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Stephen L Lapointe

Research Entomologist

Stephen L. Lapointe, Ph.D.

 Research Entomologist

U. S. Horticultural Research Laboratory
2001 South Rock Road
Fort Pierce, FL 34945
Telephone: (772) 462-5914
Fax: (772) 462-5986


After receiving his doctorate from Cornell University in 1986, Dr. Lapointe worked for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers located near Cali, Colombia until 1997. Through 1993, his research focussed on pests of tropical forage plants. He then administered an international project, based in Bahia, Brazil, to increase cassava productivity in Latin America and western Africa in collaboration with the Brazilian national agricultural research program (EMBRAPA) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). He has been employed by the ARS since 1997.

Current Research Projects

The goal of Dr. Lapointe's research is to develop environmentally appropriate means of insect control through understanding of insect biology, ecology and physiology. His research explores strategies for exotic pests important to the citrus, horticultural and ornamental plant industries. These include the Diaprepes root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus), the citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella) and the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri). Most recently, his research emphasizes chemical ecology and novel approaches to integrated control. Recent advances include the discovery of an aggregation pheromone and host plant volatiles (kairomones and allomones) for the Diaprepes weevil, development of mating disruption and attract-and-kill products and application methods for control of citrus leafminer and associated citrus canker disease, and discovery of semiochemicals for use against the Asian citrus psyllid, vector of citrus greening disease. Effort is also dedicated to the application of advanced experiment designs to proportion/amount problems to solve entomological constraints. These include optimization of artificial diets for rearing insects through application of geometric multivariate designs and identification of optimal pheromone blend ratios for trapping and mating disruption.

DRW aggregation
An aggregation of Diaprepes root
weevil feeding on cassava
Mating CLM
A mating pair of citrus leafminers

Below: Stage, glass electrodes and airflow arranged to record electroantennogram from an Asian citrus psyllid.

Selected Publications

Lapointe, S. L. and L. L. Stelinski. 2011. An applicator for high viscosity semiochemical products and intentional treatment gaps for mating disruption of Phyllocnistis citrella. Entomol. Exp. et Appl. 141: 145-153.

Lapointe, S. L., L. L. Stelinski and R. D. Robinson. 2011. A novel pheromone dispenser for mating disruption of the leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 540-547.

Robbins, P. S., G. A. Salsbury, R. E. Woodruff, S. L. Lapointe and C. E. Linn, Jr. 2011. Methyl 2-(methylthio)benzoate: a sex attractant for the June beetles, Phyllophaga tristis and P. apicata. J. Insect Science 11:108 available online:

Stuhl, C. J., L. Cicero, J. Sivinski, P. Teal, S. Lapointe, B.J. Paranhos and M. Aluja. 2011. Longevity of multiple species of tephritid (Diptera) fruit fly parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Opiinae) provided exotic and sympatric-fruit based diets. J. Insect Physiol. 57: 1463-1470.

Lapointe, S. L., T. J. Evens, R. P. Niedz and D. G. Hall. 2010.  An artificial diet optimized to produce normative adults of the tropical weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus. Environ. Entomol. 39: 670-677.

Lapointe, S. L., R. P. Niedz and T. J. Evens.  2010.  An artificial diet for Diaprepes abbreviatus  optimized for larval survival. Fla. Entomol. 93: 56-62.

Stelinski, L. L., S. L. Lapointe, and W. L. Meyer.   2010.  Season-long mating disruption of citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton, with an emulsified wax formulation of pheromone.  J. Applied Entomology. 134: 512-520.   

Lapointe, S., L. Stelinksi, T. Evens, R. Niedz, D. Hall and A. Mafra-Neto.  2009.  Sensory imbalance as mating disruption mechanism in a moth: elucidation by multivariate geometric designs and response surface models.  J. Chem. Ecol. 35: 896-903.

Lapointe, S. L. and D. G. Hall.  2009.  Arrestment behavior in the polyphagous tropical root weevil Diaprepes abreviatus. J. Econ. Entomol. 102: 992-998.

Ot?lora-Luna, F., J. A. Hammock, R. T. Alessandro, S. L. Lapointe and J. C. Dickens.  2009.   Host plant kairomones for the tropical root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus.  Arthropod-Plant Interactions 3: 63-73.

Duncan, L. W., R. J. Stuart and S. L. Lapointe.  2009. Use of landscape fabric to manage Diaprepes root weevil in citrus groves.   Fla. Entomol. 92: 74-79.

Sirot, L. K. and S. L. Lapointe.  2008.  Patterns and consequences of mating behavior of the Diaprepes root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the field.  Fla. Entomol. 91: 400-406.

Lapointe, S. L., T. J. Evens and R. P. Niedz. 2008. Insect diets as mixtures: optimization for a polyphagous weevil.  Journal of Insect Physiology 54: 1157-1167.

