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Insects, Volume 12, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 106 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): eDNA metabarcoding is an effective molecular-based identification method for the biosurveillance of flighted insects. This study identified Culicoides species using eDNA metabarcoding and compared these results to morphological identifications of trapped specimens. Insects were collected using ultraviolet lighted fan traps containing a saturated salt (NaCl) solution. Molecular identification detected four species: C. biguttatus, C. stellifer, C. obsoletus, and C. mulrennani. Using morphological identification, two out of these four taxonomic ranks were confirmed at the species level (C. biguttatus/C. stellifer) and one was confirmed at the subgenus level (C. obsoletus). In conclusion, the saturated salt (NaCl) solution preserved the Culicoides’ morphological characteristics and the eDNA. View this paper
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Article
Morphometric Analysis of Coptotermes spp. Soldier Caste (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) in Indonesia and Evidence of Coptotermes gestroi Extreme Head-Capsule Shapes
Insects 2021, 12(5), 477; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050477 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Linear and geometric morphometrics approaches were conducted to analyze the head capsule (HC) shape of collected soldier caste specimens of Coptotermes from various locations in Indonesia. The soldiers’ morphology was observed and measured. The results of the principal component analysis of the group [...] Read more.
Linear and geometric morphometrics approaches were conducted to analyze the head capsule (HC) shape of collected soldier caste specimens of Coptotermes from various locations in Indonesia. The soldiers’ morphology was observed and measured. The results of the principal component analysis of the group of all species showed two important groups of variables, i.e., the body size and setae characteristics of the pronotum and head. The multicollinearity of the morphometric variables showed the importance of body measurements as well as important alternative characteristics such as the pronotum setae (PrS) and HC setae. Four trends of HC shape were observed across the species. Interestingly, three extreme shapes were depicted by geometric morphometrics of the C. gestroi HC. The phylogenetic tree inferred from 12S and 16S mitochondrial gene fragments showed high confidence for C. gestroi populations. The lateral expansion of the posterior part of the HC across the species was in accordance with the increasing of the number of hairlike setae on the pronotum and HC. These differences among species might be associated with mandible-force-related defensive labor and sensitivity to environmental stressors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Termite Management)
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Article
Evaluation of Ethanol Extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. as Acaricide against Oligonychus punicae Hirst (Trombidiformes: Tetranychidae)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 476; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050476 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Tetranychidae family is a major group of mites causing serious damage in agricultural, vegetable and ornamental crops. Avocado bronze mite (ABM), Oligonychus punicae Hirst (Acari: Tetranychidae) causes major crop damage, defoliation and fruit abortion. At present, the control of this mite depends mainly [...] Read more.
Tetranychidae family is a major group of mites causing serious damage in agricultural, vegetable and ornamental crops. Avocado bronze mite (ABM), Oligonychus punicae Hirst (Acari: Tetranychidae) causes major crop damage, defoliation and fruit abortion. At present, the control of this mite depends mainly on agrochemicals. Therefore it is necessary to find alternatives to synthetic pesticides that can help minimize environmental impact and health risks for the consumers. The aim of this research was to assess the effect of different concentrations (0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20% (v/v)) of ethanolic extract of Moringa oleifera leaves against adult ABM females. Mites treated with 0.1 and 20% (v/v) of the extract showed mortality of 0.00% and 46.67%, 6.67% and 86.67%, 13.70% and 96.67%, at 24, 48 and 72 h, as compared to the control treatment, respectively. The number of eggs laid and hatch, as well as ABM feeding rates, depended on the extract concentration, which led to a reduction in the growth rate. M. oleifera leaf ethanolic extract has potential to control O. punicae. Full article
Article
Effect of Processed Beverage By-Product-Based Diets on Biological Parameters, Conversion Efficiency and Body Composition of Hermetia illucens (L) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 475; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050475 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 512
Abstract
The effect of spent coffee grounds (SCG), brewer’s spent grains (BSG) and their mixtures with the addition of brewer’s yeast (BY) were tested in two rearing densities of the Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens (L.). Different treatments were investigated on larval development, survival, [...] Read more.
The effect of spent coffee grounds (SCG), brewer’s spent grains (BSG) and their mixtures with the addition of brewer’s yeast (BY) were tested in two rearing densities of the Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens (L.). Different treatments were investigated on larval development, survival, yield, protein conversion (PrCR) and bioconversion rate (BCR), substrate mass reduction and body composition of the insect. BSF larvae were able to develop sufficiently in all diets, except on sole SCG. The addition of BY enhanced the performance properties of diets, especially in the case of SCG, where larvae underperformed. Substrate mass reduction, PrCR and BCR were affected only by feed and exhibited higher values on reference feed, followed by BSG and SCG+BSG enriched with BY. Density did not have a significant effect on various larval nutrients, except for fat, which was higher on larvae fed enriched feeds with BY and in the 300 larval density. The interaction between feed and density strongly affected the nitrogen and protein levels, larval yield and ash. Generally, diets which contained SCG exhibited high larval crude protein levels. Our results illustrate that low value beverage by-products can be successfully utilized as constituents of a successful BSF diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
Genotype and Trait Specific Responses to Rapamycin Intake in Drosophila melanogaster
Insects 2021, 12(5), 474; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050474 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Rapamycin is a powerful inhibitor of the TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway, which is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase, that plays a central role in plants and animals. Rapamycin is used globally as an immunosuppressant and as an anti-aging medicine. Despite widespread use, [...] Read more.
