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Insects, Volume 13, Issue 5 (May 2022) – 95 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): To avoid losses of honey bee colonies, beekeepers should monitor the populations of the harmful ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor (Anderson–Truman). Here, we describe a novel device and method for monitoring mite populations. The Varroa shaker device (VSD) is constructed of sections of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe that utilize screens of two mesh sizes that separate the bees from the mites and capture the mites for easy counting. The VSD can be used by shaking bees with only water as the wash solution, but may also be used with alcohol wash solutions; the VSD accurately assessed mite loads when using fewer than 250 bees and shaken with 250 ml of water for one minute. The recovery of mites using the VSD is > 90%, which is similar to that recorded when using the commonly used sugar roll method, but the former is easier to use in both laboratory and field settings. View this paper
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Article
Meta-Analysis of Immune Induced Gene Expression Changes in Diverse Drosophila melanogaster Innate Immune Responses
Insects 2022, 13(5), 490; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050490 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Organisms are commonly infected by a diverse array of pathogens and mount functionally distinct responses to each of these varied immune challenges. Host immune responses are characterized by the induction of gene expression, however, the extent to which expression changes are shared among [...] Read more.
Organisms are commonly infected by a diverse array of pathogens and mount functionally distinct responses to each of these varied immune challenges. Host immune responses are characterized by the induction of gene expression, however, the extent to which expression changes are shared among responses to distinct pathogens is largely unknown. To examine this, we performed meta-analysis of gene expression data collected from Drosophila melanogaster following infection with a wide array of pathogens. We identified 62 genes that are significantly induced by infection. While many of these infection-induced genes encode known immune response factors, we also identified 21 genes that have not been previously associated with host immunity. Examination of the upstream flanking sequences of the infection-induced genes lead to the identification of two conserved enhancer sites. These sites correspond to conserved binding sites for GATA and nuclear factor κB (NFκB) family transcription factors and are associated with higher levels of transcript induction. We further identified 31 genes with predicted functions in metabolism and organismal development that are significantly downregulated following infection by diverse pathogens. Our study identifies conserved gene expression changes in Drosophila melanogaster following infection with varied pathogens, and transcription factor families that may regulate this immune induction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Bioinformatics)
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Article
Integrative Taxonomy and Synonymization of Aculus mosoniensis (Acari: Eriophyidae), a Potential Biological Control Agent for Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 489; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050489 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 491
Abstract
The taxonomy of Aculus mosoniensis appears to be an unresolved question and its clarification is required, owing to the potential relevance of this mite species as a biological control agent of the tree of heaven. This paper is aimed at giving accurate details [...] Read more.
The taxonomy of Aculus mosoniensis appears to be an unresolved question and its clarification is required, owing to the potential relevance of this mite species as a biological control agent of the tree of heaven. This paper is aimed at giving accurate details on a previously and shortly announced synonymization with Aculops taihangensis, using a morphological and molecular approach. A fusiform morph of A. mosoniensis was distinguished from a vermiform morph and this latter was recognized as deutogyne, which was herein documented. Phylogenetic relationships between Chinese Ac. taihangensis and all A. mosoniensis mites collected in twenty localities in Europe were examined through the analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome c subunit I (CO1) protein and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 1 region (ITS1). CO1 sequences of Ac. taihangensis from the Shandong province in China and those from mites collected in Austria and Slovenia were 100% identical; the ITS1 sequence of an Ac. taihangensis paratype matched for 99.8% with those obtained from protogynes and deutogynes of A. mosoniensis collected in Italy. All these data supported the announced synonymization of A. mosoniensis with Ac. taihangensis. Aculusmosoniensis was found genetically variable, with five CO1 haplotypes in Europe (becoming eight along with those of Ac. taihangensis) clustering in two highly supported maternal lineages and eight ITS1 haplotypes (becoming nine along with those of Ac. taihangensis) distributed in four supported clades. No overlap between intra- and interspecies distances was observed for both markers and all studied A. mosoniensis populations clustered in one monophyletic mitochondrial clade, suggesting that only one single species might occur in Europe. However, more mite clades may be related to more tree of heaven biotypes with potential ecological differences, which might have potential effects on the biological control and should be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Other Arthropods and General Topics)
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Article
Molecular Oscillator Affects Susceptibility of Caterpillars to Insecticides: Studies on the Egyptian Cotton Leaf Worm—Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 488; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050488 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 735
Abstract
The molecular oscillator is the core of the biological clock and is formed by genes and proteins whose cyclic expression is regulated in the transcriptional-translational feedback loops (TTFLs). Proteins of the TTFLs are regulators of both their own and executive genes involved in [...] Read more.
The molecular oscillator is the core of the biological clock and is formed by genes and proteins whose cyclic expression is regulated in the transcriptional-translational feedback loops (TTFLs). Proteins of the TTFLs are regulators of both their own and executive genes involved in the control of many processes in insects (e.g., rhythmic metabolism of xenobiotics, including insecticides). We disrupted the clock operation in S. littoralis larvae by injecting the dsRNA of clock genes into their body cavity and culturing the larvae under continuous light. As a result, the daily susceptibility of larvae to insecticides was abolished and the susceptibility itself increased (in most cases). In the fat body, midgut, and Malpighian tubules (the main organs metabolizing xenobiotics) of the larvae treated with injected-dsRNA, the daily activity profiles of enzymes involved in detoxification—cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, Glutathione-S-transferase, and esterase—have changed significantly. The presented results prove the role of the molecular oscillator in the regulation of larvae responses to insecticides and provide grounds for rational use of these compounds (at suitable times of the day), and may indicate clock genes as potential targets of molecular manipulation to produce plant protection compounds based on the RNAi method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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Review
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle in Samoa: Review of a Century-Old Invasion and Prospects for Control in a Changing Future
Insects 2022, 13(5), 487; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050487 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 690
Abstract
It is now more than 100 years since the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB: Oryctes rhinoceros L.) was first detected in the Pacific Island state of Samoa. The exotic pest from Asia became the principal pest of coconut palms in Samoa and, from this [...] Read more.
