Open AccessReview
Companion Plants for Aphid Pest Management
Insects 2017, 8(4), 112; doi:10.3390/insects8040112 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A potential strategy for controlling pests is through the use of “companion plants” within a crop system. This strategy has been used in several trials to fight against a major crop insect pest: the aphid. We reviewed the literature to highlight the major
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A potential strategy for controlling pests is through the use of “companion plants” within a crop system. This strategy has been used in several trials to fight against a major crop insect pest: the aphid. We reviewed the literature to highlight the major mechanisms by which a companion plant may act. Trials carried out under laboratory or field conditions revealed that companion plants operate through several mechanisms. A companion plant may be associated with a target crop for various reasons. Firstly, it can attract aphids and draw them away from their host plants. Secondly, it can alter the recognition of the host plant. This effect is mostly attributed to companion plant volatiles since they disturb the aphid host plant location, and additionally they may react chemically and physiologically with the host plant, making it an unsuitable host for aphids. Thirdly, it can attract natural enemies by providing shelter and food resources. In this review, the feasibility of using companion plants is discussed. We conclude that many factors need to be taken into account for a successful companion plant strategy. For the best long-term results, companion plant strategies have to be combined with other alternative approaches against aphids. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Diversity and Phylogenetic Analyses of Bacterial Symbionts in Three Whitefly Species from Southeast Europe
Insects 2017, 8(4), 113; doi:10.3390/insects8040113 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), and Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) are whitefly species that harm agricultural crops in many regions of the world. These insects live in close association with bacterial symbionts that affect host fitness and adaptation to the environment. In the
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Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), and Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday) are whitefly species that harm agricultural crops in many regions of the world. These insects live in close association with bacterial symbionts that affect host fitness and adaptation to the environment. In the current study, we surveyed the infection of whitefly populations in Southeast Europe by various bacterial symbionts and performed phylogenetic analyses on the different symbionts detected. Arsenophonus and Hamiltonella were the most prevalent symbionts in all three whitefly species. Rickettsia was found to infect mainly B. tabaci, while Wolbachia mainly infected both B. tabaci and S. phillyreae. Furthermore, Cardinium was rarely found in the investigated whitefly populations, while Fritschea was never found in any of the whitefly species tested. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a diversity of several symbionts (e.g., Hamiltonella, Arsenophonus, Rickettsia), which appeared in several clades. Reproductively isolated B. tabaci and T. vaporariorum shared the same (or highly similar) Hamiltonella and Arsenophonus, while these symbionts were distinctive in S. phillyreae. Interestingly, Arsenophonus from S. phillyreae did not cluster with any of the reported sequences, which could indicate the presence of Arsenophonus, not previously associated with whiteflies. In this study, symbionts (Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Cardinium) known to infect a wide range of insects each clustered in the same clades independently of the whitefly species. These results indicate horizontal transmission of bacterial symbionts between reproductively isolated whitefly species, a mechanism that can establish new infections that did not previously exist in whiteflies. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Heartrate Reaction to Acute Stress in Horned Passalus Beetles (Odontotaenius disjunctus) is Negatively Affected by a Naturally-Occurring Nematode Parasite
Insects 2017, 8(4), 110; doi:10.3390/insects8040110 -
Abstract
There are many events in the lives of insects where rapid, effective stress reactions are needed, including fighting conspecifics to defend territories, evading predators, and responding to wounds. A key element of the stress reaction is elevation of heartrate (HR), for enhancing distribution
