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Insects, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The sustainable control of insect pests in stored products has received increasing attention and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Rearing Host on Biological Parameters of Trichopria drosophilae, a Potential Biological Control Agent of Drosophila suzukii
Insects 2019, 10(6), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060183
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract
Trichopria drosophilae is a pupal parasitoid that can develop in a large number of drosophilid host species including the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii, and is considered a biological control agent. We investigated the influence of the rearing host on the preference and [...] Read more.
Trichopria drosophilae is a pupal parasitoid that can develop in a large number of drosophilid host species including the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii, and is considered a biological control agent. We investigated the influence of the rearing host on the preference and performance of the parasitoid, using two different strains of T. drosophilae, reared on D. melanogaster or D. suzukii for approximately 30 generations. Host switching was employed to assess the impact of host adaptation on T. drosophilae performance. In a no-choice experimental setup, T. drosophilae produced more and larger offspring on the D. suzukii host. When given a choice, T. drosophilae showed a preference towards D. suzukii, and an increased female ratio on this host compared to D. melanogaster and D. immigrans. The preference was independent from the rearing host and was confirmed in behavioral assays. However, the preference towards D. suzukii increased further after a host switch from D. melanogaster to D. suzukii in just one generation. Our data indicate that rearing T. drosophilae for several years on D. melanogaster does not compromise its performance on D. suzukii in the laboratory. However, producing a final generation on D. suzukii prior to release could increase its efficacy towards the pest. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Host Plants Reared under Elevated CO2 Concentrations on the Foraging Behavior of Different Stages of Corn Leaf Aphids Rhopalosiphum maidis
Insects 2019, 10(6), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060182
Received: 19 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 23 June 2019
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Abstract
Climate change is a major environmental concern and is directly related to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. The increase in concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), not only affects plant growth and development, but also affects the emission of plant [...] Read more.
Climate change is a major environmental concern and is directly related to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. The increase in concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), not only affects plant growth and development, but also affects the emission of plant organic volatile compounds (VOCs). Changes in the plant odor profile may affect the plant-insect interactions, especially the behavior of herbivorous insects. In this study, we compared the foraging behavior of corn leaf aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis) on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seedlings grown under contrasted CO2 concentrations. During the dual choice bioassays, the winged and wingless aphids were more attracted by the VOCs of barley seedlings cultivated under ambient CO2 concentrations (aCO2; 450 ppm) than barley seedlings cultivated under elevated CO2 concentrations (eCO2; 800 ppm), nymphs were not attracted by the VOCs of eCO2 barley seedlings. Then, volatile compositions from 14-d-old aCO2 and eCO2 barley seedlings were investigated by GC-MS. While 16 VOCs were identified from aCO2 barley seedlings, only 9 VOCs were found from eCO2 barley seedlings. At last, we discussed the potential role of these chemicals observed during choice bioassays. Our findings lay foundation for functional response of corn leaf aphid under climate change through host plant modifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiochemicals and Insect Behavior)
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Open AccessArticle
The ‘Botanical Triad’: The Presence of Insectary Plants Enhances Natural Enemy Abundance on Trap Crop Plants in an Organic Cabbage Agro-Ecosystem
Insects 2019, 10(6), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060181
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
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Abstract
Habitat manipulation through the incorporation of non-crop plants such as trap crops (to lure pests away from the cash crop) and insectary plants (to provide resources for natural enemies) into agro-ecosystems is an ecological approach to pest management. In a field-scale study, we [...] Read more.
Habitat manipulation through the incorporation of non-crop plants such as trap crops (to lure pests away from the cash crop) and insectary plants (to provide resources for natural enemies) into agro-ecosystems is an ecological approach to pest management. In a field-scale study, we quantified the effects of integrating the use of trap crops with insectary plants as a novel method to control pest herbivores in an organic cabbage agro-ecosystem. We hypothesized that pests would be concentrated in the trap crop habitat and suppressed by insectary-subsidized natural enemies in situ. We documented arthropod abundance (both adults and immature stages) associated with (1) two insectary plant species (sweet alyssum, Lobularia maritima, and buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum) either alone or in combination; (2) a trap crop mixture of mighty mustard (Brassica juncea), red Russian kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala), and glossy collards (Brassica oleracea var. italica), and (3) cabbage cash crop (Brassica oleracea var. capitata). Trap crops were more attractive to pests than the cash crop. On a per-plant basis, densities of the herbivores Evergestis rimosalis, Trichoplusia ni, and Plutella xylostella were 154, 37, and 161× greater on the kale trap crop than on the cabbage cash crop, and 54, 18, and 89× greater on the collards trap crop than on the cash crop. Insectary plants contributed to the consumption of pests that aggregated on the trap crop. Parasitism of E. rimosalis by the braconid wasp Cotesia orobenae was significantly increased, and the abundance of eggs and larvae of the predatory coccinellid beetle Coleomegilla maculata was greater on the trap crop in the presence of insectary plants compared to trap crops that lacked insectary plants. The ‘Botanical Triad’ of cash crop, trap crop, and insectary plants represents a new type of agro-ecosystem manipulation that integrates ecosystem service providers (e.g., predators and parasitoids) within the cropping system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management in Sustainable Farming Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Cryphalus eriobotryae sp. nov. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), a New Insect Pest of Loquat Eriobotrya japonica in China
Insects 2019, 10(6), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060180
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
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Abstract
A previously unknown bark beetle species, Cryphalus eriobotryae sp. nov. Johnson, 2019 has emerged as a lethal pest of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) in China. The description of new species has been provided. The new species is distinguished from the other Cryphalus [...] Read more.