Rapamycin is a powerful inhibitor of the TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway, which is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase, that plays a central role in plants and animals. Rapamycin is used globally as an immunosuppressant and as an anti-aging medicine. Despite widespread use, treatment efficiency varies considerably across patients, and little is known about potential side effects. Here we seek to investigate the effects of rapamycin by using Drosophila melanogaster as model system. Six isogenic D. melanogaster lines were assessed for their fecundity, male longevity and male heat stress tolerance with or without rapamycin treatment. The results showed increased longevity and heat stress tolerance for male flies treated with rapamycin. Conversely, the fecundity of rapamycin-exposed individuals was lower than for flies from the non-treated group, suggesting unwanted side effects of the drug in D. melanogaster. We found strong evidence for genotype-by-treatment interactions suggesting that a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to treatment with rapamycin is not recommendable. The beneficial responses to rapamycin exposure for stress tolerance and longevity are in agreement with previous findings, however, the unexpected effects on reproduction are worrying and need further investigation and question common believes that rapamycin constitutes a harmless drug. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect and Human Societies)
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Article
Adult Feeding Preference and Fecundity in the Large Pine Weevil, Hylobius abietis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 473; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050473 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Adult feeding preferences of Hylobius abietis on Picea abies, Larix decidua, Pinus sylvestris, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies alba and Betula pendula were tested in outdoor conditions. The preferred food source was P. menziesii, and the mean bark area consumed [...] Read more.
Adult feeding preferences of Hylobius abietis on Picea abies, Larix decidua, Pinus sylvestris, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies alba and Betula pendula were tested in outdoor conditions. The preferred food source was P. menziesii, and the mean bark area consumed per seedling was 440.8 ± 147.9 mm2. The second most preferred host was P. abies. The coniferous species that suffered the least damage was A. alba (76.8 ± 62.56 mm2 per seedling). B. pendula was the least preferred source of food, and it caused mortality of 60% of weevils that fed on it. Weevils exhibited large differences in fecundity when fed with different tree species in a laboratory experiment. The largest number of eggs was laid by females fed with P. abies. Mean egg numbers reached 26.4 ± 24.89 eggs per experiment for P. abies. Similar fecundity was observed in weevils fed with twigs of P. sylvestris. Oviposition was approximately six times lower in females fed with L. decidua and P. menziesii. The maximum number of eggs laid by a single female during a one-month experiment was 90. The results are discussed in relation to management of H. abietis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of True Weevils (Curculionidae))
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Editorial
Edible Insects and Global Food Security
Insects 2021, 12(5), 472; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050472 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Starting in 2008 and lasting up until 2011, the crisis in agricultural and, in particular, cereal prices triggered a period of riots that spread from the Mediterranean basin to the rest of the world, reaching from Asia to Central America and the African [...] Read more.
Starting in 2008 and lasting up until 2011, the crisis in agricultural and, in particular, cereal prices triggered a period of riots that spread from the Mediterranean basin to the rest of the world, reaching from Asia to Central America and the African continent. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects and Global Food Security)
Article
Biological and Host Range Characteristics of Lysathia flavipes (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a Candidate Biological Control Agent of Invasive Ludwigia spp. (Onagraceae) in the USA
Insects 2021, 12(5), 471; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050471 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Exotic water primroses (Ludwigia spp.) are aggressive invaders in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. To date, management of exotic Ludwigia spp. has been limited to physical and chemical control methods. Biological control provides an alternative approach for the management of invasive Ludwigia spp. but [...] Read more.
Exotic water primroses (Ludwigia spp.) are aggressive invaders in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. To date, management of exotic Ludwigia spp. has been limited to physical and chemical control methods. Biological control provides an alternative approach for the management of invasive Ludwigia spp. but little is known regarding the natural enemies of these exotic plants. Herein the biology and host range of Lysathia flavipes (Boheman), a herbivorous beetle associated with Ludwigia spp. in Argentina and Uruguay, was studied to determine its suitability as a biocontrol agent for multiple closely related target weeds in the USA. The beetle matures from egg to adult in 19.9 ± 1.4 days at 25 °C; females lived 86.3 ± 35.6 days and laid 1510.6 ± 543.4 eggs over their lifespans. No-choice development and oviposition tests were conducted using four Ludwigia species and seven native plant species. Lysathia flavipes showed little discrimination between plant species: larvae aggressively fed and completed development, and the resulting females (F1 generation) oviposited viable eggs on most plant species regardless of origin. These results indicate that L. flavipes is not sufficiently host-specific for further consideration as a biocontrol agent of exotic Ludwigia spp. in the USA and further testing is not warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invasive Plants Using Arthropods)
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Editorial
Improving Whitefly Management
Insects 2021, 12(5), 470; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050470 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 420
Abstract
Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), especially the sweetpotato or cotton whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), are among the most destructive and difficult to manage polyphagous insect pests around the globe [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Whitefly Management)
Article
Sterile Insect Technique: Successful Suppression of an Aedes aegypti Field Population in Cuba
Insects 2021, 12(5), 469; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050469 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 684
Abstract
Dengue virus infections are a serious public health problem worldwide. Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of dengue in Cuba. As there is no vaccine or specific treatment, the control efforts are directed to the reduction of mosquito populations. The indiscriminate use of [...] Read more.
Dengue virus infections are a serious public health problem worldwide. Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of dengue in Cuba. As there is no vaccine or specific treatment, the control efforts are directed to the reduction of mosquito populations. The indiscriminate use of insecticides can lead to adverse effects on ecosystems, including human health. The sterile insect technique is a species-specific and environment-friendly method of insect population control based on the release of large numbers of sterile insects, ideally males only. The success of this technique for the sustainable management of agricultural pests has encouraged its evaluation for the population suppression of mosquito vector species. Here, we describe an open field trial to evaluate the effect of the release of irradiated male Ae. aegypti on a wild population. The pilot trial was carried out in a suburb of Havana and compared the mosquito population density before and after the intervention, in both untreated control and release areas. The wild population was monitored by an ovitrap network, recording frequency and density of eggs as well as their hatch rate. A significant amount of sterility was induced in the field population of the release area, as compared with the untreated control area. The ovitrap index and the mean number of eggs/trap declined dramatically after 12 and 5 weeks of releases, respectively. For the last 3 weeks, no eggs were collected in the treatment area, clearly indicating a significant suppression of the wild target population. We conclude that the sterile males released competed successfully and induced enough sterility to suppress the local Ae. aegypti population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) and Its Applications)
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Article
Geographic Monitoring of Insecticide Resistance Mutations in Native and Invasive Populations of the Fall Armyworm
Insects 2021, 12(5), 468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050468 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 754
Abstract
Field evolved resistance to insecticides is one of the main challenges in pest control. The fall armyworm (FAW) is a lepidopteran pest species causing severe crop losses, especially corn. While native to the Americas, the presence of FAW was confirmed in West Africa [...] Read more.
