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Insects, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Insects in 2016
Insects 2017, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/insects8010007
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract The editors of Insects would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Measurement of the Ecological Integrity of Cerrado Streams Using Biological Metrics and the Index of Habitat Integrity
Insects 2017, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/insects8010010
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 29 December 2016 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
Generally, aquatic communities reflect the effects of anthropogenic changes such as deforestation or organic pollution. The Cerrado stands among the most threatened ecosystems by human activities in Brazil. In order to evaluate the ecological integrity of the streams in a preserved watershed in
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Generally, aquatic communities reflect the effects of anthropogenic changes such as deforestation or organic pollution. The Cerrado stands among the most threatened ecosystems by human activities in Brazil. In order to evaluate the ecological integrity of the streams in a preserved watershed in the Northern Cerrado biome corresponding to a mosaic of ecosystems in transition to the Amazonia biome in Brazil, biological metrics related to diversity, structure, and sensitivity of aquatic macroinvertebrates were calculated. Sampling included collections along stretches of 200 m of nine streams and measurements of abiotic variables (temperature, electrical conductivity, pH, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, and discharge) and the Index of Habitat Integrity (HII). The values of the abiotic variables and the HII indicated that most of the streams have good ecological integrity, due to high oxygen levels and low concentrations of dissolved solids and electric conductivity. Two streams showed altered HII scores mainly related to small dams for recreational and domestic use, use of Cerrado natural pasture for cattle raising, and spot deforestation in bathing areas. However, this finding is not reflected in the biological metrics that were used. Considering all nine streams, only two showed satisfactory ecological quality (measured by Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP), total richness, and EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera) richness), only one of which had a low HII score. These results indicate that punctual measures of abiotic parameters do not reveal the long-term impacts of anthropic activities in these streams, including related fire management of pasture that annually alters the vegetation matrix and may act as a disturbance for the macroinvertebrate communities. Due to this, biomonitoring of low order streams in Cerrado ecosystems of the Northern Central Brazil by different biotic metrics and also physical attributes of the riparian zone such as HII is recommended for the monitoring and control of anthropic impacts on aquatic communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Toxicity and Physiological Actions of Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors to Aedes aegypti and Drosophila melanogaster
Insects 2017, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/insects8010002
Received: 13 November 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
The physiological role of carbonic anhydrases in pH and ion regulation is crucial to insect survival. We examined the toxic and neurophysiological effects of five carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) against Aedes aegypti. The 24 h larvicidal toxicities followed this rank order of
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The physiological role of carbonic anhydrases in pH and ion regulation is crucial to insect survival. We examined the toxic and neurophysiological effects of five carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) against Aedes aegypti. The 24 h larvicidal toxicities followed this rank order of potency: dichlorphenamide > methazolamide > acetazolamide = brinzolamide = dorzolamide. Larvicidal activity increased modestly in longer exposures, and affected larvae showed attenuated responses to probing without overt tremors, hyperexcitation, or convulsions. Acetazolamide and dichlorphenamide were toxic to adults when applied topically, but were of low potency and had an incomplete effect (<50% at 300 ng/mosquito) even after injection. Dichlorphenamide was also the most toxic compound when fed to adult mosquitoes, and they displayed loss of posture and occasionally prolonged fluttering of the wings. Co-exposure with 500 ng of the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PBO) increased the toxicity of dichlorphenamide ca. two-fold in feeding assays, indicating that low toxicity was not related to oxidative metabolism. Dichlorphenamide showed mild depolarizing and nerve discharge actions on insect neuromuscular and central nervous systems, respectively. These effects were increased in low buffer salines, indicating they were apparently related to loss of pH control in these tissues. Overall, sulfonamides displayed weak insecticidal properties on Aedes aegypti and are weak lead compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cold Ambient Temperature Promotes Nosema spp. Intensity in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 20; doi:10.3390/insects8010020
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
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Abstract
Interactions between parasites and environmental factors have been implicated in the loss of managed Western honey bee (=HB, Apis mellifera) colonies. Although laboratory data suggest that cold temperature may limit the spread of Nosema ceranae, an invasive species and now ubiquitous
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Interactions between parasites and environmental factors have been implicated in the loss of managed Western honey bee (=HB, Apis mellifera) colonies. Although laboratory data suggest that cold temperature may limit the spread of Nosema ceranae, an invasive species and now ubiquitous endoparasite of Western HBs, the impact of weather conditions on the distribution of this microsporidian in the field is poorly understood. Here, we conducted a survey for Nosema spp. using 18 Swiss apiaries (four colonies per apiary) over a period of up to 18 months. Samples consisting of 60 workers were collected monthly from each colony to estimate Nosema spp. intensity, i.e., the number of spores in positive samples using microscopy. Ambient apiary temperature was measured daily to estimate the proportion of days enabling HB flight (>10 °C at midday). The results show that Nosema spp. intensities were negatively correlated with the proportion of days enabling HB flight, thereby suggesting a significant and unexpected positive impact of cold ambient temperature on intensities, probably via regulation of defecation opportunities for infected hosts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Varroa Mite (Varroa destructor) Management Practices on Insecticide Sensitivity in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/insects8010009
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
Since Varroa mites may cause devastating losses of honey bees through direct feeding, transmitting diseases, and increasing pathogen susceptibility, chemical and mechanical practices commonly are used to reduce mite infestation. While miticide applications are typically the most consistent and efficacious Varroa mite management