A previously unknown bark beetle species, Cryphalus eriobotryae sp. nov. Johnson, 2019 has emerged as a lethal pest of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) in China. The description of new species has been provided. The new species is distinguished from the other Cryphalus by the weakly aciculate frons, by the antennae, with unevenly spaced procurved sutures, by the short pronotal disc, with hair-like setae, and by the widely spaced mesocoxae. The survey of plantation records from around Suzhou suggests that this beetle was introduced from another area not long before 2017. In the surveyed loquat plantation in 2018, 20–90% of trees showed signs of infestation, and 5% were killed in 2018, resulting in the death of over 1000 trees. Outbreaks of the apparently loquat-specific Cryphalus eriobotryae can be diagnosed by hundreds of cankers on the trunk, and wilted foliage. This pest is of concern as a loquat plantation pest and as a pest of fruit production and ornamental trees within Suzhou, and globally. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Small-Scale Farms in Developed Economies: Challenges and Opportunities
Insects 2019, 10(6), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060179
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 10 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Small-scale farms are an important component of agricultural production even in developed economies, and have an acknowledged role in providing other biological and societal benefits, including the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and enhancement of local food security. Despite this, the small-farm sector is [...] Read more.
Small-scale farms are an important component of agricultural production even in developed economies, and have an acknowledged role in providing other biological and societal benefits, including the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and enhancement of local food security. Despite this, the small-farm sector is currently underserved in relation to the development and implementation of scale-appropriate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices that could help increase such benefits. This review details some of the characteristics of the small farm sectors in developed economies (with an emphasis on the USA and Europe), and identifies some of the characteristics of small farms and their operators that may favor the implementation of IPM. Some of the challenges and opportunities associated with increasing the uptake of IPM in the small-farm sector are discussed. For example, while some IPM tactics are equally applicable to virtually any scale of production, there are others that may be easier (or more cost-effective) to implement on a smaller scale. Conversely, there are approaches that have not been widely applied in small-scale production, but which nevertheless have potential for use in this sector. Examples of such tactics are discussed. Knowledge gaps and opportunities for increasing IPM outreach to small-scale producers are also identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Small Farms and Gardens Pest Management)
Open AccessArticle
Synergistic Toxicity of Plant Essential Oils Combined with Pyrethroid Insecticides against Blow Flies and the House Fly
Insects 2019, 10(6), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060178
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 14 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract
Blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and the house fly (Diptera: Muscidae) are filth flies of medical importance, and control of their population is needed. As insecticide applications have resulted in fly resistance, and the exploration of plant essential oils (EOs) has increased against filth [...] Read more.
Blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and the house fly (Diptera: Muscidae) are filth flies of medical importance, and control of their population is needed. As insecticide applications have resulted in fly resistance, and the exploration of plant essential oils (EOs) has increased against filth flies, this study assessed the combination of EOs with pyrethoids to enhance toxic efficacy. The EOs of five effective plants were screened initially against the house fly (Musca domestica L.). Their chemical constituent was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. The main components of Boesenbergia rotunda (Zingiberaceae) rhizome, Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae) rhizome, Citrus hystrix (Rutaceae) fruit peel, Ocimum gratissimum (Lamiaceae) seed, and Zanthoxylum limonella (Rutaceae) fruit were δ-3-caren (35.25%), β-turmerone (51.68%), β-pinene (26.56%), p-cumic aldehyde (58.21%), and dipentene (60.22%), respectively. The screening test revealed that the three most effective plant EOs were from B. rotunda, C. longa and O. gratissimum, which were selected for the combination with two pyrethroid insecticides (permethrin and deltamethrin), in order to enhance their synergistic efficacy against the blow flies, Chrysomya megacephala Fabricius, Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart, and Lucilia cuprina Wiedemann, and the house fly. Synergistic action was presented in almost all of the flies tested with permenthrin/deltamethrin/EOs mixtures. It was interesting that the combination of deltamethrin with three EOs showed a synergistic effect on all of the tested flies. However, an antagonistic effect was observed in C. megacephala and M. domestica treated with permethrin-B. rotunda and C. megacephala treated with permethrin-O. gratissimum. The LD50 of insecticides decreased when combined with plant EOs. This alternative strategy will be helpful in developing a formula for effective fly control management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sticky Trap Design Considerations for Entrapping Bed Bugs
Insects 2019, 10(6), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060177
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
Little evidence has been presented on the usefulness of sticky traps for monitoring bed bugs, Cimex lectularius. We examined how the surface roughness around the adhesive of a sticky trap affects both bed bug behavior and adhesive entrapment. In the first assay, [...] Read more.
