Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), a cosmopolitan pest insect, is subdivided into at least three genetic lineages that have different biological characters, such as reproductive mode and resistibility to insecticides. Since the lineages are discriminated only by mitochondrial DNA, there is a possibility of gene flow among lineages at the genomic level. Nine polymorphic microsatellite loci were newly isolated from the taxon. Moderate to high levels of polymorphism were observed, with numbers of alleles ranging from 6 to 12 in 51 individuals. The mean observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.1373 to 0.3725 and 0.5381 to 0.7748, respectively. Contrary to the expectation under Hardy-Weinberg's equilibrium, six of the nine loci exhibited a reduction to homozygosities. However, we confirmed that alleles in all the loci were inherited as Mendeilan characteristics. These new loci will be useful to explore discrimination of lineages and population genetics in this species.
genomic DNA; inbreeding; Menderian inheritance; reproductive mode
The use of carrion-baited traps is a common and widely extended practice in the study of sarcosaprophagous Diptera. However, it implies different areas of bias, one of them being the different responses of males and females to carrion bait, which results in possible biased sex ratios in the captures. In the present study, the use of carrion-baited traps revealed significant female-biased captures in the families Calliphoridae, Muscidae, and Sarcophagidae, whereas the collected species of the families Piophilidae, Heleomyzidae, and Ulidiidae showed different patterns in the observed sex ratios. Possible explanations according to existing literature and the types of mating behaviors of the different families are discussed.
Calliphoridae; forensic entomology; Heleomyzidae; Muscidae; Sarcophagidae; sex ratio; Piophilidae; Ulidiidae
A new Elateridae species, Agriotes longipronotum n. sp. (Coleoptera: Elateridae: Elaterinae: Agriotini), is described from Siirt province, Turkey. Photographs of the imago and the aedeagus, and drawings of the aedeagus of the new species, A. sameki, A. bulgaricus, and A. rahmei are given. A rearranged diagnostic key of all Turkish species of nuceus-group is given. The new species is discussed in relation with closely related species. The species of the Agriotes nuceus-group from Turkey are listed, and their distributions are given.
Ants are known to function as reliable biological indicators for habitat impact assessment. They play a wide range of ecological roles depending on their feeding and nesting habits. By clustering ants in guilds, it is possible both to assess how agriculture and forest fragmentation can disturb ant communities and to predict the ecological impacts due to losses of a specific guild. This study aimed at determining the impact of non-shaded coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous guilds of leaf-litter ants of Atlantic Forest fragments in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Both coffee and pasture agriculture influenced leaf-litter ant community, although coffee was more disruptive than pasture. Coffee agriculture not only disturbed the diversity of predatory ants, but also negatively affected the number of predatory and omnivorous ants when compared to forest fragments. In contrast, pasture agriculture only disrupted the abundance of predatory ants. Fragment edges skirting crops were negatively affected in terms of leaf-litter ant abundance, but not diversity. Cluster analysis showed that forest fragments were similar irrespective of the cultivation, but the borders were similar to the crop. The study assessed agriculture impact by surveying ant guilds, and revealed that the predatory guild is more susceptible than omnivorous ants.
agroecosystem; diversity index; fragmentation; Formicidae; habitat impact
The portable cases constructed by caddisfly larvae have been assumed to act as a mechanical defense against predatory attacks. However, previous studies have compared the survival of caddisflies with different cases, thereby precluding an analysis of the survival benefits of “weaker” case materials. The level of protection offered by caddisfly cases constructed with rock, stick, or leaf material, as well as a no-case control, was investigated against predatory dragonfly nymphs (Anax junius Drury (Anisoptera: Aeshnidae)). A valid supposition is that the cases made of stronger material are more effective at deterring predators. Yet, observations revealed that there was no difference in survival between the case types. All caddisflies with a case experienced high survival in comparison to caddisflies removed from their case. In addition, larvae with stick-cases experienced fewer attacks and captures by dragonflies. These results showed that the presence of a case, regardless of the material used in its construction, offers survival benefits when faced with predatory dragonfly nymphs.
