Douglas G. Pfeiffer
Department of Entomology
205C Price Hall
170 Drillfield Drive
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0319
Ph. (540) 231-4183

Fax (540) 231-9131

Departmental bio page

dgpfeiff at vt.edu

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General  |    Education    |    Publications    |     Extension Publications  | Teaching   |    Graduate Students

General Areas of Interest

Dr. Pfeiffer's position (40% teaching, 35% research, 25% extension) deals primarily with fruit IPM and ecological interactions in orchards and vineyards. Recent research topics center on several invasive fruit pests: spotted lanternfly, spotted wing drosophila, African fig fly, and brown marmorated stink bug.  Other topics include mating disruption for lepidopteran pests, biogeography of plum curculio, and insect/plant interactions. Current Research focus has centered strongly in vineyard pest management, especially mealybugs, grape berry moth, grape root borer, Japanese beetle and sharpshooters that transmit Pierce's disease. Another research focus deals with insects feeding in primocane-bearing caneberries (raspberries and blackberries), especially Japanese beetle, green June beetle and stink bugs. Extension activities include electronic dissemination of fruit IPM information through a web site and e-mail lists, and a blog, in addition to conventional extension publications and grower meetings. Courses taught are Insect Structure and Function (graduate), Insect Pest Management (undergraduate) and Arthropod Pest Management (graduate). A course on Managing Arthropod Pests is offered in the on-line Masters of Agriculture and Life Sciences (see 2020-2021 Extended or Virtual Campus tuition rates).  Dr. Pfeiffer has developed an international component to his program, and is involved in a project on biological control in Cambodian rice.  A recent project centered on oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, in mango in Senegal.  He was formerly the Site Chair for the IPM CRSP (now IPM IL) regional project in West Africa (Mali, Senegal and Ghana), and was active in the Indian component of the project in South Asia (India, Nepal and Bangladesh).  He was earlier the Site Chair for the Eastern European regional project (Albania, Ukraine and Moldova). These projects deal with high value horticultural crops, primarily vegetable crops.

Regional Web Site for Tree Fruit and Small Fruit Information:

Visit the Virginia Fruit Web Site, a source of multi-disciplinary information relating to fruit crops

Eastern Branch Site

Visit the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America.


Research Publications        Extension Publications        Cumulative Publications

* Indicates graduate student in Pfeiffer lab; ** indicates visiting international scholar.

Smyers, E. C., J. M. Urban, A. C. Dechaine*, D. G. Pfeiffer, S. R Crawford and D. C. Calvin.  2021. Spatial-temporal model for predicting spring hatch of the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae). Environ. Entomol. 50: 126-137.  (https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvaa129)

Nixon, L, H. Leach, C. Barnes, J. Urban, D. Kirkpatrick, D. Ludwick, B. Short, D. G. Pfeiffer and T. C. Leskey. 2020. Development of behaviorally based monitoring and biosurveillance tools for the invasive spotted lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae Lycorma delicatula). Environ. Entomol. 49: 1117-1126. (https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvaa084)

Ludwick, D., W. R. Morrison, A. L. Acebes-Doria, A. M. Agnello, J. C. Bergh, M. L. Buffington, G. C. Hamilton, J. K. Harper, K. A. Hoelmer, G. Krawczyk, T. P. Kuhar, D. G. Pfeiffer, A. L. Nielsen, K. B. Rice, C. Rodriguez-Saona, P. W. Shearer, P. M. Shrewsbury, E. J. Talamas, J. F. Walgenbach, N. G. Wiman, T. C. Leskey. 2020.  Invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) into the USA: Developing a national response to an invasive species crisis through collaborative research and outreach efforts. J. Integr. Pest Manag. 11(1): 1-16. (

Shrader, M. E.*, H.J. Burrack and D. G. Pfeiffer.  2020.  Effects of interspecific larval competition on developmental parameters in nutrient sources between Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and Zaprionus indianus Gupta. J. Econ. Entomol. 113: 230-238: 1-9 (https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz297)

Balayara, A.*, C. C. Brewster, L. J. Vaughan and D. G. Pfeiffer.  2019.  Foliar, fruit, and soil-applied organic insecticides for oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae), in Senegalese mangoes. Plant Health Prog. 20: 187-193. (https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/10.1094/PHP-10-18-0061-RS)