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Since Varroa mites may cause devastating losses of honey bees through direct feeding, transmitting diseases, and increasing pathogen susceptibility, chemical and mechanical practices commonly are used to reduce mite infestation. While miticide applications are typically the most consistent and efficacious Varroa mite management method, miticide-induced insecticide synergism in honey bees, and the evolution of resistance in Varroa mites are reasonable concerns. We treated colonies with the miticide amitraz (Apivar®), used IPM practices, or left some colonies untreated, and then measured the effect of different levels of mite infestations on the sensitivity of bees to phenothrin, amitraz, and clothianidin. Sensitivity to all insecticides varied throughout the year among and within treatment groups. Clothianidin sensitivity decreased with increasing mite levels, but no such correlation was seen with phenothrin or amitraz. These results show that insecticide sensitivity is dynamic throughout the 5 months test. In-hive amitraz treatment according to the labeled use did not synergize sensitivity to the pesticides tested and this should alleviate concern over potential synergistic effects. Since IPM practices were largely ineffective at reducing Varroa mite infestation, reliance on chemical methods of Varroa mite management is likely to continue. However, miticides must be used judiciously so the long term effectiveness of these compounds can be maximized. These data demonstrate the complex and dynamic variables that contribute to honey bee colony health. The results underscore the importance of controlling for as many of these variables as possible in order to accurately determine the effects of each of these factors as they act alone or in concert with others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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Open AccessArticle The State of the Art of Lethal Oviposition Trap-Based Mass Interventions for Arboviral Control
Insects 2017, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/insects8010005
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 8 January 2017
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Abstract
The intensifying expansion of arboviruses highlights the need for effective invasive Aedes control. While mass-trapping interventions have long been discredited as inefficient compared to insecticide applications, increasing levels of insecticide resistance, and the development of simple affordable traps that target and kill gravid
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The intensifying expansion of arboviruses highlights the need for effective invasive Aedes control. While mass-trapping interventions have long been discredited as inefficient compared to insecticide applications, increasing levels of insecticide resistance, and the development of simple affordable traps that target and kill gravid female mosquitoes, show great promise. We summarize the methodologies and outcomes of recent lethal oviposition trap-based mass interventions for suppression of urban Aedes and their associated diseases. The evidence supports the recommendation of mass deployments of oviposition traps to suppress populations of invasive Aedes, although better measures of the effects on disease control are needed. Strategies associated with successful mass-trap deployments include: (1) high coverage (>80%) of the residential areas; (2) pre-intervention and/or parallel source reduction campaigns; (3) direct involvement of community members for economic long-term sustainability; and (4) use of new-generation larger traps (Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap, AGO; Gravid Aedes Trap, GAT) to outcompete remaining water-holding containers. While to the best of our knowledge all published studies so far have been on Ae. aegypti in resource-poor or tropical settings, we propose that mass deployment of lethal oviposition traps can be used for focused cost-effective control of temperate Ae. albopictus pre-empting arboviral epidemics and increasing participation of residents in urban mosquito control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Wolbachia Affects Reproduction and Population Dynamics of the Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei): Implications for Biological Control
Insects 2017, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/insects8010008
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the
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Wolbachia are widely distributed endosymbiotic bacteria that influence the reproduction and fitness of their hosts. In recent years the manipulation of Wolbachia infection has been considered as a potential tool for biological control. The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is the most devastating coffee pest worldwide. Wolbachia infection in the CBB has been reported, but until now the role of Wolbachia in CBB reproduction and fitness has not been tested. To address this issue we reared the CBB in artificial diets with and without tetracycline (0.1% w/v) for ten generations. Tetracycline reduced significantly the relative proportion of Wolbachia in the CBB microbiota from 0.49% to 0.04%. This reduction affected CBB reproduction: females fed with tetracycline had significantly fewer progeny, lower fecundity, and fewer eggs per female. Tetracycline also reduced the population growth rate (λ), net reproductive rate (R0), and mean generation time (T) in CBB; the reduction in population growth was mostly due to variation in fertility, according to life time response experiments (LTREs) analysis. Our results suggest that Wolbachia contribute to the reproductive success of the CBB and their manipulation represents a possible approach to CBB biocontrol mediated by microbiome management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
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Open AccessArticle Bee Community of Commercial Potato Fields in Michigan and Bombus impatiens Visitation to Neonicotinoid-Treated Potato Plants
Insects 2017, 8(1), 30; doi:10.3390/insects8010030
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
We conducted a bee survey in neonicotinoid-treated commercial potato fields using bowl and vane traps in the 2016 growing season. Traps were placed outside the fields, at the field edges, and 10 and 30 m into the fields. We collected 756 bees representing
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We conducted a bee survey in neonicotinoid-treated commercial potato fields using bowl and vane traps in the 2016 growing season. Traps were placed outside the fields, at the field edges, and 10 and 30 m into the fields. We collected 756 bees representing 58 species, with Lasioglossum spp. comprising 73% of all captured bees. We found seven Bombus spp., of which B. impatiens was the only known visitor of potato flowers in our region. The majority of the bees (68%) were collected at the field edges and in the field margins. Blue vane traps caught almost four-times as many bees and collected 30% more species compared to bowl traps. Bee communities did not differ across trap locations but they were different among trap types. We tested B. impatiens visitation to neonicotinoid treated and untreated potato flowers in field enclosures. The amount of time bees spent at flowers and the duration of visits were not significantly different between the two treatments. Our results demonstrate that a diverse assemblage of bees is associated with an agroecosystem dominated by potatoes despite the apparent lack of pollinator resources provided by the crop. We found no difference in B. impatiens foraging behavior on neonicotinoid-treated compared to untreated plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Nutritional Profile of the Trap-Nesting Wasp Trypoxylon lactitarse (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae): Comparison of Sexes and Overwintering and Non-Overwintering Generations
Insects 2017, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/insects8010003
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 11 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 December 2016 / Published: 3 January 2017
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Abstract
The wasp Trypoxylon lactitarse Saussure is a bivoltine trap-nesting species that possesses a non-overwintering generation (G1) and a generation that overwinters as a prepupa (G2). Thus, the nutritional needs of the G1 individuals were predicted to be different than the G2 because the
