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Insects, Volume 14, Issue 4 (April 2023) – 98 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The blood-sucking hemipteran Rhodnius prolixus is one of the main vectors of Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease that affects several million people worldwide. Understanding the reproductive biology of this kissing bug is of some importance from a scientific perspective, but also in the medical context. The male reproductive structures of R. prolixus are composed of various patterns of muscle fiber layers whose contractions coordinate successful copulation, thus facilitating the transfer of sperm and fluid to females. These contractions are controlled by neuropeptides released by the nervous system that act on receptors to either increase or inhibit contractions. This study is of critical importance for pest management strategies. View this paper
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27 pages, 4386 KiB  
Article
Usage of Fermental Traps for the Study of the Species Diversity of Coleoptera in Open Biotopes
by Alexander B. Ruchin, Leonid V. Egorov and Anatoliy A. Khapugin
Insects 2023, 14(4), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040404 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
Usage of a variety of non-trivial ways to study Coleoptera gives unexpected and original results. The studies were conducted using simple traps with fermenting baits in the central part of European Russia. There were 286 trap exposures, and 7906 Coleoptera specimens (208 species [...] Read more.
Usage of a variety of non-trivial ways to study Coleoptera gives unexpected and original results. The studies were conducted using simple traps with fermenting baits in the central part of European Russia. There were 286 trap exposures, and 7906 Coleoptera specimens (208 species from 35 families) were collected. The largest number of species belonged to the families Cerambycidae (35 species), Curculionidae (26 species), and Elateridae (25 species). One species each was noted in 12 families. Traps were applied in five open habitats (dry meadow, shore, floodplain meadow, cuttings under power lines, and glade in woods). Only 13 species were common to all habitats: Cetonia aurata, Protaetia marmorata, Dasytes niger, Cryptarcha strigata, Glischrochilus grandis, Glischrochilus hortensis, Glischrochilus quadrisignatus, Soronia grisea, Notoxus monoceros, Aromia moschata, Leptura quadrifasciata, Rhagium mordax, Anisandrus dispar. Dry meadows were dominated by C. aurata, A. murinus, and P. cuprea volhyniensis. A shore was dominated by C. strigata, G. grandis, G. hortensis, S. grisea, and A. dispar. The dominant species in floodplain meadows were G. hortensis, S. grisea, and A. dispar. On cuttings under power lines, the most numerous were C. aurata, P. cuprea volhyniensis, and C. viridissima. In forest glades, the maximum abundance data were obtained for G. grandis, C. strigata, and A. dispar. The Shannon index was greatest in meadow habitats of varying degrees of moisture, while it was minimal on the shore. The increase in the Simpson index was also characteristic of the shore. These data indicate reduced species diversity combined with the dominance of several species in this biotope. The maximum species diversity with the highest level of species alignment was characteristic of meadow plots, while lower values were obtained under power lines and in forest glades. We recommend the usage of fermental traps with beer for ecological studies of the Coleoptera fauna in open biotopes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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23 pages, 3492 KiB  
Article
Host-Specific Diversity of Culturable Bacteria in the Gut Systems of Fungus-Growing Termites and Their Potential Functions towards Lignocellulose Bioconversion
by Rongrong Xie, Chenchen Dong, Shengjie Wang, Blessing Danso, Mudasir A. Dar, Radhakrishna S. Pandit, Kiran D. Pawar, Alei Geng, Daochen Zhu, Xia Li, Qing Xu and Jianzhong Sun
Insects 2023, 14(4), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040403 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2022
Abstract
Fungus-growing termites are eusocial insects that represent one of the most efficient and unique systems for lignocellulose bioconversion, evolved from a sophisticated symbiosis with lignocellulolytic fungi and gut bacterial communities. Despite a plethora of information generated during the last century, some essential information [...] Read more.
Fungus-growing termites are eusocial insects that represent one of the most efficient and unique systems for lignocellulose bioconversion, evolved from a sophisticated symbiosis with lignocellulolytic fungi and gut bacterial communities. Despite a plethora of information generated during the last century, some essential information on gut bacterial profiles and their unique contributions to wood digestion in some fungus-growing termites is still inadequate. Hence, using the culture-dependent approach, the present study aims to assess and compare the diversity of lignocellulose-degrading bacterial symbionts within the gut systems of three fungus-growing termites: Ancistrotermes pakistanicus, Odontotermes longignathus, and Macrotermes sp. A total of 32 bacterial species, belonging to 18 genera and 10 different families, were successfully isolated and identified from three fungus-growing termites using Avicel or xylan as the sole source of carbon. Enterobacteriaceae was the most dominant family represented by 68.1% of the total bacteria, followed by Yersiniaceae (10.6%) and Moraxellaceae (9%). Interestingly, five bacterial genera such as Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Acinetobacter, Trabulsiella, and Kluyvera were common among the tested termites, while the other bacteria demonstrated a termite-specific distribution. Further, the lignocellulolytic potential of selected bacterial strains was tested on agricultural waste to evaluate their capability for lignocellulose bioconversion. The highest substrate degradation was achieved with E. chengduensis MA11 which degraded 45.52% of rice straw. All of the potential strains showed endoglucanase, exoglucanase, and xylanase activities depicting a symbiotic role towards the lignocellulose digestion within the termite gut. The above results indicated that fungus-growing termites harbor a diverse array of bacterial symbionts that differ from species to species, which may play an inevitable role to enhance the degradation efficacy in lignocellulose decomposition. The present study further elaborates our knowledge about the termite-bacteria symbiosis for lignocellulose bioconversion which could be helpful to design a future biorefinery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breakthrough Technologies for Future Entomology)
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16 pages, 5159 KiB  
Article
Evolution of piggyBac Transposons in Apoidea
by Xueyuan Li, Zhongxia Guan, Feng Wang, Yali Wang, Emmanuel Asare, Shasha Shi, Zheguang Lin, Ting Ji, Bo Gao and Chengyi Song
Insects 2023, 14(4), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040402 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1550
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the presence of piggyBac (PB) transposons in 44 bee genomes from the Apoidea order, which is a superfamily within the Hymenoptera, which includes a large number of bee species crucial for pollination. We annotated the PB [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the presence of piggyBac (PB) transposons in 44 bee genomes from the Apoidea order, which is a superfamily within the Hymenoptera, which includes a large number of bee species crucial for pollination. We annotated the PB transposons in these 44 bee genomes and examined their evolution profiles, including structural characteristics, distribution, diversity, activity, and abundance. The mined PB transposons were divided into three clades, with uneven distribution in each genus of PB transposons in Apoidea. The complete PB transposons we discovered are around 2.23–3.52 kb in length and encode transposases of approximately 580 aa, with terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) of about 14 bp and 4 bp (TTAA) target-site duplications. Long TIRs (200 bp, 201 bp, and 493 bp) were also detected in some species of bees. The DDD domains of the three transposon types were more conserved, while the other protein domains were less conserved. Generally, most PB transposons showed low abundance in the genomes of Apoidea. Divergent evolution dynamics of PB were observed in the genomes of Apoidea. PB transposons in some identified species were relatively young, whiles others were older and with some either active or inactive. In addition, multiple invasions of PB were also detected in some genomes of Apoidea. Our findings highlight the contribution of PB transposons to genomic variation in these species and suggest their potential as candidates for future gene transfer tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Societies and Sociality)
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12 pages, 7846 KiB  
Article
The Dynamic Distribution of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in AsiaII1 Bemisia tabaci
by Ning Lv, Jing Peng, Zi-Qi He, Qin Wen, Zheng-Qin Su, Shaukat Ali, Chang-Zhong Liu and Bao-Li Qiu
Insects 2023, 14(4), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040401 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Wolbachia and Rickettsia are bacterial endosymbionts that can induce a number of reproductive abnormalities in their arthropod hosts. We screened and established the co-infection of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in Bemisia tabaci and compared the spatial and temporal distribution of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in [...] Read more.
