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Insects, Volume 15, Issue 4 (April 2024) – 85 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Most research on the effects of climate change on insects has been focused on groups that are particularly expressive or expected to be highly sensitive, especially in northern countries. I investigated the changes in distributional and activity patterns in ecologically tolerant tenebrionid beetles in a region (Latium, Italy) within the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. By analyzing the changes in species records between 1900 and 1980, and then 1981 and 2022, I found that in response to rising temperatures, the species became more frequent at higher elevations and in northern places. I did not find strong evidence for earlier seasonal activity, but this could be due to the likely overwintering of individuals. The findings suggest that even thermally tolerant species can undergo distributional shifts in elevation and latitude, even at a relatively small scale. View this paper
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10 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Olfactory Responses of Asproparthenis punctiventris Germar to Leaf Odours of Amaranthaceae Plants
by Elisabeth H. Koschier, Lena Dittmann and Bernhard Spangl
Insects 2024, 15(4), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040297 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Understanding the stimuli used by insect pests to find their food plants can be a first step towards manipulating their behaviour and, thus, controlling them. We investigated the responses of the sugar beet weevil Asproparthenis punctiventris (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to the volatile leaf odours [...] Read more.
Understanding the stimuli used by insect pests to find their food plants can be a first step towards manipulating their behaviour and, thus, controlling them. We investigated the responses of the sugar beet weevil Asproparthenis punctiventris (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to the volatile leaf odours of its food plants, including Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris (Altissima and Cicla groups), Atriplex hortensis, Chenopodium album, and Amaranthus retroflexus, in a four-arm olfactometer. A bioassay procedure was developed, and the frequency of visits and time spent by adult weevils in the quadrant of the olfactometer with leaf volatiles was recorded, as was their first choice of quadrant. Females and males were equally attracted to the leaf odours of young B. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris plants, i.e., sugar beet and chard, as indicated by the overall picture of the behavioural parameters analysed. Males, but not females, responded positively to the leaf odour of the garden orache (A. hortensis), and no response was observed when the weevils were tested with the leaf odours of fat hen (C. album) or common amaranth (A. retroflexus). These results suggest that A. punctiventris uses leaf odours to locate sugar beet and other food plants. Knowledge of the olfactory responses of this pest can provide a basis for improved monitoring or mass trapping strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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17 pages, 1561 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Analysis of Salivary Secretions from the Tea Green Leafhopper, Empoasca flavescens Fabrecius
by Cheng Pan, Xueyi He, Luxia Xia, Kexin Wei, Yuqun Niu and Baoyu Han
Insects 2024, 15(4), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040296 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Saliva plays a crucial role in shaping the compatibility of piercing–sucking insects with their host plants. Understanding the complex composition of leafhopper saliva is important for developing effective and eco-friendly control strategies for the tea green leafhopper, Empoasca flavescens Fabrecius, a major piercing–sucking [...] Read more.
Saliva plays a crucial role in shaping the compatibility of piercing–sucking insects with their host plants. Understanding the complex composition of leafhopper saliva is important for developing effective and eco-friendly control strategies for the tea green leafhopper, Empoasca flavescens Fabrecius, a major piercing–sucking pest in Chinese tea plantations. This study explored the saliva proteins of tea green leafhopper adults using a custom collection device, consisting of two layers of Parafilm stretched over a sucrose diet. A total of 152 proteins were identified using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) following the filter-aided sample preparation (FASP). These proteins were categorized into six groups based on their functions, including enzymes, transport proteins, regulatory proteins, cell structure proteins, other proteins, and unknown proteins. Bioinformatics analyses predicted 16 secreted proteins, which were successfully cloned and transcriptionally analyzed across various tissues and developmental stages. Genes encoding putative salivary secretory proteins, including Efmucin1, EfOBP1, EfOBP2, EfOBP3, Efmucin2, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (EfLRP), EFVg1, and EFVg2, exhibited high expressions in salivary gland (SG) tissues and feeding-associated expressions at different developmental stages. These findings shed light on the potential elicitors or effectors mediating the leafhopper feeding and defense responses in tea plants, providing insights into the coevolution of tea plants and leafhoppers. The study’s conclusions open avenues for the development of innovative leafhopper control technologies that reduce the reliance on pesticides in the tea industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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11 pages, 1236 KiB  
Brief Report
Insecticide Resistance in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes: Possible Detection of kdr F1534C, S989P, and V1016G Triple Mutation in Benin, West Africa
by Tatchémè Filémon Tokponnon, Razaki Ossè, Sare Dabou Zoulkifilou, Gbenouga Amos, Houessinon Festus, Gounou Idayath, Aboubakar Sidick, Louisa A. Messenger and Martin Akogbeto
Insects 2024, 15(4), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040295 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Epidemics of arboviruses in general, and dengue fever in particular, are an increasing threat in areas where Aedes (Ae.) aegypti is present. The effectiveness of chemical control of Ae. aegypti is jeopardized by the increasing frequency of insecticide resistance. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Epidemics of arboviruses in general, and dengue fever in particular, are an increasing threat in areas where Aedes (Ae.) aegypti is present. The effectiveness of chemical control of Ae. aegypti is jeopardized by the increasing frequency of insecticide resistance. The aim of this study was to determine the susceptibility status of Ae. aegypti to public health insecticides and assess the underlying mechanisms driving insecticide resistance. Ae. aegypti eggs were collected in two study sites in the vicinity of houses for two weeks using gravid Aedes traps (GATs). After rearing the mosquitoes to adulthood, female Ae. aegypti were exposed to diagnostic doses of permethrin, deltamethrin and bendiocarb, using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bottle bioassays. Unexposed, un-engorged female Ae. aegypti were tested individually for mixed-function oxidase (MFO), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and α and β esterase activities. Finally, allele-specific PCR (AS-PCR) was used to detect possible kdr mutations (F1534C, S989P, and V1016G) in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene in insecticide-exposed Ae. aegypti. Most traps were oviposition positive; 93.2% and 97% of traps contained Ae. aegypti eggs in the 10ème arrondissement of Cotonou and in Godomey-Togoudo, respectively. Insecticide bioassays detected resistance to permethrin and deltamethrin in both study sites and complete susceptibility to bendiocarb. By comparison to the insecticide-susceptible Rockefeller strain, field Ae. aegypti populations had significantly higher levels of GSTs and significantly lower levels of α and β esterases; there was no significant difference between levels of MFOs. AS-PCR genotyping revealed the possible presence of 3 kdr mutations (F1534C, S989P, and V1016G) at high frequencies; 80.9% (228/282) of the Ae. aegypti tested had at least 1 mutation, while the simultaneous presence of all 3 kdr mutations was identified in 13 resistant individuals. Study findings demonstrated phenotypic pyrethroid resistance, the over-expression of key detoxification enzymes, and the possible presence of several kdr mutations in Ae. aegypti populations, emphasizing the urgent need to implement vector control strategies targeting arbovirus vector species in Benin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical and Livestock Entomology)
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26 pages, 5841 KiB  
Article
Combined Analysis of Metabolomics and Biochemical Changes Reveals the Nutritional and Functional Characteristics of Red Palm Weevil Rhynchophus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larvae at Different Developmental Stages
by Mengran Chen, Jintao Kan, Yufeng Zhang, Jinhao Zhao, Chaojun Lv, Baozhu Zhong, Chaoxu Li and Weiquan Qin
Insects 2024, 15(4), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040294 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 796
Abstract
In this study, the changes in the conventional nutrient and mineral compositions as well as the metabolomics characteristics of the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophus ferrugineus Olivier (Curculionidae: Coleoptera) larvae at early (EL), middle (ML) and old (OL) developmental stages were investigated. Results [...] Read more.
