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Insects, Volume 12, Issue 11 (November 2021) – 94 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Flowering plants usually attract insect pollinators by offering them nectar, pollen, or other energetically valuable sources. To deter ants, which are unreliable pollinators and can act as nectar thieves, plants have developed different systems either inside the flowers or associated with the stems. The latter one, called greasy pole syndrome, is based on the combined effect of several stem features hampering the access of ants to the apically located flowers. In this study, we examined the effects of different flower stem features present in the round-leaved Alexanders Smyrnium rotundifolium on the visiting frequency of the generalist ant species. On the cover, the plant S. rotundifolium with the upper leaves forming a kind of cuff around flower stems is shown in its natural habitat. View this paper
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Article
Distribution and Relative Abundance of Bean Leaf Beetles (Ootheca spp.) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Uganda
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111048 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
Bean leaf beetles (Ootheca spp.) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are one of Africa’s most destructive pests of common bean and other leguminous crops. The beetles are widely distributed in Africa where they are estimated to cause annual crop yield losses of 116,400 tons [...] Read more.
Bean leaf beetles (Ootheca spp.) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) are one of Africa’s most destructive pests of common bean and other leguminous crops. The beetles are widely distributed in Africa where they are estimated to cause annual crop yield losses of 116,400 tons of crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite their importance, little is known about the distribution, relative abundance and damage caused by bean leaf beetles in Uganda. As a result, the development of effective management methods has been hampered. We conducted surveys in six key Ugandan agro-ecological zones to determine the species distribution and relative abundance of bean leaf beetles. Findings indicate that leaf beetles belonging to 12 genera are present, including members of the genera Afrophthalma Medvedev, 1980, Buphonella Jacoby, 1903, Chrysochrus Chevrolat in Dejean, 1836, Diacantha Dejean, 1845, Exosoma Jacoby, 1903, Lamprocopa Hincks, 1949, Lema Fabricius, 1798, Nisotra Baly, 1864, Neobarombiella Bolz and Wagner, 2012, Ootheca Dejean, 1935, Parasbecesta Laboissière, 1940, and Plagiodera Dejean, 1835. We identified only three species belonging to the genus Ootheca: O. mutabilis, O. proteus, and O. orientalis. Seventy percent of all the beetles collected were O. mutabilis and these were present in all agro-ecological zones studied. The Northern Moist Farmlands (21.9%), West Nile Farmlands (12.9%), Central Wooded Savanna (4.4%) and Southern and Eastern Lake Kyoga Basin (1.4%) were the only agro-ecological zones where O. proteus was found. Only one specimen of O. orientalis was found at a single site in the Central Wooded Savanna. The Northern Moist Farmlands had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher bean leaf beetle density than the West Nile Farmlands and Southwestern Highlands. Similarly, the Northern Moist Farmlands had the highest beetle foliar damage per plant (1.15 ± 0.05), while the Southwestern Highlands had the lowest (0.03 ± 0.02). We provide the first information on Ootheca species distribution, abundance and damage in Uganda. Our findings provide a foundation for assessing the importance of Ootheca spp. as common bean pests in Uganda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Swallowtail Butterflies Use Multiple Visual Cues to Select Oviposition Sites
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111047 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 652
Abstract
Flower-foraging Japanese yellow swallowtail butterflies, Papilio xuthus, exhibit sophisticated visual abilities. When ovipositing, females presumably attempt to select suitable leaves to support the growth of their larval offspring. We first established that butterflies indeed select particular leaves on which to lay [...] Read more.
Flower-foraging Japanese yellow swallowtail butterflies, Papilio xuthus, exhibit sophisticated visual abilities. When ovipositing, females presumably attempt to select suitable leaves to support the growth of their larval offspring. We first established that butterflies indeed select particular leaves on which to lay eggs; when presented with a single Citrus tree, butterflies significantly favored two out of 102 leaves for oviposition. These preferences were observed across many individuals, implying that they were not merely idiosyncratic, but rather based on properties of the leaves in question. Because the butterflies descended towards the leaves rather directly from a distance, we hypothesized that they base their selection on visual cues. We measured five morphological properties (height, orientation, flatness, roundness, and size) and four reflective features (green reflectance, brightness, and degree and angle of linear polarization). We found that the number of eggs laid upon a leaf was positively correlated with its height, flatness, green reflectance, and brightness, and negatively correlated with its degree of polarization, indicating that these features may serve as cues for leaf selection. Considering that other studies report ovipositing butterflies’ preference for green color and horizontally polarized light, butterflies likely use multiple visual features to select egg-laying sites on the host plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Insect Senses: From Perception to Cognition)
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Article
Interspecific Hybridization and Complete Mitochondrial Genome Analysis of Two Ghost Moth Species
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111046 - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 572
Abstract
The Chinese cordyceps, a parasitic Ophiocordyceps sinensis fungus–Thitarodes/Hepialus larva complex, is a valuable biological resource endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. Protection of the Plateau environment and huge market demand make it necessary to culture this complex in an artificial system. A method [...] Read more.