Wolbachia and Rickettsia are bacterial endosymbionts that can induce a number of reproductive abnormalities in their arthropod hosts. We screened and established the co-infection of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in Bemisia tabaci and compared the spatial and temporal distribution of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in eggs (3–120 h after spawning), nymphs, and adults of B. tabaci by qPCR quantification and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). The results show that the titer of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in the 3–120 h old eggs showed a “w” patterned fluctuation, while the titers of Wolbachia and Rickettsia had a “descending–ascending descending–ascending” change process. The titers of Rickettsia and Wolbachia nymphal and the adult life stages of Asia II1 B. tabaci generally increased with the development of whiteflies. However, the location of Wolbachia and Rickettsia in the egg changed from egg stalk to egg base, and then from egg base to egg posterior, and finally back to the middle of the egg. These results will provide basic information on the quantity and localization of Wolbachia and Rickettsia within different life stages of B. tabaci. These findings help to understand the dynamics of the vertical transmission of symbiotic bacteria. Full article
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13 pages, 1562 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Sublethal Effects of Origanum vulgare Essential Oil and Carvacrol on the Biological Characteristics of Culex pipiens biotype molestus (Diptera: Culicidae)
by Athanasios Giatropoulos, George Koliopoulos, Pavlos-Nektarios Pantelakis, Dimitrios Papachristos and Antonios Michaelakis
Insects 2023, 14(4), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040400 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2254
Abstract
Culex pipiens is a mosquito species complex spread worldwide that poses a serious threat to human health as the primary vector of West Nile virus. Its control is mainly based on larvicidal applications with synthetic insecticides on mosquito breeding sites. However, the excessive [...] Read more.
Culex pipiens is a mosquito species complex spread worldwide that poses a serious threat to human health as the primary vector of West Nile virus. Its control is mainly based on larvicidal applications with synthetic insecticides on mosquito breeding sites. However, the excessive use of synthetic larvicides may provoke mosquito resistance issues and negative side effects to the aquatic environment and human health. Plant-derived essential oils, including those from the Lamiaceae family, can be eco-friendly alternative larvicidal agents causing acute larval toxicity and/or growth inhibitory effects on the developmental stages of mosquitoes through different modes of action. In the current laboratory study, we evaluated the sublethal effects of carvacrol-rich oregano essential oil and pure carvacrol on Cx. pipiens biotype molestus, the autogenous member of the Cx. pipiens species complex, after the exposure of 3rd–4th instar larvae to LC50 concentrations. The short-term (24 h) larvicidal treatment with the sublethal concentrations of both tested materials exhibited an acute lethal effect on the exposed larvae as well as significant delayed mortality for surviving larvae and pupae. Larvicidal treatment with carvacrol reduced the longevity of the emerged males. In addition, the morphological abnormalities that were observed at the larval and pupal stage along with failed adult emergence indicate the potential growth inhibitory properties of the tested bioinsecticides. Our findings suggest that carvacrol and carvacrol-rich oregano oil are effective plant-based larvicides at doses lower than the acute lethal ones, thus promoting an environmentally friendly and more affordable perspective for their use against the WNV vector Cx. pipiens biotype molestus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Urban Pest Management in Europe)
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19 pages, 13652 KiB  
Article
Novel Sophoridine Derivatives as Potential Larvicidal Agents against Aedes albopictus: Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition, and Morphological Study
by Song Ang, Nana Cao, Wende Zheng, Zhen Zhang, Jinxuan Li, Zhenping Yan, Kaize Su, Wing-Leung Wong, Kun Zhang, Weiqian David Hong and Panpan Wu
Insects 2023, 14(4), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040399 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Two series of novel sophoridine derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for their anti-mosquito activity. SOP-2g, SOP-2q, and SOP-2r exhibited potential larvicidal activity against Aedes albopictus larva with LC50 values of 330.98, 430.53, and 411.09 ppm, respectively. Analysis of structure–activity [...] Read more.
Two series of novel sophoridine derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for their anti-mosquito activity. SOP-2g, SOP-2q, and SOP-2r exhibited potential larvicidal activity against Aedes albopictus larva with LC50 values of 330.98, 430.53, and 411.09 ppm, respectively. Analysis of structure–activity relationships indicated that the oxime ester group was beneficial for improving the larvicidal biological activity, whereas the long-chain aliphatic group and fused-ring group were introduced. Furthermore, the larvicidal mechanism was also investigated based on the inhibition assay of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the morphological observation of dead larva treated with derivatives. Results indicated that the AChE inhibitory activity of the preferred three derivatives were 63.16%, 46.67%, and 35.11%, respectively, at 250 ppm concentration. Additionally, morphological evidence demonstrated that SOP-2q and SOP-2r induced changes in the larva’s intestinal cavity, caudal gill, and tail, thereby displaying larvicidal action against Ae. albopictus together with AChE inhibition. Therefore, this study implied that sophoridine and its novel derivatives could be used to control the population of mosquito larva, which may also be effective alkaloids to reduce the mosquito population density. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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14 pages, 2096 KiB  
Article
Nematode and Strepsipteran Parasitism in Bait-Trapped and Hand-Collected Hornets (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Vespa)
by Natsumi Kanzaki, Shun’ichi Makino, Hajime Kosaka, Katsuhiko Sayama, Keiko Hamaguchi and Shinji Narayama
Insects 2023, 14(4), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040398 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
The parasitism of two groups of host-manipulating parasites of hornets was examined in Kyoto, Japan. Vespa mandarinia (661 individuals), V. simillima (303), V. analis (457), V. ducalis (158), V. crabro (57), and V. dybowskii (4) were collected either by bait trap or hand [...] Read more.
