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Insects, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-300

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Insects in 2013
Insects 2014, 5(1), 270-271; doi:10.3390/insects5010270
Received: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Insects would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Effect of Olfactory Stimulus on the Flight Course of a Honeybee, Apis mellifera, in a Wind Tunnel
Insects 2014, 5(1), 92-104; doi:10.3390/insects5010092
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 21 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
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Abstract
It is known that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, uses olfactory stimulus as important information for orienting to food sources. Several studies on olfactory-induced orientation flight have been conducted in wind tunnels and in the field. From these studies, optical sensing is [...] Read more.
It is known that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, uses olfactory stimulus as important information for orienting to food sources. Several studies on olfactory-induced orientation flight have been conducted in wind tunnels and in the field. From these studies, optical sensing is used as the main information with the addition of olfactory signals and the navigational course followed by these sensory information. However, it is not clear how olfactory information is reflected in the navigation of flight. In this study, we analyzed the detailed properties of flight when oriented to an odor source in a wind tunnel. We recorded flying bees with a video camera to analyze the flight area, speed, angular velocity and trajectory. After bees were trained to be attracted to a feeder, the flight trajectories with or without the olfactory stimulus located upwind of the feeder were compared. The results showed that honeybees flew back and forth in the proximity of the odor source, and the search range corresponded approximately to the odor spread area. It was also shown that the angular velocity was different inside and outside the odor spread area, and trajectories tended to be bent or curved just outside the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Behavior)
Open AccessArticle Colonization of Three Maple Species by Asian Longhorned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, in Two Mixed-Hardwood Forest Stands
Insects 2014, 5(1), 105-119; doi:10.3390/insects5010105
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky), is an invasive insect that has successfully established multiple times in North America. To investigate host colonization and reproductive success (exit holes/eggs), two ALB infested forest stands were sampled in central Massachusetts, USA. Infested Acer [...] Read more.
Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky), is an invasive insect that has successfully established multiple times in North America. To investigate host colonization and reproductive success (exit holes/eggs), two ALB infested forest stands were sampled in central Massachusetts, USA. Infested Acer platanoides L., Acer rubrum L., and Acer saccharum Marsh. were felled, bucked into 1 m sections and dissected to determine indications of ALB infestations, such as presence of life stages or signs of damage on trees. ALB damage was also aged on a subset of trees to determine the earliest attacks on the three Acer species. In one stand, ALB oviposition was significantly higher on the native A. rubrum and A. saccharum than the exotic A. platanoides. In the second stand, ALB oviposition was significantly higher and cumulative reproductive success was higher on A. rubrum than A. platanoides or A. saccharum. An A. saccharum had the earliest signs of attack that occurred in 2006. Acer rubrum (2007) and A. platanoides (2010) were colonized shortly thereafter. Overall, ALB was more successful in A. rubrum, where adults emerged from 53% and 64% of trees in each stand, compared to A. platanoides (11% and 18%) or A. saccharum (14% and 9%). Full article
Open AccessArticle The First Order Transfer Function in the Analysis of Agrochemical Data in Honey Bees (Apis Mellifera L.): Proboscis Extension Reflex (PER) Studies
Insects 2014, 5(1), 167-198; doi:10.3390/insects5010167
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 23 December 2013 / Published: 7 January 2014
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Abstract
This paper describes a mathematical model of the learning process suitable for studies of conditioning using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in honey bees when bees are exposed to agrochemicals. Although procedural variations exist in the way laboratories use the PER paradigm, [...] Read more.
