Special Issue "Polar Entomology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2020) | Viewed by 17212

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Peter Convey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
Interests: polar ecology; biogeography
Dr. Scott Hayward
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
School of Biosciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Interests: environmental adaptation in insects
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Toke Hoye
E-Mail
Co-Guest Editor
Aarhus University, Denmark
Interests: polar terrestrial ecology, ecosystem function tundra arthropods
Dr. Ian Hogg
E-Mail
Co-Guest Editor
Polar Knowledge Canada
Interests: polar terrestrial ecology, molecular diversity, barcode of life
Dr. Steve Coulson
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Artsdatabanken
Interests: polar terrestrial arthropod ecology, biodiversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The polar regions—the Arctic and Antarctic—have long been a source of fascination. Their terrestrial ecosystems are dominated, not by charismatic vertebrates, but rather by often cryptic communities of invertebrates, in particular different orders of insects (e.g., diptera, lepidoptera, coleoptera, and hemiptera). In recent years, studies of polar invertebrates have accelerated rapidly, spanning subjects from biodiversity and biogeography to physiological adaptation, molecular ecology, and the various omics disciplines. This Special Issue invites submissions across all relevant discipines, and both polar regions (including comparative studies with other extreme environments such as desert and alpine regions). Recognising that polar entomologists have traditionally included studies of other ‘lower’ arthropod groups such as Collembola and Acari, we are not restricting this call for papers to the insects ‘sensu stricto’.

Dr. Peter Convey
Dr Scott Hayward
Dr Toke Hoye
Dr Ian Hogg
Dr Steve Coulson
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 1800 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

  • polar insects
  • arthropods
  • adaptation
  • life history
  • biodiversity
  • biogeography
  • climate and environmental change
  • biological invasions
  • human impacts

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Distribution and Habitat Preferences of the Newly Rediscovered Telmatogeton magellanicus (Jacobs, 1900) (Diptera: Chironomidae) on Navarino Island, Chile
Insects 2020, 11(7), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070442 - 14 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1261
Abstract
The habitat of the intertidal flightless midge Telmatogeton magellanicus (Jacobs, 1900) is described for the first time from the northern coast of Navarino Island, Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Additionally, we report the first observations of adult behaviour in the wild. We delineate the [...] Read more.
The habitat of the intertidal flightless midge Telmatogeton magellanicus (Jacobs, 1900) is described for the first time from the northern coast of Navarino Island, Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Additionally, we report the first observations of adult behaviour in the wild. We delineate the species’ distribution across three tidal zones (high, mid and low), and identify substrate characteristics that favour the presence of the midge. The mid-tide zone was the key habitat utilized by T. magellanicus, with lower densities in the low-tide zone and no presence in the high-tide zone. There was a strong association between the presence of larvae and filamentous algae, especially Bostrychia spp. and, to a lesser extent, Ulva spp., as well as between larvae and the presence of larger, more stable boulders. As a result, the species’ overall distribution was widespread but patchy. We suggest that the main limiting factor is the relative humidity experienced in different habitats. One of the most striking features of the behavioural observations during data collection was the extremely active adults, which suggests high energy expenditure over a very short period of time. This may be due to the limited time available to find mates in a single low-tide period, when adults have about three hours after emerging from the pupa to complete mating and oviposition before inundation by the tide. The data presented here provide a baseline for future studies on this species’ ecology, phenology, physiology and general biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Changing Microarthropod Communities in Front of a Receding Glacier in the High Arctic
Insects 2020, 11(4), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040226 - 05 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1189
Abstract
This study was carried out at Ny-Ålesund on Spitsbergen in Svalbard (High Arctic). Eight study sites were established along a transect from the fjord to the snout of the glacier. The sites differed from each other by the type of vegetation cover and [...] Read more.