It is now more than 100 years since the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB: Oryctes rhinoceros L.) was first detected in the Pacific Island state of Samoa. The exotic pest from Asia became the principal pest of coconut palms in Samoa and, from this first point of invasion, spread to several surrounding countries in the South-West Pacific Ocean. An intensive control operation was initiated, but the beetle could not be eliminated. Various pest management strategies were attempted but had limited success until the introduction of a biological control agent (BCA), Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus (OrNV), during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The biocontrol release was very successful and became the prime example of “classical biological control” of an insect pest by a virus. Changing economic and social conditions in Samoa and other islands of the Pacific require a re-evaluation of the threat of CRB to coconut production to suggest how the IPM system may be modified to meet future needs. Therefore, it is timely to review the history of CRB in Samoa and summarize experiences in development of an integrated pest management (IPM) system limiting the impact of the pest. We also present results from a recent study conducted in 2020 on the island of Upolu to define the current status of the CRB population and its BCA, OrNV. The lessons from Samoa, with its long history of containment and management of CRB, are applicable to more recent invasion sites. Recommendations are provided to modify the IPM programme to enhance the sustainable control of CRB and support the ongoing coconut replantation program promoted by the Samoan government. Full article
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Article
High-Quality Queens Produce High-Quality Offspring Queens
Insects 2022, 13(5), 486; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050486 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Honey bees, rather than rear queens with eggs and larvae from worker cells, prefer to rear new queens with eggs form queen cells, if available. This may be a result of long-term evolutionary process for honey bee colonies. However, the exact mechanism of [...] Read more.
Honey bees, rather than rear queens with eggs and larvae from worker cells, prefer to rear new queens with eggs form queen cells, if available. This may be a result of long-term evolutionary process for honey bee colonies. However, the exact mechanism of this phenomenon is unclear. In this study, queens were reared with eggs from queen cells (F1-QE), eggs from worker cells (F1-WE), and two-day-old larvae from worker cells (F1-2L). Physiological indexes and the expression of the development-related genes ((Hexamerin (Hex110, Hex70b), Transferrin (Trf), and Vitellogenin (Vg)) of reared F1 generation queens were measured and compared. Furthermore, F2 generation queens were reared with one-day-old larvae from F1 queens, and the weight and ovariole count of reared F2 generation daughter queens were examined. Meanwhile, the expression of the development- and reproduction-related genes (Hex110, Hex70b, Trf, Vg, and Juvenile Hormone (Jh)) and immune detoxication-related genes (Hymenoptaecin, Abeacin, and CytP450) of reared F2 queens were further explored. We found that the F1-QE queens had the highest physiological indexes and higher Hex110 and Trf expression levels, while no significant difference was found in the expression of Hex70b and Vg among the three groups of F1 queens. In addition, the reared queens of F2-QE had the highest quality, with the highest development, reproduction, immune-detoxication genes’ expression levels. Our results revealed that the quality of reared offspring queens from high-quality mother queens was also high. These findings inform methods for rearing high-quality queens and highlight that a high-quality queen is essential for offspring colony growth and survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advanced in Honey Bee and Apitherapy)
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Article
New Findings on the Sperm Structure of Tenebrionoidea (Insecta, Coleoptera)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 485; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050485 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 556
Abstract
The sperm ultrastructure of a few representative species of Tenebrionoidea was studied. Two species belong to the Mordellidae (Mordellistena brevicauda and Hoshihananomia sp.), one species to Oedemeridae (Oedemera nobilis), and one species to Tenebrionidae (Accanthopus velikensis). It is [...] Read more.
The sperm ultrastructure of a few representative species of Tenebrionoidea was studied. Two species belong to the Mordellidae (Mordellistena brevicauda and Hoshihananomia sp.), one species to Oedemeridae (Oedemera nobilis), and one species to Tenebrionidae (Accanthopus velikensis). It is confirmed that Mordellidae are characterized by the lowest number of spermatozoa per cyst (up to 64), a number shared with Ripiphoridae. In contrast, in the two other families, up to 512 spermatozoa per cyst are observed, the same number present, for example, in Tenebrionidae. Also, as in the other more derived families of tenebrionoids studied so far, during spermatogenesis in O. nobilis and A. velikensis, sperm nuclei are regularly distributed in two sets at opposite poles of the cysts. On the contrary, the Mordellidae species do not exhibit this peculiar process. However, during spermiogenesis, the bundles of sperm bend to form a loop in their median region, quite evident in the Hoshihananomia sp., characterized by long sperm. This process, which also occurs in Ripiphoridae, probably enables individuals to produce long sperm without an increase in testicular volume. The sperm looping could be a consequence of the asynchronous growth between cyst size and sperm length. The sperm ultrastructure of the Mordellidae species reveals that they can be differentiated from other Tenebrionoidea based on the shape and size of some sperm components, such as the accessory bodies and the mitochondrial derivatives. They also show an uncommon stiff and immotile posterior flagellar region provided with only accessory tubules. These results contribute to a better knowledge of the phylogenetic relationship of the basal families of the large group of Tenebrionoidea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
Modeling the Potential Global Distribution of Honeybee Pest, Galleria mellonella under Changing Climate
Insects 2022, 13(5), 484; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050484 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 607
Abstract
Beekeeping is essential for the global food supply, yet honeybee health and hive numbers are increasingly threatened by habitat alteration, climate change, agrochemical overuse, pathogens, diseases, and insect pests. However, pests and diseases that have unknown spatial distribution and influences are blamed for [...] Read more.