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There are many events in the lives of insects where rapid, effective stress reactions are needed, including fighting conspecifics to defend territories, evading predators, and responding to wounds. A key element of the stress reaction is elevation of heartrate (HR), for enhancing distribution of blood (hemolymph) to body compartments. We conducted two experiments designed to improve understanding of the insect stress reaction and how it is influenced by parasitism in a common beetle species (Odontotaenius disjunctus). By non-destructively observing heartbeat frequency before, during and after applying a stressor (physical restraint) for 10 min, we sought to determine: (1) the exact timing of the cardiac stress reaction; (2) the magnitude of heartrate elevation during stress; and (3) if the physiological response is affected by a naturally-occurring nematode parasite, Chondronema passali. Restraint caused a dramatic increase in heartrate, though not immediately; maximum HR was reached after approximately 8 min. Average heartrate went from 65.5 beats/min to a maximum of 81.5 (24.5% increase) in adults raised in the lab (n = 19). Using wild-caught adults (n = 77), average heartrates went from 54.9 beats/min to 74.2 (35.5% increase). When restraint was removed, HR declined after ~5 min, and reached baseline 50 min later. The nematode parasite did not affect baseline heartrates in either experiment, but in one, it retarded the heartrate elevation during stress, and in the other, it reduced the overall magnitude of the elevation. While we acknowledge that our results are based on comparisons of beetles with naturally-occurring parasite infections, these results indicate this parasite causes a modest reduction in host cardiac output during acute stress conditions. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Longitudinal Measurements of Tarnished Plant Bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) Susceptibility to Insecticides in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi: Associations with Insecticide Use and Insect Control Recommendations
Insects 2017, 8(4), 109; doi:10.3390/insects8040109 -
Abstract
Concentration-response assays were conducted from 2008 through 2015 to measure the susceptibility of field populations of Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) from the Delta regions of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi to acephate, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, permethrin, and sulfoxaflor. A total of 229 field populations
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Concentration-response assays were conducted from 2008 through 2015 to measure the susceptibility of field populations of Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) from the Delta regions of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi to acephate, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, permethrin, and sulfoxaflor. A total of 229 field populations were examined for susceptibility to acephate, 145 for susceptibility to imidacloprid, and 208 for susceptibility to thiamethoxam. Permethrin assays were conducted in 2014 and 2015 to measure levels of pyrethroid resistance in 44 field populations, and sulfoxaflor assays were conducted against 24 field populations in 2015. Resistance to acephate and permethrin is as high or higher than that previously reported, although some populations, especially those exposed to permethrin, appear to be susceptible. Variable assay responses were measured for populations exposed to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Average response metrics suggest that populations are generally susceptible to the neonicotinoids, but a few populations from cotton fields experiencing control problems exhibited elevated LC50s. Efforts to associate variability in LC50s with recorded use of insecticides and estimated cotton insect losses and control costs suggest that intensive use of insecticides over several decades may have elevated general detoxifying enzymes in L. lineolaris and some field populations may be exhibiting resistance to multiple classes of insecticide. These results suggest that efforts should be made to manage these pests more efficiently with a reduced use of insecticides and alternative controls. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Review of Ecologically-Based Pest Management in California Vineyards
Insects 2017, 8(4), 108; doi:10.3390/insects8040108 -
Abstract
Grape growers in California utilize a variety of biological, cultural, and chemical approaches for the management of insect and mite pests in vineyards. This combination of strategies falls within the integrated pest management (IPM) framework, which is considered to be the dominant pest
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Grape growers in California utilize a variety of biological, cultural, and chemical approaches for the management of insect and mite pests in vineyards. This combination of strategies falls within the integrated pest management (IPM) framework, which is considered to be the dominant pest management paradigm in vineyards. While the adoption of IPM has led to notable and significant reductions in the environmental impacts of grape production, some growers are becoming interested in the use of an explicitly non-pesticide approach to pest management that is broadly referred to as ecologically-based pest management (EBPM). Essentially a subset of IPM strategies, EBPM places strong emphasis on practices such as habitat management, natural enemy augmentation and conservation, and animal integration. Here, we summarize the range and known efficacy of EBPM practices utilized in California vineyards, followed by a discussion of research needs and future policy directions. EBPM should in no way be seen in opposition, or as an alternative to the IPM framework. Rather, the further development of more reliable EBPM practices could contribute to the robustness of IPM strategies available to grape growers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Trap Nesting Wasps and Bees in Agriculture: A Comparison of Sown Wildflower and Fallow Plots in Florida
Insects 2017, 8(4), 107; doi:10.3390/insects8040107 -
Abstract