Pfeiffer, D. G., M. E. Shrader*, J. C. E. Wahls*, B. N. Willbrand*, I. Sandum*, K. van der Linde, C. A. Laub, R. S. Mays, E. R. Day. 2019.  African fig fly (Diptera: Drosophilidae): Biology, expansion of geographic range and its potential status as a soft fruit pest.  J. Integr. Pest Manag. 10(1): 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1093/jipm/pmz018

Willbrand, B. N.
*, and D. G. Pfeiffer.  2019.  Brown rice vinegar as an olfactory field attractant for Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) and Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in cherimoya in Maui, Hawaii, with implications for attractant specificity between species and estimation of relative abundance.   Insects 10(3): 80 (18 p) (https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/3/80/htm)

Shrader, M. E. *, H. J. Burrack and D. G. Pfeiffer. 2019  Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) oviposition and adult emergence in six wine grape varieties grown in Virginia.  J. Econ. Entomol. 112: 139-148.  (doi.org/10.1093/jee/toy305)

Willbrand, B.*, D. G. Pfeiffer, L. Leblanc, A. Yassin. 2018.  First report of African fig fly, Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae), on the Island of Maui, Hawaii, USA in 2017 and potential impacts to the Hawaiian entomofauna. Proc. Hawaiian Entomol. Soc. 50: 55-65. (https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/59215)

Hussain, B.**, A. R. War and D. G. Pfeiffer.  2018.  Mapping foliage damage index and monitoring of Pieris brassicae by using GIS-GPS technology in cole crops. J. Entomol. Zool. Studies n6: 933-938. (link)

Mathews, C. R., B. Blaauw, G. Dively, J. Kotcon, J, Moore, E. Ogburn, D. G. Pfeiffer, T. Trope*, J. F. Walgenbach, C. Welty, G. Zinati and A. L. Nielsen.  2017.  Evaluating a poly culture trap crop for organic management of Halyomorpha halys and native stink bugs in peppers.  J. Pest Sci. 90: 1245-1255. (doi: 10.1007/s10340-017-0838-z)

Dellinger, T. A., E. R. Day and D. G. Pfeiffer.  2016.  Brown marmorated stink bug in the Mid-Atlantic states: Assessing grower perceptions, economic impact, and extension progress. J. Extension 54(4): 4RIB4 (9 pp). (http://www.joe.org/joe/2016august/pdf/JOE_v54_4rb4.pdf)

Basnet, S.*, T. P. Kuhar, C. A. Laub and D. G. Pfeiffer.  2015.  Seasonality and distribution pattern of brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Virginia vineyards.  J. Econ. Entomol. 108: 1902-1909. (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/tov124)

Extension Publications in last 6 Years

Pfeiffer, D. G., C. Johnson, K. S. Yoder and C. Bergh.  2021.  Commercial Small Fruits: Disease and Insects. p. 2-1 – 2-22. In: 2021 Pest Management Guide for Horticultural and Forest Crops.  Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. 456-017. Revised annually since 1988. (https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-017/ENTO-337B.pdf)  


Pfeiffer, D. G., A. B. Baudoin, J. C. Bergh and M. Nita.  2021.  Grapes: Diseases and Insects in Vineyards. p. 3-1 – 3-14. In: 2021 Pest Management Guide for Horticultural and Forest Crops.  Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. 456-017. Revised annually since 1988. (https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-017/ENTO-337C.pdf)


Pfeiffer, D. G.  2021.  Commercial Hops: Insects. p. 4-5 – 4-7. In: 2021 Pest Management Guide for Horticultural and Forest Crops.  Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. 456-017. Revised annually. (https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-017/ENTO-337D.pdf)


Pfeiffer, D. G., J. C. Bergh, M. Nita and K. S. Yoder.  2021.  Home Fruit: Diseases and Insects. p. 3-1 – 3-24.  In: 2021 Pest Management Guide for Home Grounds and Animals.  Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. 456-018. Revised annually since 1988. (https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-018/ENTO-336C.pdf)


Pfeiffer, D. G.(Bulletin Coordinator since 1988), J. C. Bergh, J. M. Wilson, C. Quesada, C. R. R. Hooks, S. Sherif, C. S. Walsh, K. S. Yoder, M. Rahman, J. B. Kotcon, J. F. Derr, R. S. Chandran, D. L. Frank, and J. Parkhurst.  2021.  2021 Spray Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers. Va. Coop. Ext. Serv. Publ. 456-419.  180 p. A regional manual for VA, WV and MD.  Revised annually. (https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-419/ENTO-341w.pdf)