In this study, the changes in the conventional nutrient and mineral compositions as well as the metabolomics characteristics of the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophus ferrugineus Olivier (Curculionidae: Coleoptera) larvae at early (EL), middle (ML) and old (OL) developmental stages were investigated. Results showed that the EL and ML had the highest content of protein (53.87 g/100 g dw) and fat (67.95 g/100 g), respectively, and three kinds of RPW larvae were all found to be rich in unsaturated fatty acids (52.17–53.12%), potassium (5707.12–15,865.04 mg/kg) and phosphorus (2123.87–7728.31 mg/kg). In addition, their protein contained 17 amino acids with the largest proportion of glutamate. A total of 424 metabolites mainly including lipids and lipid-like molecules, organic acids and their derivatives, organic heterocycle compounds, alkaloids and their derivatives, etc. were identified in the RPW larvae. There was a significant enrichment in the ABC transport, citrate cycle (TCA cycle), aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, and mTOR signaling pathways as the larvae grow according to the analysis results of the metabolic pathways of differential metabolites. The water extract of EL exhibited relatively higher hydroxyl, 2,2-diphenyl-1-pyrroline hydrochloride (DPPH) and 2,2’-azobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical-scavenging ability with the EC50 values of 1.12 mg/mL, 11.23 mg/mL, and 2.52 mg/mL, respectively. These results contribute to a better understanding of the compositional changes of the RPW larvae during its life cycle and provide a theoretical grounding for its deep processing and high-value utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Edible Insects and Circular Economy)
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17 pages, 598 KiB  
Review
Larval Frass of Hermetia illucens as Organic Fertilizer: Composition and Beneficial Effects on Different Crops
by Giovanni Lomonaco, Antonio Franco, Jeroen De Smet, Carmen Scieuzo, Rosanna Salvia and Patrizia Falabella
Insects 2024, 15(4), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040293 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1473
Abstract
Hermetia illucens has received a lot of attention as its larval stage can grow on organic substrates, even those that are decomposing. Black soldier fly breeding provides a variety of valuable products, including frass, a mixture of larval excrements, larval exuviae, and leftover [...] Read more.
Hermetia illucens has received a lot of attention as its larval stage can grow on organic substrates, even those that are decomposing. Black soldier fly breeding provides a variety of valuable products, including frass, a mixture of larval excrements, larval exuviae, and leftover feedstock, that can be used as a fertilizer in agriculture. Organic fertilizers, such as frass, bringing beneficial bacteria and organic materials into the soil, improves its health and fertility. This comprehensive review delves into a comparative analysis of frass derived from larvae fed on different substrates. The composition of micro- and macro-nutrients, pH levels, organic matter content, electrical conductivity, moisture levels, and the proportion of dry matter are under consideration. The effect of different feeding substrates on the presence of potentially beneficial bacteria for plant growth within the frass is also reported. A critical feature examined in this review is the post-application beneficial impacts of frass on crops, highlighting the agricultural benefits and drawbacks of introducing Hermetia illucens frass into cultivation operations. One notable feature of this review is the categorization of the crops studied into distinct groups, which is useful to simplify comparisons in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Role of Insects in Human Society)
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11 pages, 2824 KiB  
Article
The Expression and Function of Notch Involved in Ovarian Development and Fecundity in Basilepta melanopus
by Yifei Xie, Yifan Tan, Xuanye Wen, Wan Deng, Jinxiu Yu, Mi Li, Fanhui Meng, Xiudan Wang and Daohong Zhu
Insects 2024, 15(4), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040292 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Basilepta melanopus is a pest that severely affects oil tea plants, and the Notch signaling pathway plays a significant role in the early development of insect ovaries. In this study, we explored the function of the notch gene within the Notch signaling pathway [...] Read more.
Basilepta melanopus is a pest that severely affects oil tea plants, and the Notch signaling pathway plays a significant role in the early development of insect ovaries. In this study, we explored the function of the notch gene within the Notch signaling pathway in the reproductive system of B. melanopus. The functional domains and expression patterns of Bmnotch were analyzed. Bmnotch contains 45 epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domains, one negative regulatory region, one NODP domain and one repeat-containing domain superfamily. The qPCR reveals heightened expression in early developmental stages and specific tissues like the head and ovaries. The RNA interference (RNAi)-based suppression of notch decreased its expression by 52.1%, exhibiting heightened sensitivity to dsNotch at lower concentrations. Phenotypic and mating experiments have demonstrated that dsNotch significantly impairs ovarian development, leading to reduced mating frequencies and egg production. This decline underscores the Notch pathway’s crucial role in fecundity. The findings advocate for RNAi-based, Notch-targeted pest control as an effective and sustainable strategy for managing B. melanopus populations, signifying a significant advancement in forest pest control endeavors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Reproductive Biology)
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13 pages, 2724 KiB  
Article
Silkworm Hemolymph and Cocoon Metabolomics Reveals Valine Improves Feed Efficiency of Silkworm Artificial Diet
by Jinxin Wu, Lingyi Li, Daoyuan Qin, Han Chen, Yuanlin Liu, Guanwang Shen and Ping Zhao
Insects 2024, 15(4), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040291 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Artificial silkworm diets significantly impact farm profitability. Sustainable cocoon production depends on the continuous improvement of feed efficiency to reduce costs and nutrient losses in the feed. This study used metabolomics to explore the differences in silkworm cocoons and hemolymph under two modes [...] Read more.