Field evolved resistance to insecticides is one of the main challenges in pest control. The fall armyworm (FAW) is a lepidopteran pest species causing severe crop losses, especially corn. While native to the Americas, the presence of FAW was confirmed in West Africa in 2016. Since then, the FAW has been detected in over 70 countries covering sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. In this study, we tested whether this invasion was accompanied by the spread of resistance mutations from native to invasive areas. We observed that mutations causing Bt resistance at ABCC2 genes were observed only in native populations where the mutations were initially reported. Invasive populations were found to have higher gene numbers of cytochrome P450 genes than native populations and a higher proportion of multiple resistance mutations at acetylcholinesterase genes, supporting strong selective pressure for resistance against synthetic insecticides. This result explains the susceptibility to Bt insecticides and resistance to various synthetic insecticides in Chinese populations. These results highlight the necessity of regular and standardized monitoring of insecticide resistance in invasive populations using both genomic approaches and bioassay experiments. Full article
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Article
Molecular Identification of Trissolcus japonicus, Parasitoid of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, by Species-Specific PCR
Insects 2021, 12(5), 467; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050467 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 587
Abstract
The samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), has been proposed as a biocontrol agent against brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB), due to its ability to parasitize and kill BMSB eggs. However, the wasps’ small size makes it challenging for those untrained in morphological identification [...] Read more.
The samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), has been proposed as a biocontrol agent against brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB), due to its ability to parasitize and kill BMSB eggs. However, the wasps’ small size makes it challenging for those untrained in morphological identification to determine the wasps’ species. To circumvent this problem, a molecular method was created to identify T. japonicus. The method uses species-specific primers, designed in this study, which target the variable region of the mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase 1 (CO1) locus. After confirming successful DNA extraction from samples, the PCR amplification using our primers produced 227-bp PCR products for all T. japonicus specimens and no amplification in other microhymenoptera candidates. Additionally, DNA from BMSB-parasitized eggs gave positive PCR amplification, while the control BMSB samples showed no amplification. This indicates that PCR with our primers specifically and sensitively differentiates T. japonicus specimens from other similar wasp species and discriminates between T. japonicus-parasitized and non-parasitized BMSB eggs. Finally, an in silico analysis of CO1 sequences demonstrated that our primers match the sequences of four different haplotypes of T. japonicus, indicating that our diagnostic method could potentially be applied to analyze T. japonicus populations throughout North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. Full article
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Article
Utilizing Red Spotted Apollo Butterfly Transcriptome to Identify Antimicrobial Peptide Candidates against Porphyromonas gingivalis
Insects 2021, 12(5), 466; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050466 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Classical antibiotics are the foremost treatment strategy against microbial infections. Overuse of this has led to the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are natural defense elements present across many species including humans, insects, bacteria, and plants. Insect AMPs are our area [...] Read more.
Classical antibiotics are the foremost treatment strategy against microbial infections. Overuse of this has led to the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are natural defense elements present across many species including humans, insects, bacteria, and plants. Insect AMPs are our area of interest, because of their stronger abilities in host defense. We have deciphered AMPs from an endangered species Parnassius bremeri, commonly known as the red spotted apollo butterfly. It belongs to the second largest insect order Lepidoptera, comprised of butterflies and moths, and lives in the high altitudes of Russia, China, and Korea. We aimed at identifying the AMPs from the larvae stages. The rationale of choosing this stage is that the P. bremeri larvae development occurs at extremely low temperature conditions, which might serve as external stimuli for AMP production. RNA was isolated from larvae (L1 to L5) instar stages and subjected to next generation sequencing. The transcriptomes obtained were curated in in-silico pipelines. The peptides obtained were screened for requisite AMP physicochemical properties and in vitro antimicrobial activity. With the sequential screening and validation, we obtained fifteen candidate AMPs. One peptide TPS–032 showed promising antimicrobial activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis, a primary causative organism of periodontitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects and Their Derivatives for Human Practical Uses)
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Article
Ornithologists’ Help to Spiders: Factors Influencing Spiders Overwintering in Bird Nesting Boxes
Insects 2021, 12(5), 465; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050465 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Spiders are common inhabitants of tree hollows, as well as bird nesting boxes, especially in autumn and winter. Some species of spiders use bird nesting boxes for overwintering. We investigated spider assemblages in nesting boxes and how temperature influences the abundance of overwintering [...] Read more.
