Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 52928

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, University Claude Bernard Lyon, Villeurbanne, France
Interests: gut microbiota; butterfly; mosquito; herbivore

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
Interests: evolutionary ecology; biological model; invasion biology; phenotypic plasticity; thermal adaptation; cold stress; population genetics; Drosophila-parasitoid interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Insects are among the most important classes of metazoans on earth in terms of diversity and biomass. There is an accumulation of recent studies revealing that global changes (e.g., climate change, broad-spectrum pesticides, and the spread of invasive species) have strongly endangered their biodiversity. In this context, the development of alternative pest control strategies (at the agronomic or human health level) that are both efficient and preserve the ecosystems is a priority. The development of biocontrol strategies based on living organisms or the compounds derived from them has appeared to offer new opportunities. However, to be efficiently and safely developed, such strategies often need a strong theoretical and basic knowledge of the ecology of biological agents and the insects with which they interact. This Special Issue will particularly offer a place to recent investigations that will bring together research in insect ecology with a key focus on how it would help to discover, empower, or improve biocontrol strategies. We will consider all investigations with expertise in symbiotic interactions, interspecific interactions, population biology, computational biology, ecotoxicology, ecophysiology, environmental biochemistry, behavioral biology, and conservation.

Dr. Guillaume Minard
Dr. Patricia Gibert
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Insect ecology
  • Biocontrol
  • Symbiosis
  • Interactions
  • Population biology
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Ecophysiology
  • Environmental biochemistry
  • Behavioral biology
  • Conservation

Published Papers (20 papers)

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14 pages, 1572 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Landscape on Insect Pests and Associated Natural Enemies in Greenhouses Crops: The Strawberry Study Case
by Marianne Doehler, Delphine Chauvin, Anne Le Ralec, Émeline Vanespen and Yannick Outreman
Insects 2023, 14(3), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14030302 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1851
Abstract
Compared to open-field crops, the influence of the surrounding landscape on insect diversity in greenhouse crops has been poorly studied. Due to growing evidence of insect influx in greenhouses, identifying the landscape properties influencing the protected crop colonization by insect pests and their [...] Read more.
Compared to open-field crops, the influence of the surrounding landscape on insect diversity in greenhouse crops has been poorly studied. Due to growing evidence of insect influx in greenhouses, identifying the landscape properties influencing the protected crop colonization by insect pests and their natural enemies would promote the improvement of both pest prevention and conservation biological control methods. Here, we present a field study on the effect of the surrounding landscape on the colonization of greenhouse crops by insect pests and associated natural enemies. By monitoring 32 greenhouse strawberry crops in the South West of France, we surveyed crop colonization by four insect pests and four natural enemy groups over two cultivation periods. Our results showed that the landscape structure and composition could have contrasting effects on insect colonization of greenhouse crops so there could be species-specific effects and not general ones. While the degree of openness of greenhouses and the pest management practices modulated insect diversity marginally, we also showed that seasonality represented a key factor in insect crop colonization. The various responses of insect pests and natural enemy groups to the landscape support the idea that pest management methods must involve the surrounding environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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17 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Impact of Post-Harvest Management Practices in Corn (Zea mays L.) Fields on Arthropods in Subsequent Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) Plantings
by Alan W. Leslie, Scott R. McCluen and Cerruti R. R. Hooks
Insects 2023, 14(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14010093 - 15 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1843
Abstract
There is increased adoption of cover cropping and conservation tillage in the USA. Many farmers view these practices as methods for improving their soils. However, different cover cropping and tillage practices conducted post-harvest can have a disparate impact on arthropods within the subsequent [...] Read more.
