Topic Editors

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Trieste, via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 June 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 September 2023)
Viewed by
104914

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Arthropods, i.e., invertebrate animals with a segmented body, an exoskeleton, and jointed appendages, represent the largest phylum in the animal kingdom, accounting for over 80% of all known living species. They include a variety of forms such as insects, lobsters, crabs, spiders, scorpions, mites, centipedes, and millipedes that live in every habitat on Earth and exhibit great biodiversity with a variety of adaptations. Arthropods play extremely important roles in maintaining the ecosystem and can also be beneficial for humans. For example, many insects pollinate plants, produce useful substances, act as pest control, and serve as food for other animals and also for humans. Others, such as mites, isopods, myriapods, and insects, are scavengers or decomposers, breaking down dead plants and animals and converting them into soil nutrients. Many crustacean species (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, crayfish) are largely consumed by humans and are therefore farmed on an intensive commercial scale. By contrast, some insects and crayfish are highly invasive species and represent one of the main threats to biodiversity worldwide that require strict control strategies. Others are also pests of cultivated plants and stored products or hematophagous which act as vectors or hosts of pathogenic organisms. This interdisciplinary topic provides a platform to highlight new research and significant advances concerning morphofunctional adaptations and ecology, diversity, and conservation of arthropods.

Dr. Paolo Solari
Dr. Giorgia Sollai
Prof. Dr. Roberto Massimo Crnjar
Dr. Anita Giglio
Prof. Dr. Piero G. Giulianini
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • arthropods
  • genetic and morphofunctional aspects
  • ecological aspects
  • economic evaluation
  • evolutionary aspects
  • biodiversity, risk assessment
  • diversity threats
  • ecosystem services
  • ecological relationships
  • urban biodiversity

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Animals
animals
3.0 4.9 2011 18.1 Days CHF 2400
Behavioral Sciences
behavsci
2.6 2.6 2011 21.5 Days CHF 2200
Diversity
diversity
2.4 3.4 2009 17.8 Days CHF 2600
Insects
insects
3.0 5.1 2010 17 Days CHF 2600
Life
life
3.2 4.3 2011 17.5 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (48 papers)

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20 pages, 4796 KiB  
Article
Neuromuscular Anatomy and Motor Patterns at the Base of Calling Behaviour in the Female Spongy Moth Lymantria dispar
by Paolo Solari, Giorgia Sollai and Roberto Crnjar
Insects 2024, 15(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15030169 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 898
Abstract
“Calling behaviour” is a stereotyped rhythmic motor pattern displayed by female moths, by which they emit the sex pheromone to attract of conspecific males. Calling occurs through a squeezing mechanism based on the turtleneck-like folding and unfolding of the ovipositor cuticle during its [...] Read more.
“Calling behaviour” is a stereotyped rhythmic motor pattern displayed by female moths, by which they emit the sex pheromone to attract of conspecific males. Calling occurs through a squeezing mechanism based on the turtleneck-like folding and unfolding of the ovipositor cuticle during its telescopic extensions and retractions. This mechanism is under the control of the terminal abdominal ganglion (TAG). By combining anatomical and electrophysiological approaches, here we studied the morpho-functional organisation of the abdominal muscles and the activity of motoneurons from TAG nerve N4-N6 as correlated to the ovipositor movements during calling in the female spongy moth Lymantria dispar. Our results show that the three abdominal segments S7, S8 and S9 (ovipositor) are highly specialized structures containing cuticular appendages, hinges, apodemes and several large muscles, innervated by N4 and especially by N5. N6 mainly innervates the oviductal tract. We also identified a number of motor units from N4 and N5, the spike activity of which is correlated with the ovipositor movements during calling. In conclusion, the release of sex pheromones in the female spongy moth is obtained by extensions and retractions of the ovipositor operated by a coordinated motor program, which is mainly sustained by the activity of a few motor units under the control of TAG nerves N4 and N5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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21 pages, 25795 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Communities in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico
by Francisco José Gómez-Marín, Jesús Montoya-Mendoza, Guillermo Salgado-Maldonado, Fabiola Lango-Reynoso, María del Refugio Castañeda-Chávez and Benigno Ortiz-Muñiz
Diversity 2024, 16(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/d16020103 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1415
Abstract
The objective of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of the freshwater macroinvertebrate communities of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. For this region, there is only limited knowledge of its aquatic crustaceans and mollusks. A total of 13,399 freshwater macroinvertebrates were collected [...] Read more.
The objective of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of the freshwater macroinvertebrate communities of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. For this region, there is only limited knowledge of its aquatic crustaceans and mollusks. A total of 13,399 freshwater macroinvertebrates were collected from four river sections in each of the three sub-basins of the region using the Surber network in four seasons of an annual cycle (2021–2022) and were preserved in 70° alcohol. Organisms belonging to seven phyla, nine (sub)classes, 21 (sub)orders and 65 families were identified. The most abundant orders were Ephemeroptera (42.03%), with greatest abundance of the family Baetidae, and the orders Trichoptera (19.11%), Diptera (15.43%), and Coleoptera (3.98%). Four families exceeded 10% relative abundance, and together they total 61.02%: Baetidae (23.84%), Hydroptilidae (13.58%), Leptohyphidae (13.03%), Chironomidae (10.57%), and Elmidae (3.23%). The order Plecoptera was recorded for the first time in Los Tuxtlas, with three families. The orders Hydrachnidae and Ostracoda, as well as six families of the order Ephemeroptera, with only one previously recorded family, and six more families of the order Diptera, were also documented. Two species of invasive aquatic mollusks were found in several rivers and basins. In this work, a high diversity of freshwater macroinvertebrates occurred compared to other sites studied in Veracruz and Mexico, and new records of these taxa are provided for the region of Los Tuxtlas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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11 pages, 4872 KiB  
Article
Communities of Digger Wasps (Hymenoptera: Spheciformes) along a Tree Cover Gradient in the Cultural Landscape of River Valleys in Poland
by Piotr Olszewski, Tim Sparks, Lucyna Twerd and Bogdan Wiśniowski
Insects 2024, 15(2), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15020088 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1066
Abstract
This study of digger wasps (Hymenoptera: Spheciformes) was carried out in the cultural landscape of the Drwęca, Lower Vistula, and Warta river valleys in northern Poland during 2011–2013. The study was undertaken on sites representing a succession gradient from dry grasslands to high [...] Read more.
This study of digger wasps (Hymenoptera: Spheciformes) was carried out in the cultural landscape of the Drwęca, Lower Vistula, and Warta river valleys in northern Poland during 2011–2013. The study was undertaken on sites representing a succession gradient from dry grasslands to high levels of tree cover which we hypothesised would influence the structure of digger wasp communities. During our research additional information on flower use, insect prey, and phenology was also recorded and is reported here, revealing dependencies between woodland cover and both the prey and nesting types of digger wasps. A total of 136 species were recorded, i.e., nearly 56% of all Spheciformes species recorded from Poland. Among the species collected, 30 were on the Red List of Threatened Animals in Poland. Most endangered species were recorded in psammophilous grasslands, which are open habitats, and the least in mesic sites. These results significantly update the known distribution of the digger wasp in northern Poland. Knowledge on the biology of digger wasps in Poland is also supplemented by information on the feeding of larvae of 14 species and information on food plants visited by imago digger wasps. The results of our research confirm the correlations between the increase in forest cover and the number of digger wasp species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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13 pages, 3165 KiB  
Article
Response of Spider and Epigaeic Beetle Assemblages to Overwinter Planting Regimes and Surrounding Landscape Compositions
by Hainan Chong, Yulin Zhu, Qian Lai, Song Wu, Ting Jiang, Dandan Zhang and Haijun Xiao
Insects 2023, 14(12), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120951 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
The rotation patterns of summer rice–winter oil seed rape and summer rice–winter fallow are the main planting regimes in the rice ecosystem in southern China. However, the impact of local rotation patterns and landscape factors on the overwintering conservation of predators in spider [...] Read more.
The rotation patterns of summer rice–winter oil seed rape and summer rice–winter fallow are the main planting regimes in the rice ecosystem in southern China. However, the impact of local rotation patterns and landscape factors on the overwintering conservation of predators in spider and epigaeic beetle assemblages remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate the diversity and density of spiders and beetles over two consecutive winters (2019/2020 and 2020/2021), focusing on the impact of two rotation patterns (rice–fallow and rice–oilseed rape) and surrounding landscape compositions on predator diversity. The main findings of our research were that spiders were more abundant and had a higher activity density in the fallow rice fields (FRs) compared to the oilseed rape fields (OSRs), whereas ground beetles exhibited the opposite pattern. Specifically, fallow rice fields supported small and ballooning spiders (e.g., dominant spider: Ummeliata insecticeps), while OSRs supported larger ground beetles (e.g., dominant beetles: Agonum chalcomus and Pterostichus liodactylus). Moreover, the composition of spider assemblages were impacted by semi-natural habitats (SNHs) during overwintering, while ground beetle assemblages were influenced by overwinter planting patterns. Overall, our results suggest that different planting regimes and preserving semi-natural habitats are a strategic way to enhance species diversity and functional diversity of ground predators. It is, therefore, recommended that to conserve and improve predator diversity during overwintering, land managers and farmers should aim to maintain diverse planting regimes and conserve local semi-natural habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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26 pages, 2309 KiB  
Review
The Structure of Rice Stemborer Assemblages: A Review of Species’ Distributions, Host Ranges, and Interspecific Interactions
by Finbarr G. Horgan
Insects 2023, 14(12), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120921 - 2 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
This review describes global rice stemborer assemblages based on published species distributions, apparent host preferences, and reported shifts in assemblage composition in response to environmental factors. At least 56 moth (Lepidoptera: Crambidae, Pyralidae, Noctuidae) and fly (Diptera: Diopsidae, Chloropidae) species have been associated [...] Read more.
This review describes global rice stemborer assemblages based on published species distributions, apparent host preferences, and reported shifts in assemblage composition in response to environmental factors. At least 56 moth (Lepidoptera: Crambidae, Pyralidae, Noctuidae) and fly (Diptera: Diopsidae, Chloropidae) species have been associated with rice; however, only 21 species are of potential, large-scale economic importance with a further 2 species of localized concern; most of the remaining species’ associations with rice are based on dubious records without economic impacts on rice production. A list of stemborer–host associations indicates that rice stemborers are largely oligophagous on grasses (Poaceae), but a few species are polyphagous (also attacking Cyperaceae, Typhaceae, and some Eudicotyledon plants). Total stemborer abundance is determined by rice cropping patterns and management. Assemblage species richness is determined by geographical location, surrounding habitat (particularly as regards secondary and occasional species), and season. Evidence suggests that stemborer assemblage structure is largely determined through conditional interspecific competition. Regional assemblages typically include a single dominant lepidopteran species (primary species) that is largely restricted to rice and for which the climate is optimal; one or more secondary species that vary based on the age of rice attacked, rice anatomy, and the proximity to other habitats (including other crops); and occasional species that probably spill over from adjacent grasslands. The co-occurrence of lepidopteran with dipteran rice stemborers requires further research attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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13 pages, 1577 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on the Species and Diversity of Ants and Their Three Tropisms
by Hejie Dong, Xinyi Huang, Qingqing Gao, Sihan Li, Shanglin Yang and Fajun Chen
Insects 2023, 14(11), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14110892 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2044
Abstract
Ants are one of the largest insect groups, with the most species and individuals in the world, and they have an important ecological function. Ants are not only an important part of the food chains but are also one of the main decomposers [...] Read more.