Spiders are common inhabitants of tree hollows, as well as bird nesting boxes, especially in autumn and winter. Some species of spiders use bird nesting boxes for overwintering. We investigated spider assemblages in nesting boxes and how temperature influences the abundance of overwintering spiders in nesting boxes in lowland forest in the Czech Republic. The study was conducted in the European winters of 2015–2017. In total, 3511 spider specimens belonging to 16 identified species were collected from nesting boxes over three years in late autumn and winter. Almost all species were arboreal specialists. The dominant species were Clubiona pallidula, Anyphaena accentuata, Platnickina tincta, and Steatoda bipunctata. Although the tree species had no effect on the abundance of overwintering spiders, the presence of nest material affected the abundance of spiders in the nesting boxes (preferred by C. pallidula and P. tincta). In general, spiders resettled nesting boxes during winter only sporadically, however A. accentuata reoccupied boxes continuously, and its activity was positively correlated with the outside temperature. Nesting boxes support insect-eaters all year around—birds during spring and summer and spiders during autumn and winter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Trissolcus kozlovi in North Italy: Host Specificity and Augmentative Releases against Halyomorpha halys in Hazelnut Orchards
Insects 2021, 12(5), 464; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050464 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 671
Abstract
Trissolcus kozlovi (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) emerged from field-laid eggs of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in North Italy, and it emerged in significantly higher numbers from fresh H. halys eggs compared to other native scelionids. Since few data on T. kozlovi are available, its host-specificity [...] Read more.
Trissolcus kozlovi (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) emerged from field-laid eggs of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in North Italy, and it emerged in significantly higher numbers from fresh H. halys eggs compared to other native scelionids. Since few data on T. kozlovi are available, its host-specificity and some biological traits were investigated in laboratory tests, and its impact after augmentative releases was evaluated in two hazelnut orchards. Among the 12 tested bug species (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae, Scutelleridae), only Nezara viridula was an unsuitable host, while the highest offspring proportions were obtained from Arma custos, Pentatoma rufipes, and Peribalus strictus, followed by Acrosternum heegeri and Palomena prasina. Furthermore, when reared on P. strictus, T. kozlovi showed a high longevity as well as a high adaptation to H. halys eggs. In both hazelnut orchards, T. kozlovi emerged from H. halys eggs after field releases, but it was not found in the next two years. The physiological host range of T. kozlovi was quite similar to that of T. japonicus, and probably T. kozlovi has just begun to attack H. halys as a new host. This aspect needs to be further investigated, as well as its favorable environmental conditions, its distribution and also its possible interaction with T. japonicus, currently present in Italy. Full article
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Article
The Host Range and Risk Assessment of the Stem-Boring Weevil, Listronotus setosipennis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Proposed for the Biological Control of Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) in Pakistan
Insects 2021, 12(5), 463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050463 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Parthenium, or Parthenium hysterophorus, has extended its range in Pakistan throughout Punjab and into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Sindh Provinces. Without control measures against parthenium, the negative impacts of this weed will go unchecked [...] Read more.
Parthenium, or Parthenium hysterophorus, has extended its range in Pakistan throughout Punjab and into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Sindh Provinces. Without control measures against parthenium, the negative impacts of this weed will go unchecked having deleterious effects on native biodiversity, human and animal health, as well as crop productivity. The weevil Listronotus setosipennis was obtained and imported from the Plant Health and Protection of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC-PHP), in Cedara, South Africa, in April 2019. A total of 22 plant species or cultivars in the Asteraceae family were assessed during no-choice oviposition tests in Pakistan. During these tests, the only plant species accepted for oviposition were the 10 cultivars of Helianthus annuus that are grown in Pakistan. All cultivars were thus tested for development of L. setosipennis from egg to adult. Only three cultivars were able to support some larval development, but at such low levels that it is unlikely to be the basis of a viable population. To support this, a risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the probability of L. setosipennis being able to sustain viable populations in the field, the results of which concur with native (Argentina) and introduced (Australia) field host-range information where L. setosipennis has never been recorded as a pest of sunflowers. The results of laboratory-based host-range trials, together with host records from its native and introduced range, indicate that L. setosipennis is sufficiently specific to parthenium and is thus suitable for release in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Invasive Plants Using Arthropods)
Communication
Monitoring Exotic Beetles with Inexpensive Attractants: A Case Study
Insects 2021, 12(5), 462; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050462 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Detecting and monitoring exotic and invasive Coleoptera is a complex activity to implement, and citizen science projects can provide significant contributions to such plans. Bottle traps are successfully used in wildlife surveys and can also be adapted for monitoring alien species; however, a [...] Read more.
Detecting and monitoring exotic and invasive Coleoptera is a complex activity to implement, and citizen science projects can provide significant contributions to such plans. Bottle traps are successfully used in wildlife surveys and can also be adapted for monitoring alien species; however, a sustainable, large scale trapping plan must take into account the collateral catches of native species and thus minimize its impact on local fauna. In the present paper, we tested the use of bottles baited with standard food products that can be purchased in every supermarket and immediately used (apple cider vinegar, red wine, and 80% ethyl alcohol) in capturing exotic and invasive beetles in the area surrounding Malpensa Airport (Italy). In particular, we reduced the exposition type of the traps in each sampling round to three days in order to minimize native species collecting. We found a significant effect of the environmental covariates (trap placement, temperature, humidity, and forest type) in affecting the efficiency in catching target beetles. Nearly all invasive Nitidulidae and Scarabaeidae known to be present in the area were captured in the traps, with apple cider vinegar usually being the most effective attractant, especially for the invasive Popillia japonica. Full article
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Review
A Review of Effects of Environment on Brain Size in Insects
Insects 2021, 12(5), 461; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050461 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Brain size fascinates society as well as researchers since it is a measure often associated with intelligence and was used to define species with high “intellectual capabilities”. In general, brain size is correlated with body size. However, there are disparities in terms of [...] Read more.
Brain size fascinates society as well as researchers since it is a measure often associated with intelligence and was used to define species with high “intellectual capabilities”. In general, brain size is correlated with body size. However, there are disparities in terms of relative brain size between species that may be explained by several factors such as the complexity of social behaviour, the ‘social brain hypothesis’, or learning and memory capabilities. These disparities are used to classify species according to an ‘encephalization quotient’. However, environment also has an important role on the development and evolution of brain size. In this review, I summarise the recent studies looking at the effects of environment on brain size in insects, and introduce the idea that the role of environment might be mediated through the relationship between olfaction and vision. I also discussed this idea with studies that contradict this way of thinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross Talking between Insects and Environment)
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Brief Report
Susceptibility of South Texas Aedes aegypti to Pyriproxyfen
Insects 2021, 12(5), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12050460 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
An integral part to integrated mosquito management is to ensure chemical products used for area-wide control are effective against a susceptible population of mosquitoes. Prior to conducting an intervention trial using an insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, in South Texas to control Aedes aegypti [...] Read more.