This study was carried out at Ny-Ålesund on Spitsbergen in Svalbard (High Arctic). Eight study sites were established along a transect from the fjord to the snout of the glacier. The sites differed from each other by the type of vegetation cover and soil characteristics. Soil samples were collected and placed in Tullgren funnels. Extracted arthropods were represented by two groups of mites (Mesostigmata and Oribatida) and springtails (Collembola). The pioneer species that occurred first after retreat of the glacier were representatives of the Collembola (Agrenia bidenticulata and Hypogastrura concolor). Later, other springtails appeared including Folsomia alpha, Folsomia quadrioculata, Hypogastrura concolor, Isotoma anglicana, Sminthurinus concolor and the first species of oribatid mites; Camisia foveolata and Tectocepheus velatus velatus. Arthropod communities recorded along the transect were characterized by large variations in both species composition and abundance of individuals. The greater the distance from the glacier snout, the greater the species richness (2 to 22 species). The mean number of species per sample was the lowest at site 8 (1 ± 0.71) (the closest to the glacier) and greatest at site 1 (14 ± 1.41) (furthest from the glacier). The Simpson’s diversity index (D) was distinctly greater at sites 1 (4.61 ± 0.06) and 3 (3.94 ± 0.11) than at other sites, especially site 8 (1.07 ± 0.06). Densities were least in the samples closest to the glacier (30 to 101 individuals; density 3000–10,100 individuals/m2). At the other locations, abundance was highly variable (905 to 7432 individuals; density 90,500–743,200 individuals/m2). The mean abundances were greatest at sites 2 and 3. The great variations in total abundances observed were often due to the presence or absence of one or more dominant species exhibiting extreme abundance variability between sites. The microarthropod community of the High Arctic is composed of heterogeneous circumpolar species, yet on a landscape scale is extremely dependent on local environmental conditions which may be subject to rapid change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Protura in Arctic Regions, with Description of Mastodonentomon n. gen. (Acerentomidae, Nipponentominae) and a Key to Known Arctic Taxa
Insects 2020, 11(3), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11030173 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
Protura are widespread, but their presence in the Arctic was first noted only ca. 70 years ago and is still little acknowledged. This work compiles taxonomic information on proturans in the Arctic regions and adds unpublished data from Northern Siberia. Currently, this fauna [...] Read more.
Protura are widespread, but their presence in the Arctic was first noted only ca. 70 years ago and is still little acknowledged. This work compiles taxonomic information on proturans in the Arctic regions and adds unpublished data from Northern Siberia. Currently, this fauna is represented by 23 species in two orders and 14 genera. The large cosmopolitan genus Eosentomon is represented by only four species, whereas Acerentomidae is much more diverse, with 19 species in 13 genera (eight Nipponentominae, five Acerentominae). Most of the Arctic species possess a larger number of setae than species living in temperate regions. Based on several unique characters, a new genus, Mastodonentomon, is erected for Nipponentomon macleani, and the species is re-described with the original description supplemented with new characters, including head chaetotaxy, seta length, and porotaxy. Proturan occurrence in the Arctic is limited to Beringia, but the majority of species have restricted distributions and none have been found in both the American Arctic and Siberia. This implies relict origins and high levels of proturan endemism in the Arctic. This emerging view on biogeographical history is, however, hampered by the limited extent of available data, which highlights the need for considerably greater survey efforts. A key to Arctic proturans is provided to facilitate further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Surviving the Antarctic Winter—Life Stage Cold Tolerance and Ice Entrapment Survival in The Invasive Chironomid Midge Eretmoptera murphyi
Insects 2020, 11(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11030147 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1353
Abstract
An insect’s ability to tolerate winter conditions is a critical determinant of its success. This is true for both native and invasive species, and especially so in harsh polar environments. The midge Eretmoptera murphyi (Diptera, Chironomidae) is invasive to maritime Antarctic Signy Island, [...] Read more.
An insect’s ability to tolerate winter conditions is a critical determinant of its success. This is true for both native and invasive species, and especially so in harsh polar environments. The midge Eretmoptera murphyi (Diptera, Chironomidae) is invasive to maritime Antarctic Signy Island, and the ability of fourth instar larvae to tolerate freezing is hypothesized to allow the species to extend its range further south. However, no detailed assessment of stress tolerance in any other life stage has yet been conducted. Here, we report that, although larvae, pupae and adults all have supercooling points (SCPs) of around −5 °C, only the larvae are freeze-tolerant, and that cold-hardiness increases with larval maturity. Eggs are freeze-avoiding and have an SCP of around −17 °C. At −3.34 °C, the CTmin activity thresholds of adults are close to their SCP of −5 °C, and they are likely chill-susceptible. Larvae could not withstand the anoxic conditions of ice entrapment or submergence in water beyond 28 d. The data obtained here indicate that the cold-tolerance characteristics of this invasive midge would permit it to colonize areas further south, including much of the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Evidence for Cryptic Diversity in the “Pan-Antarctic” Springtail Friesea antarctica and the Description of Two New Species
Insects 2020, 11(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11030141 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
The invertebrate terrestrial fauna of Antarctica is being investigated with increasing interest to discover how life interacts with the extreme polar environment and how millions of years of evolution have shaped their biodiversity. Classical taxonomic approaches, complemented by molecular tools, are improving our [...] Read more.