dragonfly; Odonata; survival; Trichoptera
Honey bee colony feeding trials were conducted to determine whether differential effects of carbohydrate feeding (sucrose syrup (SS) vs. high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS) could be measured between colonies fed exclusively on these syrups. In one experiment, there was a significant difference in mean wax production between the treatment groups and a significant interaction between time and treatment for the colonies confined in a flight arena. On average, the colonies supplied with SS built 7916.7 cm2 ± 1015.25 cm2 honeycomb, while the colonies supplied with HFCS built 4571.63 cm2 ± 786.45 cm2. The mean mass of bees supplied with HFCS was 4.65 kg (± 0.97 kg), while those supplied with sucrose had a mean of 8.27 kg (± 1.26). There was no significant difference between treatment groups in terms of brood rearing. Differences in brood production were complicated due to possible nutritional deficiencies experienced by both treatment groups. In the second experiment, colonies supplemented with SS through the winter months at a remote field site exhibited increased spring brood production when compared to colonies fed with HFCS. The differences in adult bee populations were significant, having an overall average of 10.0 ± 1.3 frames of bees fed the sucrose syrup between November 2008 and April 2009, compared to 7.5 ± 1.6 frames of bees fed exclusively on HFCS. For commercial queen beekeepers, feeding the right supplementary carbohydrates could be especially important, given the findings of this study.
Commercial strains of entomopathogenic fungi were evaluated for control of chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), an invasive pest of ornamental and vegetable plants in the Caribbean and southeastern United States. In laboratory assays, LC50 values against adult S. dorsalis were 5.1 × 104 CFU/mL for Beauveria bassiana GHA, with higher values 3.1 × 105 for Metarhizium brunneum F52 and 3.8 × 105 for Isaria fumosorosea Apopka 97. Second instars were comparatively less susceptible to all isolates, ostensibly due to moulting, with LC50 values of 1.1 × 108, 7.0 × 105, and 9.9 × 105 CFU/spores per mL for GHA, F52, and Apopka 97 strains, respectively. In greenhouse cages, compared with controls, three applications of mycoinsecticides and other biorational insecticides at 7 to 14 day intervals reduced overall S. dorsalis populations on pepper plants Capsicum annuum cv. California Wonder: spinosad reduced populations by 94–99%, M. brunneum F52 by 84–93%, B. bassiana GHA by 81–94%, I. fumosorosea PFR-97 by 62–66%, and different horticultural oils by 58–85%. The proportion of marketable fruit was significantly increased by M. brunneum F52, B. bassiana GHA, and 2% SuffOil-X treatments. Slightly lower levels of control were observed in nursery tests with ornamental rose shrubs, Rosa sp. Red Double Knock Out®, during hot sunny conditions. Four applications reduced thrips populations over 10 weeks: spinosad by an average of 91%, M. brunneum F52 by an average of 81%, B. bassiana GHA by an average of 62%, SuffOil-X by an average of 50%, and I. fumosorosea PFR-97 by an average of 44%. The data show that mycoinsecticides can be used in management strategies for low to moderate populations of S.
dorsalis and provide resistance management tools for the limited number of insecticides that are effective against this pest.
Beauveria bassiana; Isaria fumosorosea; Metarhizium brunneum; Rosa spp.; sweet pepper
Because of its direct consequences on reproductive success, body condition is an often-studied individual trait in insects. Various studies on insects use disparate methods to assess “body condition.” However, it is doubtful that the results obtained by disparate methods are comparable. In this study, the body conditions of Poecilus cupreus (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) from eight sites were compared based on the following commonly used variables: (i) fresh weight, (ii) dry weight, and (iii) fat content. All of these variables were corrected for structural body size. Moreover, the effects of using the following ways of assessing structural body size were examined: (a) one size measurement (length of elytron, which is commonly used in beetles), and (b) three size measurements (length of elytron, width of pronotum and length of hind femur). The results obtained using the various estimations of body condition (i, ii, iii) varied significantly. Therefore, studies employing distinct body measurements to assess body condition are not comparable to each other. Using multiple structural size measurements in body condition analyses is better than the common practice of using only one size measurement. However, in the present study, results provided by both methods differ only slightly. A recommendation on the use of terminology in studies on body condition is introduced.
