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Narin Sontigun, Kabkaew L Sukontason, Jens Amendt, Barbara K Zajac, Richard Zehner, Kom Sukontason, Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap, Anchalee Wannasan
Blow flies are the first insect group to colonize on a dead body and thus correct species identification is a crucial step in forensic investigations for estimating the minimum postmortem interval, as developmental times are species-specific. Due to the difficulty of traditional morphology-based identification such as the morphological similarity of closely related species and uncovered taxonomic keys for all developmental stages, DNA-based identification has been increasing in interest, especially in high biodiversity areas such as Thailand...
November 8, 2018: Insects
Joanna M Reinhold, Claudio R Lazzari, Chloé Lahondère
The temperature of the environment is one of the most important abiotic factors affecting the life of insects. As poikilotherms, their body temperature is not constant, and they rely on various strategies to minimize the risk of thermal stress. They have been thus able to colonize a large spectrum of habitats. Mosquitoes, such as Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus , vector many pathogens, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. The spread of these diseases has become a major global health concern, and it is predicted that climate change will affect the mosquitoes' distribution, which will allow these insects to bring new pathogens to naïve populations...
November 6, 2018: Insects
Jill Lancaster, Barbara J Downes
The study of insect populations is dominated by research on terrestrial insects. Are aquatic insect populations different or are they just presumed to be different? We explore the evidence across several topics. (1) Populations of terrestrial herbivorous insects are constrained most often by enemies, whereas aquatic herbivorous insects are constrained more by food supplies, a real difference related to the different plants that dominate in each ecosystem. (2) Population outbreaks are presumed not to occur in aquatic insects...
November 1, 2018: Insects
Surendra K Dara, David Peck, Dave Murray
California strawberries have two major arthropod pests-the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae and the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus , which result in significant losses to the yield and quality of marketable berries. Other important insect pests that are frequently seen in strawberry include the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis that cause varying levels of damage depending on the level of infestation. Chemical pesticides play a major role in managing these pests but not without the associated risk of pesticide resistance and environmental safety...
November 1, 2018: Insects
Fabien Démares, Quentin Coquerel, Gary Richoux, Kenneth Linthicum, Jeffrey Bloomquist
Potassium channels constitute a very diverse group involved in neural signaling, neuronal activity, membrane potential maintenance, and action potential generation. Here, we tested the mammalian potassium channel blockers TRAM-34 and 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HDC), as well as certain fatty acids (FA) that might fit in the lumen of the pore and block channel activity by obstructing K⁺ ion passage. Kv channel blockers could be leads for a novel pesticide type. Insecticidal activity was assessed by topical application to Anopheles gambiae adult mosquitoes, paralysis in a headless larval assay, at the cellular level with patch-clamp recordings of engineered HEK cells expressing Ag Kv2...
November 1, 2018: Insects
Michal Masek, Michal Motyka, Dominik Kusy, Matej Bocek, Yun Li, Ladislav Bocak
We synthesize the evidence from molecular phylogenetics, extant distribution, and plate tectonics to present an insight in ancestral areas, dispersal routes and the effectiveness of geographic barriers for net-winged beetle tribes (Coleoptera: Lycidae). Samples from all zoogeographical realms were assembled and phylogenetic relationships for ~550 species and 25 tribes were inferred using nuclear rRNA and mtDNA markers. The analyses revealed well-supported clades at the rank of tribes as they have been defined using morphology, but a low support for relationships among them...
November 1, 2018: Insects
Hugh D Loxdale
Since the advent and widespread use of high-resolution molecular markers in the late 1970s, it is now well established that natural populations of insects are not necessarily homogeneous genetically and show variations at different spatial scales due to a variety of reasons, including hybridization/introgression events. In a similar vein, populations of insects are not necessarily homogenous in time, either over the course of seasons or even within a single season. This of course has profound consequences for surveys examining, for whatever reason/s, the temporal population patterns of insects, especially flying insects as mostly discussed here...