Little evidence has been presented on the usefulness of sticky traps for monitoring bed bugs, Cimex lectularius. We examined how the surface roughness around the adhesive of a sticky trap affects both bed bug behavior and adhesive entrapment. In the first assay, bed bugs were placed onto acetate paper discs with different roughness averages (Ra). Each disc was surrounded by sticky trap adhesive and number of captured bed bugs were recorded. The second assay was set up similarly to the first assay except that the outer portion of the acetate disc had a different Ra than the center. In the third assay, bed bugs were placed into circular acetate arenas where they were surrounded by different Ra treatments. The number of times the bed bugs contacted the Ra treatment but did not cross onto the treatment was recorded. Results of these assays showed that as the acetate surfaces got smoother (lower Ra), bed bugs were more likely to get trapped in sticky trap adhesives but also less likely to travel across the smoother surfaces they encountered. A sticky trap design with a smooth plastic film around the adhesive was tested in the field to see if it could capture bed bugs in apartments with known bed bug activity. This trap was not only able to capture bed bugs but was also able to detect unknown German cockroach, Blattela germanica, infestations. Sticky trap designs with smooth surfaces around an adhesive could be used to monitor not only bed bugs but also German cockroaches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Endophytic Beauveria bassiana in Foliar-Treated Citrus limon Plants Acting as a Growth Suppressor to Three Successive Generations of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060176
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
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Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi are commonly applied as inundative sprays to protect plants against insect pests. Their artificial establishment as fungal endophytes to provide other benefits to the host plants aside mere protection against the primary pests has also been widely demonstrated. In the present [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungi are commonly applied as inundative sprays to protect plants against insect pests. Their artificial establishment as fungal endophytes to provide other benefits to the host plants aside mere protection against the primary pests has also been widely demonstrated. In the present study, two fungal strains of Beauveria bassiana and one strain of Isaria fumosorosea were assessed in a pathogenicity test against adults of Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) and found to induce 50% reduction in the survival rate of D. citri adults within 5 days of exposure. The ability of the three fungal strains to endophytically colonize Citrus limon, the impact on plant growth and the effects of systemic colonization on 3 successive generations of D. citri feeding on colonized plants was evaluated. Citrus seedlings at 4 months post-planting were inoculated with each of the fungal strains via foliar spraying. Both strains of B. bassiana successfully colonized the seedlings. One of the B. bassiana strains (BB Fafu-13) was sustained up to 12 weeks in the colonized seedlings, whereas the other B. bassiana strain (BB Fafu-16) was only recovered up to 8 weeks post-inoculation. Isaria fumosorosea (IF Fafu-1) failed to colonize the plant. Both strains of B. bassiana induced significant improvement in plant height and flush production in endophytically colonized seedlings. In addition, endophytic B. bassiana caused 10–15% D. citri adult mortality within 7 days of exposure. Female D. citri feeding on B. bassiana challenged plants laid fewer eggs as compared to those feeding on endophyte-free seedlings, while reduction in adult emergence was recorded on B. bassiana treated plants. With this study, we present the first evidence of B. bassiana artificial establishment as fungal endophyte in citrus plants and its negative effects on D. citri. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemosensory Gene Families in the Oligophagous Pear Pest Cacopsylla chinensis (Hemiptera: Psyllidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060175
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
Chemosensory systems play an important role in insect behavior, and some key associated genes have potential as novel targets for pest control. Cacopsylla chinensis is an oligophagous pest and has become one of the main pests of pear trees, but little is known [...] Read more.
Chemosensory systems play an important role in insect behavior, and some key associated genes have potential as novel targets for pest control. Cacopsylla chinensis is an oligophagous pest and has become one of the main pests of pear trees, but little is known about the molecular-level means by which it locates its hosts. In this study, we assembled the head transcriptome of C. chinensis using Illumina sequencing, and 63,052 Unigenes were identified. A total of 36 candidate chemosensory genes were identified, including five different families: 12 odorant binding proteins (OBPs), 11 chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 7 odorant receptors (ORs), 4 ionotropic receptors (IRs), and 2 gustatory receptors (GRs). The number of chemosensory gene families is consistent with that found in other Hemipteran species, indicating that our approach successfully obtained the chemosensory genes of C. chinensis. The tissue expression of all genes using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) found that some genes displayed male head, female head, or nymph-biased specific/expression. Our results enrich the gene inventory of C. chinensis and provide valuable resources for the analysis of the functions of some key genes. This will help in developing molecular targets for disrupting feeding behavior in C. chinensis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Genetic Diversity in North America and Europe
Insects 2019, 10(6), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060174
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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Abstract
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive species in North America and Europe that damages many different host plants. Substantial work has been conducted on the genetic diversity and invasion pathways of H. halys in some of the [...] Read more.
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive species in North America and Europe that damages many different host plants. Substantial work has been conducted on the genetic diversity and invasion pathways of H. halys in some of the countries where it has been found, based on mitochondrial sequences. The main objective of the present study was to further explore the genetic diversity of invasive populations of H. halys exploiting both mitochondrial and nuclear markers. We used two molecular markers: the mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) gene, an ideal standardized molecular marker for distinguishing closely related species, and the ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer 1 (ITS1), because only a few sequences of H. halys exist to this point in global databases. We used specimens from eight populations from Greece, Italy, Canada, and the US. Among the 14 haplotypes retrieved based on the mtCOI gene, two of them (H162–H163) were detected for the first time. These two haplotypes were found in specimens from Canada, Italy, and the US. Concerning the ITS1 region, 24 haplotypes were identified, with 15 being unique for a sampled population. In Greece and the US, 14 and 12 haplotypes were found, respectively, with 7 and 6 of them being unique for Greece and the US, respectively. Our analysis of the nuclear genes of H. halys indicates high genetic diversity of the invading populations in North America and Europe. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mosquitoes of Etiological Concern in Kenya and Possible Control Strategies
Insects 2019, 10(6), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060173
Received: 12 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 16 June 2019
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Abstract
Kenya is among the most affected tropical countries with pathogen transmitting Culicidae vectors. For decades, insect vectors have contributed to the emergence and distribution of viral and parasitic pathogens. Outbreaks and diseases have a great impact on a country’s economy, as resources that [...] Read more.
Kenya is among the most affected tropical countries with pathogen transmitting Culicidae vectors. For decades, insect vectors have contributed to the emergence and distribution of viral and parasitic pathogens. Outbreaks and diseases have a great impact on a country’s economy, as resources that would otherwise be used for developmental projects are redirected to curb hospitalization cases and manage outbreaks. Infected invasive mosquito species have been shown to increasingly cross both local and global boarders due to the presence of increased environmental changes, trade, and tourism. In Kenya, there have been several mosquito-borne disease outbreaks such as the recent outbreaks along the coast of Kenya, involving chikungunya and dengue. This certainly calls for the implementation of strategies aimed at strengthening integrated vector management programs. In this review, we look at mosquitoes of public health concern in Kenya, while highlighting the pathogens they have been linked with over the years and across various regions. In addition, the major strategies that have previously been used in mosquito control and what more could be done to reduce or combat the menace caused by these hematophagous vectors are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamics of an Ongoing Wolbachia Spread in the European Cherry Fruit Fly, Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060172
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Numerous terrestrial arthropods are infected with the alphaproteobacterium Wolbachia. This endosymbiont is usually transmitted vertically from infected females to their offspring and can alter the reproduction of hosts through various manipulations, like cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), enhancing its spread in new host populations. [...] Read more.