This paper describes a mathematical model of the learning process suitable for studies of conditioning using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in honey bees when bees are exposed to agrochemicals. Although procedural variations exist in the way laboratories use the PER paradigm, proboscis conditioning is widely used to investigate the influence of pesticides and repellents on honey bee learning. Despite the availability of several mathematical models of the learning process, no attempts have been made to apply a mathematical model to the learning curve in honey bees exposed to agrochemicals. Our model is based on the standard transfer function in the form Y=B3 e-B2 (X-1) +B4(1-e-B2 (X-1)) where X is the trial number, Y is the proportion of correct responses, B2 is the learning rate, B3 is readiness to learn, and B4 is ability to learn. We reanalyze previously published data on the effect of several classes of agrochemicals including: (1) those that are considered harmless to bees (e.g., pymetrozine, essential oils, dicofol); (2) sublethal exposure to pesticides known to harm honey bees (e.g., coumaphos, cyfluthrin, fluvalinate, permethrin); and (3) putative repellents of honey bees (e.g., butyric acid, citronella). The model revealed additional effects not detected with standard statistical tests of significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Behavior)
Open AccessArticle Adaptations to “Thermal Time” Constraints in Papilio: Latitudinal and Local Size Clines Differ in Response to Regional Climate Change
Insects 2014, 5(1), 199-226; doi:10.3390/insects5010199
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 8 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (7839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptations to “thermal time” (=Degree-day) constraints on developmental rates and voltinism for North American tiger swallowtail butterflies involve most life stages, and at higher latitudes include: smaller pupae/adults; larger eggs; oviposition on most nutritious larval host plants; earlier spring adult emergences; faster [...] Read more.
Adaptations to “thermal time” (=Degree-day) constraints on developmental rates and voltinism for North American tiger swallowtail butterflies involve most life stages, and at higher latitudes include: smaller pupae/adults; larger eggs; oviposition on most nutritious larval host plants; earlier spring adult emergences; faster larval growth and shorter molting durations at lower temperatures. Here we report on forewing sizes through 30 years for both the northern univoltine P. canadensis (with obligate diapause) from the Great Lakes historical hybrid zone northward to central Alaska (65° N latitude), and the multivoltine, P. glaucus from this hybrid zone southward to central Florida (27° N latitude). Despite recent climate warming, no increases in mean forewing lengths of P. glaucus were observed at any major collection location (FL to MI) from the 1980s to 2013 across this long latitudinal transect (which reflects the “converse of Bergmann’s size Rule”, with smaller females at higher latitudes). Unlike lower latitudes, the Alaska, Ontonogon, and Chippewa/Mackinac locations (for P. canadensis) showed no significant increases in D-day accumulations, which could explain lack of size change in these northernmost locations. As a result of 3–4 decades of empirical data from major collection sites across these latitudinal clines of North America, a general “voltinism/size/D-day” model is presented, which more closely predicts female size based on D-day accumulations, than does latitude. However, local “climatic cold pockets” in northern Michigan and Wisconsin historically appeared to exert especially strong size constraints on female forewing lengths, but forewing lengths quickly increased with local summer warming during the recent decade, especially near the warming edges of the cold pockets. Results of fine-scale analyses of these “cold pockets” are in contrast to non-significant changes for other Papilio populations seen across the latitudinal transect for P. glaucus and P. canadensis in general, highlighting the importance of scale in adaptations to climate change. Furthermore, we also show that rapid size increases in cold pocket P. canadensis females with recent summer warming are more likely to result from phenotypic plasticity than genotypic introgression from P. glaucus, which does increase size in late-flight hybrids and P. appalachiensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2013)
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Open AccessArticle Resistance is not Futile: It Shapes Insecticide Discovery
Insects 2014, 5(1), 227-242; doi:10.3390/insects5010227
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 14 January 2014 / Accepted: 17 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Conventional chemical control compounds used for the management of insect pests have been much maligned, but still serve a critical role in protecting people and agricultural products from insect pests, as well as conserving biodiversity by eradicating invasive species. Although biological control [...] Read more.