Ants are one of the largest insect groups, with the most species and individuals in the world, and they have an important ecological function. Ants are not only an important part of the food chains but are also one of the main decomposers on the Earth; they can also improve soil fertility, etc. However, some species of ants are harmful to human beings, which leads to people’s panic or worry about coming into contact with these insects during their daily home life or in their tourism or leisure activities. The presence of ants in indoor living facilities and in outdoor green spaces, parks, gardens, and tourist attractions seriously interferes with the leisure life and entertainment activities of all people (especially children). How can we control ants in these environments? Do we kill them by spraying insecticides, or do we adopt green prevention and control technology for the ecological management of ants? This topic is related to healthy life for the public and the protection of the ecological environment. In this paper, the species and diversity of ants are introduced, and research progress regarding ant tropism is introduced according to the three aspects of phototaxis, chromotaxis, and chemotaxis (i.e., “3-tropisms”). The research on repellent substances from plants and insects and the related ant attractants are also summarized, analyzed, and discussed, in order to help the research and application of green prevention and control technology for ant diversity protection and conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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16 pages, 3075 KiB  
Article
Novel Microsatellite Loci, Cross-Species Validation of Multiplex Assays, and By-Catch Mitochondrial Genomes on Ochthebius Beetles from Supratidal Rockpools
by Antonio José García-Meseguer, Adrián Villastrigo, Juana María Mirón-Gatón, Andrés Millán, Josefa Velasco and Irene Muñoz
Insects 2023, 14(11), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14110881 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
Here we focus on designing, for the first time, microsatellite markers for evolutionary and ecological research on aquatic beetles from the genus Ochthebius (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae). Some of these non-model species, with high cryptic diversity, exclusively inhabit supratidal rockpools, extreme and highly dynamic habitats [...] Read more.
Here we focus on designing, for the first time, microsatellite markers for evolutionary and ecological research on aquatic beetles from the genus Ochthebius (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae). Some of these non-model species, with high cryptic diversity, exclusively inhabit supratidal rockpools, extreme and highly dynamic habitats with important anthropogenic threats. We analysed 15 individuals of four species (O. lejolisii, O. subinteger, O. celatus, and O. quadricollis) across 10 localities from the Mediterranean coasts of Spain and Malta. Using next-generation sequencing technology, two libraries were constructed to interpret the species of the two subgenera present consistently (Ochthebius s. str., O. quadricollis; and Cobalius, the rest of the species). Finally, 20 markers (10 for each subgenus) were obtained and successfully tested by cross-validation in the four species under study. As a by-catch, we could retrieve the complete mitochondrial genomes of O. lejolisii, O. quadricollis, and O. subinteger. Interestingly, the mitochondrial genome of O. quadricollis exhibited high genetic variability compared to already published data. The novel SSR panels and mitochondrial genomes for Ochthebius will be valuable in future research on species identification, diversity, genetic structure, and population connectivity in highly dynamic and threatened habitats such as supratidal coastal rockpools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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10 pages, 1446 KiB  
Article
Bee Assemblage in the Southern Chihuahuan Desert: The Role of Season, Year, and Trap Color in Abundance
by Esteban O. Munguia-Soto, Jordan Golubov and María C. Mandujano
Insects 2023, 14(11), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14110875 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Recognizing how populations fluctuate over time is a crucial factor in determining the environmental elements affecting population persistence. However, the limited information on wild bee populations complicates the estimation of the impact of anthropogenic threats leading to changes in population size. To address [...] Read more.
Recognizing how populations fluctuate over time is a crucial factor in determining the environmental elements affecting population persistence. However, the limited information on wild bee populations complicates the estimation of the impact of anthropogenic threats leading to changes in population size. To address this, we conducted a study capturing and monitoring nine species of wild bees through monthly samplings over four years. Tray traps were placed in permanent plots, and capture records were used to determine population size (N) and density (D). A generalized linear model (GLM) was employed to determine how the use of traps affected bee species captures. The families Apidae and Halictidae represented the most captures. Apis mellifera, the Lasioglossum (Dialictus spp.) complex, and Macrotera sinaloana exhibited the largest number of captures and highest population density. Most species (77.7%) showed a tendency to remain constant over the years and to have a higher number of captures in the spring months. Moreover, yellow traps were the most effective in capturing bee individuals. We suggest that the availability of essential resources and the reduction in environmental stressors positively affected the capture of wild bee populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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15 pages, 1566 KiB  
Article
Complex Effects of a Land-Use Gradient on Pollinators and Natural Enemies: Natural Habitats Mitigate the Effects of Aphid Infestation on Pollination Services
by Tal Shapira, Tohar Roth, Adi Bar, Moshe Coll and Yael Mandelik
Insects 2023, 14(11), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14110872 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Pollinators and natural enemies are essential ecosystem service providers influenced by land-use and by interactions between them. However, the understanding of the combined impacts of these factors on pollinator and natural enemy activities and their ultimate effects on plant productivity remains limited. We [...] Read more.
Pollinators and natural enemies are essential ecosystem service providers influenced by land-use and by interactions between them. However, the understanding of the combined impacts of these factors on pollinator and natural enemy activities and their ultimate effects on plant productivity remains limited. We investigated the effects of local and landscape vegetation characteristics and the presence of herbivorous pests on pollination and biological control services and their combined influence on phytometer seed set. The study was conducted in a Mediterranean agro-ecosystem, encompassing ten shrubland plots spanning a land-use gradient. Within each plot, we placed caged and uncaged potted phytometer plants that were either aphid-infested or aphid-free. We quantified insect flower visitation, aphid predation and parasitism rates, and fruit and seed set. We found scale-dependent responses of pollinators and natural enemies to land-use characteristics. Flower species richness had a positive impact on aphid parasitism rates but a negative effect on pollinator activity. Notably, we found a more pronounced positive effect of natural areas on pollinator activity in aphid-infested compared to aphid-free plants, indicating a potentially critical role of natural habitats in mitigating the adverse effects of aphid infestation on pollination services. These results highlight the complex and interactive effects of land-use on pollinators and natural enemies, with significant implications for plant productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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29 pages, 5881 KiB  
Article
Variation in a Darwin Wasp (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) Community along an Elevation Gradient in a Tropical Biodiversity Hotspot: Implications for Ecology and Conservation
by Vivian Flinte, Diego G. Pádua, Emily M. Durand, Caitlin Hodgin, Gabriel Khattar, Luiz Felipe L. da Silveira, Daniell R. R. Fernandes, Ilari E. Sääksjärvi, Ricardo F. Monteiro, Margarete V. Macedo and Peter J. Mayhew
Insects 2023, 14(11), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14110861 - 7 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3552
Abstract
Understanding how biodiversity varies from place to place is a fundamental goal of ecology and an important tool for halting biodiversity loss. Parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera) are a diverse and functionally important animal group, but spatial variation in their diversity is poorly understood. We [...] Read more.
Understanding how biodiversity varies from place to place is a fundamental goal of ecology and an important tool for halting biodiversity loss. Parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera) are a diverse and functionally important animal group, but spatial variation in their diversity is poorly understood. We survey a community of parasitic wasps (Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae) using Malaise traps up a mountain in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, and relate the catch to biotic and abiotic habitat characteristics. We find high species richness compared with previous similar studies, with abundance, richness, and diversity peaking at low to intermediate elevation. There is a marked change in community composition with elevation. Habitat factors strongly correlated with elevation also strongly predict changes in the pimpline community, including temperature as well as the density of bamboo, lianas, epiphytes, small trees, and herbs. These results identify several possible surrogates of pimpline communities in tropical forests, which could be used as a tool in conservation. They also contribute to the growing evidence for a typical latitudinal gradient in ichneumonid species richness, and suggest that low to medium elevations in tropical regions will sometimes conserve the greatest number of species locally, but to conserve maximal biodiversity, a wider range of elevations should also be targeted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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57 pages, 71482 KiB  
Article
Going Asexual: A Survey of Mites of the Genus Thyreophagus (Acari: Acaridae) Revealing a Large Number of New Parthenogenetic Species in the Holarctic Region
by Pavel B. Klimov, Vasiliy B. Kolesnikov, Emilie P. Demard, Clive S. A. Stinson, Jonas Merckx, Marcus V. A. Duarte, Luiz Gustavo A. Pedroso, Alexander A. Khaustov, James Leslie Myers-Hansen, Felix L. Wäkers and Dominiek Vangansbeke
Life 2023, 13(11), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13112168 - 5 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1743
Abstract
Mites of the genus Thyreophagus (Acari: Acaridae) are distributed worldwide; they inhabit concealed habitats and include several beneficial and economically important species. However, species identification is difficult because many species are poorly described or delimited and their phoretic stages are unknown or uncorrelated. [...] Read more.
Mites of the genus Thyreophagus (Acari: Acaridae) are distributed worldwide; they inhabit concealed habitats and include several beneficial and economically important species. However, species identification is difficult because many species are poorly described or delimited and their phoretic stages are unknown or uncorrelated. Furthermore, Thyreophagus is interesting because it includes entirely asexual (parthenogenetic) species. However, among the 34 described species of Thyreophagus, the asexual status is confirmed through laboratory rearing for only two species. Here, we provide detailed descriptions of five new species from North America (four) and Europe (one) based on adults and phoretic heteromorphic deutonymphs. Four of these species were asexual, while one was sexual. For most of these mites, the asexual status was confirmed and phoretic deutonymphs were obtained through rearing in the lab. We show that asexual mites retain seemingly functional copulatory and sperm storage systems, indicating that these lineages have relatively short evolutionary lifespans. One North American species, Thyreophagus ojibwe, was found in association with the native American chestnut Castanea dentata, suggesting a possibility that this mite can be used to control chestnut blight in North America. We also provide a diagnostic key to females, males, and heteromorphic deutonymphs of the Thyreophagus species in the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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13 pages, 1372 KiB  
Article
Large Male Caterpillars Are the Primary Builders: Exploring Tent Construction and Foraging Behaviour in Gregarious Pine Processionary Caterpillar
by Mizuki Uemura, Myron P. Zalucki and Andrea Battisti
Insects 2023, 14(10), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14100829 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1280
Abstract
As a social organism, living in a communal structure is one of the most important physical barriers against environmental elements and natural enemies. Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Notodontidae, Thaumetopoeinae) caterpillars are conifer pests that spend most of their larval stage in winter. Although T. pityocampa [...] Read more.