Wildflower strip plantings in intensive agricultural systems have become a widespread tool for promoting pollination services and biological conservation because of their use by wasps and bees. Many of the trap-nesting wasps are important predators of common crop pests, and cavity-nesting bees that
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Wildflower strip plantings in intensive agricultural systems have become a widespread tool for promoting pollination services and biological conservation because of their use by wasps and bees. Many of the trap-nesting wasps are important predators of common crop pests, and cavity-nesting bees that utilize trap-nests are important pollinators for native plants and many crops. The impact of wildflower strips on the nesting frequency of trap-nesting wasps or bees within localized areas has not been thoroughly investigated. Trap-nests made of bamboo reeds (Bambusa sp.) were placed adjacent to eight 0.1 ha wildflower plots and paired fallow areas (control plots) to determine if wildflower strips encourage the nesting of wasps and bees. From August 2014 to November 2015, occupied reeds were gathered and adults were collected as they emerged from the trap-nests. Treatment (wildflower or fallow plots) did not impact the number of occupied reeds or species richness of trap-nesting wasps using the occupied reeds. The wasps Pachodynerus erynnis, Euodynerus megaera, Parancistrocerus pedestris, and Isodontia spp. were the most common trap-nesting species collected. Less than 2% of the occupied reeds contained bees, and all were from the genus Megachile. The nesting wasp and bee species demonstrated preferences for reeds with certain inside diameters (IDs). The narrow range of ID preferences exhibited by each bee/wasp may provide opportunities to take advantage of their natural histories for biological control and/or pollination purposes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effect of Moxidectin on Bed Bug Feeding, Development, Fecundity, and Survivorship
Insects 2017, 8(4), 106; doi:10.3390/insects8040106 -
Abstract
The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), is a blood-feeding ectoparasite which experienced world-wide resurgence during recent decades. The control of bed bugs is often challenging, due to their cryptic nature and resistance to commonly used insecticides. In this study, we
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The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), is a blood-feeding ectoparasite which experienced world-wide resurgence during recent decades. The control of bed bugs is often challenging, due to their cryptic nature and resistance to commonly used insecticides. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the antiparasitic drug moxidectin on bed bug survival, reproduction, and development. The LC50 (lethal concentration to kill half the members of a tested population) of moxidectin against bed bug male adults, female adults, and large nymphs were 52.7 (95% CI (confidence interval): 39.5–70.8), 29.3 (95% CI: 20.7–40.5), and 29.1 ng/mL (95% CI: 23.3–35.3), respectively. Moxidectin (≥ 25 ng/mL) reduced egg laying of bed bug females, but showed no significant effect on egg hatching. One time feeding on rabbit blood containing 20 and 40 ng/mL moxidectin showed no negative effects in bed bug feeding and blood meal ingestion, but significantly reduced digestion rates and nymph molting rates. Although moxidectin at concentrations of 20 and 40 ng/mL only caused moderate mortality in bed bugs, it significantly interrupted digestion, development, and oviposition of survived bed bugs for at least one week after feeding. Moxidectin is a promising supplement of the existing bed bug control materials if its use on humans can be approved in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stability of Cacopsylla pyricola (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) Populations in Pacific Northwest Pear Orchards Managed with Long-Term Mating Disruption for Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)
Insects 2017, 8(4), 105; doi:10.3390/insects8040105 -
Abstract
This study focused on conservation biological control of pear psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola, in the Pacific Northwest, USA. We hypothesized that insecticides applied against the primary insect pest, codling moth Cydia pomonella, negatively impact natural enemies of pear psylla, thus causing outbreaks
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This study focused on conservation biological control of pear psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola, in the Pacific Northwest, USA. We hypothesized that insecticides applied against the primary insect pest, codling moth Cydia pomonella, negatively impact natural enemies of pear psylla, thus causing outbreaks of this secondary pest. Hence, the objective of this study was to understand how codling moth management influences the abundance of pear psylla and its natural enemy complex in pear orchards managed under long-term codling moth mating disruption programs. We conducted this study within a pear orchard that had previously been under seasonal mating disruption for codling moth for eight years. We replicated two treatments, “natural enemy disrupt” (application of two combination sprays of spinetoram plus chlorantraniliprole timed against first-generation codling moth) and “natural enemy non-disrupt” four times in the orchard. Field sampling of psylla and natural enemies (i.e., lacewings, coccinellids, spiders, Campylomma verbasci, syrphid flies, earwigs) revealed that pear psylla populations remained well below treatment thresholds all season despite the reduced abundance of key pear psylla natural enemies in the natural enemy disrupt plots compared with the non-disrupt treatment. We speculate that pear psylla are difficult to disrupt when pear orchards are under long-term codling moth disruption. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Perennial Grass and Native Wildflowers: A Synergistic Approach to Habitat Management
