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 -
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
Microbiological Load of Edible Insects Found in Belgium
Insects 2017, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/insects8010012 -
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
Open AccessArticle
Morphological Characteristics of Terminalia of the Wasp-Mimicking Fly, Stomorhina discolor (Fabricius)
Insects 2017, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/insects8010011 -
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
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 -
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
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 -
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
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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 -
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
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Insects in 2016
Insects 2017, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/insects8010007 -
Abstract The editors of Insects would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
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 -
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
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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 -
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 AccessReview
RNA Interference for Mosquito and Mosquito-Borne Disease Control
Insects 2017, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/insects8010004 -
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 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 -
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 AccessReview
Implicating Cryptic and Novel Anophelines as Malaria Vectors in Africa
Insects 2017, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/insects8010001 -
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 AccessArticle
Toxicity and Physiological Actions of Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors to Aedes aegypti and Drosophila melanogaster
Insects 2017, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/insects8010002 -
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
Reduced Diversity in the Bacteriome of the Phytophagous Mite Brevipalpus yothersi (Acari: Tenuipalpidae)
Insects 2016, 7(4), 80; doi:10.3390/insects7040080 -
Abstract
Tenuipalpidae comprises mites that transmit viruses to agriculturally important plants. Several tenuipalpid species present parthenogenesis, and in Brevipalpus yothersi, the endosymbiont Cardinium has been associated with female-only colonies. It is unclear what the bacterial composition of B. yothersi is, and how common
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Tenuipalpidae comprises mites that transmit viruses to agriculturally important plants. Several tenuipalpid species present parthenogenesis, and in Brevipalpus yothersi, the endosymbiont Cardinium has been associated with female-only colonies. It is unclear what the bacterial composition of B. yothersi is, and how common Cardinium is in those microbiomes. We performed a comparative analysis of the bacteriomes in three populations of B. yothersi and three additional Tetranychoidea species using sequences from V4-fragment of 16S DNA. The bacteriomes were dominated by Bacteroidetes (especially Cardinium) and Proteobacteria, showing a remarkably low alpha diversity. Cardinium was present in about 22% of all sequences; however, it was not present in R. indica and T. evansi. In B. yothersi, the proportion of Cardinium was higher in adults than eggs, suggesting that proliferation of the bacteria could be the result of selective pressures from the host. This hypothesis was further supported because colonies of B. yothersi from different populations showed different bacterial assemblages, and bacteriomes from different mite species showed similar abundances of Cardinium. A phylogenetic analysis of Cardinium revealed that not only specialization but horizontal transmission has been important for this symbiosis. Together, these results represent a glimpse into the evolution of the Tetranychoidea and Cardinium. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of West Nile Virus Infection on the Midgut Gene Expression of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae)
Insects 2016, 7(4), 76; doi:10.3390/insects7040076 -
Abstract
The interaction of the mosquito and the invading virus is complex and can result in physiological and gene expression alterations in the insect. The association of West Nile virus (WNV) and Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus mosquitoes results in measurable changes in gene expression; 22
