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Insects, Volume 14, Issue 6 (June 2023) – 84 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs) describe the avoidance behaviour of animals when detecting a possible risk. Ants are predators of many insect pests and commonly patrol plants, releasing several different chemical traces in the substrate. We tested whether semiochemicals released by two Mediterranean ants, Crematogaster scutellaris and Tapinoma nigerrimum, were able to deter the occurrence of the pest Ceratitis capitata, which damages fruits by egg-laying. Using binary choice tests, we observed that females of C. capitata tended to avoid fruits previously visited by ants, resulting in a lower amount of progeny production. This suggests that flies are able to detect the scent of the ants and that these compounds are present across different ant subfamilies. The results of this research may be a first step toward a new low-impacting control method against agricultural pests. View this paper
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Article
Morphology and Morphometry of the Reproductive Tract of the Cotton Boll Weevil after Prolonged Feeding on Alternative Diets
Insects 2023, 14(6), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060571 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) survives on alternative diets; however, this induces reproductive diapause. The objective was to evaluate the morphology and morphometry of the reproductive tract of this weevil after feeding on alternative diets. The experimental design was completely randomized with 160 [...] Read more.
Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) survives on alternative diets; however, this induces reproductive diapause. The objective was to evaluate the morphology and morphometry of the reproductive tract of this weevil after feeding on alternative diets. The experimental design was completely randomized with 160 replications and treatments arranged in a factorial design 3 × 3, represented by A. grandis adults fed on 3 food types (fragments of banana (T1) or orange (T2) endocarp, or with cotton squares of cultivar BRS 286 (T3, control)) and three evaluation periods (30, 60, and 90 days) and after each of these periods they were fed with cotton squares for 10 days. The reproductive tract of 100% of A. grandis females fed banana endocarp, orange endocarp, and cotton squares for 30 and 60 days and then cotton squares were morphologically adequate for reproduction, and after 90 days, only 50% of those fed cotton squares were in this condition. The length of the ovarioles and the width of the mature oocyte were greater for A. grandis fed on cotton squares and smaller in those with banana and orange endocarps. Histological sections reveal that male testes even with strong degenerative signals are already producing spermatozoa. On the other hand, females displayed ovaries with nurse cells in the tropharium and some maturing oocytes in the vitellarium. The body length was longer and the testis area and diameter smaller in males fed on cotton squares than in those with banana and orange endocarp. Anthonomus grandis females fed for ≥90 days with alternative food sources do not recover the functionality of their reproductive tract, even after consuming, for 10 days, a diet that favors reproduction. On the other hand, the males remain with their reproductive organs functional with this condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
A revision of the Encarsia mexicana species-group (=Dirphys Howard) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), gregarious endoparasitoids of whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in the Neotropical Region
Insects 2023, 14(6), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060570 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 853
Abstract
The genus Dirphys Howard 1914 syn. n. is synonymized with Encarsia Förster, and treated as a species-group of Encarsia, referred to henceforth as the Encarsia mexicana species-group. The monophyly of Encarsia is discussed in relation to Dirphys. The new synonymy is [...] Read more.
The genus Dirphys Howard 1914 syn. n. is synonymized with Encarsia Förster, and treated as a species-group of Encarsia, referred to henceforth as the Encarsia mexicana species-group. The monophyly of Encarsia is discussed in relation to Dirphys. The new synonymy is based on phylogenetic analyses of the nuclear ribosomal 28S-D2 gene region (43 taxa, 510 bp). The Encarsia mexicana species-group is recovered as strongly monophyletic within Encarsia. All species of the Encarsia mexicana species-group are revised. The group includes six previously described species, and fourteen newly described species. All species are described (or redescribed) and illustrated. Detailed distributional data, and, where available, plant associate and host records are provided for all species. Encarsia myartsevae Kresslein and Polaszek nom. nov. is here proposed as a replacement name for Encarsia mexicana Myartseva, now preoccupied by Encarsia mexicana (Howard). A dichotomous identification key, supplemented by an online multiple-entry key, is provided for all species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Hymenoptera: Biology, Taxonomy and Integrated Management)
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Article
Applying Satyrization to Insect Pest Control: The Case of the Spotted Wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura
Insects 2023, 14(6), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060569 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Drosophila suzukii represents one of the major agricultural pests worldwide. The identification of safety and long-lasting tools to suppress its populations is therefore crucial to mitigate the environmental and economic damages due to its occurrence. Here, we explore the possibility of using satyrization [...] Read more.
Drosophila suzukii represents one of the major agricultural pests worldwide. The identification of safety and long-lasting tools to suppress its populations is therefore crucial to mitigate the environmental and economic damages due to its occurrence. Here, we explore the possibility of using satyrization as a tool to control the abundance of D. suzukii. By using males of D. melanogaster, we realized courtship tests, spermathecae analysis, and multiple-choice experiments to assess the occurrence and extent of pre- and post-zygotic isolation between the two species, as well as the occurrence of fitness costs in D. suzukii females due to satyrization. Our results showed that: (i) D. melanogaster males successfully courted D. suzukii females; (ii) D. melanogaster males significantly affected the total courtship time of D. suzukii males, which reduced from 22.6% to 6.4%; (iii) D. melanogaster males were able to inseminate D. suzukii and reduce their offspring, inducing a high fitness cost. Reproductive interference occurs at different steps between D. melanogaster and D. suzukii, both alone and in combination with other area-wide control approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
A Novel Ethyl Formate Fumigation Strategy for Managing Yellow Tea Thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis) in Greenhouse Cultivated Mangoes and Post-Harvest Fruits
Insects 2023, 14(6), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060568 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 625
Abstract
The effects of climate change and shifting consumer preferences for tropical/subtropical mango fruits have accelerated their greenhouse cultivation in South Korea, which has consequently exacerbated the risk of unexpected or exotic insect pest outbreaks. This study used the pest risk analysis (PRA) of [...] Read more.