Artificial silkworm diets significantly impact farm profitability. Sustainable cocoon production depends on the continuous improvement of feed efficiency to reduce costs and nutrient losses in the feed. This study used metabolomics to explore the differences in silkworm cocoons and hemolymph under two modes of rearing: an artificial diet and a mulberry-leaf diet. Nine metabolites of silkworm cocoons and hemolymph in the mulberry-leaf group were higher than those in the artificial-diet group. Enrichment analysis of the KEGG pathways for these metabolites revealed that they were mainly enriched in the valine, leucine, and isoleucine biosynthesis and degradation pathways. Hence, the artificial silkworm diet was supplemented various concentrations of valine were supplemented to with the aim of examining the impact of valine on their feeding and digestion of the artificial diet. The results indicated that valine addition had no significant effect on feed digestibility in the fifth-instar silkworm. Food intake in the 2% and 4% valine groups was significantly lower than that in the 0% valine group. However, the 2% and 4% valine groups showed significantly improved cocoon-production efficiency, at 11.3% and 25.1% higher, respectively. However, the cocoon-layer-production efficiencies of the 2% and 4% valine groups decreased by 7.7% and 13.9%, respectively. The research confirmed that valine is an effective substance for enhancing the feed efficiency of silkworms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Rearing: Reserve Forces with Commercial and Ecological Values)
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12 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
Laboratory Evaluation of Indigenous and Commercial Entomopathogenic Nematodes against Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
by Mureed Husain, Khawaja G. Rasool, Koko D. Sutanto, Abdalsalam O. Omer, Muhammad Tufail and Abdulrahman S. Aldawood
Insects 2024, 15(4), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040290 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 822
Abstract
The red palm weevil (RPW) is a significant threat to date palms. Conventional pest control has been ineffective. This study aims to evaluate entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) indigenous to Saudi Arabia and commercial against RPW. We used 33 soil samples collected from four areas [...] Read more.
The red palm weevil (RPW) is a significant threat to date palms. Conventional pest control has been ineffective. This study aims to evaluate entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) indigenous to Saudi Arabia and commercial against RPW. We used 33 soil samples collected from four areas of Saudi Arabia. The indigenous EPNs were isolated and cultured using an insect baiting method to obtain infective juveniles. Pathogenicity bioassays were conducted against different stages of RPW, including eggs, larvae, and adults. The bioassay was performed using all the isolates at 1 × 106 IJ/mL. Distilled water was used as a control. The results revealed that only 9.09% of soil samples contained positive EPNs. Through DNA sequencing analysis, the positive samples were identified as indigenous isolates belonging to Heterorhabditis indica and Steinernema carpocapsae EPN species. In pathogenicity tests, 90% mortality of RPW eggs was observed after five days. Similar mortality trends were seen in RPW larvae and adults, with 90% mortality recorded after ten days for all the EPN treatments. Mortality increased with the duration of post-EPN inoculation exposure. The 1 × 106 IJ/mL concentrations of EPN effectively killed various stages of RPW in the laboratory. More research is needed to test EPNs against RPW in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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14 pages, 853 KiB  
Article
Field Evaluation of Experimental Maize Hybrids for Resistance to the Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in a Warm Temperate Climate
by Xinzhi Ni, Alisa Huffaker, Eric A. Schmelz, Wenwei Xu, W. Paul Williams, Baozhu Guo, Xianchun Li and Fangneng Huang
Insects 2024, 15(4), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040289 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 931
Abstract
The polyphagous fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, has become an invasive pest worldwide in recent years. To develop maize germplasm with multiple pest resistance and understand genetic inheritance, 12 experimental hybrids (six pairs of reciprocal crosses) with diverse genetic backgrounds and four [...] Read more.
The polyphagous fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, has become an invasive pest worldwide in recent years. To develop maize germplasm with multiple pest resistance and understand genetic inheritance, 12 experimental hybrids (six pairs of reciprocal crosses) with diverse genetic backgrounds and four commercial checks were examined for FAW resistance in 2013 and 2014. The experiment utilized a randomized complete block design with four replications as the block factor. FAW injury on maize plants was assessed at 7 and 14 d after the artificial infestation at the V6 stage, and predatory arthropod taxa and abundance on maize seedlings were recorded 7 d after the infestation. Spodoptera frugiperda resistance varied significantly among the 16 hybrids. Two reciprocal crosses (‘FAW1430’ × ‘Oh43’ and ‘CML333’ × ‘NC358’) showed the least FAW injury. Eleven arthropod predators [i.e., six coleopterans, three hemipterans, earwigs (dermapterans), and spiders (or arachnids)] were also recorded; the two most common predators were the pink spotted ladybeetle, Coleomegilla maculata, and the insidious flower (or minute pirate) bug, Orius spp. Predator abundance was not correlated to FAW injury but varied greatly between 2013 and 2014. Principal component analysis demonstrated that, when compared with FAW resistant (or Bt-transgenic) checks (‘DKC69-71’, ‘DKC67-88’, and ‘P31P42’), five pairs of the reciprocal crosses had moderate FAW resistance, whereas a pair of reciprocal crosses (‘NC350’ × ‘NC358’ and NC358 × NC350) showed the same FAW susceptibility as the non-Bt susceptible check ‘DKC69-72’. Both parents contributed similarly to FAW resistance, or no maternal/cytoplasmic effect was detected in the experimental hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Integrated Pest Management of Crop)
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12 pages, 2868 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Water Immersion Promoting the Decocooning of Osmia excavata Alfken
by Guiping Wang, Guangzhao Wang, Jiale Li, Yixiang Ma, Yinwei You, Zizhang Zhou, Yunhe Zhao, Xingyuan Men, Yingying Song and Yi Yu
Insects 2024, 15(4), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040288 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 744
Abstract
The timing of decocooning and nesting during the flowering period are crucial for the reproduction and pollination activities of Osmia excavata. In order to improve the pollination efficiency of O. excavata, it is crucial to find a way to break the [...] Read more.
The timing of decocooning and nesting during the flowering period are crucial for the reproduction and pollination activities of Osmia excavata. In order to improve the pollination efficiency of O. excavata, it is crucial to find a way to break the cocoon quickly. Our results showed that the decocooning rates at 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 72 h after 30 min of water immersion (WI) were 28.67%, 37.33%, 37.33%, 41.33%, 44.33%, and 53.00%, respectively. The decocooning rate fold of 6 h was 14.33 compared with the control group. Transcriptome sequencing resulted in 273 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) being identified between the WI and control groups. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that muscle-related functions play important roles in O. excavata decocooning in response to WI. Cluster analysis also showed that DEGs in cardiac muscle contraction and adrenergic signaling in cardiomyocytes were up-regulated in response to WI-promoted decocooning. In conclusion, the rate of decocooning can be improved by WI in a short time. During WI-promoted decocooning, muscle-related pathways play an important role. Therefore, the application of this technology will improve the pollination effect of O. excavata. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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13 pages, 1350 KiB  
Article
Validation of Diets with Tomato Pomace in Complete Cycle Breeding of Tenebrio molitor (L.) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)
by Ferdinando Baldacchino, Anna Spagnoletta, Flutura Lamaj, Maria Luisa Vitale and Vincenzo Verrastro
Insects 2024, 15(4), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040287 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 887
Abstract
By-product-based diets have the potential to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of Tenebrio molitor (Linnaeus, 1758) production. However, evaluations of the efficacy of new diets are generally focused on larval performance, while the effect on adults is poorly understood. This aim of [...] Read more.