There is increased adoption of cover cropping and conservation tillage in the USA. Many farmers view these practices as methods for improving their soils. However, different cover cropping and tillage practices conducted post-harvest can have a disparate impact on arthropods within the subsequent cash crop. Field experiments were conducted during 2017 and 2018 at two experimental sites to examine the influences of different post-harvest practices following corn (Zea mays L.) harvest on pests and beneficials in subsequent soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] plantings. Experimental treatments included: (1) tillage via chisel plow (CP), (2) no-tillage in which corn residue/stubble remained on the soil surface (CS), and (3) planting a cover crop into corn residue (CC) following corn harvest. Overall, insect herbivore abundance was greater in the CP treatment. Foliar predator numbers were similar among treatments or of greater abundance in CP. The activity density of epigeal insect predators varied according to site and feeding guild. However, spider activity density was greatest in CP. Stink bug egg mortality due to predation and parasitism varied among treatments. However, the percentage of stink bug eggs that hatched was greatest in the CC during both years. Findings suggest that post-harvest practices investigated during this study will have a similar influence on most epigeal and foliar arthropods in soybean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
10 pages, 6516 KiB  
Article
Development of Spodoptera exigua Population: Does the Nutritional Status Matter?
by Hancheng Ma, Bin Zhang, Jiangjie Li, Fengjiao Qiao, Qihong Ma, Xuanwu Wan, Zhufeng Jiang and Changyou Li
Insects 2023, 14(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14010013 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) is a common agricultural pest that can harm hundreds of crops. Nutrition conditions can significantly affect the development of insects, especially carbohydrates (C) and proteins (P), which are the two most critical nutrients. To study the development of the S. [...] Read more.
Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) is a common agricultural pest that can harm hundreds of crops. Nutrition conditions can significantly affect the development of insects, especially carbohydrates (C) and proteins (P), which are the two most critical nutrients. To study the development of the S. exigua population under different carbohydrate and protein nutrition conditions, we constructed a life table of both sexes of an S. exigua population under three artificial diets: high nitrogen (P:C = 7:1), medium nitrogen, medium sugar (P:C = 1:1), and high sugar (P:C = 1:7). The results showed that the generation time of S. exigua was 26.38 ± 0.54 d under the medium nitrogen–medium sugar diet, which was the shortest among the three nutrition conditions. The intrinsic rate of increase (0.18 ± 0.01), finite rate of increase (1.20 ± 0.01), fecundity (605.42 ± 36.33 eggs/female), and predicted population at 100 days (8,840,000) were significantly higher under the medium nitrogen–medium sugar condition. There was no significant difference in the net reproductive rate among the three conditions. These results suggested that an appropriate protein:carbohydrate ratio is beneficial to the rapid development of S. exigua on farmland. These findings are important for scientifically predicting the population dynamics of S. exigua from the perspective of nutritional ecology, understanding its catastrophic mechanism, and constructing a prevention and control system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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12 pages, 349 KiB  
Article
The Lesser Chestnut Weevil (Curculio sayi): Damage and Management with Biological Control Using Entomopathogenic Fungi and Entomopathogenic Nematodes
by Camila C. Filgueiras and Denis S. Willett
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121097 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
The lesser chestnut weevil, Curculio sayi (Gyllenhal), can cause irreparable damage to chestnuts through direct consumption and/or introduction of secondary pathogens. With the resurgence of blight resistant American Chestnut plantings both for commercial production and for habitat restoration, C. sayi has become a [...] Read more.
The lesser chestnut weevil, Curculio sayi (Gyllenhal), can cause irreparable damage to chestnuts through direct consumption and/or introduction of secondary pathogens. With the resurgence of blight resistant American Chestnut plantings both for commercial production and for habitat restoration, C. sayi has become a similarly resurgence pest. Here, we investigated the nature and extent of C. sayi larval damage on individual nuts and collected harvests with an eye toward the quantifying impacts. Next, we explored management options using biological control including entomopathogenic fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes. Nut damage from C. sayi can be extensive with individual nuts hosting several larvae, larvae emerging from nuts several weeks post harvest, and nut weight loss even after C. sayi have emerged from the nut. Applications of entomopathogenic fungi reduced chances of chestnut infestation, while certain strains of entomopathogenic nematodes increased the probability of C. sayi larval mortality. Understanding C. sayi damage and exploring biological control management options could be a useful tool in the effective management of this resurgent pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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9 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Laboratory Evaluation of Pupal Parasitoids for Control of the Cornsilk Fly Species, Chaetopsis massyla and Euxesta eluta
by Sandra A. Allan, Christopher J. Geden and J. Lanette Sobel
Insects 2022, 13(11), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13110990 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Cornsilk flies are serious pests of sweet corn through damage to cobs and secondary fungal establishment. As pupae are generally outside the infested cob on the ground, there can be potential for use of pupal parasitoids for control. Two species of gregarious parasitoids, [...] Read more.
