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Current Opinion in Insect Science

Takema Fukatsu, Ryo Futahashi
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Vladimir Koštál, Brent J Sinclair
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Jesper Givskov Sørensen, Torsten Nygaard Kristensen, Johannes Overgaard
Phenotypic plasticity of temperature tolerance (thermal acclimation) is often highlighted as an important component of the acute and evolutionary adaptation to temperatures in insects. For this reason, it is often suggested that thermal acclimation ability could be important for buffering the consequences of climate change. Based on data from Drosophila we discuss if and how phenotypic plasticity is likely to mitigate the effects of climate change. We conclude that plasticity of upper thermal limits is small in magnitude, evolves slowly and that acclimation ability is weakly correlated with latitude and environmental heterogeneity...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Jessica J Hellmann, Ralph Grundel, Chris Hoving, Gregor W Schuurman
As climate change moves insect systems into uncharted territory, more knowledge about insect dynamics and the factors that drive them could enable us to better manage and conserve insect communities. Climate change may also require us to revisit insect management goals and strategies and lead to a new kind of scientific engagement in management decision-making. Here we make five key points about the role of insect science in aiding and crafting management decisions, and we illustrate those points with the monarch butterfly and the Karner blue butterfly, two species undergoing considerable change and facing new management dilemmas...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Antoine Boullis, Claire Detrain, Frédéric Francis, François J Verheggen
Understanding how climate change will affect species interactions is a challenge for all branches of ecology. We have only limited understanding of how increasing temperature and atmospheric CO2 and O3 levels will affect pheromone-mediated communication among insects. Based on the existing literature, we suggest that the entire process of pheromonal communication, from production to behavioural response, is likely to be impacted by increases in temperature and modifications to atmospheric CO2 and O3 levels...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
James L Maino, Jacinta D Kong, Ary A Hoffmann, Madeleine G Barton, Michael R Kearney
Mechanistic models of the impacts of climate change on insects can be seen as very specific hypotheses about the connections between microclimate, ecophysiology and vital rates. These models must adequately capture stage-specific responses, carry-over effects between successive stages, and the evolutionary potential of the functional traits involved in complex insect life-cycles. Here we highlight key considerations for current approaches to mechanistic modelling of insect responses to climate change. We illustrate these considerations within a general mechanistic framework incorporating the thermodynamic linkages between microclimate and heat, water and nutrient exchange throughout the life-cycle under different climate scenarios...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Tsutomu Tsuchida
Aphids are small phloem sap-feeding insects, and show color polymorphism even within the same species. Crossing experiments have revealed the inheritance pattern of the body color. Coloration of aphids is determined by mainly three pigments, melanin, carotenoid, and aphin, and is influenced by both abiotic and biotic environmental factors. Aphid body colors also seem to correspond with specific biological functions under various environments. Partly due to the presence of natural enemies in the environment, a variety of physiological and behavioral responses have evolved in each color form...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Carol L Boggs
Synthesizing papers from the last two years, I examined generalizations about the fingerprints of climate change on insects' population dynamics and phenology. Recent work shows that populations can differ in response to changes in climate means and variances. The part of the thermal niche occupied by an insect population, voltinism, plasticity and adaptation to weather perturbations, and interactions with other species can all exacerbate or mitigate responses to climate change. Likewise, land use change or agricultural practices can affect responses to climate change...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Jorge M Lobo
Experimental information on the roles played by climatic factors in determining the ecology and distribution of insect species is scarce. This has stimulated the increasing use of the climatic characteristics of the localities in which the species are observed to derive predictions under different climatic scenarios (the so called species-distribution models or SDMs). This text reviews the main limitations of these correlative models when they are applied to organisms, such as insects, that are characterized by a high degree of collector bias and incompleteness...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Sirpa Kaunisto, Laura V Ferguson, Brent J Sinclair
The responses of insects to climate change will depend on their responses to abiotic and biotic stressors in combination. We surveyed the literature, and although synergistic stressor interactions appear common among insects, the thin taxonomic spread of existing data means that more multi-stressor studies and new approaches are needed. We need to move beyond descriptions of the effects of multiple stressors to a mechanistic, predictive understanding. Further, we must identify which stressor interactions, and species' responses to them, are sufficiently generalizable (i...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Jessica Rk Forrest