The effects of climate change and shifting consumer preferences for tropical/subtropical mango fruits have accelerated their greenhouse cultivation in South Korea, which has consequently exacerbated the risk of unexpected or exotic insect pest outbreaks. This study used the pest risk analysis (PRA) of greenhouse-cultivated mangoes provided by the Animal & Plant Quarantine Agency in Korea to evaluate the potential of ethyl formate (EF) fumigation as a new pest management strategy against the yellow tea thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis), which is considered a surrogate pest in the thrips group according to the PRA. The efficacy and phytotoxicity of EF were evaluated in greenhouse-cultivated mango tree (Irwin variety) and post-harvest mango fruit scenarios. EF efficacy ranged from 6.25 to 6.89 g∙h/m³ for lethal concentration time (LCt)50 and from 17.10 to 18.18 g∙h/m³ for LCt99, indicating similar efficacy across both scenarios. Application of 10 g/m³ EF for 4 h at 23 °C could effectively control S. dorsalis (100% mortality) without causing phytotoxic damage to the greenhouse-cultivated mango trees, while post-harvest mango fruit fumigation with 15 g/m³ EF for 4 h at 10 °C showed potential for complete disinfestation of S. dorsalis without compromising fruit quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Screening of Fungal Strains and Formulations of Metarhizium anisopliae to Control Phyllotreta striolata in Chinese Flowering Cabbage
Insects 2023, 14(6), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060567 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 604
Abstract
(1) Background: The cabbage flea beetle (CFB; Phyllotreta striolata) seriously damages the production of Chinese flowering cabbage (CFC; Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. utilis), which is a key leafy vegetable in South China. A large number of chemical insecticides have [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The cabbage flea beetle (CFB; Phyllotreta striolata) seriously damages the production of Chinese flowering cabbage (CFC; Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. utilis), which is a key leafy vegetable in South China. A large number of chemical insecticides have been sprayed to control this pest; as a result, residues and resistances are becoming an issue. It is necessary to develop biocontrol technologies to address this issue. (2) Methods: Fungal strains were selected based on bioactivity against CFB, and CFC seed pelletization with fungal conidia was subject to evaluation of control efficacy against CFB. The effective mixture of fungus and chemical insecticide was determined based on safety and joint toxicology tests. (3) Results: The screening of 103 strains from 14 genera identified the Metarhizium anisopliae strain MaGX19S02 (Ma) as the one with the highest virulence. The LC50s of Ma to CFB adult and second instar larvae on day 9 post-treatment were 3.04 × 106 and 27.2 × 106 spores/mL, respectively. In the pot test, the pelletization of CFC seeds with Ma conidia (50/25/12.5 mg in 1 g seed with 4 g fillers) demonstrated significant CFB mortalities (45–82%) 20 days after the larvae were introduced. In the field test, the seed pelletization achieved 57–81% control efficacy 14 days after sowing. Furthermore, the combination of Ma with chlorfenapyr (Chl) demonstrated a synergistic effect against CFB; based on this result, we prepared the mixture formulation of 20% Ma-Chl wettable powder (WP). The assessment of the effects of 20% Ma-Chl WP (500× diluent) against CFB revealed 93.33% mortality in the pot test and 61.3% control efficacy in the field test on day 7 post-treatment. (4) Conclusions: The findings demonstrate the potential of Ma to control CFB in the field. Seed pelletization with Ma conidia effectively controlled CFB larvae and protected CFC seedlings, wherein a mixture formulation of 20% Ma-Chl WP had substantial efficacy in controlling CFB adults. Our research provides new methods for CFB biocontrol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management of Crop)
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Article
Insect Colonisation and the Decomposition Process in Aerated versus Watertight Burial Systems
Insects 2023, 14(6), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060566 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 696
Abstract
In recent years, burial systems have covered increasingly higher costs due to the pollution caused by decomposition products. These products are understood as chemicals and microorganisms in the surrounding soil and groundwater and represent a topical issue. The purpose of this research was [...] Read more.
In recent years, burial systems have covered increasingly higher costs due to the pollution caused by decomposition products. These products are understood as chemicals and microorganisms in the surrounding soil and groundwater and represent a topical issue. The purpose of this research was to ascertain the extent of decomposition when pig carcasses are buried in two different burial systems (“aerated” vs. “watertight”) and catalogue the arthropods associated with burials at different time-points of removal from niches (after 6, 12, 24, 36, and 60 months). Thirteen taxa were collected in aerated niches, whereas five were collected in watertight niches. The initial access or exclusion of insect colonisers affected overall functional activity. Two Diptera species, Hydrotaea capensis and Megaselia scalaris, were the most abundant, supporting the hypothesis that insects can colonise carcasses in aerated burial systems. Furthermore, some species of bacteria have been documented as facilitators of the initial decomposition process of the carcass. Most bacterial colonies develop only in aerated niches. The trial showed that the first enzymatic–bacterial and insect actions helped promote the process of cadaveric decomposition and later skeletonisation, mainly when associated with aeration modes of the tomb/mound. The results obtained provide essential information on the process of human decomposition and taphonomy in cemeteries. Moreover, these data could benefit forensic science by adding information on insect colonisation and body modification in medico-legal investigations concerning the post-mortem interval in exhumed bodies and illegal burials. Full article
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Article
Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus Adults Found Coexisting in Urban and Semiurban Dwellings of Southern Chiapas, Mexico
Insects 2023, 14(6), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060565 - 17 Jun 2023
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Tapachula, Mexico, a tropical city, is an endemic area for dengue, in addition to several outbreaks in the last decade with chikungunya and zika. As part of the migratory corridor from Central to North America and the risks of scattered infectious diseases that [...] Read more.
