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Insects, Volume 13, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 87 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The mitochondria are key organelles of the eukaryotic cell. Mitochondria supply the power to the muscles that sustains the sheer beauty of butterflies’ flight. Mitochondria have their own genome, usually named mitogenome. The mitogenome of butterflies, same as in most animals, is a double-stranded circular molecule that encodes for 37 genes. The disposition of the genes varies in the mitogenome of butterflies, and ten different genes orders exist, two of them described for the first time in our research. One gene order, named MIQGO, is very widespread, while the remaining one has a limited distribution. We analyzed more than 600 mitogenomes to study the mechanisms generating the different gene orders. We identified the evolutionary pathways, some very complex, that explain the movements of different mitochondrial genes. View this paper
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Article
Natural Repellents as a Method of Preventing Ant Damage to Microirrigation Systems
Insects 2022, 13(4), 395; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040395 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Ants are important because they damage agricultural equipment, including microirrigation systems. The aim of this research was to assess the efficiency of the incorporation of repellents in drip irrigation tubing as a method of protection against ant damage. Unlike previous studies, we tested [...] Read more.
Ants are important because they damage agricultural equipment, including microirrigation systems. The aim of this research was to assess the efficiency of the incorporation of repellents in drip irrigation tubing as a method of protection against ant damage. Unlike previous studies, we tested a series of nontoxic compounds that are repellent to ants. First, we assessed their repellent effects on a local ant species via olfactometer trials. Then, the candidates showing the best results (cinnamon essential oil, p-anisaldehyde and ethyl anthranilate) were incorporated via compounding, injection and extrusion to polyethylene tubing to test their efficiency in the field. Field tests showed high damage levels in the control tubing containing no repellents, presumably caused by up to six different ant species (Cardiocondyla batesii, Plagiolepis pygmaea, P. schmitzii, Solenopsis sp., Tapinoma nigerrimum and Tetramorium semilaeve). In contrast, the pipes containing the three selected compounds remained almost intact, with the treatment including ethyl anthranilate showing no damage at all. These results suggest the strong repellent potential of the selected compounds, even when integrated into plastic, as well as the apparent success of the proposed methodology against the damage caused by ants. The diversity of damage-causing agents that exist in or above the soil strongly encourages further studies to determine the overall efficiency of repellents in protecting irrigation pipes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Silencing the Autophagy-Related Genes ATG3 and ATG9 Promotes SRBSDV Propagation and Transmission in Sogatella furcifera
Insects 2022, 13(4), 394; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040394 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Autophagy plays diverse roles in the interaction among pathogen, vector, and host. In the plant virus and insect vector system, autophagy can be an antiviral/pro-viral factor to suppress/promote virus propagation and transmission. Here, we report the antiviral role of autophagy-related genes ATG3 and [...] Read more.
Autophagy plays diverse roles in the interaction among pathogen, vector, and host. In the plant virus and insect vector system, autophagy can be an antiviral/pro-viral factor to suppress/promote virus propagation and transmission. Here, we report the antiviral role of autophagy-related genes ATG3 and ATG9 in the white-backed planthopper (Sogatella furcifera) during the process of transmitting the southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV). In this study, we annotated two autophagy-related genes, SfATG3 and SfATG9, from the female S. furcifera transcriptome. The cDNA of SfATG3 and SfATG9 comprised an open reading frame (ORF) of 999 bp and 2295 bp that encodes a protein of 332 and 764 amino acid residues, respectively. SfATG3 has two conserved domains and SfATG9 has one conserved domain. In S. furcifera females exposed to SRBSDV, expression of autophagy-related genes was significantly activated and shared similar temporal patterns to those of SRBSDV S9-1 and S10, all peaking at 4 d post viral exposure. Silencing the expression of SfATG3 and SfATG9 promoted SRBSDV propagation and transmission. This study provides evidence for the first time that S. furcifera autophagy-related genes ATG3 and ATG9 play an antiviral role to suppress SRBSDV propagation and transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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Article
The Early Season Community of Flower-Visiting Arthropods in a High-Altitude Alpine Environment
Insects 2022, 13(4), 393; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040393 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 973
Abstract
In mountain ecosystems, climate change can cause spatiotemporal shifts, impacting the composition of communities and altering fundamental biotic interactions, such as those involving flower-visiting arthropods. On of the main problems in assessing the effects of climate change on arthropods in these environments is [...] Read more.
In mountain ecosystems, climate change can cause spatiotemporal shifts, impacting the composition of communities and altering fundamental biotic interactions, such as those involving flower-visiting arthropods. On of the main problems in assessing the effects of climate change on arthropods in these environments is the lack of baseline data. In particular, the arthropod communities on early flowering high-altitude plants are poorly investigated, although the early season is a critical moment for possible mismatches. In this study, we characterised the flower-visiting arthropod community on the early flowering high-altitude Alpine plant, Androsace brevis (Primulaceae). In addition, we tested the effect of abiotic factors (temperature and wind speed) and other variables (time, i.e., hour of the day, and number of flowers per plant) on the occurrence, abundance, and diversity of this community. A. brevis is a vulnerable endemic species growing in the Central Alps above 2000 m asl and flowering for a very short period immediately after snowmelt, thus representing a possible focal plant for arthropods in this particular moment of the season. Diptera and Hymenoptera were the main flower visitors, and three major features of the community emerged: an evident predominance of anthomyiid flies among Diptera, a rare presence of bees, and a relevant share of parasitoid wasps. Temperature and time (hour of the day), but not wind speed and number of flowers per plant, affected the flower visitors’ activity. Our study contributes to (1) defining the composition of high-altitude Alpine flower-visiting arthropod communities in the early season, (2) establishing how these communities are affected by environmental variables, and (3) setting the stage for future evaluation of climate change effects on flower-visiting arthropods in high-altitude environments in the early season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Insects in Mountain Ecosystems)
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Article
Ant Mortality with Food Competition in Forests along a Temperature Gradient
Insects 2022, 13(4), 392; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040392 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 567
Abstract
The authors elucidated the relationship between temperature and mortality due to food competition in ant communities in forests. A field experiment was conducted using four bait types at six different oak forest sites with different mean annual temperatures in South Korea. The mortality [...] Read more.