Beekeeping is essential for the global food supply, yet honeybee health and hive numbers are increasingly threatened by habitat alteration, climate change, agrochemical overuse, pathogens, diseases, and insect pests. However, pests and diseases that have unknown spatial distribution and influences are blamed for diminishing honeybee colonies over the world. The greater wax moth (GWM), Galleria mellonella, is a pervasive pest of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. It has an international distribution that causes severe loss to the beekeeping industry. The GWM larvae burrow into the edge of unsealed cells that have pollen, bee brood, and honey through to the midrib of the wax comb. Burrowing larvae leave behind masses of webs that cause honey to leak out and entangle emerging bees, resulting in death by starvation, a phenomenon called galleriasis. In this study, the maximum entropy algorithm implemented in (Maxent) model was used to predict the global spatial distribution of GWM throughout the world. Two representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 2.6 and 8.5 of three global climate models (GCMs), were used to forecast the global distribution of GWM in 2050 and 2070. The Maxent models for GWM provided a high value of the Area Under Curve equal to 0.8 ± 0.001, which was a satisfactory result. Furthermore, True Skilled Statistics assured the perfection of the resultant models with a value equal to 0.7. These values indicated a significant correlation between the models and the ecology of the pest species. The models also showed a very high habitat suitability for the GWM in hot-spot honey exporting and importing countries. Furthermore, we extrapolated the economic impact of such pests in both feral and wild honeybee populations and consequently the global market of the honeybee industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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Article
Two New Phoretic Species of Heterostigmatic Mites (Acari: Prostigmata: Neopygmephoridae and Scutacaridae) on Australian Hydrophilid Beetles (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 483; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050483 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Many heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata: Heterostigmata) display a wide range of symbiotic interactions, from phoresy to parasitism, with a variety of insects. Australia is expected to harbour a rich diversity of heterostigmatic mites; however, its phoretic fauna and its host associations remain mainly [...] Read more.
Many heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata: Heterostigmata) display a wide range of symbiotic interactions, from phoresy to parasitism, with a variety of insects. Australia is expected to harbour a rich diversity of heterostigmatic mites; however, its phoretic fauna and its host associations remain mainly unexplored. We conducted a short exploration of Australian insect-associated phoretic mites in summer 2020 and found two new phoretic heterostigmatic species on a semiaquatic hydrophilid beetle species, Coelostoma fabricii (Montrouzier, 1860) (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae). Here, we describe these two new species, Allopygmephorus coelostomus sp. nov. (Neopygmephoridae) and Archidispus hydrophilus sp. nov. (Scutacaridae), which both belong to the superfamily Pygmephoroidea. Both species are distinct from their congeners, with a plesiomorphic character, bearing a median genital sclerite (mgs). Our study reports both genera for the first time from Australia. Full article
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Review
Protists in the Insect Rearing Industry: Benign Passengers or Potential Risk?
Insects 2022, 13(5), 482; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050482 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 690
Abstract
As the insects for food and feed industry grows, a new understanding of the industrially reared insect microbiome is needed to better comprehend the role that it plays in both maintaining insect health and generating disease. While many microbiome projects focus on bacteria, [...] Read more.
As the insects for food and feed industry grows, a new understanding of the industrially reared insect microbiome is needed to better comprehend the role that it plays in both maintaining insect health and generating disease. While many microbiome projects focus on bacteria, fungi or viruses, protists (including microsporidia) can also make up an important part of these assemblages. Past experiences with intensive invertebrate rearing indicate that these parasites, whilst often benign, can rapidly sweep through populations, causing extensive damage. Here, we review the diversity of microsporidia and protist species that are found in reared insect hosts and describe the current understanding of their host spectra, life cycles and the nature of their interactions with hosts. Major entomopathogenic parasite groups with the potential to infect insects currently being reared for food and feed include the Amoebozoa, Apicomplexa, Ciliates, Chlorophyta, Euglenozoa, Ichtyosporea and Microsporidia. However, key gaps exist in the understanding of how many of these entomopathogens affect host biology. In addition, for many of them, there are very limited or even no molecular data, preventing the implementation of molecular detection methods. There is now a pressing need to develop and use novel molecular tools, coupled with standard molecular diagnostic methods, to help unlock their biology and predict the effects of these poorly studied protist parasites in intensive insect rearing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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Article
Identification and Characterization of Chemosensory Receptors in the Pheromone Gland-Ovipositor of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 481; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050481 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Chemoreception by moth ovipositors has long been suggested, but underlying molecular mechanisms are mostly unknown. To reveal such chemosensory systems in the current study, we sequenced and assembled the pheromone gland-ovipositor (PG-OV) transcriptome of females of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, a [...] Read more.
