Abstract: Under the preference-performance hypothesis, natural selection will favor females that choose oviposition sites that optimize the fitness of their offspring. Such a preference-performance relationship may entail important consequences mainly on fitness-related traits. We used the well-characterized cactus-Drosophila system to investigate the reproductive capacity in the pair of sibling species D. buzzatii and D. koepferae reared in two alternative host plants. According to our hypothesis, ovariole number (as a proxy of reproductive capacity) depends on host plant selection. Our results indicate that the capacity of D. buzzatii showed to be mild, only increasing the number of ovarioles by as much as 10% when reared in its preferred host. In contrast, D. koepferae exhibited a similar reproductive capacity across host cacti, even though it showed a preference for its primary host cactus. Our study also revealed that D. buzzatii has a larger genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity than its sibling, although ovariole number did not show clear-cut differences between species. We will discuss the weak preference-performance pattern observed in these cactophilic species in the light of nutritional and toxicological differences found between the natural host plants.
Abstract: The population of South Jakarta, a city within the Province of Jakarta Capital Region, is increasing annually, and the development of land into building causes termite diversity loss. The aim of this research was to determine the diversity of subterranean termite species and their distribution in South Jakarta and to evaluate the soil profile termite habitat. This study was conducted in South Jakarta and was carried out at four residential areas representing four randomly selected sub-districts. Specimens were collected with a baiting system. At each residence, as many as 25–30 stakes of pine wood (Pinus merkusii) sized 2 cm × 2 cm × 46 cm were placed for termite sampling. Soil samples were also collected from each residence for testing of their texture, pH, soil water content, and C-organic. Three species of subterranean termites were identified, including Coptotermes curvignathus, Microtermes insperatus, and Macrotermes gilvus, with area-specific variations in occurrence. The soil and weather conditions in the studied areas provided suitable habitat for termites, and M. insperatus was the most commonly found species.
Abstract: Hyphantria cunea (Drury) is an invasive pest of Morus alba L. in China. β-ocimene and cis-2-penten-1-ol among eleven electro-physiologically active leaf volatiles from M. alba have been reported to influence captures of Hyphantria cunea moths when added into sex pheromone traps. This study further investigated influences of volatile types and their dosages on the electro-physiological responses in the antennae of male and female moths, as well as on mating and oviposition behaviors. Females were, regardless of dosages, more sensitive to β-ocimene and cis-2-penten-1-ol in electro-physiological response tests than males. For males, a dose response was detected, i.e., a dosage of 10 μg and 100 μg of either chemical stimulated higher electric response in their antennae than 1 μg. Moth pairs either exposed respectively to a herbivore-induced M. alba volatile blend (HIPV), to a mechanically-damaged M. alba volatile blend (MDV), to β-ocimene, to cis-2-penten-1-ol, or to pentane as a control showed that pairs exposed to β-ocimene most likely mated, followed by HIPV blends and least by the other volatiles or the control. In contrast, β-ocimene induced about 70% of the female oviposition behaviors and was nearly 4.5 times the oviposition rate than cis-2-penten-1-ol and 2 times than the control. However, none of the chemicals had any effect on the 48 h fecundity or on egg sizes. In conclusion, β-ocimene from mulberry plants alone could promote mating and oviposition in H. cunea at a dosage of 1 mg. The results indicate that reproductive behaviors of H. cunea moths can be enhanced through HIPV blends and β-ocimene induced by feeding of larvae. This contra phenomenon has revealed a different ecology in this moth during colonizing China as local pests would commonly be repelled by herbivore induced chemicals. These chemicals can be used for the development of biological control approaches such as being used together with sex pheromone traps.
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.