By-product-based diets have the potential to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of Tenebrio molitor (Linnaeus, 1758) production. However, evaluations of the efficacy of new diets are generally focused on larval performance, while the effect on adults is poorly understood. This aim of this study was to evaluate diets enriched with tomato pomace over a complete breeding cycle. The results showed that when used as an oviposition substrate, all the tested diets, including tomato pomace (T), outperformed the control bran-yeast diet (WY, 95:5 ratio), possibly due to the presence of cholesterol and linoleic acid. The adults fed with the bran-tomato pomace-brewer’s spent grain diet (WTB, 50:27:23 ratio), the bran-tomato pomace-yeast diet (WTY, 50:41:9 ratio), and the bran-tomato pomace diet (WT, 50:50 ratio) produced significantly more larvae than those fed with the WY diet. The WTB diet (despite being yeast-free) performed similarly to the WY control diet during the subsequent larval growth phase, making it suitable for the entire production cycle. In conclusion, the results show that tomato pomace can be used a valid by-product in the formulation of efficient diets for the breeding of T. molitor and also provide an alternative to expensive yeast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Rearing: Reserve Forces with Commercial and Ecological Values)
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12 pages, 1148 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Social Norms on Residential Insecticide Use
by Moshe Gish
Insects 2024, 15(4), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040286 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 749
Abstract
Insecticide products are widely used in homes around the world, despite concerns about their adverse health effects. Variations in insecticide use levels can stem not only from differences in environmental conditions, but also from societal factors. This study investigates the impact of religiosity [...] Read more.
Insecticide products are widely used in homes around the world, despite concerns about their adverse health effects. Variations in insecticide use levels can stem not only from differences in environmental conditions, but also from societal factors. This study investigates the impact of religiosity on insecticide use in Jewish households, hypothesizing that religious families might use more insecticides because insects are considered taboo in Judaism. Data from interviews with 70 families, examining their insecticide use, exposure to pests, aversion to cockroaches, and other predisposing factors, revealed that despite similar levels of pest exposure, religious families reported higher insecticide use and greater aversion to cockroaches. Multiple linear regression analysis identified religiosity as the primary predictor of insecticide use, followed by pest exposure levels. The elevated insecticide use among religious Jewish families may stem from several factors, with the Jewish categorization of insects as “impure animals” that should be strictly avoided likely playing a crucial role in promoting insecticide use. Understanding how attitudes toward insects influence insecticide use across different societies is crucial for health and environmental authorities to develop novel insecticide-reduction initiatives that will be tailored to the unique social characteristics of various communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Cultural Entomology: Our Love-hate Relationship with Insects)
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12 pages, 4303 KiB  
Article
Bombus terrestris Prefer Mixed-Pollen Diets for a Better Colony Performance: A Laboratory Study
by Ziyu Zhou, Hong Zhang, Shibonage K. Mashilingi, Chunting Jie, Baodi Guo, Yi Guo, Xiao Hu, Shahid Iqbal, Bingshuai Wei, Yanjie Liu and Jiandong An
Insects 2024, 15(4), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040285 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Pollen is a major source of proteins and lipids for bumblebees. The nutritional content of pollen may differ from source plants, ultimately affecting colony development. This study investigated the foraging preferences of Bombus terrestris in regard to four pollen species, i.e., oilseed rape, [...] Read more.
Pollen is a major source of proteins and lipids for bumblebees. The nutritional content of pollen may differ from source plants, ultimately affecting colony development. This study investigated the foraging preferences of Bombus terrestris in regard to four pollen species, i.e., oilseed rape, wild apricot, sunflower, and buckwheat, under laboratory conditions. The results show that B. terrestris diversified their preference for pollens; the bumblebees mostly preferred wild apricot pollen, whereas sunflower pollen was the least preferred. The colonies fed on a mixed four-pollen diet, with a protein–lipid ratio of 4.55–4.86, exhibited better development in terms of the number of offspring, individual body size and colony weight. The colonies fed with buckwheat and sunflower pollens produced a significantly lower number of workers and failed to produce queen and male offspring. Moreover, wild apricot pollen had the richest protein content (23.9 g/100 g) of the four pollen species, whereas oilseed rape pollen had the highest lipid content (6.7 g/100 g), as revealed by the P:L ratios of wild apricot, sunflower, buckwheat, and oilseed rape, which were 6.76, 5.52, 3.50, and 3.37, respectively. Generally, B. terrestris showed feeding preferences regarding different pollens and a mixture of pollens, which ultimately resulted in differences in colony development. The findings of this study provide important baseline information to researchers and developers of nutritive pollen diets for bumblebees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Societies and Sociality)
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20 pages, 4368 KiB  
Article
More Than 200 Years Later: Gluvia brunnea sp. nov. (Solifugae, Daesiidae), a Second Species of Camel Spider from the Iberian Peninsula
by Cristian Pertegal, Pablo Barranco, Eva De Mas and Jordi Moya-Laraño
Insects 2024, 15(4), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040284 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2690
Abstract
We present the description of a new species of Solifugae from the Iberian Peninsula, Gluvia brunnea sp. nov., which has been found so far in southeast Spain. The morphological description is accompanied by molecular and multiple factor analyses, jointly giving full support to [...] Read more.
We present the description of a new species of Solifugae from the Iberian Peninsula, Gluvia brunnea sp. nov., which has been found so far in southeast Spain. The morphological description is accompanied by molecular and multiple factor analyses, jointly giving full support to the specific status of the taxon. Finally, we discuss the intraspecific variability of both species, G. dorsalis and G. brunnea sp. nov., and the recent history of the genus. We also discuss the usefulness of multiple factor analysis for quantitatively separating species, and we stress that some specimens of this new species were found in Mesovoid Shallow Substratum stations, representing the very first time that Solifugae have been captured in this type of trap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Other Arthropods and General Topics)
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18 pages, 5353 KiB  
Article
Feeding Appropriate Nutrients during the Adult Stage to Promote the Growth and Development of Carposina sasakii Offspring
by Tong Fu, Yiran Li, Xinrun Ren, Qiao Liu, Ling Wu, Angie Deng, Ruihe Gao, Yuhong Zhang, Lina Men and Zhiwei Zhang
Insects 2024, 15(4), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040283 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Nutrients consumed during the adult stage are a key factor affecting the growth, development, and reproduction of insect offspring and thus could play an important role in insect population research. However, there is absence of conclusive evidence regarding the direct effects of parental [...] Read more.