Tapachula, Mexico, a tropical city, is an endemic area for dengue, in addition to several outbreaks in the last decade with chikungunya and zika. As part of the migratory corridor from Central to North America and the risks of scattered infectious diseases that this implies, the identification and distribution of potential disease vectors in and around residential areas are essential in terms of entomological surveillance for the prevention of disease outbreaks. The identification of mosquito species of medical importance coexisting in houses and cemeteries in Tapachula and two semiurban sites in southern Chiapas was investigated. Adult mosquitoes were collected from May to December 2018, resting inside and outside houses and in the tombstones and fallen tree leaves in cemeteries. A total of 10,883 mosquitoes belonging to three vector species were collected across 20 sites; 6738 were from neighborhood houses, of which 55.4% were Culex quinquefasciatus, 41.6% Aedes aegypti, and 2.9% Ae. albopictus. Aedes aegypti was the most common mosquito resting inside houses (56.7%), while Ae. albopictus and Cx. quinquefasciatus were mostly found resting outside houses (75.7%). In the cemeteries, Cx. quinquefasciatus (60.8%) and Ae. albopictus (37.3%) were the most abundant, while Ae. aegypti (1.9%) was the least abundant. This is the first report to identify adults of three major disease vector species coexisting in the domestic environment of urban and semiurban sites and Ae. albopictus adult resting inside of urban houses in Mexico. It would be opportune to consider comprehensive strategies that can be applied in this region to control the three species at the same time and avoid outbreaks of the diseases they transmit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito: Ecology, Behavior and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Spent Coffee Grounds and Novaluron Are Toxic to Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Larvae
Insects 2023, 14(6), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060564 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) is a vector for mosquito-borne diseases worldwide. Insecticide resistance is a major concern in controlling this mosquito. We investigated the chemical compounds in wet and dry spent coffee grounds (wSCGs and dSCGs) and evaluated the efficacy of dSCGs, wSCGs, [...] Read more.
Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) is a vector for mosquito-borne diseases worldwide. Insecticide resistance is a major concern in controlling this mosquito. We investigated the chemical compounds in wet and dry spent coffee grounds (wSCGs and dSCGs) and evaluated the efficacy of dSCGs, wSCGs, and novaluron on the mortality and adult emergence inhibition of Ae. aegypti. We found higher concentrations of chemical compounds in wSCGs than in dSCGs. The wSCGs and dSCGs both contained total phenolic compounds, total flavonoid compounds, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, protocatechuic acid, and vanillic acid. Complete mortality was observed after 48 h of exposure to 50 g/L wSCGs, while similar mortality was found after 120 h of exposure to 10 µg/L of novaluron. The sublethal dose was a concentration of wSCGs (5 g/L) and novaluron (0.01, 0.1, and 1 µg/L) combined that resulted in a larval mortality lower than twenty percent (at 72 h) to determine their synergistic effects. The death rate of larvae exposed in sublethal combination of wSCGs and novaluron was significantly higher than that of its stand-alone. The findings indicate that the combination of wSCGs and novaluron at sublethal concentrations had synergistic effects on the mortality of Ae. aegypti larvae and could be applied as an alternative control measure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Efficacy of Insecticides and Botanicals against Pests)
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Article
Development and Reproduction of a Japanese Strain of Ctenolepisma calvum (Ritter, 1910) at Room Temperature
Insects 2023, 14(6), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060563 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Ctenolepisma calvum (Ritter, 1910) (Zygentoma: Lepismatidae) is a primitive wingless insect that causes damage to paper, and it is regarded as a pest of collections in museums, archives, and libraries. This species was recently discovered in Japan for the first time and may [...] Read more.
Ctenolepisma calvum (Ritter, 1910) (Zygentoma: Lepismatidae) is a primitive wingless insect that causes damage to paper, and it is regarded as a pest of collections in museums, archives, and libraries. This species was recently discovered in Japan for the first time and may have already spread over large areas of Japan, but, currently, no information is available on the biological characteristics of C. calvum in Japan. In this study, we observed the processes of development and reproduction of C. calvum found in Japan at room temperature. Oviposition was observed from April to November, with a peak in early June. The average egg period was 56.9 days at average temperatures above 24.0 °C, and was 72.4 days at average temperatures below 24.0 °C. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd instars lasted 4.7 days, 13.2 days, and 26.1 days on average, respectively, at average temperatures above 22.0 °C. Average instar periods were 23–28 days in 4th–7th instars and tended to increase in later instars. Instar periods also increased when the average temperature was 22.0 °C or lower. In individual rearing, the longest-living individual lived for approximately two years, up to the 15th instar. The head width grew at an approximate ratio of 1.1 per molt. First oviposition occurred at the 10th or 11th instar. Individually observed females oviposited once or twice a year, laying 6–16 eggs at one time, but females at least two years old laid 78.2 eggs per year on average in a mass-culture cage. Through this study, only females were found, and the mature females produced their progenies parthenogenetically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Attraction of Frankliniella occidentalis Females towards the Aggregation Pheromone Neryl (S)-2-Methylbutanoate and Kairomones in a Y-Olfactometer
Insects 2023, 14(6), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060562 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 655
Abstract
An understanding of insect olfaction allows for more specific alternative methods of pest control. We evaluated the responses of the western flower thrips (WFT, Frankliniella occidentalis) in a Y-olfactometer to estimate gas-phase concentrations of the aggregation pheromone neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate and [...] Read more.
An understanding of insect olfaction allows for more specific alternative methods of pest control. We evaluated the responses of the western flower thrips (WFT, Frankliniella occidentalis) in a Y-olfactometer to estimate gas-phase concentrations of the aggregation pheromone neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate and known kairomones such as methyl isonicotinate, (S)-(-)-verbenone, and p-anisaldehyde. The gas-phase concentrations of these compounds were obtained from the release rates measured in dynamic headspace cells. The compounds were collected from the headspace using dried solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges and analyzed with a triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS. We observed that the aggregation pheromone significantly attracted WFT females at doses of 10 and 100 µg, whereas methyl isonicotinate and p-anisaldehyde significantly attracted WFT females at the highest dose. Verbenone did not produce any significant results. A completely different picture was obtained when the gas-phase concentrations were considered. The minimal gas-phase concentrations of the pheromone required to attract WFT females was 0.027 ng/mL, at least 100 times lower than that of the other two compounds. The relevance and implications of our results are discussed in light of the insect’s biology and pest management methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Intraguild Prey Served as Alternative Prey for Intraguild Predators in a Reciprocal Predator Guild between Neoseiulus barkeri and Scolothrips takahashii
Insects 2023, 14(6), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060561 - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 529
Abstract
The predatory mites Neoseiulus barkeri (Hughes) and the predatory thrips Scolothrips takahashii (Priesner) are known as potential biocontrol agents for the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae (Koch). These two predator species occur simultaneously on crops in agricultural ecosystems and are proved to be [...] Read more.
