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Entomology, Insects

Sasha C Voss, Paola Magni, Ian Dadour, Christian Nansen
Forensic entomology is primarily concerned with the estimation of time since death and involves determination of the age of immature insects colonising decomposing remains. Accurate age determination of puparia is usually accomplished by dissection, which means destructive sampling of evidence. As part of improving abilities to correctly identify species and developmental age, it is highly desirable to have available non-destructive methods. In this study, we acquired external hyperspectral imaging (HSI) data (77 spectral bands, 389-892 nm) from the dorsal and ventral sides of individual puparia of two species of blowfly (Diptera: Calliphoridae), Calliphora dubia Macquart 1855 and Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart 1842...
October 21, 2016: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Craig S McIntosh, Ian R Dadour, Sasha C Voss
The rate of decomposition and insect succession onto decomposing pig carcasses were investigated following burning of carcasses. Ten pig carcasses (40-45 kg) were exposed to insect activity during autumn (March-April) in Western Australia. Five replicates were burnt to a degree described by the Crow-Glassman Scale (CGS) level #2, while five carcasses were left unburnt as controls. Burning carcasses greatly accelerated decomposition in contrast to unburnt carcasses. Physical modifications following burning such as skin discolouration, splitting of abdominal tissue and leathery consolidation of skin eliminated evidence of bloat and altered microambient temperatures associated with carcasses throughout decomposition...
October 18, 2016: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Yan Li, Jie Zhang, Dafeng Chen, Pengcheng Yang, Feng Jiang, Xianhui Wang, Le Kang
Locusts are important agricultural pests worldwide and regarded as study models for entomology. However, the absence of targeted gene manipulation systems for locusts has restricted their applications for research. Herein, we report the successful use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to induce a targeted heritable mutagenesis of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. The target sequence of gRNA was designed to disrupt the gene encoding the odorant receptor co-receptor (Orco) and examine the roles of the odorant receptor pathway in the locust...
October 12, 2016: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Teresa Bonacci, Pierpaolo Storino, Stefano Scalercio, Pietro Brandmayr
Many environmental and intrinsic factors (e.g. limited access to the body) can disrupt insect activity, causing a delay in the colonization of a corpse. These elements could hinder an accurate estimation of the minimum Post-mortem Interval (minPMI), raising questions about the limits of forensic entomology. Blow fly are considered mainly diurnal and relatively inactive at night, at extreme temperatures and in dark conditions. Data on their ability to lay eggs in darkness and in laboratory conditions are scarce...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
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
David E Dussourd
Plant susceptibility to herbivore attack is determined not just by the suite of defenses present in different tissues of the plant, but also by the capabilities of the herbivore for tolerating, circumventing, or disarming the defenses. This article reviews the elaborate behaviors exhibited by leaf-chewing insects that appear to function specifically to deactivate hostplant defenses. Shortcomings in our understanding and promising areas for future research are highlighted. Behaviors covered include vein cutting, trenching, girdling, leaf clipping, and application of fluids from exocrine glands...
September 16, 2016: Annual Review of Entomology
Yu Wang, Liang-Liang Li, Jiang-Feng Wang, Min Wang, Li-Jun Yang, Lu-Yang Tao, Ying-Na Zhang, Yi-Ding Hou, Jun Chu, Zai-Lin Hou
Lucilia illustris (Meigen 1826) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) is a cosmopolitan species that commonly colonizes carcasses and occasionally acts as parasites of humans or livestock, making it an insect of significant importance in forensic, medical, and veterinary entomology. However, only a few studies have documented the development of L. illustris. Here, we studied the developmental duration and larval body length changes of L. illustris under nine constant temperatures ranging from 15.0 to 35.0°C. Using these results, we generated an isomorphen diagram, thermal summation model, and isomegalen diagram for L...
October 2016: Forensic Science International
Sean W J Prosser, Paul D N Hebert
Honey is generated by various bee species from diverse plants, and because the value of different types of honey varies more than 100-fold, it is a target for fraud. This paper describes a protocol that employs DNA metabarcoding of three gene regions (ITS2, rbcLa, and COI) to provide an inexpensive tool to simultaneously deliver information on the botanical and entomological origins of honey. This method was used to examine seven varieties of honey: light, medium, dark, blended, pasteurized, creamed, and meliponine...
January 1, 2017: Food Chemistry
Marimuthu Govindarajan, Giovanni Benelli
Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are a key threat for millions of people and animals worldwide, since they act as vectors for devastating pathogens and parasites, including malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, filiariasis and Zika virus. Mosquito young instars are usually targeted using organophosphates, insect growth regulators and microbial agents. Indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets are also employed. However, these chemicals have negative effects on human health and the environment and induce resistance in a number of vectors...
November 2016: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Frances S Sivakoff, Susan C Jones, Scott A Machtley, James R Hagler
The ability to mark individuals is a critical feature of many entomological investigations, including dispersal studies. Insect dispersal is generally investigated using mark-release-recapture techniques, whereby marked individuals are released at a known location and then captured at a measured distance. Ectoparasite dispersal has historically been challenging to study, in part because of the ethical concerns associated with releasing marked individuals. Here, we introduce the protein self-marking technique, whereby ectoparasites mark themselves in the field by feeding on the blood of an introduced host...