November 1, 2018: Insects
Da-Yeong Lee, Dae-Seong Lee, Mi-Jung Bae, Soon-Jin Hwang, Seong-Yu Noh, Jeong-Suk Moon, Young-Seuk Park
Odonata species are sensitive to environmental changes, particularly those caused by humans, and provide valuable ecosystem services as intermediate predators in food webs. We aimed: (i) to investigate the distribution patterns of Odonata in streams on a nationwide scale across South Korea; (ii) to evaluate the relationships between the distribution patterns of odonates and their environmental conditions; and (iii) to identify indicator species and the most significant environmental factors affecting their distributions...
October 29, 2018: Insects
Tomas Vendl, Vaclav Stejskal, Radek Aulicky
Although it is known that separate insect body structures may be asymmetrical within one species, the different functional asymmetries within a single organ as a result of differential selective regimes have not been described. Based on microscopic measurements and SEM photography, we examined the size, shape and asymmetry of the mandibular structures of males and females of the sexually dimorphic broad-horned flour beetle, Gnatocerus cornutus (Tenebrionidae, Coleoptera). It was found that sexual dimorphism only manifests in certain outgrowth parts (horns) of male mandibles, while the remaining cutting parts of the mandibles hold identical morphologies for both sexes...
October 29, 2018: Insects
Dale A Halbritter, Johnalyn M Gordon, Kandy L Keacher, Michael L Avery, Jaret C Daniels
Some taxa have adopted the strategy of mimicry to protect themselves from predation. Butterflies are some of the best representatives used to study mimicry, with the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) a well-known model. We are the first to empirically investigate a proposed mimic of the monarch butterfly: Neophasia terlooii , the Mexican pine white butterfly (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). We used captive birds to assess the palatability of N. terlooii and its sister species, N. menapia , to determine the mimicry category that would best fit this system...
October 29, 2018: Insects
Melissa A Y Oddie, Bjørn Dahle, Peter Neumann
The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a key factor for colony losses in European honey bee subspecies ( Apis mellifera ), but it is also known that some host populations have adapted to the mite by means of natural selection. The role of a shorter host brood postcapping period in reducing mite reproductive success has been investigated in other surviving subspecies, however its role in the adaptation of European honey bee populations has not been addressed. Here, we use a common garden approach to compare the length of the worker brood postcapping period in a Norwegian surviving honey bee population with the postcapping period of a local susceptible population...
October 24, 2018: Insects
Rady Shawer, Irene Donati, Antonio Cellini, Francesco Spinelli, Nicola Mori
Drosophila suzukii causes considerable economic damage to small and thin-skinned fruits including cherry, blueberry, raspberry, grape and strawberry. Since it attacks fruits at the ripening stage, the use of chemical pesticides is limited due to the high risk of residues on fruit. Biological control is thus expected to play an essential role in managing this pest. The Gram-negative bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens and its symbiotic Heterorhabditis spp. nematode have been shown to be highly pathogenic to insects, with a potential for replacing pesticides to suppress several pests...
October 23, 2018: Insects
Diane F Eilerts, Morgen VanderGiessen, Elizabeth A Bose, Kyera Broxton, Clément Vinauger
Many biological processes and behaviors in mosquitoes display rhythmic patterns, allowing for fine tuning to cyclic environmental conditions. In mosquitoes, vector-host interactions are primarily mediated by olfactory signals. Previous studies have established that, in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae , rhythmic expression of odorant binding proteins and takeout proteins in the antenna resulted in a corresponding rhythm in olfactory sensitivity to relevant host odors. However, it remained unclear how rhythms observed in olfactory sensitivity affect or explain rhythms in behavioral output, which ultimately impacts disease transmission...