An integral part to integrated mosquito management is to ensure chemical products used for area-wide control are effective against a susceptible population of mosquitoes. Prior to conducting an intervention trial using an insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, in South Texas to control Aedes aegypti, we conducted a larval bioassay to evaluate baseline levels of susceptibility. We used seven serially-diluted doses ranging from 2.5 ppb to 6.3 × 10−4 ppb. We observed 100% inhibition emergence (IE) at even the lowest dose of 6.3 × 10−4 ppb in our susceptible reference colony of Ae. aegypti Liverpool. In our field strain of Ae. aegypti (F5 colonized from South Texas) we observed 79.8% IE at 6.3 × 10−4 ppb, 17.7% IE at 1.25 × 10−3 ppb, 98.7% IE at 1.25 × 10−2 ppb, and 100% emergence inhibition for the remainder of the doses. Given that commercial pyriproxyfen products are labeled for doses ranging to 50 ppb, we conclude that the field population sampled by this study are susceptible to this insect growth regulator. Full article
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Article
Characterization of Cold Tolerance of Immature Stages of Small Hive Beetle (SHB) Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 459; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050459 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 620
Abstract
The small hive beetle (SHB) Aethina tumida Murray, (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is now a global invasive pest of honey bees, but its cold tolerance potential has not been yet explored. Therefore, we measured the supercooling point (SCP) of different stages of SHBs and also [...] Read more.
The small hive beetle (SHB) Aethina tumida Murray, (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is now a global invasive pest of honey bees, but its cold tolerance potential has not been yet explored. Therefore, we measured the supercooling point (SCP) of different stages of SHBs and also the impact of acclimation on their SCPs and survival as a measure for cold tolerance. Combinations of different temperatures (0, 3, 5, 7, and 10 C) for different hours (1, 3, 5, 7, 12, 24, 35, and 48 h) were used to assess SHB survival. The supercooling points occurred at lower temperatures (−19.4 C) in wandering larvae than in the other stages (pupae: −12.5 C, and feeding larvae: −10.7 C). A lethal temperature (LT50) of feeding larvae was achieved earlier at 4.9 C after 7 h exposure than the wandering larvae (3.7 C at 48 h) and pupae (5.6 C at 48 h). The sum of injurious temperature (SIT) is the most suitable estimation to describe cold resistance of the SHB immatures. The wandering larvae were the most cold tolerant, followed by pupae and feeding larvae based on SIT values of −286.8, −153.7 and −28.7 DD, respectively, and also showed more phenotypic plasticity after acclimation than feeding larvae and slightly more than pupae. Our results show that all stages, i.e., feeding larvae, wandering larvae and pupae, are chill susceptible. However, these stages, especially wandering larvae and pupae, showed the capacity to acclimate to cold temperatures, which may help them to survive in winter for the continuity of the SHB population, especially in a scenario of climate change. Full article
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Article
Costs and Benefits of Wax Production in the Larvae of the Ladybeetle Scymnus nubilus
Insects 2021, 12(5), 458; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050458 - 16 May 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Larvae of the minute aphidophagous Scymnus nubilus Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are common predators in apple orchards, covered by a wax layer that might act as a defense mechanism against natural enemies. However, the costs and benefits of protection conferred by wax remain [...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: Larvae of the minute aphidophagous Scymnus nubilus Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are common predators in apple orchards, covered by a wax layer that might act as a defense mechanism against natural enemies. However, the costs and benefits of protection conferred by wax remain to be assessed. We tested the following hypothesis: there is a trade-off in wax producing ladybeetles between the protection conferred by wax cover and the physiological or behavioral costs associated with its production. We predict that: (1) wax production is an efficient defensive mechanism (against intraguild predation), (2) wax production is associated with detrimental physiological (growth, reproduction) or behavioral effects (behavioral compensation: increased biomass consumption). RESULTS: Tests were carried out in the laboratory with wax and waxless larvae of S. nubilus, with and without lacewing larvae of Chrysoperla agilis (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) being used as a potential intraguild predator of the coccinellid. Waxless individuals were more susceptible to intraguild predation by lacewing larvae. Adults originating from waxless larvae were lighter than the ones originating from wax larvae, suggesting a metabolic cost resulting from a constant need of wax production. Body-weight gain and conversion efficiency were lower in waxless larvae. Biomass consumption was similar, showing that waxless larvae did not compensate for the physiological cost by eating more aphid biomass. CONCLUSION: The results indicate the potential existence of a trade-off between growth and protection associated with wax production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IPM and Pesticide Alternatives for Orchards)
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Article
Global Warming, Advancing Bloom and Evidence for Pollinator Plasticity from Long-Term Bee Emergence Monitoring
Insects 2021, 12(5), 457; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050457 - 16 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Global warming is extending growing seasons in temperate zones, yielding earlier wildflower blooms. Short-term field experiments with non-social bees showed that adult emergence is responsive to nest substrate temperatures. Nonetheless, some posit that global warming will decouple bee flight and host bloom periods, [...] Read more.