The Chinese cordyceps, a parasitic Ophiocordyceps sinensis fungus–Thitarodes/Hepialus larva complex, is a valuable biological resource endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. Protection of the Plateau environment and huge market demand make it necessary to culture this complex in an artificial system. A method for the large-scale artificial rearing of the Thitarodes/Hepialus insect host has been established. However, the deterioration of the insect rearing population and low mummification of the infected larvae by the fungus constrain effective commercial cultivation. Hybridization of Thitarodes/Hepialus populations may be needed to overcome this problem. The species T. shambalaensis (GG♂ × GG♀) and an undescribed Thitarodes species (SD♂ × SD♀) were inbred or hybridized to evaluate the biological parameters, larval sensitivity to the fungal infection and mitochondrial genomes of the resulting populations. The two parental Thitarodes species exhibited significant differences in adult fresh weights and body lengths but not in pupal emergence rates. Hybridization of T. shambalaensis and Thitarodes sp. allowed producing a new generation. The SD♂ × GG♀ population showed a higher population trend index than the SD♂ × SD♀ population, implying increased population growth compared with the male parent. The sensitivity of the inbred larval populations to four fungal isolates of O. sinensis also differed. This provides possibilities to create Thitarodes/Hepialus populations with increased growth potential for the improved artificial production of the insect hosts. The mitochondrial genomes of GG♂ × GG♀, SD♂ × SD♀ and SD♂ × GG♀ were 15,612 bp, 15,389 bp and 15,496 bp in length, with an A + T content of 80.92%, 82.35% and 80.87%, respectively. The A + T-rich region contains 787 bp with two 114 bp repetitive sequences, 554 bp without repetitive sequences and 673 bp without repetitive sequences in GG♂ × GG♀, SD♂ × SD♀ and SD♂ × GG♀, respectively. The hybrid population (SD♂ × GG♀) was located in the same clade with GG♂ × GG♀, based on the phylogenetic tree constructed by 13 PCGs, implying the maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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Article
Evaluating the Efficacy of 30 Different Essential Oils against Varroa destructor and Honey Bee Workers (Apis mellifera)
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111045 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
Essential oils and their components are generally known for their acaricidal effects and are used as an alternative to control the population of the Varroa destructor instead of synthetic acaricides. However, for many essential oils, the exact acaricidal effect against Varroa mites, as [...] Read more.
Essential oils and their components are generally known for their acaricidal effects and are used as an alternative to control the population of the Varroa destructor instead of synthetic acaricides. However, for many essential oils, the exact acaricidal effect against Varroa mites, as well as the effect against honey bees, is not known. In this study, 30 different essential oils were screened by using a glass-vial residual bioassay. Essential oils showing varroacidal efficacy > 70% were tested by the complete exposure assay. A total of five bees and five mites were placed in the Petri dishes in five replications for each concentration of essential oil. Mite and bee mortality rates were assessed after 4, 24, 48, and 72 h. The LC50 values and selectivity ratio (SR) were calculated. For essential oils with the best selectivity ratio, their main components were detected and quantified by GC-MS/MS. The results suggest that the most suitable oils are peppermint and manuka (SR > 9), followed by oregano, litsea (SR > 5), carrot, and cinnamon (SR > 4). Additionally, these oils showed a trend of the increased value of selective ratio over time. All these oils seem to be better than thymol (SR < 3.2), which is commonly used in beekeeping practice. However, the possible use of these essential oils has yet to be verified in beekeeping practice. Full article
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Article
Effectiveness of Entomopathogenic Fungi on Immature Stages and Feeding Performance of Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111044 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Maize is a major staple crop in China, and the sustainable productivity of this primary crop has been recently threatened by fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, invasion. The five fungal isolates, Aspergillus sp. BM-3 and SE-2-1, Cladosporium tenuissimum SE-10, Penicillium citrinum CTD-24, [...] Read more.
Maize is a major staple crop in China, and the sustainable productivity of this primary crop has been recently threatened by fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, invasion. The five fungal isolates, Aspergillus sp. BM-3 and SE-2-1, Cladosporium tenuissimum SE-10, Penicillium citrinum CTD-24, and Beauveria bassiana ZK-5 were assessed for their efficacy in causing mortality against first to sixth instar eggs and neonate larvae seven days post-treatment, and their effects on the feeding performance of sixth instar S. frugiperda larvae at 48 h post-treatment at three concentrations (1 × 106, 1 × 107, and 1 × 108 conidia mL−1) were also assessed. The six instar S. frugiperda larvae were not susceptible to the five tested fungal isolates. However, B. bassiana ZK-5 caused the highest egg mortality of 40, 70, and 85.6% at 1 × 106, 1 × 107, and 1 × 108 conidia mL−1, respectively, followed by P. citrinum CTD-24 (30.6, 50, and 75.6%) and C. tenuissimum SE-10 (25.6, 40, and 55.6%). In addition, B. bassiana ZK-5 caused the highest neonate mortality of 54.3% at 1 × 108 conidia mL−1. B. bassiana ZK-5 and P. citrinum CTD-24 caused cumulative mortality, including 93.3 and 83.3% mortality of eggs and neonates, respectively, at 1 × 108 conidia mL−1. Furthermore, B. bassiana ZK-5 reduced the feeding efficacy of first to third instar S. frugiperda larvae by 66.7 to 78.6%, while P. citrinum CTD-24 and C. tenuissimum SE-10 reduced larval feeding by 48.3 to 57.1% at 1 × 108 conidia mL−1. However, these fungal isolates were less potent in reducing the feeding activity of fourth to sixth instar S. frugiperda larvae (>46% with B. bassiana at 48 h post-treatment). The tested fungal isolates could play an essential role as microbial biopesticides in suppressing the S. frugiperda population in China after further investigations on their efficacy are obtained in the field. Full article
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Article
Do Hydrothermal Shrimp Smell Vents?
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111043 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Deep-sea species endemic to hydrothermal vents face the critical challenge of detecting active sites in a vast environment devoid of sunlight. This certainly requires specific sensory abilities, among which olfaction could be a relevant sensory modality, since chemical compounds in hydrothermal fluids or [...] Read more.
Deep-sea species endemic to hydrothermal vents face the critical challenge of detecting active sites in a vast environment devoid of sunlight. This certainly requires specific sensory abilities, among which olfaction could be a relevant sensory modality, since chemical compounds in hydrothermal fluids or food odors could potentially serve as orientation cues. The temperature of the vent fluid might also be used for locating vent sites. The objective of this study is to observe the following key behaviors of olfaction in hydrothermal shrimp, which could provide an insight into their olfactory capacities: (1) grooming behavior; (2) attraction to environmental cues (food odors and fluid markers). We designed experiments at both deep-sea and atmospheric pressure to assess the behavior of the vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata and Mirocaris fortunata, as well as of the coastal species Palaemon elegans and Palaemon serratus for comparison. Here, we show that hydrothermal shrimp groom their sensory appendages similarly to other crustaceans, but this does not clean the dense bacterial biofilm that covers the olfactory structures. These shrimp have previously been shown to possess functional sensory structures, and to detect the environmental olfactory signals tested, but we do not observe significant attraction behavior here. Only temperature, as a signature of vent fluids, clearly attracts vent shrimp and thus is confirmed to be a relevant signal for orientation in their environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Insect Senses: From Perception to Cognition)
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Review
A Review of Alternative Controls for House Flies
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111042 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
House flies are the most prevalent synanthropic pest worldwide. Although they seldom reproduce in homes, they invade buildings, cause annoyance, and carry pathogens. Urban pest management personnel are limited in their ability to locate and manage larval habitats, so most house fly management [...] Read more.