The authors elucidated the relationship between temperature and mortality due to food competition in ant communities in forests. A field experiment was conducted using four bait types at six different oak forest sites with different mean annual temperatures in South Korea. The mortality rate due to food competition showed a hump-shaped trend, with temperature distribution being higher at study sites with intermediate temperatures and a linear trend increasing or decreasing with temperature along the temperature gradient. In most species, the mortality rate due to interspecific competition was higher than that due to intraspecific competition, but the dominant species, which were less affected by other species, had a higher mortality rate due to intraspecific competition. In subordinate species that are highly affected by other species, the mortality rate due to intraspecific competition increased as the mortality rate due to interspecific competition decreased. The results indicated that mortality due to inter- or intraspecific competition for food was associated by temperature, density of other species, and species characteristics (body size, dominance, feeding strategy, and aggressiveness). Given the relationship between temperature and mortality due to food competition, the authors expect that changes in competition due to climate warming will affect the fitness of ant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Responses in Cotton Plant to Apolygus lucorum Infestation
Insects 2022, 13(4), 391; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040391 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 600
Abstract
With the wide-scale adoption of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) has become the most serious pest and has caused extensive yield loss in cotton production. However, little is known about the defense responses of cotton at the seedling stage to [...] Read more.
With the wide-scale adoption of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) has become the most serious pest and has caused extensive yield loss in cotton production. However, little is known about the defense responses of cotton at the seedling stage to A. lucorum feeding. In this study, to elucidate the cotton defense mechanism, cotton leaves were damaged by A. lucorum for 0, 4, 12 and 24 h. The transcriptomic results showed that A. lucorum feeding elicits a rapid and strong defense response in gene expression during the whole infestation process in cotton plants. Further analysis revealed that at each assessment time, more differentially expressed genes were up-regulated than down-regulated. The integrated analysis of transcriptomic and metabolic data showed that most of the genes involved in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis were initially up-regulated, and this trend continued during an infestation. Meanwhile, the content levels of JA and its intermediate products were also significantly increased throughout the whole infestation process. The similar trend was displayed in condensed tannins biosynthesis. This research proved that, after plants are damaged by A. lucorum, the JA pathway mediates the defense mechanisms in cotton plants by promoting the accumulation of condensed tannins as a defense mechanism against A. lucorum. These results will help us to discover unknown defensive genes and improve the integrated pest management of A. lucorum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Surveys of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and Its Host Fruits and Associated Parasitoids in Northeastern China
Insects 2022, 13(4), 390; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040390 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), is a worldwide quarantine pest that is currently undergoing a rapid range expansion in the Americas, Europe, and parts of Africa. It feeds and breeds on soft-skinned fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and cherries, and can cause significant [...] Read more.
Spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), is a worldwide quarantine pest that is currently undergoing a rapid range expansion in the Americas, Europe, and parts of Africa. It feeds and breeds on soft-skinned fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and cherries, and can cause significant economic losses to fruit production. This study investigated the occurrence of D. suzukii and its wild host fruits and parasitoids in Liaoning, Northeast China for the first time. Sentinel traps were used to monitor D. suzukii adults, and suspected fruits were collected weekly in four different locations (Wafangdian, Faku, Fengcheng, and Shenyang). The results showed that D. suzukii were distributed in the sweet soft-skinned fruit-production areas of Liaoning, and raspberry was the most infested fruit. During the field survey, four species of wild berries from non-crop habitats were found infested by D. suzukii, and two species of parasitoids (Leptopilina japonica and Asobara japonica) were collected. D. suzukii adult-population dynamics throughout the survey period (June to October) were similar in different survey locations; adult fly populations increased and peaked in August, and then declined until the fly was no longer detectable in October. Full article
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Article
Effects of Larval Diet on the Male Reproductive Traits in the West Indian Sweet Potato Weevils Euscepes postfasciatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Insects 2022, 13(4), 389; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040389 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Larval diet significantly affects adult traits, although less is known about how they affect reproductive traits. Males of West Indian sweet potato weevil Euscepes postfasciatus deliver a remating inhibitor along with sperm to their mates during mating, leading to a refractory period (the [...] Read more.
Larval diet significantly affects adult traits, although less is known about how they affect reproductive traits. Males of West Indian sweet potato weevil Euscepes postfasciatus deliver a remating inhibitor along with sperm to their mates during mating, leading to a refractory period (the period before females mate again). Crossing experiments were conducted using lines reared on artificial diets, including sweet potato powder (AD) or sweet potato tubers (SP) during the larval stage, and the refractory period was examined. We also examined whether the larval diet qualitatively or quantitatively altered male ejaculate. The results showed that the refractory period was significantly longer in the SP treatment than in the AD treatment for males and females. There was no significant difference in ejaculate volume. However, the number of sperm in the testes-seminal vesicles complex was significantly higher in the SP treatment. Additionally, SDS-PAGE revealed that the ejaculate was qualitatively different depending on the larval diet, and one protein of approximately 15 kDa in size was expressed only in the SP treatments. Revealing how larval diet affects reproductive traits in adult males will help shed light on the diverse evolution of insect mating systems and reproductive behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Insect Reproductive Biology)
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Article
The Influence of Planting Periods on Herbivore and Natural Enemy Abundance on Yellow Sticky Traps in Bt Maize Fields
Insects 2022, 13(4), 388; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040388 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Knowledge of the insect densities during crop development is necessary for adopting appropriate measures for the control of insect pests and minimizing yield losses. Within integrated pest management programs, crop rotation has been carried out in recent years, but this current trend delays [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the insect densities during crop development is necessary for adopting appropriate measures for the control of insect pests and minimizing yield losses. Within integrated pest management programs, crop rotation has been carried out in recent years, but this current trend delays the planting period for Bt maize. The small amount of available information regarding the influence of sowing Bt maize early or late on the seasonal abundance of herbivores prompted us to study these aspects in two current common planting periods in northeastern Spain in 52 maize fields over three consecutive years. We sampled the fields planted on different dates with sticky yellow traps. Our results show that only the abundances of herbivore thrips, other than Frankliniella occidentalis, and Syrphidae were significantly different between the two planting periods. Moreover, when we performed yearly analyses, we found significant effects of the planting period on Coccinellidae and Chrysopidae in 2015 and on Aeolothrips sp. in 2016 and 2017. In most of the taxa, the abundance peaks in earlier growth stages, which is related to pollination (before or during). Only the abundances of Stethorus punctillum and Syrphidae peak later in the season. In addition, F. occidentalis, aphids, Syrphidae, and Coccinellidae registered higher abundance in fields sown in the late planting period. These results highlight the effects of sowing in different planting periods on insect dynamics in Bt maize and can be used to identify the abundance of certain pests and natural enemies in specific phenological stages of maize, which may allow producers to adopt better-integrated management and thus avoid reaching the level of economic damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Analysis of Transcriptome Difference between Blood-Fed and Starved Tropical Bed Bug, Cimex hemipterus (F.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)
Insects 2022, 13(4), 387; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040387 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 631
Abstract
The reference transcriptome for Cimex hemipterus (tropical bed bug) was assembled de novo in this study, and differential expression analysis was conducted between blood-fed and starved tropical bed bug. A total of 24,609 transcripts were assembled, with around 79% of them being annotated [...] Read more.