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The wasp Trypoxylon lactitarse Saussure is a bivoltine trap-nesting species that possesses a non-overwintering generation (G1) and a generation that overwinters as a prepupa (G2). Thus, the nutritional needs of the G1 individuals were predicted to be different than the G2 because the latter generation needs to store energy prior to diapause. Trap-nesting Trypoxylon are also of interest because, unlike most Hymenoptera, the males guard the nest while females forage. Thus, males may lose nutrients as they stay and guard the nest. In this study, a nutritional profile was created for T. lactitarse to compare the macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates, and lipids) and micronutrient (Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, and Zn) levels of the different life stages of the wasp and compare individuals of the G1 and G2 generations. There were distinct changes in the nutrient levels relative to the original food source as individuals metamorphosed into larvae, pupae, and adults. G1 larvae had higher levels of carbohydrates than G2 larvae. G2 larvae had higher levels of lipids and K than G1 larvae, indicating possible differences in energy storage. In adults, there was an increase in levels of carbohydrates and Mn. Parental males, which stay and guard the nest, were found to have higher levels of carbohydrates at the end of the nesting period than females and emerging adults. One possible implication is that females may feed males during the nesting period, as the females are the only individuals to forage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Complex Messages in Long-Term Monitoring of Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in the State of Wisconsin, USA, 1988–2015
Insects 2017, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/insects8010006
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract
The regal fritillary (“regal”) (Speyeria idalia) is endangered in Wisconsin, USA, and declining and at risk range-wide. During 1988–2015, we surveyed 24 known regal sites and >100 areas of potential habitat in Wisconsin. We recorded 9037 individuals in 742.7 km on
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The regal fritillary (“regal”) (Speyeria idalia) is endangered in Wisconsin, USA, and declining and at risk range-wide. During 1988–2015, we surveyed 24 known regal sites and >100 areas of potential habitat in Wisconsin. We recorded 9037 individuals in 742.7 km on the peak survey per year at occupied sites. At six sites surveyed over 5–25 years, we found regal fritillaries in only one year, mostly in the latter half of the study. The three populations in the state with more favorable trends than the median had a never-burned refugium and/or infrequent fire management. They also all had substantial amounts of grazing, haying, and/or mowing managements. Sites with trends below the regional median trend had frequent or moderate fire management, and either a diminishing never-burned refugium or none at all. Regal populations at sites with ≤15 ha of grassland have become undetectable. Nonetheless, Hogback, a slightly larger than 15 ha site, had the most favorable trend, a significant increase. Nearly all Wisconsin Regal populations known before 1990 declined to consistent non-findability, even though these were conserved sites. More favorable trends at more recently discovered populations may be attributable to species-specific habitat management protocols implemented in the 1990s. Two sites with better than median long-term trends represent the longest consistent land ownership of known Regal populations in the state. This wide range of population outcomes illustrates both the need for long-term monitoring and the challenges of explaining the outcomes. Despite evidence of increasing Regal dispersal, this species remains very localized, indicating the unsuitability of the wider landscape as regal habitat. The number of significantly declining or no longer detectable populations in Wisconsin indicates an ever more adverse landscape for this species. Sites will need to have habitat characteristics that are ever more optimal in a wide range of climatic conditions for Regal populations to persist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Butterfly Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Morphological Characteristics of Terminalia of the Wasp-Mimicking Fly, Stomorhina discolor (Fabricius)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/insects8010011
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
Stomorhina discolor (Fabricius), a species of blow fly that mimics wasps, is distributed worldwide, but detailed information about characteristics of its adult terminalia is incomplete. To help fill this gap in the information, the morphology of adult stages of S. discolor was investigated
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Stomorhina discolor (Fabricius), a species of blow fly that mimics wasps, is distributed worldwide, but detailed information about characteristics of its adult terminalia is incomplete. To help fill this gap in the information, the morphology of adult stages of S. discolor was investigated using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Observations using the light microscope revealed unique characteristics of the male genitalia that are markedly different from other blow fly species. More morphological detail, including observation of several sensilla (e.g., sensilla trichoid and sensilla basiconica) along the male terminalia and female ovipositor, was seen under the scanning electron microscope. These details can be taxonomically valuable for identifying males and females of S. discolor and may help address matters concerning copulation in this species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bee++: An Object-Oriented, Agent-Based Simulator for Honey Bee Colonies
Insects 2017, 8(1), 31; doi:10.3390/insects8010031
Received: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
We present a model and associated simulation package (www.beeplusplus.ca) to capture the natural dynamics of a honey bee colony in a spatially-explicit landscape, with temporally-variable, weather-dependent parameters. The simulation tracks bees of different ages and castes, food stores within the colony, pollen and
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We present a model and associated simulation package (www.beeplusplus.ca) to capture the natural dynamics of a honey bee colony in a spatially-explicit landscape, with temporally-variable, weather-dependent parameters. The simulation tracks bees of different ages and castes, food stores within the colony, pollen and nectar sources and the spatial position of individual foragers outside the hive. We track explicitly the intake of pesticides in individual bees and their ability to metabolize these toxins, such that the impact of sub-lethal doses of pesticides can be explored. Moreover, pathogen populations (in particular, Nosema apis, Nosema cerenae and Varroa mites) have been included in the model and may be introduced at any time or location. The ability to study interactions among pesticides, climate, biodiversity and pathogens in this predictive framework should prove useful to a wide range of researchers studying honey bee populations. To this end, the simulation package is written in open source, object-oriented code (C++) and can be easily modified by the user. Here, we demonstrate the use of the model by exploring the effects of sub-lethal pesticide exposure on the flight behaviour of foragers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Isolating Spermathecae and Determining Mating Status of Drosophila suzukii: A Protocol for Tissue Dissection and Its Applications
Insects 2017, 8(1), 32; doi:10.3390/insects8010032
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
The spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae), is an emerging invasive pest, which attacks a wide variety of fruits and berries. Although previous studies have focused on different aspects of D. suzukii reproductive biology, there are no protocols available for determining the
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The spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae), is an emerging invasive pest, which attacks a wide variety of fruits and berries. Although previous studies have focused on different aspects of D. suzukii reproductive biology, there are no protocols available for determining the mating status of D. suzukii females and drosophilids in general. In this study, a step-by-step protocol for tissue dissection, isolating spermathecae, and determining the mating status of females was developed specifically for D. suzukii. This protocol is an effective and relatively quick method for determining female mating status. It has important applications from exploring reproductive output of D. suzukii females to understanding the biology of D. suzukii winter morph, which presumably plays the main role in the overwintering of this invasive species. We demonstrated applicability of this protocol for both field collected flies and flies reared in the lab, including fly specimens stored on a long-term basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Dietary Phytochemicals in the Presence and Absence of Pesticides on Longevity of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 22; doi:10.3390/insects8010022