Coleoptera; Carabidae; fitness; insect; lipid content; nutritional condition; structural body size
Field studies were conducted to determine the flight response of the twig beetle Pityophthorus pubescens (Marsham) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) to the potential aggregation pheromone component, (E)-(+)-pityol, and its racemic form, (E)-(±)-pityol, in different Pinus spp. L. (Pinales: Pinaceae) stands in the Basque Country (Northern Spain). Both (E)-(+)-pityol and (E)-(±)-pityol equally attracted more males than females, and they were all significantly different from the blank controls. Data about P. pubescens gallery systems in naturally infested P. radiata D. Don branches are also provided. The presence of one male and one female was the most common gallery habitation found in debarked twigs. Current results suggest that P. pubescens may be monogynous and females might mediate the aggregation of mating partners.
flight response; galleries; reproduction; Scolytinae
The Armand pine bark weevil, Pissodes punctatus Langor et Zhang (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a destructive bark weevil on the Armand pine, Pinus armandii Franch (Pinales: Pinaceae), an important timbering tree in southern China. This study examined the phototactic behavior ïéP. punctatus through observation of behavioral characteristics, response to nine monochromatic lights (ranging from 340 nm to 689 nm with about 40-nm step), and response to five intensities (ranging from 1 lux to 200 lux) of the most attractive light. The results demonstrated that P. punctatus was most active in the day, and kept still at night (or in a dark room). P. punctatus could be attracted to eight of nine monochromatic lights, the exception being red light (649 nm), which implied broad sensitivity to the spectrum of light. P. punctatus was most sensitive to violet (415 nm), ultraviolet (340 nm), and green (504 nm) light, suggesting there might be at least three types of photoreceptors in the compound eyes of this weevil. Furthermore, low intensities elicited an increased phototactic response, and high intensities a decreased phototactic response, under both violet and UV light. Thus, P. punctatus were found to be phototactic insects, and the phototactic behavior of P. punctatus is both a color and intensity preference. The information provided here provides a basis for the improvement of trapping devices for detection and survey of P. punctatus, as well as a basis for the development of alternate control strategies for this important pest of Armand pine and other pine trees.
light intensity; monochromatic light; ultraviolet light; violet light
The role of male-male courtship in parasitic Hymenoptera is poorly known. A laboratory study was conducted to assess if Psyttalia concolor (Szépligeti) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) male courtship can be affected by a previous experience in courting young conspecifics of both sexes. Two experiments were performed to evaluate the effect of experience in courting young wasps on both male courtship and male-male competition behavior. Results showed that a courting experience on both sexes can modify some sexual traits in a P. concolor male, without affecting its success in mating. When approaching virgin females, a P. concolor male that had a previous courtship experience with young wasps of either sex showed shorter latency times, more wing fanning, and longer courtship durations with respect to the control male. The hypothesis that a previous courting experience may allow a P. concolor male to refine its courtship behavior and to enhance courtship intensity in subsequent encounters with females was discussed.
adaptive behavior; courtship; experience; mating; Opiinae; wing fanning
DNA sequencing is increasingly being used to assist in species identification in order to overcome taxonomic impediment. However, few studies attempt to compare the results of these molecular studies with a more traditional species delineation approach based on morphological characters. Mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene was sequenced, measuring 636 base pairs, from 47 ants of the genus Pheidole (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) collected in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest to test whether the morphology-based assignment of individuals into species is supported by DNA-based species delimitation. Twenty morphospecies were identified, whereas the barcoding analysis identified 19 Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Fifteen out of the 19 DNA-based clusters allocated, using sequence divergence thresholds of 2% and 3%, matched with morphospecies. Both thresholds yielded the same number of MOTUs. Only one MOTU was successfully identified to species level using the CO1 sequences of Pheidole species already in the Genbank. The average pairwise sequence divergence for all 47 sequences was 19%, ranging between 0–25%. In some cases, however, morphology and molecular based methods differed in their assignment of individuals to morphospecies or MOTUs. The occurrence of distinct mitochondrial lineages within morphological species highlights groups for further detailed genetic and morphological studies, and therefore a pluralistic approach using several methods to understand the taxonomy of difficult lineages is advocated.