House flies are the most prevalent synanthropic pest worldwide. Although they seldom reproduce in homes, they invade buildings, cause annoyance, and carry pathogens. Urban pest management personnel are limited in their ability to locate and manage larval habitats, so most house fly management in urban settings focuses on adult fly suppression. Sanitation is probably the most critical component, eliminating odors that attract flies. Source reduction applies where larval habitats can be identified and eliminated. Exclusion involves keeping flies out of structures. Despite all efforts, flies will manage to enter the human environment, so exclusion includes air curtains, fans, screened windows, and doors. Ultraviolet light traps attract and immobilize, while window traps entice flies into devices that entrap them. Sticky tubes and ribbons rely on flies’ inclination to land on vertical lines to entangle them in glue. Even low-tech fly swatters can play significant roles in eliminating individual flies. Timed-release aerosol pyrethrin dispensers can be effective against flies confined in enclosed spaces. Toxic baits have limited use in urban settings. Chemical suppression remains a critical component of fly IPM, essential in situations requiring immediate fly elimination. Full article
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Article
Differential Response of Leafminer Flies Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) and Liriomyza sativae (Blanchard) to Rapid Cold Hardening
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111041 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 632
Abstract
Rapid cold hardening (RCH) is a rapid and critical adaption of insects to sudden temperature changes but is often overlooked or underestimated as a component of survival. Thus, interspecific comparisons of RCH are needed to predict how phenotypes will adapt to temperature variability. [...] Read more.
Rapid cold hardening (RCH) is a rapid and critical adaption of insects to sudden temperature changes but is often overlooked or underestimated as a component of survival. Thus, interspecific comparisons of RCH are needed to predict how phenotypes will adapt to temperature variability. RCH not only enhances cold survival but also protects against non-lethal cold injury by preserving essential functions such as locomotion, reproduction, and energy balance. This study investigated the difference in basal cold tolerance and RCH capacity of L. trifolii and L. sativae. In both species, the cold tolerance of pupae was significantly enhanced after short-term exposure to moderately cold temperatures. The effect of RCH last for 4 h in L. sativae but only 2 h in L. trifolii. Interestingly, L. trifolii adults had a RCH response but L. sativae adults failed to acclimate. Short-term acclimation also lowered the supercooling point significantly in the pupae of both species. Based on these results, we propose a hypothesis that these differences will eventually affect their competition in the context of climate change. This study also provides the basis for future metabolomic and transcriptomic studies that may ultimately uncover the underlying mechanisms of RCH and interspecific competition between L. trifolii and L. sativae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
The Filippi’s Glands of Giant Silk Moths: To Be or Not to Be?
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111040 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 639
Abstract
The Filippi’s glands (FGs), formerly “Lyonet’s glands”, are paired accessory organs associated with the silk glands. They are unique to Lepidoptera caterpillars and their exact role is not clear. The FGs are thought to be involved in the construction of a silk cocoon [...] Read more.
The Filippi’s glands (FGs), formerly “Lyonet’s glands”, are paired accessory organs associated with the silk glands. They are unique to Lepidoptera caterpillars and their exact role is not clear. The FGs are thought to be involved in the construction of a silk cocoon in bombycoid moths. FGs can differ in size and shape, therefore, in this study we attempt to find a correlation between FG morphology and phylogenetic position within the Bombycoidea. We use light and electron microscopy to examine the presence and morphology of FGs in a range of wild (giant) silk moths and several related species. Our results confirm that the majority of studied silk moth species have complex type of FGs that continuously increase in size during larval development. We identified several species of giant silk moths and two hawk moth species that completely lack FGs throughout their larval development. Finally, in several hawk moth species in which FGs are well developed during the first larval stage, these glands do not grow and remain small during later larval growth. Our results suggest that FGs are not critical for spinning and that loss of FGs occurred several times during the evolution of saturniids and sphingids. Comparison of FGs in different moths is an important first step in the elucidation of their physiological significance. Full article
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Article
Nine Mitochondrial Genomes of the Pyraloidea and Their Phylogenetic Implications (Lepidoptera)
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111039 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
The Pyraloidea is one of the species-rich superfamilies of Lepidoptera and contains numerous economically important pest species that cause great loss in crop production. Here, we sequenced and annotated nine complete mitogenomes for Pyraloidea, and further performed various phylogenetic analyses, to improve our [...] Read more.
The Pyraloidea is one of the species-rich superfamilies of Lepidoptera and contains numerous economically important pest species that cause great loss in crop production. Here, we sequenced and annotated nine complete mitogenomes for Pyraloidea, and further performed various phylogenetic analyses, to improve our understanding of mitogenomic evolution and phylogeny of this superfamily. The nine mitogenomes were circular, double-stranded molecules, with the lengths ranging from 15,214 bp to 15,422 bp, which are comparable to other reported pyraloid mitogenomes in size. Gene content and arrangement were highly conserved and are typical of Lepidoptera. Based on the hitherto most extensive mitogenomic sampling, our various resulting trees showed generally congruent topologies among pyraloid subfamilies, which are almost in accordance with previous multilocus studies, indicating the suitability of mitogenomes in inferring high-level relationships of Pyraloidea. However, nodes linking subfamilies in the “non-PS clade” were not completely resolved in terms of unstable topologies or low supports, and future investigations are needed with increased taxon sampling and molecular data. Unexpectedly, Orybina Snellen, represented in a molecular phylogenetic investigation for the first time, was robustly placed as basal to the remaining Pyralidae taxa across our analyses, rather than nested in Pyralinae of Pyralidae as morphologically defined. This novel finding highlights the need to reevaluate Orybina monophyly and its phylogenetic position by incorporating additional molecular and morphological evidence. Full article
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Article
Integrated Pest Management for Stored Grain: Potential Natural Biological Control by a Parasitoid Wasp Community
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111038 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 803
Abstract
Insect contamination of stored grain is a major concern for the grain industry. Phosphine is currently the standard fumigant used to control insect pests in stored grain. However, some species and populations of insects that infest stored grain exhibit resistance to this fumigant [...] Read more.