The parasitism of two groups of host-manipulating parasites of hornets was examined in Kyoto, Japan. Vespa mandarinia (661 individuals), V. simillima (303), V. analis (457), V. ducalis (158), V. crabro (57), and V. dybowskii (4) were collected either by bait trap or hand collection with an insect net, and examined for their parasites. An endoparasitic nematode, Sphaerularia vespae was isolated from three overwintered gynes of V. mandarinia and a gyne of V. ducalis. While endoparasitic insects, Xenos spp., were recovered from 13 V. mandarinia, 77 V. analis, two V. ducalis, and three V. crabro, and those recovered from V. analis and others were molecularly identified as X. oxyodontes and X. moutoni, respectively. Comparing Xenos parasitism level and capturing methods, the parasitism level was significantly higher in trapped hosts than in hand-collected ones, suggesting that stylopized hosts are more strongly attracted to the food source (bait trap) compared with unparasitized hosts. The genotypes of S. vespae were identical to each other, and near identical to its type population. While each of the two Xenos spp. showed four mitochondrial DNA haplotypes. A phylogenetic comparison suggested that Xenos haplotypes found in the present study are close to those previously reported from Japan and other Asian countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Hymenoptera: Biology, Taxonomy and Integrated Management)
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17 pages, 1412 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Effect of Irradiation on the Densities of Two RNA Viruses in Glossina morsitans morsitans
by Caroline K. Mirieri, Adly M.M. Abd-Alla, Vera I.D. Ros and Monique M. van Oers
Insects 2023, 14(4), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040397 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Tsetse flies are cyclic vectors of Trypanosoma parasites, which cause debilitating diseases in humans and animals. To decrease the disease burden, the number of flies is reduced using the sterile insect technique (SIT), where male flies are sterilized through irradiation and released into [...] Read more.
Tsetse flies are cyclic vectors of Trypanosoma parasites, which cause debilitating diseases in humans and animals. To decrease the disease burden, the number of flies is reduced using the sterile insect technique (SIT), where male flies are sterilized through irradiation and released into the field. This procedure requires the mass rearing of high-quality male flies able to compete with wild male flies for mating with wild females. Recently, two RNA viruses, an iflavirus and a negevirus, were discovered in mass-reared Glossina morsitans morsitans and named GmmIV and GmmNegeV, respectively. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the densities of these viruses in tsetse flies are affected by the irradiation treatment. Therefore, we exposed tsetse pupae to various doses (0–150 Gy) of ionizing radiation, either in air (normoxia) or without air (hypoxia), for which oxygen was displaced by nitrogen. Pupae and/or emerging flies were collected immediately afterwards, and at three days post irradiation, virus densities were quantified through RT-qPCR. Generally, the results show that irradiation exposure had no significant impact on the densities of GmmIV and GmmNegeV, suggesting that the viruses are relatively radiation-resistant, even at higher doses. However, sampling over a longer period after irradiation would be needed to verify that densities of these insect viruses are not changed by the sterilisation treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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11 pages, 1409 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Leptoglossus occidentalis Eggs and Egg Glue
by Eva Sánchez-Hernández, Pablo Martín-Ramos, Jonatan Niño-Sánchez, Sergio Diez-Hermano, Flor Álvarez-Taboada, Rodrigo Pérez-García, Alberto Santiago-Aliste, Jesús Martín-Gil and Julio Javier Diez-Casero
Insects 2023, 14(4), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040396 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1756
Abstract
The western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910, Heteroptera: Coreidae) has a significant economic impact due to the reduction in the quality and viability of conifer seed crops; it can feed on up to 40 different species of conifers, showing a [...] Read more.
The western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910, Heteroptera: Coreidae) has a significant economic impact due to the reduction in the quality and viability of conifer seed crops; it can feed on up to 40 different species of conifers, showing a clear predilection for Pinus pinea L. in Europe. Its incidence is especially relevant for the pine nut-producing industry, given that the action of this pest insect can reduce the production of pine nuts by up to 25%. As part of ongoing efforts aimed at the design of control strategies for this insect, this work focuses on the characterization (by scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy, GC–MS) of the compounds released by these insects during oviposition, with emphasis on the adhesive secretion that holds L. occidentalis eggs together. Elemental analysis pointed to the presence of significant amounts of compounds with high nitrogen content. Functional groups identified by infrared spectroscopy were compatible with the presence of chitin, scleroproteins, LNSP-like and gelatin proteins, shellac wax analogs, and policosanol. Regarding the chemical species identified by GC–MS, eggs and glue hydromethanolic extracts shared constituents such as butyl citrate, dibutyl itaconate, tributyl aconitate, oleic acid, oleamide, erucamide, and palmitic acid, while eggs also showed stearic and linoleic acid-related compounds. Knowledge of this composition may allow advances in new strategies to address the problem caused by L. occidentalis. Full article
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15 pages, 6361 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Population Dynamics of Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in a Mixed Landscape with Bt Cotton and Peanut
by Izailda Barbosa dos Santos, Silvana V. Paula-Moraes, Julien M. Beuzelin, Daniel A. Hahn, Omaththage P. Perera and Clyde Fraisse
Insects 2023, 14(4), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040395 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1492
Abstract
In North America, weather and host-plant abundance drive the population dynamics of the migratory pest Helicoverpa zea. The objectives of this study were to (i) estimate monthly abundance of H. zea moths in Bt cotton and peanut fields, (ii) document the effects of [...] Read more.
In North America, weather and host-plant abundance drive the population dynamics of the migratory pest Helicoverpa zea. The objectives of this study were to (i) estimate monthly abundance of H. zea moths in Bt cotton and peanut fields, (ii) document the effects of weather on H. zea trap catches, and (iii) determine larval hosts supporting H. zea populations from 2017 to 2019. Year-round trapping of H. zea moths was conducted in 16 commercial fields in two regions of the Florida Panhandle using delta traps. H. zea moth catches were associated with temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity. Larval hosts were determined by isotopic carbon analysis. Our results showed year-round H. zea flights in both regions across two years, with the highest and lowest moth catches occurring from July to September and November to March, respectively. There was no difference in catches between traps set on Bt cotton and peanut. In the Santa Rosa/Escambia counties, weather explained 59% of the variance in H. zea catches, with significant effects of temperature, relative humidity, and rainfall. In Jackson County, weather explained 38% of H. zea catches, with significant effects of temperature and relative humidity. Carbon isotopic data showed that feeding on C3 plants, including Bt cotton, occurred over most of the year, although feeding on C4 hosts, including Bt corn, occurred during the summer months. Hence overwintering and resident populations of H. zea in the Florida Panhandle may be continually exposed to Bt crops, increasing the risk for the evolution of resistance. Full article
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14 pages, 5270 KiB  
Article
Up and down from North to South: Latitudinal Distribution of Flea Beetle Genera in Continental Africa (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini)
by Maurizio Biondi, Paola D’Alessandro and Mattia Iannella
Insects 2023, 14(4), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040394 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1194
Abstract
The distribution of global biodiversity can be investigated based on comprehensive datasets and many methods to process them. The taxonomic diversity of phytophagous insects is typically linked to plant diversity, which increases from temperate to tropical latitudes. In this paper, we explored the [...] Read more.