CO1, DNA-barcoding; morphospecies; MOTU; taxonomy
The twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), is an important pest of vegetables and other economically important crops. This study evaluated the functional responses and prey-stage preferences of three species of predators, a predatory gall midge, Feltiella acarisuga (Vallot) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), and two predatory mite species, Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) and Amblyseius swirskii (AnthiasHenriot), with T. urticae as the host, under laboratory conditions. The results showed that F. acarisuga was highly effective and the two species of predacious mites were moderately effective in feeding on T. urticae eggs. Logistic regression analysis suggested Type II (convex) functional responses for all three species. However, based on the estimates of the handling time and the attacking rates, the three predators had different predation capacities. Among the three species, F. acarisuga had the highest predation on T. urticae. The maximum daily predation by a larval F. acarisuga was 50 eggs/day, followed by a female N. californicus (25.6 eggs/day) and a female A. swirskii (15.1 eggs/day). A female N. californicus produced more eggs than a female A. swirskii did when they both fed on T. urticae eggs. In addition, all three predator species had no preystage preference for either prey eggs or nymphs. The findings from this study could help select better biological control agents for effective control of T. urticae and other pests in vegetable productions.
Amblyseius swirskii; Feltiella acarisuga; Neoseiulus californicus; predation; vegetable crops
Diachasmimorpha kraussii (Fullaway) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) was first released against Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Hawaii in March 2003. Over a three month period, eight releases, totaling 7,696 females and 3,968 males, were made in a turkeyberry, Solanum torvum Swartz (Solanales: Solanaceae) patch known to have a well established B. latifrons population. The establishment of D. kraussii was assessed through fruit collections conducted over a three-year period beyond the last release. D. kraussii was recovered 2 weeks, 31 months, and 39 months after the last parasitoid release, with collections not only from the release site, but also from a control site about 5.0 km distance from the release site. Recovery from fruit collections three years after the last parasitoid release confirmed that D. kraussii had become established in Hawaii. Parasitism rates were low, only 1.0–1.4%, compared to rates of 2.8–8.7% for the earlier established egg-larval parasitoid, Fopius arisanus (Sonan).
biological control; Braconidae; Diptera; Hymenoptera; Solanum torvum; Tephritidae
Patterns of polyandry in nuptial-gift-giving insects are often explained in terms of sexually antagonistic coevolution. However, the potential influence of environmental constraints and life-history traits on polyandry in these species is still largely unexplored. As an initial step in examining the role of these factors, this study measured the number of matings (spermatodoses per female) of female Roesel's bush-crickets, Metrioptera roeselii Hagenbach (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), along a latitudinal gradient in northern Europe (16 sites, 53.89–60.47° N). Females contained between 0 and 5 spermatodoses (mean ± SE: 1.7 ± 0.08; N = 114), with the degree of polyandry generally increasing at higher latitudes (approximately 0.12–0.3 matings per degree of latitude). As expected, female body size also had an influence on polyandry; the number of matings increased from small to moderately large individuals before declining. The field-based results suggested that there were potentially interesting interactions between environment, life-history traits, and patterns of polyandry in nuptial-gift-giving insect species, and these potentially interesting interactions are used to outline future research directions.