The invertebrate terrestrial fauna of Antarctica is being investigated with increasing interest to discover how life interacts with the extreme polar environment and how millions of years of evolution have shaped their biodiversity. Classical taxonomic approaches, complemented by molecular tools, are improving our understanding of the systematic relationships of some species, changing the nomenclature of taxa and challenging the taxonomic status of others. The springtail Friesea grisea has previously been described as the only species with a “pan-Antarctic” distribution. However, recent genetic comparisons have pointed to another scenario. The latest morphological study has confined F. grisea to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, from which it was originally described, and resurrected F. antarctica as a congeneric species occurring on the continental mainland. Molecular data demonstrate that populations of this taxon, ostensibly occurring across Maritime and Continental Antarctica, as well as on some offshore islands, are evolutionarily isolated and divergent and cannot be included within a single species. The present study, combining morphological with molecular data, attempts to validate this hypothesis and challenges the taxonomic status of F. antarctica, suggesting that two additional new species, described here as Friesea gretae sp. nov. and Friesea propria sp. nov., are present in Continental Antarctica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Sub-Antarctic Freshwater Invertebrate Thermal Tolerances: An Assessment of Critical Thermal Limits and Behavioral Responses
Insects 2020, 11(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020102 - 04 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Physiological thermal limits of organisms are linked to their geographic distribution. The assessment of such limits can provide valuable insights when monitoring for environmental thermal alterations. Using the dynamic critical thermal method (CTM), we assessed the upper (CTmax) and lower (CT [...] Read more.
Physiological thermal limits of organisms are linked to their geographic distribution. The assessment of such limits can provide valuable insights when monitoring for environmental thermal alterations. Using the dynamic critical thermal method (CTM), we assessed the upper (CTmax) and lower (CTmin) thermal limits of three freshwater macroinvertebrate taxa with restricted low elevation distribution (20 m a.s.l.) and three taxa restricted to upper elevations (480 and 700 m a.s.l.) in the Magellanic sub-Antarctic ecoregion of southern Chile. In general terms, macroinvertebrates restricted to lower altitudinal ranges possess a broader thermal tolerance than those restricted to higher elevations. Upper and lower thermal limits are significantly different between taxa throughout the altitudinal gradient. Data presented here suggest that freshwater macroinvertebrates restricted to upper altitudinal ranges may be useful indicators of thermal alteration in their habitats, due to their relatively low tolerance to increasing temperatures and the ease with which behavioral responses can be detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Differences in Mobility and Dispersal Capacity Determine Body Size Clines in Two Common Alpine-Tundra Arthropods
Insects 2020, 11(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020074 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
The Arctic is projected to be severely impacted by changes in temperature and precipitation. Species react to these changes by shifts in ranges, phenology, and body size. In ectotherms, the patterns of body size clines and their underlying mechanisms are often hard to [...] Read more.
The Arctic is projected to be severely impacted by changes in temperature and precipitation. Species react to these changes by shifts in ranges, phenology, and body size. In ectotherms, the patterns of body size clines and their underlying mechanisms are often hard to untangle. Mountains provide a space-for-time substitute to study these shifts along multiple spatial gradients. As such, mobility and dispersal capacity might conceal reactions with elevation. We test this influence on body size clines by comparing two common arthropods of the alpine tundra. We find that high mobility in the lycosid spider Pardosa palustris blurs elevational effects. Partially low mobility at least during development makes the carabid beetle Amara alpina more susceptible to elevational effects. Specific life-history mechanisms, such as brood care in lycosid spiders and holometabolic development in carabid beetles, are the possible cause. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
A DNA Barcoding Survey of an Arctic Arthropod Community: Implications for Future Monitoring
Insects 2020, 11(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11010046 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2857
Abstract
Accurate and cost-effective methods for tracking changes in arthropod communities are needed to develop integrative environmental monitoring programs in the Arctic. To date, even baseline data on their species composition at established ecological monitoring sites are severely lacking. We present the results of [...] Read more.
Accurate and cost-effective methods for tracking changes in arthropod communities are needed to develop integrative environmental monitoring programs in the Arctic. To date, even baseline data on their species composition at established ecological monitoring sites are severely lacking. We present the results of a pilot assessment of non-marine arthropod diversity in a middle arctic tundra area near Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay), Victoria Island, Nunavut, undertaken in 2018 using DNA barcodes. A total of 1264 Barcode Index Number (BIN) clusters, used as a proxy for species, were recorded. The efficacy of widely used sampling methods was assessed. Yellow pan traps captured 62% of the entire BIN diversity at the study sites. When complemented with soil and leaf litter sifting, the coverage rose up to 74.6%. Combining community-based data collection with high-throughput DNA barcoding has the potential to overcome many of the logistic, financial, and taxonomic obstacles for large-scale monitoring of the Arctic arthropod fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Article
Changes in Energy Reserves and Gene Expression Elicited by Freezing and Supercooling in the Antarctic Midge, Belgica antarctica
Insects 2020, 11(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11010018 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Freeze-tolerance, or the ability to survive internal ice formation, is relatively rare among insects. Larvae of the Antarctic midge Belgica antarctica are freeze-tolerant year-round, but in dry environments, the larvae can remain supercooled (i.e., unfrozen) at subzero temperatures. In previous work with summer-acclimatized [...] Read more.