Chemoreception by moth ovipositors has long been suggested, but underlying molecular mechanisms are mostly unknown. To reveal such chemosensory systems in the current study, we sequenced and assembled the pheromone gland-ovipositor (PG-OV) transcriptome of females of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, a pest of many crops. We annotated a total of 26 candidate chemosensory receptor genes, including 12 odorant receptors (ORs), 4 gustatory receptors (GRs), and 10 ionotropic receptors (IRs). The relatedness of these chemosensory receptors with those from other insect species was predicted by phylogenetic analyses, and specific genes, including pheromone receptors, ORco, CO2 receptors, sugar receptors, and IR co-receptors, were reported. Although real-time quantitative-PCR analyses of annotated genes revealed that OR and IR genes were mainly expressed in S. frugiperda antennae, two ORs and two IRs expressed in antennae were also highly expressed in the PG-OV. Similarly, GR genes were mainly expressed in the proboscis, but two were also highly expressed in the PG-OV. Our study provides the first large-scale description of chemosensory receptors in the PG-OV of S. frugiperda and provides a foundation for exploring the chemoreception mechanisms of PG-OV in S. frugiperda and in other moth species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Insect Chemosensory Receptors)
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Article
Utilization of Pomelo (Citrus maxima) Peel Waste into Bioactive Essential Oils: Chemical Composition and Insecticidal Properties
Insects 2022, 13(5), 480; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050480 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 730
Abstract
The wastes generated during the post-harvest handling of various agricultural commodities is rather under-utlilized. The peels of citrus fruits are often discarded as waste. Citrus peels are rich in essential oils and exhibit toxicity towards various insect species. The essential oils are also [...] Read more.
The wastes generated during the post-harvest handling of various agricultural commodities is rather under-utlilized. The peels of citrus fruits are often discarded as waste. Citrus peels are rich in essential oils and exhibit toxicity towards various insect species. The essential oils are also an eco-friendly option for insect pest management. The Citrus maxima peel essential oil (CMEO), a waste product, characterized it, and evaluated its potential for insect pest management. The major terpenoids present in CMEO are Limonene and α-Pinene. The CMEO displayed potentials in controlling the insect pests via contact and fumigant toxicity. Moreover, CMEO showed significant larvicidal activities against Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Aedes aegypti species of mosquitoes; however, Armigeres subalbatus was more resistant. The biological safety of the essential oil was also tested against the stored seeds, where no significant inhibition of seed germination was noticed compared to the control. Utilizing a waste product such as citrus peel for pest management can achieve the dual objective of waste utilization and eco-friendly pest management. Overall, the CMEO is therefore found to be a bioactive essential oil extracted from the wastes of pomelo (C. maxima). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Vector-Focused Approaches for Disease Control)
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Review
Towards Predictions of Interaction Dynamics between Cereal Aphids and Their Natural Enemies: A Review
Insects 2022, 13(5), 479; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050479 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 568
Abstract
(1) Although most past studies are based on static analyses of the pest regulation drivers, evidence shows that a greater focus on the temporal dynamics of these interactions is urgently required to develop more efficient strategies. (2) Focusing on aphids, we systematically reviewed [...] Read more.
(1) Although most past studies are based on static analyses of the pest regulation drivers, evidence shows that a greater focus on the temporal dynamics of these interactions is urgently required to develop more efficient strategies. (2) Focusing on aphids, we systematically reviewed (i) empirical knowledge on the drivers influencing the dynamics of aphid–natural enemy interactions and (ii) models developed to simulate temporal or spatio-temporal aphid dynamics. (3) Reviewed studies mainly focus on the abundance dynamics of aphids and their natural enemies, and on aphid population growth rates. The dynamics of parasitism and predation are rarely measured empirically, although it is often represented in models. Temperature is mostly positively correlated with aphid population growth rates. Plant phenology and landscape effects are poorly represented in models. (4) We propose a research agenda to progress towards models and empirical knowledge usable to design effective CBC strategies. We claim that crossover works between empirical and modeling community will help design new empirical settings based on simulation results and build more accurate and robust models integrating more key drivers of aphid dynamics. Such models, turned into decision support systems, are urgently needed by farmers and advisors in order to design effective integrated pest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Integrated Pest Management of Crops)
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Article
The Correlation between Volatile Compounds Emitted from Sitophilus granarius (L.) and Its Electrophysiological and Behavioral Responses
Insects 2022, 13(5), 478; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050478 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 433
Abstract
The granary weevil Sitophilus granarius (L.) is one of the most serious primary insect pests of stored products. When S. granarius present in grains, various volatile organic compounds are released as chemical signals which can be used to detect the insects. In this [...] Read more.
The granary weevil Sitophilus granarius (L.) is one of the most serious primary insect pests of stored products. When S. granarius present in grains, various volatile organic compounds are released as chemical signals which can be used to detect the insects. In this study, volatile chemical compounds released from S. granarius were analyzed using the headspace solid phase micro-extraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography (GC)–mass spectrometry (MS) techniques. Two key compounds, 3-hydroxy-2-butanone and 1-pentadecene, were identified from mixed gender of S. granarius adults at high density. Moreover, both male and female adults showed dose-dependent electroantennography (EAG) responses to 3-hydroxy-2-butanone. In behavioral assays, S. granarius was attracted to 3-hydroxy-2-butanone at 0.001 µg/10 µL but repelled at 10 µg/10 µL or higher. S. granarius was consistently repelled by 1-pentadecene at concentrations at 0.001 and 1000 µg/10 µL. 3-hydroxy-2-butanone and 1-pentadecene have considerable potential to offer in the development of new approaches for the monitoring and management of this destructive stored grain insect pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Harvest Insect Chemical and Behavioral Ecology)
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Article
Culex Flavivirus Isolation from Naturally Infected Mosquitoes Trapped at Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil
Insects 2022, 13(5), 477; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050477 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Culex Flavivirus (CxFV) is a classical insect-specific virus, which has aroused interest after the first indication that it can produce in nature superinfection exclusion of viruses of medical interest such as West Nile. Despite the detection of CxFV in different regions, CxFV ecology [...] Read more.