The predatory mites Neoseiulus barkeri (Hughes) and the predatory thrips Scolothrips takahashii (Priesner) are known as potential biocontrol agents for the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae (Koch). These two predator species occur simultaneously on crops in agricultural ecosystems and are proved to be involved in life-stage specific intraguild predation. The intraguild prey may play a role in securing the persistence of the intraguild predators during food shortage periods. To understand the potential of intraguild prey as food source for intraguild predators in the N. barkeri and S. takahashii guild at low T. urticae densities, the survival, development and reproduction of both predators was determined when fed on heterospecific predators. The choice tests were conducted to determine the preference of the intraguild predator between the intraguild prey and the shared prey. Results showed that 53.3% N. barkeri and 60% S. takahashii juveniles successfully developed when fed on heterospecific predators. Female intraguild predators of both species fed on intraguild prey survived and laid eggs throughout the experiment. In the choice test, both intraguild predator species preferred their extraguild prey T. urticae. This study suggested that intraguild prey served as an alternative prey for intraguild predators prolonged survival and ensured the reproduction of intraguild predators during food shortage, ultimately decreasing the need for the continual release of the predators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Arthropod Pests in Agroecosystems)
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Article
iORandLigandDB: A Website for Three-Dimensional Structure Prediction of Insect Odorant Receptors and Docking with Odorants
Insects 2023, 14(6), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060560 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 625
Abstract
The use of insect-specific odorants to control the behavior of insects has always been a hot spot in research on “green” control strategies of insects. However, it is generally time-consuming and laborious to explore insect-specific odorants with traditional reverse chemical ecology methods. Here, [...] Read more.
The use of insect-specific odorants to control the behavior of insects has always been a hot spot in research on “green” control strategies of insects. However, it is generally time-consuming and laborious to explore insect-specific odorants with traditional reverse chemical ecology methods. Here, an insect odorant receptor (OR) and ligand database website (iORandLigandDB) was developed for the specific exploration of insect-specific odorants by using deep learning algorithms. The website provides a range of specific odorants before molecular biology experiments as well as the properties of ORs in closely related insects. At present, the existing three-dimensional structures of ORs in insects and the docking data with related odorants can be retrieved from the database and further analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Insect Chemosensory Receptors)
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Article
The Role of Ascorbate–Glutathione System and Volatiles Emitted by Insect-Damaged Lettuce Roots as Navigation Signals for Insect and Slug Parasitic Nematodes
Insects 2023, 14(6), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060559 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The effect of wireworm-damaged lettuce roots on the antioxidative defense system (ascorbate–glutathione cycle, photosynthetic pigments) and movement of insect/slug parasitic nematodes towards determined root exudates was studied in a glasshouse experiment. Lettuce seedlings were grown in a substrate soil in the absence/presence of [...] Read more.
The effect of wireworm-damaged lettuce roots on the antioxidative defense system (ascorbate–glutathione cycle, photosynthetic pigments) and movement of insect/slug parasitic nematodes towards determined root exudates was studied in a glasshouse experiment. Lettuce seedlings were grown in a substrate soil in the absence/presence of wireworms (Elateridae). The ascorbate–glutathione system and photosynthetic pigments were analyzed by HPLC, while volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted by lettuce roots were investigated by GC-MS. Herbivore-induced root compounds, namely 2,4-nonadienal, glutathione, and ascorbic acid, were selected for a chemotaxis assay with nematodes Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Phasmarhabditis papillosa, and Oscheius myriophilus. Root pests had a negative effect on the content of photosynthetic pigments in the leaves of infested plants, indicating that they reacted to the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Using lettuce as a model plant, we recognized the ascorbate–glutathione system as a redox hub in defense response against wireworms and analyzed its role in root-exudate-mediated chemotaxis of nematodes. Infected plants also demonstrated increased levels of volatile 2,4-nonadienal. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs, S. feltiae, S. carpocapsae, and H. bacteriophora) proved to be more mobile than parasitic nematodes O. myriophilus and P. papillosa towards chemotaxis compounds. Among them, 2,4-nonadienal repelled all tested nematodes. Most exudates that are involved in belowground tritrophic interactions remain unknown, but an increasing effort is being made in this field of research. Understanding more of these complex interactions would not only allow a better understanding of the rhizosphere but could also offer ecologically sound alternatives in the pest management of agricultural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Interaction of High Temperature Stress and Wolbachia Infection on the Biological Characteristic of Drosophila melanogaster
Insects 2023, 14(6), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060558 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 541
Abstract
It was reported that temperature affects the distribution of Wolbachia in the host, but only a few papers reported the effect of the interaction between high temperature and Wolbachia on the biological characteristic of the host. Here, we set four treatment Drosophila melanogaster [...] Read more.
It was reported that temperature affects the distribution of Wolbachia in the host, but only a few papers reported the effect of the interaction between high temperature and Wolbachia on the biological characteristic of the host. Here, we set four treatment Drosophila melanogaster groups: Wolbachia-infected flies in 25 °C (W+M), Wolbachia-infected flies in 31 °C (W+H), Wolbachia-uninfected flies in 25 °C (W-M), Wolbachia-uninfected flies in 31 °C (W-H), and detected the interaction effect of temperature and Wolbachia infection on the biological characteristic of D. melanogaster in F1, F2 and F3 generations. We found that both temperature and Wolbachia infection had significant effects on the development and survival rate of D. melanogaster. High temperature and Wolbachia infection had interaction effect on hatching rate, developmental durations, emergence rate, body weight and body length of F1, F2 and F3 flies, and the interaction effect also existed on oviposition amount of F3 flies, and on pupation rate of F2 and F3 flies. High temperature stress reduced the Wolbachia vertical transmission efficiency between generations. These results indicated that high temperature stress and Wolbachia infection had negative effects on the morphological development of D. melanogaster. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Review
Navigating Agricultural Expansion in Harsh Conditions in Russia: Balancing Development with Insect Protection in the Era of Pesticides
Insects 2023, 14(6), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060557 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 730
Abstract
As the world’s population continues to increase, ensuring food security becomes a major problem. This often leads to the expansion of agricultural production, even in harsh conditions and becomes a key problem for many countries, including Russia. However, such expansion may entail certain [...] Read more.