Insects 2017, 8(4), 104; doi:10.3390/insects8040104 -
Abstract
Marginal agricultural land provides opportunities to diversify landscapes by producing biomass for biofuel, and through floral provisioning that enhances arthropod-mediated ecosystem service delivery. We examined the effects of local spatial context (adjacent to woodland or agriculture) and irrigation (irrigation or no irrigation) on
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Marginal agricultural land provides opportunities to diversify landscapes by producing biomass for biofuel, and through floral provisioning that enhances arthropod-mediated ecosystem service delivery. We examined the effects of local spatial context (adjacent to woodland or agriculture) and irrigation (irrigation or no irrigation) on wildflower bloom and visitation by arthropods in a biofeedstocks-wildflower habitat buffer design. Twenty habitat buffer plots were established containing a subplot of Napier grass (Pennisetum perpureum Schumach) for biofeedstock, three commercial wildflower mix subplots, and a control subplot containing spontaneous weeds. Arthropods and flowers were visually observed in quadrats throughout the season. At the end of the season we measured soil nutrients and harvested Napier biomass. We found irrespective of buffer location or irrigation, pollinators were observed more frequently early in the season and on experimental plots with wildflowers than on weeds in the control plots. Natural enemies showed a tendency for being more common on plots adjacent to a wooded border, and were also more commonly observed early in the season. Herbivore visits were infrequent and not significantly influenced by experimental treatments. Napier grass yields were high and typical of first-year yields reported regionally, and were not affected by location context or irrigation. Our results suggest habitat management designs integrating bioenergy crop and floral resources provide marketable biomass and habitat for beneficial arthropods. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Getting More Power from Your Flowers: Multi-Functional Flower Strips Enhance Pollinators and Pest Control Agents in Apple Orchards
Insects 2017, 8(3), 101; doi:10.3390/insects8030101 -
Abstract
Flower strips are commonly recommended to boost biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services (e.g., pollination and pest control) on farmland. However, significant knowledge gaps remain regards the extent to which they deliver on these aims. Here, we tested the efficacy of flower strips that
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Flower strips are commonly recommended to boost biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services (e.g., pollination and pest control) on farmland. However, significant knowledge gaps remain regards the extent to which they deliver on these aims. Here, we tested the efficacy of flower strips that targeted different subsets of beneficial arthropods (pollinators and natural enemies) and their ecosystem services in cider apple orchards. Treatments included mixes that specifically targeted: (1) pollinators (‘concealed-nectar plants’); (2) natural enemies (‘open-nectar plants’); or (3) both groups concurrently (i.e., ‘multi-functional’ mix). Flower strips were established in alleyways of four orchards and compared to control alleyways (no flowers). Pollinator (e.g., bees) and natural enemy (e.g., parasitoid wasps, predatory flies and beetles) visitation to flower strips, alongside measures of pest control (aphid colony densities, sentinel prey predation), and fruit production, were monitored in orchards over two consecutive growing seasons. Targeted flower strips attracted either pollinators or natural enemies, whereas mixed flower strips attracted both groups in similar abundance to targeted mixes. Natural enemy densities on apple trees were higher in plots containing open-nectar plants compared to other treatments, but effects were stronger for non-aphidophagous taxa. Predation of sentinel prey was enhanced in all flowering plots compared to controls but pest aphid densities and fruit yield were unaffected by flower strips. We conclude that ‘multi-functional’ flower strips that contain flowering plant species with opposing floral traits can provide nectar and pollen for both pollinators and natural enemies, but further work is required to understand their potential for improving pest control services and yield in cider apple orchards. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Resistance Management for Asian Citrus Psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, in Florida
Insects 2017, 8(3), 103; doi:10.3390/insects8030103 -
Abstract
The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayma, is one of the most important pests in citrus production. The objective of this study was to evaluate D. citri resistance management with three insecticide rotations and compare them with no rotation and an untreated check.