Culex Flavivirus (CxFV) is a classical insect-specific virus, which has aroused interest after the first indication that it can produce in nature superinfection exclusion of viruses of medical interest such as West Nile. Despite the detection of CxFV in different regions, CxFV ecology and the influence of co-circulation of arboviruses remains poorly understood. Therefore, our primary goals are to observe the occurrence of CxFV infection in mosquitoes trapped in an urban area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, characterize the virus circulating, and provide isolates. A prospective study was carried out for eight months on the campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, trapping adult mosquitoes. The CxFV minimum infection rates were determined in this period, and the virus isolation process is fully described. Samples from this study were grouped into genotype 2, along with CxFV sequences from Latin America and Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Vector-Focused Approaches for Disease Control)
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Article
Quality Control and Mating Performance of Irradiated Glossina palpalis gambiensis Males
Insects 2022, 13(5), 476; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050476 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
The biological quality of sterile male insects produced in a mass-rearing facility is a prerequisite for the success of the SIT, which is a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM). Indeed, sterile male insects released in the field must have a good [...] Read more.
The biological quality of sterile male insects produced in a mass-rearing facility is a prerequisite for the success of the SIT, which is a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM). Indeed, sterile male insects released in the field must have a good mating performance in order to compete with wild males, but they must also present the required level of sterility. In the present study, the biological quality of sterile male Glossina palpalis gambiensis produced in a mass-rearing insectary was assessed through quality control testing. The mating performance of irradiated males was assessed in walk-in field cages. Irradiation had no effect on adult emergence but significantly reduced the percentage of operational flies (from 89.58% to 79.87%) and male survival (from 5 to 4 days, on average). However, irradiation did not impact the sterile male insemination potential, with all females inseminated and more than 80% of the spermathecae completely filled. The rate of induced sterility in females was 89.67% due to a dose rate decrease of the radiation source. Moreover, sterile males were able to compete successfully with untreated fertile males for untreated females in walk-in field cages. This study confirmed that the flies were still competitive and stressed the importance of regularly checking the radiation source parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) and Its Applications)
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Review
Arthropod Pest Management in Strawberry
Insects 2022, 13(5), 475; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050475 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 568
Abstract
The strawberry crop endures economic losses due to feeding injury from a number of phytophagous arthropod pests. A number of invasive pests have posed challenges to crop protection techniques in the strawberry cropping system recently. It is increasingly evident that sole reliance on [...] Read more.
The strawberry crop endures economic losses due to feeding injury from a number of phytophagous arthropod pests. A number of invasive pests have posed challenges to crop protection techniques in the strawberry cropping system recently. It is increasingly evident that sole reliance on chemical control options is not sustainable. In this review, current challenges and advances in integrated pest management of various strawberry pests are presented. Key pests discussed include thrips, mites, lygus bug, spotted wing drosophila, seed bug, weevils, aphids, whiteflies, and armyworms. Several integrated pest management techniques that include use of intercropping, resistant cultivars, irradiation with gamma rays, use of spectral sensitivity of pests, biological control agents and natural enemies, and biorational pesticides have recently been reported to be useful in managing the various strawberry pests. With the increase in world production of strawberry, several techniques will be necessary to manage the pest complex of strawberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Integrated Pest Management of Crops)
Article
Bacterial Symbionts in Ceratitis capitata
Insects 2022, 13(5), 474; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050474 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) is responsible for extensive damage in agriculture with important economic losses. Several strategies have been proposed to control this insect pest including insecticides and the Sterile Insect Technique. Traditional control methods should be implemented by innovative tools, among which [...] Read more.
Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) is responsible for extensive damage in agriculture with important economic losses. Several strategies have been proposed to control this insect pest including insecticides and the Sterile Insect Technique. Traditional control methods should be implemented by innovative tools, among which those based on insect symbionts seem very promising. Our study aimed to investigate, through the 16S Miseq analysis, the microbial communities associated with selected organs in three different medfly populations to identify possible candidates to develop symbiont-based control approaches. Our results confirm that Klebsiella and Providencia are the dominant bacteria in guts, while a more diversified microbial community has been detected in reproductive organs. Concertedly, we revealed for the first time the presence of Chroococcidiopsis and Propionibacterium as stable components of the medfly’s microbiota. Additionally, in the reproductive organs, we detected Asaia, a bacterium already proposed as a tool in the Symbiotic Control of Vector-Borne Diseases. A strain of Asaia, genetically modified to produce a green fluorescent protein, was used to ascertain the ability of Asaia to colonize specific organs of C. capitata. Our study lays the foundation for the development of control methods for C. capitata based on the use of symbiont bacteria. Full article
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Communication
Report of Tuckerella pavoniformis (Acari: Tuckerellidae) on Mamey, Mammea americana (Calophyllaceae), in Northwestern Peru
Insects 2022, 13(5), 473; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050473 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The family Tuckerellidae, or peacock mites, is a monogeneric group comprising approximately 32 species, which are usually collected from the fruits or woody parts of their host plants. Fruits and branchlets of mamey, Mammea americana L. (Calophyllaceae) trees in north-western Peru were sampled [...] Read more.