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The interaction of the mosquito and the invading virus is complex and can result in physiological and gene expression alterations in the insect. The association of West Nile virus (WNV) and Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus mosquitoes results in measurable changes in gene expression; 22 gene products were shown previously to have altered expression. Sequence analysis of one product, CQ G1A1, revealed 100% amino acid identity to gram negative bacteria binding proteins (CPQGBP) in Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti (70%) and Anopheles gambiae (63%) that function in pathogen recognition. CQ G1A1 also was differentially expressed following WNV infection in two populations of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus colonized from Florida with known differences in vector competence for WNV and showed spatial and temporal gene expression differences in midgut, thorax, and carcass tissues. These data suggest gene expression of CQ G1A1 is influenced by WNV infection and the WNV infection-controlled expression differs between populations and tissues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Habitat Surveillance by Android Mobile Devices in Guangzhou, China
Insects 2016, 7(4), 79; doi:10.3390/insects7040079 -
Abstract
In 2014, Guangzhou City, South China, suffered from its worst outbreak of dengue fever in decades. Larval mosquito habitat surveillance was carried out by using android mobile devices in four study sites in May 2015. The habitats with larval mosquitoes were recorded as
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In 2014, Guangzhou City, South China, suffered from its worst outbreak of dengue fever in decades. Larval mosquito habitat surveillance was carried out by using android mobile devices in four study sites in May 2015. The habitats with larval mosquitoes were recorded as photo waypoints in OruxMaps or in videos. The total number of potential mosquito habitats was 342, of which 166 (49%) were found to have mosquito larvae or pupae. Small containers were the most abundant potential habitats, accounting for 26% of the total number. More mosquito larvae and pupae, were found in small containers than in other objects holding water, for example, potted or hydroponic plants (p < 0.05). Mosquito larvae were collected from all plastic road barriers, used tires, and underground water. Aedes albopictus larvae were found from small and large containers, stumps, among others. The overall route index (RI) was 11.3, which was 14.2 times higher than the grade C criteria of the National Patriotic Health Campaign Committee (NPHCC), China. The higher RIs were found from the bird and flower markets, schools, and underground parking lots. The results indicated that Android mobile devices are a convenient and useful tool for surveillance of mosquito habitats, and the enhancement of source reduction may benefit the prevention and control of dengue vector mosquitoes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Crapemyrtle Bark Scale: A New Threat for Crapemyrtles, a Popular Landscape Plant in the U.S.
Insects 2016, 7(4), 78; doi:10.3390/insects7040078 -
Abstract
Crapemyrtle bark scale, Acanthococcus (=Eriococcus) lagerstroemiae (Kuwana) (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), is a newly introduced insect pest on crapemyrtles, Lagerstroemia spp. (Myrtales: Lythraceae), one of the most popular flowering shrubs in the U.S. Since first detected in Texas in 2004, this pest has
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Crapemyrtle bark scale, Acanthococcus (=Eriococcus) lagerstroemiae (Kuwana) (Hemiptera: Eriococcidae), is a newly introduced insect pest on crapemyrtles, Lagerstroemia spp. (Myrtales: Lythraceae), one of the most popular flowering shrubs in the U.S. Since first detected in Texas in 2004, this pest has spread to twelve states causing losses to stakeholders. To develop a management plan, we reviewed current knowledge about the pest’s biology and ecology, and suggested research approaches including studying its thermal tolerance, host range, plant resistance and biological control. Parasitoids and predators have been reared from A. lagerstroemiae in the U.S. and China. However, new surveys of natural enemies should be conducted in China, and studies on the host range and impacts of natural enemies on A. lagerstroemiae may help determine the potential for classical biological control. The life history, preying efficiency and rearing methods are important for coccinellid predators found in the U.S. including Chilocorus cacti L. and Hyperaspis spp. To enhance natural enemy performance, it is important to evaluate a sustainable insecticide program that considers efficacy, timing, rate and impact on pollinator health. Finally, an integrated management program of A. lagerstroemiae is discussed including planting resistant cultivars, using host specific natural enemies, and prudent use of insecticides. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Review of the Tawny Crazy Ant, Nylanderia fulva, an Emergent Ant Invader in the Southern United States: Is Biological Control a Feasible Management Option?