The reference transcriptome for Cimex hemipterus (tropical bed bug) was assembled de novo in this study, and differential expression analysis was conducted between blood-fed and starved tropical bed bug. A total of 24,609 transcripts were assembled, with around 79% of them being annotated against the Eukaryotic Orthologous Groups (KOG) database. The transcriptomic comparison revealed several differentially expressed genes between blood-fed and starved bed bugs, with 38 of them being identifiable. There were 20 and 18 genes significantly upregulated in blood-fed and starved bed bugs, respectively. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were revealed to be associated with regulation, metabolism, transport, motility, immune, and stress response; endocytosis; and signal transduction. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis showed an enrichment of genes encoding steroid biosynthesis, glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis, butanoate metabolism, and autophagy in both blood-fed and starved bed bugs. However, in blood-fed bed bugs, genes involved in histidine metabolism, caffeine metabolism, ubiquinone/terpenoid-quinone biosynthesis, and sulfur relay system were enriched. On the other hand, starvation activates genes related to nicotinate and nicotinamide metabolism, fatty acid elongation, terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450, riboflavin metabolism, apoptosis, and protein export. The present study is the first to report a de novo transcriptomic analysis in C. hemipterus and demonstrated differential responses of bed bugs in facing blood-feeding and starvation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Bioinformatics)
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Article
Seed Dispersal by Ants in Three Early-Flowering Plants
Insects 2022, 13(4), 386; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040386 - 14 Apr 2022
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Interactions between ants and plants vary from being occasionally beneficial to neutral and negative. Ant-mediated dispersal of obligatory myrmecochorous plants is considered mutualistic interaction, providing benefits to plants in terms of seed dispersal. Ants are rewarded by providing elaiosome, sugar, lipid and protein-rich [...] Read more.
Interactions between ants and plants vary from being occasionally beneficial to neutral and negative. Ant-mediated dispersal of obligatory myrmecochorous plants is considered mutualistic interaction, providing benefits to plants in terms of seed dispersal. Ants are rewarded by providing elaiosome, sugar, lipid and protein-rich appendages attached to seeds (diaspores). We experimentally examine rates of diaspore removal rates among three species of plants (snowdrop Galanthus nivalis, hollow root Corydalis cava and European wild ginger Asarum europaeum) under field conditions in two study sites in Central Europe. Diaspore morphology is altered by manipulating both elaiosome and seed size. The small-sized acorn ant Temnothorax crassispinus interacts with the snowdrop and hollow root and the moderately-sized red ant Myrmica ruginodis interacts with European wild ginger. Experimental manipulation with elaiosomes yields largely non-significant results. Diaspore removal rates are generally low (snowdrop 10%, hollow root 26%, European wild ginger 34%) probably due to the small size of ants relative to heavy diaspores. Many ants are observed to consume elaiosomes in situ (cheating). We conclude that ant–plant relationships in this case are not mutualistic but rather neutral/slightly negative, because the plants do not obtain any apparent benefits from their interactions with ants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Societies and Sociality)
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Article
An Odorant Receptor from the Proboscis of the Cotton Bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Narrowly Tuned to Indole
Insects 2022, 13(4), 385; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040385 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 661
Abstract
Helicoverpa armigera is a serious agricultural pest with polyphagous diets, widespread distribution, and causing severe damage. Among sixty-five candidate ORs in H. armigera, the co-receptor HarmOrco and three specific ORs with partial sequences were identified to be expressed in the proboscis by [...] Read more.