As a social organism, living in a communal structure is one of the most important physical barriers against environmental elements and natural enemies. Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Notodontidae, Thaumetopoeinae) caterpillars are conifer pests that spend most of their larval stage in winter. Although T. pityocampa holds economic and medical significance, the tent construction and foraging behaviour are poorly understood. We observed the tent construction behaviour in autumn (October and November) when third- and fourth-instar T. pityocampa caterpillars build the ‘winter tent’ that can withstand winter conditions. Just before sunset, with no rain and temperatures over 12 °C, tent construction was undertaken by early active individuals, primarily larger male caterpillars. Early active caterpillars emerge from the tent first and spin silk on the tent for expansion and strength. Once temperatures dropped below 12 °C and twilight had passed, the early active caterpillars went out to forage and were later joined by the late active caterpillars, which were predominantly smaller females that had remained inside the tent. Foraging behaviour was continuously monitored for the first to fourth larval instars in the field. Foraging was more frequent in younger instars when environmental temperatures were warmer and became continuous and prolonged in later instar caterpillars as temperatures dropped. The final tent structure built by later instar caterpillars had the thickest layer of silk on the southern side of the tent compared to other orientations to receive maximum solar radiation during the winter. Our study provided additional insights into the collective nest building, foraging and social behaviours observed in Lepidoptera, as well as the roles of individuals within non-eusocial insect colonies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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21 pages, 3904 KiB  
Article
Vertical Distribution of Fruit Flies (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in Deciduous Forests in the Center of European Russia
by Nikolai G. Gornostaev, Alexander B. Ruchin, Mikhail N. Esin, Oleg E. Lazebny and Alex M. Kulikov
Insects 2023, 14(10), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14100822 - 18 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
Research of Diptera in temperate forests has demonstrated uneven vertical distributions of insects. In this study, we examined the vertical distribution, seasonal fluctuations, and species diversity of Drosophilidae species in the Mordovia State Reserve. This research marks the first exploration of drosophilid vertical [...] Read more.
Research of Diptera in temperate forests has demonstrated uneven vertical distributions of insects. In this study, we examined the vertical distribution, seasonal fluctuations, and species diversity of Drosophilidae species in the Mordovia State Reserve. This research marks the first exploration of drosophilid vertical stratification in the European part of Russia. Using traps, we collected flies in four deciduous forest sites between early June and mid-September in 2020. A total of 27,151 individuals from 10 genera and 34 drosophilid species were identified, with 6 species from 4 genera being new to the Republic of Mordovia. Drosophila obscura Fll. and Scaptodrosophila rufifrons Lw. were the most abundant species in traps. The total highest number of drosophilid flies (10,429 individuals) was captured at a height of 1.5 m, while the lowest number (5086 individuals) was recorded at 12 m. The average number of flies was 6240 and 5387 individuals at heights of 7.5 m and 3.5 m, respectively. However, the prevalence of drosophilid numbers at the 1.5-m height was not constant during the season. We found that in the second part of July the total fly counts at heights of 7.5 m and 12 m exceeded those at 1.5 m. We have described five different types of vertical distribution of drosophilids throughout the season, which differs markedly in mycetobionts and xylosaprobionts ecological groups. Species diversity demonstrated variations across different sites and tiers during the season, with peak diversity observed in June and September. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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17 pages, 2587 KiB  
Article
A 12-Year Experimental Design to Test the Recovery of Butterfly Biodiversity in an Urban Ecosystem: Lessons from the Parc Urbain des Papillons
by Magali Deschamps-Cottin, Guillaume Jacek, Louise Seguinel, Clémentine Le Champion, Christine Robles, Mélanie Ternisien, Chloé Duque and Bruno Vila
Insects 2023, 14(10), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14100780 - 24 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Urbanization is one of the main threats to biodiversity. However, some urban green spaces could act as refuges for urban fauna if the composition of the flora were less horticultural and if a less intensive management strategy is adopted. Among the taxa, butterflies [...] Read more.
Urbanization is one of the main threats to biodiversity. However, some urban green spaces could act as refuges for urban fauna if the composition of the flora were less horticultural and if a less intensive management strategy is adopted. Among the taxa, butterflies are experiencing a strong decline from European to regional scales. An ecological engineering project based on a plantation of host and nectariferous plants backed up by a well thought out management strategy was carried out in Marseille at the Parc Urbain des Papillons (the Butterflies Urban Park). We assessed its effectiveness by comparing the butterfly communities in this park before and after the engineering work, and we compared it to a neighboring wasteland with natural habitats. After 12 years of the project, the results show a significant change in the species composition. The species richness greatly increased from 25 to 42 species. Some specialist species we targeted appeared, and their numbers increased from one to five. However, three Mediterranean species are still absent compared to the wasteland with natural habitats. As the plant palette used and the management strategy implemented enabled us to significantly increase the number of species, we now plan to work on the structure of the vegetation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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12 pages, 2585 KiB  
Article
A New Species of Bryaxis (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Pselaphinae) from Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy) and Notes on Its Ecology and Distribution
by Giorgio Sabella and Giuseppe Nicolosi
Animals 2023, 13(18), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13182941 - 16 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1252
Abstract
A new species of the subfamily Pselaphinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) has been discovered on Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy) and is described herein as Bryaxis aetnensis sp. nov. The new species is closely associated with the Bryaxis difficilis group, a highly homogeneous group of species [...] Read more.
A new species of the subfamily Pselaphinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) has been discovered on Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy) and is described herein as Bryaxis aetnensis sp. nov. The new species is closely associated with the Bryaxis difficilis group, a highly homogeneous group of species living in the regions of Sicily and Sardinia. Diagnostic features and distribution of Sicilian species of this group are treated and illustrated herein. Bryaxis aetnensis sp. nov. exhibits similarities to B. marinae but can be distinguished by the darker color, longer antennal scape and terminal palpomere, and in the aedeagus morphology. The distribution of B. aetnensis sp. nov. spans a wide altitudinal range, demonstrating a remarkable climatic tolerance across the slopes and diverse habitats of Mount Etna. This broad tolerance reflects the species’ probable high ecological plasticity, which may also contribute to the observed morphological variability among individuals from different sampling sites. The significance of this new discovery on Mount Etna highlights the need to intensify sampling efforts in the region. Strengthening protection for these unexplored environments is crucial, and it also aids in unraveling biogeographic questions about the fauna inhabiting the area. As a relatively young volcanic environment, species colonization has occurred recently, making it an intriguing subject of investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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14 pages, 18057 KiB  
Article
Morphology and Distribution of Antennal Sensilla on Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae and Adults
by Wenwen Wang, Pengyang He, Tongxian Liu, Xiangfeng Jing and Shize Zhang
Diversity 2023, 15(9), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15090992 - 4 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1324
Abstract
The invasive pest, Spodoptera frugiperda, commonly known as the fall armyworm (FAW), is a serious threat to food security in multiple countries worldwide. Insects’ antennal sensilla play a crucial role in perceiving plant odors and communication between male and female insects. This [...] Read more.
The invasive pest, Spodoptera frugiperda, commonly known as the fall armyworm (FAW), is a serious threat to food security in multiple countries worldwide. Insects’ antennal sensilla play a crucial role in perceiving plant odors and communication between male and female insects. This study aimed to examine the antennal morphology and sensilla variations on the antennae of FAW larvae and adults through scanning electron microscope analysis. The results revealed that third and fifth instar larval antennae possessed smell pores, sensilla pegs, and five types of antennal sensilla, namely sensilla trichodea, sensilla basiconica, sensilla chaetica, sensilla campaniform, and sensilla styloconicum, and the smell pores were first observed in Lepidoptera larvae. Furthermore, the size of sensilla in fifth instar larvae was significantly greater than those in third instar. On the adult antennae, there were smell pores and 12 types of sensilla identified: sensilla trichodea, sensilla basicaonica, sensilla auricillica, sensilla cavity, sensilla placodea, sensilla ligulate, Böhm’s bristles, sensilla chaetica, sensilla squamous, sensilla coeloconica, sensilla styloconicum, and sensilla uniporous peg. Notably, the sensilla cavity, sensilla placodea, sensilla ligulate, sensilla uniporous peg, and smell pores were first discovered in FAW adults. Compared with larvae, FAW adults have more types and amounts of sensilla. Additionally, we also discussed the possible functions of these antennal sensilla. This study provides valuable information for a comprehensive understanding of the type and function of antennal sensilla in FAW and assists in the development of novel pest control strategies, such as pest behavior control technology, for the prevention of this invasive pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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18 pages, 2466 KiB  
Article
Anthropogenic Influence on Moth Populations: A Comparative Study in Southern Sweden
by Markus Franzén, Anders Forsman and Bafraw Karimi
Insects 2023, 14(8), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14080702 - 11 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1595
Abstract
As moths are vital components of ecosystems and serve as important bioindicators, understanding the dynamics of their communities and the factors influencing these dynamics, such as anthropogenic impacts, is crucial to understand the ecological processes. Our study focuses on two provinces in southern [...] Read more.
As moths are vital components of ecosystems and serve as important bioindicators, understanding the dynamics of their communities and the factors influencing these dynamics, such as anthropogenic impacts, is crucial to understand the ecological processes. Our study focuses on two provinces in southern Sweden, Västergötland and Småland, where we used province records from 1974 to 2019 in combination with light traps (in 2020) to record the presence and abundance of moth species, subsequently assessing species traits to determine potential associations with their presence in anthropogenically modified landscapes. This study design provides a unique opportunity to assess temporal changes in moth communities and their responses to shifts in environmental conditions, including anthropogenic impacts. Across the Västergötland and Småland provinces in Sweden, we recorded 776 moth taxa belonging to fourteen different taxonomic families of mainly Macroheterocera. We captured 44% and 28% of the total moth species known from these provinces in our traps in Borås (Västergötland) and Kalmar (Småland), respectively. In 2020, the species richness and abundance were higher in Borås than in Kalmar, while the Shannon and Simpson diversity indices revealed a higher species diversity in Kalmar. Between 1974 and 2019, the colonisation rates of the provinces increased faster in Småland. Ninety-three species were found to have colonised these provinces since 1974, showing that species richness increased over the study period. We reveal significant associations between the probability of a species being present in the traps and distinct traits compared to a provincial species pool. Traits over-represented in the traps included species with a high variation in colour patterns, generalist habitat preferences, extended flight periods, lower host plant specificity, and overwintering primarily as eggs. Our findings underscore the ongoing ecological filtering that favours certain species-specific traits. This study sheds light on the roles of climate change and anthropogenic impacts in shaping moth biodiversity, offers key insights into the ecological processes involved, and can guide future conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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16 pages, 7199 KiB  
Article
Field and Laboratory Observations on the Biology of Aceria angustifoliae with Emphasis on Emergence of Overwintering Mites
by Parisa Lotfollahi, Hosein Mehri-Heyran, Solmaz Azimi and Enrico de Lillo
Insects 2023, 14(7), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14070633 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
Data on the life strategy of A. angustifoliae (population fluctuation in buds and on leaves, emergence and migration to the overwintering sites), as well as its temperature-dependent emergence from overwintering sites at constant temperatures, were determined. The eriophyid mite overwintered into buds and [...] Read more.