Insects 2016, 7(4), 77; doi:10.3390/insects7040077 -
Abstract
The tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), has invaded states of the U.S. including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Native to South America, N. fulva is considered a pest in the U.S. capable of annoying homeowners and farmers, as
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The tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), has invaded states of the U.S. including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Native to South America, N. fulva is considered a pest in the U.S. capable of annoying homeowners and farmers, as well as displacing native ant species. As it continues to expand its range, there is a growing need to develop novel management techniques to control the pest and prevent further spread. Current management efforts rely heavily on chemical control, but these methods have not been successful. A review of the biology, taxonomy, ecology, and distribution of N. fulva, including discussion of ecological and economic consequences of this invasive species, is presented. Options for future management are suggested focusing on biological control, including parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon, the microsporidian parasite Myrmecomorba nylanderiae, and a novel polynucleotide virus as potential biological control agents. We suggest further investigation of natural enemies present in the adventive range, as well as foreign exploration undertaken in the native range including Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. We conclude that N. fulva may be a suitable candidate for biological control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biological Control Outcomes Using the Generalist Aphid Predator Aphidoletes aphidimyza under Multi-Prey Conditions
Insects 2016, 7(4), 75; doi:10.3390/insects7040075 -
Abstract
The aphidophagous midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is used in biological control programs against aphids in many crops. Short-term trials with this natural enemy demonstrated that that females prefer to oviposit among aphids colonizing the new growth of plants, leading to differential attack
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The aphidophagous midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is used in biological control programs against aphids in many crops. Short-term trials with this natural enemy demonstrated that that females prefer to oviposit among aphids colonizing the new growth of plants, leading to differential attack rates for aphid species that differ in their within-plant distributions. Thus, we hypothesized that biological control efficacy could be compromised when more than one aphid species is present. We further hypothesized that control outcomes may be different at different crop stages if aphid species shift their preferred feeding locations. Here, we used greenhouse trials to determine biological control outcomes using A. aphidimyza under multi-prey conditions and at different crop stages. At all plant stages, aphid species had a significant effect on the number of predator eggs laid. More eggs were found on M. persicae versus A. solani-infested plants, since M. persicae consistently colonized plant meristems across plant growth stages. This translated to higher numbers of predatory larvae on M. periscae-infested plants in two out of our three experiments, and more consistent control of this pest (78%–95% control across all stages of plant growth). In contrast, control of A. solani was inconsistent in the presence of M. persicae, with 36%–80% control achieved. An additional experiment demonstrated control of A. solani by A. aphidimyza was significantly greater in the absence of M. persicae than in its presence. Our study illustrates that suitability of a natural enemy for pest control may change over a crop cycle as the position of prey on the plant changes, and that prey preference based on within-plant prey location can negatively influence biological control programs in systems with pest complexes. Careful monitoring of the less-preferred pest and its relative position on the plant is suggested. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evidence of Tolerance to Silica-Based Desiccant Dusts in a Pyrethroid-Resistant Strain of Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)
Insects 2016, 7(4), 74; doi:10.3390/insects7040074 -
Abstract
Insecticide resistance in bed bugs (Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus) has become widespread, which has necessitated the development of new IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategies and products for the eradication of infestations. Two promising options are the diatomaceous earth and silica
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Insecticide resistance in bed bugs (Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus) has become widespread, which has necessitated the development of new IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategies and products for the eradication of infestations. Two promising options are the diatomaceous earth and silica gel-based desiccant dusts, both of which induce dehydration and eventual death upon bed bugs exposed to these products. However, the impact of underlying mechanisms that confer resistance to insecticides, such as cuticle thickening, on the performance of these dusts has yet to be determined. In the present study, two desiccant dusts, CimeXa Insecticide Dust (silica gel) and Bed Bug Killer Powder (diatomaceous earth) were evaluated against two strains of C. lectularius; one highly pyrethroid-resistant and one insecticide-susceptible. Label-rate doses of both products produced 100% mortality in both strains, albeit over dissimilar time-frames (3–4 days with CimeXa vs. 14 days with Bed Bug Killer). Sub-label rate exposure to CimeXa indicated that the pyrethroid-resistant strain possessed a degree of tolerance to this product, surviving 50% longer than the susceptible strain. This is the first study to suggest that mechanisms conferring resistance to pyrethroids, such as cuticular thickening, may have potential secondary impacts on non-synthetic insecticides, including desiccant dusts, which target the bed bug’s cuticle. Full article
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