez and others. Graduate students can't get tenure so they occasionally graduate. As such, Tom Fasulo provides continuity by being the owner of the newsletter WWW site and the newsletter list server. However, the e-version of the newsletter is sent to him by the real editor and Tom just passes it on to the list server subscribers. There are currently over 190 subscribers to the e-mail version, a number of which are international subscribers. The WWW site serves as the archives for the newsletter. That version was maintained by Kathryn Jones who, for some reason, decided to graduate. As such, the WWW version is now maintained by Andrew Koehler, a student working for Tom Fasulo.

Something missing from your newsletter?
If there is something you would like to see in future editions of the newsletter, please send all thoughts, suggestions and supportive criticisms to Erin Britton, Editor.

The next newsletter will be published on Friday, September 31st. The deadline for contributions is Thursday, September 28th.

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.

August/September 2000. Updated May 2003.