Insect contamination of stored grain is a major concern for the grain industry. Phosphine is currently the standard fumigant used to control insect pests in stored grain. However, some species and populations of insects that infest stored grain exhibit resistance to this fumigant and consumers are concerned about pesticide residues. Therefore, alternative methods of effective pest control are needed to partially or completely replace the use of phosphine. There is growing interest in biological control via parasitoid wasps. However, there is evidence that biological control will succeed only if used alongside other pest-management measures. Integrating biological control with the use of chemical insecticide is challenging and may lead to severe reductions in parasitoid survival and success. The main aim of the current study is to shed light on a greatly overlooked issue: the parasitoid community found in stored grain before and after phosphine treatment. The current study results indicate that there is a high level of parasitoid biodiversity within grain stores. We found common parasitoids at both semi-arid and Mediterranean sites, suggesting that those parasitoids can be active across a wide range of abiotic conditions. This research indicates that the community may recover even though phosphine has an immediate negative effect on a parasitoid community. Nevertheless, the parasitoid wasps seem to reduce the host population insufficiently. In light of the findings presented here, those interested in implementing pest-management strategies that include both phosphine treatment and biological control should consider conservation and augmentation of the naturally occurring parasitoid population. These studies should take into account interactions between and within parasitoid populations and phosphine distribution within the grain storage. To limit the effect of phosphine on the parasitoids, pest-management strategies should also reflect careful consideration of the timing of phosphine treatment and the need for sufficient refuge for the parasitoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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Review
Hornets and Honey Bees: A Coevolutionary Arms Race between Ancient Adaptations and New Invasive Threats
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1037; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111037 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
Hornets and honey bees have a long history of coevolution resulting in a plethora of captivating adaptations and counteradaptations between predator and prey. From simple physiological mechanisms to complex behavioral strategies, some Vespa hornets have specialized in hunting honey bees, while the latter [...] Read more.
Hornets and honey bees have a long history of coevolution resulting in a plethora of captivating adaptations and counteradaptations between predator and prey. From simple physiological mechanisms to complex behavioral strategies, some Vespa hornets have specialized in hunting honey bees, while the latter have put in place effective defenses to counteract their attack. Both hornets and honey bees have evolved the ability to detect the odors and the pheromones emitted by the other to locate the prey or to spot foraging predators. Hornets often rely on their bigger size, heavily armored body and destructive attacks, while honey bees differentiated collective defense responses finely coordinated to deter or kill the hornet menace. However, when new species of hornets and honey bees come into contact, the absence of coevolution can have a heavy impact on the defenseless bees. The evolutionary arms race between hornets and honey bees provides not only compelling examples of adaptations and counteradaptations between predator and prey, but could also represent a starting point for the development of effective and sustainable strategies to protect honey bees and beekeeping activities and to control invasive alien species of hornets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Natural Enemies of Bees)
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Article
Respiratory Strategies in Relation to Ecology and Behaviour in Three Diurnal Namib Desert Tenebrionid Beetles
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111036 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 583
Abstract
The respiratory physiology of three diurnal ultraxerophilous tenebrionid beetles inhabiting either the dune slipface or gravel plain in the Namib Desert was investigated. The role of the mesothoracic spiracles and subelytral cavity in gas exchange was determined by flow-through respirometry. All three species [...] Read more.
The respiratory physiology of three diurnal ultraxerophilous tenebrionid beetles inhabiting either the dune slipface or gravel plain in the Namib Desert was investigated. The role of the mesothoracic spiracles and subelytral cavity in gas exchange was determined by flow-through respirometry. All three species exhibited the discontinuous gas exchange cycles with a distinct convection based flutter period and similar mass specific metabolic rates. There was variation in their respiration mechanics that related to the ecology of the species. The largest beetle species, Onymacris plana, living on the dune slipface, has a leaky subelytral cavity and used all its spiracles for gas exchange. Thus, it could use evaporative cooling from its respiratory surface. This species is a fog harvester as well as able to replenish water through metabolising fats while running rapidly. The two smaller species inhabiting the gravel plains, Metriopus depressus and Zophosis amabilis, used the mesothoracic spiracles almost exclusively for gas exchange as well as increasing the proportional length of the flutter period to reduce respiratory water loss. Neither species have been reported to drink water droplets, and thus conserving respiratory water would allow them to be active longer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropods in Desert Ecosystems)
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Brief Report
Where Is the Honey Bee Queen Flying? The Original Case of a Foraging Queen
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111035 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2373
Abstract
During a bee fauna survey in the countryside of northern Sardinia, a honey bee queen (Apis mellifera L.) was detected while foraging on a borage (Borago officinalis L.) flower in Uri, Province of Sassari, Italy, most likely during an orientation flight [...] Read more.
During a bee fauna survey in the countryside of northern Sardinia, a honey bee queen (Apis mellifera L.) was detected while foraging on a borage (Borago officinalis L.) flower in Uri, Province of Sassari, Italy, most likely during an orientation flight before mating. Morphological details, detectable from photos with the naked eye and stereomicroscopic observations, confirmed that the honey bee queen was sucking nectar from a flower. The enormous development of the abdomen, lack of pollen-collecting structures in the legs and other characteristics such as the typical distally bilobed shape of the mandibles, with long hairs on their outer surface, proved the structural differences between the queen specimen and the other castes of bees. The queen’s proboscis, which is shorter compared to the workers, may have been counterbalanced by the shape and nectar production of the borage flower. This new observation proves that the queen can feed herself under natural conditions, likely to obtain the energy required for flying. Although we cannot exclude disturbing factors that could explain this foraging behaviour of a queen observed for the first time, this note opens a new scenario and discusses this new finding in the context of the available literature on the queen’s behaviour and questions to be answered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Diversity in Sustainable Agroecosystems)
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Article
Novel TaqMan PCR Assay for the Quantification of Paenibacillus larvae Spores in Bee-Related Samples
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111034 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), a devastating disease of honeybees. P. larvae spore counts in bee-related samples correlate with the presence of AFB symptoms and may, therefore, be used to identify at-risk colonies. Here, we constructed a TaqMan-based [...] Read more.
Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), a devastating disease of honeybees. P. larvae spore counts in bee-related samples correlate with the presence of AFB symptoms and may, therefore, be used to identify at-risk colonies. Here, we constructed a TaqMan-based real-time PCR (qPCR) assay targeting a single-copy chromosomal metalloproteinase gene for reliable quantification of P. larvae. The assay was calibrated using digital PCR (dPCR) to allow absolute quantification of P. larvae spores in honey and hive debris samples. The limits of detection and quantification were 8 and 58 spores/g for honey and 188 and 707 spores/mL for hive debris, respectively. To assess the association between AFB clinical symptoms and spore counts, we quantified spores in honey and hive debris samples originating from honeybee colonies with known severity of clinical symptoms. Spore counts in AFB-positive colonies were significantly higher than those in asymptomatic colonies but did not differ significantly with regard to the severity of clinical symptoms. For honey, the average spore germination rate was 0.52% (range = 0.04–6.05%), indicating poor and inconsistent in vitro germination. The newly developed qPCR assay allows reliable detection and quantification of P. larvae in honey and hive debris samples but can also be extended to other sample types. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Use of Entomopathogenic Nematodes and the Natural Products Derived from Their Symbiotic Bacteria to Control the Grapevine Moth, Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111033 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
The European grapevine moth (EGVM) Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is a relevant pest in the Palearctic region vineyards and is present in the Americas. Their management using biological control agents and environmentally friendly biotechnical tools would reduce intensive pesticide use. The entomopathogenic nematodes [...] Read more.
The European grapevine moth (EGVM) Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is a relevant pest in the Palearctic region vineyards and is present in the Americas. Their management using biological control agents and environmentally friendly biotechnical tools would reduce intensive pesticide use. The entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae are well-known virulent agents against arthropod pests thanks to symbiotic bacteria in the genera Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus (respectively) that produce natural products with insecticidal potential. Novel technological advances allow field applications of EPNs and those bioactive compounds as powerful bio-tools against aerial insect pests. This study aimed to determine the viability of four EPN species (Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, S. riojaense, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) as biological control agents against EGVM larval instars (L1, L3, and L5) and pupae. Additionally, the bioactive compounds from their four symbiotic bacteria (Xenorhabdus bovienii, X. nematophila, X. kozodoii, and Photorhabdus laumondii subsp. laumondii, respectively) were tested as unfiltered ferment (UF) and cell-free supernatant (CFS) against the EGVM larval instars L1 and L3. All of the EPN species showed the capability of killing EGVM during the larval and pupal stages, particularly S. carpocapsae (mortalities of ~50% for L1 and >75% for L3 and L5 in only two days), followed by efficacy by S. feltiae. Similarly, the bacterial bioactive compounds produced higher larval mortality at three days against L1 (>90%) than L3 (~50%), making the application of UF more virulent than the application of CFS. Our findings indicate that both steinernematid species and their symbiotic bacterial bioactive compounds could be considered for a novel agro-technological approach to control L. botrana in vineyards. Further research into co-formulation with adjuvants is required to expand their viability when implemented for aboveground grapevine application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Lethal Parasites of Insects)
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Article
Effectiveness of Different Soft Acaricides against Honey Bee Ectoparasitic Mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae)
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111032 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are essential for their products—honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis and beeswax. They are also indispensable because they support ecosystems with their pollination services. However, the production and functions of honey bees are hindered by the arthropod pest [...] Read more.
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are essential for their products—honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis and beeswax. They are also indispensable because they support ecosystems with their pollination services. However, the production and functions of honey bees are hindered by the arthropod pest Varroa destructor, which attacks bees through its feeding activities. Efforts to control varroa mites have been made through the development of various synthetic pesticide groups, but have had limited success because the mites developed resistance and some of these pesticides are harmful to bees. Branded pesticides are rarely used in Pakistan, as beekeepers utilize acaricides from unknown sources. There is a need to create awareness of available naturally occurring acaricides that may serve as an alternative to synthetic acaricides. Although some naturally occurring compounds are considered toxic to the environment, the soft acaricides oxalic acid, thymol, and formic acid 65% are usually safe for honey bee colonies and beekeepers, when handled appropriately. The current study investigated the effectiveness of formic acid (10, 15, and 20 mL/hive), oxalic acid (4.2, 3.2, and 2.1%/hive), and thymol (6, 4, and 2 g/hive) in controlling mite infestation. The results indicated that all treatments significantly reduced the mite population (p < 0.05). The average efficacies of oxalic acid at 3.2% (94.84% ± 0.34) and 4.2% (92.68% ± 0.37) were significantly higher than those of the other treatments. The lowest efficacy was recorded in formic acid 65% at 10 mL (54.13%). Overall, the results indicated that soft acaricides—such as oxalic acid at 3.2% and 4.2% concentrations—are very effective at controlling varroa mites and can be used in broodless conditions without side effects. Full article
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Article
What Could Arrest an Eriophyoid Mite on a Plant? The Case of Aculops allotrichus from the Black Locust Tree
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111031 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Aculops allotrichus is a vagrant eriophyoid that lives gregariously on the leaves of the black locust tree. This study demonstrated that conspecifics can have a significant impact on A. allotrichus females on unprofitable, old black locust leaves and can arrest them on those [...] Read more.