Data on the life strategy of A. angustifoliae (population fluctuation in buds and on leaves, emergence and migration to the overwintering sites), as well as its temperature-dependent emergence from overwintering sites at constant temperatures, were determined. The eriophyid mite overwintered into buds and the density of active mites inside them from winter 2017 to spring 2018 was higher than that in winter 2018–spring 2019. In the second half of March 2018 and in winter 2018–spring 2019, the mite density inside the buds decreased gradually with a peak of emergence occurring at the beginning of plant blossoming. Population density on leaves increased in summer, reaching a higher and later peak in 2018, and gradually decreased in autumn with mites migrating to overwintering sites. A lower developmental threshold of 4.5 °C was calculated. About half of the mite population was estimated to emerge from the overwintering sites at an accumulation of degree days ranging, on average, between 85.5 (at 20 °C) and 104.4 (at 10 °C) degree days above the assessed threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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18 pages, 5114 KiB  
Article
Effect of Grazing Management on Predator Soil Mite Communities (Acari: Mesotigmata) in Some Subalpine Grasslands from the Făgăraş Mountains—Romania
by Minodora Manu, Raluca Ioana Băncilă and Marilena Onete
Insects 2023, 14(7), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14070626 - 12 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
For the first time in Romania, a complex study was conducted on soil mite communities from two types of managed grasslands: ungrazed and intensively grazed. The study was accomplished in August 2018, in the Făgăraş Mountains. Within the soil mite communities (Mesostigmata), 30 [...] Read more.
For the first time in Romania, a complex study was conducted on soil mite communities from two types of managed grasslands: ungrazed and intensively grazed. The study was accomplished in August 2018, in the Făgăraş Mountains. Within the soil mite communities (Mesostigmata), 30 species were identified, from 80 soil samples. The following population parameters were investigated: species richness, numerical abundance, dominance, Shannon index of diversity, evenness and equitability. Eight environmental variables were also measured: soil and air humidity; soil and air temperature; soil pH; resistance of soil to penetration; soil electrical conductivity; and vegetation coverage. The results revealed that species richness, Shannon index of diversity, evenness and equitability indices had higher values in ungrazed grasslands, whereas in intensively grazed areas, the numerical abundance and dominance index had significantly higher values. The species Alliphis halleri was dominant in the ungrazed grasslands. Each type of managed grassland was characterised by specific environmental conditions, which had an important influence, even at the species level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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10 pages, 2563 KiB  
Article
BugTracker: Software for Tracking and Measuring Arthropod Activity
by Hajnalka Málik-Roffa, Dávid Tőzsér, Béla Tóthmérész and Tibor Magura
Diversity 2023, 15(7), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15070846 - 10 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1328
Abstract
The automated video tracking of the activity/movement of an experimental organism is essential for reliable, repeatable quantitative analyses in behavioral ecology and also in other disciplines. There are only some open-access, open-source automated tracking software applications that can track unmarked organisms. Moreover, several [...] Read more.
The automated video tracking of the activity/movement of an experimental organism is essential for reliable, repeatable quantitative analyses in behavioral ecology and also in other disciplines. There are only some open-access, open-source automated tracking software applications that can track unmarked organisms. Moreover, several of these software applications are substantially affected by brightness and differences in the lighting conditions of the video recording. Our Python-based software, called BugTracker, uses the latest innovations in computer vision technologies to solve these problems. By analyzing videos with considerably different lighting conditions with BugTracker and other available software, we demonstrate that our software could reliably track the studied organisms of any size and speed. Additionally, the results provide accurate measures of the organism’s movements. BugTracker is the most reliable currently available, easy-to-use, and automated tracking software compatible with the Windows, Linux, and MacOS operating systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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16 pages, 3192 KiB  
Review
Scorpions, Science and Folklore in Durango City
by Eduardo Gonzalez-Ponce, Sofia Rodríguez-Rangel, Raymundo Martinez, Adrian Alvarado, Estela Ruiz-Baca, Pablo Miranda, Jorge E. Sánchez-Rodríguez and Angelica Lopez-Rodriguez
Diversity 2023, 15(6), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15060743 - 5 Jun 2023
Viewed by 4667
Abstract
Scorpions are incredible venomous animals found on almost every continent. According to fossil data, these animals have been able to adapt to the different environments from the Cambrian period until today with minimal anatomical changes. Scorpions are mostly nocturnal animals, and their ability [...] Read more.
Scorpions are incredible venomous animals found on almost every continent. According to fossil data, these animals have been able to adapt to the different environments from the Cambrian period until today with minimal anatomical changes. Scorpions are mostly nocturnal animals, and their ability to detect and tolerate light stimuli seems to be an essential tool for their subsistence, homing and mating. Centruroides suffuses is the most predominant specie of scorpions in Durango City, Mexico. Interestingly, and despite their life-threatening venom, these predatory arthropod animals have been adopted by locals as part of the landscape and daily life, by including them as part of their folklore and their economic resources, and learning how to take advantage of their abundance. In addition, the venom of scorpions possesses potential for therapeutic uses, while the scorpions themselves represent a nutritional food resource rich in protein, which has been poorly explored so far. Therefore, they are an excellent model for exploring the interplay between light sensibilities, survival and therapeutic–medicinal uses. Here, we review some of the potential benefits of scorpions and share the ways people in Durango City, Mexico, use UV light devices to detect and avoid or catch them for business and research purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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17 pages, 5346 KiB  
Article
Butterfly Communities Vary under Different Urbanization Types in City Parks
by Ying Lin, Shanjun Huang, Wenqiang Fang, Yujie Zhao, Ziluo Huang, Ruoxian Zheng, Jingkai Huang, Jiaying Dong and Weicong Fu
Animals 2023, 13(11), 1775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13111775 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Butterflies are key indicators of urban biodiversity and one of the most vulnerable organism groups to environmental changes. Studying how butterflies are distributed and what factors might influence them in urban green spaces is crucial. In this study, from July 2022 to September [...] Read more.
Butterflies are key indicators of urban biodiversity and one of the most vulnerable organism groups to environmental changes. Studying how butterflies are distributed and what factors might influence them in urban green spaces is crucial. In this study, from July 2022 to September 2022, we examined and analyzed the butterfly diversity in nine parks in Fuzhou, China, along three different levels of urbanization (urban, peri-urban, and suburban). We investigated how butterfly communities respond to increasing urbanization. The findings revealed that: (1) A total of 427 butterfly individuals from 4 families and 13 species were observed; (2) Shannon diversity, richness, and abundance of the overall butterfly community were lower in the more urbanized parks. Urbanization had significant effects on Shannon diversity (p = 0.003) and abundance (p = 0.007) but no significant effects on the whole butterfly community richness (p = 0.241); (3) non-metric multidimensional scaling revealed that there were differences in the overall number of butterfly species in urban parks among different geographic regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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11 pages, 2304 KiB  
Article
Host Specificity in Canopy Nesting Forms of Ochrogaster lunifer: The Larger Children Do Not Care
by Julianne Farrell, Myron P. Zalucki and Andrea Battisti
Insects 2023, 14(5), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14050420 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
The ‘mother knows best’ hypothesis is tested in a species of processionary moth feeding on acacias and eucalypts in Australia. The processionary moth Ochrogaster lunifer (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae; Thaumetopoeinae) is a social caterpillar living in large colonies on a number of tree and shrub [...] Read more.
The ‘mother knows best’ hypothesis is tested in a species of processionary moth feeding on acacias and eucalypts in Australia. The processionary moth Ochrogaster lunifer (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae; Thaumetopoeinae) is a social caterpillar living in large colonies on a number of tree and shrub species. Five nesting types—canopy, trunk, tree-hugger, hanging, and ground—have been described, and this study deals with canopy nesters on various species of acacias (Acacia spp.) and eucalypts (Eucalyptus spp. and Corymbia spp.). Reciprocal transplant experiments conducted over three years confirm the ‘mother knows best’ hypothesis, as colonies performed better on the natal host plant than on the recipient ones. Young first instar larvae were less likely to establish on a non-natal host than the mature larvae, and all acacia-sourced canopy egg masses failed to establish on eucalypts. Large larvae were able to establish on transplant hosts. This suggests a strong preference–performance link at what is likely a species level, confirming preliminary results recently published on genetic divergence. Canopy nesting forms also have a lower realised fecundity than the ground nesting form on acacias from the same geographic area, but higher than another canopy nesting form from western Australia. Further observations on ecological and genetic traits are required to draw conclusions about the separation of lineages in the canopy nesting form of O. lunifer, by including populations from other parts of the range for both the herbivore and the host plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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20 pages, 2398 KiB  
Article
Effect of Antiparasitic Management of Cattle on the Diversity and Functional Structure of Dung Beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) Assemblages in the Colombian Caribbean
by Hernando L. Tovar, César M. A. Correa, Jean-Pierre Lumaret, Pablo A. López-Bedoya, Blas Navarro, Valentina Tovar and Jorge Ari Noriega
Diversity 2023, 15(4), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15040555 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
The transformation of forests into agricultural and livestock systems negatively affects the ecological dynamics and the ecosystem services provided by different groups of insects, including dung beetles, which stand out for their importance in recycling livestock dung. Since the 1980s, farmers in different [...] Read more.