As the world’s population continues to increase, ensuring food security becomes a major problem. This often leads to the expansion of agricultural production, even in harsh conditions and becomes a key problem for many countries, including Russia. However, such expansion may entail certain costs, including the potential loss of insect populations, which are vital for ecological balance and agricultural productivity. The development of fallow lands in these regions is necessary to increase food production and increase food security; it is important to balance this with protection from harmful insects and sustainable farming methods. Research into the effects of insecticides on insects is an ongoing challenge, and new, sustainable farming methods are needed to ensure that protection from harmful insects and sustainable development can coexist. This article discusses the use of pesticides to protect the well-being of mankind, the problems of studying the effects of pesticides on insects and the vulnerability of insects to pesticides in regions with harsh conditions. It also discusses successful methods of sustainable agriculture and the importance of the legal framework governing the use of pesticides. The article emphasises the importance of balanced development with insect protection to ensure the sustainability of agricultural expansion in harsh conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
A Comparative Analysis of RNAi Trigger Uptake and Distribution in Mosquito Vectors of Disease
Insects 2023, 14(6), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060556 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 849
Abstract
In mosquitoes, the utilization of RNAi for functional genetics is widespread, usually mediated through introduced double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) with sequence identity to a gene of interest. However, RNAi in mosquitoes is often hampered by inconsistencies in target gene knockdown between experimental setups. While [...] Read more.
In mosquitoes, the utilization of RNAi for functional genetics is widespread, usually mediated through introduced double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) with sequence identity to a gene of interest. However, RNAi in mosquitoes is often hampered by inconsistencies in target gene knockdown between experimental setups. While the core RNAi pathway is known to function in most mosquito strains, the uptake and biodistribution of dsRNAs across different mosquito species and life stages have yet to be extensively explored as a source of variation in RNAi experiments. To better understand mosquito-RNAi dynamics, the biodistribution of a dsRNA to a heterologous gene, LacZ (iLacZ), was tracked following various routes of exposure in the larval and adult stages of Aedes aegypti, Anopheles gambiae, and Culex pipiens. iLacZ was largely limited to the gut lumen when exposed per os, or to the cuticle when topically applied, but spread through the hemocoel when injected. Uptake of dsRNA was noted in a subset of cells including: hemocytes, pericardial cells of the dorsal vessel, ovarian follicles, and ganglia of the ventral nerve cord. These cell types are all known to undergo phagocytosis, pinocytosis, or both, and as such may actively take up RNAi triggers. In Ae. aegypti, iLacZ was detected for up to one week post exposure by Northern blotting, but uptake and degradation drastically differed across tissues. The results presented here reveal that the uptake of RNAi triggers is distinct and specific to the cell type in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAi in Insects)
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Article
Rapid Assessment of Insect Pest Outbreak Using Drones: A Case Study with Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Soybean Fields
Insects 2023, 14(6), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060555 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 807
Abstract
Rapid assessment of crop damage is essential for successful management of insect pest outbreaks. In this study, we investigated the use of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and image analyses to assess an outbreak of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), [...] Read more.
Rapid assessment of crop damage is essential for successful management of insect pest outbreaks. In this study, we investigated the use of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and image analyses to assess an outbreak of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), that occurred in soybean fields in South Korea. A rotary-wing UAS was deployed to obtain a series of aerial images over 31 soybean blocks. The images were stitched together to generate composite imagery, followed by image analyses to quantify soybean defoliation. An economic analysis was conducted to compare the cost of the aerial survey with that of a conventional ground survey. The results showed that the aerial survey precisely estimated the defoliation compared to the ground survey, with an estimated defoliation of 78.3% and a range of 22.4–99.8% in the 31 blocks. Moreover, the aerial survey followed by image analyses was found to be more economical than the conventional ground survey when the number of target soybean blocks subject to the survey was more than 15 blocks. Our study clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of using an autonomous UAS and image analysis to conduct a low-cost aerial survey of soybean damage caused by S. exigua outbreaks, which can inform decision-making for S. exigua management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Integrated Pest Management of Crops)
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Article
Survey Results of Honey Bee Colony Losses in Winter in China (2009–2021)
Insects 2023, 14(6), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060554 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 787
Abstract
There is growing concern that massive loss of honey bees can cause serious negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. Surveys of colony losses have been performed worldwide to monitor the dynamic changes and health status of honey bee colonies. Here, we present the [...] Read more.
There is growing concern that massive loss of honey bees can cause serious negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. Surveys of colony losses have been performed worldwide to monitor the dynamic changes and health status of honey bee colonies. Here, we present the results of surveys regarding winter colony losses from 21 provinces in China from 2009 to 2021, with a total of 1,744,324 colonies managed by 13,704 beekeepers. The total colony losses were low (9.84%; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 9.60–10.08%) but varied among years, provinces, and scales of apiaries. As little is known about the overwintering mortality of Apis cerana, in this study, we surveyed and compared the loss rates between Apis mellifera and A. cerana in China. We found colonies of A. mellifera suffered significantly lower losses than A. cerana in China. Larger apiaries resulted in higher losses in A. mellifera, whereas the opposite was observed in A. cerana. Furthermore, we used generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMMs) to evaluate the effects of potential risk factors on winter colony losses and found that the operation size, species, migration, migration×species interaction, and queen problems were significantly related to the loss rates. New queens can increase their colony overwintering survival. Migratory beekeepers and large operations reported lower loss rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Losses of Honey Bee Colonies across the World)
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Review
How Rearing Systems for Various Species of Flies Benefit Humanity
Insects 2023, 14(6), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060553 - 14 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Flies (Diptera) have played a prominent role in human history, and several fly species are reared at different scales and for different beneficial purposes worldwide. Here, we review the historical importance of fly rearing as a foundation for insect rearing science and technology [...] Read more.
