UF-CTA Affiliated Faculty:

Dakshina R. Seal

Title and department: Assistant Scientist, Entomology and Nematology

Address: Tropical Research and Education Center
18905 S.W. 280 Street
Homestead, FL 33031-3314

Phone: 305-246-7001 x.260
E-mail: dseal@ifas.ufl.edu


Ph.D., Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, 1990
M.S., Zoology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1977
B. S., Zoology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1975

Research Interests (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

Research is conducted to elucidate insect behavior, ecology, taxonomy, chemical control, and biological control in order to assemble practical integrated pest management systems in tropical and subtropical environment. Research is conduct on the biology and management of the most important insect pests of vegetable crops in South Florida. Some of the research is conducted on Caribbean islands. The insect pests investigated include primarily the melon thrips (Thrips palmi Karny), silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii (Bellows & Perring), potato wireworm (Melanotus communis Gyllenhal) and pepper weevil (Anthonomus eugenii Cano), and secondarily the corn silk fly (Euxesta stigmatis Loew), diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella (L.)), sweetpotato weevil (Cylas formicarius (Fabricius)), black cutworm (Agriotis ipsilon (Hufnagel)) and leafminer, Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess)).  Most of these pest insects originated in tropical and subtropical countries.  The main focus of my research is to:

  1. Generate essential information on each pest’s biology and behavior with emphasis on oviposition, development, seasonal abundance, population dynamics, and ecology.
  1. Develop methods for timely monitoring of pest insects.  A critical need is to determine the initiation of infestation of crops by highly dangerous pests.  Also needed is information on effectiveness of various chemical, biological (predators, parasites and pathogens) and biorational insecticides.

My research assembles pest management systems including combinations of cultural, biological and chemical control methods, applied at the most vulnerable phases of each pest’s biology and behavior.

5 most significant publications:

Seal, D. R., Ciomperlik, M. A., Richards, M.L., & Klassen, W.  2006.  Comparative effectiveness of chemical insecticides against the chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), on pepper and their compatibility with natural enemies.  Crop Protection. 25: 949-955.

Seal, D. R., Ciomperlik, M. A., Richards, M.L., & Klassen, W.  2006.  Distribution of the chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), within pepper plants and within fields on St. Vincent. Florida Entomologist. 89(3): 311-320

Seal, D. R., P. A. Stansly, and D. J. Schuster.  2002.  Influence of temperature and host on life history parameters of Catolaccus hunteri (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Environ. Entomol. 31: 354-360.

Seal, D. R. and K. Bondari. 1999.  Evaluation of various cultivars of pepper for resistance against pepper weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Proc. Fla. Hort. Soc. 112: 342-345.

Seal, D. R., R. B. Chalfant and R. McSorley.  1997.  Seasonal abundance and mathematical distribution of wireworms and wireworm feeding damage in sweet potato in Georgia. Florida Entomol. J. Entomol. Sci. 32(3): 311-320.

Extramural support during past 5 years: Selected Recent Grants
 (career total $1,500,000.):

TSTAR, PI, 2005-2007, $ 98,000 Distribution and management of Scirtothrips dorsalis
Chemical industries, PI, 2005-2007, $ 250,000, Management of vegetable pests in tropical and subtropical environment. Chemical industries, PI, 2004-2005, $ 225,000, Management of vegetable pests in tropical and subtropical environment.

Teaching Interests (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

I enjoy teaching various aspects of insect pest management in school, college and university levels.  I am supervising as a major advisor of one Ph.D. student who has been working on `the biology and bio-control’ aspects of chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis. I am also on the advisory committees of one Ph. D. student and one M.S. student.  Both of these students have been focusing their research studies on two major insect pests of tropical origin. 

Extension/Outreach Interests (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

My objective is to provide vegetable growers in south Florida with the knowledge, skills and tools required to avoid or minimize crop losses from arthropods. Therefore, I participate in field days, growers’ meetings, workshops, and frequently visit growers’ fields, and provide them information to manage insect pests on their vegetable fields.  A brief description of my activity is shown below in 2006-2007:


Times visited

Problem discussed


Potato growers


Thrips, wireworm, leafminers

Provided information on effectiveness of various chemicals and sampling population

Sweet corn growers


Fall armyworm, corn silk fly

Discussed biology and control methods of  sweet corn pests

Pepper growers.


Pepper weevil, thrips and armyworms

Discussed about various management techniques

Bean growers


Whitefly and thrips

Discussed about management of bean pests.

Squash growers


Whitefly, melon worm, thrips

Discussed  management  practice for these pests.


International Activities (with focus on Tropical Agriculture)

Seal, D. R. and W. Klassen.  1995.  Identification and distribution of Thrips palmi Karny in The Netherlands. Nursery Growers, The Hague, The Netherlands, 25 June 1995. 

Seal, D. R. 1998.   Management of Thrips palmi Karny. 20th national meeting of the Columbian Entomological Society, Cali, Columbia. March 1994. (Invited).

Seal, D. R. Strategies for the control of silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring. Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. 12 Oct. 1994

Seal, D. R.  Chemical control of Thrips palmi Karny. Central Science Laboratory. London, UK. 11 Jan. 1993.

Seal, D. R., M. Ciomperlik and W. Klassen.  2004.  Management of chilli thrips in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Note: I regularly attend the annual meetings of the Caribbean Food Crops Society and publish in the proceedings.


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