Numerous terrestrial arthropods are infected with the alphaproteobacterium Wolbachia. This endosymbiont is usually transmitted vertically from infected females to their offspring and can alter the reproduction of hosts through various manipulations, like cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), enhancing its spread in new host populations. Studies on the spatial and temporal dynamics of Wolbachia under natural conditions are scarce. Here, we analyzed Wolbachia infection frequencies in populations of the European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi (L.), in central Germany—an area of an ongoing spread of the CI-inducing strain wCer2. In total, 295 individuals from 19 populations were PCR-screened for the presence of wCer2 and their mitochondrial haplotype. Results were compared with historic data to understand the infection dynamics of the ongoing wCer2 invasion. An overall wCer2 infection frequency of about 30% was found, ranging from 0% to 100% per population. In contrast to an expected smooth transition from wCer2-infected to completely wCer2-uninfected populations, a relatively scattered infection pattern across geography was observed. Moreover, a strong Wolbachia-haplotype association was detected, with only a few rare misassociations. Our results show a complex dynamic of an ongoing Wolbachia spread in natural field populations of R. cerasi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Control in Fruit Trees)
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Open AccessArticle
Andean Flora as a Source of New Repellents against Insect Pests: Behavioral, Morphological and Electrophysiological Studies on Sitophilus zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060171
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky) is considered as one of the most destructive foodstuff pests. Due to their efficiency, low toxicity for mammalians and low environmental impact, plant-derived essential oils (EOs) are promising tools for pest control. In particular, the OEs extracted from Lamiaceae are [...] Read more.
Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky) is considered as one of the most destructive foodstuff pests. Due to their efficiency, low toxicity for mammalians and low environmental impact, plant-derived essential oils (EOs) are promising tools for pest control. In particular, the OEs extracted from Lamiaceae are considered among the most bioactive in terms of repellent and/or insecticidal effect. Here, we investigated the repellence of the EOs extracted from two aromatic plant species typical of the flora of the Ecuadorian Andes, Clinopodium tomentosum and C. nubigeum, against adults of S. zeamais. The behavioral assays carried out at concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 23.9 μL L−1 air in a two-way static olfactometer showed a significant repellent effect starting from the concentration of 8.4 mL L−1 air both for the EO of C. nubigenum and C. tomentosum. We also carried out a complete structural analysis of the antenna of S. zeamais using scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), in order to characterize the olfactory sensilla equipment. In this species, there is no sexual dimorphism also as regards to the antennal morphology and the sensilla type and distribution. We identified six type of sensilla, among which at least three types (Sensillum Trichoideum 1, Sensillum Trichoideum 2 and Grooved Peg Sensillum) can be considered as olfactory. Electroantennography (EAG) recordings carried out on S. zeamais revealed a positive dose-response to both EOs, without differences between the two sexes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Stored Product Insect Pest Management)
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Open AccessReview
Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and Their Contributions to Ecosystem Services
Insects 2019, 10(6), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060170
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
This work is intended as a general and concise overview of Ephemeroptera biology, diversity, and services provided to humans and other parts of our global array of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The Ephemeroptera, or mayflies, are a small but diverse order of amphinotic [...] Read more.
This work is intended as a general and concise overview of Ephemeroptera biology, diversity, and services provided to humans and other parts of our global array of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The Ephemeroptera, or mayflies, are a small but diverse order of amphinotic insects associated with liquid freshwater worldwide. They are nearly cosmopolitan, except for Antarctica and some very remote islands. The existence of the subimago stage is unique among extant insects. Though the winged stages do not have functional mouthparts or digestive systems, the larval, or nymphal, stages have a variety of feeding approaches—including, but not limited to, collector-gatherers, filterers, scrapers, and active predators—with each supported by a diversity of morphological and behavioral adaptations. Mayflies provide direct and indirect services to humans and other parts of both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. In terms of cultural services, they have provided inspiration to musicians, poets, and other writers, as well as being the namesakes of various water- and aircraft. They are commemorated by festivals worldwide. Mayflies are especially important to fishing. Mayflies contribute to the provisioning services of ecosystems in that they are utilized as food by human cultures worldwide (having one of the highest protein contents of any edible insect), as laboratory organisms, and as a potential source of antitumor molecules. They provide regulatory services through their cleaning of freshwater. They provide many essential supporting services for ecosystems such as bioturbation, bioirrigation, decomposition, nutrition for many kinds of non-human animals, nutrient cycling and spiraling in freshwaters, nutrient cycling between aquatic and terrestrial systems, habitat for other organisms, and serving as indicators of ecosystem health. About 20% of mayfly species worldwide might have a threatened conservation status due to influences from pollution, invasive alien species, habitat loss and degradation, and climate change. Even mitigation of negative influences has benefits and tradeoffs, as, in several cases, sustainable energy production negatively impacts mayflies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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Open AccessCommunication
Expression Analysis Reveals the Association of Several Genes with Pupal Diapause in Bactrocera minax (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060169
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
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Abstract
The Chinese citrus fly, Bactrocera minax, is a devastating pest of citrus, which enters the obligatory diapause in overwintering pupae to resist harsh environmental conditions. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying pupal diapause. The previous transcriptomic analysis revealed that [...] Read more.
The Chinese citrus fly, Bactrocera minax, is a devastating pest of citrus, which enters the obligatory diapause in overwintering pupae to resist harsh environmental conditions. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying pupal diapause. The previous transcriptomic analysis revealed that a large number of genes were regulated throughout the pupal stage. Of these genes, 12 and six ones that are remarkably up- and downregulated, respectively, specifically in intense diapause were manually screened out in present study. To validate the expression of these genes throughout the pupal stage, the quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was conducted, and the genes displaying different expression patterns with those of previous study were excluded. Then, the expressions of remaining genes were compared between diapause-destined and non-diapause-destined pupae to reveal their association with diapause using qRT-PCR and semiquantitative PCR. Finally, five genes, TTLL3B, Cyp6a9, MSTA, Fru, and UC2, and two genes, KSPI and LYZ1, were demonstrated to be positively and negatively associated with diapause, respectively. These findings provide a solid foundation for the further investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying B. minax pupal diapause. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification and Virulence Characterization of Two Akanthomyces attenuatus Isolates Against Megalurothrips usitatus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060168
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
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Abstract
Megalurothrips usitatus (Bagnall) is one of the most harmful pests of leguminous plants. In order to expand our knowledge on the infection of M. usitatus by entomopathogenic fungi, two newly identified isolates of Akanthomyces attenuatus (Zare & Gams) were tested for their pathogenicity [...] Read more.
