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Environmental Entomology

Celia Del Cid, Rodrigo Krugner, Adam R Zeilinger, Matthew P Daugherty, Rodrigo P P Almeida
Pathogen spread by arthropod vectors is the outcome of pathogen-vector-plant interactions, as well as how these interactions are impacted by abiotic and biotic factors. While plant water stress impacts each component of the Pierce's disease pathosystem (Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al., insect vectors, and grapevines), the outcome of interactions in relation to pathogen spread is unknown. The objectives of this study were 1) to determine the role of plant water stress on vector acquisition and inoculation of X...
September 22, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Chun-I Chiu, Hsin-Ting Yeh, Pai-Ling Li, Chih-Yu Kuo, Ming-Jer Tsai, Hou-Feng Li
Fungus-growing termites are major contributors to litter decomposition and an agriculture pest in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia. The foraging behavior of fungus-growing termites was hypothesized to be seasonal and may associate with climatic factors and the occurrence of natural enemies. In this study, we tested the effects of climatic factors and the presence of ants on the foraging activity of the fungus-growing termite Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) (Blattodea: Termitidae). Termite-foraging activities were quantified monthly based on the number of wood stakes occupied, amount of wood consumed, and foraging population size...
September 17, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Tamara Babcock, John Borden, Regine Gries, Cassandra Carroll, Margo Moore, Gerhard Gries
Previously, we showed that the symbiotic yeast Lachancea thermotolerans (Filippov) (Saccharomycetales: Saccharomycetaceae) is attractive to its Vespula (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) yellowjacket hosts when grown on media supplemented with grape juice. We hypothesized that "Concerto", a commercial strain of this yeast, could be combined with fruit powder to form a shelf-stable bait for trapping yellowjackets. Using molecular techniques, we first confirmed that Concerto yeast is indeed the species L. thermotolerans...
September 17, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Michel A K Dongmo, Timothy C Bonebrake, Rachid Hanna, Abraham Fomena
Many organisms exhibit changes in phenotypic traits as a response to seasonal environmental variation. We investigated the role of habitat in generating seasonal polyphenism in different populations of the light bush brown butterfly Bicyclus dorothea (Cramer, 1779) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in Cameroon. Butterflies were caught during the wet and dry seasons across four localities representing two distinct habitats, namely forest and ecotone (forest-savanna transition zone) over a 2-yr period (2015-2016). We found distinct variation in the wing pattern characteristics of butterflies in response to seasonality and habitat...
September 14, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Jason S Martin, Mark S Bulmer
Termites and fungi are the primary decomposers of dead wood. Interactions between wood-feeding termites and wood-rot fungi are inevitable given their shared food source. Termites have developed multiple defense strategies against infectious fungi, such as Metarhizium spp., that include antifungal proteins in their saliva and fungal inhibition properties in their gut. The antifungal properties of termite salivary secretions depend on β-1,3-glucanases that are likely to be effective against a broad spectrum of filamentous fungi...
September 6, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Jorge Ari Noriega, Emilio Realpe
The study of diversity gradients is a frequent approach to understand evolutionary processes that structure communities. Altitudinal gradients allow the analysis of community spatial responses to environmental fluctuations. One interesting place to study altitudinal gradients is the Andes system because of the coexistence of isolated and continuous mountain ranges. We investigated the altitudinal turnover of species in peripheral mountainous systems by analyzing the structure of dung beetle assemblages along a complete gradient in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia...
September 5, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Erich N Schoeller, Richard A Redak
The invasive giant whitefly Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a pest of over 300 plants species in the United States, many of which are economically important ornamentals and crops. Development and survival of A. dugesii was assessed at seven constant temperatures ranging from 10 to 35°C to provide a basis for phenological forecasting and assist in enhancing current biological control strategies. Complete development occurred from 15 to 28°C, with partial development occurring at 30°C...
September 5, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Juli R Gould, Breanne Aflague, Theresa C Murphy, Luke McCartin, Joseph S Elkinton, Kaitlin Rim, Jian J Duan
We describe approaches to addressing the perennial challenge of collecting a sufficient diversity of nontarget insects for host-specificity testing of candidate biocontrol agents of invasive wood-borers such as the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Multifunnel and intercept traps, retrofitted to maintain live insects and baited with cerambycid-specific pheromone lures, were deployed in diverse forests in southeastern Massachusetts. We collected 1,288 adult beetles comprising 56 species, mostly from the subfamilies targeted by the lures (Cerambycinae and Lamiinae)...
September 5, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Angela Cruise, David W Watson, Coby Schal
Neonate pigs have been used as decomposition models in experimental forensic entomology studies. Their small size, however, poses challenges to traditional sampling methods of necrophilous insects, like the sweep net, the most commonly used sampling method in forensic entomology research and practice. Previous research experimentally demonstrated the potential for sticky traps as an effective sampling method for collecting necrophilous insects from neonate pigs. While sticky traps effectively sampled fly diversity from the pigs, they shared with the sweep net low sample diversity and abundance, particularly of necrophilous beetles...
September 4, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Chia-Hua Lue, Dorothy Borowy, Matthew L Buffington, Jeff Leips
Many studies have investigated species diversity patterns across space and time, but few have explored patterns of coexistence of tightly interacting species. We documented species diversity patterns in a host-parasitoid system across broad geographic location and seasons. We calculated species diversity (H and eH   ') and compared the relationship between community similarity and geographic distances of frugivorous Drosophila host (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and Leptopilina parasitoid (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) communities across Eastern North America, from New Hampshire to Florida, at two time points during the breeding season...