Global warming is extending growing seasons in temperate zones, yielding earlier wildflower blooms. Short-term field experiments with non-social bees showed that adult emergence is responsive to nest substrate temperatures. Nonetheless, some posit that global warming will decouple bee flight and host bloom periods, leading to pollination shortfalls and bee declines. Resolving these competing scenarios requires evidence for bees’ natural plasticity in their annual emergence schedules. This study reports direct observations spanning 12–24 years for annual variation in the earliest nesting or foraging activities by 1–4 populations of four native ground-nesting bees: Andrena fulva (Andrenidae), Halictus rubicundus (Halictidae), Habropoda laboriosa and Eucera (Peponapis) pruinosa (Apidae). Calendar dates of earliest annual bee activity ranged across 25 to 45 days, approximating reported multi-decadal ranges for published wildflower bloom dates. Within a given year, the bee H. rubicundus emerged in close synchrony at multiple local aggregations, explicable if meteorological factors cue emergence. Emergence dates were relatable to thermal cues, such as degree day accumulation, soil temperature at nesting depth, and the first pulse of warm spring air temperatures. Similar seasonal flexibilities in bee emergence and wildflower bloom schedules bodes well for bees and bloom to generally retain synchrony despite a warming climate. Future monitoring studies can benefit from several simple methodological improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Apis Pollinators and Global Change)
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Article
Combined Effect of Entomopathogens against Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): Laboratory, Greenhouse and Field Trials
Insects 2021, 12(5), 456; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050456 - 16 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 500
Abstract
Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is one of the most damaging insect pests of onions, Allium cepa L., which is an economically important agricultural crop cultivated worldwide. In this study, the combined application of entomopathogenic nematodes with entomopathogenic fungi against different [...] Read more.
Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is one of the most damaging insect pests of onions, Allium cepa L., which is an economically important agricultural crop cultivated worldwide. In this study, the combined application of entomopathogenic nematodes with entomopathogenic fungi against different soil dwelling stages of T. tabaci was evaluated. The nematodes included Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (VS strain) and Steinernema feltiae (SN strain), and fungi included Beauveria bassiana (WG-11) and Metarhizium anisopliae (WG-02); all four paired combinations (nematode + fungus) were included. In a small cup bioassay, only the combined application of H. bacteriophora and B. bassiana (WG-11) caused a synergistic interaction against pre-pupae, while all other combinations were compatible in an additive manner against pupae and late second instars. In a larger arena, a potted soil bioassay, again, combined applications of both pathogens produced greater mortality compared to single applications of each pathogen; all the combinations exhibited additive interactions, with the highest mortality observed in pre-pupae, followed by pupae and late second instar larvae using H. bacteriophora and B. bassiana (WG-11). Additionally, in the potted plant bioassay, lower adult emergence was observed from treated groups compared to control groups. Under field conditions, lower numbers of adults and larvae were found in treated groups relative to controls. Overall, the pre-pupal stage was more susceptible to the pathogen treatments, followed by pupae and late second instar larvae, and also combined applications of both pathogens suppressed the adult population. Combined application of entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi could be used for integrated pest management (IPM) of T. tabaci in onion production systems. Full article
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Article
Morphological, Ecological, and Molecular Divergence of Conogethes pinicolalis from C. punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 455; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050455 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Conogethes pinicolalis has long been considered as a Pinaceae-feeding type of the yellow peach moth, C. punctiferalis, in Korea. In this study, the divergence of C. pinicolalis from the fruit-feeding moth C. punctiferalis was analyzed in terms of morphology, ecology, and genetics. [...] Read more.
Conogethes pinicolalis has long been considered as a Pinaceae-feeding type of the yellow peach moth, C. punctiferalis, in Korea. In this study, the divergence of C. pinicolalis from the fruit-feeding moth C. punctiferalis was analyzed in terms of morphology, ecology, and genetics. C. pinicolalis differs from C. punctiferalis in several morphological features. Through field observation, we confirmed that pine trees are the host plants for the first generation of C. pinicolalis larvae, in contrast to fruit-feeding C. punctiferalis larvae. We successfully reared C. pinicolalis larvae to adults by providing them pine needles as a diet. From a genetic perspective, the sequences of mitochondrial COI of these two species substantially diverged by an average of 5.46%; moreover, phylogenetic analysis clearly assigned each species to an independent clade. On the other hand, nuclear EF1α showed a lower sequence divergence (2.10%) than COI. Overall, EF1α-based phylogenetic analysis confirmed each species as an independent clade, but a few haplotypes of EF1α indicated incomplete lineage sorting between these two species. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that C. pinicolalis is an independent species according to general taxonomic criteria; however, analysis of the EF1α sequence revealed a short divergence time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Systematics, Phylogeny and Evolution)
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Article
Effect of Cereal α-Amylase/Trypsin Inhibitors on Developmental Characteristics and Abundance of Digestive Enzymes of Mealworm Larvae (Tenebrio molitor L.)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 454; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050454 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
The objective of this work was to investigate the potential effect of cereal α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) on growth parameters and selective digestive enzymes of Tenebrio molitor L. larvae. The approach consisted of feeding the larvae with wheat, sorghum and rice meals containing different [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to investigate the potential effect of cereal α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) on growth parameters and selective digestive enzymes of Tenebrio molitor L. larvae. The approach consisted of feeding the larvae with wheat, sorghum and rice meals containing different levels and composition of α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors. The developmental and biochemical characteristics of the larvae were assessed over feeding periods of 5 h, 5 days and 10 days, and the relative abundance of α-amylase and selected proteases in larvae were determined using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Overall, weight gains ranged from 21% to 42% after five days of feeding. The larval death rate significantly increased in all groups after 10 days of feeding (p < 0.05), whereas the pupation rate was about 25% among larvae fed with rice (Oryza sativa L.) and Siyazan/Esperya wheat meals, and only 8% and 14% among those fed with Damougari and S35 sorghum meals. As determined using the Lowry method, the protein contents of the sodium phosphate extracts ranged from 7.80 ± 0.09 to 9.42 ± 0.19 mg/mL and those of the ammonium bicarbonate/urea reached 19.78 ± 0.16 to 37.47 ± 1.38 mg/mL. The total protein contents of the larvae according to the Kjeldahl method ranged from 44.0 and 49.9 g/100 g. The relative abundance of α-amylase, CLIP domain-containing serine protease, modular serine protease zymogen and C1 family cathepsin significantly decreased in the larvae, whereas dipeptidylpeptidase I and chymotrypsin increased within the first hours after feeding (p < 0.05). Trypsin content was found to be constant independently of time or feed material. Finally, based on the results we obtained, it was difficult to substantively draw conclusions on the likely effects of meal ATI composition on larval developmental characteristics, but their effects on the digestive enzyme expression remain relevant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science of Insect Rearing Systems)
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Article
Mitogenome Analysis of Four Lamiinae Species (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Gene Expression Responses by Monochamus alternatus When Infected with the Parasitic Nematode, Bursaphelenchus mucronatus
Insects 2021, 12(5), 453; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050453 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 502
Abstract
We determined the mitochondrial gene sequence of Monochamus alternatus and three other mitogenomes of Lamiinae (Insect: Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) belonging to three genera (Aulaconotus, Apriona and Paraglenea) to enrich the mitochondrial genome database of Lamiinae and further explore the phylogenetic relationships [...] Read more.