The distribution of global biodiversity can be investigated based on comprehensive datasets and many methods to process them. The taxonomic diversity of phytophagous insects is typically linked to plant diversity, which increases from temperate to tropical latitudes. In this paper, we explored the latitudinal distribution of the flea beetle genera (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini) on the African continent. We divided the area into latitudinal belts and looked for possible correlations with the number and types of vegetational divisions, the area of each belt, and the bioclimatic variables. The number of flea beetle genera is related to the number and types of vegetation divisions rather than the area of each belt. Some bioclimatic variables are highly related to the number of genera, which is higher within those belts where climate factors limit the oscillation of temperature over the year and favor high precipitations, especially in the warmest months. These biotic and abiotic factors lead to a two-peak trend in the taxonomic richness of flea beetle genera from north to south. Genera endemic to restricted areas are linked to the presence of high mountain systems and increase the taxonomic richness of the belt they belong to. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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7 pages, 1124 KiB  
Communication
First Report of the Pepper Fruit Fly Atherigona orientalis (Schiner 1968) (Diptera: Muscidae) Infesting Commercial Pepper Crops in Greece
by Emmanouil Roditakis, Katerina Kremi, Kyriaki Mylona, Vasilios Georgousis, Dimitrios N. Avtzis and Konstantinos B. Simoglou
Insects 2023, 14(4), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040393 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1986
Abstract
The pepper fruit fly Atherigona orientalis (Schiner 1968) (Diptera: Muscidae) is a cosmopolitan tropical pest which has been recently recorded in several European countries. The biology of the pest has been primarily associated not only with decomposing fruits and vegetables, but even vertebrate [...] Read more.
The pepper fruit fly Atherigona orientalis (Schiner 1968) (Diptera: Muscidae) is a cosmopolitan tropical pest which has been recently recorded in several European countries. The biology of the pest has been primarily associated not only with decomposing fruits and vegetables, but even vertebrate and invertebrate carrion, dung and faeces. Relatively recently, A. orientalis has been reported as a primary pest of pepper fruits as well. In this short communication, we report, for the first time in Greece and, to the best of our knowledge, in Europe, cases of pepper fruit fly damage to pepper fruits in commercial greenhouse crops (in Crete in 2022). In this direction, possible implications and concerns regarding the occurrence of this pest in Crete are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Other Arthropods and General Topics)
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19 pages, 7581 KiB  
Review
Cimicids of Medical and Veterinary Importance
by Fatima Zohra Hamlili, Jean Michel Bérenger and Philippe Parola
Insects 2023, 14(4), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040392 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 6555
Abstract
Members of the Cimicidae family are significant pests for mammals and birds, and they have attracted medical and veterinary interest. A number of recent studies have investigated bed bugs, due to their dramatic resurgence all over the world. Indeed, bed bugs are of [...] Read more.
Members of the Cimicidae family are significant pests for mammals and birds, and they have attracted medical and veterinary interest. A number of recent studies have investigated bed bugs, due to their dramatic resurgence all over the world. Indeed, bed bugs are of significant public health and socioeconomic importance since they lead to financial burdens and dermatological complications and may have mental and psychological consequences. It is important to note that certain cimicids with a preference for specific hosts (birds and bats) use humans as an alternative host, and some cimicids have been reported to willingly feed on human blood. In addition, members of the Cimicidae family can lead to economic burdens and certain species are the vectors for pathogens responsible for diseases. Therefore, in this review, we aim to provide an update on the species within the Cimicidae family that have varying medical and veterinary impacts, including their distribution and their associated microorganisms. Various microbes have been documented in bed bugs and certain important pathogens have been experimentally documented to be passively transmitted by bed bugs, although no conclusive evidence has yet associated them with epidemiological outbreaks. Additionally, among the studied cimicids (bat bugs, chicken bugs, and swallow bugs), only the American swallow bug has been considered to be a vector of several arboviruses, although there is no proven evidence of transmission to humans or animals. Further studies are needed to elucidate the reason that certain species in the Cimicidae family cannot be biologically involved in transmission to humans or animals. Additional investigations are also required to better understand the roles of Cimicidae family members in the transmission of human pathogens in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical and Livestock Entomology)
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21 pages, 18247 KiB  
Article
Potential of Hedgerows with Aromatic Plants as Reservoirs of Natural Enemies of Pests in Orange Orchards
by Theodoros Stathakis, Leonidas Economou, Myrto Barda, Theodoros Angelioudakis, Vaya Kati and Filitsa Karamaouna
Insects 2023, 14(4), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040391 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1679
Abstract
In the present study, the potential of hedgerows from Mediterranean aromatic plant species, i.e., oregano, rosemary, sage, and savory, in orange field margins to function as reservoirs of natural enemies of citrus pests was tested in comparison to the common management practice of [...] Read more.
In the present study, the potential of hedgerows from Mediterranean aromatic plant species, i.e., oregano, rosemary, sage, and savory, in orange field margins to function as reservoirs of natural enemies of citrus pests was tested in comparison to the common management practice of bare soil or weed vegetation. Assessments were based on the abundance and diversity of parasitoid wasps, spiders, and insect predators in the field margins and on the orange trees for two growing seasons. Savory plants harbored more parasitoids compared to weed vegetation and the other aromatic plants (savory > organic rosemary > sage > oregano). Weed vegetation hosted more arachnid predators than the aromatic plants in their first year in the orchard, but this was reversed with their full growth in the following year (most abundant on rosemary). Oregano and sage favor insect predators. The similarity of the natural enemy communities on the field margins and on the orange trees increased with time, indicating the insects’ movement from the field margins to the trees. The results support the use of the tested aromatic plant species in conservation practices for targeted groups of beneficial arthropods in orange orchards, also considering the exploitation of suitable wild flowering plants of the weed flora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Arthropod Pests in Agroecosystems)
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12 pages, 2923 KiB  
Article
Is Every Vein a Real Vein? Cross-Section of the Wing of Matsucoccus Pini (Insecta, Hemiptera, Coccoidea: Matsucoccidae)
by Barbara Franielczyk-Pietyra, Małgorzata Kalandyk-Kołodziejczyk and Jowita Drohojowska
Insects 2023, 14(4), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040390 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Wings of Matsucoccus pini males were studied. Using light and scanning electron microscopes, both sides of the wing membrane, dorsal and ventral, were examined. The presence of only one vein in the common stem was confirmed by the cross-section, namely the radius. The [...] Read more.