Nutrients consumed during the adult stage are a key factor affecting the growth, development, and reproduction of insect offspring and thus could play an important role in insect population research. However, there is absence of conclusive evidence regarding the direct effects of parental (F0) nutritional status on offspring (F1) fitness in insects. Carposina sasakii Matsumura is a serious, widespread fruit-boring pest that negatively impacts orchards and the agricultural economy across East Asia. In this study, life history data of F1 directly descended from F0 C. sasakii fed with seven different nutrients (water as control, 5 g·L−1 honey solution, 10 g·L−1 honey solution, 5 g·L−1 sucrose solution, 10 g·L−1 sucrose solution, 15 g·L−1 sucrose solution, and 20 g·L−1 sucrose solution) were collected under laboratory conditions. The growth and development indices, age-stage specific survival rate, age-stage specific fecundity, age-stage specific life expectancy, age-stage specific reproductive value, and population parameters of these offspring were analyzed according to the age-stage, two-sex life table theory. The results showed that the nutritional status of F0 differentially affects the growth, development, and reproduction of F1. The F1 offspring of F0 adult C. sasakii fed with 10 g·L−1 sucrose had significantly higher life table parameters than those of other treatments (intrinsic rate of increase, r = 0.0615 ± 0.0076; finite rate of increase, λ = 1.0634 ± 0.0081; net reproductive rate, R0 = 12.61 ± 3.57); thus, 10 g·L−1 sucrose was more suitable for raising C. sasakii in the laboratory than other treatments. This study not only provides clear evidence for the implications of altering F0 nutritional conditions on the fitness of F1 in insects, but also lays the foundation for the implementation of feeding technologies within the context of a well-conceived laboratory rearing strategy for C. sasakii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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21 pages, 21825 KiB  
Article
A Time-Frequency Domain Mixed Attention-Based Approach for Classifying Wood-Boring Insect Feeding Vibration Signals Using a Deep Learning Model
by Weizheng Jiang, Zhibo Chen and Haiyan Zhang
Insects 2024, 15(4), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040282 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Wood borers, such as the emerald ash borer and holcocerus insularis staudinger, pose a significant threat to forest ecosystems, causing damage to trees and impacting biodiversity. This paper proposes a neural network for detecting and classifying wood borers based on their feeding vibration [...] Read more.
Wood borers, such as the emerald ash borer and holcocerus insularis staudinger, pose a significant threat to forest ecosystems, causing damage to trees and impacting biodiversity. This paper proposes a neural network for detecting and classifying wood borers based on their feeding vibration signals. We utilize piezoelectric ceramic sensors to collect drilling vibration signals and introduce a novel convolutional neural network (CNN) architecture named Residual Mixed Domain Attention Module Network (RMAMNet).The RMAMNet employs both channel-domain attention and time-domain attention mechanisms to enhance the network’s capability to learn meaningful features. The proposed system outperforms established networks, such as ResNet and VGG, achieving a recognition accuracy of 95.34% and an F1 score of 0.95. Our findings demonstrate that RMAMNet significantly improves the accuracy of wood borer classification, indicating its potential for effective pest monitoring and classification tasks. This study provides a new perspective and technical support for the automatic detection, classification, and early warning of wood-boring pests in forestry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Management of Invasive Insect Pests)
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35 pages, 49247 KiB  
Article
Decline in Honeybees and Its Consequences for Beekeepers and Crop Pollination in Western Nepal
by Susanne Kortsch, Thomas P. Timberlake, Alyssa R. Cirtwill, Sujan Sapkota, Manish Rokoya, Kedar Devkota, Tomas Roslin, Jane Memmott and Naomi Saville
Insects 2024, 15(4), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040281 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2331
Abstract
In understudied regions of the world, beekeeper records can provide valuable insights into changes in pollinator population trends. We conducted a questionnaire survey of 116 beekeepers in a mountainous area of Western Nepal, where the native honeybee Apis cerana cerana is kept as [...] Read more.
In understudied regions of the world, beekeeper records can provide valuable insights into changes in pollinator population trends. We conducted a questionnaire survey of 116 beekeepers in a mountainous area of Western Nepal, where the native honeybee Apis cerana cerana is kept as a managed bee. We complemented the survey with field data on insect–crop visitation, a household income survey, and an interview with a local lead beekeeper. In total, 76% of beekeepers reported declines in honeybees, while 86% and 78% reported declines in honey yield and number of beehives, respectively. Honey yield per hive fell by 50% between 2012 and 2022, whilst the number of occupied hives decreased by 44%. Beekeepers ranked climate change and declining flower abundance as the most important drivers of the decline. This raises concern for the future food and economic security of this region, where honey sales contribute to 16% of total household income, and where Apis cerana cerana plays a major role in crop pollination, contributing more than 50% of all flower visits to apple, cucumber, and pumpkin. To mitigate further declines, we promote native habitat and wildflower preservation, and using well-insulated log hives to buffer bees against the increasingly extreme temperature fluctuations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy and Sustainable Beekeeping)
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18 pages, 2566 KiB  
Article
Future Climate Change and Anthropogenic Disturbance Promote the Invasions of the World’s Worst Invasive Insect Pests
by Runyao Cao and Jianmeng Feng
Insects 2024, 15(4), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040280 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 929
Abstract
Invasive insect pests adversely impact human welfare and global ecosystems. However, no studies have used a unified scheme to compare the range dynamics of the world’s worst invasive insect pests. We investigated the future range shifts of 15 of the world’s worst invasive [...] Read more.
Invasive insect pests adversely impact human welfare and global ecosystems. However, no studies have used a unified scheme to compare the range dynamics of the world’s worst invasive insect pests. We investigated the future range shifts of 15 of the world’s worst invasive insect pests. Although future range dynamics varied substantially among the 15 worst invasive insect pests, most exhibited large range expansions. Increases in the total habitat suitability occurred in more than ca. 85% of global terrestrial regions. The relative impacts of anthropogenic disturbance and climate variables on the range dynamics depended on the species and spatial scale. Aedes albopictus, Cinara cupressi, and Trogoderma granarium occurred four times in the top five largest potential ranges under four future climate scenarios. Anoplophora glabripennis, Aedes albopictus, and Co. formosanus were predicted to have the largest range expansions. An. glabripennis, Pl. manokwari, Co. formosanus, and So. invicta showed the largest range centroid shifts. More effective strategies will be required to prevent their range expansions. Although the strategies should be species-specific, mitigating anthropogenic disturbances and climate change will be essential to preventing future invasions. This study provides critical and novel insights for developing global strategies to combat the invasions of invasive insect pests in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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11 pages, 2947 KiB  
Article
Wing Plasticity Is Associated with Growth and Energy Metabolism in Two Color Morphs of the Pea Aphid
by Hehe Cao, Xi Wang, Jiawei Wang, Zhaozhi Lu and Tongxian Liu
Insects 2024, 15(4), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040279 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 712
Abstract
The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, is a major pest of legume crops, exhibiting distinct polymorphism in terms of wings and body color. We found that, under crowded conditions, the red morph A. pisum produced more winged offspring than the green morph. The [...] Read more.