Aculops allotrichus is a vagrant eriophyoid that lives gregariously on the leaves of the black locust tree. This study demonstrated that conspecifics can have a significant impact on A. allotrichus females on unprofitable, old black locust leaves and can arrest them on those leaves. The effect was more pronounced in females that were exposed to artificially injured individuals than to intact ones. They not only prolonged their sojourn on leaf discs with pierced conspecifics, but also preferred the leaf disc halves with damaged individuals to clean ones. Aculops allotrichus is the first described herbivore in which artificially injured conspecifics, instead of causing alarm, keep the foraging individuals within a risky patch. Other objects, such as artificially injured or intact heterospecifics, pollen or sand, were irrelevant to the eriophyoid females on old leaf patches. In tests with old leaves of maple, magnolia and hard kiwi vine, the females postponed their movement from non-host leaf discs, which suggests that they may need more time to recognise and evaluate unfamiliar plants than familiar ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Behavior and Pathology)
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Article
Efficacy of the Applied Natural Enemies on the Survival of Colorado Potato Beetle Adults
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111030 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata is among the most destructive pests of potatoes quickly developing resistance to traditional insecticides. In the present study, we tested the effect of various species and strains of entomopathogenic nematodes on CPB adults, and subsequently, the most effective [...] Read more.
Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata is among the most destructive pests of potatoes quickly developing resistance to traditional insecticides. In the present study, we tested the effect of various species and strains of entomopathogenic nematodes on CPB adults, and subsequently, the most effective nematodes were applied alone and in combination with entomopathogenic fungus B. bassiana in pots with potato plants and in the field and their effect on the number of emerging adults was evaluated. In the experimental infections, both the nematode invasion and pathogenicity were variable, and, in several strains, the mortality reached 100%. In pot experiments, soil application of nematodes S. carpocapsae 1343 and S. feltiae Jakub and fungus significantly decreased numbers of emerging CPB adults, while, after the application on leaves, only fungal treatment was effective. The field application of fungus B. bassiana significantly decreased the number of emerging CPB adults in comparison to control sites by ca. 30% while the effect of nematodes and the nematodes–fungus combination was not significant. In conclusion, we demonstrate the necessity of thorough bioassays to select the most effective nematode strains. Entomopathogenic nematodes have the potential to effectively decrease the emergence of CPB adults, but further research is needed to improve the effectiveness in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Enemies Interactions in Pest Control)
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Article
Comparative Efficiency of Native Insect Pollinators in Reproductive Performance of Medicago sativa L. in Pakistan
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111029 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 754
Abstract
Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) is a cross-pollinated crop and requires entomophilous pollination for tripping of flowers and subsequent pod and seed set. To discover the best pollinators for lucerne seed production, a two-year field trial was carried out at the research farm [...] Read more.
Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) is a cross-pollinated crop and requires entomophilous pollination for tripping of flowers and subsequent pod and seed set. To discover the best pollinators for lucerne seed production, a two-year field trial was carried out at the research farm of MNS University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan. Abundance and diversity of insect pollinators along with the foraging behavior were recorded in terms of tripping efficiency, stay time, visitation rate and pollen harvest. The single-visit efficiency of abundant insect pollinators was also evaluated in terms of number of seeds and seed weight per raceme along with germination percentage. Ten most abundant floral visitors (five solitary bee species, three honeybee species and two syrphid fly species) were tested for their pollination efficiency. Honeybees were most abundant in both the years followed by the solitary bees and syrphid flies. Single-visit efficacy in terms of number of pods per raceme, number of seeds per raceme, 1000 seed weight and germination percentage revealed Megachile cephalotes as the most efficient insect pollinator followed by Megachile hera and Amegilla sp. Future studies should investigate the biology and ecology of these bee species with special emphasis on their nesting behavior and seasonality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollinator Diversity in Sustainable Agroecosystems)
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Communication
The First Record of Teredidae (Coleoptera, Coccinelloidea) from China, with Description of a New Species of Teredus Dejean, 1835
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111028 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Teredus Dejean is a genus of the poorly known family Teredidae, which, historically, includes only two species, restricted to Europe and North Africa. Teredus chinensis sp. nov. is here described, representing the first member of Teredidae found in China, which significantly extends the [...] Read more.
Teredus Dejean is a genus of the poorly known family Teredidae, which, historically, includes only two species, restricted to Europe and North Africa. Teredus chinensis sp. nov. is here described, representing the first member of Teredidae found in China, which significantly extends the distribution of Teredus to East Asia. The diagnostic characters and information about the wood boring beetles associated with the new species are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beetle Diversity)
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Article
The Impact of Bedbug (Cimex spp.) Bites on Self-Rated Health and Average Hours of Sleep per Day: A Cross-Sectional Study among Hong Kong Bedbug Victims
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111027 - 14 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1238
Abstract
Bedbugs (Cimex spp.) are a nuisance public-health pest that is on the rise globally, particularly in crowded cities such as Hong Kong. To investigate the health impacts of bedbug infestations among bedbug victims, online surveys were distributed in Hong Kong between June [...] Read more.
Bedbugs (Cimex spp.) are a nuisance public-health pest that is on the rise globally, particularly in crowded cities such as Hong Kong. To investigate the health impacts of bedbug infestations among bedbug victims, online surveys were distributed in Hong Kong between June 2019 to July 2020. Data on sociodemographics, self-rated health, average hours of sleep per day, and details of bedbug infestation were collected. Bivariate and multivariable analysis were performed using logistic regression. The survey identified 422 bedbug victims; among them, 223 (52.9%) experienced ≥five bites in the past month; most bites occurred on the arms (n = 202, 47.8%) and legs (n = 215, 51%), and the most common reaction to bites were itchiness (n = 322, 76.3%), redness, and swelling of the skin (n = 246, 58.1%), and difficulties sleeping or restlessness (n = 125, 29.6%). Bites usually occurred during sleep (n = 230, 54.5%). For impact on daily life in the past month, most bedbug victims reported moderate to severe impact on mental and emotional health (n = 223, 52.8%) and sleeping quality (n = 239, 56.6%). Lower self-rated health (aOR < 1) was independently associated with impact on physical appearance (p = 0.008), spending money on medication or doctor consultation (p = 0.04), number of bites in the past month (p = 0.023), and irregular time of bites (p = 0.003). Lower average hours of sleep per day (aOR < 1) was independently associated with impact on mental and emotional health (p = 0.016). This study brings attention to the neglected issue of bedbug infestation by considering bedbugs as an infectious agent instead of a vector and providing empirical evidence describing its health impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Combined Effect of Different Flower Stem Features on the Visiting Frequency of the Generalist Ant Lasius niger: An Experimental Study
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111026 - 14 Nov 2021
Viewed by 724
Abstract
In order to understand the effects of the morphology and surface texture of flower stems in Smyrnium rotundifolium on the visiting frequency of generalist ants, we conducted experiments with Lasius niger ants running on dry wooden sticks mimicking different types of stems: (1) [...] Read more.