Flies (Diptera) have played a prominent role in human history, and several fly species are reared at different scales and for different beneficial purposes worldwide. Here, we review the historical importance of fly rearing as a foundation for insect rearing science and technology and synthesize information on the uses and rearing diets of more than 50 fly species in the families Asilidae, Calliphoridae, Coelopidae, Drosophilidae, Ephydridae, Muscidae, Sarcophagidae, Stratiomyidae, Syrphidae, Tachinidae, Tephritidae, and Tipulidae. We report more than 10 uses and applications of reared flies to the well-being and progress of humanity. We focus on the fields of animal feed and human food products, pest control and pollination services, medical wound therapy treatments, criminal investigations, and on the development of several branches of biology using flies as model organisms. We highlight the relevance of laboratory-reared Drosophila melanogaster Meigen as a vehicle of great scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding of many biological systems, including the genetic basis of heredity and of terrible diseases such as cancer. We point out key areas of fly-rearing research such as nutrition, physiology, anatomy/morphology, genetics, genetic pest management, cryopreservation, and ecology. We conclude that fly rearing is an activity with great benefits for human well-being and should be promoted for future advancement in diverse and innovative methods of improving existing and emerging problems to humanity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Science of Insect Rearing Systems)
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Article
Ovary Dissection Is a Sensitive Measure of Sterility in Anopheles gambiae Exposed to the Insect Growth Regulator Pyriproxyfen
Insects 2023, 14(6), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060552 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 900
Abstract
Pyriproxyfen (PPF) is an insect growth regulator used in the co-treatment of long-lasting insecticidal nets for its ability to sterilize female mosquitoes. To evaluate the efficacy of PPF-treated nets on mosquito reproductivity, most studies observe oviposition (egg-laying) rates in the laboratory. This technique [...] Read more.
Pyriproxyfen (PPF) is an insect growth regulator used in the co-treatment of long-lasting insecticidal nets for its ability to sterilize female mosquitoes. To evaluate the efficacy of PPF-treated nets on mosquito reproductivity, most studies observe oviposition (egg-laying) rates in the laboratory. This technique has several technical disadvantages. Our study assessed if ovarial dissection could serve as an effective proxy for evaluating sterility in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Blood-fed females were exposed to untreated or PPF-treated nets in cylinder assays and followed over several days to observe oviposition rates or egg development by dissection. For identifying PPF-exposed mosquitoes, both techniques demonstrated high sensitivity (oviposition: 99.1%; dissection: 100.0%), but for identifying non-exposed mosquitoes, specificity was significantly higher in the dissection group (52.5% vs. 18.9%). To assess whether dissection could be applied to nets treated with a pyrethroid or co-treated with a pyrethroid and PPF in tunnel tests, a blinded investigator performed dissections to predict the PPF exposure status across different treatment groups. The exposure status of dissected females was predicted with >90% accuracy. We report that dissection is a sensitive technique to assess sterility in female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes and can be used as a predictor of PPF exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Investigating Photo-Degradation as a Potential Pheromone Production Pathway in Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula
Insects 2023, 14(6), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060551 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Since its discovery in North America in 2014, the spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, has become an economic, ecological, and nuisance pest there. Developing early detection and monitoring tools is critical to their mitigation and control. Previous research found evidence that SLF [...] Read more.
Since its discovery in North America in 2014, the spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, has become an economic, ecological, and nuisance pest there. Developing early detection and monitoring tools is critical to their mitigation and control. Previous research found evidence that SLF may use pheromones to help locate each other for aggregation or mating. Pheromone production necessitates specific conditions by the insects, and these must be investigated and described. A chemical process called photo-degradation has been described as a final step in the production of pheromones in several diurnal insect species, in which cuticular hydrocarbons were broken down by sunlight into volatile pheromone components. In this study, photo-degradation was investigated as a possible pheromone production pathway for SLF. Extracts from SLF mixed-sex third and fourth nymphs and male or female adults were either exposed to simulated sunlight to produce a photo-degradative reaction (photo-degraded), or not exposed to light (crude), while volatiles were collected. Behavioral bioassays tested for attraction to volatiles from photo-degraded and crude samples and their residues. In third instars, only the volatile samples from photo-degraded mixed-sex extracts were attractive. Fourth instar males were attracted to both crude and photo-degraded residues, and volatiles of photo-degraded mixed-sex extracts. Fourth instar females were attracted to volatiles of crude and photo-degraded mixed-sex extracts, but not to residues. In adults, only males were attracted to body volatiles from crude and photo-degraded extracts of either sex. Examination of all volatile samples using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) revealed that most of the identified compounds in photo-degraded extracts were also present in crude extracts. However, the abundance of these compounds in photo-degraded samples were 10 to 250 times more than their abundance in the crude counterparts. Results from behavioral bioassays indicate that photo-degradation probably does not generate a long-range pheromone, but it may be involved in the production of a short-range sex-recognition pheromone in SLF. This study provides additional evidence of pheromonal activity in SLF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Chemical Ecology)
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Article
A Protein Asteroid with PIN Domain in Silkworm Bombyx mori Is Involved in Anti-BmNPV Infection
Insects 2023, 14(6), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060550 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Nuclease is a type of protein that degrades nucleic acids, which plays an important role in biological processes, including RNA interference efficiency and antiviral immunity. However, no evidence of a link between nuclease and Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) infection in silkworm B. mori [...] Read more.
Nuclease is a type of protein that degrades nucleic acids, which plays an important role in biological processes, including RNA interference efficiency and antiviral immunity. However, no evidence of a link between nuclease and Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) infection in silkworm B. mori has been found. In this study, a protein asteroid (BmAst) containing the PIN domain and XPG domain was identified in silkworm B. mori. BmAst gene was highest expressed in hemocytes and fat body of the 5th instar larvae, and high expression in the pupa stage. The transcriptional levels of the BmAst gene in 5th instar larvae were significantly induced by BmNPV or dsRNA. After knocking down BmAst gene expression by specific dsRNA, the proliferation of BmNPV in B. mori was increased significantly, whereas the survival rate of larvae was significantly lower when compared with the control. Our findings indicate that BmAst is involved in silkworm resistance to BmNPV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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Article
Geography of Indian Butterflies: Patterns Revealed by Checklists of Federal States
Insects 2023, 14(6), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060549 - 13 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Butterflies are widely used to analyze biogeographical patterns, both at the global and regional scales. Thus far, most of the latter originated from well-surveyed northern regions, while the species-rich tropical areas lag due to a lack of appropriate data. We used checklists of [...] Read more.