The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, is a major pest of legume crops, exhibiting distinct polymorphism in terms of wings and body color. We found that, under crowded conditions, the red morph A. pisum produced more winged offspring than the green morph. The signaling pathways involved in aphid wing determination, like insulin and ecdysone, also play important roles in regulating growth, development, and metabolism. Thus, here, we examined the association between the wing-producing ability and the growth rate, development time, reproductive capacity, and energy metabolism in these two color morphs. The growth rate of red morphs was significantly higher than that of green morphs, whereas green morphs produced more offspring during the first 6 days of the adult stage. Red morphs accumulated higher levels of glycogen and triglycerides and consumed more triglycerides during starvation; however, green aphids consumed more trehalose during food deprivation. Red aphids exhibited stronger starvation tolerance, possibly due to their higher triglyceride catabolic activity. Furthermore, the expression levels of genes involved in the insulin pathway, glycolysis, and lipolysis in red aphids were higher than those in green aphids. These results suggest that the wing-producing ability of the pea aphid may be associated with its growth and metabolism, which may be due to the shared regulatory signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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14 pages, 6421 KiB  
Article
High Trunk Truncation as a Potential Sustainable Management Option for Asian Longhorned Beetle on Salix babylonica
by Chen Huang, Hualing Wang, Xiaoxia Hai, Zhigang Wang and Fei Lyu
Insects 2024, 15(4), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040278 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 710
Abstract
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) causes substantial economic and ecological losses, thus, an environmentally friendly management strategy is needed. Here, we propose high trunk truncation (HTT), the removal of the above 200 cm portion of trees, as a sustainable management strategy to control [...] Read more.
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) causes substantial economic and ecological losses, thus, an environmentally friendly management strategy is needed. Here, we propose high trunk truncation (HTT), the removal of the above 200 cm portion of trees, as a sustainable management strategy to control ALB. To examine the hypothesis, an initial step involved the assessment of various biological characteristics of ALB. Subsequently, a controlled field experiment was carried out utilizing HTT. Finally, HTT was applied in two additional ALB infestation regions. The results of the study of the biological characteristics of ALB showed that 76.31–78.88% of frass holes and 85.08–87.93% of emergence holes were located on branches above 200 cm. Adults preferred to feed on branches 2–3 cm in diameter, ALB eggs were predominantly laid on 5 cm branches, and both were primarily located above 200 cm. These results revealed a correlation between the number of ALBs and the tree crown height. The controlled field experiment showed that the number of ALBs was significantly decreased when the HTT strategy was implemented: approximately 90% of frass holes and 95% of adults were eradicated by HTT compared with the control. Different field surveys involving HTT have shown similar results. These findings provide valuable insights into a sustainable and efficient management strategy for reducing the number of ALBs. Full article
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10 pages, 967 KiB  
Article
Point Protection with Transfluthrin against Musca domestica L. in a Semi-Field Enclosure
by Robert L. Aldridge, Alexandra A. Pagac, Edmund J. Norris, Daniel L. Kline, Christopher J. Geden and Kenneth J. Linthicum
Insects 2024, 15(4), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040277 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 783
Abstract
House flies are notoriously difficult to control, owing to their tendency to live in close relationships with humans and their livestock, and their rapid development of resistance to chemical controls. With this in mind, we explored an alternative chemical control, a spatial repellent [...] Read more.
House flies are notoriously difficult to control, owing to their tendency to live in close relationships with humans and their livestock, and their rapid development of resistance to chemical controls. With this in mind, we explored an alternative chemical control, a spatial repellent to deter Musca domestica L. from points we wanted to protect (i.e., a baited trap). Our results demonstrated that the synthetic spatial repellent, transfluthrin, is effective in preventing M. domestica adults from entering protected traps for both a susceptible strain (CAR21) and a field-acquired permethrin-resistant strain (WHF; 24 h LD50 resistance ratio of 150), comprising 22% and 28% of the total number of flies collected, respectively. These results are promising and demonstrate that transfluthrin can be an effective spatial repellent to protect points of interest where needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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17 pages, 3022 KiB  
Article
Identification of Candidate Genes Associated with Type-II Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis in the Tea Geometrid (Ectropis obliqua) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)
by Changxia Xu, Nanxia Fu, Xiaoming Cai, Zhaoqun Li, Lei Bian, Chunli Xiu, Zongmao Chen, Long Ma and Zongxiu Luo
Insects 2024, 15(4), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040276 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Ectropis obliqua, a notorious tea pest, produces a Type-II sex pheromone blend for mate communication. This blend contains (Z,Z,Z)-3,6,9-octadecatriene, (Z,Z)-3,9-cis-6,7-epoxy-octadecadiene, and (Z,Z)-3,9-cis-6,7-epoxy-nonadecadiene. To elucidate the genes related to the biosynthesis of these [...] Read more.
Ectropis obliqua, a notorious tea pest, produces a Type-II sex pheromone blend for mate communication. This blend contains (Z,Z,Z)-3,6,9-octadecatriene, (Z,Z)-3,9-cis-6,7-epoxy-octadecadiene, and (Z,Z)-3,9-cis-6,7-epoxy-nonadecadiene. To elucidate the genes related to the biosynthesis of these sex pheromone components, transcriptome sequencing of the female E. obliqua pheromone gland and the abdomen without pheromone gland was performed. Comparative RNAseq analyses identified 52 putative genes, including 7 fatty acyl-CoA elongases (ELOs), 9 fatty acyl-CoA reductases (FARs), 1 decarbonylase (DEC), 3 lipophorins (LIPs), and 32 cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). Tissue expression profiles revealed that two ELOs (ELO3 and ELO5), two FARs (FAR2 and FAR9), one DEC (CYP4G173), and one LIP (LIP1) displayed either abdomen-centric or -specific expression, suggesting potential roles in sex pheromone biosynthesis within the oenocytes of E. obliqua. Furthermore, the tissue expression patterns, combined with phylogenetic analysis, showed that CYP340BD1, which was expressed specifically and predominantly only in the pheromone gland, was clustered with the previously reported epoxidases, highlighting its potential role in the epoxidation of the unsaturated polytriene sex pheromone components. Collectively, our research provides valuable insights into the genes linked to sex pheromone biosynthesis. Full article
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9 pages, 1775 KiB  
Article
Prevalence in Potato of ‘Candidatus Arsenophonus Phytopathogenicus’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma Solani’ and Their Transmission via Adult Pentastiridius leporinus
by André Rinklef, Sarah Christin Behrmann, David Löffler, Jan Erner, Martin Vincent Meyer, Christian Lang, Andreas Vilcinskas and Kwang-Zin Lee
Insects 2024, 15(4), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040275 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 924
Abstract
The planthopper Pentastiridius leporinus (Hempiptera: Cixiidae) is the main vector of two bacterial pathogens: the γ-proteobacterium ‘Candidatus Arsenophonus phytopathogenicus’ and the stolbur phytoplasma ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’. These pathogens cause the disease syndrome basses richesses (SBR) in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris [...] Read more.