In order to understand the effects of the morphology and surface texture of flower stems in Smyrnium rotundifolium on the visiting frequency of generalist ants, we conducted experiments with Lasius niger ants running on dry wooden sticks mimicking different types of stems: (1) intact (grooved) sticks; (2) sticks painted with slaked (hydrated) lime (calcium carbonate coverage) imitating plant epicuticular wax coverage; (3) intact sticks with smooth polyester plate-shaped cuffs imitating upper leaves; and (4) intact sticks bearing cuffs painted with slaked lime. Ants were attracted by the sweet sugar syrup droplets placed on a stick tip, and the number of ants visiting the drops was counted. Our data showed significant differences in the visiting frequencies between the different types of stem-mimicking samples. The number of recorded ants progressively decreased in the following order of samples: intact sticks—painted sticks—sticks with intact cuffs—sticks with painted cuffs. These results clearly demonstrated that micro/nanoscopic surface coverages and macroscopic physical barriers, especially if combined, have a negative impact on the attractiveness of stems to ants. This study provides further evidence for the hypothesis that having a diversity of plant stems in the field, generalist ants prefer substrates where their locomotion is less hindered by obstacles and/or surface slipperiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical and Chemical Interactions between Insects and Plants)
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Article
The Mitochondrial Genomes of 18 New Pleurosticti (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) Exhibit a Novel trnQ-NCR-trnI-trnM Gene Rearrangement and Clarify Phylogenetic Relationships of Subfamilies within Scarabaeidae
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111025 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
The availability of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in recent years has facilitated a revolution in the availability of mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences. The mt genome is a powerful tool for comparative studies and resolving the phylogenetic relationships among insect lineages. The mt genomes of [...] Read more.
The availability of next-generation sequencing (NGS) in recent years has facilitated a revolution in the availability of mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences. The mt genome is a powerful tool for comparative studies and resolving the phylogenetic relationships among insect lineages. The mt genomes of phytophagous scarabs of the subfamilies Cetoniinae and Dynastinae were under-represented in GenBank. Previous research found that the subfamily Rutelinae was recovered as a paraphyletic group because the few representatives of the subfamily Dynastinae clustered into Rutelinae, but the subfamily position of Dynastinae was still unclear. In the present study, we sequenced 18 mt genomes from Dynastinae and Cetoniinae using next-generation sequencing (NGS) to re-assess the phylogenetic relationships within Scarabaeidae. All sequenced mt genomes contained 37 sets of genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, and two ribosomal RNAs), with one long control region, but the gene order was not the same between Cetoniinae and Dynastinae species. All mt genomes of Dynastinae species showed the same gene rearrangement of trnQ-NCR-trnI-trnM, whereas all mt genomes of Cetoniinae species showed the ancestral insect gene order of trnI-trnQ-trnM. Phylogenetic analyses (IQ-tree and MrBayes) were conducted using 13 protein-coding genes based on nucleotide and amino acid datasets. In the ML and BI trees, we recovered the monophyly of Rutelinae, Cetoniinae, Dynastinae, and Sericinae, and the non-monophyly of Melolonthinae. Cetoniinae was shown to be a sister clade to (Dynastinae + Rutelinae). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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Article
The Fly Homologue of MFSD11 Is Possibly Linked to Nutrient Homeostasis and Has a Potential Role in Locomotion: A First Characterization of the Atypical Solute Carrier CG18549 in Drosophila Melanogaster
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111024 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Cellular transport and function are dependent on substrate influx and efflux of various compounds. In humans, the largest superfamily of transporters is the SoLute Carriers (SLCs). Many transporters are orphans and little to nothing is known about their expression and/or function, yet they [...] Read more.
Cellular transport and function are dependent on substrate influx and efflux of various compounds. In humans, the largest superfamily of transporters is the SoLute Carriers (SLCs). Many transporters are orphans and little to nothing is known about their expression and/or function, yet they have been assigned to a cluster called atypical SLCs. One of these atypical SLCs is MFSD11. Here we present a first in-depth characterization of the MFSD11, CG18549. By gene expression and behavior analysis on ubiquitous and brain-specific knockdown flies. CG18549 knockdown flies were found to have altered adipokinetic hormone and adipokinteic hormone receptor expression as well as reduced vesicular monoamine transporter expression; to exhibit an altered locomotor behavior, and to have an altered reaction to stress stimuli. Furthermore, the gene expression of CG18549 in the brain was visualized and abundant expression in both the larvae and adult brain was observed, a result that is coherent with the FlyAtlas Anatomy microarray. The exact mechanism behind the observed behaviors is not fully understood, but this study provides new insights into the expression and function of CG18549. Clearly, these results provide a strong example as to why it is vital to fully characterize orphan transporters and through that gain knowledge about the body during normal condition and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
Aulacaspis yasumatsui Invasion Reduced Cycas micronesica Microstrobilus Size and Pollinator Brood Site Competence
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111023 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi invaded Guam in 2003, and the influence on survival and demography of the host Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill population has been well-studied. To more fully understand how A. yasumatsui has threatened the host cycad species, we determined the microstrobilus size [...] Read more.
Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi invaded Guam in 2003, and the influence on survival and demography of the host Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill population has been well-studied. To more fully understand how A. yasumatsui has threatened the host cycad species, we determined the microstrobilus size and number of pollinators per microstrobilus from 2001 to 2021. The microstrobilus height and diameter were measured directly, and the volume was calculated. Microstrobili were 58 cm in height, 13 cm in diameter, and 4740 cm3 in volume prior to direct A. yasumatsui infestations. Microstrobili decreased in size immediately after direct infestations by A. yasumatsui, and then began to slowly increase in size until 2021. For example, the volume was 24% of pre-invasion volume in 2007, and was 57% of pre-invasion volume in 2021. Microstrobili were harvested; then, the number of pollinator pupae were counted after an incubation period. Pollinator pupae counts per microstrobilus declined to 66% of pre-invasion levels by 2007 and have remained similarly constrained through 2021. Our results revealed that A. yasumatsui damage to the host C. micronesica population is not limited to attrition of the extant plant population, but also includes a loss in male reproductive effort and the risk of coextinction of the insular pollinator. Full article
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Brief Report
Host Plants of the Immature Stages of the Invasive Longan Lanternfly, Pyrops candelaria (L.) (Hemiptera, Fulgoridae) in Taiwan
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111022 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 586
Abstract
The longan lanternfly, Pyrops candelaria (L.), has been invading mainland Taiwan since 2018, but the distribution of the species has been confined to northern Taiwan until now. The manual removal of the adult insects from the longan is still the main control strategy [...] Read more.
The longan lanternfly, Pyrops candelaria (L.), has been invading mainland Taiwan since 2018, but the distribution of the species has been confined to northern Taiwan until now. The manual removal of the adult insects from the longan is still the main control strategy because of the uncertainty around other key host plants, especially for eggs and nymphs. In this study, large numbers of eggs and nymphs were found on Triadica sebifera (L.) Small and Acacia confusa Merr. The occurrence of immature individuals on Triadica sebifera increased with developmental stage from eggs to the last instar from May to July 2021. On 30 April, the first egg mass was recorded. More egg masses were recorded in May, and some could be found in July. In May, only two younger instars were detected. Third and fourth instars began to appear from June, while the fifth instar was mainly recorded from July onwards. The results of this study provide great strategic value for decision-makers to allow for effective control of the target tree species. For now, we proved that longan and pomelo trees, preferred by adults, are not the key hosts for the immature stages of this insect, because few immature individuals were found on them. Therefore, we suggest that the existence of Triadica sebifera should be considered when analyzing possible spreading areas of this invasive lanternfly in Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Reproductive Potential Impacts Body Maintenance Parameters and Global DNA Methylation in Honeybee Workers (Apis mellifera L.)
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111021 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 849
Abstract
The widely accepted hypothesis in life history evolution about the trade-off between fecundity and longevity is not confirmed by long-living and highly fecund queens in eusocial insects. The fact that the queens and facultatively sterile workers usually arise from genetically identical eggs but [...] Read more.
The widely accepted hypothesis in life history evolution about the trade-off between fecundity and longevity is not confirmed by long-living and highly fecund queens in eusocial insects. The fact that the queens and facultatively sterile workers usually arise from genetically identical eggs but differ in DNA methylation makes them a good model for studies on senescence, eusocial evolution, and epigenetics. Therefore, honeybees seem to be especially useful here because of long living rebel-workers (RW) with high reproductive potential recently described. Longevity, ovariole number, nosema tolerance, and global DNA methylation have been assayed in normal workers (NW) versus RW in hives and cages. RW always lived longer than NW and unexpectedly extended longevity of NW when they were together, similarly as the presence of a queen did. RW lived longer despite the fact that they had higher Nosema spore load; surprisingly they became infected more easily but tolerated the infection better. Global DNA methylation increased with age, being lower in RW than in NW. Therefore, RW are queen-like considering global DNA methylation and the link between fecundity, longevity, and body maintenance. Presented features of RW expands possibilities of the use of honeybees as a model for studies on senescence, nosemosis, eusocial evolution, and epigenetics. Full article
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Article
The First Described Nymphs and Detailed Imagoes of the Species Thalerosphyrus cingulatus Navás Revealing a New Mayfly Genus from Eastern China (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae, Ecdyonurinae)
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111020 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
The nymph and detailed imaginal morphology of the Chinese mayfly Thalerosphyrus cingulatus have not been reported since it was named by Navás in 1933. Here based on newly collected nymphal and associated imaginal materials of this species from eastern China, we find both [...] Read more.
The nymph and detailed imaginal morphology of the Chinese mayfly Thalerosphyrus cingulatus have not been reported since it was named by Navás in 1933. Here based on newly collected nymphal and associated imaginal materials of this species from eastern China, we find both nymphs and adults have several extraordinary characters. In adults, forewings have less crossveins in costal and subcostal sections, others crossveins arranged into five regular rows; tibiae and tarsi of midlegs and hindlegs subequal in length; male compound eyes widely separated and penes simple and fused. The nymphs have greatly extended lateral pronotum, round supracoxal spurs and extended dorsal lamellae of gills, especially those of the gills VII; maxillae have two independent distal dentisetae. These combined characters represent a new generic taxon. Therefore, Regulaneuria Zhou, gen. nov. is established here to include the species Regulaneuria cingulata (Navás, 1933) comb. nov. The forewing venation of the species R. cingulata is unique in the family Heptageniidae but similar to some counterparts of Leptophlebiidae and Baetidae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Systematics, Phylogeny and Evolution)
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Article
Temporal Variation Dominates in Local Carabid Beetle Communities in Korean Mountains
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111019 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Spatial and temporal variation in ecological environments may result in spatial and temporal variation in communities. Temporal studies of biodiversity are essential for forecasting future changes in community structure and ecosystem function. Therefore, determining the mechanisms that drive temporal change in communities remains [...] Read more.
Spatial and temporal variation in ecological environments may result in spatial and temporal variation in communities. Temporal studies of biodiversity are essential for forecasting future changes in community structure and ecosystem function. Therefore, determining the mechanisms that drive temporal change in communities remains an important and interesting challenge in ecology. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in carabid beetle communities and site-specific environmental factors for 5 years at nine study sites on three mountains in the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range, Korea. Carabid beetle communities exhibited significant temporal variation, which was larger than spatial variations between and within mountains. Environmental factors mostly varied between sites within mountains. Community variation was only weakly associated with environmental factors at wide scales, i.e., between sites on three mountains, but was strongly associated at narrow spatial scales, i.e., between sites within one mountain. Our results indicate that temporal variation in communities occurs in response to variations in the local climate, and that the patterns of temporal variation differ between mountains. Thus, temporal surveys of insect communities and climates at local scales are important for predicting temporal changes in the communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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