Cornsilk flies are serious pests of sweet corn through damage to cobs and secondary fungal establishment. As pupae are generally outside the infested cob on the ground, there can be potential for use of pupal parasitoids for control. Two species of gregarious parasitoids, Muscidifurax raptorellus and Nasonia vitripennis, and three species of solitary parasitoids, Spalangia endius, Spalangia cameroni and Muscidifurax raptor, were evaluated against pupae of the two cornsilk fly species, Euxesta eluta and Chaetopsis massyla. House fly pupae, the most common host for most of the parasitoids, were included for comparison. All of the parasitoids killed and successfully parasitized pupae of the two cornsilk fly species at rates that were similar to house fly pupae. Adult parasitoids that emerged from cornsilk fly hosts were somewhat smaller than parasitoids reared from house flies and had proportionally fewer females. These parasitoids, which are widely and commercially available for filth fly control, warrant further consideration for their potential against cornsilk flies in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
15 pages, 2052 KiB  
Article
Age-Stage, Two-Sex Life Table and Functional Response of Amblyseius orientalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) Feeding on Different Nutrient Sources
by Keyu Pan, Tianrong Xin, Yibing Chen, Hongyan Wang, Kexin Wen, Yimeng Liu, Zhenzhen Li, Zhiwen Zou and Bin Xia
Insects 2022, 13(11), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13110983 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Amblyseius orientalis Ehara is a predatory mite that belongs to the family Phytoseiidae. It is mainly found in Jiangxi, Shanghai, Guangdong, and other areas of China. Although A. orientalis is a dominant predatory mite species in China and is also important for agriculture [...] Read more.
Amblyseius orientalis Ehara is a predatory mite that belongs to the family Phytoseiidae. It is mainly found in Jiangxi, Shanghai, Guangdong, and other areas of China. Although A. orientalis is a dominant predatory mite species in China and is also important for agriculture and biological control, not many studies have investigated it. Thus, research on A. orientalis is necessary. However, its application in biological control is hindered by the absence of techniques for the mass rearing of A. orientalis in captivity. We conducted experiments to determine the growth, development, reproduction, and functional response of A. orientalis in this study by indoor single-head rearing at 25 ± 1 °C, 65 ± 5% relative humidity, and a photoperiod of a 16 h:8 h light/dark cycle under laboratory conditions. The results of the age stage, two-sex life table showed that the individuals in the pollen + yeast and pollen + yeast + sucrose groups had significantly higher oviposition period, fecundity, net reproductive rate (R0), and gross reproduction rate (GRR) than those in the pollen group. The results of the function response showed that the pollen + yeast + sucrose group was the most favorable for captive breeding of A. orientalis and had the best predatory ability along with rejuvenation and recovery ability. The results of the study provided a theoretical basis for indoor rearing, propagation, and utilization of A. orientalis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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10 pages, 897 KiB  
Article
Enemy-Risk Effects in Parasitoid-Exposed Diamondback Moth Larvae: Potential Mediation of the Interaction by Host Plants
by Naoki Kihata and Ikkei Shikano
Insects 2022, 13(9), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13090818 - 07 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Enemy-risk effects (i.e., non-consumptive effects) describe the non-lethal fitness costs incurred by animals when they perceive a risk of predation. These effects can result from fear-associated changes in behavior and physiology. Diamondback moth larvae (Plutella xylostella) are known to violently wriggle [...] Read more.