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
Because certain flavonols and phenolic acids are found in pollen and nectar of most angiosperms, they are routinely ingested by Apis mellifera, the western honey bee. The flavonol quercetin and the phenolic acid p-coumaric acid are known to upregulate detoxification enzymes
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Because certain flavonols and phenolic acids are found in pollen and nectar of most angiosperms, they are routinely ingested by Apis mellifera, the western honey bee. The flavonol quercetin and the phenolic acid p-coumaric acid are known to upregulate detoxification enzymes in adult bees; their presence or absence in the diet may thus affect the toxicity of ingested pesticides. We conducted a series of longevity assays with one-day-old adult workers to test if dietary phytochemicals enhance longevity and pesticide tolerance. One-day-old bees were maintained on sugar syrup with or without casein (a phytochemical-free protein source) in the presence or absence of quercetin and p-coumaric acid as well as in the presence or absence of two pyrethroid insecticides, bifenthrin and β-cyfluthrin. Dietary quercetin (hazard ratio, HR = 0.82), p-coumaric acid (HR = 0.91) and casein (HR = 0.74) were associated with extended lifespan and the two pyrethroid insecticides, 4 ppm bifenthrin (HR = 9.17) and 0.5 ppm β-cyfluthrin (HR = 1.34), reduced lifespan. Dietary quercetin enhanced tolerance of both pyrethroids; p-coumaric acid had a similar effect trend, although of reduced magnitude. Casein in the diet appears to eliminate the life-prolonging effect of p-coumaric acid in the absence of quercetin. Collectively, these assays demonstrate that dietary phytochemicals influence honey bee longevity and pesticide stress; substituting sugar syrups for honey or yeast/soy flour patties may thus have hitherto unrecognized impacts on adult bee health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Microbiological Load of Edible Insects Found in Belgium
Insects 2017, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/insects8010012
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or
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Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or towards traditional markets to find exotic insects that are illegal and not sanitarily controlled. From this perspective, this study aims to characterize the microbial load of edible insects found in Belgium (i.e., fresh mealworms and house crickets from European farms and smoked termites and caterpillars from a traditional Congolese market) and to evaluate the efficiency of different processing methods (blanching for all species and freeze-drying and sterilization for European species) in reducing microorganism counts. All untreated insect samples had a total aerobic count higher than the limit for fresh minced meat (6.7 log cfu/g). Nevertheless, a species-dependent blanching step has led to a reduction of the total aerobic count under this limit, except for one caterpillar species. Freeze-drying and sterilization treatments on European species were also effective in reducing the total aerobic count. Yeast and mold counts for untreated insects were above the Good Manufacturing Practice limits for raw meat, but all treatments attained a reduction of these microorganisms under this limit. These results confirmed that fresh insects, but also smoked insects from non-European trades, need a cooking step (at least composed of a first blanching step) before consumption. Therefore, blanching timing for each studied insect species is proposed and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Faunal Scavenging of Submerged Carrion in Two Seasons at a Depth of 170 m, in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia
Insects 2017, 8(1), 33; doi:10.3390/insects8010033
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
The taphonomy of carcasses submerged in the ocean is little understood, yet it is extremely important ecologically and forensically. The objectives of this study were to determine the fate of pig carcasses as human proxies in the Strait of Georgia at 170 m
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The taphonomy of carcasses submerged in the ocean is little understood, yet it is extremely important ecologically and forensically. The objectives of this study were to determine the fate of pig carcasses as human proxies in the Strait of Georgia at 170 m in spring and fall. Using Ocean Networks Canada’s Victoria Experimental Network Underseas (VENUS) observatory, two carcasses per season were placed under a cabled platform hosting a webcam and instruments measuring water chemistry. Two minutes of video were recorded every 15 min. In spring, Lyssianassidae amphipods and Pandalus platyceros were immediately attracted and fed on the carcasses, the amphipods removed the bulk of the soft tissue from the inside whilst the shrimp shredded the skin and tissue. The carcasses were skeletonized on Days 8 and 10. In fall, Metacarcinus magister was the major scavenger, removing most of the soft tissue from one carcass. Amphipods did not arrive in large numbers until Day 15, when they skeletonized the scavenged carcass by Day 22 and the less scavenged carcass by Day 24. Amphipods remained for some days after skeletonization. This skeletonization was very different from previous experiments at different depths and habitats. Such data are very valuable for predicting preservation, planning recoveries, and managing family expectations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forensic Entomology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Seasonal Effects on the Population, Morphology and Reproductive Behavior of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 13; doi:10.3390/insects8010013
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 17 January 2017
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Abstract
Many insects are influenced by the phenology of their host plants. In North Central Florida, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) spends its entire life cycle living and feeding on Opuntia mesacantha ssp. lata. This cactus begins producing flower buds in April that lead
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Many insects are influenced by the phenology of their host plants. In North Central Florida, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) spends its entire life cycle living and feeding on Opuntia mesacantha ssp. lata. This cactus begins producing flower buds in April that lead to unripe green fruit in June that ripen into red fruit through December. Many morphological and behavioral characteristics of N. femorata are known to be affected by cactus phenology in a controlled laboratory setting, including the degree of sexual dimorphism and mating behavior. Our goal with this study was to determine if similar phenotypic changes of N. femorata occurred over time in the wild, and the extent to which these changes were concordant with phenological changes in its host plant. Further, we investigate the length of the insect mouthparts (beak) over time. Ongoing work has suggested that beak length may change across cohorts of developing insects in response to feeding deep within cactus fruit where seed and pulp depth decrease as the fruit ripens. Our results revealed a drop in cactus fruit abundance between the months of July through October 2015 as cactus fruits turned red and ripened. Simultaneously, the average body size of both males and females of N. femorata declined at two sampled sites. Male hind femora (a sexually-selected weapon) decreased disproportionately in size over time so that males later in the year had relatively smaller hind femora for their body size. The sex-specific patterns of morphological change led to increased sexual-size dimorphism and decreased sexual dimorphism for hind femora later in the year. Further, we found that beak length decreased across cohorts of insects as cactus fruit ripened, suggesting phenotypic plasticity in mouthpart length. Behavioral studies revealed that female readiness to mate increased as the season progressed. In sum, we found pronounced changes in the phenotypes of these insects in the field. Although this study is far from comprehensive, it provides tantalizing patterns that suggest many directions for future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Consuming ‘Toxic’ Monarch Caterpillars on Adult Chinese Mantid Mass Gain and Fecundity