Megalurothrips usitatus (Bagnall) is one of the most harmful pests of leguminous plants. In order to expand our knowledge on the infection of M. usitatus by entomopathogenic fungi, two newly identified isolates of Akanthomyces attenuatus (Zare & Gams) were tested for their pathogenicity against M. usitatus. Both isolates of A. attenuatus (SCAUDCL-38 and SCAUDCL-56) were isolated from soil and were identified by morphological and molecular analyses. The adult females of M. usitatus were treated with five different concentrations (1 × 104, 1 × 105, 1 × 106, 1 × 107, and 1 × 108 conidia/mL) of the isolates. Our results revealed 76.25% and 57.5% mortality of M. usitatus after five days of treatment with 1 × 108 conidia/mL of SCAUDCL-38 and SCAUDCL-56, respectively. The median lethal concentrations (LC50) of SCAUDCL-38 and SCAUDCL-56 calculated through linear regression analysis after five days of fungal treatment of M. usitatus were 1.9 × 106 and 1.5 × 107 conidia/mL, respectively, whereas the median lethal time (LT50) observed for 1 × 108 conidia/mL of SCAUDCL-38 and SCAUDCL-56 were 3.52 days and 4.9 days, respectively. A. attenuatus isolates SCAUDCL-38 and SCAUDCL-56 are highly pathogenic strains of M. usitatus. These findings offer valuable information on the development and commercialization of alternative control measures against M. usitatus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Distribution of Apolygus lucorum on Weed Hosts and Tea Plants in Tea Plantation Ecosystems
Insects 2019, 10(6), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060167
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
The mirid bugs are one of the most important piercing–sucking insect pests in tea plantations, which severely reduce the quality and economic benefits of tea. In this study, the mirid bug species in the three tea-producing areas in Shandong Province of China were [...] Read more.
The mirid bugs are one of the most important piercing–sucking insect pests in tea plantations, which severely reduce the quality and economic benefits of tea. In this study, the mirid bug species in the three tea-producing areas in Shandong Province of China were investigated. The distribution and occurrence of dominant species of mirid bugs on four weed host plants and tea plants Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze (Theaceae) were also studied in the tea agro-ecosystems. The results showed that Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) (Hemiptera: Miridae) was the dominant mirid bug species in the tea growing areas. Apolygus lucorum densities on Humulus scandens (Lour.) (Moraceae) and Artemisia lavandulaefolia DC. (Asteraceae) were relatively higher than those on Conyza canadensis (Linn) Cronq (Asteraceae), Artemisia annua Linn (Asteraceae), and C. sinensis. Host plant switching of A. lucorum in the tea agro-ecosystem was: A. lucorum scattered on and seriously infested tea plants in June and July; A. lucorum largely migrated to and gathered on H. scandens, A. lavandulaefolia, C. canadensis, and A. annua at the flowering stage, and population densities of A. lucorum on these flowering hosts peaked in late September; in October, A. lucorum gradually moved back to flowering tea plants. These results could provide a reference for selecting host plants, such as Artemisia plants, as trap plants for sustainable control of mirid bugs in tea plantations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
First Descriptions of Larva and Pupa of Bagous claudicans Boheman, 1845 (Curculionidae, Bagoinae) and Systematic Position of the Species Based on Molecular and Morphological Data
Insects 2019, 10(6), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060166
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, the mature larva and pupa of Bagous claudicans are described and illustrated for the first time. Measurements of younger larval instars are also given. The biology of the species is discussed in association with larval morphology and feeding habits. Overall [...] Read more.
In this paper, the mature larva and pupa of Bagous claudicans are described and illustrated for the first time. Measurements of younger larval instars are also given. The biology of the species is discussed in association with larval morphology and feeding habits. Overall larval and pupal morphological characters of the genus Bagous are presented. Confirmation of the larva identification as Bagous claudicans species was conducted by cytochrome oxidase I (COI) sequencing. DNA barcoding was useful for specimen identification of larval stages. The systematic position of the species within the Bagous collignensis-group, based on morphological and molecular results, is also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Endophytic Entomopathogenic Ascomycetes on the Life-History Traits of Aphis gossypii Glover and Its Interactions with Melon Plants
Insects 2019, 10(6), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060165
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi are sprayed commercially for aphid control in greenhouses. Recently, their ability to grow endophytically within plants was discovered, offering the opportunity for systemic biological control. Endophytic colonization of host plants could also influence life-table parameters and behavior of herbivores. We investigated [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungi are sprayed commercially for aphid control in greenhouses. Recently, their ability to grow endophytically within plants was discovered, offering the opportunity for systemic biological control. Endophytic colonization of host plants could also influence life-table parameters and behavior of herbivores. We investigated lethal and pre-mortality effects of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum on Aphis gossypii; aphids either received inoculum while feeding on recently sprayed leaves (surface inoculum and endophytically-colonized) or while feeding on unsprayed but endophytically-colonized leaves. We used choice assays to identify any preferences for endophytically-colonized or control plants. Volatile emissions from endophytically-colonized plants and control plants were also compared. Aphid mortality rates ranged between 48.2 and 56.9% on sprayed leaves, and between 37.7 and 50.0 on endophytically-colonized leaves. There was a significant effect of endophytic colonization on the rate of nymph production, but this did not result in an overall increase in the aphid population. Endophytic colonization did not influence host-plant selection even though there were qualitative and quantitative differences in the blend of volatiles released by endophytically-colonized and control plants. Although endophytic colonization did not change herbivore behavior, plants still benefit via indirect defense, resistance to plant pathogens or abiotic stress tolerance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RNAi-Mediated Knockdown of Tssk1 and Tektin1 Genes Impair Male Fertility in Bactrocera dorsalis
Insects 2019, 10(6), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060164
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The genetic-based sterile insect technique (SIT) is an effective and environmentally safe strategy to diminish populations of agricultural and horticultural insect pests. Functional characterization of genes related to male fertility can enhance the genetic-based SIT. Tssk1 has been involved to control male fertility [...] Read more.