Butterflies are widely used to analyze biogeographical patterns, both at the global and regional scales. Thus far, most of the latter originated from well-surveyed northern regions, while the species-rich tropical areas lag due to a lack of appropriate data. We used checklists of 1379 butterfly species recorded in 36 federal states of the Republic of India (1) to explore the basic macroecological rules, and (2) to relate species richness and the distribution of endemics and geographic elements to geography, climate, land covers and socioeconomic conditions of the states. The area, land covers diversity and latitude did not affect species richness, whereas topographic diversity and the precipitation/temperature ratio (energy availability) were positive predictors. This is due the geographic and climatic idiosyncrasies of the Indian subcontinent, with its highest species richness in the small, densely forested mountainous northeast that receives summer monsoons. The peninsular effect that decreases the richness towards the tip of subcontinent is counterbalanced by the mountainous forested Western Ghats. Afrotropical elements are associated with savannahs, while Palearctic elements are associated with treeless habitats. The bulk of Indian butterfly richness, and the highest conservation priorities, overlap with global biodiversity hotspots, but the mountainous states of the Western Himalayas and the savannah states of peninsular India host distinctive faunas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Butterfly Diversity and Conservation)
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Article
Northern Richness, Southern Dead End—Origin and Dispersal Events of Pseudolycoriella (Sciaridae, Diptera) between New Zealand’s Main Islands
Insects 2023, 14(6), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060548 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Sciaridae (Diptera) is a widespread insect family of which some species can reach high abundances in arboreal habitats. This trait, together with their (passive) mobility, enables them to quickly colonise suitable habitats. To reveal the biogeographic history of the New Zealand members of [...] Read more.
Sciaridae (Diptera) is a widespread insect family of which some species can reach high abundances in arboreal habitats. This trait, together with their (passive) mobility, enables them to quickly colonise suitable habitats. To reveal the biogeographic history of the New Zealand members of the sciarid genus Pseudolycoriella, we analysed three molecular markers of selected species and populations in a Bayesian approach. At the intra- and interspecific levels, we detected a pattern of northern richness vs. southern purity, which has probably developed as a result of Pleistocene glacial cycles. Since the late Miocene, we identified 13 dispersal events across the sea strait separating New Zealand’s main islands. As nine of these dispersal events were south-directed, North Island can be considered the centre of radiation for this genus. An unequivocal re-colonisation of North Island was only observed once. Based on the inclusion of three undescribed species from Tasmania and on previously published data, three colonisations of New Zealand are likely, all of them assumed to be of Australian origin. One of these most probably took place during the late Miocene, and the other two during the late Pliocene or at the Pliocene–Pleistocene boundary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics, Taxonomy and Biodiversity of Sciaridae (Diptera))
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Article
Nudging Consumer Behavior with Social Marketing in Portugal: Can Perception Have an Influence over Trying Insect-Based Food?
Insects 2023, 14(6), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060547 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Social marketing campaigns are widely used to inform, educate, communicate, and promote healthy behaviors that add benefits to the individual, but also to society and the environment. Considering the low cost and high quality of insect-based food, this research aims to identify the [...] Read more.
Social marketing campaigns are widely used to inform, educate, communicate, and promote healthy behaviors that add benefits to the individual, but also to society and the environment. Considering the low cost and high quality of insect-based food, this research aims to identify the main factors which can be used by social marketing campaigns to help people to try new foods, such as insect-based food. Although it is considered an important alternative to protein, there are a few countries that have not experienced it. In many Western countries, insect-based food is perceived as being disgusting. Neophobia is also a barrier to trying these foods. The main goal is to analyze if social marketing campaigns might influence perception (familiarity, preparation, visual, and information). Our model proves this assumption because we obtained high path coefficients, indicating that perception influences social beliefs, individual beliefs, and consumption intention. Thus, they will increase the consumption intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects and Their Derivatives for Human Practical Uses (Volume II))
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Article
Honey Bee Colonies (Apis mellifera L.) Perform Orientation Defensiveness That Varies among Bred Lines
Insects 2023, 14(6), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060546 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) express complex behavioral patterns (aggressiveness) in defensive mechanisms for their survival. Their phenotypic expression of defensive behavior is influenced by internal and external stimuli. Knowledge of this behavior has recently become increasingly important, though beekeepers are still [...] Read more.
Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) express complex behavioral patterns (aggressiveness) in defensive mechanisms for their survival. Their phenotypic expression of defensive behavior is influenced by internal and external stimuli. Knowledge of this behavior has recently become increasingly important, though beekeepers are still faced with the challenges of selecting defensive and less-defensive bred lines. Field evaluation of defensive behavior among bred lines of honey bees is required to overcome the challenges. Chemical cues (alarm pheromone and isopentyl acetate mixed with paraffin oil) and physical and visual stimuli (dark leather suede, colony marbling, and suede jiggling) were used to evaluate defensiveness and orientation among five bred lines of honeybee colonies. Our results showed that both chemical assays recruited bees, but the time of recruitment was significantly faster for alarm pheromone. Honeybees’ response to both assays culminated in stings that differed among bred lines for alarm pheromone and paraffin when colonies were marbled. Honeybee orientation defensiveness varied among bred lines and was higher in more defensive bred lines compared to less-defensive bred lines. Our findings suggest that it is crucial to repeatedly evaluate orientation defensiveness at the colony level and among bred lines when selecting breeding colonies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Societies and Sociality)
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Article
Diversity and Dynamics of Bacterial Communities in the Digestive and Excretory Systems across the Life Cycle of Leafhopper, Recilia dorsalis
Insects 2023, 14(6), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060545 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 532
Abstract
Recilia dorsalis is a notorious rice pest that harbors numerous symbiotic microorganisms. However, the structure and dynamics of bacterial communities in various tissues of R. dorsalis throughout its life cycle remain unclear. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing technology to analyze the [...] Read more.