Insects 2017, 8(1), 23; doi:10.3390/insects8010023
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 12 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
Predators that feed on chemically-defended prey often experience non-lethal effects that result in learned avoidance of the prey species. Some predators are able to consume toxic prey without ill-effect. The Chinese mantid is able to consume cardenolide-containing monarch caterpillars without immediate adverse effects.
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Predators that feed on chemically-defended prey often experience non-lethal effects that result in learned avoidance of the prey species. Some predators are able to consume toxic prey without ill-effect. The Chinese mantid is able to consume cardenolide-containing monarch caterpillars without immediate adverse effects. Although they discard the caterpillars’ gut contents, mantids consume sequestered cardenolides. Although consumption of these cardenolides does not elicit an acute response, there may be long-term costs associated with cardenolide consumption. We tested the hypothesis that consumption of monarch caterpillars will adversely affect adult mantid biomass gain and reproductive condition. We reared mantids from egg to adult and assigned them to one of four toxicity groups that differed in the number of monarch caterpillars offered over a 15-day period. Mantids consumed similar amounts of prey biomass during the experiment. Yet, mantids in the high-toxicity group had a higher conversion efficiency and gained more biomass than mantids in other groups. Mantids in all treatment groups produced similar numbers of eggs. However, mantids in the high-toxicity group produced heavier eggs and devoted a greater portion of their biomass toward egg production than those in the control group. This increase in reproductive condition is probably driven by variation in prey nutritional value and/or the nutritional advantages inherent in eating multiple food types. Our results demonstrate the mantid is able to incorporate ‘toxic’ monarch prey into its diet without acute or chronic ill-effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phylogenetic Relationships among Whiteflies in the Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Species Complex from Major Cassava Growing Areas in Kenya
Insects 2017, 8(1), 25; doi:10.3390/insects8010025
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
Whiteflies, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) are major insect pests that affect many crops such as cassava, tomato, beans, cotton, cucurbits, potato, sweet potato, and ornamental crops. Bemisia tabaci transmits viral diseases, namely cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases, which are the main constraints
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Whiteflies, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) are major insect pests that affect many crops such as cassava, tomato, beans, cotton, cucurbits, potato, sweet potato, and ornamental crops. Bemisia tabaci transmits viral diseases, namely cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases, which are the main constraints to cassava production, causing huge losses to many small-scale farmers. The aim of this work was to determine the phylogenetic relationships among Bemisia tabaci species in major cassava growing areas of Kenya. Surveys were carried out between 2013 and 2015 in major cassava growing areas (Western, Nyanza, Eastern, and Coast regions), for cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI-DNA) was used to determine the genetic diversity of B. tabaci. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using Bayesian methods to understand the genetic diversity across the study regions. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two B. tabaci species present in Kenya, sub-Saharan Africa 1 and 2 comprising five distinct clades (A–E) with percent sequence similarity ranging from 97.7 % to 99.5%. Clades B, C, D, and E are predominantly distributed in the Western and Nyanza regions of Kenya whereas clade B is dominantly found along the coast, the eastern region, and parts of Nyanza. Our B. tabaci clade A groups with sub-Saharan Africa 2-(SSA2) recorded a percent sequence similarity of 99.5%. In this study, we also report the identification of SSA2 after a 15 year absence in Kenya. The SSA2 species associated with CMD has been found in the Western region of Kenya bordering Uganda. More information is needed to determine if these species are differentially involved in the epidemiology of the cassava viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Inside Honeybee Hives: Impact of Natural Propolis on the Ectoparasitic Mite Varroa destructor and Viruses
Insects 2017, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/insects8010015
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
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Abstract
Social immunity is a key factor for honeybee health, including behavioral defense strategies such as the collective use of antimicrobial plant resins (propolis). While laboratory data repeatedly show significant propolis effects, field data are scarce, especially at the colony level. Here, we investigated
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Social immunity is a key factor for honeybee health, including behavioral defense strategies such as the collective use of antimicrobial plant resins (propolis). While laboratory data repeatedly show significant propolis effects, field data are scarce, especially at the colony level. Here, we investigated whether propolis, as naturally deposited in the nests, can protect honeybees against ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and associated viruses, which are currently considered the most serious biological threat to European honeybee subspecies, Apis mellifera, globally. Propolis intake of 10 field colonies was manipulated by either reducing or adding freshly collected propolis. Mite infestations, titers of deformed wing virus (DWV) and sacbrood virus (SBV), resin intake, as well as colony strength were recorded monthly from July to September 2013. We additionally examined the effect of raw propolis volatiles on mite survival in laboratory assays. Our results showed no significant effects of adding or removing propolis on mite survival and infestation levels. However, in relation to V. destructor, DWV titers increased significantly less in colonies with added propolis than in propolis-removed colonies, whereas SBV titers were similar. Colonies with added propolis were also significantly stronger than propolis-removed colonies. These findings indicate that propolis may interfere with the dynamics of V. destructor-transmitted viruses, thereby further emphasizing the importance of propolis for honeybee health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Flight Synchrony among the Major Moth Pests of Cranberries in the Upper Midwest, USA
Insects 2017, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/insects8010026
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
The cranberry fruitworm (Acrobasis vaccinii Riley), sparganothis fruitworm (Sparganothis sulfureana Clemens), and blackheaded fireworm (Rhopobota naevana Hübner) are historically significant pests of cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin), USA. Their respective natural histories are well documented