Helicoverpa armigera is a serious agricultural pest with polyphagous diets, widespread distribution, and causing severe damage. Among sixty-five candidate ORs in H. armigera, the co-receptor HarmOrco and three specific ORs with partial sequences were identified to be expressed in the proboscis by our previous work, whereas their exact function is not known yet. In this study, we first confirmed the expression of these ORs in the proboscis by full-length cloning, which obtained the complete coding region of HarmOrco, OR24, and OR30. We then performed functional identification of HarmOR24 and OR30 by co-expressing them respectively with HarmOrco in Xenopus oocytes eukaryotic expression system combined with two-electrode voltage-clamp physiology. By testing the response of HarmOR24/OR30-expressing oocytes against eighty structural-divergent compounds, respectively, HarmOR30 was characterized to narrowly tune to indole and showed a specific tuning spectrum compared to its ortholog in Spodoptera littoralis. As indole is a distinctive herbivore-induced plant volatile and floral scent component, HarmOR30 might play roles in foraging and mediating the interactions between H. armigera with its surrounding environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Physiology of Insect Olfaction)
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Article
CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Mutagenesis of Abdominal-A and Ultrabithorax in the Asian Corn Borer, Ostrinia furnacalis
Insects 2022, 13(4), 384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040384 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 656
Abstract
(1) Background: Abdominal-A (Abd-A) and Ultrabithorax (Ubx) are homeotic genes that determine the identity and morphology of the thorax and abdomen in insects. The Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is a devastating maize pest throughout Asia, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Abdominal-A (Abd-A) and Ultrabithorax (Ubx) are homeotic genes that determine the identity and morphology of the thorax and abdomen in insects. The Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is a devastating maize pest throughout Asia, the Western Pacific, and Australia. Building on previous knowledge, we hypothesized that the knockout of Abd-A and Ubx would disrupt the abdominal body planning in O. furnacalis. (2) Methods: CRISPR/Cas9-targeted mutagenesis was employed to decipher the functions of these homeotic genes. (3) Results: Knockout insects demonstrated classical homeotic transformations. Specifically, the mutagenesis of OfAbd-A resulted in: (1) Fused segments and segmental twist during the larval stage; (2) Embryonic lethality; and (3) The pleiotropic upregulation of other homeotic genes, including Lab, Pd, Dfd, Antp, and Abd-B. The mutagenesis of OfUbx led to: (1) Severe defects in the wing pads, which limited the ability of the adults to fly and mate; (2) Female sterility; and (3) The pleiotropic upregulation of other homeotic genes, including Dfd, Abd-B, and Wnt1. (4) Conclusions: These combined results not only support our hypothesis, but they also strengthen the potential of using homeotic genes as molecular targets for the genetic control of this global insect pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Opportunities and Challenges in Insect Functional Genomics)
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Article
New Fossil Xyelidae (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) from the Mesozoic of Northeastern China
Insects 2022, 13(4), 383; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040383 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 633
Abstract
One new genus and species, Leptoxyela eximia gen. et sp. nov., and one new species, Scleroxyela cephalota sp. nov., are described and illustrated based on two well-preserved compression fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation and the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of China, [...] Read more.
One new genus and species, Leptoxyela eximia gen. et sp. nov., and one new species, Scleroxyela cephalota sp. nov., are described and illustrated based on two well-preserved compression fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation and the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of China, respectively. Leptoxyela eximia gen. et sp. nov. is placed in the tribe Angaridyelini, 1966 and Scleroxyela cephalota sp. nov. in the tribe Xyeleciini Benson, 1945; while both tribes are in the subfamily Macroxyelinae Ashmead, 1898 of Xyelidae. A key to the genera of Angaridyelini is provided. In addition, we investigated various angles between Rs+M and 1-Rs for known fossil species of Macroxyelinae, and we found the angle and the length of 1-Rs are correlated; however, we could not see any correlation between the angles and the fossil ages even within a tribe. Furthermore, based on Sc2 connected to R before Rs, the angle between Rs+M and 1-Rs, and the length of the first flagellomere, we believe that the tribe Ceroxyelini may have only one genus of Ceroxyela, and suggest that Isoxyela and Sinoxyela should be transferred to Gigantoxyelini. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fossil Insects: From Carboniferous to Quaternary)
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Article
Genetic Variability of Polypedilum (Diptera: Chironomidae) from Southwest Ecuador
Insects 2022, 13(4), 382; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040382 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Chironomids show a wide distribution and can occupy several habitats due to their high adaptive capacity in different freshwater environments. The genus Polypedilum is found along a wide elevational and environmental gradient in the neotropics, and its genetic variability could help to elucidate [...] Read more.
Chironomids show a wide distribution and can occupy several habitats due to their high adaptive capacity in different freshwater environments. The genus Polypedilum is found along a wide elevational and environmental gradient in the neotropics, and its genetic variability could help to elucidate factors determining its distribution and tolerance to the environmental changes of different species or populations. This study examines the genetic variability of Polypedilum in an important biogeographic area that acts as a geographical barrier of biodiversity at the border of the Choco and Tumbes biomes. We identified five Polypedilum morphotypes using classic taxonomic methods. We examined 68 Polypedilum individuals from eight sampling sites in El Oro Province, Ecuador, analyzing the putative molecular species using the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) mitochondrial gene fragment. Then, we calculated molecular diversity indices, Haplotype diversity (Hd), and θs and θπ estimators. Seven Polypedilum OTUs were determined from which a high molecular diversity was registered. A CCA was conducted to understand the population composition in relation to environmental characteristics. Results indicated that dissolved oxygen and temperature are the main environmental factors affecting Polypedilum distribution across elevational gradients and between basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diptera Diversity in Space and Time)
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Article
Potential of Antimicrobial Peptide-Overexpressed Tenebrio molitor Larvae Extract as a Natural Preservative for Korean Traditional Sauces
Insects 2022, 13(4), 381; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040381 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Here, we aimed to produce a natural food preservative using a crude extract from edible, immunized Tenebrio molitor larvae (iTME), injected with edible bacteria using an edible solvent. Results showed that iTME had concentration-dependent inhibitory activity against food-poisoning bacteria Escherichia coli, Bacillus [...] Read more.
Here, we aimed to produce a natural food preservative using a crude extract from edible, immunized Tenebrio molitor larvae (iTME), injected with edible bacteria using an edible solvent. Results showed that iTME had concentration-dependent inhibitory activity against food-poisoning bacteria Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as against harmful fungi Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, and Pichia anomala. Moreover, iTME showed antimicrobial activity against beneficial microorganisms Bacillus subtilis and Aspergillus oryzae, but not Lactobacillus acidophilus. Furthermore, the minimum inhibitory concentration of iTME against E. coli, B. cereus, and S. aureus was 1 mg/mL, and iTME did not lose its inhibitory activity when treated at varying temperature, pH, and salinity. In addition, the antibacterial activity was lost after reacting the iTME with trypsin and chymotrypsin. The addition of iTME to Ganjang inoculated with harmful bacteria inhibited bacterial growth. Therefore, we propose that iTME can be used as a safe natural preservative to prolong food shelf life by inhibiting the growth of food-poisoning bacteria in a variety of foods, including traditional sauces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Role of Insects in Human Society)
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Article
Improving Widescale Monitoring of Ectoparasite Presence in Northern Canadian Wildlife with the Aid of Citizen Science
Insects 2022, 13(4), 380; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040380 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Sampling hides from harvested animals is commonly used for passive monitoring of ectoparasites on wildlife hosts, but often relies heavily on community engagement to obtain spatially and temporally consistent samples. Surveillance of winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) on moose (Alces alces [...] Read more.