Wings of Matsucoccus pini males were studied. Using light and scanning electron microscopes, both sides of the wing membrane, dorsal and ventral, were examined. The presence of only one vein in the common stem was confirmed by the cross-section, namely the radius. The elements regarded as subcostal and medial veins were not confirmed as veins. On the dorsal side of the wings, a cluster of campaniform sensilla is shown for the first time in the family Matsucoccidae, through SEM, and two additional sensilla were found on the ventral side. There was a lack of alar setae, microtrichia as well as pterostigma. This is the second cross-section of the wing among scale insects. We propose the following nomenclature for the wings in the family Matsucoccidae: subcostal thickening (sct), radius (R), median fold (med) and anal fold (af). Full article
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44 pages, 17022 KiB  
Article
Descriptions of Three New Species of the Genus Acerataspis Uchida, 1934 (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Metopiinae), with an Illustrated Identification Key to Extant Species
by Jing-Xian Liu, Alexey Reshchikov and Hua-Yan Chen
Insects 2023, 14(4), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040389 - 17 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1694
Abstract
The Asian genus Acerataspis Uchida, 1934 is reviewed based on both morphology and DNA barcodes. Ten species are recognized in total, of which three species from Yunnan Province of China are described as new: Acerataspis maliae sp. nov., A. seperata sp. nov. and A. [...] Read more.
The Asian genus Acerataspis Uchida, 1934 is reviewed based on both morphology and DNA barcodes. Ten species are recognized in total, of which three species from Yunnan Province of China are described as new: Acerataspis maliae sp. nov., A. seperata sp. nov. and A. similis sp. nov. The male of A. fukienensis Chao, 1957 is described and illustrated for the first time. The genus is recorded from Thailand and Southeast Asia for the first time. An illustrated key to all known extant species is provided. With the supplement of DNA barcodes, a few diagnostic morphological characters are found useful in species identification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Hymenoptera: Biology, Taxonomy and Integrated Management)
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14 pages, 3440 KiB  
Article
Detection of Putative Mutation I873S in the Sodium Channel of Megalurothrips usitatus (Bagnall) Which May Be Associated with Pyrethroid Resistance
by Ruibo Gao, Rongcai Lu, Xinyao Qiu, Likui Wang, Kun Zhang and Shaoying Wu
Insects 2023, 14(4), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040388 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1643
Abstract
Pyrethroid resistance of thrips has been reported in many countries, and knockdown resistance (kdr) has been identified as a main mechanism against pyrethroids in many insects. To characterize pyrethroid resistance in Megalurothrips usitatus from the Hainan Province of China, we conducted [...] Read more.
Pyrethroid resistance of thrips has been reported in many countries, and knockdown resistance (kdr) has been identified as a main mechanism against pyrethroids in many insects. To characterize pyrethroid resistance in Megalurothrips usitatus from the Hainan Province of China, we conducted a biological assay and sequenced the voltage-gated sodium channel gene domain II from M. usitatus field populations. It showed high resistance to the pyrethroids for 2019 and 2020, in which LC50 to lambda-cyhalothrin of M. usitatus was 1683.521 mg/L from Sanya in 2020. The LC50 value of deltamethrin was lower in Haikou than in other locations, which mean the south of Hainan has higher resistance than the north of Hainan. Two mutations of I873S and V1015M were detected in the domain II region of the sodium channel in M. usitatus; however, the mutation frequency of V1015M was only 3.33% and that of I873S was 100%. One is homozygous and the other is a heterozygous mutant type. The three thrips-sensitive strains of sodium channel 873 are highly conserved in amino acids (isoleucine), while the M. usitatus pyrethroid-resistant strains are all serine, so I873S may be related to the resistance of M. usitatus to pyrethroids. The present study will contribute to the understanding of the evolution of pyrethroids resistance and contribute to the development of resistance management of M. usitatus in Hainan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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17 pages, 1884 KiB  
Article
Medfly Population Suppression through Augmentative Release of an Introduced Parasitoid in an Irrigated Multi-Fruit Orchard of Central–Western Argentina
by Lorena Suárez, María Josefina Buonocore Biancheri, Fernando Murúa, Mariano Ordano, Xingeng Wang, Jorge Cancino, Flavio Roberto Mello Garcia, Guillermo Sánchez, Sergio Beltrachini, Luis Ernesto Kulichevsky and Sergio Marcelo Ovruski
Insects 2023, 14(4), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040387 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Biological control through the augmentative release of parasitoids is an important complementary tool that may be incorporated into other strategies for the eradication/eco-friendly control of pest fruit flies. However, not much information is available on the effectiveness of fruit fly parasitoids as biocontrol [...] Read more.
Biological control through the augmentative release of parasitoids is an important complementary tool that may be incorporated into other strategies for the eradication/eco-friendly control of pest fruit flies. However, not much information is available on the effectiveness of fruit fly parasitoids as biocontrol agents in semi-arid and temperate fruit-growing regions. Therefore, this study evaluated the effect of augmentative releases of the larval parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead) on Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (medfly) populations over two fruit seasons (2013 and 2014) on a 10 ha irrigated fruit farm in San Juan province, central–western Argentina. The parasitoids were mass reared on irradiated medfly larvae of the Vienna-8 temperature-sensitive lethal genetic sexing strain. About 1692 (±108) parasitoids/ha were released per each of the 13 periods throughout each fruit season. Another similar farm was chosen as a control of non-parasitoid release. The numbers of captured adult flies in food-baited traps and of recovered fly puparia from sentinel fruits were considered the main variables to analyze the effect of parasitoid release on fly population suppression using a generalized least squares model. The results showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the medfly population on the parasitoid release farm when compared to the Control farm, demonstrating the effectiveness of augmentative biological control using this exotic parasitoid. Thus, D. longicaudata could be used in combination with other medfly suppression strategies in the fruit production valleys of San Juan. Full article
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18 pages, 2726 KiB  
Review
The Role of Biogenic Amines in Social Insects: With a Special Focus on Ants
by Francesca Barbero, Giuseppe Mannino and Luca Pietro Casacci
Insects 2023, 14(4), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040386 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2350
Abstract
Eusociality represents the higher degree of interaction in insects. This complex social structure is maintained through a multimodal communication system that allows colony members to be flexible in their responses, fulfilling the overall society’s needs. The colony plasticity is supposedly achieved by combining [...] Read more.