The genetic-based sterile insect technique (SIT) is an effective and environmentally safe strategy to diminish populations of agricultural and horticultural insect pests. Functional characterization of genes related to male fertility can enhance the genetic-based SIT. Tssk1 has been involved to control male fertility in both mammals and insects. Moreover, Tektin1 has also been revealed to influence male fertility in both human and mammals. These findings suggested that Tssk1 and Tektin1 identified from Bactrocera dorsalis could be required for male fertility in B. dorsalis. In this study, expression profiles of these two genes were studied at different developmental stages and in various tissues of adult males. Remarkably, it was found that Tssk1 and Tektin1 were highly expressed in the testis of mature adult males of B. dorsalis. Furthermore, Tssk1 and Tektin1 genes were downregulated by using the RNA interference (RNAi) method. Fertility assays including egg laying, hatching, and spermatozoa count were also performed to investigate male fertility of B. dorsalis. Results showed that knockdown of Tssk1 and Tektin1 caused male sterility up to 58.99% and 64.49%, respectively. As expected, the total numbers of spermatozoa were also significantly reduced by 65.83% and 73.9%, respectively. These results suggested that male sterility was happened wing to the low number of spermatozoa. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Tssk1 and Tektin1 are the novel agents that could be used to enhance the genetic-based SIT, or their double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) can be used as biopesticides to control the population of B. dorsalis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Morphology and Defensive Behavior in a Social Aphid
Insects 2019, 10(6), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060163
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Social aphids produce different morphs, which are genetically identical but morphologically different. Each morph performs a different duty in its community. Social aphids usually produce morphologically distinct soldiers to protect their colonies. The social aphid Pseudoregma bambucicola produces sterile first instar soldiers with [...] Read more.
Social aphids produce different morphs, which are genetically identical but morphologically different. Each morph performs a different duty in its community. Social aphids usually produce morphologically distinct soldiers to protect their colonies. The social aphid Pseudoregma bambucicola produces sterile first instar soldiers with specialized body parts and unique defensive behaviors, such as hind leg waving. By using this species as a research model, this study tested the assumption that the functional morphological basis of defensive behaviors of soldiers is related to specialized body parts. Field observations and a comprehensive morphometric analysis were carried out for natural populations. The results showed significant differences in functional morphology between soldiers, first instar nymphs, and adults. Elongated hind legs in soldiers are an important functional morphological basis for the deimatic behavior of hind leg waving, while sclerotized front legs and head horns are related to the function of directly attacking natural enemies. The size variation of different body parts among different morphs also indicates a cost–benefit trade-off in the evolution of the social aphid species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity of Kadsura coccinea (Lem.) A. C. Sm. Essential Oil to the Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)
Insects 2019, 10(6), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060162
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
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Abstract
Kadsura coccinea (Lem.) A.C. Smith is an evergreen, woody climbing plant that is widely distributed throughout southwest mainland China. Extracts of this plant are used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the treatment of various diseases, like cancer and dermatosis, and as an [...] Read more.
Kadsura coccinea (Lem.) A.C. Smith is an evergreen, woody climbing plant that is widely distributed throughout southwest mainland China. Extracts of this plant are used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the treatment of various diseases, like cancer and dermatosis, and as an anodyne to relieve pain, while the leaves are used to treat eczema. In the current study, the toxicity of essential oil from its stem (EOKC) was studied against two strains of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius). Essential oil from the plant was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC/MS. The major compound identified was β-caryophyllene (24.73%), followed by caryophyllene oxide (5.91%), α-humulene (3.48%), and β-pinene (2.54%). Preliminary screening was performed by topically delivering a 1 µL droplet of the treatments dissolved in acetone. At 24 h after treatment, the EOKC induced mortality rates of 61.9% and 66.7% in the Bayonne and Ft. Dix strains, respectively, at 100 µg/bug. Four major compounds—β-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, α-humulene, and β-pinene—were selected based on their availability and were subjected to topical, residual, and fumigation methods. When applied topically, only β-caryophyllene induced high toxicity in both strains. None of the selected compounds induced significant toxicity in the residual and fumigation methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Management of Chive Gnats (Bradysia odoriphaga Yang & Zhang) in Chives Using Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Low-Toxicity Insecticides
Insects 2019, 10(6), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060161
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
Bradysia odoriphaga is a major pest that causes damage to chive production, and which has developed resistance to highly toxic chemical insecticides. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) show a high potential for B. odoriphaga control. This study aimed to develop an effective management method against [...] Read more.
Bradysia odoriphaga is a major pest that causes damage to chive production, and which has developed resistance to highly toxic chemical insecticides. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) show a high potential for B. odoriphaga control. This study aimed to develop an effective management method against B. odoriphaga larvae, using EPN with low-toxicity insecticides. Fourteen selected insecticides had no significant effects on the survival and infectivity of Steinernema feltiae SN and Heterorhabditis indica LN2. Synergistic interactions were observed for imidacloprid and osthole with S. feltiae SN against B. odoriphaga larvae. Steinernema feltiae SN was more effective than H. indica LN2 against B. odoriphaga at 15 and 20 °C, and the addition of imidacloprid at 1/10 recommended concentration (RC) significantly increased the efficacy of S. feltiae SN. The year-round occurrence of the B. odoriphaga larvae in chive fields treated by EPN and imidacloprid at 1/10 RC was studied. Results showed that the application of EPN with imidacloprid at 1/10 RC successfully suppressed larval populations of B. odoriphaga in chive fields, thus significantly increasing the yield of chive. The practical method of applying EPN–imidacloprid combinations provided a cost-effective and environmental safety strategy for controlling B. odoriphaga larvae in chive production, which can reduce the usage of toxic chemical insecticides. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mexican Rice Borer Control Tactics in United States Sugarcane
Insects 2019, 10(6), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060160
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
The invasive Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar), expanded its range from Mexico to South Texas in the early 1980s. By 2008 the pest had moved into sugarcane- and rice-growing areas of East Texas and Louisiana, and by 2012 it was reported on [...] Read more.