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The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayma, is one of the most important pests in citrus production. The objective of this study was to evaluate D. citri resistance management with three insecticide rotations and compare them with no rotation and an untreated check. The different insecticides (modes of action) tested were: dimethoate, imidacloprid, diflubenzuron, abamectin 3% + thiamethoxam 13.9%, and fenpropathrin. Eggs, nymph, and adult psyllids were counted weekly. Five insecticide applications were made in 2016. Insecticide susceptibility was determined by direct comparison with a laboratory susceptible population and field populations before and after all treatments were applied. Rankings of eggs, nymphs, and adults counted in treated plots were significantly lower than in the untreated control plots after each application. Initially, the resistance ratio (RR50) for each rotation model, as compared with laboratory susceptible strain and the field population before application, was less than 5.76 and 4.31, respectively. However, after five applications with dimethoate, the RR50 using the laboratory and pre-treatment field populations was 42.34 and 34.74, respectively. Our results indicate that effectively rotating modes of action can delay and/or prevent development of insecticide resistance in populations of D. citri. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Freeze-Drying and Oven-Drying Post Blanching on the Nutrient Composition of the Edible Insect Ruspolia differens
Insects 2017, 8(3), 102; doi:10.3390/insects8030102 -
Abstract
The longhorn grasshopper, Ruspolia differens (Serville), plays an important role as a food source across Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is consumed as a delicacy in both rural and urban areas. The effect of two drying methods (freeze-drying and oven-drying), employed after blanching, on
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The longhorn grasshopper, Ruspolia differens (Serville), plays an important role as a food source across Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is consumed as a delicacy in both rural and urban areas. The effect of two drying methods (freeze-drying and oven-drying), employed after blanching, on the proximate, fatty acid and mineral composition of the two most common morphs was determined. Ruspolia differens grasshoppers were harvested in Uganda and Kenya from wild swarms during the rainy periods of November–December 2016. Based on cuticular coloration, we identified three morphs, green, brown and purple, which occurred at a ratio of 65:33:2, respectively. Results indicated that these insects have a high lipid content of 36%, as well as significant protein levels ranging between 33% and 46% dry matter. Oleic acid (44%) and palmitic acid (28%) were the two most abundant fatty acids; while the presence of arachidonic acid (0.6%) and docosahexaenoic acid (0.21%) suggests that Ruspolia differens is also a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The observed amino acid profile showed similar trends in all morphs, and all essential amino acids were present. Calcium (896–1035 mg/100 g), potassium (779–816 mg/100 g) and phosphorus (652–685 mg/100 g) were quite high among the minerals. The presence of the trace elements iron (217–220 mg/100 g), zinc (14.2–14.6 mg/100 g), manganese (7.4–8.3 mg/100 g) and copper (1.66 mg/100 g) suggests that inclusion of these grasshoppers in human diets may aid in combatting micronutrient deficiencies. Oven-drying Ruspolia differens delivered the same nutritional quality as freeze-drying. Hence, both drying approaches can be adequately used to formulate insect-based food products without noticeable nutritional changes. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Effects of Wildflower Strips and an Adjacent Forest on Aphids and Their Natural Enemies in a Pea Field
Insects 2017, 8(3), 99; doi:10.3390/insects8030099 -
Abstract
Landscape diversification is a key element for the development of sustainable agriculture. This study explores whether the implementation of habitats for pest natural enemies enhances conservation biological control in an adjacent field. In the present study conducted in Gembloux (Belgium) in 2016, the