Hall, D. G., A. Roda, S. Lapointe and K. Hibbard.  2008. Phenology of Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Florida based on attraction of adult males to pheromone traps. Fla Entomol. 91: 305-310.

Sirot, L. K., H. J. Brockmann, and S. L. Lapointe.  2007.  Behavioral and morphological correlates of male post-copulatory reproductive success. Animal Behaviour 74: 143-152.  

Lapointe, S. L. and W. S. Leal.  2007.  Describing seasonal phenology of the leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) with pheromone lures: controlling for lure degradation. Fla. Entomol. 90: 710-714.

Lapointe, S. L., D. M. Borchert, and D. G. Hall.  2007.  Effect of low temperatures on mortality and oviposition in conjunction with climate mapping to predict spread of the root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus and introduced natural enemies. Environ. Entomol. 36: 73-82.

Hall, D. G., S. L. Lapointe, and E. J. Wenninger.  2007.  Effects of a particle film on biology and behavior of Diaphorina citri (Homoptera: Psyllidae) and its infestations in Citrus.   J. Econ. Entomol. 100: 847-854.

Lapointe, S. L., Laura K. Sirot, Jane Brockmann.  June 2007. Male postcopulatory reproductive success in the beetle Diaprepes abbreviatus.  Animal Behaviour, 2007, 74: 143-152

Duncan, R. E., B. J. Ulmer, J. E. Pe?a, and S. L. Lapointe.  2007.   Reproductive biology of Fidiobia dominica (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae), an egg parasitoid of Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).  Environ. Entomol. 36: 376-382.

Weathersbee III, A. A., S. L. Lapointe, R. G. Shatters, and D. G. Hall.   2006.  Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis isolates producing novel endotoxins as measured by an innovative bioassay against neonate Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Fla Entomol. 89: 441-448.

Ulmer, B. J., J. E. Pe?a, S. L. Lapointe, and G. Mathurin.  2006.  The occurrence of parasitoids attacking citrus weevil eggs on St. Lucia. Fla Entomol. 89: 407-409.

Sirot, L. K., S. L. Lapointe, R. Shatters and M. Bausher. 2006.   Transfer and fate of seminal fluid molecules in the beetle, Diaprepes abbreviatus: Implications for the reproductive biology of a pest species.  J. Insect Physiol. 52: 300-308.

Shatters, Jr., R. G., L. M. Boykin, S. L. Lapointe, W. B. Hunter, and A. A. Weathersbee 3rd.  2006.  Phylogenetic and structural relationships of the PR5 gene family reveal an ancient multigene family conserved in plants and select animal taxa. J. Molec. Evolution 63 (1): 12-29.

Lapointe, S. L., C. L. McKenzie and D. G. Hall.  2006.  Reduced oviposition by Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and growth enhancement of citrus by Surround? particle film.  J. Econ. Entomol. 99 (2): 109-116.

Lapointe, S. L., D. G. Hall, Y. Murata, A. L. Parra-Pedrazzoli, J. M. S. Bento, E. Vilela, and W. S. Leal.  2006.  Field evaluation of a synthetic female sex pheromone for the leafmining moth Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) in Florida citrus. Fla. Entomol. 89: 274-276.

Lapointe, S. L.  2005.  Response of Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to application rates of a particle film. Fla. Entomol. 88: 222-224.

Zhang, A., D. Amalin, S. Shirali, M. S. Serrano, R. A. Franqui, J. E.Oliver, J. A. Klun, J. R. Aldrich, D. E. Meyerdirk, and S. L. Lapointe. 2004. Sex pheromone of the pink hibiscus mealybug,Maconellicoccus hirsutus, contains an unusual cyclobutanoid monoterpene. PNAS 101: (26): 9601-9606.

Lapointe, S. L., W. B. Hunter, and R. T. Alessandro.  2004. Cuticular hydrocarbons on elytra of the Diaprepes root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Agricultural and Forest Entomology 6: 251-257.

Lapointe, S. L., C. L. McKenzie, and W. B. Hunter.  2003.  Toxicity and repellency of Tephrosia candida to larval and adult Diaprepes root weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).   J. Econ. Entomol. 96: 811-816.

Serrano, M. S., and S. L. Lapointe.  2002. Evaluation of host plants and a meridic diet for rearing Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and its parasitoid Anagyrus kamali (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). Fla. Entomol. 85: 417-425.

Lapointe, S. L., and K. D. Bowman.  2002.  Is there meaningful plant resistance to Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in citrus rootstock germplasm?   J. Econ. Entomol. 95: 1059-1065.

Serrano, M. S., S. L. Lapointe and D. E. Meyerdirk. 2001. Attraction of Male Pink Hibiscus Mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) by Virgin Females. Environ Entomol 30(2): 339-345.