We determined the mitochondrial gene sequence of Monochamus alternatus and three other mitogenomes of Lamiinae (Insect: Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) belonging to three genera (Aulaconotus, Apriona and Paraglenea) to enrich the mitochondrial genome database of Lamiinae and further explore the phylogenetic relationships within the subfamily. Phylogenetic trees of the Lamiinae were built using the Bayesian inference (BI) and maximum likelihood (ML) methods and the monophyly of Monochamus, Anoplophora, and Batocera genera was supported. Anoplophora chinensis, An. glabripennis and Aristobia reticulator were closely related, suggesting they may also be potential vectors for the transmission of the pine wood pathogenic nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) in addition to M. alternatus, a well-known vector of pine wilt disease. There is a special symbiotic relationship between M. alternatus and Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. As the native sympatric sibling species of B. xylophilus, B. mucronatus also has a specific relationship that is often overlooked. The analysis of mitochondrial gene expression aimed to explore the effect of B. mucronatus on the energy metabolism of the respiratory chain of M. alternatus adults. Using RT-qPCR, we determined and analyzed the expression of eight mitochondrial protein-coding genes (COI, COII, COIII, ND1, ND4, ND5, ATP6, and Cty b) between M. alternatus infected by B. mucronatus and M. alternatus without the nematode. Expression of all the eight mitochondrial genes were up-regulated, particularly the ND4 and ND5 gene, which were up-regulated by 4–5-fold (p < 0.01). Since longicorn beetles have immune responses to nematodes, we believe that their relationship should not be viewed as symbiotic, but classed as parasitic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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Article
The Taxonomic History of Ochlerotatus Lynch Arribálzaga, 1891 (Diptera: Culicidae)
Insects 2021, 12(5), 452; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050452 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
A review of all taxonomic actions within the subgenus Ochlerotatus Lynch Arribálzaga, 1891 (Diptera: Culicidae) sensu Reinert et al. (2008) is provided. In particular, the complex historical taxonomic treatment of the type species of this group is dissected and explained in detail. Additionally, [...] Read more.
A review of all taxonomic actions within the subgenus Ochlerotatus Lynch Arribálzaga, 1891 (Diptera: Culicidae) sensu Reinert et al. (2008) is provided. In particular, the complex historical taxonomic treatment of the type species of this group is dissected and explained in detail. Additionally, current challenges with the definition of the subgenus and its constituents are discussed, as are the requisite steps for a successful revision of the taxon. Going forward, we conclude that a taxonomic revision of the species should include a neotype designation for Ochlerotatus scapularis (Rondani, 1848) from topotypical material. Additionally, we provide a review of the characters and taxa that need to be re-evaluated and well-described in order to stabilize the taxonomy of the subgenus. This effort represents a key step towards a stable nomenclature of the Tribe Aedini. Full article
Article
Mining the Species Diversity of Lacewings: New Species of the Pleasing Lacewing Genus Dilar Rambur, 1838 (Neuroptera, Dilaridae) from the Oriental Region
Insects 2021, 12(5), 451; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050451 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 498
Abstract
The species diversity of insects is extraordinarily rich, but still has been insufficiently explored or underestimated particularly for uncommon groups. The pleasing lacewings (Dilaridae) are a little known family of Neuroptera with distinct sexually dimorphic antennae. The species diversity of pleasing lacewings was [...] Read more.
The species diversity of insects is extraordinarily rich, but still has been insufficiently explored or underestimated particularly for uncommon groups. The pleasing lacewings (Dilaridae) are a little known family of Neuroptera with distinct sexually dimorphic antennae. The species diversity of pleasing lacewings was recently found to be severely underestimated and requires a comprehensive investigation, as well as systematic reviews. Here, we report on 12 new species of the pleasing lacewing genus Dilar Rambur, 1838, from the Oriental region, namely D. forcipatus sp. nov. and D. laoticus sp. nov. from Laos (new country record of Dilar); D. malickyi sp. nov., D. phraenus sp. nov. and D. rauschorum sp. nov. from northern Thailand; D. striatus sp. nov. from northern Vietnam; D. cangyuanensis sp. nov., D. daweishanensis sp. nov., D. nujianganus sp. nov., D. weibaoshanensis sp. nov., D. yucheni sp. nov., and D. zhangweiae sp. nov. from Yunnan and Tibet, both in southwestern China. The new species of Dilar display several types of wing marking patterns, and the morphology of the male genitalia is highly diverse. A comprehensive examination of the species diversity and distribution of Dilar concluded that Yunnan (southwestern China) represents a biogeographic region with high endemism and the richest species diversity. The potential correlation between vertical distribution and geographical latitude in Dilar was also analyzed. Full article
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Article
Does the African Citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae (Del Guercio) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), Represent a Phytosanitary Threat to the Citrus Industry in Mexico?
