Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Speyeria (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) Conservation
Insects 2017, 8(2), 45; doi:10.3390/insects8020045 -
Abstract
Speyeria (Nymphalidae) are a conspicuous component of the North American butterfly fauna. There are approximately 16 species and >100 associated subspecies (or geographical variants). Speyeria are univoltine, occupy a wide range of habitats, overwinter as first instar larvae, and feed only on native
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Speyeria (Nymphalidae) are a conspicuous component of the North American butterfly fauna. There are approximately 16 species and >100 associated subspecies (or geographical variants). Speyeria are univoltine, occupy a wide range of habitats, overwinter as first instar larvae, and feed only on native violets. Speyeria species have become a model group for studies of evolution, speciation, and conservation. Several species and subspecies are threatened or endangered. The reasons for this vary with the taxa involved, but always involve the degradation or loss of quality habitat for larvae and adults. The impacts of climate change must be considered among the causes for habitat degradation and in the establishment of conservation measures. In addition to increasing the available habitat, conservation efforts should consider maintaining habitat in a seral “disturbed” successional stage that selectively favors the growth of violets and preferred adult nectar sources. A major future challenge will be determining the most effective allocation of conservation resources to those species and subspecies that have the greatest potential to respond favorably to these efforts. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Interactions among the Predatory Midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), the Fungal Pathogen Metarhizium brunneum (Ascomycota: Hypocreales), and Maize-Infesting Aphids in Greenhouse Mesocosms
Insects 2017, 8(2), 44; doi:10.3390/insects8020044 -
Abstract
The generalist entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum, has proved to have great potential as a versatile biological pest control agent. The gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a specialist predator that occurs naturally in Europe and has been successfully used for aphid suppression. However,
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The generalist entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum, has proved to have great potential as a versatile biological pest control agent. The gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a specialist predator that occurs naturally in Europe and has been successfully used for aphid suppression. However, the interaction between these two biological control organisms and how it may affect the biological control of aphids awaits further investigation. As part of the EU-supported project INBIOSOIL, this study was conducted in greenhouse conditions to assess the possible effects of combining both biological control agents. In a randomized complete block design, sweet corn (Zea mays var. saccharata) plants were grown in large pots filled with natural soil or natural soil inoculated with M. brunneum. At the third leaf stage, before being individually caged, plants were infested with Rhopalosiphum padi and A. aphidimyza pupae were introduced in the soil. Aphidoletes aphidimyza midge emergence, number of living midges and number of aphids were recorded daily. The presence of conidia in the soil and on leaves was assessed during the experiment. At the conclusion of the experiment, the number of live aphids and their developmental stage, consumed aphids, and A. aphidimyza eggs was assessed under stereomicroscope. This study’s findings showed that the presence of M. brunneum did not affect A. aphidimyza midge emergence. However, longevity was significantly affected. As the study progressed, significantly fewer predatory midges were found in cages treated with M. brunneum compared to untreated cages. Furthermore, by the end of the study, the number of predatory midges found in the Metarhizium-treated cages was four times lower than in the untreated cages. Both daily and final count of aphids were significantly affected by treatment. Aphidoletes aphidimyza applied alone suppressed the aphid population more effectively than M. brunneum applied alone. Additionally, the aphid population was most suppressed when both agents were combined, though the suppression was less than additive. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Efficacy of Ozone against Phosphine Susceptible and Resistant Strains of Four Stored-Product Insect Species
Insects 2017, 8(2), 42; doi:10.3390/insects8020042 -
Abstract
The efficacy of ozone was evaluated against four economically-important stored-product insect species at 27.2 C and 20.4% r.h. Adults of phosphine-susceptible laboratory strains and phosphine-resistant field strains of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), saw-toothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Linnaeus), maize weevil,
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The efficacy of ozone was evaluated against four economically-important stored-product insect species at 27.2 C and 20.4% r.h. Adults of phosphine-susceptible laboratory strains and phosphine-resistant field strains of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), saw-toothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Linnaeus), maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky, and rice weevil, Sitophilusoryzae (Linnaeus), were exposed in vials to an ozone concentration of 0.42 g/m3 (200 ppm) for 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 h with 0 and 10 g of wheat. Initial and final mortalities were assessed 1 and 5 d after exposure to ozone, respectively. After an 8–12-h exposure to ozone, initial mortality of Sitophilus spp. and O. surinamensis was 100%, whereas the highest initial mortality of T. castaneum was 90%. A 3–4-h exposure to ozone resulted in 100% final mortality of Sitophilus spp., whereas O. surinamensis required a 6- to 10-h exposure to ozone. Adults of T. castaneum were least susceptible to ozone, and after a 10-h exposure, mortality ranged between 82 and 95%. Time for the 5 d 99% mortality (LT99) for adults of laboratory and field strains of Sitophilus spp., O. surinamensis and T. castaneum were 2.00–5.56, 4.33–11.18 and 14.35–29.89 h, respectively. The LT99 values for adults of T. castaneum and O. surinamensis were not significantly different between bioassays conducted with 0 and 10 g of wheat. The LT99 values for the laboratory strains of Sitophilus spp. in the absence of wheat were significantly lower than those obtained in the presence of wheat. Both phosphine-susceptible and -resistant strains were equally susceptible to ozone. Ozone effectively suppressed adult progeny production of all four species. Ozone is a viable alternative fumigant to control phosphine-resistant strains of these four species. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Factors Affecting Species Identifications of Blow Fly Pupae Based upon Chemical Profiles and Multivariate Statistics