The transformation of forests into agricultural and livestock systems negatively affects the ecological dynamics and the ecosystem services provided by different groups of insects, including dung beetles, which stand out for their importance in recycling livestock dung. Since the 1980s, farmers in different regions of the world have been using Ivermectin to control parasites that affect cattle. The main route of elimination of this molecule and its metabolites is through manure, which affects the richness, abundance, and biomass of dung beetles when they use dung from treated animals. To quantify this effect, we carried out an experimental design in the field in the Colombian Caribbean, where nine cattle farms were evaluated, of which three were taken for each of the different cattle management practices most used in the region: (i) Ivermectin not applied, (ii) two doses of Ivermectin at 1% applied per year and (iii) two doses of Ivermectin at 3.15% applied per year. To assess the richness, abundance, biomass, and functional groups of dung beetles, during the dry and wet seasons, 30 pitfall traps were baited on each farm with fresh cattle manure with the same management doses described above. A total of 25,441 individuals belonging to 19 genera and 30 species were collected. The richness, abundance, and biomass of beetle assemblages decreased along the gradient represented by management without using Ivermectin and management where Ivermectin was used. Paracoprid beetles were the functional group that was most negatively affected in cattle farms with Ivermectin use. In cattle farms where Ivermectin was not used, there was a greater diversity and higher functional structure of dung beetle assemblages than in those where this veterinary medicinal product was used. Using Ivermectin generates short- and long-term effects on the richness, abundance, biomass, and functional groups of dung beetles in livestock systems in the Colombian Caribbean. Therefore, we suggest using integrated treatment management to prevent the recycling fauna from being affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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18 pages, 4807 KiB  
Article
Effects of Species Invasion and Inundation on the Collembola Community in Coastal Mudflat Wetland from the Perspective of Functional Traits
by Jing-Yang Li, Yun-Xia Gao, Chun-Yang Li, Ya-Li Jin, Si-Qi Yang, Jian-Hong Xia, Yun-Fei Zhang, Yun Bu and Kai Li
Insects 2023, 14(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14020210 - 19 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1709
Abstract
The group of soil arthropods known as Collembola is characterized by its abundance and sensitivity to environmental changes. They are ideal an species for soil indicators. In order to clarify the effects of species invasion and inundation on the Collembola community in coastal [...] Read more.
The group of soil arthropods known as Collembola is characterized by its abundance and sensitivity to environmental changes. They are ideal an species for soil indicators. In order to clarify the effects of species invasion and inundation on the Collembola community in coastal mudflat wetlands, the correlation between the collembolan functional traits and environmental factors was studied in Shanghai Jiuduansha Wetland National Nature Reserve for the first time. Five sample plots, including three vegetations—Spartina alterniflora (an invasive species), Phragmites australis, and Zizania latifolia—were set up following the differences in vegetation types and between high and low tidal flats. Data on the diversity of the Collembolan species and their functional traits were collected and combined with the soil physicochemical properties and vegetation environment factors in different tidal flats. The key findings and conclusions of the study are as follows: a total of 18 species, four families, and three orders make up the obtained Collembola, two species of Proisotoma are dominant species that account for 49.59% and 24.91% of the total, respectively. The maintenance of the species diversity of Collembola is disturbed by the higher conversion efficiency of Spartina alterniflora rather than Phragmites australis with lower organic carbon (C) content and higher total nitrogen (N) content. The primary environmental variables influencing species distribution were the C/N ratio, total N, and bulk soil density. The bulk density of the soil impacts the movement and dispersal of the functional traits. The depth of the soil layer is related to the functional traits of the sensory ability. The analysis of the functional traits and environment is fairly helpful in exploring how species respond to their environment and offers a better explanation for the habitat selection of Collembola. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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16 pages, 3655 KiB  
Article
Patterns and Drivers of Aboveground Insect Diversity along Ecological Transect in Temperate Grazed Steppes of Eastern Eurasian
by Xiaoxiao Song, Lei Ji, Guangming Liu, Xiao Zhang, Xiangyang Hou, Shujing Gao and Ning Wang
Insects 2023, 14(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14020191 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2325
Abstract
Insects are important components of biodiversity and play significant roles in the steppe ecosystem. They are abundant, easy to sample, and sensitive to changing conditions, making them useful indicators of environmental changes. This study aims to describe patterns (α and β) of insect [...] Read more.
Insects are important components of biodiversity and play significant roles in the steppe ecosystem. They are abundant, easy to sample, and sensitive to changing conditions, making them useful indicators of environmental changes. This study aims to describe patterns (α and β) of insect diversity across two steppe types (a typical steppe and a desert steppe) along the Eastern Eurasian Steppe Transect (EEST), as well as evaluate the effects of environmental variables in determining these patterns and the influence of plant diversity alterations on these effects. To this end, we collected 5244 individual insects and found an n-shaped diversity distribution along the latitudinal gradient and a significant difference in insect communities across the two steppe types. Further, the Mantel test and path analysis indicate that climate and grazing activities combine to influence insect diversity, and these effects are mediated through plant diversity, strongly supporting the role of bottom-up effects in situations of climatic and grazing pattern changes. Moreover, the contribution of plant diversity varied with steppe types and insect functional groups, with greater effects seen in the typical steppe and herbivorous insects. This indicated the importance of protecting species diversity in steppes through managing plant diversity and assessments of local environmental factors such as grazing intensity and temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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13 pages, 3877 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Fine-Scale Genetic Structure of Spodoptera litura Fabricius (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Southern China Based on Microsatellite Markers
by Zhongwen Hu, Fangyuan Yang, Deping Zhang, Shimeng Zhang, Xiaofei Yu and Maofa Yang
Animals 2023, 13(4), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13040560 - 5 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
Population genetic structure is strongly affected by dispersal events, especially for migratory species. The investigation of population structure is therefore conducive to increasing our understanding of species dispersal. Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an important tobacco pest in China causing serious damage [...] Read more.
Population genetic structure is strongly affected by dispersal events, especially for migratory species. The investigation of population structure is therefore conducive to increasing our understanding of species dispersal. Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an important tobacco pest in China causing serious damage to multiple crops. In this study, we explore its dispersal dynamics by clarifying the fine-scale population genetics using 545 S. litura samples collected from tobacco plantations at 24 locations (mainly in Baise, Hechi, and Hezhou, Southern China). We analyzed the genetic diversity, genetic structure, and gene flow of these populations using seven microsatellite loci. Our results revealed high genetic diversity and low population genetic structure among S. litura. The genetic distance was uncorrelated with geographical distance, indicating the complete randomness of dispersal among the local populations. Our results suggest that the movement scope of contemporary S. litura might be much higher than the local-level spatial scale, which will provide a theoretical basis for pest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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14 pages, 5981 KiB  
Article
Wintering and Cold Hardiness of the Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae (Linnaeus, 1758) (Nymphalidae, Lepidoptera) in the West and East of the Northern Palearctic
by Ekaterina N. Meshcheryakova, Nina A. Bulakhova, Zoya A. Zhigulskaya, Sergei V. Shekhovtsov and Daniil I. Berman
Diversity 2023, 15(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15010072 - 6 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1689
Abstract
The geographic variability of the cold hardiness of poikilothermic animals is one of the keys to understanding the mechanisms of the formation of their ranges under climate change or anthropogenic introductions. A convenient object is the small tortoiseshell butterfly Aglais urticae, which [...] Read more.
The geographic variability of the cold hardiness of poikilothermic animals is one of the keys to understanding the mechanisms of the formation of their ranges under climate change or anthropogenic introductions. A convenient object is the small tortoiseshell butterfly Aglais urticae, which is distributed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. On the edges of the distribution range, the difference between the averages of the absolute minimum air temperatures reaches 60 °C. The cold hardiness (supercooling point and lower lethal temperatures) of imago wintering in a supercooled state in the northeast of Russia was assessed in comparison to the previously studied European ones. Despite the huge difference in air temperatures, the mean supercooling points ranges in the east (−23...−29 °C) and the west (−17...−22 °C) differ by only 7 °C; the lower lethal temperatures for this species is near −30 °C. The identified cold hardiness is not enough for overwintering of A. urticae on the vast majority part of the species range in natural shelters above the level of snow cover. The inhabiting of A. urticae in regions with air temperatures below −30 °C is possible only when wintering under snow. This primitive behavioral adaptation probably does not require physiological changes and may not be unique to Lepidoptera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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10 pages, 1550 KiB  
Article
Ecological Restoration Practices within a Semi-arid Natural Gas Field Improve Insect Abundance and Diversity during Early and Late Growing Season
by Michael F. Curran, Joshua R. Sorenson, Zoe A. Craft, Taylor M. Crow, Timothy J. Robinson and Peter D. Stahl
Animals 2023, 13(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010134 - 29 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2543
Abstract
Insects are critical components of terrestrial ecosystems and are often considered ecosystem engineers. Due to the vast amount of ecosystem services they provide, because statistically valid samples can be captured in short durations, and because they respond rapidly to environmental change, insects have [...] Read more.
Insects are critical components of terrestrial ecosystems and are often considered ecosystem engineers. Due to the vast amount of ecosystem services they provide, because statistically valid samples can be captured in short durations, and because they respond rapidly to environmental change, insects have been used as indicators of restoration success and ecosystem functionality. In Wyoming (USA), ecological restoration required on thousands of acres of land surface have been disturbed to extract natural gas. In this study, we compared early seral reclamation sites to reference areas at two points within a growing season. We compared insect abundance and family richness on 6 natural gas well pads with early season perennial forbs and 6 well pads with the late season to insect communities on adjacent reference areas. A total of 237 individual insects were found on early season reclaimed sites compared to 84 on reference sites, while 858 insects were found on late season reclaimed sites compared to 38 on reference sites. Insect abundance was significantly higher on reclaimed well pads compared to reference areas at both points in the growing season, while reclaimed sites had significantly higher Shannon Diversity Index in early season and significantly higher family richness in late season compared to their paired reference sites. We also found interesting differences in abundance at family levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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14 pages, 1473 KiB  
Article
Comparing Ant Assemblages and Functional Groups across Urban Habitats and Seasons in an East Asia Monsoon Climate Area
by Xin-Yu Luo, Chris Newman, Yi Luo and Zhao-Min Zhou
Animals 2023, 13(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010040 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1772
Abstract
China’s East Asia monsoon zone is undergoing rapid land-use conversion and urbanization. Safeguarding remaining biodiversity requires reducing, mitigating, and/or eliminating the negative impacts of human-induced landscape modification. In this study, we sampled ground-dwelling ants at 40 plots over 12 continuous months in a [...] Read more.