August 4, 2016: Journal of Medical Entomology
Michele C Paula, Gustavo M Morishita, Carolina H Cavarson, Cristiano R Gonçalves, Paulo R A Tavares, Angélica Mendonça, Yzel R Súarez, William F Antonialli-Junior
Forensic entomology is a science that uses insect fauna as a tool to assist in criminal investigations and civil proceedings. Although the most researched insects are the Diptera and Coleoptera, ants may be present in all stages of decomposition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ants and their action on blow flies during the decomposition process. Experiments were performed in which four pig carcasses were exposed in the cold and dry season (November/2012 and March/2013) and four in the hot and wet season (May/2013 and August/2013)...
July 29, 2016: Journal of Medical Entomology
Abesh Chakraborty, Atanu Naskar, Panchanan Parui, Dhriti Banerjee
The scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) are important in forensic dipterology, because of their necrophagous habit. They are amongst the first wave of insects visiting human corpses in mechanically barricaded environments; hence their immature stages are generally used for estimation of PMI. The effect of different substrates commonly used for developmental studies was studied to analyze the variation of growth of the thermophilic variety of Megaselia (M.) scalaris prevalent in India on GDM, EDM, and SMS (n = 3)...
2016: Scientifica
Kangxu Wang, Yingchuan Peng, Jian Pu, Wenxi Fu, Jiale Wang, Zhaojun Han
RNA interference (RNAi) has become an essential technique in entomology research. However, RNAi efficiency appears to vary significantly among insect species. Here, the sensitivity of four insect species from different orders to RNAi was compared to understand the reason for this variation. A previously reported method was modified to monitor trace amounts of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). After the administration of dsRNA, the dynamics of its content was determined in the hemolymph, in addition to the capability of its degradation in both the hemolymph and the midgut juice...
October 2016: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Monica F Poelchau, Brad S Coates, Christopher P Childers, Adalberto A Peréz de León, Jay D Evans, Kevin Hackett, DeWayne Shoemaker
Agricultural entomology is poised to benefit from the application of ecological genomics, particularly the fields of biofuels generation and pest control. Metagenomic methods can characterize microbial communities of termites, wood-boring beetles and livestock pests, and transcriptomic approaches reveal molecular bases behind wood-digesting capabilities of these insects, leading to potential mechanisms for biofuel generation. Genome sequences are being exploited to develop new pest control methods, identify candidate antigens to vaccinate livestock, and discover RNAi target sequences and potential non-target effects in other insects...
February 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
David K Yeates, Karen Meusemann, Michelle Trautwein, Brian Wiegmann, Andreas Zwick
Our understanding on the phylogenetic relationships of insects has been revolutionised in the last decade by the proliferation of next generation sequencing technologies (NGS). NGS has allowed insect systematists to assemble very large molecular datasets that include both model and non-model organisms. Such datasets often include a large proportion of the total number of protein coding sequences available for phylogenetic comparison. We review some early entomological phylogenomic studies that employ a range of different data sampling protocols and analyses strategies, illustrating a fundamental renaissance in our understanding of insect evolution all driven by the genomic revolution...
February 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Kwang Poo Chang, Bala K Kolli
Light is known to excite photosensitizers (PS) to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the presence of oxygen. This modality is attractive for designing control measures against animal diseases and pests. Many PS have a proven safety record. Also, the ROS cytotoxicity selects no resistant mutants, unlike other drugs and pesticides. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) refers to the use of PS as light activable tumoricides, microbicides and pesticides in medicine and agriculture.Here we describe "photodynamic vaccination" (PDV) that uses PDT-inactivation of parasites, i...
2016: Parasites & Vectors
Tomohide Yasunaga, Kazutaka Yamada, Rut Morakote, Charuwat Taekul, Jomsurang Duangthisan
Between 2010 and 2013, twenty-six plant bug (Miridae) and one flower bug (Anthocoridae) species were described from Thailand by Yasunaga, Yamada and their colleagues. The original description of each species stated that the holotype depository was 'SUT' (Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand). Because continuous maintenance for type specimens in SUT would become difficult, with the consent of SUT, we have transferred the depository for each of the following holotype specimens from SUT to 'DOAT' (Insect Collection, Entomology & Zoology Group, Plant Protection Research and Development Office, Department of Agriculture, Bangkok)...
2016: Zootaxa
João Victor Leite Dias, Dimas Ramon Mota Queiroz, Liléia Diotaiuti, Herton Helder Rocha Pires
Community participation is the main strategy to sustainability of Chagas disease entomological surveillance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of knowledge on triatomine insects and Chagas disease among the residents from eight localities of Diamantina, in Minas Gerais, with a view to observing any associations between their knowledge and infestations by triatomines. In order to evaluate this knowledge, questionnaires were used containing both closed and open questions. They were applied to 583 residents who were ten years old or over...
June 2016: Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Fabiola Tuccia, Giorgia Giordani, Stefano Vanin
In Forensic Entomology the estimation of the age of insects is used for the estimation of the minimum post-mortem interval. As insect development is temperature dependent and species specific, a correct species identification is therefore fundamental. In the majority of cases the molecular identification is based on a destructive approach. In this paper a working protocol for molecular identification of fly larvae without affecting the anatomical characters used for morphological identification is presented...
July 2016: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Elena Pilli, Alessandro Agostino, Debora Vergani, Elena Salata, Ignazio Ciuna, Andrea Berti, David Caramelli, Simonetta Lambiase
Rapid and progressive advances in molecular biology techniques and the advent of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) have opened new possibilities for analyses also in the identification of entomological matrixes. Insects and other arthropods are widespread in nature and those found at a crime scene can provide a useful contribution to forensic investigations. Entomological evidence is used by experts to define the postmortem interval (PMI), which is essentially based on morphological recognition of the insect and an estimation of its insect life cycle stage...
September 2016: Forensic Science International
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