Nita, M. (Eds.), (Pathology) P. Brannen (Ga), S. Villani (NCSU), Z. Hansen (TN), M. Nita (VT), (Entomology) H. Burrack (NCSU), D. Pfeiffer (VT), B. Blaauw (UGa) (Weed Sci.) W. Mitchem (NCSU), (Vertebrate and Grape Culture) D. Lockwood (Univ TN), M. T. Mengak (UGa), E. T. Stafne (Miss. State), (Pesticide Stewardship & Safety) and A. Sial (UGa).  2021.  2021 Southeast Regional Bunch Grape Integrated Management Guide.  Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium Bull. 46. (https://smallfruits.org/files/2020/02/2020-Bunch-Grape-Spray-Guide.pdf)


Oliver, J. (ed.), (Pathology)  G. Schnabel (Clemson) (Univ. Ga.), J. Oliver (Georgia), R. Melanson (Miss. State), M. H. Ferguson (Louisiana State), S. Villani (NCSU), (Entomology) H. Burrack (NCSU), A. Sial (Univ. Ga.), F. Hale (Univ. Tenn., D. Pfeiffer (VT), A. Cato (Arkansas), (Weed Sci.) W. Mitchem, K. Jennings (NCSU), (Vertebrates) D. Lockwood (Univ. TN), M. T. Mengak (Univ. Ga.) (Horticulture) G. Fernandez (NCSU), J. Samtani (VT) (Pesticide Stewardship & Safety) A. Sial (UGa).  2021.  2021 Southeast Regional Caneberries Integrated Management Guide.  Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium Bull. 47. (594 hits in 2015, 446 in 2017) (https://smallfruits.org/files/2020/01/2020-Caneberry-Spray-Guide.pdf).


Melanson, R. A. (ed.), (Pathology), C. Johnson (VT), G. Schnabel (Clemson), R. A. Melanson (Miss. State Univ.), M. H. Ferguson (La. State Univ.), J. Desaeger (Univ. Fla.). B Cline (NCSU), I. Tzanetakis (Arkansas), R. Singh (LSU), (Entomology) F. Hale (Univ. Tenn.), D. Pfeiffer (VT), H. J. Burrack (NCSU), A. Sial (GA), A. Cato (Arkansas), (Weeds) K. Jennings (NCSU), (Horticulture) J. Samtani (VT), E. Stafne (Mississippi), (Vertebrate) D. Lockwood (Tennessee) and M. T. Mengak (Georgia), (Pesticide Stewardship) A. Sia. (UGa). 2021. 2021 Southeast Regional Strawberry Integrated Pest Management Guide for Plasticulture Production. Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium Bull. 44. ( https://smallfruits.org/files/2020/02/2020-Strawberry-IPM-Guide.pdf)


Burrack, H., A. Cato, F. Hale, A. Sial, D. Pfeiffer, E. Stafne, B. Cline, M. H. Ferguson, R. Melanson, J. Oliver, R. Singh, M. Czarnota, K. Jennings, M. T. Mengak, D. Lockwood and A. Sial.  2021. 2021Southeast Blueberry Integrated Management Guide.  Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium Bull. 48.  ( https://smallfruits.org/files/2020/01/2020-Blueberry-Spray-Guide.pdf )


Little, E. (ed.), (Pathology), J. Oliver, E. Little, B. Cline, N. W. Gauthier, K. Fontenot, R. Melanson, E. Stafne, (Entomology) A. Sial, F. Hale, H. Burrack, O. Liburd, D. Pfeiffer, R. Bessin, and (Vertebrates) D. Lockwood.  2021. 2021 Southeast Regional Organic Blueberry Pest Management Guide. Southeastern Small Fruit Consortium.  http://www.smallfruits.org/assets/documents/ipm-guides/Blueberry-IPM-guide-organic.pdf


Pfeiffer, D. G.  2020.  Identification and management of spotted-wing drosophila in Virginia berry crops.  Va. Coop. Ext. Publ. ENTO-387NP.  3 p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/ENTO/ENTO-387/ENTO-387.html.


Hickey C. C., B. Blaauw, P. Brannen, D. Pfeiffer, M. Nita, M. Hoffmann and B. Sastre. 2019. Spanish Series: Manejo del Viñedo [Viticulture Management]. University of Georgia Extension Circular 1151-SP.