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The cranberry fruitworm (Acrobasis vaccinii Riley), sparganothis fruitworm (Sparganothis sulfureana Clemens), and blackheaded fireworm (Rhopobota naevana Hübner) are historically significant pests of cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin), USA. Their respective natural histories are well documented but correlations between developmental benchmarks (e.g., larval eclosion) and degree-day accruals are not yet known. Treatment timings are critical to the optimization of any given control tactic, and degree-day accrual facilitates optimization by quantifying the developmental status of pest populations. When key developmental benchmarks in the pest life cycle are linked to degree-days, real-time weather data can be used to predict precise treatment timings. Here, we provide the degree-day accumulations associated with discrete biological events (i.e., initiation of flight and peak flight) for the three most consistent moth pests of cranberries in Wisconsin. Moths were trapped each spring and summer from 2003 to 2011. To characterize flight dynamics and average timing of flight initiation, pheromone-baited trap-catch data were tallied for all three pest species within each of seven growing seasons. These flight dynamics were then associated with the corresponding degree-day accumulations generated using the cranberry plant’s developmental thresholds. Finally, models were fit to the data in order to determine the peak flight of each species. The initiation of the spring flight among all three moth species was highly synchronous, aiding in the timing of control tactics; however, there were substantial differences in the timing of peak flight among the moth species. Characterization of the relationship between temperature and pest development allows pest management professionals to target specific life stages, improving the efficacy of any given pest control tactic. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Integrated Pest Management)
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Open AccessArticle Male Psyllids Differentially Learn in the Context of Copulation
Insects 2017, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/insects8010016
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
In the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, stimulatory cuticular hydrocarbons act as sex pheromone attractants. Male psyllids locate aggregations of females using those olfactory cues, as well as vibrational communication on the plant surface. Although previous research has indicated that learning plays
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In the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, stimulatory cuticular hydrocarbons act as sex pheromone attractants. Male psyllids locate aggregations of females using those olfactory cues, as well as vibrational communication on the plant surface. Although previous research has indicated that learning plays a role in modulating female reproductive behaviors in psyllids, it is unknown whether males similarly use learning to increase the likelihood of copulatory success. We used an olfactometer-based bio-assay to study the effects of experience on male response to female odor. First, we compared male attraction to female odor in virgin and previously mated males. Second, we tested the effect of several modes of experience with a novel odor, vanillin, to determine whether mating, feeding, or general environmental exposure elicited a learned response. We found that male attraction to female odor significantly increased after mating experience. In addition, we found that males learn about odor specifically in the context of mating, rather than feeding or general exposure. Electrophysiological measurements of antennal response to odorants confirmed that mating status did not affect the sensitivity of the peripheral nervous system to volatile stimuli implicating learning at the level of the central nervous system. These results suggest that male response to female odor is not an entirely innate behavior. Males may require mating experience with female conspecifics to develop attraction to those olfactory cues produced by the female and in association with the female’s habitat. This adaptive plasticity may allow males to detect females in an ever-changing environment and promote diversification and further specialization on different host genotypes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Trapping of Yellowjacket Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) via Spatial Partitioning of Attractants
Insects 2017, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/insects8010017
Received: 18 December 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
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Abstract
Several yellowjacket species are important pests in both their native habitat and in areas where they are invasive. Traps that contain one or more chemical attractants to lure insects inside are commonly used to combat these yellowjackets in urban environments. Usually, attractants are
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Several yellowjacket species are important pests in both their native habitat and in areas where they are invasive. Traps that contain one or more chemical attractants to lure insects inside are commonly used to combat these yellowjackets in urban environments. Usually, attractants are placed within the trap and combined indiscriminately, though little is known about how this design influences trap attractiveness or efficacy. Here, using the common attractant heptyl butyrate in combination with chicken extract, we demonstrate that spatial partitioning of attractants results in increased capture of the western yellowjacket Vespula pensylvanica—a widespread pestiferous species. Specifically, we show that partitioning of these attractants results in increased visitation of yellowjackets to a trap while also leading to more individuals entering the trap. Further, we provide evidence that this effect is driven by the ability of heptyl butyrate to function as an attractant to the general location of the trap while also blocking the effects of meat extract as a trap-entering stimulus. Thus, our data challenge the current paradigm of combining attractants inside yellowjacket traps, and suggest that these methods can be improved through the consideration of spatial variables and interactions. Our results not only provide novel insight into the mechanisms of yellowjacket attraction, but are also likely to be applicable to the control of other insects for which attractant-based traps are used. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication Comparison of RNAi Sequences in Insect-Resistant Plants to Expressed Sequences of a Beneficial Lady Beetle: A Closer Look at Off-Target Considerations
Insects 2017, 8(1), 27; doi:10.3390/insects8010027
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 22 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Sequences obtained from transcriptomes of the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata were compared to those designed for incorporation into crops. Searches of the transcriptomes identified sequences as the most likely to be closely similar to the sequences described in RNAi plant incorporated products. Some
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Sequences obtained from transcriptomes of the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata were compared to those designed for incorporation into crops. Searches of the transcriptomes identified sequences as the most likely to be closely similar to the sequences described in RNAi plant incorporated products. Some proposed prime RNAi pest management targets were also used to identify predicted orthologs from C. maculata. The lady beetle sequences were aligned with sequences from corn rootworms and Colorado potato beetles and, as appropriate in the case of targets, regions of similarity were compared with the genetic model organism for beetles, Tribolium castaneum. Some high levels of nucleotide identity were identified, particularly with an actin-derived sequence from Colorado potato beetle. This actin-derived sequence shared identical sequences with the lady beetle and a parasitic wasp. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Deformed Wing Virus in Deformed and Asymptomatic Honey Bees
Insects 2017, 8(1), 28; doi:10.3390/insects8010028
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Deformed wing virus (DWV) in association with Varroa destructor is currently attributed to being responsible for colony collapse in the western honey bee (Apis mellifera). The appearance of deformed individuals within an infested colony has long been associated with colony losses.