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Landscape diversification is a key element for the development of sustainable agriculture. This study explores whether the implementation of habitats for pest natural enemies enhances conservation biological control in an adjacent field. In the present study conducted in Gembloux (Belgium) in 2016, the effect of two different habitats (wildflower strips and a forest) and aphid abundance on the density of aphid natural enemies, mummified aphids and parasitism on pea plants was assessed through visual observations. The effect of the habitats on aphids was also evaluated. The habitats but not aphid density significantly affected hoverfly larvae, which were more abundant adjacent to wildflower strips than to the forest. The contrary was observed for ladybeetle adults, which were positively related with aphids but not affected by the adjacent habitats. The abundance of mummies and the parasitism rate were significantly affected by both the habitats and aphid density. They were both significantly enhanced adjacent to wildflower strips compared to the forest, but the total parasitism rate was low (<1%), questioning whether parasitoids could significantly control aphids on the pea crop. As for the aphids, their abundance was not significantly affected by the adjacent habitats. These results are discussed with respect to the potential of these habitats to provide overwintering sites and food resources for natural enemies, and thereby enhance conservation biological control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lipase Activity in the Larval Midgut of Rhynchophorus palmarum: Biochemical Characterization and the Effects of Reducing Agents
Insects 2017, 8(3), 100; doi:10.3390/insects8030100 -
Abstract
Lipases have key roles in insect lipid acquisition, storage, and mobilization and are also fundamental to many physiological processes in insects. Lipids are an important component of insect diets, where they are hydrolyzed in the midgut lumen, absorbed, and used for the synthesis
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Lipases have key roles in insect lipid acquisition, storage, and mobilization and are also fundamental to many physiological processes in insects. Lipids are an important component of insect diets, where they are hydrolyzed in the midgut lumen, absorbed, and used for the synthesis of complex lipids. The South American palm weevil Rhynchophorus palmarum is one of the most important pests on commercial palm plantations. However, there are few studies about lipid digestion for this insect. In this work, we have described the biochemical characterization of the lipase activity in the posterior midgut of the R. palmarum palm weevil. Lipase activity was highest between the temperatures of 37 °C and 45 °C and at pH 6.5. Lipase activity was also sensitive to variations in salt and calcium concentrations. Lipases have been described structurally as enzymes with the Ser-His-Asp Catalytic Triad, containing an active serine. The serine protease inhibitor PMSF (phenylmethane sulfonyl fluoride) inhibited the lipases from R. palmarum, demonstrating the importance of a serine residue for this activity. The ability of the lipases to hydrolyze p-Nitrophenyl esters with different chain lengths has revealed the activities of a broad range of substrates. The lipase activities of R. palmarum increased in the presence of reduced glutathione (GSH) and dithiothreitol (DTT), while in the presence of oxidized glutathione (GSSG), activities were drastically reduced. To our knowledge, this study has provided the first information about lipase activity in the R. palmarum palm weevil. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Elimination of Coptotermes lacteus (Froggatt) (Blattodea: Rhinotemitidae) Colonies Using Bistrifluron Bait Applied through In-Ground Bait Stations Surrounding Mounds
Insects 2017, 8(3), 98; doi:10.3390/insects8030098 -
Abstract
The efficacy of bistrifluron termite bait was evaluated using in-ground bait stations placed around Coptotermes lacteus mounds in south-eastern Australia during late summer and autumn (late February to late May 2012). Four in-ground bait stations containing timber billets were placed around each of
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The efficacy of bistrifluron termite bait was evaluated using in-ground bait stations placed around Coptotermes lacteus mounds in south-eastern Australia during late summer and autumn (late February to late May 2012). Four in-ground bait stations containing timber billets were placed around each of twenty mounds. Once sufficient numbers of in-ground stations were infested by termites, mounds were assigned to one of four groups (one, two, three or four 120 g bait canisters or 120 to 480 g bait in total per mound) and bait canisters installed. One mound, nominally assigned treatment with two canisters ultimately had no termite interception in any of the four in-ground stations and not treated. Eighteen of the remaining 19 colonies were eliminated by 12 weeks after bait placement, irrespective of bait quantity removed (range 43 to 480 g). Measures of colony decline—mound repair capability and internal core temperature—did not accurately reflect the colony decline, as untreated colonies showed a similar pattern of decline in both repair capability and internal mound core temperature. However, during the ensuing spring–summer period, capacity to repair the mound was restored in untreated colonies and the internal core temperature profile was similar to the previous spring–summer period which indicated that these untreated colonies remained healthy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Geometric Analysis of the Regulation of Inorganic Nutrient Intake by the Subterranean Termite Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar
Insects 2017, 8(3), 97; doi:10.3390/insects8030097 -
Abstract
Most studies on termite food selection have focused on a single nutrient per choice, however, termites, like all animals, must balance multiple nutrients in their diet. While most studies that use multi-nutrient approaches focus on macromolecules, the ability to balance the intake of
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Most studies on termite food selection have focused on a single nutrient per choice, however, termites, like all animals, must balance multiple nutrients in their diet. While most studies that use multi-nutrient approaches focus on macromolecules, the ability to balance the intake of inorganic nutrients is also vital to organisms. In this study, we used the geometric framework to test the effects of multiple inorganic nutrients on termite feeding. We presented the subsets of Reticulitermes flavipes colonies with food enriched with varying in levels of KCl, MgSO4, and FePO4. Each trial varied two of the three nutrients while the third nutrient was kept constant. The amount of food consumed was measured over two weeks. The termites’ feeding patterns during the study suggested that they fed until they reached a limit for MgSO4. This result suggests that the termites were using the rule of compromise such that the termites would over consume KCl or FePO4 in order to avoid overeating MgSO4. Thus, the termite colonies are able to regulate the intake of inorganic nutrients, and by doing so, adjust their intake from multiple resources in order to maintain an intake target. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
The Spread of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Coexistence with Helicoverpa zea in Southeastern Brazil
Insects 2017, 8(3), 87; doi:10.3390/insects8030087 -
Abstract
Helicoverpa armigera, one of the world’s most destructive crop pests, was first documented in Brazil in 2013. Within a few months, this polyphagous insect had spread over the Northeast and Central-West of Brazil, causing great agricultural losses. With several reports of populations
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Helicoverpa armigera, one of the world’s most destructive crop pests, was first documented in Brazil in 2013. Within a few months, this polyphagous insect had spread over the Northeast and Central-West of Brazil, causing great agricultural losses. With several reports of populations resistant to pesticides and Bt crops around the world, there is great concern about the spread of this pest in Brazil. There is confusion about the actual distribution of this species due to the high morphological similarity with the native corn earworm Helicoverpa zea, which may also coexist with H. armigera in the field. Our aims here were (i) to confirm its presence in the State of Minas Gerais, one of the most important agricultural regions in the country; and (ii) to assess the co-occurrence of this pest with the congeneric corn earworm H. zea. Using molecular screening, we confirmed the presence of H. armigera in Bt-crops of soybean and cotton, and non-Bt-crops of soybean, cotton and maize. Mixed infestations of H. armigera with H. zea were found in non-Bt maize (Viçosa, Southeastern Minas Gerais). These results highlight the need for adequate control strategies for H. armigera in Brazil, to deal with its polyphagous feeding habits, high dispersal capacity and possible risks of hybridization with congeneric species. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Comparative Programs for Arthropod, Disease and Weed Management in New York Organic Apples
Insects 2017, 8(3), 96; doi:10.3390/insects8030096 -
Abstract
Organic apple production in the eastern US is small and is mostly based on existing varieties, which are susceptible to scab, and rootstocks, which are susceptible to fire blight. This requires numerous sprays per year of various pesticides to produce acceptable fruit. From