Shapiro, J. P., K. D. Bowman, and S. L. Lapointe. 2000. Dehydrothalebanin, a source of resistance from Glycosmis pentaphyllaagainst the citrus root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus. J. Agric. Food Chem. 48: 4404-4409.

Delalibera, Jr., I., G. J. de Moraes, S. L. Lapointe, C. A. D. da Silva and M. A. Tamai. 2000. Temporal variability and progression of Neozygites sp.(Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) in populations of Mononychellus tanajoa(Bondar) (Acari: Tetranychidae). An. Soc. Entomol. Brasil 29: 523-535.

Lapointe, R. C. Adair and B. Bullock. 2001. Status of biological control by egg parasitoids of Diaprepes abbreviatus(Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in citrus in Florida and Puerto Rico. BioControl 46: 61-70. Lapointe, S. L. 2001. Effect of temperature on egg development of Diaprepes abbreviatus(Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Fla. Entomol. 84: 298-299.

Lapointe, S. L. and R. M. Sonoda. 2000. The Effect of Arthropods, Diseases, and Nematodes on Tropical Pastures. pp. 201-218 (Ch. 12) In Sotomayor-Rios, A. and W. D. Pitman (eds.), "Tropical forage plants: development and use". CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Delalibera, Jr., I., G. J. de Moraes, S. L. Lapointe, C. A. D. da Silva and M. A. Tamai.   2000.   Temporal variability and progression of Neozygites sp. (Zygomycetes: Entomophthorales) in populations of Mononychellus tanajoa (Bondar) (Acari: Tetranychidae). An. Soc. Entomol. Brasil 29: 523-535.

Bellotti, A. C., S. L. Lapointe, L. Smith. 1999. Recent advances in cassava pest management. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 44:343-370.

Bento, J.M.S., G.J. de Moraes, A.C. Bellotti, J.A. Castillo, J.F. Warumby, S.L. Lapointe. 1999. Introduction of parasitoids for the control of the cassava mealybug Phenacoccus herreni(Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in north-eastern Brazil. Bull. Entomol. Res. 89: 403-410.

Lapointe, S. L., and J. P. Shapiro. 1999. Effect of soil moisture on development of Diaprepes abbreviatus(Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Florida Entomol. 82: 291-299.

Lapointe, S. L., J. P. Shapiro, and K. D. Bowman. 1999. Identification of sources of plant resistance to Diaprepes abbreviatus(Coleoptera: Curculionidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 92: 999-1004.

Lapointe, S. L., M. S. Serrano, and P. G. Jones. 1998. Microgeographic and vertical distribution of Acromyrmex landolti(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nests in a Neotropical savanna. Environ. Entomol. 27: 636-641.

Lapointe, S. L., M. S. Serrano, I. I. Corrales. 1996. Resistance to leafcutter ants and inhibition of their fungal symbiont by tropical forage grasses. J. Econ. Entomol. 89: 757 - 765.

Miles, J. W., S. L. Lapointe, M. L. Escand?n & G. Sotelo. 1995. Inheritance of resistance to spittlebug (Homoptera: Cercopidae) in interspecific Brachiaria spp.hybrids. J. Econ. Entomol. 88: 1477 - 1481.

Lapointe, S. L., M. S. Serrano, G. L. Arango, G. Sotelo and F. Cordoba. 1992. Antibiosis to spittlebugs (Homoptera: Cercopidae) in accessions of Brachiaria   spp.   J. Econ. Entomol. 85(4): 1485-1490.

Thomas, D. and S. L. Lapointe. 1989. Testing new accessions of Guinea Grass (Panicum maximum) for acid soils and resistance to spittlebug (Aeneolamia reducta).  Tropical Grasslands 23: 232-239.

Ferrufino, A. and S. L. Lapointe. 1989.  Host plant resistance in Brachiaria grasses to the spittlebug Zulia colombiana.  Entomol. exp. appl. 51:155-162.

Lapointe, S. L., W. M. Tingey and T. A. Zitter. 1987.  Potato virus Y transmission reduced in an aphid-resistant potato species.   Phytopathology 77:819-822.

Lapointe, S. L. and W. M. Tingey.   1986.   Glandular trichomes of Solanum neocardenasii confer resistance to the green peach aphid (Homopera: Aphididae).   J. Econ. Entomol. 79:1264-1268.

Dimock, M. B., S. L. Lapointe and W. M. Tingey. 1986.  Solanum neocardenasii: a new source of potato resistance to the Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 79:1269-1275.

Lapointe, S. L. and W. M. Tingey. 1984.  Feeding response of the green peach aphid (Homoptera:   Aphididae) to potato glandular trichomes.  J. Econ. Entomol. 77(2):386-389.