body mass; copulation frequency; latitude; Orthoptera; seasonality
Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology are focused on Diptera and neglect the Hymenoptera community. However, Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal colonization of a dead body. The use of Hymenoptera parasitoids in forensic entomology can be relevant to evaluate the time of death. Hymenoptera parasitoids of the larvae and pupae of flies may play an important role in the estimation of the post-mortem period because their time of attack is often restricted to a small, well-defined window of time in the development of the host insect. However, these parasitoids can interfere with the developmental times of colonizing Diptera, and therefore a better understanding of their ecology is needed. The work reported here monitored the presence of adult Hymenoptera parasitoids on decaying pig carcasses in an urban biotope during the summer season (from May to September). Six families and six species of parasitoids were recorded in the field: Aspilota fuscicornis Haliday (Braconidae), Alysia manducator Panzer, Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Pteromalidae), Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead (Encyrtidae), Trichopria sp. (Diapriidae), and Figites sp. (Figitidae). In the laboratory, five species emerged from pupae collected in the field: Trichopria sp., Figites sp., A. manducator, N. vitripennis, and T. zealandicus. These five species colonize a broad spectrum of Diptera hosts, including those species associated with decomposing carcasses, namely those from the families Calliphoridae, Muscidae, Fanniidae, and Sarcophagidae.
Alysia manducator; carrion ecology; forensic entomology; Nasonia vitripennis; Tachinaephagus zealandicus; temperate area
Virus-infected host plants can have positive, neutral or negative effects on vector aphids. Even though the proportion of non-vector aphids associated with a plant far exceeds that of vector species, little is known about the effect of virus-infected plants on non-vector aphids. In the present study, the English grain aphid Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), a non-vector of Wheat dwarf virus (WDV) and Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV (CYDV-RPV), was monitored on, virus-infected, virus-free and leafhopper/aphid-infested, and virus- and insect-free (control) barley, Hordeum vulgare L. (Poales: Poaceae), plants. Electrical penetration graph recordings were performed. Compared with the control plants, S. avenae on infected plants exhibited reduced non-probing and pathway phase, and increased phloem sap ingestion phase, and more aphids reached sustained phloem ingestion. However, the electrical penetration graph parameters described above showed no significant differences in aphid feeding behavior on virus-free and vector pre-infested plants and the control barley plants during S.
avenae feeding. The results suggest that WDV/CYDV-RPV-infected host plants positively affected the feeding behavior of the non-vector aphid S. avenae. Based on these results, the reasons and trends among the virus-infected host plants' effects on the feeding behavior of non-vector aphids are discussed.
Sitobion avenae (Fabricius); electrical penetration graph; Wheat dwarf virus; Cereal yellow dwarf virus - RPV; virus infection; virus-free vector pre-infestation
Pupae of the tenebrionid beetle Zophobas atratus Fabricius (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) exhibit two types of reflex abdominal motions in response to tactile stimulation: circular rotation and lateral bending to close pinching devices (gin-traps). In the present study, the pupa exhibited novel, sequential abdominal movements at 0.3–2.2 sec after the onset of mechanical stimulation. The most effective stimulation was gentle, double brushing on the ventral surface of an abdominal segment (sternite). The sequential abdominal movements consisted of the following three types of discrete elementary motions (100–350 ms in duration): rapid vibration of 30–40 Hz, circular rotation (or swing), and small wiggling movements. A sequence of abdominal movements generally started with a few bouts of vibration, but the number and order of subsequent motions varied considerably among different sessions and conditions. A restrained pupa often showed a prolonged sequence of many motions, including several rotations, whereas an unrestrained pupa often shortened the sequence by skipping a few rotations after the displacement of its whole body induced by the first abdominal rotation. Stimulation of two types of mechanosensitive sensilla, the hair sensilla (touch sensors) and campaniform sensilla (strain sensors), seemed to be necessary to initiate the defensive response. In natural environments, crawling of a small predator (or parasitoid) on the surface of the abdomen or repeated attacks of a large predator may induce this defensive response in the pupae.
