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Dung beetle

Sergei Tarasov, Dimitar Dimitrov
BACKGROUND: Dung beetles (subfamily Scarabaeinae) are popular model organisms in ecology and developmental biology, and for the last two decades they have experienced a systematics renaissance with the adoption of modern phylogenetic approaches. Within this period 16 key phylogenies and numerous additional studies with limited scope have been published, but higher-level relationships of this pivotal group of beetles remain contentious and current classifications contain many unnatural groupings...
November 29, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Daniel B Schwab, Hailey E Riggs, Irene L G Newton, Armin P Moczek
To complete their development, diverse animal species rely on the presence of communities of symbiotic microbiota that are vertically transmitted from mother to offspring. In the dung beetle genus Onthophagus, newly hatched larvae acquire maternal gut symbionts by the consumption of a maternal fecal secretion known as the pedestal. Here, we investigate the role of pedestal symbionts in mediating the normal development of Onthophagus gazella. Through the stepwise removal of environmental and maternal sources of microbial inoculation, we find that pedestal microbiota can enhance both overall growth and developmental rate in O...
December 2016: American Naturalist
Beatrice Nervo, Enrico Caprio, Luisella Celi, Michele Lonati, Giampiero Lombardi, Gloria Falsone, Gabriele Iussig, Claudia Palestrini, Daniel Said-Pullicino, Antonio Rolando
Maintaining multiple ecological functions ('multifunctionality') is crucial to sustain viable ecosystems. To date most studies on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) have focused on single or few ecological functions and services. However, there is a critical need to evaluate how species and species assemblages affect multiple processes at the same time, and how these functions are interconnected. Dung beetles represent excellent model organisms because they are key contributors to several ecosystem functions...
November 14, 2016: Ecology
Carsten Eichberg, Manuel Wohde, Kerstin Müller, Anja Rausch, Christina Scherrmann, Theresa Scheuren, Rolf-Alexander Düring, Tobias W Donath
In animal farming, anthelmintics are regularly applied to control gastrointestinal nematodes. There is plenty of evidence that also non-target organisms, such as dung beetles, are negatively affected by residues of anthelmintics in faeces of domestic ungulates. By contrast, knowledge about possible effects on wild plants is scarce. To bridge this gap of knowledge, we tested for effects of the common anthelmintic formulation Cydectin and its active ingredient moxidectin on seed germination. We conducted a feeding experiment with sheep and germination experiments in a climate chamber...
2016: PloS One
Taichi Iida, Masashi Soga, Shinsuke Koike
The overabundance of large herbivores is now recognized as a serious ecological problem. However, the resulting ecological consequences remain poorly understood. The ecological effects of an increase in sika deer, Cervus nippon Temminck (Cervidae), on three insect groups of beetles was investigated: ground beetles (Carabidae), carrion beetles (Silphidae), and dung beetles (Scarabaeidae and Geotrupidae) on Nakanoshima Island, Hokkaido, northern Japan. We collected beetles on Nakanoshima Island (experimental site) and lakeshore areas (control site) and compared the species richness, abundance, diversity index, and community composition of beetles between the sites...
2016: ZooKeys
Duane D McKenna, Erin D Scully, Yannick Pauchet, Kelli Hoover, Roy Kirsch, Scott M Geib, Robert F Mitchell, Robert M Waterhouse, Seung-Joon Ahn, Deanna Arsala, Joshua B Benoit, Heath Blackmon, Tiffany Bledsoe, Julia H Bowsher, André Busch, Bernarda Calla, Hsu Chao, Anna K Childers, Christopher Childers, Dave J Clarke, Lorna Cohen, Jeffery P Demuth, Huyen Dinh, HarshaVardhan Doddapaneni, Amanda Dolan, Jian J Duan, Shannon Dugan, Markus Friedrich, Karl M Glastad, Michael A D Goodisman, Stephanie Haddad, Yi Han, Daniel S T Hughes, Panagiotis Ioannidis, J Spencer Johnston, Jeffery W Jones, Leslie A Kuhn, David R Lance, Chien-Yueh Lee, Sandra L Lee, Han Lin, Jeremy A Lynch, Armin P Moczek, Shwetha C Murali, Donna M Muzny, David R Nelson, Subba R Palli, Kristen A Panfilio, Dan Pers, Monica F Poelchau, Honghu Quan, Jiaxin Qu, Ann M Ray, Joseph P Rinehart, Hugh M Robertson, Richard Roehrdanz, Andrew J Rosendale, Seunggwan Shin, Christian Silva, Alex S Torson, Iris M Vargas Jentzsch, John H Werren, Kim C Worley, George Yocum, Evgeny M Zdobnov, Richard A Gibbs, Stephen Richards
BACKGROUND: Relatively little is known about the genomic basis and evolution of wood-feeding in beetles. We undertook genome sequencing and annotation, gene expression assays, studies of plant cell wall degrading enzymes, and other functional and comparative studies of the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, a globally significant invasive species capable of inflicting severe feeding damage on many important tree species. Complementary studies of genes encoding enzymes involved in digestion of woody plant tissues or detoxification of plant allelochemicals were undertaken with the genomes of 14 additional insects, including the newly sequenced emerald ash borer and bull-headed dung beetle...