China’s East Asia monsoon zone is undergoing rapid land-use conversion and urbanization. Safeguarding remaining biodiversity requires reducing, mitigating, and/or eliminating the negative impacts of human-induced landscape modification. In this study, we sampled ground-dwelling ants at 40 plots over 12 continuous months in a suburban area in southwestern China to examine whether and how vegetation composition and habitat fragmentation affected species richness and assemblage composition for the general ant community and, specifically, for principal functional groups (including Opportunists and Generalized Myrmicinae). Warmer seasons were associated with a higher capture rate for all functional groups. Patterns of ant species richness among Opportunists were more sensitive to vegetation and fragmentation than for Generalized Myrmicinae, and these effects generally varied with season. Patterns of ant assemblage composition for Opportunists were exclusively sensitive to vegetation, whereas Generalized Myrmicinae were sensitive to both vegetation and fragmentation with variation among seasons. Overall, our findings highlight the important role of seasonality, vegetation composition, and habitat fragmentation in mediating the impacts of human-induced landscape modification on urbanized ant communities, which make an essential functional contribution to biodiversity in the East Asia monsoon zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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16 pages, 5551 KiB  
Article
Elevational Pattern of Leaf Mine Diversity on Quercus variabilis Blume at Baotianman, Henan, China
by Xiaona Chen, Miao Zhong, Lixing Cui, Jiasheng Xu, Xiaohua Dai and Xiaojing Liu
Insects 2023, 14(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14010007 - 21 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1758
Abstract
The species composition and diversity pattern of leaf miners on dominant trees in China are poorly understood. Using Hill-based diversity metrics, the elevational patterns of taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity for leaf miners on Quercus variabilis Blume at Baotianman were systematically analyzed. Leaf [...] Read more.
The species composition and diversity pattern of leaf miners on dominant trees in China are poorly understood. Using Hill-based diversity metrics, the elevational patterns of taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity for leaf miners on Quercus variabilis Blume at Baotianman were systematically analyzed. Leaf mine types belonged to ten genera and seven families. Different leaf miners had different elevational preferences. Most taxonomic and phylogenetic Hill diversity indices had typical hump-shaped elevational patterns, with a peak at the middle elevation of approximately 875 m. No functional Hill diversity indices presented significant linear or nonlinear trends with altitude. The driving factors behind the elevational distribution patterns of leaf miners require further work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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13 pages, 1536 KiB  
Article
Ecological Aspects of the Phlebotominae Fauna (Diptera: Psychodidae) among Forest Fragments and Built Areas in an Endemic Area of American Visceral Leishmaniasis in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil
by Bruna Queiroz da Silva, Margarete Martins dos Santos Afonso, Lucas José Macêdo Freire, Antônio Luís Ferreira de Santana, Alessandre Pereira-Colavite and Elizabeth Ferreira Rangel
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121156 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
Sand flies are dipterans of medical importance, as some species are vectors of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL). The municipality of João Pessoa (Paraíba, northeastern Brazil), is an endemic region for AVL, having high rates of human and canine cases. The main objective was [...] Read more.
Sand flies are dipterans of medical importance, as some species are vectors of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL). The municipality of João Pessoa (Paraíba, northeastern Brazil), is an endemic region for AVL, having high rates of human and canine cases. The main objective was to evaluate the sand fly fauna among forest fragments and built areas, and its relationship with environmental conditions. HP light traps were placed in the studied areas from March 2019 to July 2021. A total of 2141 specimens of phlebotomines were captured, comprising nine genera and ten species. Temperature and humidity were significant and positive only in built areas. The diversity composition among forest fragments and built areas was different and the AVL vector, Lutzomyia longipalpis, was the most prevalent species in built areas. The study showed that the built areas present differences in their richness and diversity of sand flies in relation to forest fragments, concluding that the conservation of forest areas, even if urban fragments, favors the diversity of phlebotomine species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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11 pages, 1704 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Facial Coloration between Introduced and Source Populations of the Red Wood Ant Formica paralugubris
by Filippo Frizzi, Laura Buonafede, Alberto Masoni, Paride Balzani and Giacomo Santini
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121137 - 9 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
The variation in the typical black-reddish color of red wood ants (Formica rufa group) has been recently suggested as a good indicator of habitat quality, being dependent on environmental conditions. However, the relative contribution of external factors and heritability in shaping this trait [...] Read more.
The variation in the typical black-reddish color of red wood ants (Formica rufa group) has been recently suggested as a good indicator of habitat quality, being dependent on environmental conditions. However, the relative contribution of external factors and heritability in shaping this trait is poorly investigated. In this study, we compared the facial coloration of workers from four introduced populations of Formica paralugubris with those of the two Alpine populations from which they had been taken. We used a Relative Warp Analysis to describe the variations in the shape of this trait. We expected each introduced population to be more similar to its population of origin if the color pattern was predominantly genetically determined. On the contrary, due to the considerable differences in habitat type and climate between the Alps and the Apennines, we expected to observe differences between the introduced population and their origin population if the coloration was mostly environmentally determined. With one exception that we discuss, the results showed that ants from the two source populations had different phenotypes, and that the introduced populations had a shape similar to the population of origin, suggesting a stable genetic background. Surprisingly, the habitat type seems to have a less clear effect, even if within-population differences suggest the influence of very localized environmental factors. Finally, we found that the facial coloration shape is affected by the ant’s size, a result in line with previous studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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21 pages, 1647 KiB  
Article
Leaf Nutritional Content, Tree Richness, and Season Shape the Caterpillar Functional Trait Composition Hosted by Trees
by Perttu Anttonen, Yi Li, Douglas Chesters, Andréa Davrinche, Sylvia Haider, Helge Bruelheide, Jing-Ting Chen, Ming-Qiang Wang, Ke-Ping Ma, Chao-Dong Zhu and Andreas Schuldt
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121100 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3075
Abstract
Nutritional content of host plants is expected to drive caterpillar species assemblages and their trait composition. These relationships are altered by tree richness-induced neighborhood variation and a seasonal decline in leaf quality. We tested how key functional traits related to the growth and [...] Read more.
Nutritional content of host plants is expected to drive caterpillar species assemblages and their trait composition. These relationships are altered by tree richness-induced neighborhood variation and a seasonal decline in leaf quality. We tested how key functional traits related to the growth and defenses of the average caterpillar hosted by a tree species are shaped by nutritional host quality. We measured morphological traits and estimated plant community-level diet breadth based on occurrences from 1020 caterpillars representing 146 species in a subtropical tree diversity experiment from spring to autumn in one year. We focused on interspecific caterpillar trait variation by analyzing presence-only patterns of caterpillar species for each tree species. Our results show that tree richness positively affected caterpillar species-sharing among tree species, which resulted in lowered trait variation and led to higher caterpillar richness for each tree species. However, community-level diet breadth depended more on the nutritional content of host trees. Higher nutritional quality also supported species-poorer but more abundant communities of smaller and less well-defended caterpillars. This study demonstrates that the leaf nutritional quality of trees shapes caterpillar trait composition across diverse species assemblages at fine spatial scales in a way that can be predicted by ecological theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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17 pages, 1812 KiB  
Article
Biochemical and Molecular Analysis of Field Resistance to Spirodiclofen in Panonychus citri (McGregor)
by Lu-Yan Cheng, Dong-Yuan Hou, Qin-Zhe Sun, Shi-Jiang Yu, Si-Chen Li, Hao-Qiang Liu, Lin Cong and Chun Ran
Insects 2022, 13(11), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13111011 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1743
Abstract
Spirodiclofen is one of the most widely used acaricides in China. The citrus red mite, Panonychus citri (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae), is one of the most destructive citrus pests worldwide and has developed a high resistance to spirodiclofen. However, the molecular mechanism of spirodiclofen [...] Read more.
Spirodiclofen is one of the most widely used acaricides in China. The citrus red mite, Panonychus citri (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae), is one of the most destructive citrus pests worldwide and has developed a high resistance to spirodiclofen. However, the molecular mechanism of spirodiclofen resistance in P. citri is still unknown. In this study, we identified a field spirodiclofen-resistant strain (DL-SC) that showed 712-fold resistance to spirodiclofen by egg bioassay compared to the susceptible strain. Target-site resistance was not detected as non-synonymous mutations were not found by amplification and sequencing of the ACCase gene of resistant and susceptible strains; in addition, the mRNA expression levels of ACCase were similar in both resistant and susceptible strains. The activity of detoxifying enzymes P450s and CCEs in the resistant strain was significantly higher than in the susceptible strain. The transcriptome expression data showed 19 xenobiotic metabolisms genes that were upregulated. Stage-specific expression profiling revealed that the most prominent upregulated gene, CYP385C10, in transcriptome data was significantly higher in resistant strains in all stages. Furthermore, functional analysis by RNAi indicated that the mortality caused by spirodiclofen was significantly increased by silencing the P450 gene CYP385C10. The current results suggest that overexpression of the P450 gene, CYP385C10, may be involved in spirodiclofen resistance in P. citri. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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13 pages, 932 KiB  
Article
Influence of Effective Microorganisms on Some Biological and Biochemical Aspects of Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
by Mohamed S. Zayed, El-Kazafy A. Taha, Fatma H. Hegazy, Bander Albogami, Ahmed Noureldeen and El-Said M. Elnabawy
Life 2022, 12(11), 1726; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111726 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
The cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis (Bosid.), is a major pest in African and Asian nations that attacks a wide variety of host plants. This study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of effective microorganisms (EMs) on the biological and physiological features of S. [...] Read more.
The cotton leafworm, Spodoptera littoralis (Bosid.), is a major pest in African and Asian nations that attacks a wide variety of host plants. This study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of effective microorganisms (EMs) on the biological and physiological features of S. littoralis larvae. Five concentrations (100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 ppm) of EMs were tested. Antifeedant activity, food consumption index, the efficiency of converting digested food, the efficiency of converting ingested food, relative growth rate, and approximate body tissue of the fourth larval instar of S. littoralis were determined. Moreover, carbohydrate enzyme activities (amylase, trehalose, and invertase), total protein, and total lipids of S. littoralis larvae were measured to elucidate the mode of action of the tested agent in the S. littoralis’s larval stage. The EMs at 500 ppm had a substantial impact on antifeedant activity, nutritional indices, egg deposit reduction, and hatchability in S. littoralis during the five days. All concentrations interrupted S. littoralis’s life cycle and developmental phases. Furthermore, all concentrations were quite useful in lengthening the developmental stages of S. littoralis. In addition, Ems affected the biochemical activities of larvae, leading to disturbances in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein levels. From this study, EMs can be used as a bioinsecticide alternative to traditional insecticides against S. littoralis and may be compatible with integrated pest management approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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22 pages, 1707 KiB  
Article
Can Larix sp. Mill. Provide Suitable Habitats for Insects and Lichens Associated with Stems of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. in Northern Europe?
by Jūratė Lynikienė, Artūras Gedminas, Adas Marčiulynas, Diana Marčiulynienė and Audrius Menkis
Diversity 2022, 14(9), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14090729 - 4 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
Recent observations suggest that climate change affects the growth conditions and range of tree species distribution in Europe. This may also have a major effect on communities of different organisms associated with these tree species. We aimed to determine whether Larix sp. could [...] Read more.