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Deformed wing virus (DWV) in association with Varroa destructor is currently attributed to being responsible for colony collapse in the western honey bee (Apis mellifera). The appearance of deformed individuals within an infested colony has long been associated with colony losses. However, it is unknown why only a fraction of DWV positive bees develop deformed wings. This study concerns two small studies comparing deformed and non-deformed bees. In Brazil, asymptomatic bees (no wing deformity) that had been parasitised by Varroa as pupae had higher DWV loads than non-parasitised bees. However, we found no greater bilateral asymmetry in wing morphology due to DWV titres or parasitisation. As expected, using RT-qPCR, deformed bees were found to contain the highest viral loads. In a separate study, next generation sequencing (NGS) was applied to compare the entire DWV genomes from paired symptomatic and asymptomatic bees from three colonies on two different Hawaiian islands. This revealed no consistent differences between DWV genomes from deformed or asymptomatic bees, with the greatest variation seen between locations, not phenotypes. All samples, except one, were dominated by DWV type A. This small-scale study suggests that there is no unique genetic variant associated with wing deformity; but that many DWV variants have the potential to cause deformity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions Among Threats to Honeybee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Trichogramma japonicum and T. chilonis as Potential Biological Control Agents of Yellow Stem Borer in Rice
Insects 2017, 8(1), 19; doi:10.3390/insects8010019
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
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Abstract
Two species of Trichogramma wasps were assessed for their effectiveness against yellow stem borer Scirpophaga incertulas. A laboratory cage test with T. japonicum and T. chilonis showed that both species parasitized yellow stem borer egg masses at 60.0% ± 9.13% and 40.7%
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Two species of Trichogramma wasps were assessed for their effectiveness against yellow stem borer Scirpophaga incertulas. A laboratory cage test with T. japonicum and T. chilonis showed that both species parasitized yellow stem borer egg masses at 60.0% ± 9.13% and 40.7% ± 7.11%, respectively, with egg parasitism rates of 15.8% ± 22.2% for T. japonicum and 2.8% ± 5.0% for T. chilonis. Once the host eggs were parasitized, emergence rates were high for both species (95.7% ± 0.12% for T. japonicum and 100% for T. chilonis). In paddy field trials, the two Trichogramma species were released at three densities (50,000/ha, 100,000/ha and 200,000/ha) in Southwestern China. Egg mass parasitism was 9% ± 7.7% for T. japonicum and 15% ± 14.1% for T. chilonis, and again only a relatively small fraction of eggs was successfully parasitized. No clear conclusion could be drawn on the most efficient release rate as no significant differences were found among the three release rates. A comparison of field-collected T. japonicum with T. japonicum and T. chilonis mass reared on Corcyra cephalonica showed significantly larger body size and ovipositor length in field-collected wasps, suggesting potentially higher effectiveness on yellow stem borer eggs after at least one generation on the target host. Factors contributing to the low field parasitism rates are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invertebrate Pests)
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Open AccessArticle Feeding Deterrence to Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) by Fibroporia radiculosa (Peck) Parmasto 1968
Insects 2017, 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/insects8010029
Received: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
Brown rot fungus Fibroporia radiculosa (Peck) Parmasto grown in decayed wood and non-wood material, potato dextrose agar (PDA) media, deterred Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) feeding. Decayed wood and PDA media were extracted and tests were performed to assess termite feeding behavior towards the extracts.