Conventional chemical control compounds used for the management of insect pests have been much maligned, but still serve a critical role in protecting people and agricultural products from insect pests, as well as conserving biodiversity by eradicating invasive species. Although biological control can be an effective option for area-wide management of established pests, chemical control methods are important for use in integrated pest management (IPM) programs, as well as in export treatments, eradicating recently arrived invasive species, and minimizing population explosions of vectors of human disease. Cogitated research and development programs have continued the innovation of insecticides, with a particular focus on combating insecticide resistance. Recent developments in the fields of human health, protecting the global food supply, and biosecurity will be highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers 2013)
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Open AccessArticle Honey Bee Location- and Time-Linked Memory Use in Novel Foraging Situations: Floral Color Dependency
Insects 2014, 5(1), 243-269; doi:10.3390/insects5010243
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 17 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (635 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Learning facilitates behavioral plasticity, leading to higher success rates when foraging. However, memory is of decreasing value with changes brought about by moving to novel resource locations or activity at different times of the day. These premises suggest a foraging model with [...] Read more.
Learning facilitates behavioral plasticity, leading to higher success rates when foraging. However, memory is of decreasing value with changes brought about by moving to novel resource locations or activity at different times of the day. These premises suggest a foraging model with location- and time-linked memory. Thus, each problem is novel, and selection should favor a maximum likelihood approach to achieve energy maximization results. Alternatively, information is potentially always applicable. This premise suggests a different foraging model, one where initial decisions should be based on previous learning regardless of the foraging site or time. Under this second model, no problem is considered novel, and selection should favor a Bayesian or pseudo-Bayesian approach to achieve energy maximization results. We tested these two models by offering honey bees a learning situation at one location in the morning, where nectar rewards differed between flower colors, and examined their behavior at a second location in the afternoon where rewards did not differ between flower colors. Both blue-yellow and blue-white dimorphic flower patches were used. Information learned in the morning was clearly used in the afternoon at a new foraging site. Memory was not location-time restricted in terms of use when visiting either flower color dimorphism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Behavior)
Open AccessArticle Screening of Repellents against Vespid Wasps
Insects 2014, 5(1), 272-286; doi:10.3390/insects5010272
Received: 28 November 2013 / Revised: 14 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 6 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vespid wasps are ecologically beneficial, but they can be a nuisance and dangerous to people due to their tendency to sting. Here, the aim was to screen samples of volatiles (i.e., essential oils and pure chemicals) for their repellency against wasps. The [...] Read more.
Vespid wasps are ecologically beneficial, but they can be a nuisance and dangerous to people due to their tendency to sting. Here, the aim was to screen samples of volatiles (i.e., essential oils and pure chemicals) for their repellency against wasps. The number of wasps (mainly Vespula vulgaris) present in a glass box with attractant and 5 µL sample was compared to the number of wasps in a similar box with attractant only. Both boxes were connected to a large glass container harboring 18–35 wasps. Among 66 tested samples, some essential oils from Lamiaceae and Asteraceae, as well as some pure natural compounds such as the monoterpenes (−)-terpinen-4-ol and isopulegol showed a significant repellency against vespids. Our results corroborate the potential of (mixtures of) volatiles in repelling these insects. Full article
Open AccessArticle Densities of Agrilus auroguttatus and Other Borers in California and Arizona Oaks
Insects 2014, 5(1), 287-300; doi:10.3390/insects5010287
Received: 6 December 2013 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 11 March 2014 / Published: 21 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated within-tree population density of a new invasive species in southern California, the goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), with respect to host species and the community of other borers present. We measured emergence hole densities of A. auroguttatus [...] Read more.