The family Tuckerellidae, or peacock mites, is a monogeneric group comprising approximately 32 species, which are usually collected from the fruits or woody parts of their host plants. Fruits and branchlets of mamey, Mammea americana L. (Calophyllaceae) trees in north-western Peru were sampled for peacock mites throughout spring and summer for two consecutive years. This is the first record of Tuckerella pavoniformis (Ewing) (Acari: Tuckerellidae) feeding on mamey. Aggregations of mites were much higher and more common on the fruit epicarps than on branchlets. Recommendations for the development of an Integrated Pest Management strategy for this peacock mite are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mite Nature: Taxonomy, Behavior and Dispersion)
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Article
More Worker Capped Brood and Honey Bees with Less Varroa Load Are Simple Precursors of Colony Productivity at Beekeepers’ Disposal: An Extensive Longitudinal Survey
Insects 2022, 13(5), 472; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050472 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 568
Abstract
In response to the concerns of beekeepers on the decline of honey bee populations on lavender honey flow in the lavender fields of southeast France and the consequent decrease of honey production, our long-term survey (2009–2021) monitored the total weight gain collected by [...] Read more.
In response to the concerns of beekeepers on the decline of honey bee populations on lavender honey flow in the lavender fields of southeast France and the consequent decrease of honey production, our long-term survey (2009–2021) monitored the total weight gain collected by these colonies. This study shows the variations in the total weight gain according to regions, years, populations structure (bee number and quantity of capped brood) and Varroa load. Among these factors, years and regions support one third of the variations over this 13-year survey. At the beginning of the honey flow, capped brood is more important than the number of bees, whereas Varroa load severely limits the performance of the colonies. A threshold of 3 mites/100 bees seems to reflect the upper limit of the Varroa load below which the total weight gain is not affected. This survey provides useful information for the beekeepers to better prepare the colonies for this honey flow and allows them to compare their results obtained with our general description of the total weight gains by year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Societies and Sociality)
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Article
Involvement of Laccase2 in Cuticle Sclerotization of the Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Middle East–Asia Minor 1
Insects 2022, 13(5), 471; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050471 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Cuticle sclerotization is critical for insect survival. Laccase2 (Lac2) is a phenol oxidase that plays a key role in cuticle formation and pigmentation in a variety of insects. However, the function of Lac2 in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, remains unclear. In [...] Read more.
Cuticle sclerotization is critical for insect survival. Laccase2 (Lac2) is a phenol oxidase that plays a key role in cuticle formation and pigmentation in a variety of insects. However, the function of Lac2 in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, remains unclear. In this study, we identified a BtLac2 gene in B. tabaci MEAM1 and found that BtLac2 was expressed in all stages. It was highly expressed in the egg stage, followed by nymph and adult. Moreover, the expression of BtLac2 was higher in the cuticle than in other tissues. Knockdown of BtLac2 in nymphs produced thinner and fragile cuticles, which significantly increased the mortality rate, extended the development duration of nymphs, and decreased the emergence rate of adults. This result demonstrates that BtLac2 plays an important role in the cuticle hardening of B. tabaci and suggests a potential management strategy using RNAi to knock down BtLac2 expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Review
Olfactory Strategies in the Defensive Behaviour of Insects
Insects 2022, 13(5), 470; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050470 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 800
Abstract
Most animals must defend themselves in order to survive. Defensive behaviour includes detecting predators or intruders, avoiding them by staying low-key or escaping or deterring them away by means of aggressive behaviour, i.e., attacking them. Responses vary across insect species, ranging from individual [...] Read more.
Most animals must defend themselves in order to survive. Defensive behaviour includes detecting predators or intruders, avoiding them by staying low-key or escaping or deterring them away by means of aggressive behaviour, i.e., attacking them. Responses vary across insect species, ranging from individual responses to coordinated group attacks in group-living species. Among different modalities of sensory perception, insects predominantly use the sense of smell to detect predators, intruders, and other threats. Furthermore, social insects, such as honeybees and ants, communicate about danger by means of alarm pheromones. In this review, we focus on how olfaction is put to use by insects in defensive behaviour. We review the knowledge of how chemical signals such as the alarm pheromone are processed in the insect brain. We further discuss future studies for understanding defensive behaviour and the role of olfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Physiology of Insect Olfaction)
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Article
Identification and Distribution of Human-Biting Ticks in Northwestern Spain
Insects 2022, 13(5), 469; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050469 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 515
Abstract
Ticks transmit a wide diversity of pathogens to a great variety of hosts, including humans. We conducted a tick surveillance study in northwestern Spain between 2014 and 2019. Ticks were removed from people and identified. Tick numbers, species, development stages, the timeline, seasonal [...] Read more.