August 29, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Alfredo Ramírez-Hernández, Federico Escobar, Enrique Montes de Oca, Lucrecia Arellano
Understanding how biodiversity is distributed across space and time is one of the main challenges of biological conservation. Moreover, the choice of an adequate sampling methodology is crucial since this must provide an efficient overview of species diversity. We assessed the effectiveness and complementarity of three sampling methods (hand collection [HC], pitfall trapping [PT], and light trapping [LT]) for collecting ground beetles, which are known as a robust ecological indicator sensitive to habitat modifications...
August 28, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Bruce A Barrett, Michael E Patterson, Xi Xiong
A series of bioassays involving a four-choice olfactometer were conducted to assess the behavioral responsiveness of adult hunting billbugs (Sphenophorus venatus vestitus Chittenden) towards odors emanating from samples of three different turfgrasses: tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. (Poales: Poaceae)), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. (Poales: Poaceae)), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud. (Poales: Poaceae)). When exposed to the three turf species simultaneously, the majority of billbugs preferred the zoysiagrass treatment over the tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass treatments...
August 27, 2018: Environmental Entomology
J Christopher Bergh, Nicole F Quinn
Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a serious agricultural pest and can be a significant nuisance when it invades human dwellings during its fall dispersal to overwintering sites. Methods informed by behavioral data to exclude or reduce its entry into buildings are needed. The temporal and spatial distribution of adults on an invaded building was assessed over multiple years, revealing its seasonal dispersal pattern and that its numbers varied by wall aspect. Moreover, its density was higher in recessed doorways than on associated walls, raising questions about its behavioral response to dark, contrasting surfaces...
August 27, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Jun Tsuji, Tiffany Logan, Ashley Russo
The foraging patterns of insects reflect a combination of biotic and abiotic constraints. Pieris rapae (L.) (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) larvae exhibit plasticity in their foraging behavior, and their movements in response to flowers, young foliage, light, and gravity were studied. As predicted for palatable cryptic larvae, young instars of P. rapae exhibited predator avoidance behaviors. First- and second-instar larvae fed underneath the leaves where their eggs were oviposited, while late second- and third-instar larvae migrated away from their feeding damage...
August 27, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Erich N Schoeller, Richard A Redak
Parasitoid wasps released as biological control agents may experience strong interspecific competition, which can lead to a reduction in pest control. The effects of competition can be mitigated if niche partitioning exists between species, such as parasitism preferences for different host stages. We examined host stage preferences for the parasitoids Encarsia noyesi Hayat (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), Idioporus affinis LaSalle and Polaszek (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), and Entedononecremnus krauteri Zolnerowich and Rose (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)...
August 24, 2018: Environmental Entomology
John J Obrycki, Joshua S McCord, Nathan H Mercer, Jennifer A White
Characterization of intraspecific variation is required to assess the potential nontarget effects of augmentative releases of Hippodamia convergens (Guerin) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) from the Western United States on local populations of this species in the Eastern United States. Adults of this predatory lady beetle species overwinter in adult reproductive diapause, thus examining responses to photoperiods can characterize geographic variation influencing their seasonal biology. This laboratory study quantified the induction and duration of adult reproductive diapause in five North American populations of H...
August 24, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Song-Quan Ong, Hamdan Ahmad, Eng Hua Tan
Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae) provides great evidential value in estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) compared with other dipterans due to its common occurrence on human corpses both indoors and in concealed environments. Studies have focused on the effect of temperature, larval diet, and photoperiod on the development of the species; however, knowledge of M. scalaris development at different moisture levels is insufficient. This study aimed to investigate the effects of substrate moisture on the larval development time, pupal recovery, pupal weight, adult emergence, and adult head width of M...
August 24, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Elvis Tamenaih Mongyeh, T Keith Philips, Helen Kuokuo Kimbi, Eric Bertrand Fokam
Dung beetle species richness and abundance on Mt Cameroon were investigated to evaluate the effects of elevation. Surveys were done at five different elevations on the southwest facing slope from 216 to 2,102 m above sea level near the tree line at intervals of ~500 m. In total, 27 species and 1,886 specimens were collected during the study. No linear relationship between either species richness or beetle abundance and elevation was found with an expected highest diversity and abundance at low elevation and the lowest diversity and abundance at high elevation...
August 22, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Minhyung Jung, Doo-Hyung Lee
Riptortus pedestris (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Alydidae) is a major agricultural pest on leguminous plants and tree fruit in South Korea and Japan. Only anecdotal information is currently available about its overwintering behavior and ecology. Therefore, we conducted laboratory experiments and field sampling to characterize overwintering structures and landscapes that R. pedestris use and prefer in South Korea. Under laboratory conditions, we identified the overwintering structure preference of R. pedestris adults and analyzed their spatial distributions...
August 21, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Robert F Mitchell, Ann M Ray, Lawrence M Hanks, Jocelyn G Millar
We report here the pheromone of Megacyllene antennata (White) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), a species native to southwestern North America whose larvae feed in woody tissues of mesquite (Prosopis species; Fabaceae). Adult males sex-specifically produced a blend of eight common natural products, including the monoterpene alcohol (S)-α-terpineol; the monoterpenes (S)-limonene and terpinolene; the aromatic alcohols (R)-1-phenylethanol and 2-phenylethanol; and (E)-2-hexenol, (E)-2-hexenal, and 1-hexanol. Individual males produced the components in varying amounts, but (S)-α-terpineol and (E)-2-hexenal were always present and together constituted the majority of the blend...
August 21, 2018: Environmental Entomology
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