Sampling hides from harvested animals is commonly used for passive monitoring of ectoparasites on wildlife hosts, but often relies heavily on community engagement to obtain spatially and temporally consistent samples. Surveillance of winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) on moose (Alces alces) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) hosts in Yukon, Canada, has relied in part on voluntary submission of hides by hunters since 2011, but few samples were submitted. To enhance sampling efforts on underrepresented moose and caribou hosts, we implemented a three-year citizen science program, the Yukon Winter Tick Monitoring Project (YWTMP), to better engage with hunters in hide sample collection. A combination of in-person and social media outreach, incentivized engagement, and standardized hide sampling kits increased voluntary submissions of moose and caribou hides almost 100-fold since surveillance began. Citizen science samples expanded the northernmost geographic extent of existing sampling efforts for moose by 480 km and for caribou by 650 km to reach 67.5° N latitude. Samples also resulted in new detections of winter ticks on moose hides that are spatially separate to those submitted for other cervids in Yukon. Findings from the YWTMP have provided an essential baseline to monitor future winter tick host–parasite dynamics in the region and highlighted priority areas for ongoing tick surveillance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science Approaches to Vector Surveillance)
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Effectiveness of a New Self-Marking Technique in Aedes aegypti under Laboratory Conditions
Insects 2022, 13(4), 379; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040379 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 707
Abstract
In the implementation of mosquito control strategy programs using Sterile Insect Technique and other rear and release strategies, knowledge on the dispersion, competitiveness and survival of mosquitos is considered essential. To assess these parameters, marking techniques are generally used to differentiate colony mosquitoes [...] Read more.
In the implementation of mosquito control strategy programs using Sterile Insect Technique and other rear and release strategies, knowledge on the dispersion, competitiveness and survival of mosquitos is considered essential. To assess these parameters, marking techniques are generally used to differentiate colony mosquitoes from wild ones. Most of the existing mosquito marking methods require numerous manipulations that can impact their quality. In this study, we have developed a self-marking technique that can reduce the damage associated with mosquito handling. The marking technique consisted of adding fluorescent powder (DayGlo: A-17-N Saturn yellow) directly to the surface water of the receptacle containing Aedes aegypti male pupae. Different quantities of powder were used, and marking efficacy, powder persistence and mosquito survival were assessed. The results show a mean marking rate of 98 ± 1.61%, and the probability of marking increased significantly (p < 0.001) with increasing concentrations of fluorescent powder. Fluorescent powder persisted up to 20 days and did not induce a negative effect on mosquito survival (χ2 = 5.3, df = 7, p = 0.63). In addition, powder transfer did not occur between marked and unmarked populations. This marking method significantly reduces human intervention and mosquito handling during the marking process, improving the quality of marked mosquitoes used to assess SIT programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito Handling, Transport, Release and Male Trapping Methods)
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Communication
Characterization of Two Novel Insect-Specific Viruses Discovered in the Green Leafhopper, Cicadella viridis
Insects 2022, 13(4), 378; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040378 - 12 Apr 2022
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Insect-specific viruses (ISV) are one of the most promising agents for the biological control of insects. The green leafhopper, Cicadella viridis (Linnaeus), is an significant pest in agriculture, and causes economic losses to fruit trees, willows, and field crops. As a representative species [...] Read more.
Insect-specific viruses (ISV) are one of the most promising agents for the biological control of insects. The green leafhopper, Cicadella viridis (Linnaeus), is an significant pest in agriculture, and causes economic losses to fruit trees, willows, and field crops. As a representative species of the large family Cicadellidae, ISVs in C. viridis have never been studied, to date. In this study, the full genome sequences of two ISVs, named Cicadella viridis iflavirus1 (CvIfV1), and Cicadella viridis nido-like virus 1 (CvNiLV1), were revealed using a metatranscriptomic approach. A homology search and phylogenetic analysis indicated that CvIfV1 is a new member in the family Iflaviridae (genus Iflavirus) with a typical iflavirus genome organization, whereas CvNiLV1 belongs to the unclassified clade/family of the order Nidovirales. In addition, analysis of virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs) was performed to investigate the antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) response of C. viridis. The vsiRNAs exhibit typical patterns produced by host siRNA-mediated antiviral immunity, including a preference of 21-nt vsiRNAs derived equally from the sense and antisense genomic strands, and a strong A/U bias in the 5′-terminus of the viral genomes. Our study provides valuable information for ISVs in leafhoppers for the first time, which might prove useful in the control of C. viridis in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Review
Assessing the Impact of Insecticide Resistance on Vector Competence: A Review
Insects 2022, 13(4), 377; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040377 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
The primary strategy to avoid adverse impacts from insect-mediated pathogen transmission is the chemical control of vector populations through insecticides; its continued use has led to insecticide resistance and unknown consequences on vector competence. This review aims to systematically analyze and synthesize the [...] Read more.