abdominal rotation; cannibalism; mechanosensilla; predators; parasitoids
This study was conducted in 2008–2010 in three apple orchards in western Poland and involved a massive catch of the red-belted clearwing moth, Synanthedon myopaeformis (Borkhausen) (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae), and its parasitoid Liotryphon crassiseta (Thomson) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in yellow Moericke traps. The flight time for both species was correlated and fell in the first half of July. However, the correlation between the occurrences of both species was statistically significant only in 2008, when most specimens were caught. A total of 7960 S. myopaeformis were caught, with a 2:1 male:female sex ratio, and 415 adult L. crassiseta. No correlation between the numbers of S. myopaeformis and L. crassiseta in relation to age, variety of trees, or orchard surface area was noted. Significant differences between the catches of S. myopaeformis and L. crassiseta were reported in particular years. Furthermore, clear differences in the yields of S. myopaeformis and L. crassiseta between traps situated in the orchard and those on its edges were recorded, particularly in the orchard surrounded by cultivated fields. Yellow pan-traps could be used more widely in order to monitor and control the abundance of S. myopaeformis, especially by catching its females.
Ichneumonidae; pest; Sesiidae
The objective of this study was to analyze the colonization of Chironomidae (Diptera) larvae during the decomposition of Eichhornia azurea (Swartz) Kunth (Commelinales: Pontederiaceae) leaves in a lake in southeastern Brazil in two seasons of the year. The experiment was conducted from September to November 2007 and February to April 2008. In each period, 21 litter bags were used, each containing 10 g of dried leaves. Three bags were removed after 2, 5, 8, 12, 25, 45, and 65 days of colonization. The decomposition rate of the E. azurea leaves was rapid in both seasons, with no significant difference between them. The Chironomidae showed higher density than the other invertebrates. Goeldichironomus, Tonytarsus, and Corynoneura were the most abundant genera of Chironomidae. The invertebrate density increased during the experiment, differing within days but not between seasons. The faunal composition differed between the decomposition phases (initial and final), but did not differ between the seasons (dry and wet). The taxa Ablabesmyia, Caladomyia, Chironomus, Goeldichironomus, and Parachironomus were the most closely related to the final days of the experiment. Litter was the main food item found in the gut contents of the organisms of all the genera analyzed, both at the beginning and end of the decomposition. We believe that the feeding activity combined with the high larval density is an important factor contributing to the rapid decomposition of the E. azurea leaves. In conclusion, the succession process along the detritus chain of E. azurea was more important in structuring the assemblage of Chironomidae larvae than seasonal variations.
aquatic insects; lake; macrophytes; tropical region
The toxicities of 10 insecticides were examined against late third instar Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles (Diptera: Culicidae) using the direct-contact mortality bioassay. Six geospatially-distant field mosquitoes were collected from Chuncheon-si, Hwaseong, Seosan. Jeonju, Daegu, and Busan in the Republic of Korea. Marked regional variations of insecticide susceptibility were observed. Field populations of Seosan, Jeonju, and Daegu from agricultural areas showed higher to extremely higher insecticide susceptibility to pyrethroids than those of Chuncheon-si, Hwaseong, and Busan strains from non-agricultural areas. Extremely high to low levels of susceptibility were measured: bifenthrin, susceptible ratio (SR) = 2.7–896.3; β-cyfluthrin, SR = 1.8–633.3; α-cypermethrin, SR = 1.2–1,051.9; deltamethrin, SR = 1.3–711.1; permethrin, SR = 1.5–1,053.4; etofenprox, SR = 2.2–29.3; chlorfenapyr, SR = 5.1–103.6; chlorpyrifos, SR = 2.3– 337.0; fenitrothion, SR = 2.0–142.3; and fenthion, SR = 1.4–186.2. Cx. tritaeniorhynchus populations from rice paddies had been under heavy selection pressure due to the agricultural insecticides, and that's why the mosquito species demonstrated high resistance to pyrethroids, which were used for a long time to control agricultural pests in the localities. These results indicate that careful selection and rotational use of these insecticides may result in continued satisfactory control against field populations of Japanese encephalitis vector mosquitoes.