Enemy-risk effects (i.e., non-consumptive effects) describe the non-lethal fitness costs incurred by animals when they perceive a risk of predation. These effects can result from fear-associated changes in behavior and physiology. Diamondback moth larvae (Plutella xylostella) are known to violently wriggle backwards and drop from their host plants, usually suspending themselves with a silk thread, when threatened by predators and parasitoids. Here, we investigated the developmental costs associated with this behavior when larvae were exposed to its specialist parasitoid wasp (Diadegma insulare). Additionally, the structural and chemical properties of plants are well-known to influence predation and parasitism rates of herbivorous insects. Yet, few studies have examined the influence of plants on enemy-risk effects. Therefore, we examined the developmental costs associated with parasitism risk on two host plants. Diamondback moth larvae were placed on either cabbage or Virginia pepperweed plants and exposed to gravid parasitoids with truncated ovipositors, which prevented piercing of the host cuticle without affecting host searching and attacking behaviors. On Virginia pepperweed, risk of parasitism resulted in reduced larval weight gain, longer development time, and smaller adult size compared to larvae that were not exposed to parasitoids. However, on cabbage, parasitoid exposure prolonged development time but had no significant effects on larval weight gain and adult size. On both plants, parasitoid-exposed larvae were found feeding on older foliage than younger foliage. Our findings demonstrate that the enemy-escape behavior of diamondback moths has developmental costs and that plants may mediate the intensity of these enemy-risk effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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10 pages, 31273 KiB  
Article
Phenology and Monitoring of the Lesser Chestnut Weevil (Curculio sayi)
by Camila C. Filgueiras and Denis S. Willett
Insects 2022, 13(8), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13080713 - 08 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2201
Abstract
With the introduction in recent years of high-yield blight-resistant chestnut varieties, the commercial chestnut industry in the United States is expanding. Accompanying this expansion is a resurgence in a primary pest of chestnut: C. sayi, the lesser chestnut weevil. This weevil damages [...] Read more.
With the introduction in recent years of high-yield blight-resistant chestnut varieties, the commercial chestnut industry in the United States is expanding. Accompanying this expansion is a resurgence in a primary pest of chestnut: C. sayi, the lesser chestnut weevil. This weevil damages the nut crop and infestations can surge from 0 to close to 100% in as little as two years. Understanding the dynamics of this pest has been challenging. Most work was conducted in the 1900s and only recently has this weevil garnered renewed interest. Recent work on C. sayi phenology has been completed in Missouri but conflicted with anecdotal reports from northern growers. From 2019 to 2020, we used a combination of trapping and microcosm studies to understand both C. sayi phenology and the means of monitoring this pest. C. sayi populations were univoltine and peaked in mid-October. Pyramid traps were the most effective at capturing adult C. sayi. C. sayi larvae, pupae, eclosed adults, and emerging adults were recovered from microcosm experiments. These results suggest that C. sayi emerges later in the northern US with the potential for a single generation to emerge over multiple subsequent years. Understanding C. sayi phenology along with the means of monitoring forms the basis for effective management and control in commercial chestnut orchards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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13 pages, 2351 KiB  
Article
Storage Potential of the Predatory Ladybird Cheilomenes propinqua in Relation to Temperature, Humidity, and Factitious Food
by Sergey Ya. Reznik, Andrey N. Ovchinnikov, Olga S. Bezman-Moseyko, Konstantin G. Samartsev and Natalia A. Belyakova
Insects 2022, 13(7), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13070613 - 07 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
The ability of the females of the predatory ladybird Cheilomenes propinqua to survive and to retain reproductive potential in the absence of natural food (aphids) was estimated under various hydrothermal (temperatures of 7, 12, 17, 22, and 27 °C; air humidities of 50% [...] Read more.
The ability of the females of the predatory ladybird Cheilomenes propinqua to survive and to retain reproductive potential in the absence of natural food (aphids) was estimated under various hydrothermal (temperatures of 7, 12, 17, 22, and 27 °C; air humidities of 50% and 80–90%) and trophic (starved vs. fed on the frozen eggs of the grain moth Sitotroga cerealella) conditions. The post-storage reproductive potential was estimated using the mean number of eggs laid over 20 days. The experiments showed that fed females can be stored at temperatures of 15–17 °C for 20 days with a rather low (about 20%) and for up to 80 days with an acceptable (not more than 50%) loss of the reproductive potential. The successful short-term (up to 3 days) storage or transportation of fed and starved females can occur at temperatures from 12 to 27 °C. However, storage for more than 10 days at temperatures of 7 °C and lower results in the 100% mortality of both the starved and fed beetles. These data suggest that (1) in greenhouses, C. propinqua can be used for the biological control of aphids by preventing colonization, although this would require the regular supplementation of factitious food, and (2) escaped individuals would not survive the winter even in the south of the temperate zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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15 pages, 1803 KiB  
Article
Monarda didyma Hydrolate Affects the Survival and the Behaviour of Drosophila suzukii
by Luca Finetti, Stefano Civolani, Daniele Mirandola, Lorenzo Benetti, Santolo Francati, Federica Albanese, Felicia Menicucci, Marco Michelozzi, Maria Grazia Bellardi, Maria Luisa Dindo and Giovanni Bernacchia
Insects 2022, 13(3), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13030280 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2717
Abstract
Drosophila suzukii (Matsumara) is an herbivorous pest whose control in the field with conventional chemical is particularly difficult and has important drawbacks. Here, we investigated the insecticidal properties of hydrolate from Monarda didyma, scarlet beebalm, an aromatic herb in the Lamiaceae family. [...] Read more.