Eusociality represents the higher degree of interaction in insects. This complex social structure is maintained through a multimodal communication system that allows colony members to be flexible in their responses, fulfilling the overall society’s needs. The colony plasticity is supposedly achieved by combining multiple biochemical pathways through the neuromodulation of molecules such as biogenic amines, but the mechanisms through which these regulatory compounds act are far from being fully disentangled. Here, we review the potential function of major bioamines (dopamine, tyramine, serotine, and octopamine) on the behavioral modulation of principal groups of eusocial Hymenoptera, with a special focus on ants. Because functional roles are species- and context-dependent, identifying a direct causal relationship between a biogenic amine variation and behavioral changes is extremely challenging. We also used a quantitative and qualitative synthesis approach to summarize research trends and interests in the literature related to biogenic amines of social insects. Shedding light on the aminergic regulation of behavioral responses will pave the way for an entirely new approach to understanding the evolution of sociality in insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Amines and Behavior)
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12 pages, 2145 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Nabis americoferus and Orius insidiosus as Biological Control Agents of Lygus lineolaris in Strawberry Fields
by François Dumont, Mireia Solà, Caroline Provost and Eric Lucas
Insects 2023, 14(4), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040385 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1298
Abstract
The tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, is a major strawberry pest. Only marginally effective control methods exist to manage this pest. Various predators attack L. lineolaris, but their potential is overlooked. In this study, we explore the potential of two omnivorous [...] Read more.
The tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, is a major strawberry pest. Only marginally effective control methods exist to manage this pest. Various predators attack L. lineolaris, but their potential is overlooked. In this study, we explore the potential of two omnivorous predators of the tarnished plant bug: the damsel bug, Nabis americoferus, and the minute pirate bug, Orius insidiosus. Firstly, the predation rate of these predators was measured in laboratory tests. Secondly, their potential release rates and release periods were determined in the field using strawberry plants. The results show that N. americoferus feeds on all nymphal stages and adults of the tarnished plant bug, while O. insidiosus attacks only smaller nymphs (up to the N2 stage). In the field, all tested densities of N. americoferus (0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 individual/plant) reduced the population of the tarnished plant bug for several weeks compared with the control treatment, but the effect of O. insidiosus alone was marginal. Additionally, for all the release periods tested, Nabis americoferus was efficient in reducing the pest population. These results demonstrate the potential of N. americoferus to control the tarnished plant bug in strawberry fields. We discuss the possible application of these results for establishing an effective and economically viable biological control strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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7 pages, 679 KiB  
Brief Report
Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus Spain Strain Is Not Transmitted by Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Is Inefficiently Transmitted by Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean between Zucchini and the Wild Cucurbit Ecballium elaterium
by Alessia Farina, Carmelo Rapisarda, Elvira Fiallo-Olivé and Jesús Navas-Castillo
Insects 2023, 14(4), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040384 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) is a bipartite begomovirus (genus Begomovirus, family Geminiviridae) persistently transmitted, as with all other begomoviruses, by whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) of the Bemisia tabaci cryptic species complex. The virus, originally from the Indian subcontinent, was [...] Read more.
Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) is a bipartite begomovirus (genus Begomovirus, family Geminiviridae) persistently transmitted, as with all other begomoviruses, by whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) of the Bemisia tabaci cryptic species complex. The virus, originally from the Indian subcontinent, was recently introduced in the Mediterranean basin, where it is currently a major concern for protected and open-field horticulture. The Mediterranean ToLCNDV isolates belong to a novel strain named “Spain strain” (ToLCNDV-ES), which infects zucchini and other cucurbit crops but is poorly adapted to tomato. Recently, it has been reported that another whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, is able to transmit an isolate of ToLCNDV from India which infects the chayote plant, a cucurbit. The present work aimed to clarify some aspects of whitefly transmission of ToLCNDV-ES. It was shown that T. vaporariorum is not able to transmit ToLCNDV-ES between zucchini plants. In addition, Ecballium elaterium may not act as a relevant reservoir for this virus strain in the Mediterranean basin, as B. tabaci Mediterranean (MED), the most prevalent species of the complex in the region, is not an efficient vector of this begomovirus between cultivated zucchini and wild E. elaterium plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Vectors of Plant Diseases)
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12 pages, 2259 KiB  
Article
Functional Characterization of the Nuclear Receptor Gene SaE75 in the Grain Aphid, Sitobion avenae
by Haixia Zheng, Yi Yan, Guohua Wei, Austin Merchant, Yaxin Gu, Xuguo Zhou, Xun Zhu, Yunhui Zhang and Xiangrui Li
Insects 2023, 14(4), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040383 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1710
Abstract
Ecdysteroid hormones are key regulators of insect development and metamorphosis. Ecdysone-inducible E75, a major component of insect ecdysone signaling pathway, has been well characterized in holometabolous insects, however, barely in hemimetabolous species. In this study, a total of four full-length E75 cDNAs [...] Read more.
Ecdysteroid hormones are key regulators of insect development and metamorphosis. Ecdysone-inducible E75, a major component of insect ecdysone signaling pathway, has been well characterized in holometabolous insects, however, barely in hemimetabolous species. In this study, a total of four full-length E75 cDNAs from the English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, were identified, cloned, and characterized. The four SaE75 cDNAs contained 3048, 2625, 2505, and 2179 bp open reading frames (ORF), encoding 1015, 874, 856, and 835 amino acids, respectively. Temporal expression profiles showed that SaE75 expression was low in adult stages, while high in pseudo embryo and nymphal stages. SaE75 was differentially expressed between winged and wingless morphs. RNAi-mediated suppression of SaE75 led to substantial biological impacts, including mortality and molting defects. As for the pleiotropic effects on downstream ecdysone pathway genes, SaHr3 (hormone receptor like in 46) was significantly up-regulated, while Sabr-c (broad-complex core protein gene) and Saftz-f1 (transcription factor 1) were significantly down-regulated. These combined results not only shed light on the regulatory role of E75 in the ecdysone signaling pathway, but also provide a potential novel target for the long-term sustainable management of S. avenae, a devastating global grain pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Opportunities and Challenges in Insect Functional Genomics)
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12 pages, 4511 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Preference for Chemicals Associated with Fruit Fermentation between Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila suzukii and between Virgin and Mated D. melanogaster
by Hyemin Kim, YeongHo Kim, Gwang Hyun Roh and Young Ho Kim
Insects 2023, 14(4), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040382 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Two taxonomically similar Drosophila species, Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila suzukii, are known to have distinct habitats: D. melanogaster is mostly found near overripe and fermented fruits, whereas D. suzukii is attracted to fresh fruits. Since chemical concentrations are typically higher in overripe [...] Read more.