Japanese encephalitis vector; regional variation
Worldwide, several studies have shown that adaptation to different host plants in phytophagous insects can promote speciation. The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera: Aphididae: Aphidini), is a highly polyphagous species, but its populations increase by parthenogenetic reproduction alone in Indian subcontinent. This study showed that genotypes living in wild plants of taro, Colocasia esculenta var. esculenta (L.) Schott (Alismatales: Araceae), and brinjal, Solanum torvum Swartz (Solanales: Solanaceae), behave as distinct host races. Success rates of colonization after reciprocal host transfers were very poor. Clones of A. gossypii from wild taro partly survived in the first generation when transferred to wild brinjal, but nymph mortality was 100% in the second generation. In contrast, brinjal clones, when transferred to taro, could not survive even in the first generation. Significant differences between the clones from two host species were also recorded in development time, generation time, fecundity, intrinsic rate of increase, net reproductive rate, and mean relative growth rate. Morphologically, aphids of wild taro clones possessed longer proboscis and fore-femora than the aphids of the brinjal clones. The results showed that A. gossypii exists as distinct host races with different abilities of colonizing host plants, and its populations appear to have more potential of sympatic evolution than previously regarded.
host adaptation; reciprocal-host transfers
The mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) is the primary vector of dengue in the Americas. The use of chemical insecticides is recommended during outbreaks of dengue in order to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes; however, because Ae. aegypti is highly synanthropic, the use of insecticides in densely populated areas is a dangerous practice. Leptolegnia chapmanii Seymour (Straminipila: Peronosporomycetes) is an entomopathogenic microorganism that has demonstrated marked pathogenicity toward the larvae of a number of mosquito species, with little or no effect on non-target insects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the sublethal effects of L. chapmanii on fecundity, number of gonotrophic cycles, fertility, and relationship between wing length and fecundity in Ae. aegypti females. Ae. aegypti females that survived infection with L. chapmanii laid fewer eggs, had a smaller number of gonotrophic cycles, had shorter wings, and were less fertile than controls. This is the first study on the sublethal effects experienced by specimens of Ae. aegypti that survived infection with zoospores of L. chapmanii. Although field studies should be carried out, the results obtained in this study are encouraging because the high and rapid larval mortality caused by L. chapmanii coupled with the reduction of reproductive capacity in Ae. aegypti females seem to cause a significant reduction in the number of adults in the mid and long term, thereby reducing the health risks associated with Ae. aegypti.
biocontrol; dengue; fecundity; fertility; gonotrophic cycles; mosquitoes; zoospores
Baculoviruses may interact with parasitoids in the same host. A previous study has shown that infection of larvae with Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltNPV) was deleterious to the survival and development of Meteorus pulchricornis (Wesmael) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). In this paper, the interactions between M. pulchricornis and Spodoptera exigua multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) in Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a permissive host of the virus and parasitoid, were investigated. The results showed that the effect of M. pulchricornis on SeMNPV and the effect of the virus on the parasitoid both depended on the concentration of the virus and the interval between viral infection and parasitism. Whether S. exigua was treated with the parasitoid and virus simultaneously or 1 day apart, the biological activities of 105, 106, and 107 OBs/mL SeMNPV were all significantly improved by M. pulchricornis. In contrast, the biological activity of 103 OBs/mL SeMNPV was significantly decreased when the host was exposed to the virus and parasitoid simultaneously. Regarding the impact of SeMNPV on M. pulchricornis, exposing the host to the parasitoid and SeMNPV with concentrations lower than 106 occlusion bodies (OBs)/mL produced no negative effects on the parasitoid. The results also showed that ingestion of SeMNPV by adult stage M. pulchricornis significantly increased the number of parasitoid offspring that successfully emerged from the host. Furthermore, M. pulchricornis was found to transmit SeMNPV among populations of S. exigua. Taken together, these findings indicate that M. pulchricornis integrated with an appropriate concentration of SeMNPV has the potential to improve the efficacy of biological control against S. exigua.
biological activity; parasitism; virus transmission
Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002–2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002–2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse.
Apidae; Bombus; diversity; grasslands; habitat fragmentation; Idaho; landscape context; pitfall traps; remnants; Washington