Drosophila suzukii (Matsumara) is an herbivorous pest whose control in the field with conventional chemical is particularly difficult and has important drawbacks. Here, we investigated the insecticidal properties of hydrolate from Monarda didyma, scarlet beebalm, an aromatic herb in the Lamiaceae family. The identification of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by CG–MS systems revealed that thymol (38%) and carvacrol (59%) were the most abundant VOCs in the hydrolate. M. didyma hydrolate did not show fumigant toxicity. Conversely, in contact assays, M. didyma hydrolate showed a LC50 of 5.03 µL mL−1, 48 h after the application on D. suzukii adults. Expression of detoxification genes increased in flies that survived the LC50 application. Furthermore, toxicity persisted for 7 days after the treatment in the survival evaluation. Artificial diet assays with 100 and 1000 µL mL−1 of M. didyma hydrolate resulted in a significant decrease in total food intake in both male and female D. suzukii adults. In addition, electropenetrography (EPG) showed that the D. suzukii females’ feeding behaviour was altered in hydrolate-treated diets. The hydrolate also caused a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid in two different oviposition assays. Overall, our findings provide a new perspective for the improvement of D. suzukii control strategies through M. didyma hydrolate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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11 pages, 1125 KiB  
Article
No Impact of Biocontrol Agent’s Predation Cues on Development Time or Size of Surviving Aedes albopictus under Optimal Nutritional Availability
by Marie C. Russell and Lauren J. Cator
Insects 2022, 13(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13020155 - 31 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2283
Abstract
Cyclopoid copepods have been applied successfully to limit populations of highly invasive Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that can transmit diseases of public health importance. However, there is concern that changes in certain mosquito traits, induced by exposure to copepod predation, might increase the risk [...] Read more.
Cyclopoid copepods have been applied successfully to limit populations of highly invasive Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that can transmit diseases of public health importance. However, there is concern that changes in certain mosquito traits, induced by exposure to copepod predation, might increase the risk of disease transmission. In this study, third instar Ae. albopictus larvae (focal individuals) were exposed to Megacyclops viridis predator cues associated with both the consumption of newly hatched mosquito larvae and attacks on focal individuals. The number of newly hatched larvae surrounding each focal larva was held constant to control for density effects on size, and the focal individual’s day of pupation and wing length were recorded for each replicate. Exposing late instar Ae. albopictus to predation decreased their chances of surviving to adulthood, and three focal larvae that died in the predator treatment showed signs of melanisation, indicative of wounding. Among surviving focal Ae. albopictus, no significant difference in either pupation day or wing length was observed due to copepod predation. The absence of significant sublethal impacts from M. viridis copepod predation on surviving later stage larvae in this analysis supports the use of M. viridis as a biocontrol agent against Ae. albopictus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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11 pages, 603 KiB  
Article
Improving the Varroa (Varroa destructor) Control Strategy by Brood Treatment with Formic Acid—A Pilot Study on Spring Applications
by Eliza Căuia and Dumitru Căuia
Insects 2022, 13(2), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13020149 - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4020
Abstract
The importance of varroosis control in a natural and sustainable way is crucial for beekeeping, having in view the varroa mite impact on honey bee health. In the last years, we developed a highly effective procedure for treating varroa in capped brood using [...] Read more.