The planthopper Pentastiridius leporinus (Hempiptera: Cixiidae) is the main vector of two bacterial pathogens: the γ-proteobacterium ‘Candidatus Arsenophonus phytopathogenicus’ and the stolbur phytoplasma ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’. These pathogens cause the disease syndrome basses richesses (SBR) in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), which reduces the yields and sugar content. In 2022, potato (Solanum tuberosum) fields were found to be colonized by P. leporinus, and the transmission of Arsenophonus was confirmed, resulting in symptoms like wilting, yellow leaves, and rubbery tubers. We monitored both pathogens in Southwest Germany in 2022 and 2023. This revealed their widespread presence in potato tubers, although there were differences in regional prevalence. The broad prevalence of Arsenophonus was maintained in 2023, whereas the prevalence of stolbur increased in most locations. We confirmed that P. leporinus adults can transmit both pathogens to potatoes, but neither pathogen reduced the germination rate of tubers, and no plants showed abnormal growth after germination. Arsenophonus was not detected in germinated shoots, but 5.4% contained stolbur, emphasizing the need for plant material testing to maintain phytosanitary conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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13 pages, 1721 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic and Metatranscriptomic Analyses Provide New Insights into the Response of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) to Acetamiprid
by Zhiyan Cai, Xuhui Zhao, Yuxin Qian, Kun Zhang, Shigang Guo, Yunchao Kan, Yuqing Wang, Camilo Ayra-Pardo and Dandan Li
Insects 2024, 15(4), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040274 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 769
Abstract
Acetamiprid is a broad-spectrum neonicotinoid insecticide used in agriculture to control aphids. While recent studies have documented resistance to acetamiprid in several aphid species, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptome and metatranscriptome of a [...] Read more.
Acetamiprid is a broad-spectrum neonicotinoid insecticide used in agriculture to control aphids. While recent studies have documented resistance to acetamiprid in several aphid species, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptome and metatranscriptome of a laboratory strain of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris, 1776), with reduced susceptibility to acetamiprid after nine generations of exposure to identify candidate genes and the microbiome involved in the adaptation process. Sequencing of the transcriptome of both selected (RS) and non-selected (SS) strains allowed the identification of 14,858 genes and 4938 new transcripts. Most of the differentially expressed genes were associated with catalytic activities and metabolic pathways involving carbon and fatty acids. Specifically, alcohol-forming fatty acyl-CoA reductase (FAR) and acyl-CoA synthetase (ACSF2), both involved in the synthesis of epidermal wax layer components, were significantly upregulated in RS, suggesting that adaptation to acetamiprid involves the synthesis of a thicker protective layer. Metatranscriptomic analyses revealed subtle shifts in the microbiome of RS. These results contribute to a deeper understanding of acetamiprid adaptation by the pea aphid and provide new insights for aphid control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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17 pages, 2679 KiB  
Article
Natural Diversity of Cuticular Pheromones in a Local Population of Drosophila after Laboratory Acclimation
by Jean-François Ferveur, Jérôme Cortot, Matthew Cobb and Claude Everaerts
Insects 2024, 15(4), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040273 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 801
Abstract
Experimental studies of insects are often based on strains raised for many generations in constant laboratory conditions. However, laboratory acclimation could reduce species diversity reflecting adaptation to varied natural niches. Hydrocarbons covering the insect cuticle (cuticular hydrocarbons; CHCs) are reliable adaptation markers. They [...] Read more.
Experimental studies of insects are often based on strains raised for many generations in constant laboratory conditions. However, laboratory acclimation could reduce species diversity reflecting adaptation to varied natural niches. Hydrocarbons covering the insect cuticle (cuticular hydrocarbons; CHCs) are reliable adaptation markers. They are involved in dehydration reduction and protection against harmful factors. CHCs can also be involved in chemical communication principally related to reproduction. However, the diversity of CHC profiles in nature and their evolution in the laboratory have rarely been investigated. Here, we sampled CHC natural diversity in Drosophila melanogaster flies from a particular location in a temperate region. We also measured cis-Vaccenyl acetate, a male-specific volatile pheromone. After trapping flies using varied fruit baits, we set up 21 D. melanogaster lines and analysed their pheromones at capture and after 1 to 40 generations in the laboratory. Under laboratory conditions, the broad initial pheromonal diversity found in male and female flies rapidly changed and became more limited. In some females, we detected CHCs only reported in tropical populations: the presence of flies with a novel CHC profile may reflect the rapid adaptation of this cosmopolitan species to global warming in a temperate area. Full article
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17 pages, 2928 KiB  
Article
Response of Chironomids (Diptera, Chironomidae) to Environmental Factors at Different Spatial Scales
by Bruno Rossaro and Laura Marziali
Insects 2024, 15(4), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040272 - 14 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2491
Abstract
Factors responsible for species distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates, including responses at different spatial scales, have been previously investigated. The aim of the present research was to review the most relevant factors explaining chironomid species distribution focusing on factors operating at different spatial scales, [...] Read more.
Factors responsible for species distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates, including responses at different spatial scales, have been previously investigated. The aim of the present research was to review the most relevant factors explaining chironomid species distribution focusing on factors operating at different spatial scales, such as latitude, longitude, altitude, substrate, salinity, water temperature, current velocity, conductivity, acidity, dissolved oxygen, nutrient content etc. acting at regional levels and at a large or small water basin level. Data including chironomid species abundances from different lentic and lotic waters in Italy and other surrounding countries were analyzed using partial canonical correspondence analysis (pCCA) and multiple discriminant analysis (DISCR). Spatial analyses, including univariate Moran’s I correlograms, multivariate Mantel correlograms and Moran’s eigenvector maps (MEMs), were thereafter carried out. The results showed that habitat type, including different types of lotic waters (i.e., kryal, crenal, rhithral, potamal) and different lake types (i.e., littoral, sublittoral, profundal zones), is the most significant factor separating chironomid assemblages, while spatial factors act only as indirect influencers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Insects: Diversity, Ecology and Evolution)
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12 pages, 2263 KiB  
Article
Molecular Identification and Prevalence of the Mite Carpoglyphus lactis (Acarina: Carpoglyphidae) in Apis mellifera in the Republic of Korea
by Thi-Thu Nguyen, Mi-Sun Yoo, Hyang-Sim Lee, So-Youn Youn, Se-Ji Lee, Su-Kyoung Seo, Jaemyung Kim and Yun-Sang Cho
Insects 2024, 15(4), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040271 - 14 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Apis mellifera, especially weak ones, are highly vulnerable to Carpoglyphus lactis mites, which can rapidly infest and consume stored pollen, leading to weakened colonies and potential colony collapse. This study aimed to ascertain and investigate the prevalence of this mite in honeybee [...] Read more.