Sastre, B., E. Day, D. Pfeiffer, T. Dellinger and M. Sutphin. 2019. Ciclo de vida en Virginia de spotted lanternfly (mosca de alas manchada).  Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. ENTO 320NP. 1 p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/ENTO/ento-320/ENTO-320.pdf


Day, E., D. Pfeiffer, T. Dellinger, M. Sutphin and B. Sastre.  2019.  Spotted lanternfly life cycle in Virginia.  Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. ENTO-321. 1 p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/ENTO/ento-268/ENTO-321.pdf


Pfeiffer D. G., E. R. Day, T. Dellinger, A. Dechaine*, M. Sutphin.  2019.  Spotted lanternfly in Virginia vineyards: Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae).  Va. Coop. Ext. Publ. ENTO-323NP. 2p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/ENTO/ENTO-323/ENTO-323.html


Pfeiffer D. G., E. R. Day, T. Dellinger, A. Dechaine*, M. Sutphin and B. Sastre.  2019. Mosca linterna con manchas (Spotted Lanternfly) en viñedos de Virginia: Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae). Va. Coop. Ext. Pub. ENTO-323S. 2 p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/ENTO/ENTO-323S/ENTO-323S.html


Dechaine, A.*, E. Day, D. Pfeiffer, and M. Sutphin.  2019.  Residential control for spotted lanternfly (SLF) in Virginia.  Va. Coop. Ext. Publ. ENTO-322NP. 2 p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/ENTO/ENTO-322/ENTO-322.html


Dechaine, A.*, E. Day, D. Pfeiffer, M. Sutphin and B. Sastre.  2019.  Control de la mosca linterna con manchas (spotted lanternfly- SLF) en hogares de Virginia.  Va. Coop. Ext. Publ. ENTO-322S. 2 p. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/ENTO/ENTO-322S/ENTO-322S.html


Pfeiffer, D. G., E. R. Day and T. A. Dellinger.  2018.  Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae).  Va. Coop. Ext. Publ. ENTO-180NP. 2 p.


Day, E., D. Pfeiffer, T. Dellinger, and C. Bergh. 2018. Pest Alert: Spotted lanternfly Lycorma delicatula.  Va. Coop. Ext. Fact Sheet. Publ. ENTO-265NP. 2pp.


Pfeiffer, D. G.  2016.  Rednecked cane borer, Agrilus ruficollis.  Va. Coop. Ext. Publ. 3104-1562. 2 p.  https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/3104/3104-1562/3104-1562_pdf.pdf


Teaching Activities

Entomology 5214, "Arthropod Pest Management". Graduate.  Fall semesters, even years, since 2004. 3 cr. (Fall 2020:  CRN 91001)

Entomology 4254, "Insect Pest Management". Undergraduate.  Spring semesters, starting in 2004. 3 cr. 
(Spring 2020: CRN 14685 with Monday lab; CRN 14686 with Wednesday lab)

Entomology 5234, "Managing Arthropod Pests". Graduate. On-line.  Spring semesters, even years. Summer, odd years (12-week course; summer I, II). 3 cr. (CRN Spring 2020: 19641)

Entomology 5114, "Insect Structure and Function". Fall semesters, odd years, since 1995. 3 cr.  (CRN Fall 2019: CRN  90060)

Graduate Students

Jason Bielski, M.S. (Entomology)

Thesis topic: Spotted lanternfly in vineyards

            Initiated studies: August 2020


Corey Riedel, M.S. (Entomology)

Thesis topic: Biological control in rice in Cambodia

Initiated studies: August 2016


Pragya Chalise, Ph.D. (Entomology)

Dissertation topic: Ecological aspects of mealybugs in vineyards

Initiated studies: Jan 2016


Damisi Bailey, on-line M.S.

Project topic: Assessing IPM competence in pest control applicators

Initiated studies: Sep 2014

Andrew Dechaine, M.S. (Entomology; co-chair with Tom Kuhar)

Thesis topic: Spotted lanternfly on forest perennials
Date of completion: February 2021

Emily Carmichael, on-line M.S.

Project topic: Hop pest management

            Date of completion: May 2020

Ian Sandum, M.S. (Entomology)

Project topic: African fig fly (Zaprionus africanus Gupta) as a pest of caneberries

Date of completion:  Jun 2019


Brittany Willbrand, on-line M.S.