The importance of varroosis control in a natural and sustainable way is crucial for beekeeping, having in view the varroa mite impact on honey bee health. In the last years, we developed a highly effective procedure for treating varroa in capped brood using volatile organic acids. This procedure can be applied at any moment of the active season as it uses organic substances. Taking into account the necessity to drastically reduce the level of varroa infestation in colonies before winter bee rearing, we developed a relatively simple pilot study to preliminarily test the impact of spring treatments on varroa infestation level in brood, to be evaluated in summer when, naturally, the population of mites increases. To test the hypothesis, two experimentally treated groups and a control group were used. The treatment consisted of brushing all capped brood with formic acid of 65% concentration in one and two applications. The obtained results show very significant differences between the treated and control groups in terms of infested cell percentages evaluated in the July–August period. Consequently, the spring treatments could be an important tool in limiting the varroa mite multiplication, but further experiments are necessary to test and adapt them to different local conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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14 pages, 2859 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of the Possible Migration Routes of Oedaleus decorus asiaticus Bey-Bienko (Orthoptera: Acrididae) from Mongolia to China
by Yunping Wang, Shuang Li, Guilin Du, Gao Hu, Yunhui Zhang, Xiongbing Tu and Zehua Zhang
Insects 2022, 13(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13010072 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Oedaleus decorus asiaticus (Bey-Bienko) is a destructive pest in grasslands and adjacent farmland in northern China, Mongolia, and other countries in Asia. It has been supposed that this insect pest can migrate a long distance and then induce huge damages, however, the migration [...] Read more.
Oedaleus decorus asiaticus (Bey-Bienko) is a destructive pest in grasslands and adjacent farmland in northern China, Mongolia, and other countries in Asia. It has been supposed that this insect pest can migrate a long distance and then induce huge damages, however, the migration mechanism is still unrevealed. The current study uses insect light trap data from Yanqing (Beijing), together with regional meteorological data to determine how air flow contributes to the long-distance migration of O. decorus asiaticus. Our results indicate that sinking airflow is the main factor leading to the insects’ forced landing, and the prevailing northwest wind was associated with O. decorus asiaticus taking off in the northwest and moving southward with the airflow from July to September. Meanwhile, the insects have a strong migratory ability, flying along the airflow for several nights. Thus, when the airflow from the northwest met the northward-moving warm current from the southwest, a large number of insects were dropped due to sinking airflow, resulting in a large outbreak. Our simulations suggest that the source of the grasshoppers involved in these outbreaks during early 2000s in northern China probably is in Mongolia, and all evidence indicates that there are two important immigrant routes for O. decorus asiaticus migration from Mongolia to Beijing. These findings improves our understanding of the factors guiding O. decorus asiaticus migration, providing valuable information to reduce outbreaks in China that have origins from outside the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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14 pages, 4803 KiB  
Article
Standard Methods for Dissection of Varroa destructor Females
by Vincent Piou, Caroline Vilarem, Carolin Rein, Lina Sprau and Angélique Vétillard
Insects 2022, 13(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13010037 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3002
Abstract
Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) is known as a major pest of Apis mellifera L, especially in the Northern Hemisphere where its effects can be deleterious. As an obligate parasite, this mite relies entirely on its host to reproduce and complete its cycle. [...] Read more.
Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) is known as a major pest of Apis mellifera L, especially in the Northern Hemisphere where its effects can be deleterious. As an obligate parasite, this mite relies entirely on its host to reproduce and complete its cycle. Studies focusing on isolated organs are needed to better comprehend this organism. To conduct such targeted molecular or physiological studies, the dissection of V. destructor mites is crucial as it allows the extraction of specific organs. Here, we propose a technical article showing detailed steps of females V. destructor dissection, illustrated with pictures and videos. These illustrated guidelines will represent a helpful tool to go further in V. destructor research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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12 pages, 1609 KiB  
Article
Determining the Effect of Temperature on the Growth and Reproduction of Lasioderma serricorne Using Two-Sex Life Table Analysis
by Tao Wang, Yan-Ling Ren, Tai-An Tian, Zhi-Tao Li, Xing-Ning Wang, Zhi-Yi Wu, Jian Tang and Jian-Feng Liu
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121103 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2315
Abstract
The cigarette beetle Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius) is a major pest of stored products worldwide, especially tobacco and foods, causing huge economic losses. This study aimed to experimentally investigate the population dynamics of this pest at different temperatures and provide theoretical input for its [...] Read more.