We investigated within-tree population density of a new invasive species in southern California, the goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), with respect to host species and the community of other borers present. We measured emergence hole densities of A. auroguttatus and other borers on the lower stem (bole) of naïve oaks at 18 sites in southern California and on co-evolved oaks at seven sites in southeastern Arizona. We sampled recently dead oaks in an effort to quantify the community of primary and secondary borers associated with mortality—species that were likely to interact with A. auroguttatus. Red oaks (Section Lobatae) produced greater densities of A. auroguttatus than white oaks (Section Quercus). On red oaks, A. auroguttatus significantly outnumbered native borers in California (mean ± SE of 9.6 ± 0.7 versus 4.5 ± 0.6 emergence holes per 0.09 m2 of bark surface), yet this was not the case in Arizona (0.9 ± 0.2 versus 1.1 ± 0.2 emergence holes per 0.09 m2). In California, a species that is taxonomically intermediate between red and white oaks, Quercus chrysolepis (Section Protobalanus), exhibited similar A. auroguttatus emergence densities compared with a co-occurring red oak, Q. kelloggii. As an invasive species in California, A. auroguttatus may affect the community of native borers (mainly Buprestidae and Cerambycidae) that feed on the lower boles of oaks, although it remains unclear whether its impact will be positive or negative. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Climate-Driven Reshuffling of Species and Genes: Potential Conservation Roles for Species Translocations and Recombinant Hybrid Genotypes
Insects 2014, 5(1), 1-61; doi:10.3390/insects5010001
Received: 11 October 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Comprising 50%–75% of the world’s fauna, insects are a prominent part of biodiversity in communities and ecosystems globally. Biodiversity across all levels of biological classifications is fundamentally based on genetic diversity. However, the integration of genomics and phylogenetics into conservation management may [...] Read more.
Comprising 50%–75% of the world’s fauna, insects are a prominent part of biodiversity in communities and ecosystems globally. Biodiversity across all levels of biological classifications is fundamentally based on genetic diversity. However, the integration of genomics and phylogenetics into conservation management may not be as rapid as climate change. The genetics of hybrid introgression as a source of novel variation for ecological divergence and evolutionary speciation (and resilience) may generate adaptive potential and diversity fast enough to respond to locally-altered environmental conditions. Major plant and herbivore hybrid zones with associated communities deserve conservation consideration. This review addresses functional genetics across multi-trophic-level interactions including “invasive species” in various ecosystems as they may become disrupted in different ways by rapid climate change. “Invasive genes” (into new species and populations) need to be recognized for their positive creative potential and addressed in conservation programs. “Genetic rescue” via hybrid translocations may provide needed adaptive flexibility for rapid adaptation to environmental change. While concerns persist for some conservationists, this review emphasizes the positive aspects of hybrids and hybridization. Specific implications of natural genetic introgression are addressed with a few examples from butterflies, including transgressive phenotypes and climate-driven homoploid recombinant hybrid speciation. Some specific examples illustrate these points using the swallowtail butterflies (Papilionidae) with their long-term historical data base (phylogeographical diversity changes) and recent (3-decade) climate-driven temporal and genetic divergence in recombinant homoploid hybrids and relatively recent hybrid speciation of Papilio appalachiensis in North America. Climate-induced “reshuffling” (recombinations) of species composition, genotypes, and genomes may become increasingly ecologically and evolutionarily predictable, but future conservation management programs are more likely to remain constrained by human behavior than by lack of academic knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Conservation and Diversity)
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Open AccessReview Bacillus thuringiensis Is an Environmental Pathogen and Host-Specificity Has Developed as an Adaptation to Human-Generated Ecological Niches
Insects 2014, 5(1), 62-91; doi:10.3390/insects5010062
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been used successfully as a biopesticide for more than 60 years. More recently, genes encoding their toxins have been used to transform plants and other organisms. Despite the large amount of research on this bacterium, its [...] Read more.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been used successfully as a biopesticide for more than 60 years. More recently, genes encoding their toxins have been used to transform plants and other organisms. Despite the large amount of research on this bacterium, its true ecology is still a matter of debate, with two major viewpoints dominating: while some understand Bt as an insect pathogen, others see it as a saprophytic bacteria from soil. In this context, Bt’s pathogenicity to other taxa and the possibility that insects may not be the primary targets of Bt are also ideas that further complicate this scenario. The existence of conflicting research results, the difficulty in developing broader ecological and genetics studies, and the great genetic plasticity of this species has cluttered a definitive concept. In this review, we gathered information on the aspects of Bt ecology that are often ignored, in the attempt to clarify the lifestyle, mechanisms of transmission and target host range of this bacterial species. As a result, we propose an integrated view to account for Bt ecology. Although Bt is indeed a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a broad arsenal for virulence and defense mechanisms, as well as a wide range of target hosts, this seems to be an adaptation to specific ecological changes acting on a versatile and cosmopolitan environmental bacterium. Bt pathogenicity and host-specificity was favored evolutionarily by increased populations of certain insect species (or other host animals), whose availability for colonization were mostly caused by anthropogenic activities. These have generated the conditions for ecological imbalances that favored dominance of specific populations of insects, arachnids, nematodes, etc., in certain areas, with narrower genetic backgrounds. These conditions provided the selective pressure for development of new hosts for pathogenic interactions, and so, host specificity of certain strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Pathology)
Open AccessReview The Bee as a Model to Investigate Brain and Behavioural Asymmetries
Insects 2014, 5(1), 120-138; doi:10.3390/insects5010120
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 23 December 2013 / Published: 2 January 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The honeybee Apis mellifera, with a brain of only 960,000 neurons and the ability to perform sophisticated cognitive tasks, has become an excellent model in life sciences and in particular in cognitive neurosciences. It has been used in our laboratories to [...] Read more.