Recilia dorsalis is a notorious rice pest that harbors numerous symbiotic microorganisms. However, the structure and dynamics of bacterial communities in various tissues of R. dorsalis throughout its life cycle remain unclear. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing technology to analyze the bacterial communities in the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems of R. dorsalis at different developmental stages. The results showed that the initial microbiota in R. dorsalis mostly originated from vertical transmission via the ovaries. After the second-instar nymphs, the diversity of bacterial communities in the salivary gland and Malpighian tubules gradually decreased, while the midgut remained stable. Principal coordinate analysis revealed that the structure of bacterial communities in R. dorsalis was primarily influenced by the developmental stage, with minimal variation in bacterial species among different tissues but significant variation in bacterial abundance. Tistrella was the most abundant bacterial genus in most developmental stages, followed by Pantoea. The core bacterial community in R. dorsalis continuously enriched throughout development and contributed primarily to food digestion and nutrient supply. Overall, our study enriches our knowledge of the bacterial community associated with R. dorsalis and provides clues for developing potential biological control technologies against this rice pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Behavior and Pathology)
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Article
Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Contact Insecticides and Horticultural Oils on the Hibiscus Bud Weevil, Anthonomus testaceosquamosus Linell (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Insects 2023, 14(6), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060544 - 11 Jun 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
In 2017, the hibiscus bud weevil (HBW), Anthonomus testaceosquamosus Linell (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), was found outside of its native range of Mexico and Texas, infesting hibiscus plants in Florida. Therefore, we selected 21 different insecticide and horticultural oil products to evaluate their effects on [...] Read more.
In 2017, the hibiscus bud weevil (HBW), Anthonomus testaceosquamosus Linell (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), was found outside of its native range of Mexico and Texas, infesting hibiscus plants in Florida. Therefore, we selected 21 different insecticide and horticultural oil products to evaluate their effects on the reproductive rate, feeding, and oviposition behavior of the HBW. In laboratory experiments, significant mortality was observed in adult weevils exposed to diflubenzuron-treated hibiscus leaves and buds, and hibiscus buds treated with diflubenzuron contained the fewest number of eggs and feeding/oviposition holes. Among horticultural oil products, significant mortality was only observed in experiments in which adult weevils were directly sprayed (direct experiments). Pyrethrins and spinetoram plus sulfoxaflor reduced the oviposition rate and caused significant mortality in direct experiments. Diflubenzuron, pyrethrins, spinetoram plus sulfoxaflor, and spirotetramat were further tested via contact toxicity experiments and greenhouse experiments. Contact toxicity experiments demonstrated that the tested insecticides (except diflubenzuron) were highly toxic to HBW adults. In greenhouse experiments, only those hibiscus plants treated with pyrethrins had significantly fewer feeding/oviposition holes and larvae within their flower buds when compared to control (water-treated) plants. These results constitute an important first step in the identification of effective chemical control options for the HBW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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Article
Effects of Temperature and Nutrition during the Larval Period on Life History Traits in an Invasive Malaria Vector Anopheles stephensi
Insects 2023, 14(6), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060543 - 10 Jun 2023
Viewed by 811
Abstract
Anopheles stephensi is an Asian and Middle Eastern malaria vector, and it has recently spread to the African continent. It is needed to measure how the malaria parasite infection in A. stephensi is influenced by environmental factors to predict its expansion in [...] Read more.
Anopheles stephensi is an Asian and Middle Eastern malaria vector, and it has recently spread to the African continent. It is needed to measure how the malaria parasite infection in A. stephensi is influenced by environmental factors to predict its expansion in a new environment. Effects of temperature and food conditions during larval periods on larval mortality, larval period, female wing size, egg production, egg size, adult longevity, and malaria infection rate were studied using a laboratory strain. Larval survival and female wing size were generally reduced when reared at higher temperatures and with a low food supply during the larval period. Egg production was not significantly affected by temperature during the larval period. Egg size was generally smaller in females reared at higher temperatures during the larval period. The infection rate of mosquitoes that fed on blood from malaria-infected mice was not affected by rearing temperature or food conditions during the larval period. Higher temperatures may reduce infection. A. stephensi; however, larger individuals can still be infective. We suggest that routinely recording the body size of adults in field surveys is effective in finding productive larval breeding sites and in predicting malaria risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito: Ecology, Behavior and Molecular Biology)
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Article
The Effect of Lure Position and Vegetation on the Performance of YATLORf Traps in the Monitoring of Click Beetles (Agriotes spp., Coleoptera: Elateridae)
Insects 2023, 14(6), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060542 - 10 Jun 2023
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Low-cost monitoring tools are needed to implement IPM in arable crops. YATLORf (Yf) traps baited with respective synthetic pheromone lures have proven to be a reliable tool for monitoring Agriotes spp., Europe’s most harmful soil pests. To optimize Yf use, we studied the [...] Read more.
Low-cost monitoring tools are needed to implement IPM in arable crops. YATLORf (Yf) traps baited with respective synthetic pheromone lures have proven to be a reliable tool for monitoring Agriotes spp., Europe’s most harmful soil pests. To optimize Yf use, we studied the effect of lure position in the trap and crop density on trap performance. Yf management detail was studied between 2000–2003 and 2014–2016 in various countries, with the traps being arranged in blocks. Each block contained one trap per treatment (i.e., lure position) under study. It was ascertained that lure attractant capacity can vary greatly with the lure’s position in the trap and the extent of vegetation. Information for making practical decisions is given. The ‘low’ lure position is suitable for all species in all field conditions, and is the best choice for A. brevis. Lures for A. brevis and A. lineatus need to be placed in the low position when the field has no or sparse vegetation cover. The ‘high’ lure position is unsuitable for A. brevis and A. obscurus, and should be considered for some species only. There are no restrictions on position for catching A. sordidus, i.e., any position is suitable. Dense vegetation (e.g., wheat) reduced the Yf trap’s potential for catching A. sordidus. Placing the trap just outside the field, or in a nearby field with bare/sparse vegetation, maintained the maximum catching potential. Vegetation density also influenced beetle sex ratio, with A. brevis and A. sordidus females always found in traps placed in fields with bare or low-density vegetation. Our findings have made it possible to obtain consistent monitoring outputs and to begin studies on multi-baiting the same trap, which can significantly reduce monitoring costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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