The invasive Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar), expanded its range from Mexico to South Texas in the early 1980s. By 2008 the pest had moved into sugarcane- and rice-growing areas of East Texas and Louisiana, and by 2012 it was reported on noncrop host plants in Florida. Efforts to suppress E. loftini in United States sugarcane with chemicals and biological control agents were unsuccessful, so both tactics were discontinued, and E. loftini infestation of sugarcane has continued unchecked. During the last 15 years, however, research has focused on the pest’s ecology, improved insecticides and scouting methods, the identification of sugarcane resistance mechanisms, and new cultural tactics. A surveillance technique was developed that indicates when larvae are most vulnerable to insecticide sprays. Currently, registered insecticides for E. loftini control are not widely applied, although some show promise, including an insect growth regulator. A number of potentially useful cultural practices are available, including plowing under fallow stubble, judicious use of fertilizer, adequate irrigation, avoiding proximity to E. loftini-susceptible maize cultivars, and enhancement of natural enemy populations. Demonstrated and potentially useful sugarcane resistance mechanisms involve physiochemical attributes, physical characteristics, and transgenic cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Pest Management of Sugarcane Insects)
Open AccessCommunication
Two Divergent Genetic Lineages within the Horned Passalus Beetle, Odontotaenius disjunctus (Coleoptera: Passalidae): An Emerging Model for Insect Behavior, Physiology, and Microbiome Research
Insects 2019, 10(6), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060159
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
The horned passalus (Odontotaenius disjunctus) is one of the most extensively studied saproxylic beetles in the eastern United States. For several decades this species has been the subject of investigations into the behaviors associated with subsociality as well as physiological responses [...] Read more.
The horned passalus (Odontotaenius disjunctus) is one of the most extensively studied saproxylic beetles in the eastern United States. For several decades this species has been the subject of investigations into the behaviors associated with subsociality as well as physiological responses to stress, and, most recently, the composition of its gut microbiome has been closely examined. However, no published study to date has characterized this beetle’s broad-scale population genetic structure. Here, we conducted intensive geographic sampling throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains and surrounding areas and then assessed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation among individuals. Unexpectedly, we discovered two divergent, yet broadly sympatric, mtDNA clades. Indeed, the magnitude of divergence between- vs. within-clades ranged from 5.9 to 7.5×, depending on the dataset under consideration, and members of the two lineages were often syntopic (i.e., found in the same rotting log). Given the potential implications for past and future studies on behavior, physiology, and the gut microbiome, we developed a simple cost-efficient molecular assay (i.e., polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism; PCR-RFLP) to rapidly determine mtDNA clade membership of O. disjunctus individuals. We suggest that the evolutionary processes that gave rise to the emergence and persistence of divergent sympatric lineages reported here warrant investigation, as this type of spatial-genetic pattern appears to be rare among southern Appalachian forest invertebrates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Early Northward Migration of the White-Backed Planthopper (Sogatella furcifera) is Often Hindered by Heavy Precipitation in Southern China during the Preflood Season in May and June
Insects 2019, 10(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060158
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
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Abstract
Seasonal weather systems that establish prevailing winds and seasonal rainfall on a large scale largely determine insect migration patterns, especially for micro-insects with completely windborne migration. Recent studies indicated that the summer migration of the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens) in eastern [...] Read more.
Seasonal weather systems that establish prevailing winds and seasonal rainfall on a large scale largely determine insect migration patterns, especially for micro-insects with completely windborne migration. Recent studies indicated that the summer migration of the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens) in eastern China is related to the strength and position of the Western Pacific Subtropical High-Pressure (WPSH) system and its associated wind and rainfall patterns. Compared with the BPH, the white-backed planthopper (WBPH, Sogatella furcifera) has a similar diet, analogous body size, and strong long-distance migration ability. Thus, the migration pattern for the WBPH can be speculated to be similar to that of the BPH. However, the migration pattern of the WBPH and how this pattern relates to climatic conditions have scarcely been described. Based on almost three decades of data (1977–2003), it was suggested that the WBPH in southern China (south of approximately 27° N) migrates into the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River after the abrupt movements of the WPSH in mid-June, similar to the BPH. By contrast, the emigration of the WBPH in southern China begins in late May. Further analysis indicated that the migration of the WBPH in late May and early June was short or unsuccessful due to heavy precipitation during the preflood season in southern China from late May to middle June. The results herein demonstrate the differences in migration patterns between two rice planthoppers in the eastern Asia migration arena. We also provide new information that could assist with forecasting outbreaks and implementing control measures against these migratory pests. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Discovery of Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus in Vespa velutina and Apis cerana in China
Insects 2019, 10(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060157
Received: 12 May 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
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Abstract
Honey bees are essential to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, despite no single factor being blamed for losses of honey bee colonies in Europe and the USA, viruses have been considered as a major driver. Moreover, a virus vector can enhance the [...] Read more.