The honeybee Apis mellifera, with a brain of only 960,000 neurons and the ability to perform sophisticated cognitive tasks, has become an excellent model in life sciences and in particular in cognitive neurosciences. It has been used in our laboratories to investigate brain and behavioural asymmetries, i.e., the different functional specializations of the right and the left sides of the brain. It is well known that bees can learn to associate an odour stimulus with a sugar reward, as demonstrated by extension of the proboscis when presented with the trained odour in the so-called Proboscis Extension Reflex (PER) paradigm. Bees recall this association better when trained using their right antenna than they do when using their left antenna. They also retrieve short-term memory of this task better when using the right antenna. On the other hand, when tested for long-term memory recall, bees respond better when using their left antenna. Here we review a series of behavioural studies investigating bees’ lateralization, integrated with electrophysiological measurements to study asymmetries of olfactory sensitivity, and discuss the possible evolutionary origins of these asymmetries. We also present morphological data obtained by scanning electron microscopy and two-photon microscopy. Finally, a behavioural study conducted in a social context is summarised, showing that honeybees control context-appropriate social interactions using their right antenna, rather than the left, thus suggesting that lateral biases in behaviour might be associated with requirements of social life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee Behavior)
Open AccessReview Common Virulence Factors and Tissue Targets of Entomopathogenic Bacteria for Biological Control of Lepidopteran Pests
Insects 2014, 5(1), 139-166; doi:10.3390/insects5010139
Received: 22 September 2013 / Revised: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 6 January 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review focuses on common insecticidal virulence factors from entomopathogenic bacteria with special emphasis on two insect pathogenic bacteria Photorhabdus (Proteobacteria: Enterobacteriaceae) and Bacillus (Firmicutes: Bacillaceae). Insect pathogenic bacteria of diverse taxonomic groups and phylogenetic origin have been shown to have striking [...] Read more.
This review focuses on common insecticidal virulence factors from entomopathogenic bacteria with special emphasis on two insect pathogenic bacteria Photorhabdus (Proteobacteria: Enterobacteriaceae) and Bacillus (Firmicutes: Bacillaceae). Insect pathogenic bacteria of diverse taxonomic groups and phylogenetic origin have been shown to have striking similarities in the virulence factors they produce. It has been suggested that the detection of phage elements surrounding toxin genes, horizontal and lateral gene transfer events, and plasmid shuffling occurrences may be some of the reasons that virulence factor genes have so many analogs throughout the bacterial kingdom. Comparison of virulence factors of Photorhabdus, and Bacillus, two bacteria with dissimilar life styles opens the possibility of re-examining newly discovered toxins for novel tissue targets. For example, nematodes residing in the hemolymph may release bacteria with virulence factors targeting neurons or neuromuscular junctions. The first section of this review focuses on toxins and their context in agriculture. The second describes the mode of action of toxins from common entomopathogens and the third draws comparisons between Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. The fourth section reviews the implications of the nervous system in biocontrol. Full article

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