November 11, 2016: Genome Biology
Shantanu P Shukla, Jon G Sanders, Marcus J Byrne, Naomi E Pierce
Vertebrate dung is central to the dung beetle life cycle, constituting food for adults and a protective and nutritive refuge for their offspring. Adult dung beetles have soft mandibles and feed primarily on nutritionally rich dung particles, while larvae have sclerotized mandibles and consume coarser dung particles with a higher C/N ratio. Here, using the dung beetles Euoniticellus intermedius and E. triangulatus, we show that these morphological adaptations in mandibular structure are also correlated with differences in basic gut structure and gut bacterial communities between dung beetle life stages...
November 1, 2016: Molecular Ecology
James S Pryke, Francois Roets, Michael J Samways
Southern Africa's grassland biodiversity is threatened by habitat transformation such as commercial forestry. Ecological networks (ENs) have been instigated to alleviate the pressure of habitat transformation on local biodiversity. ENs are large scale webs of corridors and patches of natural vegetation criss-crossing production landscapes that can simulate conditions in protected areas (PAs). Many ENs have lost many native large mammal species, which have been replaced by domestic livestock to retain natural grazing dynamics, which could have an impact on the long-term value of ENs for insects...
2016: PloS One
I Na Yoon, Ji Hong, Peng Zhang, Jae Sam Hwang, Ho Kim
We previously reported that the CopA3 peptide (LLCIALRKK, D-form) originally isolated from the Korean dung beetle has antimicrobial and immunosuppressive effects. However, the high cost of producing the synthetic peptide, especially the D-form, has limited the development of CopA3 for therapeutic purposes. Here, we investigated whether the CopA3 deletion derivative, CopA5, which is composed of only five amino acids (LLCIA) and has the L-form structure, could inhibit the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced activation of macrophages...
October 25, 2016: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Tanja Milotić, Stijn Quidé, Thomas Van Loo, Maurice Hoffmann
Dung beetles form an insect group that fulfils important functions in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. These include nutrient cycling through dung removal, soil bioturbation, plant growth, secondary seed dispersal and parasite control. We conducted field experiments at two sites in the northern hemisphere temperate region in which dung removal and secondary seed dispersal were assessed. Dung beetles were classified in three functional groups, depending on their size and dung manipulation method: dwellers, large and small tunnelers...
October 19, 2016: Oecologia
Philippa Z N Franzini, Jean-Baptiste Ramond, Clarke H Scholtz, Catherine L Sole, Sandra Ronca, Don A Cowan
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161118.].
2016: PloS One
Zhijun Zhang, Honglei Jia, Jiyu Sun, Jin Tong
ABSTACT With the rapid development of bionic science, especially the progress that has been made in the fields of biomaterials and biomimetics, there is now great interest in the surface and internal mechanical properties of biological materials at the micro- and nanoscale. The study of micro- and nanoscale biomaterial mechanical properties could enable interdisciplinary applications in materials science, biological science and bionic science. Dung beetle (Copris ochus Motschulsky) cuticle is a viscoelastic material that is both viscous and flexible via elastic deformation under external forces; where stress σ, strain ϵ and elastic modulus E are related in the following way: σ = Eϵ...
September 2, 2016: Bioengineered
Suzan Mansourian, Jacob Corcoran, Anders Enjin, Christer Löfstedt, Marie Dacke, Marcus C Stensmyr
Feces is an abundant, rich source of energy, utilized by a myriad of organisms, not least by members of the order Diptera, i.e., flies. How Drosophila melanogaster reacts to fecal matter remains unclear. Here, we examined oviposition behavior toward a range of fecal samples from mammals native to the putative Southeast African homeland of the fly. We show that D. melanogaster display a strong oviposition aversion toward feces from carnivorous mammals but indifference or even attraction toward herbivore dung...