Honey bees are essential to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, despite no single factor being blamed for losses of honey bee colonies in Europe and the USA, viruses have been considered as a major driver. Moreover, a virus vector can enhance the titer and virulence of virus such as Varroa destructor can change the virulence of the deformed wing virus. Here, we report molecular evidence for aphid lethal paralysis virus (ALPV) infecting Vespa velutina, which is an important predator of honey bees, especially of Apis cerana. Viral replication and phylogenetic analysis indicated that ALPV can not only replicate in V. velutina and A. cerana, but ALPV from A. cerana (ALPV-Ac) was also significantly associated with that of V. velutina (ALPV-Vv), though distinct from those of Apis mellifera (ALPV-Am). The host state posterior probability displayed that V. velutina is the main viral reservoir between V. velutina and A. cerana. Our results show ALPV had expanded host diversity resulting in potential impacts on the health of pollinators, even on the pollination ecosystem. We suggest further studies should investigate potential risks and impacts on pollinator populations of hornets. These results should have an impact conservation efforts focused on sustaining native pollinator abundance and diversity, and therefore, the crucial ecosystem services that they provide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology of Social Insect Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
The Compared Efficiency of the Traditional Method, Radiography without Contrast and Radiography with Contrast in the Determination of Infestation by Weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) in Maize Seeds
Insects 2019, 10(6), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060156
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
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Abstract
Technologies that increase safety and efficiency, while facilitating and streamlining the work of seed analysts, are increasingly required by the seed industry. X-ray image analysis is a technique that has been used in the analysis of grain and seeds because it is fast, [...] Read more.
Technologies that increase safety and efficiency, while facilitating and streamlining the work of seed analysts, are increasingly required by the seed industry. X-ray image analysis is a technique that has been used in the analysis of grain and seeds because it is fast, accurate and non-destructive. The traditional method to verify the presence of insect damage in seeds involves manual cutting of the seeds, which endangers the safety of the analyst and is time-consuming and repetitive work that leads to visual fatigue. The objective of this study was to compared the efficiency of radiographic analysis with and without contrast in the determination of infestation by Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), at different stages of development, in maize seeds, compared to the traditional method required by seed legislation, which consists of cutting and visual evaluation. Seeds were evaluated regarding the presence of eggs/oviposition signs, larvae, pupae, adult insects, insect damage in five infestation periods (5, 18, 33 and 35 days after infestation), while evaluating the total number of seeds infested, comparing the three methods. For characterization of the oviposition stage, the use of contrast was best at all times of infestation. For the larval stage, there was no difference between the evaluation methods; however, at 18 days, larger infestations were observed by the traditional method. At 5 days, the identification of pupae was better by the traditional method and radiography without contrast, while for the identification of adult insects the best method was the use of radiography without contrast. The characterization of the level of infestation with maize weevil damage was best verified using contrast radiography. Radiographic analysis is efficient in the detection of damage caused by S. zeamais in maize seeds. This method of radiographic analysis (with or without contrast) is thus an auxiliary tool to assess the damage and presence of S. zeamais in maize seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Stored Product Insect Pest Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Unexpected Diversity of Wolbachia Associated with Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Africa
Insects 2019, 10(6), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060155
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
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Abstract
Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is an important pest of fruit-bearing plants in many countries worldwide. In Africa, this pest has spread rapidly and has become widely established since the first invasion report in 2003. Wolbachia is a vertically transmitted endosymbiont that can significantly influence [...] Read more.
Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is an important pest of fruit-bearing plants in many countries worldwide. In Africa, this pest has spread rapidly and has become widely established since the first invasion report in 2003. Wolbachia is a vertically transmitted endosymbiont that can significantly influence aspects of the biology and, in particular, the reproduction of its host. In this study, we screened B. dorsalis specimens collected from several locations in Africa between 2005 and 2017 for Wolbachia using a PCR-based assay to target the Wolbachia surface protein wsp. Of the 357 individuals tested, 10 were positive for Wolbachia using the wsp assay. We identified four strains of Wolbachia infecting two B. dorsalis mitochondrial haplotypes. We found no strict association between the infecting strain and host haplotype, with one strain being present in two different host haplotypes. All the detected strains belonged to Super Group B Wolbachia and did not match any strains reported previously in B. dorsalis in Asia. These findings indicate that diverse Wolbachia infections are present in invasive populations of B. dorsalis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibitory Effects of Plant Trypsin Inhibitors Msti-94 and Msti-16 on Therioaphis trifolii (Monell) (Homoptera: Aphididae) in Alfalfa
Insects 2019, 10(6), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060154
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
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Abstract
The spotted alfalfa aphid (Therioaphis trifolii (Monell)) is a known destructive pest that can significantly reduce alfalfa yields. Two differentially up-regulated alfalfa trypsin inhibitors ‘Msti-94’ and ‘Msti-16’ in transcriptome were verified in terms of their mRNA levels using [...] Read more.
The spotted alfalfa aphid (Therioaphis trifolii (Monell)) is a known destructive pest that can significantly reduce alfalfa yields. Two differentially up-regulated alfalfa trypsin inhibitors ‘Msti-94’ and ‘Msti-16’ in transcriptome were verified in terms of their mRNA levels using RT-qPCR. The prokaryotic expression vector was constructed and its biological functions, including phenotypic and physiological responses, were verified through feeding spotted alfalfa aphids with active recombinant protein mixed with an artificial diet. Gene clone and gene prokaryotic expression confirmed that Msti-94 had a size of 651 bp, encoded 216 amino acids with a predicted protein weight of 23.5 kDa, and a pI value of 6.91. Similarly, the size of Msti-16 was 612 bp, encoded 203 amino acids, and had a predicted protein weight of 22.2 kDa with a pI value of 9.06. We concluded that both Msti-94 and Msti-16 acted as a stomach poison with survival rates reduced to 21.7% and 18.3%, respectively, as compared to the control, where the survival rate was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (60.0%). Aphid reproduction rates were significantly reduced, after 72 h of feeding, in both the Msti-94 and Msti-16 treatments compared to the controls. A concentration of 800 μg/mL (0.8 mg/mL) of recombinant protein and 5000 μg/mL (5 mg/mL) of recombinant expressing bacteria that inhibits the total protease, which ultimately disrupted the activity of trypsin, chymotrypsin, and aminopeptidase. Full article
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