Two taxonomically similar Drosophila species, Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila suzukii, are known to have distinct habitats: D. melanogaster is mostly found near overripe and fermented fruits, whereas D. suzukii is attracted to fresh fruits. Since chemical concentrations are typically higher in overripe and fermented fruits than in fresh fruits, D. melanogaster is hypothesized to be attracted to higher concentrations of volatiles than D. suzukii. Therefore, the chemical preferences of the two flies were compared via Y-tube olfactometer assays and electroantennogram (EAG) experiments using various concentrations of 2-phenylethanol, ethanol, and acetic acid. D. melanogaster exhibited a higher preference for high concentrations of all the chemicals than that of D. suzukii. In particular, since acetic acid is mostly produced at the late stage of fruit fermentation, the EAG signal distance to acetic acid between the two flies was higher than those to 2-phenylethanol and ethanol. This supports the hypothesis that D. melanogaster prefers fermented fruits compared to D. suzukii. When comparing virgin and mated female D. melanogaster, mated females showed a higher preference for high concentrations of chemicals than that of virgin females. In conclusion, high concentrations of volatiles are important attraction factors for mated females seeking appropriate sites for oviposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Diptera Biology)
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17 pages, 2468 KiB  
Article
Automatic Detection of Moths (Lepidoptera) with a Funnel Trap Prototype
by Norbert Flórián, Júlia Katalin Jósvai, Zsolt Tóth, Veronika Gergócs, László Sipőcz, Miklós Tóth and Miklós Dombos
Insects 2023, 14(4), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040381 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
Monitoring insect populations is essential to optimise pest control with the correct protection timing and the avoidance of unnecessary insecticide use. Modern real-time monitoring practices use automatic insect traps, which are expected to be able to estimate the population sizes of pest animals [...] Read more.
Monitoring insect populations is essential to optimise pest control with the correct protection timing and the avoidance of unnecessary insecticide use. Modern real-time monitoring practices use automatic insect traps, which are expected to be able to estimate the population sizes of pest animals with high species specificity. There are many solutions to overcome this challenge; however, there are only a few data that consider their accuracy under field conditions. This study presents an opto-electronic device prototype (ZooLog VARL) developed by us. A pilot field study evaluated the precision and accuracy of the data filtering using an artificial neural network(ANN) and the detection accuracy of the new probes. The prototype comprises a funnel trap, sensor-ring, and data communication system. The main modification of the trap was a blow-off device that prevented the escape of flying insects from the funnel. These new prototypes were tested in the field during the summer and autumn of 2018, detecting the daily and monthly flight of six moth species (Agrotis segetum, Autographa gamma, Helicoverpa armigera, Cameraria ohridella, Grapholita funebrana, Grapholita molesta). The accuracy of ANN was always higher than 60%. In the case of species with larger body sizes, it reached 90%. The detection accuracy ranged from 84% to 92% on average. These probes detected the real-time catches of the moth species. Therefore, weekly and daily patterns of moth flight activity periods could be compared and displayed for the different species. This device solved the problem of multiple counting and gained a high detection accuracy in target species cases. ZooLog VARL probes provide the real-time, time-series data sets of each monitored pest species. Further evaluation of the catching efficiency of the probes is needed. However, the prototype allows us to follow and model pest dynamics and may make more precise forecasts of population outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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16 pages, 4198 KiB  
Article
The SisaMob Information System: Implementation of Digital Data Collection as a Tool for Surveillance and Vector Control in the State of São Paulo
by Gerson Laurindo Barbosa, Antônio Henrique Alves Gomes and Vera Lucia Fonseca de Camargo-Neves
Insects 2023, 14(4), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040380 - 13 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Information systems are essential instruments in managing resources, in the evaluation of the epidemiological situation, and for decision-making at all hierarchical levels. Technological advances have allowed the development of systems that meet these premises. Therefore, it is recommended to consider the optimization of [...] Read more.
Information systems are essential instruments in managing resources, in the evaluation of the epidemiological situation, and for decision-making at all hierarchical levels. Technological advances have allowed the development of systems that meet these premises. Therefore, it is recommended to consider the optimization of data entry and its immediate georeferencing in order to obtain information in real time. To meet this objective, we describe the application introduction process for the implementation of the digital collection of primary data and its integration with the database through synchronization with the SisaWeb platform (Information System for surveillance and control of Aedes aegypti), developed to meet the needs of the Arbovirus Surveillance and Control Program in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. For this purpose, the application—SisaMob—was conceived in the Android Studio development environment, Google®, following the same guidelines as the traditional collection method. Tablets equipped with the Android® operating system were used. To evaluate the implementation of the application, a semi-structured test was applied. The results highlighted that 774.9% (27) of the interviewees evaluated its use positively and, replacing the standard bulletin, 61.1% (22) of the users considered it regular to excellent. The automatic collection of geographic coordinates represented the greatest innovation in the use of the portable device, with reductions in errors and in the time taken to complete the report in the field. The integration to SisaWeb allowed obtaining information in real-time, being easily presented in tabular and graphic modes and spatially arranged through maps, making it possible to monitor the work at a distance, and allowing preliminary analyses during the data collection process. For the future, we must improve the mechanisms for assessing the effectiveness of information, increase the potential of the tool to produce more accurate analyses, which can direct actions more efficiently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Vector-Focused Approaches for Disease Control)
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13 pages, 3241 KiB  
Article
Geostatistical Analysis of the Spatial Variation of Chrysolina aeruginosa Larvae at Different Stages in Desert Ecosystems
by Zeshuai He, Liangyue Chen, Ying Yang, Fuqiang Zhao, Chunmei Zhou and Dazhi Zhang
Insects 2023, 14(4), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040379 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
Chrysolina aeruginosa is a major pest of Artemisia ordosica, and knowledge of the spatial distribution pattern of its larvae in their natural habitat is crucial for the implementation of effective control measures. This study employed geostatistical methods to investigate the damage caused [...] Read more.
Chrysolina aeruginosa is a major pest of Artemisia ordosica, and knowledge of the spatial distribution pattern of its larvae in their natural habitat is crucial for the implementation of effective control measures. This study employed geostatistical methods to investigate the damage caused by larvae of different age groups and their spatial distribution pattern. The distribution of C. aeruginosa larvae, which cause damage to A. ordosica, differed significantly according to their age. Younger larvae were predominantly found in the middle and upper parts of the plant, whereas older larvae were mainly distributed in the middle and lower parts, with significant differences in distribution location. A generalized linear model analysis revealed that the height of the plant, and plant morphological characteristics such as height, crown width, and ground diameter were significantly correlated with the number of larvae present. Furthermore, the interaction of age with other variables had an impact on the number of larvae. Kriging interpolation showed that C. aeruginosa larvae were distributed in aggregated patches with strong spatial heterogeneity. The younger larvae were more abundant in the center of the sample site, while the older larvae tended to be distributed toward the edges. These findings provide valuable information for designing effective control programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
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17 pages, 40855 KiB  
Communication
Climate and Environmental Changes and Their Potential Effects on the Dynamics of Chagas Disease: Hybridization in Rhodniini (Hemiptera, Triatominae)
by Amanda Ravazi, Jader de Oliveira, Fernanda Fernandez Madeira, Giovana Menezes Nunes, Yago Visinho dos Reis, Ana Beatriz Bortolozo de Oliveira, Luísa Martins Sensato Azevedo, Cleber Galvão, Maria Tercília Vilela de Azeredo-Oliveira, João Aristeu da Rosa and Kaio Cesar Chaboli Alevi
Insects 2023, 14(4), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040378 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
Chagas disease affects about eight million people. In view of the issues related to the influence of anthropogenic changes in the dynamics of the distribution and reproductive interaction of triatomines, we performed experimental crosses between species of the Rhodniini tribe in order to [...] Read more.