The cigarette beetle Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius) is a major pest of stored products worldwide, especially tobacco and foods, causing huge economic losses. This study aimed to experimentally investigate the population dynamics of this pest at different temperatures and provide theoretical input for its control. Populations of L. serricorne were established under laboratory conditions at five temperatures (21 °C, 24 °C, 27 °C, 30 °C, and 33 °C). Results showed that an increasing temperature significantly affected the developmental time, longevity, oviposition period, and fecundity of L. serricorne. Both the longevity and fecundity of adult beetles were significantly reduced as the temperature increased. High temperatures significantly reduced the total duration of the preoviposition period but prolonged the oviposition period of L. serricorne. Increasing the temperatures from 21 °C to 33 °C significantly influenced the life table parameters of L. serricorne. The intrinsic increase rate (r), finite increase rate (λ), and gross reproductive rate (GRR) all increased with a greater rearing temperature, but mean generation time (T) was significantly shortened. To our best knowledge, this is the first report to detail the entire life history of the cigarette beetle in response to different temperatures when reared on tobacco dry leaves. This finding may provide basic information on the occurrence of L. serricorne in a warehouse setting and its mass rearing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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10 pages, 1266 KiB  
Article
Integrated Pest Management for Stored Grain: Potential Natural Biological Control by a Parasitoid Wasp Community
by Avichai Harush, Elazar Quinn, Anatoly Trostanetsky, Aviv Rapaport, Moshe Kostyukovsky and Daphna Gottlieb
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111038 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3232
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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17 pages, 1418 KiB  
Article
High Incidence of Related Wolbachia across Unrelated Leaf-Mining Diptera
by Xuefen Xu, Peter M. Ridland, Paul A. Umina, Alex Gill, Perran A. Ross, Elia Pirtle and Ary A. Hoffmann
Insects 2021, 12(9), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12090788 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2801
Abstract
The maternally inherited endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis, plays an important role in the ecology and evolution of many of its hosts by affecting host reproduction and fitness. Here, we investigated 13 dipteran leaf-mining species to characterize Wolbachia infections and the potential for this endosymbiont [...] Read more.
The maternally inherited endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis, plays an important role in the ecology and evolution of many of its hosts by affecting host reproduction and fitness. Here, we investigated 13 dipteran leaf-mining species to characterize Wolbachia infections and the potential for this endosymbiont in biocontrol. Wolbachia infections were present in 12 species, including 10 species where the Wolbachia infection was at or near fixation. A comparison of Wolbachia relatedness based on the wsp/MLST gene set showed that unrelated leaf-mining species often shared similar Wolbachia, suggesting common horizontal transfer. We established a colony of Liriomyza brassicae and found adult Wolbachia density was stable; although Wolbachia density differed between the sexes, with females having a 20-fold higher density than males. Wolbachia density increased during L. brassicae development, with higher densities in pupae than larvae. We removed Wolbachia using tetracycline and performed reciprocal crosses between Wolbachia-infected and uninfected individuals. Cured females crossed with infected males failed to produce offspring, indicating that Wolbachia induced complete cytoplasmic incompatibility in L. brassicae. The results highlight the potential of Wolbachia to suppress Liriomyza pests based on approaches such as the incompatible insect technique, where infected males are released into populations lacking Wolbachia or with a different incompatible infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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14 pages, 2803 KiB  
Article
Persistence of the Exotic Mirid Nesidiocoris tenuis (Hemiptera: Miridae) in South Texas
by Gabriela Esparza-Diaz, Thiago Marconi, Carlos A. Avila and Raul T. Villanueva
Insects 2021, 12(8), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12080715 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2059
Abstract
The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the U.S and is located in the southernmost part of Texas. In October 2013, we detected an exotic plant bug, Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Hemiptera: Miridae: Bryocorinae) occurring in the region. [...] Read more.
