Advances on Invasive Insect Pests: Insect Behavior, Host Plant Usage, Biocontrol, and More

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2022) | Viewed by 12614

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences and Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia
Interests: chemical ecology; movement; behaviour; chemometrics; modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Interests: plant-insect interactions; invasive species; molecular gut content analysis; insect ecology and evolution; plant responses to herbivory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human societies are increasingly moving plant and insect species around the globe. This global movement results in new, non-coevolved associations between plants and their insect herbivores. Such novel associations can lead to changes in plant responses to herbivory, as well as changes in insect host plant selection. The latter can result in host range expansion and/or host plant shifts, which are key aspects of successful establishment of exotic insects in the introduced range, and potential insect invasions, which are known to cause substantial economic and environmental problems. The knowledge of invasive insect species behavior, their feeding preferences, and interactions with their host plants are critical for detecting and predicting novel plant–insect associations and ultimately deciphering trophic interactions involving insects in natural and managed communities. This information has important implications for biological control and other pest management options.

This Special Issue welcomes recent research on invasive insects, their novel associations with host plants, and biocontrol, to address their theoretical and practical implications on population ecology and pest management, with an emphasis on understanding biology of invasive species and the mechanisms of species invasion and their interactions with other organisms in the introduced range. Method papers, case reports, original research articles, as well as review papers that broadly cover issues relating to various invasive insect species (leaf-chewing insects, sap-feeders, soil-dwelling insects, etc.) are of interest in this Special Issue. Studies on insect biology, various mechanisms (e.g., chemical ecology, behavioral, molecular mechanisms) underlying the establishment of novel associations, various modes of insect feeding which overcome plant defenses, host plant utilization, biocontrol and other pest management aspects are invited for submission.

Dr. Paul A. Weston
Dr. Alina Avanesyan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

  • invasive species
  • behavior
  • host plant usage
  • biocontrol
  • parasitoids
  • novel associations
  • pest management

