Abstract: Beetles of the family Passalidae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) are termed subsocial. The insects inhabit rotten wood as family groups consisting of the parents and their offspring. The Japanese species Cylindrocaulus patalis has the lowest fecundity among passalids because siblicide occurs among the first-instar larvae; accordingly, parental care toward the survived larva is the highest among Passalidae. To clarify the nutritional relationships between the parents and their offspring, we investigated their ability to digest three types of polysaccharides that are components of wood (cellulose and β-1,4-xylan) and fungal cell walls (β-1,3-glucan). Although carboxymethyl-cellulase activity was barely detectable, β-xylosidase, β-glucosidase, β-1,4-xylanase and β-1,3-glucanase activities were clearly detected in both adults and larvae. Because the activities of enzymes that digest β-1,3-glucan were much higher than those for degrading β-1,4-xylan, in both adults and larvae, it is concluded that they are mainly fungivorous. Furthermore, these digestive enzymatic activities in second- and third-instar larvae were much lower than they were in adults. Although all larval instars grew rapidly when fed chewed wood by their parents, larvae ceased growing and died when fed only artificially ground wood meals. We conclude that the larvae are assumed to be provided with chewed predigested wood in which β-1,3-glucan is degraded by parental enzymes.
Abstract: Olfactory communication research with insects utilizing sex pheromones has focused on the effects of pheromones on signal receivers. Early pheromone detection studies using the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori L., and Saturniids led to the assumption that emitters, especially females, are unable to detect their own pheromone. Pheromone anosmia, i.e., the inability of females to detect their conspecific sex pheromone, was often assumed, and initially little attention was paid to female behaviors that may result from autodetection, i.e., the ability of females to detect their sex pheromone. Detection of conspecific pheromone plumes from nearby females may provide information to improve chances of mating success and progeny survival. Since the first documented example in 1972, numerous occurrences of autodetection have been observed and verified in field and laboratory studies. We summarize here a significant portion of research relating to autodetection. Electrophysiological and behavioral investigations, as well as expression patterns of proteins involved in pheromone autodetection are included. We discuss problems inherent in defining a boundary between sex and aggregation pheromones considering the occurrence of autodetection, and summarize hypothesized selection pressures favoring autodetection. Importance of including autodetection studies in future work is emphasized by complications arising from a lack of knowledge combined with expanding the use of pheromones in agriculture.
Abstract: The introduction of Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) to North America, agent of white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats, has increased interest in fungi from underground habitats. While bats are assumed to be the main vector transmitting Pd cave-to-cave, the role of other fauna is unexplored. We documented the fungi associated with over-wintering arthropods in Pd-positive hibernacula, including sites where bats had been recently extirpated or near-extirpated, to determine if arthropods carried Pd, and to compare fungal assemblages on arthropods to bats. We isolated 87 fungal taxa in 64 genera from arthropods. Viable Pd was cultured from 15.3% of arthropods, most frequently from harvestmen (Nelima elegans). Fungal assemblages on arthropods were similar to those on bats. The different fungal assemblages documented among arthropods may be due to divergent patterns of movement, aggregation, feeding, or other factors. While it is unlikely that arthropods play a major role in the transmission dynamics of Pd, we demonstrate that arthropods may carry viable Pd spores and therefore have the potential to transport Pd, either naturally or anthropogenically, within or among hibernacula. This underlines the need for those entering hibernacula to observe decontamination procedures and for such procedures to evolve as our understanding of potential mechanisms of Pd dispersal improve.
Abstract: Laboratory and extended laboratory bioassays were conducted to determine the residual toxicities of various insecticides against two key pests of cranberries, Sparganothis sulfureana and Choristoneura parallela (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), and their non-target effects on the predatory Orius insidiosus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae). The effects of nine insecticides with different modes of action on S. sulfureana and Ch. parallela eggs, larvae, and adults were tested in the laboratory, while the efficacy of a post-bloom application on larval mortality and mass of these pests and on adult O. insidiosus was evaluated in extended laboratory experiments. The organophosphate chlorpyrifos and the spinosyn spinetoram provided long-lasting (seven-day) control against all stages of both pests. The growth regulator methoxyfenozide and the diamides chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole had strong (1–7 days) larvicidal, particularly on young larvae, and growth inhibitory activity, but only the diamides were adulticidal. Among neonicotinoids, acetamiprid had stronger ovicidal and adulticidal activity than thiamethoxam, showing within-insecticide class differences in toxicities; however, both were weak on larvae. Lethality of novaluron and indoxacarb was inconsistent, varying depending on species and stage. Chlorpyrifos was most toxic to O. insidiosus. These results show species- and stage-specific toxicities, and greater compatibility with biological control, of the newer reduced-risk classes of insecticides than older chemistries.
Abstract: The 24-h day involves cycles in environmental factors that impact organismal fitness. This is thought to select for organisms to regulate their temporal biology accordingly, through circadian and diel rhythms. In addition to rhythms in abiotic factors (such as light and temperature), biotic factors, including ecological interactions, also follow daily cycles. How daily rhythms shape, and are shaped by, interactions between organisms is poorly understood. Here, we review an emerging area, namely the causes and consequences of daily rhythms in the interactions between vectors, their hosts and the parasites they transmit. We focus on mosquitoes, malaria parasites and vertebrate hosts, because this system offers the opportunity to integrate from genetic and molecular mechanisms to population dynamics and because disrupting rhythms offers a novel avenue for disease control.
Abstract: The elements present in dead pine stumps inhabited by larvae of wood-boring beetles (Stictoleptura rubra, Arhopalus rusticus and Chalcophora mariana) were analyzed over the initial (first 5 years; a chronosequence) stages of wood decay. The quantities of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu and Na (but not S) increased with increases in the content of ergosterol (used as a proxy for the amount of fungal tissue). In fact, the amounts of P, N, K, Fe and Cu presented marked increases. These findings show that fungi stoichiometrically rearrange dead wood by importing externally occurring nutrients to decaying stumps. During the first years of wood decay, the ratios of C to other elements decrease substantially, but differently, for various elements, whereas the N:Fe, N:Cu, N:P and N:K ratios remain relatively stable. Therefore, the stoichiometric mismatch between xylophages and their food is greatly reduced. By changing the nutritional stoichiometry of dead wood, fungi create a nutritional niche for wood-eaters, and these changes enable the development of xylophages.