The primary strategy to avoid adverse impacts from insect-mediated pathogen transmission is the chemical control of vector populations through insecticides; its continued use has led to insecticide resistance and unknown consequences on vector competence. This review aims to systematically analyze and synthesize the research on the influence of insecticide resistance (IR) on vector competence (VC). Thirty studies met the inclusion criteria. Twenty studies, conducted either in laboratory or field settings, described the influence of phenotypic insecticide resistance and mechanisms on VC in vectors of human pathogens. Seven studies showed the effect of exposure to insecticides on VC in vectors of human pathogens. Three studies reported the influence of phenotypic resistance and mechanisms on VC in crop pests. The evidence shows that IR could enhance, impair, or have no direct effect on VC in either field or laboratory-designed studies. Similar positive and negative trends are found in pest vectors in crops and studies of insecticide exposure and VC. Even though there is evidence that exposure to insecticides and IR can enhance VC, thus increasing the risk of pathogen transmission, more investigations are needed to confirm the observed patterns and what implications these factors could have in vector control programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Review
Bugs in Bugs: The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in Maintenance of Health in Mass-Reared Insects
Insects 2022, 13(4), 376; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040376 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Interactions between insects and their microbiota affect insect behaviour and evolution. When specific microorganisms are provided as a dietary supplement, insect reproduction, food conversion and growth are enhanced and health is improved in cases of nutritional deficiency or pathogen infection. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Interactions between insects and their microbiota affect insect behaviour and evolution. When specific microorganisms are provided as a dietary supplement, insect reproduction, food conversion and growth are enhanced and health is improved in cases of nutritional deficiency or pathogen infection. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of insect–microbiota interactions, to review the role of probiotics, their general use in insects reared for food and feed, and their interactions with the host microbiota. We review how bacterial strains have been selected for insect species reared for food and feed and discuss methods used to isolate and measure the effectiveness of a probiotic. We outline future perspectives on probiotic applications in mass-reared insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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Article
The Effect of Cold Periods on the Biological Cycle of Marchalina hellenica
Insects 2022, 13(4), 375; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040375 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Climate change is considered a major factor affecting honeybees’ behavior and productivity with major consequences in both honey and agricultural production. Many research studies have expressed serious concerns about the mass losses of bee colonies and the role of bees as pollinators, while [...] Read more.
Climate change is considered a major factor affecting honeybees’ behavior and productivity with major consequences in both honey and agricultural production. Many research studies have expressed serious concerns about the mass losses of bee colonies and the role of bees as pollinators, while others have underlined important issues for the impact of the increase in temperature on honeybee abundance and honey yields. In the present work, we draw our attention to Marchalina hellenica, which is the most important honeydew-producing insect in Greece. A statistically significant forecasting model for the effect of cold periods in February on the life cycle of the insect is constructed, with the aid of the Cumulative Logit Model and the theory of runs. The forecasting model may help beekeepers plan the timely exploitation of honeydew secretions of pine trees, which will be beneficial for beekeepers, the rural economy, and forest protection. The new suggested model also indicates that, in view of the climate change scenarios seen in the literature, the life cycle of M. hellenica is expected to be drastically shorter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Identification of a Cordyceps fumosorosea Fungus Isolate and Its Pathogenicity against Asian Citrus Psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)
Insects 2022, 13(4), 374; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040374 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Diaphorina citri is the mainly transmitting vector of the citrus huanglongbing pathogen, which causes severe losses in in the citrus industry. In this study, we isolated a new entomopathogenic fungus, identified as member of Cordyceps fumosorosea based on morphology and ITS sequence analysis. [...] Read more.
Diaphorina citri is the mainly transmitting vector of the citrus huanglongbing pathogen, which causes severe losses in in the citrus industry. In this study, we isolated a new entomopathogenic fungus, identified as member of Cordyceps fumosorosea based on morphology and ITS sequence analysis. We named C. fumosorosea SCAU-CFDC01 and evaluated its pathogenicity against D. citri nymphs and adults by immersion under laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Results showed that SCAU-CFDC01 was most pathogenic to young nymphs, followed by old nymphs and adults. The LC50 values of the fungus on nymphs and adults showed a declining trend over a 2–7-day period after inoculation. The LT50 (lethal time for a certain concentration to cause 50% mortality) values also presented a decreasing trend along with increasing conidia concentrations. For the results on greenhouse experiments, when 3rd and 5th instar nymphs were inoculated with 1 × 105 conidia mL−1, the survival rate of nymphs were lower, and the emergence rate of adults and female longevity was significantly reduced compared with the control. However, there were no significant effects on sex ratio of adults and male longevity. Our results showed SCAU-CFDC01 was highly pathogenic to D. citri, and may promote mycoparasite development for biological control of D. citri. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Effects of Host Plants on Bacterial Community Structure in Larvae Midgut of Spodoptera frugiperda
Insects 2022, 13(4), 373; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040373 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 656
Abstract
The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is one of the most important invasive species and causes great damage to various host crops in China. In this study, the diversity and function of gut bacteria in the 5th instar larvae of FAW fed [...] Read more.
The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is one of the most important invasive species and causes great damage to various host crops in China. In this study, the diversity and function of gut bacteria in the 5th instar larvae of FAW fed on maize, wheat, potato and tobacco leaves were analyzed through 16S rRNA sequencing. A total of 1324.25 ± 199.73, 1313.5 ± 74.87, 1873.00 ± 190.66 and 1435.25 ± 139.87 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from the gut of FAW fed on these four different host plants were detected, respectively. Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most abundant bacterial phyla. Beta diversity analysis showed that the gut bacterial community structure of larvae fed on different host plants was significantly differentiated. At the genus level, the abundance of Enterococcus in larvae fed on wheat was significantly lower than those fed on the other three host plants. Enterobacter and ZOR0006 were dominant in FAW fed on tobacco leaves, and in low abundance in larvae fed on wheat. Interestingly, when fed on Solanaceae (tobacco and potato) leaves which contained relative higher levels of toxic secondary metabolites than Gramineae (wheat and maize), the genera Enterococcus, Enterobacter and Acinetobacter were significantly enriched. The results indicated that gut bacteria were related to the detoxification and adaptation of toxic secondary metabolites of host plants in FAW. Further analysis showed that replication, repair and nucleotide metabolism functions were enriched in the gut bacteria of larvae fed on tobacco and potato. In conclusion, the gut bacterial diversity and community composition in FAW larvae fed on different host plants showed significant differences, and the insect is likely to regulate their gut bacteria for adaptation to different host plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Fall Armyworm Research)
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Article
Effect of Constant Temperatures on Culicoides sonorensis Midge Physiology and Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Infection
Insects 2022, 13(4), 372; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040372 - 09 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 603
Abstract
Culicoides midges play an important role in vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transmission to US livestock. After VSV-blood feeding, blood digestion followed by oviposition occurs while ingested virus particles replicate and disseminate to salivary glands for transmission during subsequent blood-feeding events. Changes to environmental [...] Read more.
