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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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, 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.