September 9, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Samuel M A Novais, Lucas A Evangelista, Ronaldo Reis-Júnior, Frederico S Neves
Dung beetle community dynamics are determined by regional rainfall patterns. However, little is known about the temporal dynamics of these communities in tropical dry forests (TDFs). This study was designed to test the following predictions: 1) Peak diversity of dung beetle species occurs early in the wet season, with a decrease in diversity (α and β) and abundance throughout the season; 2) Nestedness is the primary process determining β-diversity, with species sampled in the middle and the end of the wet season representing subsets of the early wet season community...
2016: Journal of Insect Science
Viacheslav A Trach
A new species of the family Halolaelapidae (Acari: Mesostigmata), Halolaelaps euxinus sp. nov. is described from Black Sea coast. Adult mites were found in seaweed, while deutonymphs were collected from the amphipod Talorchestia deshayesii and from seaweed. The adult female of Halolaelaps saproincisus Hirschmann & Götz, 1968 is recorded in new localities of Ukraine for the first time, in soil and bird faeces in chicken coops, and new morphological information is provided. The adult male (collected from chicken coops) and the deutonymph (collected from chicken coops and on dung-beetles) of H...
2016: Zootaxa
L C Pérez-Cogollo, R I Rodríguez-Vivas, E Reyes-Novelo, H Delfín-González, D Muñoz-Rodríguez
Two bioassays were conducted in parallel to assess the effects of cattle treated with either 1% ivermectin (IVM) or 3.15% IVM (dosed at 0.2 and 0.63 mg kg-1, respectively) on reproduction and survival of Onthophagus landolti Harold. Adult beetles were exposed 10 days to faeces of treated cattle starting at: one day before treatment (controls), 3, 6, 14, 28 and 35 days post-treatment. Adult survival of O. landolti was not affected by either of the two treatments. Faecal residues of 1% IVM almost completely suppressed fecundity of beetles at 3, 6 and 14 days post-treatment (dPT), and reduced fecundity of O...
September 9, 2016: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Thijmen Breeschoten, Camiel Doorenweerd, Sergei Tarasov, Alfried P Vogler
Phylogenetic relationships of dung beetles in the tribe Onthophagini, including the species-rich, cosmopolitan genus Onthophagus, were inferred using whole mitochondrial genomes. Data were generated by shotgun sequencing of mixed genomic DNA from >100 individuals on 50% of an Illumina MiSeq flow cell. Genome assembly of the mixed reads produced contigs of 74 (nearly) complete mitogenomes. The final dataset included representatives of Onthophagus from all biogeographic regions, closely related genera of Onthophagini, and the related tribes Onitini and Oniticellini...
December 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Sergei Tarasov, Fernando Z Vaz-de-Mello, Frank-Thorsten Krell, Dimitar Dimitrov
Despite the increasing rate of systematic research on scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae), their fossil record has remained largely unrevised. In this paper, we review all 33 named scarabaeine fossils and describe two new species from Dominican amber (Canthochilum alleni sp.n., Canthochilum philipsivieorum sp.n.). We provide a catalogue of all fossil Scarabaeinae and evaluate their assignment to this subfamily, based primarily on the original descriptions but also, where possible, by examining the type specimens...
2016: PeerJ
Elizabeth Nichols, Carlos A Peres, Joseph E Hawes, Shahid Naeem
Predicting the functional consequences of biodiversity loss in realistic, multitrophic communities remains a challenge. No existing biodiversity-ecosystem function study to date has simultaneously incorporated information on species traits, network topology, and extinction across multiple trophic levels, while all three factors are independently understood as critical drivers of post-extinction network structure and function. We fill this gap by comparing the functional consequences of simulated species loss both within (monotrophic) and across (bitrophic) trophic levels, in an ecological interaction network estimated from spatially explicit field data on tropical fecal detritus producer and consumers (mammals and dung beetles)...
July 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Anderson Matos Medina
Does climatic niche change during invasion? We used Digitonthophagus gazella (F.) as a model to test the niche conservatism hypothesis and found out that climatic niche was stable between native and invasive ranges of this exotic dung beetle. Distribution maps based either on native or invasive occurrences exhibited the same picture of a widespread dung beetle restricted by areas with low precipitation and cold temperatures. We believe that this species opportunistic behavior is one of the main reasons behind this pattern...
October 2016: Environmental Entomology
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