Culicoides midges play an important role in vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transmission to US livestock. After VSV-blood feeding, blood digestion followed by oviposition occurs while ingested virus particles replicate and disseminate to salivary glands for transmission during subsequent blood-feeding events. Changes to environmental temperature may alter the feeding–oviposition–refeeding cycles, midge survival, VSV infection, and overall vector capacity. However, the heterothermic midge may respond rapidly to environmental changes by adjusting their thermal behavior to resting in areas closer to their physiological range. Here we investigated the effects of four constant environmental temperatures (20, 25, 30, and 35 °C) on C. sonorensis survival, oviposition, and VSV infection, as well as resting thermal preferences after blood-feeding. We found that most midges preferred to rest in areas at 25–30 °C. These two constant temperatures (25 and 30 °C) allowed an intermediate fitness performance, with a 66% survival probability by day 10 and oviposition cycles occurring every 2–3 days. Additionally, VSV infection rates in bodies and heads with salivary glands were higher than in midges held at 20 °C and 35 °C. Our results provide insight into the implications of temperature on VSV–Culicoides interactions and confirm that the range of temperature preferred by midges can benefit both the vector and the arbovirus. Full article
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Article
Effects of Thiamethoxam-Dressed Oilseed Rape Seeds and Nosema ceranae on Colonies of Apis mellifera iberiensis, L. under Field Conditions of Central Spain. Is Hormesis Playing a Role?
Insects 2022, 13(4), 371; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040371 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 568
Abstract
To study the influence of thiamethoxam exposure on colony strength and pathogen prevalence, an apiary (5 colonies) was placed in front of a plot sown with winter oilseed rape (wOSR), just before the flowering phase. Before sowing, the seeds were treated with an [...] Read more.
To study the influence of thiamethoxam exposure on colony strength and pathogen prevalence, an apiary (5 colonies) was placed in front of a plot sown with winter oilseed rape (wOSR), just before the flowering phase. Before sowing, the seeds were treated with an equivalent application of 18 g thiamethoxam/ha. For comparison, a second apiary (5 colonies) was located in front of a separate 750 m plot sown with untreated wOSR. Dead foragers at the entrance of hives were assessed every 2–3 days throughout the exposure period, while the colony strength (number of combs covered with adult honey bees and brood) and pathogens were monitored each month until the following spring. Foraging on the wOSR crop was confirmed by melissopalynology determination of the corbicular pollen collected periodically, while the chemical analysis showed that exposure to thiamethoxam was mainly through nectar. There was an increase in the accumulation of dead bees in the apiary exposed to thiamethoxam relating with the control, which was coped with an increment of bee brood surface and adult bee population. However, we did not find statistically significant differences between apiaries (α = 0.05) in terms of the evolution of pathogens. We discuss these results under hormesis perspective. Full article
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Article
The Use of Tuning Forks for Studying Behavioural Responses in Orb Web Spiders
Insects 2022, 13(4), 370; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040370 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 557
Abstract
Spiders and their webs are often used as model organisms to study a wide range of behaviours. However, these behavioural studies are often carried out in the laboratory, and the few field studies usually result in large amounts of video footage and subsequent [...] Read more.
Spiders and their webs are often used as model organisms to study a wide range of behaviours. However, these behavioural studies are often carried out in the laboratory, and the few field studies usually result in large amounts of video footage and subsequent labour-intensive data analysis. Thus, we aimed to devise a cost- and time-effective method for studying the behaviour of spiders in the field, using the now almost forgotten method of stimulating webs with tuning forks. Our study looked at the viability of using 256 Hz and 440 Hz tuning forks to stimulate, anti-predatory and predatory responses in the orb web spider Metellina segmentata, respectively. To assess the consistency of the behaviours produced, we compared these to direct mechanical stimulation with a metal wire. The results suggest that the tuning forks produce relatively consistent behaviours within and between two years in contrast to the metal wire. We furthermore found no significant effects of spider length or web area on spider reaction times. However, we found significant differences in reaction times between escape and prey capture behaviours, and between tuning forks and the wire. Thus, we demonstrated the potential of tuning forks to rapidly generate quantitative data in a field setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spider Ecology and Behaviour)
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Article
Exploring Cold Hardiness within a Butterfly Clade: Supercooling Ability and Polyol Profiles in European Satyrinae
Insects 2022, 13(4), 369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040369 - 09 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 592
Abstract
The cold hardiness of overwintering stages affects the distribution of temperate and cold-zone insects. Studies on Erebia, a species-rich cold-zone butterfly genus, detected unexpected diversity of cold hardiness traits. We expanded our investigation to eight Satyrinae species of seven genera. We assessed [...] Read more.
The cold hardiness of overwintering stages affects the distribution of temperate and cold-zone insects. Studies on Erebia, a species-rich cold-zone butterfly genus, detected unexpected diversity of cold hardiness traits. We expanded our investigation to eight Satyrinae species of seven genera. We assessed Autumn and Winter supercooling points (SCPs) and concentrations of putatively cryoprotective sugars and polyols via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Aphantopus hyperantus and Hipparchia semele survived freezing of body fluids; Coenonympha arcania, C. gardetta, and Melanargia galathea died prior to freezing; Maniola jurtina, Chazara briseis, and Minois dryas displayed a mixed response. SCP varied from −22 to −9 °C among species. Total sugar and polyol concentrations (TSPC) varied sixfold (2 to 12 μg × mg−1) and eightfold including the Erebia spp. results. SCP and TSPC did not correlate. Alpine Erebia spp. contained high trehalose, threitol, and erythritol; C. briseis and C. gardetta contained high ribitol and trehalose; lowland species contained high saccharose, maltose, fructose, and sorbitol. SCP, TSPC, and glycerol concentrations were affected by phylogeny. Species of mountains or steppes tend to be freeze-avoidant, overwinter as young larvae, and contain high concentrations of trehalose, while those of mesic environments tend to be freeze-tolerant, overwinter as later instars, and rely on compounds such as maltose, saccharose, and fructose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Review
Enantiomeric Discrimination in Insects: The Role of OBPs and ORs
Insects 2022, 13(4), 368; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040368 - 08 Apr 2022
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Olfaction is a complex recognition process that is critical for chemical communication in insects. Though some insect species are capable of discrimination between compounds that are structurally similar, little is understood about how this high level of discrimination arises. Some insects rely on [...] Read more.