Chagas disease affects about eight million people. In view of the issues related to the influence of anthropogenic changes in the dynamics of the distribution and reproductive interaction of triatomines, we performed experimental crosses between species of the Rhodniini tribe in order to evaluate interspecific reproductive interactions and hybrid production capacity. Reciprocal crossing experiments were conducted among Rhodnius brethesi × R. pictipes, R. colombiensis × R. ecuadoriensis, R. neivai × R. prolixus, R. robustus × R. prolixus, R. montenegrensis × R. marabaensis; R. montenegrensis × R. robustus, R. prolixus × R. nasutus and R. neglectus × R. milesi. With the exception of crosses between R. pictipes ♀ × R. brethesi ♂, R. ecuadoriensis ♀ × R. colombiensis ♂ and R. prolixus ♀ × R. neivai ♂, all experimental crosses resulted in hybrids. Our results demonstrate that both allopatric and sympatric species produce hybrids, which can generate concern for public health agencies in the face of current anthropogenic events. Thus, we demonstrate that species of the Rhodniini tribe are capable of producing hybrids under laboratory conditions. These results are of great epidemiological importance and raise an important discussion about the influence of climatic and environmental interactions on Chagas disease dynamics. Full article
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13 pages, 2090 KiB  
Article
Population Genetic Diversity of Two Blue Oat Mite Species on Triticum Hosts in China
by Xian Wang, Wenjie Wang, Yang Qin, Mian Wang, Yaying Li and Huai Liu
Insects 2023, 14(4), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040377 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
Blue oat mite species, including Penthaleus major and P. tectus, are pests widely distributed across China that cause damage to winter wheat. This study evaluated the genetic diversity of P. major and P. tectus on Triticum hosts collected from 23 geographic locations [...] Read more.
Blue oat mite species, including Penthaleus major and P. tectus, are pests widely distributed across China that cause damage to winter wheat. This study evaluated the genetic diversity of P. major and P. tectus on Triticum hosts collected from 23 geographic locations based on mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences. We identified nine haplotypes in 438 P. major individuals from 21 geographic locations and five haplotypes in 139 P. tectus individuals from 11 geographic locations. Meanwhile, P. major exhibits high values of haplotype diversity (Hd) and nucleotide diversity (Pi) (Hd = 0.534 > 0.5 and Pi = 0.012 > 0.005), representing a large stable population with a long evolutionary history. P. tectus shows low values of Hd and Pi (Hd = 0.112 < 0.5 and Pi = 0 < 0.005), which suggest recent founder events. Moreover, demographic analysis suggested that P. major and P. tectus have not undergone a recent population expansion. The lowest genetic variation was observed in Xiangzhou (XZ-HB), Zaoyang (ZY-HB), Siyang (SY-JS), and Rongxian (RX-SC), with only one species and one haplotype identified in over 30 individuals. Robust genetic differentiation was found in P. major compared to P. tectus, which provides a theoretical basis for the widespread distribution of P. major in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Integrated Pest Management of Crop)
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11 pages, 941 KiB  
Article
Development of Insecticide Resistance in Field Populations of Onion Thrips, Thrips tabaci (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)
by Waqas Wakil, Sehrish Gulzar, Shaohui Wu, Khawaja G. Rasool, Mureed Husain, Abdulrahman S. Aldawood and Michael D. Toews
Insects 2023, 14(4), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040376 - 11 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
The present study evaluated insecticide resistance in field populations of onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), collected from eight different onion-growing regions of Punjab, Pakistan. These field-collected populations were assessed for resistance development against eight commonly used active ingredients including deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated insecticide resistance in field populations of onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), collected from eight different onion-growing regions of Punjab, Pakistan. These field-collected populations were assessed for resistance development against eight commonly used active ingredients including deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, spinosad, spinetoram, cypermethrin, and abamectin. In leaf dip bioassays, T. tabaci adults showed varied levels of resistance towards different insecticides. Moderate or high levels of resistance to deltamethrin (58–86 fold), lambda-cyhalothrin (20–63 fold), and cypermethrin (22–54 fold) were observed in T. tabaci field populations. There were very low to moderate resistance levels to imidacloprid (10–38 fold), acetamiprid (5–29 fold), and abamectin (10–30 fold). The lowest levels of resistance were detected in thrips exposed to spinosad (3–13 fold) and spinetoram (3–8 fold). Insecticide resistance levels varied among populations collected from various geographic locations, but all populations exhibited elevated levels of resistance to deltamethrin. Thrips tabaci populations with higher resistance levels were most commonly found from the southern part of Punjab, Pakistan. Our findings revealed that spinosyns could be used as alternatives to conventional insecticides for the successful management of T. tabaci in onion fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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13 pages, 950 KiB  
Article
Host Preferences Shown by Drosophilids (Diptera) in a Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Distribution Center Follow the Wild Neotropical Pattern
by Laís Barbosa Ribeiro, Carolyn Elinore Barnes Proença and Rosana Tidon
Insects 2023, 14(4), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040375 - 11 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Although drosophilids have been extensively studied in laboratories worldwide, their ecology is still relatively poorly understood. This is unfortunate because some species are currently expanding their geographic distribution and infesting fruit crops. Here, we investigated the relationship between drosophilids and potential plant hosts [...] Read more.
Although drosophilids have been extensively studied in laboratories worldwide, their ecology is still relatively poorly understood. This is unfortunate because some species are currently expanding their geographic distribution and infesting fruit crops. Here, we investigated the relationship between drosophilids and potential plant hosts in a commercial fruit and vegetable distribution center in the Neotropical region. We collected discarded fruits and vegetables from this commercial center during two time periods (2007–2008 and 2017–2018). Resources were weighted and individually monitored in the laboratory. The drosophilids that emerged were identified, and the relationship between them and their resources was explored. From the 99,478 kg of potential hosts collected, we identified 48 plant taxa, from which 48,894 drosophilids of 16 species emerged. On both collecting occasions, drosophilid assemblages were strongly dominated by basically the same exotic species, which explore a broader range of resources, especially those of exotic origin, when compared to neotropical drosophilids. These results are concerning because the studied site, Along with other urban markets around the world, might be acting as sources of generalist widespread species that disperse to surrounding natural vegetation and contribute to biotic homogenization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fly Biology, Ecology, Behavior and Management)
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