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Brown rot fungus Fibroporia radiculosa (Peck) Parmasto grown in decayed wood and non-wood material, potato dextrose agar (PDA) media, deterred Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) feeding. Decayed wood and PDA media were extracted and tests were performed to assess termite feeding behavior towards the extracts. We found that the extract from PDA media also suppressed termite feeding, although it did not induce mortality. Using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis, two bioactive compounds were detected from the decayed wood extract, and one was detected from the PDA extract. Based on National Institute of Science and Technology (USA) Mass Spectral library match and compound fragmentation, both of the compounds belong to the sesquiterpenes family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Wood-Attacking Insects)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Implicating Cryptic and Novel Anophelines as Malaria Vectors in Africa
Insects 2017, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/insects8010001
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 22 December 2016
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Abstract
Entomological indices and bionomic descriptions of malaria vectors are essential to accurately describe and understand malaria transmission and for the design and evaluation of appropriate control interventions. In order to correctly assign spatio-temporal distributions, behaviors and responses to interventions to particular anopheline species,
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Entomological indices and bionomic descriptions of malaria vectors are essential to accurately describe and understand malaria transmission and for the design and evaluation of appropriate control interventions. In order to correctly assign spatio-temporal distributions, behaviors and responses to interventions to particular anopheline species, identification of mosquitoes must be accurately made. This paper reviews the current methods and their limitations in correctly identifying anopheline mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa, and highlights the importance of molecular methods to discriminate cryptic species and identify lesser known anophelines. The increasing number of reports of Plasmodium infections in assumed “minor”, non-vector, and cryptic and novel species is reviewed. Their importance in terms of evading current control and elimination strategies and therefore maintaining malaria transmission is emphasized. Full article
Open AccessReview RNA Interference for Mosquito and Mosquito-Borne Disease Control
Insects 2017, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/insects8010004
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool to silence endogenous mosquito and mosquito-borne pathogen genes in vivo. As the number of studies utilizing RNAi in basic research grows, so too does the arsenal of physiological targets that can be developed into products that
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RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool to silence endogenous mosquito and mosquito-borne pathogen genes in vivo. As the number of studies utilizing RNAi in basic research grows, so too does the arsenal of physiological targets that can be developed into products that interrupt mosquito life cycles and behaviors and, thereby, relieve the burden of mosquitoes on human health and well-being. As this technology becomes more viable for use in beneficial and pest insect management in agricultural settings, it is exciting to consider its role in public health entomology. Existing and burgeoning strategies for insecticide delivery could be adapted to function as RNAi trigger delivery systems and thereby expedite transformation of RNAi from the lab to the field for mosquito control. Taken together, development of RNAi-based vector and pathogen management techniques & strategies are within reach. That said, tools for successful RNAi design, studies exploring RNAi in the context of vector control, and studies demonstrating field efficacy of RNAi trigger delivery have yet to be honed and/or developed for mosquito control. Full article
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Open AccessReview Biological Control Strategies for Mosquito Vectors of Arboviruses
Insects 2017, 8(1), 21; doi:10.3390/insects8010021
Received: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
Historically, biological control utilizes predatory species and pathogenic microorganisms to reduce the population of mosquitoes as disease vectors. This is particularly important for the control of mosquito-borne arboviruses, which normally do not have specific antiviral therapies available. Although development of resistance is likely,
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Historically, biological control utilizes predatory species and pathogenic microorganisms to reduce the population of mosquitoes as disease vectors. This is particularly important for the control of mosquito-borne arboviruses, which normally do not have specific antiviral therapies available. Although development of resistance is likely, the advantages of biological control are that the resources used are typically biodegradable and ecologically friendly. Over the past decade, the advancement of molecular biology has enabled optimization by the manipulation of genetic materials associated with biological control agents. Two significant advancements are the discovery of cytoplasmic incompatibility induced by Wolbachia bacteria, which has enhanced replacement programs, and the introduction of dominant lethal genes into local mosquito populations through the release of genetically modified mosquitoes. As various arboviruses continue to be significant public health threats, biological control strategies have evolved to be more diverse and become critical tools to reduce the disease burden of arboviruses. Full article
Open AccessReview Potential Hybridization between Two Invasive Termite Species, Coptotermes formosanus and C. gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), and Its Biological and Economic Implications
Insects 2017, 8(1), 14; doi:10.3390/insects8010014
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
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Abstract
The Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi, is a tropical species but has increasingly been collected from the subtropics in recent years, making it sympatric to the Formosan subterranean termite, C. formosanus in at least three areas, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Florida. Simultaneous flights
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The Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi, is a tropical species but has increasingly been collected from the subtropics in recent years, making it sympatric to the Formosan subterranean termite, C. formosanus in at least three areas, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Florida. Simultaneous flights by these two species were observed since 2013 in South Florida, during which interspecies tandems were observed. Laboratory mating of C. formosanus and C. gestroi alates produced hybrid incipient colonies of larger population size. Studies are underway to examine the presence in the field of hybrid colonies in sympatric areas of Taiwan and Florida. Other biological characteristics of C. formosanus × C. gestroi hybrids being studied include temperature tolerance and preference, colony growth rate, wood-consumption rate, and reproductive fertility. This current research aims to determine the potential establishment of a hybrid termite population in south Florida and Taiwan. It investigates the risk of introgressive hybridization in field populations, with an emphasis on its potential ecological, evolutionary, and economic consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review
Insects 2017, 8(1), 24; doi:10.3390/insects8010024
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the
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Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security)
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Open AccessReview Economic Impact of the Introduction and Establishment of Drosophila suzukii on Sweet Cherry Production in Switzerland
Insects 2017, 8(1), 18; doi:10.3390/insects8010018
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
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Abstract
First detected in Switzerland in 2011, the invasive Drosophila suzukii, spotted wing drosophila, has caused recurring costs for growers of berries and fruit. Recommended management approaches rely on a set of methods, tailored to suit crop requirements under the prevailing local conditions.
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First detected in Switzerland in 2011, the invasive Drosophila suzukii, spotted wing drosophila, has caused recurring costs for growers of berries and fruit. Recommended management approaches rely on a set of methods, tailored to suit crop requirements under the prevailing local conditions. Control of D. suzukii represents a substantial economic burden for growers, in terms of material, equipment, new infrastructure and extra labour. However, those growers who invest wisely to deliver unblemished produce are rewarded with high payoffs. We present insights from a growers’ survey conducted in 2015 and 2016 to gauge the impact of the introduction and establishment of D. suzukii on Swiss sweet cherry production. The surveyed growers (111 in 2015 and 298 in 2016) observed the recommended surveillance, sanitation and control measures. The use of insecticides (78% and 79% of respondents in 2015 and 2016, respectively) and the harvest of all fruits (93% and 59% of respondents in 2015 and 2016, respectively) were the most widespread methods used to reduce damage. Nearly one-third of the respondents set up enclosure nets. Our economic evaluation of different scenarios provides a quantitative indication of the potentially incurred costs. We argue for enhanced stakeholder involvement to raise the acceptance of integrated pest management practices, and to inform research and outreach by providing insights into the motivations and barriers to adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species)

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