Recent observations suggest that climate change affects the growth conditions and range of tree species distribution in Europe. This may also have a major effect on communities of different organisms associated with these tree species. We aimed to determine whether Larix sp. could provide suitable habitats to insects and lichens associated with P. abies to conserve their biodiversity under climate change. The study sites were 10 Larix sp. and 10 P. abies forest stands in Lithuania. Both living and dead trees were included. Sticky traps, bark sheets, and exit hole methods were used for the assessment of insects. Independent plots on tree stems were established for the assessment of lichens. There were 76 and 67 different insect species on dead and living P. abies, respectively, using sticky traps. Similarly, there were 64 and 68 on dead and living Larix sp., respectively. The overall community of xylophagous insects consisted of nine and eight species, which were detected using the bark sheet and exit hole methods, respectively. The bark area colonized by lichens was 34.3% on dead P. abies and 63.2% on dead Larix sp., and 40.4% on living P. abies and 78.0% on living Larix sp. Taken together, the results demonstrate that native P. abies and introduced Larix sp. support similar diversity of stem-associated insect and lichen species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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15 pages, 1715 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Spirobolus bungii as Revealed by Mitochondrial DNA Sequences
by Runfeng Xu, Jie Chen, Yu Pan, Jiachen Wang, Lu Chen, Honghua Ruan, Yongbo Wu, Hanmei Xu, Guobing Wang and Hongyi Liu
Insects 2022, 13(8), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13080729 - 15 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2058
Abstract
Soil macrofauna, such as Spirobolus bungii, are an important component of ecosystems. However, systematic studies of the genetic diversity, population genetic structure, and the potential factors affecting the genetic differentiation of S. bungii are lacking. We performed a population genetic study of [...] Read more.
Soil macrofauna, such as Spirobolus bungii, are an important component of ecosystems. However, systematic studies of the genetic diversity, population genetic structure, and the potential factors affecting the genetic differentiation of S. bungii are lacking. We performed a population genetic study of 166 individuals from the mountains to the south of the Yangtze River, north of the Yangtze River in Nanjing city, and near Tianjin city, in order to investigate the correlations between geographical distance and genetic diversity. A total of 1182 bp of COX2 and Cytb gene sequences of mitochondrial DNA, and 700 bp of the 18S rRNA gene sequence were analyzed. There were two haplotypes and one variable site in the 18S rRNA gene, and 28 haplotypes and 78 variable sites in the COX2 and Cytb genes. In this study, the 18S rRNA gene was used for species identification, and mtDNA (concatenated sequences with Cytb and COX2) was used for population genetic analysis. Structure cluster analysis indicated that the genetic structures of the different populations of S. bungii tended to be consistent at small geographical scales. Phylogenetic trees revealed that the haplotypes were clearly divided into three branches: the area south of the Yangtze River, the area to the north of the Yangtze River in Nanjing, and the area in Tianjin. Large geographical barriers and long geographical distance significantly blocked gene flow between populations of S. bungii. Our results provide a basic theoretical basis for subsequent studies of millipede taxonomy and population genetic evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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23 pages, 33820 KiB  
Article
Distinguishing Long-Discussed Cryptic Species of the Epibiotic Goose-Neck Barnacle of the Genus Conchoderma (Thoracicalcarea: Lepadidae) with Integrative Taxonomy
by Benny K. K. Chan and Yu-Hsuan Chen
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080593 - 24 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2387
Abstract
Naked goose neck barnacles Conchoderma can grow on a wide variety of marine organisms. The taxonomic status of two of its species—C. virgatum and C. hunteri—are currently controversial. Some studies suggest that C. hunteri is a subspecies, variety [...] Read more.
Naked goose neck barnacles Conchoderma can grow on a wide variety of marine organisms. The taxonomic status of two of its species—C. virgatum and C. hunteri—are currently controversial. Some studies suggest that C. hunteri is a subspecies, variety or growth forms of C. virgatum, because both have great morphological variations, but other studies consider C. hunteri and C. virgatum to be distinct species. The present study examines the morphology and sequence divergence of the COI gene in C. virgatum, C. hunteri and other closely related species. There are consistent morphological differences between C. virgatum and C. hunteri in the tergum, carina and fifth teeth of the mandible. Phylogenetic analysis based on the divergence in the COI gene revealed that C. virgatum and C. hunteri form sister clades with high bootstrap values. The K2P distances within C. hunteri and C. virgatum are 0.034 ± 0.008 and 0.002 ± 0.001 for the COI sequences, respectively. The K2P distance between C. hunteri and C. virgatum is 0.097 ± 0.016. Morphological and molecular evidence confirm that C. hunteri is a valid species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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31 pages, 9806 KiB  
Article
A New Species of Limnephilus (Insecta: Trichoptera: Limnephilidae) from China, with Revision of the Genus Limnephilus on the Chinese Mainland
by Haoming Zang, Xinyu Ge, Lang Peng, Changhai Sun and Beixin Wang
Insects 2022, 13(7), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13070653 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2205
Abstract
Fifty individuals of Limnephilus from the Qinghai Province, China, were examined, and their COI barcode sequences were extracted and analyzed. Forty individuals of Limnephilus from the Insect Collection of Nanjing Agricultural University (ICNAU), China, were examined, and photos of the male genitalia [...] Read more.
Fifty individuals of Limnephilus from the Qinghai Province, China, were examined, and their COI barcode sequences were extracted and analyzed. Forty individuals of Limnephilus from the Insect Collection of Nanjing Agricultural University (ICNAU), China, were examined, and photos of the male genitalia of four Limnephilus species are here presented. The males, females, larvae, and pupae of a new species, Limnephilus deqianensis n. sp., associated via COI barcode sequences, are described and illustrated. Ecological photos of the male, pupal case, and the habitat of the new species L. deqianensis n. sp. are also provided. Five species groups containing all seventeen Chinese Limnephilus species are revised. Diagnoses, keys, and a distribution map of them are provided. All of the sequences have been uploaded to GenBank. All specimens are deposited in the ICNAU, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, P. R. China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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17 pages, 1329 KiB  
Article
Fluctuating Asymmetry in the Polymorphic Sand Cricket (Gryllus firmus): Are More Functionally Important Structures Always More Symmetric?
by Matthew R. Whalen, Krista J. Chang, Alexandria B. Jones, Gabriel Rivera and Amy M. Worthington
Insects 2022, 13(7), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13070640 - 16 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2431
Abstract
Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) may serve as a reliable indicator of the functional importance of structures within an organism. Primary locomotor structures often display lower levels of FA than other paired structures, highlighting that selection can maintain symmetry in fitness-enhancing traits. Polyphenic species represent [...] Read more.
Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) may serve as a reliable indicator of the functional importance of structures within an organism. Primary locomotor structures often display lower levels of FA than other paired structures, highlighting that selection can maintain symmetry in fitness-enhancing traits. Polyphenic species represent an attractive model for studying the fine-scale relationship between trait form and function, because multiple morphs exhibit unique life history adaptations that rely on different traits to maximize fitness. Here, we investigated whether individuals of the wing polyphenic sand field cricket (Gryllus firmus) maintain higher levels of symmetry in the bilateral structures most vital for maximizing fitness based on their specific life history strategy. We quantified FA and directional asymmetry (DA) across a suite of key morphological structures indicative of investment in somatic growth, reproduction, and flight capability for males and females across the flight-capable longwing (LW) and flight-incapable shortwing (SW) morphs. Although we did not find significant differences in FA across traits, hindwings lacked DA that was found in all other structures. We predicted that functionally important traits should maintain a higher level of symmetry; however, locomotor compensation strategies may reduce the selective pressures on symmetry or developmental constraints may limit the optimization between trait form and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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20 pages, 3207 KiB  
Article
Thrips Microbiome Study in Commercial Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) from Northwest Colombian Andes (Antioquia, Colombia) Shows the Presence of Wolbachia, Ehrlichia, Enterobacter
by Daniela Cano-Calle, Luisa Maria Montoya-Porras, Sebastian Ochoa-Giraldo, Howard Junca, Erika Garcia-Bonilla, Clara Saldamando-Benjumea, Claudia Ximena Moreno-Herrera and Rafael E. Arango-Isaza
Diversity 2022, 14(7), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14070540 - 5 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2957
Abstract
Microbiota associated with insects play several important roles in their host, including protection against pathogens, provision of nutrition, and survival in hostile environments. The aim of this work was to identify the bacterial community found in avocado thrips from Northwestern Colombia (Antioquia department) [...] Read more.
Microbiota associated with insects play several important roles in their host, including protection against pathogens, provision of nutrition, and survival in hostile environments. The aim of this work was to identify the bacterial community found in avocado thrips from Northwestern Colombia (Antioquia department) in order to find isolates for potential biocontrol purposes. Culture-dependent methods based on 16S rRNA and gyrase B gene sequencing in 42 bacterial isolates allowed the identification of the genera Bacillus, Serratia, Moraxella, Pantoea, and Sphingomonas. Microbial diversity detected with the temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) technique on three morphotypes of thrips, named brown (Scirtothrips hansoni), black (Frankliniella panamensis), and pale (Frankliniella sp.), showed a low bacterial community density (Shannon–Wiener index = 1480, p > 0.05) with significant differences among morphotypes (R = 0.7877, p = 0.0004). Results obtained with Illumina sequencing on the V1–V2 hypervariable region of the subunit 16S rRNA showed a predominant sequence in the brown morphotype (Scirtothrips hansoni) that belongs to the genus Wolbachia. The 16S amplicon analyses were extended to more samples and higher resolution using the V4–V5 hypervariable region. The results showed six additional bacteria phyla, confirming the previous observation for the dominant bacterial groups made in S. hansoni and the detection of the alternation of highly predominant genera among these thrips. Our results demonstrate that endosymbiont such as Wolbachia sp. are part of the microbiota of these pests, thereby indicating the possibility of employing this type of bacterium to improve the management of avocado thrips globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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14 pages, 3168 KiB  
Article
Mitochondrial Genomes of two Lycosa spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae): Genome Description and Phylogenetic Implications
by Wentao Ye, Jiachen Wang, Xinyi Zhao, Hongyi Liu and Sheng Zhu
Diversity 2022, 14(7), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14070538 - 3 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2456
Abstract
We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of Lycosa shansia, and Lycosa singoriensis by combining Sanger and next-generation sequencing methods and analyzed the sequenced genomes in order to explore the phylogenetic placement and the mitogenome composition and evolution of these species. The mitochondrial genome [...] Read more.