Insects 2017, 8(2), 43; doi:10.3390/insects8020043 -
Abstract
Alternative methods for the identification of species of blow fly pupae have been developed over the years that consist of the analyses of chemical profiles. However, the effect of biotic and abiotic factors that could influence the predictive manner for the tests have
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Alternative methods for the identification of species of blow fly pupae have been developed over the years that consist of the analyses of chemical profiles. However, the effect of biotic and abiotic factors that could influence the predictive manner for the tests have not been evaluated. The lipids of blowfly pupae (Cochliomyia macellaria, Lucilia cuprina, Lucilia sericata, and Phormia regina) were extracted in pentane, derivatized, and analyzed by total-vaporization solid phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TV-SPME GC-MS). Peak areas for 26 compounds were analyzed. Here we evaluated one biotic factor (colonization) on four species of blow flies to determine how well a model produced from lipid profiles of colonized flies predicted the species of flies of offspring of wild-caught flies and found very good species identification following 10 generations of inbreeding. When we evaluated four abiotic factors in our fly rearing protocols (temperature, humidity, pupation substrate, and diet), we found that the ability to assign the chemical profile to the correct species was greatly reduced. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mass Release of Trichogramma evanescens and T. cacoeciae Can Reduce Damage by the Apple Codling Moth Cydia pomonella in Organic Orchards under Pheromone Disruption
Insects 2017, 8(2), 41; doi:10.3390/insects8020041 -
Abstract
Cydia pomonella is a major pest in apples in Denmark. Trichogramma spp. are known biocontrol agents of C. pomonella eggs and two naturally occurring species in Denmark, which are also both commercially available, were chosen for mass-release trials. Trichogramma evanescens, T. cacoeciae
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Cydia pomonella is a major pest in apples in Denmark. Trichogramma spp. are known biocontrol agents of C. pomonella eggs and two naturally occurring species in Denmark, which are also both commercially available, were chosen for mass-release trials. Trichogramma evanescens, T. cacoeciae or a mix of the two species were evaluated for mass-release to control C. pomonella in two commercial organic apple orchards, one in 2012 and one in 2013, using a complete randomized block design. Pheromone disruption was used in both orchards, making the study one of the first to evaluate Trichogramma release under a mating disruption regime. Trichogramma activity was assessed using bait cards with Sitotroga cerealella eggs. The percent C. pomonella damaged fruit was recorded and the fruit yield was estimated. In 2012 cool and wet weather conditions resulted in low Trichogramma activity (<16% bait cards parasitized) and only T. evanescens was recovered from bait cards. The conditions in 2013 were warmer but T. evanescens was still >10 times more frequently found in bait cards than T. cacoeciae. There was a significant effect of the treatment and year (p = 0.009) and of the sampling period (p = 0.0008) on Trichogramma activity (proportion bait cards parasitized), with no significant difference between treatments in 2012. In 2013 the highest activity was found in T. evanescens and mixed treatments, in July reaching 69% and 47% bait cards parasitized, respectively. Fruit damage was highest in the control plots (7.1%) compared with Trichogramma treatments (T. evanescens 2.8%, T. cacoeciae 3.8%, mixed 3.3%) (p = 0.028). Yield did not differ significantly between treatments. In conclusion, Trichogramma mass release is a promising biocontrol method for use in the Danish climate, but further studies are needed regarding the performance of the two Trichogramma species (and potential other Trichogramma species) towards C. pomonella eggs in the field to identify the best biocontrol candidate. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Post-Colonization Interval Estimates Using Multi-Species Calliphoridae Larval Masses and Spatially Distinct Temperature Data Sets: A Case Study
Insects 2017, 8(2), 40; doi:10.3390/insects8020040 -
Abstract
Common forensic entomology practice has been to collect the largest Diptera larvae from a scene and use published developmental data, with temperature data from the nearest weather station, to estimate larval development time and post-colonization intervals (PCIs). To evaluate the accuracy of PCI
