Open AccessTechnical Note
Comparing Species Composition of Passive Trapping of Adult Flies with Larval Collections from the Body during Scene-Based Medicolegal Death Investigations
Insects 2017, 8(2), 36; doi:10.3390/insects8020036 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Collection of insects at the scene is one of the most important aspects of forensic entomology and proper collection is one of the biggest challenges for any investigator. Adult flies are highly mobile and ubiquitous at scenes, yet their link to the body
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Collection of insects at the scene is one of the most important aspects of forensic entomology and proper collection is one of the biggest challenges for any investigator. Adult flies are highly mobile and ubiquitous at scenes, yet their link to the body and the time of colonization (TOC) and post-mortem interval (PMI) estimates is not well established. Collection of adults is widely recommended for casework but has yet to be rigorously evaluated during medicolegal death investigations for its value to the investigation. In this study, sticky card traps and immature collections were compared for 22 cases investigated by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Houston, TX, USA. Cases included all manner of death classifications and a range of decomposition stages from indoor and outdoor scenes. Overall, the two methods successfully collected at least one species in common only 65% of the time, with at least one species unique to one of the methods 95% of the time. These results suggest that rearing of immature specimens collected from the body should be emphasized during training to ensure specimens directly associated with the colonization of the body can be identified using adult stages if necessary. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Life cycle, Ecological Characteristics, and Control of Trachys yanoi (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an Important Pest of Zelkova serrata
Insects 2017, 8(2), 35; doi:10.3390/insects8020035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study was conducted to elucidate the life cycle and the ecological characteristics of Trachys yanoi Y. Kurosawa, an important pest of Zelkova serrata (Thunb.) Makino. Life cycle, mortality rates in developmental stages, annual population dynamics, and early leaf abscission were investigated. Adults
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This study was conducted to elucidate the life cycle and the ecological characteristics of Trachys yanoi Y. Kurosawa, an important pest of Zelkova serrata (Thunb.) Makino. Life cycle, mortality rates in developmental stages, annual population dynamics, and early leaf abscission were investigated. Adults emerged from under the bark of Zelkova trees in April and fed on Zelkova leaves. Females laid 49 eggs on average, mainly in May and early June. Eggs hatched after 17 days, and the larvae fed inside the leaves. They developed through three instars. In July, leaves with the final stage of larvae were abscised. Four days after abscission, the larvae pupated. New adults eclosed from pupae seven days after pupation, and the adults emerged from abscised leaves after an additional two days. In total, 1650 adults emerged per 1 m2 of forest floor, resulting in a major population increase. The newly emerged adults fed on the remaining Zelkova leaves, compounding the damage. In October, adults overwintered under the tree bark. Mortality rates in the egg, larval, and pupal stages were 41%, 58%, and 31%, respectively. The mortality rate among overwintering individuals was 43%. Because only Zelkova leaves that were abscised in July contained the larvae, and because only a small number of beetles emerged from non-abscised, mined leaves, the removal of abscised leaves at nine-day intervals over period of early leaf abscission is a simple and effective way to control the beetle. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spectral Signatures of Immature Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae)
Insects 2017, 8(2), 34; doi:10.3390/insects8020034 -
Abstract
Hyperspectral remote sensing is an innovative technology with applications in many sciences and is a non-destructive method that may offer more precise aging within development stages. Hyperspectral reflectance measurements from the anterior, midsection, and posterior of Lucilia sericata (Meigen) larvae and pupae were
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Hyperspectral remote sensing is an innovative technology with applications in many sciences and is a non-destructive method that may offer more precise aging within development stages. Hyperspectral reflectance measurements from the anterior, midsection, and posterior of Lucilia sericata (Meigen) larvae and pupae were conducted daily from samples of the developing insects beginning at second instar. Only midsection measurements were conducted on second instar larvae due to their size, to ensure that the measurement was not of reflective surroundings. Once measured, all insects were washed with deionized water, blotted with filter paper, and re-measured. Daily age prediction during the post-feeding stage was not impacted by the unwashed insect measurements and was best predicted based on posterior measurements. The second and third instar larvae, which move about their food source, had different contributing coefficients to the functional regression model for the hyperspectral measurements of the washed compared with unwashed specimens. Although washing did not affect the daily prediction within these stages, it is still encouraged in order to decrease the effect of food source on spectral reflectance. Days within the intra-puparial period were best predicted based on anterior measurements and were not well distinguished from one another in the first few days based on midsection and posterior measurements. Full article
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 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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 Comparison of Deformed Wing Virus in Deformed and Asymptomatic Honey Bees
Insects 2017, 8(1), 28; doi:10.3390/insects8010028 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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
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 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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
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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 -
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
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 -
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
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Open AccessReview
Biological Control Strategies for Mosquito Vectors of Arboviruses
Insects 2017, 8(1), 21; doi:10.3390/insects8010021 -
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 AccessArticle
Cold Ambient Temperature Promotes Nosema spp. Intensity in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 20; doi:10.3390/insects8010020 -
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
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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 -
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
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 -
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
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Open AccessArticle
Male Psyllids Differentially Learn in the Context of Copulation
Insects 2017, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/insects8010016 -
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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