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 3828 KiB  
Article
Control Efficacy of Entomopathogenic Fungus Purpureocillium lilacinum against Chili Thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis) on Chili Plant
by Cheerapha Panyasiri, Sumalee Supothina, Sukitaya Veeranondha, Rungtiwa Chanthaket, Tanapong Boonruangprapa and Vanicha Vichai
Insects 2022, 13(8), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13080684 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2113
Abstract
In a laboratory assay, it was shown that B. bassiana BCC48145, BCC2660, and P. lilacinum TBRC10638 were the three strains that exhibited the highest insecticidal activity against chili thrips, causing 92.5% and 91.86% and 92.3% corrected mortality, respectively. The fungi B. bassiana BCC48145 [...] Read more.
In a laboratory assay, it was shown that B. bassiana BCC48145, BCC2660, and P. lilacinum TBRC10638 were the three strains that exhibited the highest insecticidal activity against chili thrips, causing 92.5% and 91.86% and 92.3% corrected mortality, respectively. The fungi B. bassiana BCC48145 and P. lilacinum TBRC10638 were selected for greenhouse spraying. Cytotoxicity test of the extracts from both fungi evaluated against 4 animal cell lines: KB; human oral cavity carcinoma, MCF7; human breast adenocarcinoma, NCI-H187; human small cell lung carcinoma and GFP-expressing Vero cells, showed none-cytotoxic to all cell lines. An efficacy validation in the greenhouse showed that P. lilacinum TBRC 10638 was more effective than B. bassiana BCC48145 and could control the thrips up to 80% when using the fungus at 108 spores/mL. The LC50 values of P. lilacinum TBRC 10638 against chili thrips based on total thrips count from two experiments were 1.42 × 108 and 1.12 × 107 spores/mL when the fungal spores were sprayed once a week. The optimal concentration of P. lilacinum TBRC 10638 spores for effective control of chili thrips was determined at 1.41 × 109 spores/mL. The average efficacy of P. lilacinum TBRC 10638 for thrips control from 3 field trials was 30.08%, 14.39%, and 29.92%. This result was not significantly different from that of the chemical insecticide treatment group, which showed efficacy at 19.27%, 14.92%, and 19.97%. Furthermore, there was no difference in productivity among the different treatment groups. Our results demonstrated that P. lilacinum TBRC 10638 is a promising biocontrol agent that could be used as an alternative to chemical insecticide for controlling chili thrips. Full article
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16 pages, 3517 KiB  
Article
Diverse Host Plants of the First Instars of the Invasive Lycorma delicatula: Insights from eDNA Metabarcoding
by Cameron McPherson, Alina Avanesyan and William O. Lamp
Insects 2022, 13(6), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13060534 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3357
Abstract
Identification of host plants of the invasive spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), has been the focus of many studies. While the adults and late nymphs are relatively easy to observe on plants and to use for molecular gut-content analysis, studying the early [...] Read more.
Identification of host plants of the invasive spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), has been the focus of many studies. While the adults and late nymphs are relatively easy to observe on plants and to use for molecular gut-content analysis, studying the early instars is more challenging. This study is the continuation of our ongoing efforts to determine the host range for each developmental stage of L. delicatula. In the present study, we focused exclusively on the first nymphal instars, and we used a novel approach, utilizing “bulk” DNA extracts for DNA metabarcoding of nymphal gut contents, to identify all the detectable plants that the nymphs had ingested prior to being collected. We were able to obtain high-quality amplicons (up to 406 bp) of a portion of the rbcL gene and detect 27 unique ingested plant species belonging to 17 families. Both native and introduced plants with the prevalence of trees and grasses were present among the ingested plants. We also identified 13 novel host plants that have not been previously reported for L. delicatula on the U.S. territory. The results from our study have important applications for developing effective programs on early monitoring of invasive L. delicatula. Full article
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11 pages, 3702 KiB  
Article
Impact of Rice and Potato Host Plants Is Higher on the Reproduction than Growth of Corn Strain Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
by Rajendra Acharya, Matabaro Joseph Malekera, Sanjeev Kumar Dhungana, Sushant Raj Sharma and Kyeong-Yeoll Lee
Insects 2022, 13(3), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13030256 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3175
Abstract
The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is an invasive pest species that has recently increased its range in most African and Asian countries, causing significant losses to crop yields, especially corn. To develop effective management strategies, it is particularly important to study [...] Read more.
The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is an invasive pest species that has recently increased its range in most African and Asian countries, causing significant losses to crop yields, especially corn. To develop effective management strategies, it is particularly important to study the biology of FAW in various crops. Here, we utilized the age-stage, two-sex life table to examine the development, survival, and reproduction rate of the corn strain FAW on three different host plants: corn, rice, and potato. The corn strain FAW successfully completed its life cycle in rice and potato, as well as corn plants. However, the growth, developmental time, survival, and reproduction rate differed among the three host plants. The preadult survival rates in corn, rice, and potato were 92%, 81%, and 77%, respectively. Similarly, mean generation time was significantly shorter in corn (35 days), followed by rice (41 days) and potato (42 days), indicating more generations in corn. Interestingly, the net reproduction rate varied greatly among the three host plants. In corn-fed FAW, the net reproduction rate was 472 offspring per individual, whereas, in rice and potato crops, the rates were only 213 and 86 offspring per individual, respectively. Our results suggest that alternative host plants, such as potato and rice, have more effect on reproduction than the growth of corn strain FAW. These results may be useful in predicting the population dynamics of FAW and understanding the potential damage to crops, thus contributing to an appropriate management strategy in the newly FAW-invaded agricultural ecosystems. Full article
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15 pages, 587 KiB  
Article
Chemical Composition and Insecticidal Potential of Six Essential Oils from Morocco against Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) under Field and Laboratory Conditions
by Chaimae Ramdani, Karim El Fakhouri, Mohamed Sbaghi, Rachid Bouharroud, Rachid Boulamtat, Abderrahim Aasfar, Abdelhalim Mesfioui and Mustapha El Bouhssini
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111007 - 09 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3000
Abstract
The carmine cochineal Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) is the major insect pest of the prickly-pear cactus Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) in Morocco. The present study investigated the insecticidal activities of six essential oils (EOs) against nymphs and adult females of D. opuntiae applied singly or [...] Read more.
The carmine cochineal Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) is the major insect pest of the prickly-pear cactus Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) in Morocco. The present study investigated the insecticidal activities of six essential oils (EOs) against nymphs and adult females of D. opuntiae applied singly or in combination with a detergent under laboratory and field conditions. Under laboratory conditions, M. pulegium and O. vulgare L. essential oils showed a high level of insecticidal activity at 5%, with 98% and 92% females’ mortality, respectively, 5 days after treatments. The M. pulegium and O. vulgaris oils at 5% applied in combination with black soap at (60 g/L) induced the highest toxic activity on adult females, 100% and 96% at 5 days after treatments, respectively. Under field conditions, M. pulegium and O. vulgare oils at 5% in combination with black soap (60 g/L) showed the highest adult female mortalities with 96.33 and 92.56%, respectively, 7 days after the first application. The double application of M. pulegium oil at 5% significantly increased the mortality of adult females up to 91%, 5 days after the second spray. GC-MS analysis revealed that the most abundant constituent of M. pulegium and O. vulgare oils was pulegone (84.69%) and durenol (76.53%), respectively. These findings showed that the use of M. pulegium and O. vulgare in combination with black soap or in double sprays could be incorporated in the management package for the control of the wild cochineal D. opuntiae, as a safe and natural alternative to chemical insecticides. Full article
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