Olfaction is a complex recognition process that is critical for chemical communication in insects. Though some insect species are capable of discrimination between compounds that are structurally similar, little is understood about how this high level of discrimination arises. Some insects rely on discriminating between enantiomers of a compound, demonstrating an ability for highly selective recognition. The role of two major peripheral olfactory proteins in insect olfaction, i.e., odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and odorant receptors (ORs) has been extensively studied. OBPs and ORs have variable discrimination capabilities, with some found to display highly specialized binding capability, whilst others exhibit promiscuous binding activity. A deeper understanding of how odorant-protein interactions induce a response in an insect relies on further analysis such as structural studies. In this review, we explore the potential role of OBPs and ORs in highly specific recognition, specifically enantiomeric discrimination. We summarize the state of research into OBP and OR function and focus on reported examples in the literature of clear enantiomeric discrimination by these proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Physiology of Insect Olfaction)
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Article
What Drives Caterpillar Guilds on a Tree: Enemy Pressure, Leaf or Tree Growth, Genetic Traits, or Phylogenetic Neighbourhood?
Insects 2022, 13(4), 367; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040367 - 08 Apr 2022
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Communities of herbivorous insects on individual host trees may be driven by processes ranging from ongoing development via recent microevolution to ancient phylogeny, but the relative importance of these processes and whether they operate via trophic interactions or herbivore movement remains unknown. We [...] Read more.
Communities of herbivorous insects on individual host trees may be driven by processes ranging from ongoing development via recent microevolution to ancient phylogeny, but the relative importance of these processes and whether they operate via trophic interactions or herbivore movement remains unknown. We determined the leaf phenology, trunk diameter, genotype, and neighbourhood of sessile oak trees (Quercus petraea), and sampled their caterpillar communities. We found that leaf development across a time period of days related to free-living caterpillars, which disappeared with leaf age. Tree growth across decades is related to increased parasitism rate and diversity of herbivores. The microevolution of oak trees across millennia is related to the abundance of leaf-mining casebearers, which is higher on more homozygous oaks. However, oak genome size was not important for any guild. In contrast to most previous studies, the phylogenetic distance of oaks from their neighbours measured in millions of years was associated with higher abundances of entire caterpillar guilds. Furthermore, on trees surrounded by only distantly related tree species, parasitism tended to be lower. Lower parasitism, in turn, was associated with higher abundances of codominant caterpillar species. Neighbourhoods and traits of trees were also related to community composition and diversity, but not to the average wingspans or specialization of species, consistent with the assembly of herbivore communities being driven by leaf traits and parasitism pressure on trees rather than by insect movement among trees. However, movement in rarer species may be responsible for concentration effects in more phylogenetically distant neighbourhoods. Overall, we suggest that the assembly of insects on a tree is mostly driven by trophic interactions controlled by a mosaic of processes playing out over very different time scales. Comparisons with the literature further suggest that, for oak trees, the consequences of growing amongst distantly related tree species may depend on factors such as geographic region and tree age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Short- and Long-Term Mortalities of Small and Large Larvae of Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) on Concrete Surfaces Treated with Three Insecticides: Impact of Food
Insects 2022, 13(4), 366; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13040366 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 552
Abstract
The lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) is an important stored-product pest for the poultry industry as it is a vector of dangerous pathogens for humans. In the present study, we evaluated the short- and long-term mortalities of small and large larvae [...] Read more.
The lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) is an important stored-product pest for the poultry industry as it is a vector of dangerous pathogens for humans. In the present study, we evaluated the short- and long-term mortalities of small and large larvae of A. diaperinus when they were exposed to concrete-covered Petri dishes treated with etofenprox, deltamethrin, and the combination of piperonyl butoxide+acetamiprid+d-tetramethrin. Small and large larvae were exposed to each insecticide applied on concrete surfaces with or without food. The short-term mortality was recorded after 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, and 7 days, while the long-term mortality was recorded 7 days after the transport of the larvae alive to pesticide-free concrete-covered dishes. Regarding short-term mortality levels, 97.8% and 80.0% of the small and large larvae, that were exposed to etofenprox without food, died after 7 days of exposure, respectively. Concerning deltamethrin, all tested small larvae were killed after 3 days (without food) and 5 days (with food) of exposure. For large larvae, deltamethrin caused 98.9% (with food) and 100.0% (without food) mortality levels after 5 days of exposure. The combination of piperonyl butoxide+acetamiprid+d-tetramethrin caused high mortality levels to small larvae, i.e., 84.4% and 100.0% on dishes with and without food, respectively, but low to moderate mortality levels to large larvae that did not exceed 67.8% after 7 days of exposure. Long-term mortality varied vastly among the tested insecticides. Etofenprox killed 100.0% of the small larvae on concrete without food, but 24.0% of the large larvae exposed to concrete containing food. Deltamethrin did not provide long-term mortality to large larvae when food was present. Piperonyl butoxide+acetamiprid+d-tetramethrin caused mortality rates that overall varied from 33.5% (large larvae on concrete with food) to 85.0% (small larvae on concrete with food). In conclusion, deltamethrin killed almost all exposed larvae at exposures of ≤5 days, regardless of their size and the presence of food on the concrete. Full article
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