We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes of Lycosa shansia, and Lycosa singoriensis by combining Sanger and next-generation sequencing methods and analyzed the sequenced genomes in order to explore the phylogenetic placement and the mitogenome composition and evolution of these species. The mitochondrial genome of L. shansia was 14,638 bp, whereas that of L. singoriensis was 13,686 bp. The type of genes and direction of the coding strand present in the mitogenomes were the same as those in other species of Lycosoidea, including two ribosomal RNA genes (rRNAs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNAs), and 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs). The mitogenomes of the two species exhibited negative AT and positive GC skews. This indicated that the nucleotide compositions of the mitogenomes of L. singoriensis and L. shansia tended to be T and G. Both the mean and median values of Ka/Ks of ATP8 were the highest among the 13 protein-coding genes, indicating that it might have evolved more rapidly than the other protein-coding genes in both species. ATP8 may have undergone more relaxed selection constraints and accumulated more mutations. In addition, many tRNAs lacked T and D stem loops; a few had no acceptor stems. The assessed species were recovered nested within Lycosidae with high support. The present findings will be useful for future studies on the mitogenome evolution of spiders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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16 pages, 12629 KiB  
Article
Microscopic Identification of Anatomical Elements and Chemical Analysis of Secondary Nests of Vespa velutina nigrithorax du Buyson
by Nazaret Crespo, José Louzada, Lisete S. Fernandes, Pedro B. Tavares and José Aranha
Insects 2022, 13(6), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13060537 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2831
Abstract
Vespa velutina accidentally arrived in Europe (France) in 2004, and rapidly expanded throughout the entire country. Its presence in mainland Portugal was first noticed in 2011. Being an invasive species with no natural predators in the region to control it, it has caused [...] Read more.
Vespa velutina accidentally arrived in Europe (France) in 2004, and rapidly expanded throughout the entire country. Its presence in mainland Portugal was first noticed in 2011. Being an invasive species with no natural predators in the region to control it, it has caused enormous environmental and economic damage, particularly on Apis mellifera (honeybee) colonies. Although there is already some research on this species’ biology, little is known about its adaption to European ecological conditions, specifically in terms of nest building. This type of hornet builds a primary nest in the spring to start a colony. During the summer, they build a secondary nest to develop the main colony. These secondary nests are ovoid-shaped and range in size from 18.7 cm to 45.0 cm in diameter and from 19.2 cm to 65.0 cm in length, attaining their highest development in late summer. The external appearance of these nests is characterized by alternating stripes that are beige and brown in color. The main objective of this study is to identify the composition and the origin of the materials that are used by Vespa velutina nigrithorax to build the outer envelope of these secondary nests. This information could be very interesting and will not only increase our knowledge on the biology of the species in regions far from its original area, but will also be relevant for the future implementation of new policies to control this invasive species by means biological control. Several samples were taken from each nest and were observed under different optical magnifying devices. In the second stage, their chemical composition was analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDS). It was noticed that almost all of the materials used in the nests’ construction were lignocellulose from woody materials from both softwood (gymnosperm) and hardwood (angiosperm) forest species as well from leaves and small particles of agricultural origin (grasses). The beige strips were formed almost exclusively from woody softwood cells, while the brown strips were composed of hardwood cells, leaf tissues, and grasses. Chemically, it was noticed that this material mainly consisted of cellulose, with more than 99% being composed of C and O and very little mineral material from elements such as Na, Al, Si, K, and Ca. The achieved results allow us to state that in the construction of these secondary nests, these hornets only used organic materials that are then probably agglomerated through their mouths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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14 pages, 1874 KiB  
Article
Soldier Caste-Specific Protein 1 Is Involved in Soldier Differentiation in Termite Reticulitermes aculabialis
by Zhiwei Wu, Yunliang Du, Zhenya Li, Ruiyao Guo, Yiying Li, Jizhen Wei, Xinming Yin and Lijuan Su
Insects 2022, 13(6), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13060502 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2007
Abstract
Termite soldiers are a unique caste among social insects, and their differentiation can be induced by Juvenile hormone (JH) from workers through two molts (worker–presoldier–soldier). However, the molecular mechanism underlying the worker-to-soldier transformation in termites is poorly understood. To explore the mechanism of [...] Read more.
Termite soldiers are a unique caste among social insects, and their differentiation can be induced by Juvenile hormone (JH) from workers through two molts (worker–presoldier–soldier). However, the molecular mechanism underlying the worker-to-soldier transformation in termites is poorly understood. To explore the mechanism of soldier differentiation induced by JH, the gene soldier caste-specific protein 1 (RaSsp1, NCBI accession no: MT861054.1) in R. aculabialis was cloned, and its function was studied. This gene was highly expressed in the soldier caste, and the protein RsSsp1 was similar to the JHBP (JH-binding protein) domain-containing protein by Predict Protein online. In addition, JHIII could be anchored in the hydrophobic cage of RaSsp1 as the epoxide of the JHBP-bound JH according to the protein ligand molecular docking online tool AutoDock. The functional studies indicated that knocking down of the RaSsp1 shorted the presoldier’s head capsule, reduced mandible size, delayed molting time and decreased molting rate (from worker to presoldier) at the beginning of worker gut-purging. Furthermore, knocking down of the RaSsp1 had a more pronounced effect on soldier differentiation (from presoldier to soldier), and manifested in significantly shorter mandibles, rounder head capsules, and lower molting rate (from worker to presoldier) at the beginning of presoldier gut-purging. Correspondingly, the expressions of JH receptor Methoprene-tolerant (Met), the JH-inducible transcription factor Krüppel homolog1 (Kr-h1) and ecdysone signal genes Broad-complex (Br-C) were downregulated when knocking down the RaSsp1 at the above two stages. All these results that RaSsp1 may be involved in soldier differentiation from workers by binding and transporting JH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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19 pages, 5087 KiB  
Article
Ultrastructure Traits and Genetic Variability of Red Palm Weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) Adults from Different Geographical Locations in Egypt
by Islam R. M. El-Zoghby, Nabil S. Awad, Abeer Mousa Alkhaibari and Naglaa F. Abdel-Hameid
Diversity 2022, 14(5), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14050404 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2811
Abstract
The Red Palm Weevil (RPW) is one of the most damaging pests to palm cultivation; this invasive weevil poses a threat to the palm industry. The characterization and identification of this pest in order to determine its biological diversity is the first step [...] Read more.
The Red Palm Weevil (RPW) is one of the most damaging pests to palm cultivation; this invasive weevil poses a threat to the palm industry. The characterization and identification of this pest in order to determine its biological diversity is the first step in controlling it, which will help in developing effective control programs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the biodiversity of and characterize RPW from five different Egyptian geographical locations at morphological and genetic levels using morphometric analysis, scanning electronic microscopy and two different genetic markers. Our results revealed no significant differences between length and width of the adult body among RPW adults from different geographical locations. Different typologies of prothoracic spots were observed, indicating a degree of diversity in the RPW populations. The magnitude of the different body parts was measured among both males and females. Significant differences were exhibited between length of the antennal seta, as well as forelegs, the lengths and widths of the pronotum, and the rostrum length between both sexes. Both RAPD and ISSR used DNA markers, generating reproducible and distinct banding patterns. The polymorphic banding patterns that have resulted from all studied populations confirmed that these markers demonstrate genetic variability amongst the studied Egyptian populations of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. The recorded differences may be due to the presence of different red palm weevil genotypes. The obtained results might have potential applications in developing a new tracking and control strategy for this invasive pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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15 pages, 1927 KiB  
Article
Exploring Compound Eyes in Adults of Four Coleopteran Species Using Synchrotron X-ray Phase-Contrast Microtomography (SR-PhC Micro-CT)
by Anita Giglio, Maria Luigia Vommaro, Raffaele Giuseppe Agostino, Lai Ka Lo and Sandro Donato
Life 2022, 12(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12050741 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3089
Abstract
Compound eyes in insects are primary visual receptors of surrounding environments. They show considerable design variations, from the apposition vision of most day-active species to the superposition vision of nocturnal insects, that sacrifice resolution to increase sensitivity and are able to overcome the [...] Read more.
Compound eyes in insects are primary visual receptors of surrounding environments. They show considerable design variations, from the apposition vision of most day-active species to the superposition vision of nocturnal insects, that sacrifice resolution to increase sensitivity and are able to overcome the challenges of vision during lightless hours or in dim habitats. In this study, Synchrotron radiation X-ray phase-contrast microtomography was used to describe the eye structure of four coleopteran species, showing species-specific habitat demands and different feeding habits, namely the saproxylic Clinidium canaliculatum (Costa, 1839) (Rhysodidae), the omnivorous Tenebrio molitor (Linnaeus, 1758) and Tribolium castaneum (Herbest, 1797) (Tenebrionidae), and the generalist predator Pterostichus melas italicus (Dejean, 1828) (Carabidae). Virtual sections and 3D volume renderings of the heads were performed to evaluate the application and limitations of this technique for studying the internal dioptrical and sensorial parts of eyes, and to avoid time-consuming methods such as ultrastructural analyses and classic histology. Morphological parameters such as the area of the corneal facet lens and cornea, interocular distance, facet density and corneal lens thickness were measured, and differences among the studied species were discussed concerning the differences in lifestyle and habitat preferences making different demands on the visual system. Our imaging results provide, for the first time, morphological descriptions of the compound eyes in these species, supplementing their ecological and behavioural traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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11 pages, 2118 KiB  
Communication
Distribution of Phlebotomine Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the Lombardy Region, Northern Italy
by Francesco Defilippo, Maya Carrera, Davide Lelli, Sabrina Canziani, Ana Moreno, Enrica Sozzi, Giovanni Manarolla, Mario Chiari, Farioli Marco, Monica Pierangela Cerioli and Antonio Lavazza
Insects 2022, 13(5), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050463 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
This study investigated the species composition and density of sand flies in the Lombardy region (Northern Italy). Sand flies were collected using CDC traps baited with CO2 (CO2–CDC traps) between June and August 2021. A total of 670 sand flies [...] Read more.
This study investigated the species composition and density of sand flies in the Lombardy region (Northern Italy). Sand flies were collected using CDC traps baited with CO2 (CO2–CDC traps) between June and August 2021. A total of 670 sand flies were collected. The specimens were identified as seven species belonging to two genera, Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia, namely, S. minuta, Ph. perniciosus, Ph. perfiliewii, Ph. neglectus, Ph. mascitti, Ph. papatasi, and Ph. ariasi. Phlebotomus perniciosus was the most abundant species (87.76%), followed by Ph. perfiliewii (7.31%), Ph. neglectus (3.13%), S. minuta (0.75%), Ph. mascitti (0.6%), Ph. papatasi (0.3%), and Ph. ariasi, for which only one specimen was identified. Among these identified species, five are considered vectors of Leishmania, which causes cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. As vector presence increases the risk of vector-borne leishmaniasis, these results suggest that Northern Italy could be a potential area of pathogen circulation over the next few years. These preliminary results suggest that the risk of borne leishmaniasis is high in this region of Northern Italy. Monitoring the distribution of sand fly species in areas suitable for their persistence is important for control programs aimed at reducing the risk of leishmaniasis infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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