Insects 2021, 12(5), 450; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050450 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
The African citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae (Del Guercio) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a vector of Candidatus Liberibacter africanus (CLaf), a pathogen that causes huanglongbing (HLB) in Africa. Trioza erytreae has invaded areas of Asia and Europe and has threatened citrus production due to its [...] Read more.
The African citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae (Del Guercio) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), is a vector of Candidatus Liberibacter africanus (CLaf), a pathogen that causes huanglongbing (HLB) in Africa. Trioza erytreae has invaded areas of Asia and Europe and has threatened citrus production due to its biological habits and the transmission of CLaf. Mexico is a country where citrus production has a vital role from the economic and social point of view. Therefore, ecological niche modeling (ENM) was used to determine if Mexico has the environmental availability that will allow T. erytreae invasion. We analyzed whether or not the distribution of Casimiroa edulis La Llave (Rutaceae) in the country could be a factor that enables the dispersal of T. eytreae. The environmental connectivity between five points of entry into the country (two ports and three airports) was explored to determine possible routes of dispersal of T. erytrae. The results showed that Mexico has wide availability for the invasion of the African citrus psyllid, which coincides with essential citrus areas of the country and with the distribution of C. edulis. Of the entry points studied, the Port of Veracruz showed nearby areas with environmental connectivity. Preventive monitoring measures for T. erytreae in Mexico should focus on Veracruz state because it has an entry point, ideal environmental availability, citrus areas, and specimens of C. edulis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving IPM of Specialty Crop Pests and Global Food Security)
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Article
Repat33 Acts as a Downstream Component of Eicosanoid Signaling Pathway Mediating Immune Responses of Spodoptera exigua, a Lepidopteran Insect
Insects 2021, 12(5), 449; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050449 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Repat (=response to pathogen) is proposed for an immune-associated gene family from Spodoptera exigua, a lepidopteran insect. In this gene family, 46 members (Repat1Repat46) have been identified. They show marked variations in their inducible expression patterns in response [...] Read more.
Repat (=response to pathogen) is proposed for an immune-associated gene family from Spodoptera exigua, a lepidopteran insect. In this gene family, 46 members (Repat1Repat46) have been identified. They show marked variations in their inducible expression patterns in response to infections by different microbial pathogens. However, their physiological functions in specific immune responses and their interactions with other immune signaling pathways remain unclear. Repat33 is a gene highly inducible by bacterial infections. The objective of this study was to analyze the physiological functions of Repat33 in mediating cellular and humoral immune responses. Results showed that Repat33 was expressed in all developmental stages and induced in immune-associated tissues such as hemocytes and the fat body. RNA interference (RNAi) of Repat33 expression inhibited the hemocyte-spreading behavior which impaired nodule formation of hemocytes against bacterial infections. Such RNAi treatment also down-regulated expression levels of some antimicrobial genes. Interestingly, Repat33 expression was controlled by eicosanoids. Inhibition of eicosanoid biosynthesis by RNAi against a phospholipase A2 (PLA2) gene suppressed Repat33 expression while an addition of arachidonic acid (a catalytic product of PLA2) to RNAi treatment recovered such suppression of Repat33 expression. These results suggest that Repat33 is a downstream component of eicosanoids in mediating immune responses of S. exigua. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
Insecticidal Effect of Entomopathogenic Nematodes and the Cell-Free Supernatant from Their Symbiotic Bacteria against Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) Nymphs
Insects 2021, 12(5), 448; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects12050448 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 567
Abstract
The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) is the primary vector of Xylella fastidiosa (Proteobacteria: Xanthomonadaceae) in Europe, a pest–disease complex of economically relevant crops such as olives, almonds, and grapevine, managed mainly through the use of broad-spectrum pesticides. Providing environmentally sound alternatives [...] Read more.
The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) is the primary vector of Xylella fastidiosa (Proteobacteria: Xanthomonadaceae) in Europe, a pest–disease complex of economically relevant crops such as olives, almonds, and grapevine, managed mainly through the use of broad-spectrum pesticides. Providing environmentally sound alternatives to reduce the reliance on chemical control is a primary challenge in the control of P. spumarius and, hence, in the protection of crops against the expansion of its associated bacterial pathogen. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are well-known biocontrol agents of soil-dwelling arthropods. Recent technological advances in field applications, including improvements in obtaining cell-free supernatant from their symbiotic bacteria, allow their successful implementation against aerial pests. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate, for the first time, the efficacy of EPN applications against nymphal instars of P. spumarius. We tested four EPN species and the cell-free supernatant of their corresponding symbiotic bacteria: Steinernema feltiaeXenorhabdus bovienii, S. carpocapsaeX. nematophila, S. riojaenseX. kozodoii, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophoraPhotorhabdus laumondii subsp. laumondii. First, we showed that 24 and 72 h exposure to the foam produced by P. spumarius nymphs did not affect S. feltiae virulence. The direct application of steinernematid EPNs provided promising results, reaching 90, 78, and 53% nymphal mortality rates after five days of exposure for S. carpocapsae, S. feltiae, and S. riojaense, respectively. Conversely, the application of the cell-free supernatant from P. laumondii resulted in nymphal mortalities of 64%, significantly higher than observed for Xenorhabdus species after five days of exposure. Overall, we demonstrated the great potential of the application of specific EPNs and cell-free supernatant of their symbiont bacteria against P. spumarius nymphs, introducing new opportunities to develop them as biopesticides for integrated management practices or organic vineyard production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entomopathogenic Nematodes: Lethal Parasites of Insects)
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