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Organic apple production in the eastern US is small and is mostly based on existing varieties, which are susceptible to scab, and rootstocks, which are susceptible to fire blight. This requires numerous sprays per year of various pesticides to produce acceptable fruit. From 2014 to 2016, we tested different arthropod, disease and weed management programs in an advanced tall spindle high-density production system that included disease-resistant cultivars and rootstocks, in an organic research planting of apples in Geneva, New York. Arthropod and disease management regimens were characterized as Advanced Organic, Minimal Organic, or Untreated Control. Results varied by year and variety, but, in general, the Advanced program was more effective than the Minimal program in preventing damage from internal-feeding Lepidoptera, plum curculio, and obliquebanded leafroller, and less effective than the Minimal program against damage by foliar insects. Both organic programs provided comparable control of sooty blotch, cedar apple rust, and fire blight, with some variability across cultivars and years. The advanced selection CC1009 and Modi seemed to possess complete resistance to cedar apple rust, while Pristine had partial resistance. For weed control, bark chip mulch, organic soap sprays, and limonene sprays tended to be most effective, while mechanical tillage and flame weeding had lower success. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperShort Note
Comparison of Efficiency of BG-Sentinel Traps Baited with Mice, Mouse-Litter, and CO2 Lures for Field Sampling of Male and Female Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes
Insects 2017, 8(3), 95; doi:10.3390/insects8030095 -
Abstract
Determining the abundance and distribution of male mosquitoes in the wild and establishing species seasonality in candidate pilot sites is of particular interest with respect to the use of the sterile-male technique. With the knowledge that using mice as bait in BG-Sentinel traps
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Determining the abundance and distribution of male mosquitoes in the wild and establishing species seasonality in candidate pilot sites is of particular interest with respect to the use of the sterile-male technique. With the knowledge that using mice as bait in BG-Sentinel traps effectively enhances Aedes albopictus male and female trapping success, the present study was designed to determine whether attractants derived from mouse odour blend could be a viable substitute for live mice to lure Ae. albopictus mosquitoes into traps. The effects of baiting BG-Sentinel traps with mice, carbon dioxide (CO2), and attractants derived from litter mouse odours (mouse litter (ML)) and a mouse odour blend (MOB) on the efficiency of trapping Ae. albopictus males and females were tested using a Latin square design. The BG-Sentinel trap baited with CO2 + ML caught a significantly larger number of mosquitoes compared to traps baited with mice only. The BG-Sentinel traps containing only CO2 or CO2 + MOB, however, did not catch significantly more mosquitoes compared to the other traps. The proportions of males caught in the BG-Sentinel traps did not differ significantly between the respective attractants. The results from this study confirm that CO2 bait is efficient to provide a reliable estimation method for Ae. albopictus adult male abundance in the wild, and suggest that mouse litter baits in combination with CO2 could be used to enhance Aedes trapping success in BG-Sentinel traps. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Locomotion Inhibition of Cimex lectularius L. Following Topical, Sublethal Dose Application of the Chitin Synthesis Inhibitor Lufenuron
Insects 2017, 8(3), 94; doi:10.3390/insects8030094 -
Abstract
To date, few studies have evaluated chitin synthesis inhibitors against bed bugs, although they would provide an alternative mode of action to circumvent insecticide resistance. Acute and sublethal effects of lufenuron were evaluated against two strains of the common bed bug. Combined acute
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To date, few studies have evaluated chitin synthesis inhibitors against bed bugs, although they would provide an alternative mode of action to circumvent insecticide resistance. Acute and sublethal effects of lufenuron were evaluated against two strains of the common bed bug. Combined acute and sublethal effects were used to calculate effective doses. The dose that was effective against 50% of Harlan strain bed bugs was 0.0081% (w/v), and was much higher against Bradenton strain bed bugs (1.11% w/v). Sublethal doses were chosen to determine the effect that leg abnormalities had on pulling force. Both Harlan and Bradenton strain bed bugs had significantly lower locomotion ability (p < 0.0001) following topical application of lufenuron. The observed sublethal effects that limit locomotion could prevent bed bugs from moving within a domicile and taking a blood meal, subsequently reducing a bed bug population over time. Full article
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