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Common forensic entomology practice has been to collect the largest Diptera larvae from a scene and use published developmental data, with temperature data from the nearest weather station, to estimate larval development time and post-colonization intervals (PCIs). To evaluate the accuracy of PCI estimates among Calliphoridae species and spatially distinct temperature sources, larval communities and ambient air temperature were collected at replicate swine carcasses (N = 6) throughout decomposition. Expected accumulated degree hours (ADH) associated with Cochliomyia macellaria and Phormia regina third instars (presence and length) were calculated using published developmental data sets. Actual ADH ranges were calculated using temperatures recorded from multiple sources at varying distances (0.90 m–7.61 km) from the study carcasses: individual temperature loggers at each carcass, a local weather station, and a regional weather station. Third instars greatly varied in length and abundance. The expected ADH range for each species successfully encompassed the average actual ADH for each temperature source, but overall under-represented the range. For both calliphorid species, weather station data were associated with more accurate PCI estimates than temperature loggers associated with each carcass. These results provide an important step towards improving entomological evidence collection and analysis techniques, and developing forensic error rates. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Identification of Conditions for Successful Aphid Control by Ladybirds in Greenhouses
Insects 2017, 8(2), 38; doi:10.3390/insects8020038 -
Abstract
As part of my research on the mass production and augmentative release of ladybirds, I reviewed the primary research literature to test the prediction that ladybirds are effective aphid predators in greenhouses. Aphid population reduction exceeded 50% in most studies and ladybird release
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As part of my research on the mass production and augmentative release of ladybirds, I reviewed the primary research literature to test the prediction that ladybirds are effective aphid predators in greenhouses. Aphid population reduction exceeded 50% in most studies and ladybird release rates usually did not correlate with aphid reduction. The ratio of aphid reduction/release rate was slightly less for larvae than adults in some studies, suggesting that larvae were less effective (than adults) in suppressing aphids. Some adult releases were inside cages, thereby limiting adult dispersion from plants. Overall, the ratio of aphid reduction/release rate was greatest for ladybird adults of the normal strain (several species combined), but least for adults of a flightless Harmonia axyridis strain. The combined action of ladybirds and hymenopteran parasitoids could have a net positive effect on aphid population suppression and, consequently, on host (crop) plants. However, ladybird encounters with aphid-tending or foraging ants must be reduced. Deploying ladybirds to help manage aphids in greenhouses and similar protective structures is encouraged. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Discovering the Giant Nest Architecture of Grass-Cutting Ants, Atta capiguara (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
Insects 2017, 8(2), 39; doi:10.3390/insects8020039 -
Abstract
Atta capiguara is a grass-cutting ant species frequently found in Cerrado biome. However, little is known about the giant nest architecture of this ant. In this study, we investigated the architecture of three A. capiguara nests from a fragment of Cerrado in Botucatu,
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Atta capiguara is a grass-cutting ant species frequently found in Cerrado biome. However, little is known about the giant nest architecture of this ant. In this study, we investigated the architecture of three A. capiguara nests from a fragment of Cerrado in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Casts were made of the nests by filling them with cement to permit better visualization of internal structures such as chambers and tunnels. After excavation, the depth and dimensions (length, width, and height) of the chambers were measured. The results showed the shape of Atta capiguara nests consisting of mounds of loose soil with unique features resembling a conic section. The fungus chambers were found distant from the mound of loose soil and were spaced apart and distributed laterally at the soil profile. The waste chambers were located beneath the largest mound of loose soil. Both the fungus and waste chambers were separated and distant. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the so far unknown nest architecture of the grass-cutting ant A. capiguara. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Insect Artifacts Are More than Just Altered Bloodstains
Insects 2017, 8(2), 37; doi:10.3390/insects8020037 -
Abstract
The bases for forensic entomology are that insects and their arthropod relatives can serve as evidence in criminal, medical and civil legal matters. However, some of the very same species that provide utility to legal investigations can also complicate crime scenes by distorting
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The bases for forensic entomology are that insects and their arthropod relatives can serve as evidence in criminal, medical and civil legal matters. However, some of the very same species that provide utility to legal investigations can also complicate crime scenes by distorting existing body fluid evidence (e.g., bloodstains, semen, saliva) and/or depositing artifacts derived from the insect alimentary canal at primary or secondary crime scenes. The insect contaminants are referred to as insect stains, artifacts, specks or spots, and are most commonly associated with human bloodstains. This review will discuss the different types of insect artifacts that have been described from crime scenes and laboratory experiments, as well as examine insect contaminates (non-blood based artifacts, transfer patterns, meconium, and larval fluids) that have received little research or case attention. Methods currently used for distinguishing insect stains from human body fluids will also be discussed and compared to presumptive tests used for identification of human body fluids. Since all available methods have severe limitations, areas of new research will be identified for the purpose of development of diagnostic techniques for detection of insect artifacts. Full article
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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 -
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 -
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
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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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