Project title: Field survey of Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) and Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in Maui, Hawaii

Date of completion: Jun 2019


Meredith Shrader, Ph.D. (Entomology)

Dissertation title: Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae): Risk assessment for an invasive vinegar fly in Virginia vineyards

Date of completion: April 2017


Jamie Wahls, M.S. (Entomology)

Thesis title: Host-parasitoid interactions of two invasive drosophilid species in Virginia fruit crops

Date of completion: Feb 2017

$500 Award from Graduate Research Development Fund Dec 2014


Taliaferro Trope, M.S. (Entomology)

Project title: Trap-cropping and barrier crops for brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), in organic vegetable crop systems

Date of completion: June 2016


Assa Balayara, M.S. (Entomology)

Thesis title: An invasive fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Tephritidae), on mango in Senegal: Impact on mango crop production and value, marketing practices, and management.

Date of completion: May 2016

Dan Nortman, on-line M.S.

Project topic: Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae): Utilization of cherry tomato as a host, and pest status in home gardens

Date of Completion: Apr 2015.


Timothy Jordan, Ph.D. (Entomology)

Dissertation topic: Surveillance of grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana (Clemens) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in Virginia vineyards

Date of Completion: March 2014


Sanjay Basnet, M.S.

Thesis topic: Brown marmorated stink bug on grapes and caneberries

Date of Completion: January 2014


James Struckmeyer, on-line M.S.

Project topic: To be determined

Initiated studies: Aug 2009.


Ahmed Dieng Tawer, M.S.

Project topic: Benefits and risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture

Date of Completion: June 2013.


Shana Beirne, M.S. (Co-chair with Rick Fell, Entomology)

Thesis topic: topic: Distribution of carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in different geographic regions of Virginia

Initiated studies: December 2012.


Robert C. Slaughter, M.S.

Project topic: An ethnographic linear programming study of integrated pest management in Haiti

Date of completion: December 2011.


Laura Maxey, M.S.

Thesis topic: Pest management of Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and a study of stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) injury on primocane-bearing caneberries in Southwest Virginia

Date of completion: February 2011.


Heather Andrews, M.S. (Co-chair with Tom Kuhar, Entomology)

Thesis topic:  Monitoring and management of thrips populations in vegetables, row crops, and greenhouse crops in Virginia
Date of completion: 2011

Matt Winslow, on-line M.S. (Co-chair) (ENT – Plant Sci and Pest Man.: Herbert)

Project topic: Evaluating options for Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor) control in winter wheat for the Tidewater region of North Carolina.

Date of completion: 2011


Anna Wallingford, M.S.

Thesis title: Determining the threat to Virginia vineyards of Pierce's disease; caused by the bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, and transmitted by sharpshooter leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae).

Date of completion: July 2008.


Zhang Xing, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: Biogeography and biosystematics of plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst)/Wolbachia interactions

Date of completion: December 2006.


Michelle McClanan, M.S.

Thesis title: Biochemical separation of geographical strains of plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and evaluation of olfactory attractants in Virginia orchards.

Date of completion: April 2002.


Jessica Metzger, M.S.

Thesis title: Developing a low impact pest management system for spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) in Virginia vineyards using the predatory mite Neoseiulus fallacis (Garman) (Acari: Phytoseiidae).

Date of completion: January 2001.


Katherine L. Knowles, M.S.

Thesis title:  Impact of low-spray mating disruption programs on aphidophagous insect populations in Virginia apple orchards.

Date of completion: May 1997.


Sean M. Malone, M.S.

Thesis title:  The influence of pheromone dispenser release rates, trap height and pheromone dispenser height on captures of leafrollers in apple orchards.

Date of completion: May 1996.


Erik K. Gronning, M.S.

Thesis title: Mating disruption in apple orchards: Dispenser release rates, generic blends and community impact.

Date of completion: December 1994.


Perian L. Dillon, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: Biological and ecological studies of Hydrotaea aenescens (Weidemann) (Diptera: Muscidae), and other selected arthropods of high rise deep-pit poultry houses.

Date of completion: January 1994


Walid Kaakeh, Ph.D.

Dissertation title:  The effect of spirea aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) feeding and nitrogen fertilization on the growth of young apple trees, with comparisons to apple aphid.

Date of completion: June 1989.


Merrill W. Varn, Ph.D.

Dissertation title: The effects of aphids on the growth of young apple trees.

Date of completion: April 1987.


T. Jude Boucher, M.S.

Thesis title: Japanese beetle Popillia japonica Newman: Foliar feeding on wine grapes in Virginia.

Date of completion: July 1986.

Honor Societies

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