October 23, 2018: Insects
Aaron D Gross, Jeffrey R Bloomquist
Anopheles gambiae Giles (Diptera: Culicidae) is the most prolific malaria vector in sub-Saharan Africa, where widespread insecticide resistance has been reported. An. gambiae laboratory strains are commonly used to study the basic biology of this important mosquito vector, and also in new insecticide discovery programs, where insecticide-susceptible and -resistant strains are often used to screen new molecules for potency and cross-resistance, respectively. This study investigated the toxicity of permethrin, a Type-I pyrethroid insecticide, and etofenprox, a non-ester containing pyrethroid insecticide, against An...
October 22, 2018: Insects
Aurore D C Panel, Laura Zeeman, Bart J van der Sluis, Peter van Elk, Bart A Pannebakker, Bregje Wertheim, Herman H M Helsen
The mechanisms allowing the widespread invasive pest Drosophila suzukii to survive from early spring until the availability of the first fruit crops are still unclear. Seasonal biology and population dynamics of D. suzukii were investigated in order to better understand the contribution of the early spring hosts to the infestation of the first fruit crops of the season. We identified hosts available to D. suzukii in early spring and assessed their suitability for the pest oviposition and reproductive success under field and laboratory conditions...
October 22, 2018: Insects
Tomáš Ditrich, Václav Janda, Hana Vaněčková, David Doležel
Cold tolerance is often one of the key components of insect fitness, but the association between climatic conditions and supercooling capacity is poorly understood. We tested 16 lines originating from geographically different populations of the linden bug Pyrrhocoris apterus for their cold tolerance, determined as the supercooling point (SCP). The supercooling point was generally well explained by the climatic conditions of the population's origin, as the best predictor-winter minimum temperature-explained 85% of the average SCP variation between populations...
October 19, 2018: Insects
Nikola Lacković, Milan Pernek, Coralie Bertheau, Damjan Franjević, Christian Stauffer, Dimitrios N Avtzis
The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar , a prominent polyphagous species native to Eurasia, causes severe impacts in deciduous forests during irregular periodical outbreaks. This study aimed to describe the genetic structure and diversity among European gypsy moth populations. Analysis of about 500 individuals using a partial region of the mitochondrial COI gene, L. dispar was characterized by low genetic diversity, limited population structure, and strong evidence that all extant haplogroups arose via a single Holocene population expansion event...
October 18, 2018: Insects
Marek Semelbauer, Barbara Mangová, Marek Barta, Milan Kozánek
The biology of the stable fly is fairly well known, but factors influencing the distribution of adult stable flies within stables are still inadequately investigated. The four experimental stables were located in south western Slovakia. Within each stable, five sticky traps were localized along the stable, and the flies were weekly counted during the flight season of years 2015⁻2017. Seasonal activity and stable fly abundance in relation to temperature, rainfall, light conditions, relative air humidity, and cows per stable were evaluated...
October 16, 2018: Insects
Megan Manley, Michael J Melzer, Helen Spafford
The coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), has become one of the most important coconut and oil palm pests. This species was detected attacking coconut palms on O'ahu, Hawai'i in December 2013, and an eradication program was initiated. One of the major challenges for eradication has been the identification of new breeding sites. Information on the factors influencing oviposition is needed to aid in finding sites likely to host the immature stages of this insect...
October 15, 2018: Insects
Véronique Paris, Ellen Cottingham, Perran A Ross, Jason K Axford, Ary A Hoffmann
Wolbachia bacteria have been identified as a tool for reducing the transmission of arboviruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti . Research groups around the world are now mass rearing Wolbachia -infected Ae. aegypti for deliberate release. We investigated the fitness impact of a crucial element of mass rearing: the blood meal required by female Ae. aegypti to lay eggs. Although Ae. aegypti almost exclusively feed on human blood, it is often difficult to use human blood in disease-endemic settings. When females were fed on sheep or pig blood rather than human blood, egg hatch rates decreased in all three lines tested (uninfected, or infected by w Mel, or w AlbB Wolbachia )...
October 11, 2018: Insects
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