Insect phenologies are changing in response to climate warming. Shifts toward earlier seasonal activity are widespread; however, responses of insect phenology to warming are often more complex. Many species have prolonged their activity periods; others have shown delays. Furthermore, because of interspecific differences in temperature sensitivity, warming can increase or decrease synchronization between insects and their food plants and natural enemies. Here, I review recent findings in three areas-shifts in phenology, changes in voltinism, and altered species interactions-and highlight counterintuitive responses to warming caused by the particularities of insect life cycles...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Anupama Prakash, Antónia Monteiro
Secondary sexual traits are those traits other than the primary gametes that distinguish the sexes of a species. The development of secondary sexual traits occurs when sexually dimorphic factors, that is, molecules differentially produced by primary sex determination systems in males and females, are integrated into the gene regulatory networks responsible for sexual trait development. In insects, these molecular asymmetric factors were always considered to originate inside the trait-building cells, but recent work points to external factors, such as hormones, as potential candidates mediating secondary sexual trait development...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Ryo Futahashi
Dragonflies including damselflies are colorful and large-eyed insects, which show remarkable sexual dimorphism, color transition, and color polymorphism. Recent comprehensive visual transcriptomics has unveiled an extraordinary diversity of opsin genes within the lineage of dragonflies. These opsin genes are differentially expressed between aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults, as well as between dorsal and ventral regions of adult compound eyes. Recent topics of color formation in dragonflies are also outlined...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Nicola J Nadeau
Butterfly wing patterns are made up of arrays of coloured scales. There are two genera in which within-species variation in wing patterning is common and has been investigated at the molecular level, Heliconius and Papilio. Both of these species have mimetic relationships with other butterfly species that increase their protection from predators. Heliconius have a 'tool-kit' of five genetic loci that control colour pattern, three of which have been identified at the gene level, and which have been repeatedly used to modify colour pattern by different species in the genus...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Haruhiko Fujiwara, Hideki Nishikawa
In addition to the genome editing technology, novel functional analyses using electroporation are powerful tools to reveal the gene function in the color pattern formation. Using these methods, several genes involved in various larval color pattern formation are clarified in the silkworm Bombyx mori and some Papilio species. Furthermore, the coloration pattern mechanism underlying the longtime mystery of female-limited Batesian mimicry of Papilio polytes has been recently revealed. This review presents the recent progress on the molecular mechanisms and evolutionary process of coloration patterns contributing to various mimicry in Lepidoptera, especially focusing on the gene function in the silkworm and Papilio species...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Seiji Tanaka, Ken-Ichi Harano, Yudai Nishide, Ryohei Sugahara
Schistocerca gregaria exhibits density-dependent body color polyphenism. Nymphs occurring at low population densities show green-brown polyphenism. They show phase polyphenism and develop black patterns at high population densities. Recent studies suggest a third type of polyphensim, that is, homochromy, a response to background color. Laboratory experiments that considered homochromy suggest that humidity is not directly involved in green-brown polyphenism and that odor from other individuals does not induce black patterns...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Mi Young Noh, Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan, Karl J Kramer, Yasuyuki Arakane
Adult beetles (Coleoptera) are covered primarily by a hard exoskeleton or cuticle. For example, the beetle elytron is a cuticle-rich highly modified forewing structure that shields the underlying hindwing and dorsal body surface from a variety of harmful environmental factors by acting as an armor plate. The elytron comes in a variety of colors and shapes depending on the coleopteran species. As in many other insect species, the cuticular tanning pathway begins with tyrosine and is responsible for production of a variety of melanin-like and other types of pigments...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
José Manuel Monroy Kuhn, Judith Korb
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Kevin Myles, Zach Adelman
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Alice Séguret, Abel Bernadou, Robert J Paxton
In eusocial insects, reversal of the fecundity/longevity trade-off and extreme differences in life histories between castes of the same species garner scientific and public interest. Facultative social species at the threshold of sociality, in which individuals are socially plastic, provide an excellent opportunity to understand the causes and mechanisms underlying this reversal in life history trade-off associated with eusociality. We briefly present the ultimate factors favoring sociality and the association between fecundity and longevity in facultative eusocial insects, including kin selection and disposable soma, as well as proximate mechanisms observed in such species, such as differences in hormone titers and functions...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
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