Ticks transmit a wide diversity of pathogens to a great variety of hosts, including humans. We conducted a tick surveillance study in northwestern Spain between 2014 and 2019. Ticks were removed from people and identified. Tick numbers, species, development stages, the timeline, seasonal and geographical distribution and epidemiological characteristics of people bitten by ticks were studied. We collected ticks from 8143 people. Nymphs of I. ricinus were the most frequently collected. Rhipicephalus bursa, R. sanguineus s.l., Hy. marginatum, Hy. lusitanicum, D. marginatus, D. reticulatus and H. punctata were also found, with adults as the main stage. The number of collected Hyalomma spp. and R. bursa has been progressively increasing over time. Although bites occurred throughout the year, the highest number of incidents was reported from April to July. The distribution patterns of the tick species were different between the north and the south of the region, which was related to cases detected in humans of the pathogens they carried. Adult men were more likely to be bitten by ticks than women. Ticks were most frequently removed from adults from the lower limbs, while for children, they were mainly attached to the head. Epidemiological surveillance is essential given the increase in tick populations in recent years, mainly of species potentially carrying pathogens causing emerging diseases in Spain, such as Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCFH). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Ticks and Their Control)
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Article
Two New Synonyms of Paraleuctra orientalis (Chu, 1928) (Plecoptera: Leuctridae) Based on Morphological and Molecular Data, with Notes on Paraleuctra cervicornis Du and Qian, 2012
Insects 2022, 13(5), 468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050468 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 461
Abstract
We recently examined specimens of the genus Paraleuctra Hanson, 1941, from Zhejiang Province and Sichuan Province, China, and two new synonyms are established based on morphological and molecular data. Paraleuctra sinica Yang and Yang, 1995, and Paraleuctra tianmushana Li and Yang, 2010, are [...] Read more.
We recently examined specimens of the genus Paraleuctra Hanson, 1941, from Zhejiang Province and Sichuan Province, China, and two new synonyms are established based on morphological and molecular data. Paraleuctra sinica Yang and Yang, 1995, and Paraleuctra tianmushana Li and Yang, 2010, are synonymized with Paraleuctra orientalis (Chu, 1928). Additionally, we provide new images of Paraleuctra cervicornis Du and Qian, 2012, to facilitate identification of this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Systematics, Phylogeny and Evolution)
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Article
Biological Control Services from Parasitic Hymenoptera in Urban Agriculture
Insects 2022, 13(5), 467; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050467 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Urban agriculture is practiced in spatially fragmented landscapes with unique characteristics that can impact species occurrence in time and space. As a result, biological control services, an ecosystem service from naturally occurring arthropod natural enemies, can be negatively impacted. Many urban farms forgo [...] Read more.
Urban agriculture is practiced in spatially fragmented landscapes with unique characteristics that can impact species occurrence in time and space. As a result, biological control services, an ecosystem service from naturally occurring arthropod natural enemies, can be negatively impacted. Many urban farms forgo pesticides and utilize agroecological pest-management strategies that rely on natural enemies to help regulate pest populations. Understanding how these enemies are affected by landscape composition and on-farm management practices is critical to understanding agroecological pest management in UA and furthering our understanding of landscape-mediated population dynamics. Over two growing seasons, we sampled brassica crops in urban agriculture sites occurring on a spectrum of surrounding landscape imperviousness, spatial composition, size, and management practices to better understand parasitic Hymenoptera abundance, richness, and parasitism rates on the common cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae). We found that on-farm agroecological pest-management practices such as mulch coverage, floral richness, and overall crop-plant richness impacted parasitic Hymenoptera abundance. Larger proportions of on-farm noncrop area increased parasitoid abundance on urban farms. Aphid parasitism increased in relation to on-farm management practices, including increased crop-plant richness. These findings add to a growing understanding of urban agroecosystem function and support the enemies hypothesis in urban agroecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Arthropods in Urban Green Spaces)
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Correction
Correction: Pramasivan et al. Multiplex PCR Assay for the Identification of Four Species of the Anopheles Leucosphyrus Sub-Group in Malaysia. Insects 2022, 13, 195
Insects 2022, 13(5), 466; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050466 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 354
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
Article
Optimization of a Mass Trapping Method against the Striped Cucumber Beetle Acalymma vittatum in Organic Cucurbit Fields
Insects 2022, 13(5), 465; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050465 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 502
Abstract
The striped cucumber beetle (SCB) Acalymma vittatum (F.) (Coleptera: Chrysomelidae) is a prime problem in North American cucurbit crops. While certain chemical pesticides efficiently control SCB in conventional cucurbit fields, alternative solutions are required due to the ever-evolving regulations on pesticides. For organic [...] Read more.
The striped cucumber beetle (SCB) Acalymma vittatum (F.) (Coleptera: Chrysomelidae) is a prime problem in North American cucurbit crops. While certain chemical pesticides efficiently control SCB in conventional cucurbit fields, alternative solutions are required due to the ever-evolving regulations on pesticides. For organic producers, very few control methods exist. A novel mass trapping method demonstrates the potential of controlling SCBs using floral-based semiochemical baited traps in cucurbit crops. The goals of this study were to (1) determine whether baited traps capture more SCBs than unbaited ones, and (2) optimize the trapping method by comparing different trap types and different commercially available attractants to maximize SCB captures while minimizing non-target species captures. The results of a first experiment showed that baited traps captured significantly more SCBs than unbaited ones. Baited traps also captured significantly more bees and hoverflies than unbaited ones. In a second experiment these unwanted captures were drastically reduced by using traps with ten 4 mm in diameter holes per side. Finally, a third experiment demonstrated that the attractant 40CT313 was the most efficient at capturing SCB compared to other tested lures. Overall, the optimized mass trapping technique demonstrated a potential to effectively control SCB populations in organic cucurbit crops. Full article
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Article
Bibliometric Analyses of Web of Science Illuminate Research Advances of Neuropterida
Insects 2022, 13(5), 464; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050464 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Neuropterida is a relatively primitive group of Holometabola. There are about 6500 extant species. Many species of this group are natural enemies and can prey on a variety of agricultural pests. In order to understand the leading research institutions, researchers and research contents, [...] Read more.