The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the U.S and is located in the southernmost part of Texas. In October 2013, we detected an exotic plant bug, Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Hemiptera: Miridae: Bryocorinae) occurring in the region. Nesidiocoris tenuis has zoophytophagous habits; however, in the absence of insect prey, it feeds on its plant hosts. After its morphological and genetic identification, this study monitored the population of N. tenuis in its introduction phase in commercial fields and corroborated its establishment in research fields for three years. Populations of N. tenuis were high during the fall and low during winter. This study found that N. tenuis populations were higher in tomato fields as compared to adjacent pepper, okra, and squash fields, indicating its host preferences during the introduction phase. Recurrent population growth patterns suggest that N. tenuis was established in Rio Grande Valley with permanent populations in tomato fields. In addition, N. tenuis populations were affected by tomato cultivar selection and by plastic mulch color. The presence of N. tenuis could establish a new trophic insect relationship for vegetable production. However, it is unknown if the presence of N. tenuis may help to control pests of economic importance, such as whiteflies in cotton, or become a pest on sesame, an emerging crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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16 pages, 2371 KiB  
Article
Toxicity, Sublethal and Low Dose Effects of Imidacloprid and Deltamethrin on the Aphidophagous Predator Ceratomegilla undecimnotata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
by Panagiotis J. Skouras, Anastasios I. Darras, Marina Mprokaki, Vasilios Demopoulos, John T. Margaritopoulos, Costas Delis and George J. Stathas
Insects 2021, 12(8), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12080696 - 03 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
Ceratomegilla undecimnotata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a common aphidophagous coccinellid predator used in biological control against aphid pests. Knowing toxicity, lethal, and sublethal effects of insecticides on natural enemies is essential in order to incorporate them into Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In the present [...] Read more.
Ceratomegilla undecimnotata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a common aphidophagous coccinellid predator used in biological control against aphid pests. Knowing toxicity, lethal, and sublethal effects of insecticides on natural enemies is essential in order to incorporate them into Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In the present study, the lethal and sublethal effects of imidacloprid and deltamethrin were evaluated on the fourth instar larvae of C. undecimnotata and subsequently on the full life cycle. Our results strongly suggest that sublethal and low doses of imidacloprid and deltamethrin at LD10 and LD30 affected fourth instar larvae duration time, adult preoviposition period, total preoviposition period, and fecundity. Moreover, the intrinsic (r) and finite (λ) rate of increase and the net reproduction rate (R0) significantly decreased in populations treated with imidacloprid compared to the control population. The data clearly suggest that imidacloprid and deltamethrin have a negative influence on population growth parameters of C. undecimnotata at sublethal and low doses and, therefore, these insecticides should be used with caution within the context of IPM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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Review

Jump to: Research

26 pages, 1170 KiB  
Review
Varroa destructor from the Laboratory to the Field: Control, Biocontrol and IPM Perspectives—A Review
by Caroline Vilarem, Vincent Piou, Fanny Vogelweith and Angélique Vétillard
Insects 2021, 12(9), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12090800 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 7918
Abstract
Varroa destructor is a real challenger for beekeepers and scientists: fragile out of the hive, tenacious inside a bee colony. From all the research done on the topic, we have learned that a better understanding of this organism in its relationship with the [...] Read more.
Varroa destructor is a real challenger for beekeepers and scientists: fragile out of the hive, tenacious inside a bee colony. From all the research done on the topic, we have learned that a better understanding of this organism in its relationship with the bee but also for itself is necessary. Its biology relies mostly on semiochemicals for reproduction, nutrition, or orientation. Many treatments have been developed over the years based on hard or soft acaricides or even on biocontrol techniques. To date, no real sustainable solution exists to reduce the pressure of the mite without creating resistances or harming honeybees. Consequently, the development of alternative disruptive tools against the parasitic life cycle remains open. It requires the combination of both laboratory and field results through a holistic approach based on health biomarkers. Here, we advocate for a more integrative vision of V. destructor research, where in vitro and field studies are more systematically compared and compiled. Therefore, after a brief state-of-the-art about the mite’s life cycle, we discuss what has been done and what can be done from the laboratory to the field against V. destructor through an integrative approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects Ecology and Biocontrol Applications)
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