Apis mellifera, especially weak ones, are highly vulnerable to Carpoglyphus lactis mites, which can rapidly infest and consume stored pollen, leading to weakened colonies and potential colony collapse. This study aimed to ascertain and investigate the prevalence of this mite in honeybee colonies across nine provinces in the Republic of Korea (ROK). A total of 615 honeybee colony samples were collected from 66 apiaries during the spring and 58 apiaries during the summer of 2023. A 1242 bp segment of the Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction method. The detection levels of C. lactis in the honeybees were compared between winter and summer. Based on the COI sequence analysis, the nucleotide sequence similarity of C. lactis mites isolated in the ROK with those from China (NC048990.1) was found to be 99.5%, and with those from the United Kingdom (KY922482.1) was 99.3%. This study is the first report of C. lactis in Korean apiaries. The findings of this study demonstrate a significantly higher detection rate in winter, which is 4.1 times greater than that in summer (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the results underscore the usefulness of molecular diagnostic techniques for detecting C. lactis mites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Systematics, Phylogeny and Evolution)
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21 pages, 9249 KiB  
Article
Expanding the Mesozoic Record of Early Brachyceran Fly Larvae, including New Larval Forms with Chimera-Type Morphologies
by André P. Amaral, Joachim T. Haug, Carolin Haug, Simon Linhart, Patrick Müller, Jörg U. Hammel and Viktor Baranov
Insects 2024, 15(4), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040270 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Diptera are one of the four megadiverse groups of holometabolan insects. Flies perform numerous ecological functions, especially in their larval stages. We can assume that this was already the case in the past; however, fly larvae remain rare in most deposits. Here we [...] Read more.
Diptera are one of the four megadiverse groups of holometabolan insects. Flies perform numerous ecological functions, especially in their larval stages. We can assume that this was already the case in the past; however, fly larvae remain rare in most deposits. Here we report new dipteran larvae preserved in Cretaceous (about 99 Ma) Kachin amber from Myanmar and, even older, Jurassic (about 165 Ma) compression fossils from China. Through light microscopy and micro-CT scanning we explore their peculiar morphology and discuss their possible phylogenetic affinities. Several larvae seem to represent the lineage of Stratiomyomorpha. A few others present characters unique to Xylophagidae (awl-flies), as well as to Athericidae (water sniper-flies), resulting in a chimeric morphology. Understanding the exact relationships of most of these specimens with a particular lineage remains challenging, since they differ considerably from any other known dipteran larvae and present some unique traits. Additionally, we report new specimens of Qiyia jurassica Chen et al., 2014, supposedly parasitic larvae, most likely representatives of Athericidae. These new findings offer valuable insights into the evolution of the early diversification of the brachyceran flies and underscore the importance of immature stages in understanding the evolutionary history and ecology of flies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Diptera Biology)
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9 pages, 508 KiB  
Article
Micronutrient Deficiency May Be Associated with the Onset of Chalkbrood Disease in Honey Bees
by Ratko Pavlović, Robert Brodschneider, Walter Goessler, Ljubiša Stanisavljević, Zoran Vujčić and Nenad M. Zarić
Insects 2024, 15(4), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040269 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Chalkbrood is a disease of honey bee brood caused by the fungal parasite Ascosphaera apis. Many factors such as genetics, temperature, humidity and nutrition influence the appearance of clinical symptoms. Poor nutrition impairs the immune system, which favors the manifestation of symptoms [...] Read more.
Chalkbrood is a disease of honey bee brood caused by the fungal parasite Ascosphaera apis. Many factors such as genetics, temperature, humidity and nutrition influence the appearance of clinical symptoms. Poor nutrition impairs the immune system, which favors the manifestation of symptoms of many honey bee diseases. However, a direct link between dietary ingredients and the symptoms of chalkbrood disease has not yet been established. We show here that the elemental composition of chalkbrood mummies and healthy larvae from the same infected hives differ, as well as that mummies differ from larvae from healthy hives. Chalkbrood mummies had the highest concentration of macroelements such as Na, Mg, P, S, K and Ca and some microelements such as Rb and Sn, and at the same time the lowest concentration of B, As, Sr, Ag, Cd, Sb, Ba and Pb. Larvae from infected hives contained less Pb, Ba, Cs, Sb, Cd, Sr, As, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Cr, V and Al in contrast to healthy larvae from a disease-free apiary. This is the first study to demonstrate such differences, suggesting that an infection alters the larval nutrition or that nutrition is a predisposition for the outbreak of a chalkbrood infection. Though, based on results obtained from a case study, rather than from a controlled experiment, our findings stress the differences in elements of healthy versus diseased honey bee larvae. Full article
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15 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Effects of Disinfectants on Bacterium Paenibacillus larvae in Laboratory Conditions
by Ivana Tlak Gajger, Zlatko Tomljanović, Franco Mutinelli, Anna Granato and Josipa Vlainić
Insects 2024, 15(4), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040268 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 768
Abstract
American foulbrood is an infectious disease of the honeybee brood that causes multiple types of damage to beekeeping. The causative agent of the disease is the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, which forms resistant infective spores and is viable for decades. After the eradication [...] Read more.
American foulbrood is an infectious disease of the honeybee brood that causes multiple types of damage to beekeeping. The causative agent of the disease is the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, which forms resistant infective spores and is viable for decades. After the eradication measures have been implemented, in cases of clinically visible disease, it is necessary to conduct effective final disinfections of equipment and tools. This study aimed to determine the effect of ten commercially available and commonly used disinfectants on certified strains of P. larvae under laboratory conditions, as well as to compare the obtained results among individual genotypes of P. larvae. Selected products were tested by determining the zone of inhibition using an agar diffusion test, a suspension test for viable bacteria, a surface disinfectant test, and a sporicidal effect in the suspension test. Incidin OxyFoam S and Sekusept Aktiv are both effective against all examined genotypes of P. larvae. Despadac and Despadac Secure have a bactericidal effect, but their sporocidal effect is not as satisfactory as that of Genox. Genoll does not exhibit a sporicidal effect, and Ecocide S at 1%, Bee protect H forte, and Bee protect F did not exhibit a satisfactory sporocidal effect. Additionally, EM® PROBIOTIC FOR BEES did not exhibit any bactericidal effect. The effective application of control measures and proper application of final disinfection can reduce the reoccurrence of visible clinical signs of disease, whereas methods of early diagnosis can significantly reduce the incidence of the disease. Full article
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