Neuropterida is a relatively primitive group of Holometabola. There are about 6500 extant species. Many species of this group are natural enemies and can prey on a variety of agricultural pests. In order to understand the leading research institutions, researchers and research contents, and to predict the future research directions of Neuropterida, the Web of Science core database, from January 1995 to September 2021, was searched with the theme of “Neuropterida or Neuroptera or Megaloptera or Raphidioptera or Lacewing”. The results showed that the United States and China published relatively more publications than other countries. In addition, researchers from these two countries had more cooperation with other countries. China Agricultural University ranked the highest in the number of publications and centrality in this field. In addition, it was found that the early research focused on the biological control of Neuropterida by analyzing the keyword burst, whereas the more recent research focused on the phylogeny of Neuropterida. As the first representative chromosome-level genome of Neuropterida has been published, the future research of Neuropterida will focus on the genomic studies and molecular mechanisms of their morphological characters, behavior, historical evolution and so on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Evolution of Lacewings and Allies (Neuropterida))
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Communication
Distribution of Phlebotomine Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the Lombardy Region, Northern Italy
Insects 2022, 13(5), 463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050463 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 609
Abstract
This study investigated the species composition and density of sand flies in the Lombardy region (Northern Italy). Sand flies were collected using CDC traps baited with CO2 (CO2–CDC traps) between June and August 2021. A total of 670 sand flies [...] Read more.
This study investigated the species composition and density of sand flies in the Lombardy region (Northern Italy). Sand flies were collected using CDC traps baited with CO2 (CO2–CDC traps) between June and August 2021. A total of 670 sand flies were collected. The specimens were identified as seven species belonging to two genera, Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia, namely, S. minuta, Ph. perniciosus, Ph. perfiliewii, Ph. neglectus, Ph. mascitti, Ph. papatasi, and Ph. ariasi. Phlebotomus perniciosus was the most abundant species (87.76%), followed by Ph. perfiliewii (7.31%), Ph. neglectus (3.13%), S. minuta (0.75%), Ph. mascitti (0.6%), Ph. papatasi (0.3%), and Ph. ariasi, for which only one specimen was identified. Among these identified species, five are considered vectors of Leishmania, which causes cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. As vector presence increases the risk of vector-borne leishmaniasis, these results suggest that Northern Italy could be a potential area of pathogen circulation over the next few years. These preliminary results suggest that the risk of borne leishmaniasis is high in this region of Northern Italy. Monitoring the distribution of sand fly species in areas suitable for their persistence is important for control programs aimed at reducing the risk of leishmaniasis infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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Article
No Evidence of Bacterial Symbionts Influencing Host Specificity in Aphis gossypii Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 462; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050462 - 14 May 2022
Viewed by 515
Abstract
The cotton-melon aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, is a polyphagous insect pest with many host-specialized biotypes, such as the Cucurbitaceae- and Malvaceae-specialized (CU and MA) biotypes. Bacterial symbionts were reported to determine the host range in some aphids. Whether this is the case in [...] Read more.
The cotton-melon aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, is a polyphagous insect pest with many host-specialized biotypes, such as the Cucurbitaceae- and Malvaceae-specialized (CU and MA) biotypes. Bacterial symbionts were reported to determine the host range in some aphids. Whether this is the case in A. gossypii remains unknown. Here, we tested the host specificity of the CU and MA biotypes, compared the host specificity between the wingless and winged morph within the same biotype, and analyzed the composition of the bacterial symbionts. The reproduction of the CU and MA biotypes reduced by 66.67% and 82.79%, respectively, on non-native hosts, compared with on native hosts. The composition of bacterial symbionts was not significantly different between the CU and MA biotypes, with a Buchnera abundance >95% in both biotypes. Meanwhile, the winged morph produced significantly more nymphs than the wingless morph on non-native hosts, and the Buchnera abundance in the winged morph was only about 10% of that in the wingless morph. There seemed to be a relationship between the Buchnera abundance and host specificity. We regulated the Buchnera abundance by temperature and antibiotics, but did not find that a low Buchnera abundance resulted in the high reproduction on non-native hosts. We conclude that the host specificity of A. gossypii is not controlled by specific bacterial symbionts or by Buchnera abundance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
A Chironomid Record of Early-Middle Holocene Environmental Evolution in the Darhad Basin, Northern Mongolia
Insects 2022, 13(5), 461; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/insects13050461 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Under the influence of various circulation systems, the Holocene humidity conditions on the Mongolian Plateau are spatially heterogeneous and the underlying mechanism is still ambiguous. The complexity of climate change may affect the accuracy of assessing lake ecosystem evolution. In this study, based [...] Read more.
Under the influence of various circulation systems, the Holocene humidity conditions on the Mongolian Plateau are spatially heterogeneous and the underlying mechanism is still ambiguous. The complexity of climate change may affect the accuracy of assessing lake ecosystem evolution. In this study, based on the precise chronology, a chironomid assemblage sequence from the Darhad Basin in northern Mongolia is analyzed to elucidate the hydroclimate variation during the early-middle Holocene. The results show that the chironomid communities changed suddenly from littoral taxa to sublittoral/profundal taxa at about 9 cal kyr BP, reflecting an environmental transition from a river or shallow lake condition to a deep lake environment. Thereafter, most parts of the paleolake remained at a relatively high level until 4.5 cal kyr BP. This hydrological pattern resembles the typical humidity variations in the Westerlies affected regions, except that the onset of wetter conditions occurred one thousand years earlier as reflected in our results. The melting of glaciers and permafrost in the basin resulting from the early increased summer solar insolation could be a feasible explanation for these time advances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fossil Insects: From Carboniferous to Quaternary)
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