Freeze-tolerance, or the ability to survive internal ice formation, is relatively rare among insects. Larvae of the Antarctic midge Belgica antarctica are freeze-tolerant year-round, but in dry environments, the larvae can remain supercooled (i.e., unfrozen) at subzero temperatures. In previous work with summer-acclimatized larvae, we showed that freezing is considerably more stressful than remaining supercooled. Here, these findings are extended by comparing survival, tissue damage, energetic costs, and stress gene expression in larvae that have undergone an artificial winter acclimation regime and are either frozen or supercooled at −5 °C. In contrast to summer larvae, winter larvae survive at −5 °C equally well for up to 14 days, whether frozen or supercooled, and there is no tissue damage at these conditions. In subsequent experiments, we measured energy stores and stress gene expression following cold exposure at −5 °C for either 24 h or 14 days, with and without a 12 h recovery period. We observed slight energetic costs to freezing, as frozen larvae tended to have lower glycogen stores across all groups. In addition, the abundance of two heat shock protein transcripts, hsp60 and hsp90, tended to be higher in frozen larvae, indicating higher levels of protein damage following freezing. Together, these results indicate a slight cost to being frozen relative to remaining supercooled, which may have implications for the selection of hibernacula and responses to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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Review

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Review
The Chironomidae (Diptera) of Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Insects 2020, 11(3), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11030183 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3148
Abstract
Non-biting midges of the fly family Chironomidae are extremely abundant and diverse in Arctic regions and are essential components of Arctic ecosystems. Modern identification tools based on documented records of Arctic chironomid species are therefore important for ecological research and environmental monitoring in [...] Read more.
Non-biting midges of the fly family Chironomidae are extremely abundant and diverse in Arctic regions and are essential components of Arctic ecosystems. Modern identification tools based on documented records of Arctic chironomid species are therefore important for ecological research and environmental monitoring in the region. Here, we provide an updated review of the chironomid fauna of the Svalbard archipelago and the island of Jan Mayen, Norway. Our results show that a total of 73 species distributed across 24 genera in four subfamilies are known from these areas. Our review treats 109 taxa, including nomina dubia and misidentifications. It includes morphological identification keys to all known species as well as photographs of most taxa and DNA barcodes of 66 species. Taxonomic remarks are given for selected taxa, including previous misidentifications and erroneous records. Chironomus islandicus, Tvetenia bavarica, Limnophyes schnelli, Metriocnemus brusti and Metriocnemus fuscipes as well as the genera Allocladius, Corynoneura and Bryophaenocladius are reported from Svalbard for the first time, while Procladius (Holotanypus) frigidus, Stictochironomus psilopterus, Chaetocladius incertus, Orthocladius (Orthocladius) mixtus and Smittia longicosta, previously considered as junior synonyms or nomina dubia, are revived as valid species based on examination of type material or literature. Twenty species within eleven genera are introduced with interim names. Metriocnemus similis is regarded as a junior synonym of Metriocnemus ursinus, and Smittia incerta, Smittia flexinervis and Smittia spitzbergensis are regarded as nomina dubia. Valid taxa no longer considered as part of the Svalbard fauna are Parochlus kiefferi, Arctopelopia barbitarsis, Procladius (Holotanypus) crassinervis, Diamesa lindrothi, Diamesa incallida, Diamesa lundstromi, Chironomus hyperboreus, Sergentia coracina, Camptocladius stercorarius, Chaetocladius dissipatus, Chaetocladius dentiforceps, Chaetocladius laminatus, Chaetocladius perennis, Cricotopus (Cricotopus) humeralis, Cricotopus (Cricotopus) polaris, Hydrosmittia ruttneri, Limnophyes edwardsi, Metriocnemus picipes, Metriocnemus tristellus, Orthocladius (Eudactylocladius) gelidus, Orthocladius (Euorthocladius) thienemanni, Orthocladius (Orthocladius) obumbratus, Orthocladius (Orthocladius) rhyacobius, Paralimnophyes, Paraphaenocladius impensus, Psectrocladius (Monopsectrocladius) calcaratus, Psectrocladius (Psectrocladius) psilopterus, Psectrocladius (Psectrocladius) ventricosus, Smittia lasiophthalma, Smittia lasiops and Zalutschia tatrica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Entomology)
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