Journal of Insect Science
ISSN / EISSN : 1536-2442 / 1536-2442
Published by: Oxford University Press (OUP) (10.1093)
Total articles ≅ 2,583
Latest articles in this journal
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab062
The invasive Halyomorpha halys (Stål) is a significant agricultural and urban nuisance pest in many parts of the world. In North America, biological control of H. halys by parasitoid wasps in the families Scelionidae and Eupelmidae has shown promise. An effective technique for detection and monitoring native and exotic parasitoids is the deployment of yellow sticky cards; however, yellow cards also attract nontarget arthropods, reducing efficiency and accuracy of parasitoid screening. This study sought to identify an alternative yet effective trapping technique by comparing the number of target parasitoid wasps [Anastatus spp. Motschulsky (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae), Telenomus spp. Haliday (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), and Trissolcus spp. Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae)] and arthropod bycatch on yellow and blue sticky cards deployed in urban, orchard, and vegetable landscapes in northern Utah from late May to early October in 2019 and 2020. Yellow sticky cards captured 54–72% more target parasitoids than blue cards from June through August in all three landscape types in both years; however, a positive correlation in parasitoid capture indicated blue cards detect target parasitoids, just in fewer numbers. Both card colors detected adventive Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) in initial findings of 2019, and in expanded locations of 2020. Furthermore, blue cards captured 31–48% less Diptera and nontarget Hymenoptera than yellow cards in both years across all three landscapes, translating to reduced card processing time and impacts to beneficial insect populations. Our results suggest that blue vs yellow sticky cards offer an alternative monitoring technique to survey for H. halys parasitoids.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab063
Cuckoo bumble bees (Psithyrus) (Lepeletier, 1832) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) are a unique lineage of bees that depend exclusively on a host bumble bee species to provide nesting material, nutritional resources, and labor to rear offspring. In this study, we document usurpation incidence and population genetic data of Bombus insularis (Smith, 1861) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), a bumble bee species in the Psithyrus subgenus, on field-deployed B. huntii colonies in northern Utah, United States. Within 12 d of deploying B. huntii Greene, 1860 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies at two field sites, 13 of the 16 colonies contained at least one established B. insularis female. Although our results demonstrate that field-deployed bumble bee colonies are highly susceptible to B. insularis usurpation, applying a fabricated excluder to prevent the inquiline from invading a colony was 100% effective. Sibship analysis using microsatellite genotype data of 59 B. insularis females estimates that they originated from at least 49 unique colonies. Furthermore, sibship analysis found siblings distributed between the field sites that were 7.04 km apart. Our result suggests that B. insularis females have the capacity to disperse across the landscape in search of host colonies at distances of at least 3.52 km and up to 7.04 km. Our study underscores the detrimental impact B. insularis usurpation has on the host bumble bee colony. As B. insularis significantly impacts the success of bumble bee colonies, we briefly discuss how the utilization of excluders may be useful for commercial bumble bee colonies that are used to pollinate open field crops.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab058
Varroa destructor is among the greatest biological threats to western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health worldwide. Beekeepers routinely use chemical treatments to control this parasite, though overuse and mismanagement of these treatments have led to widespread resistance in Varroa populations. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecologically based, sustainable approach to pest management that relies on a combination of control tactics that minimize environmental impacts. Herein, we provide an in-depth review of the components of IPM in a Varroa control context. These include determining economic thresholds for the mite, identification of and monitoring for Varroa, prevention strategies, and risk conscious treatments. Furthermore, we provide a detailed review of cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical control strategies, both longstanding and emerging, used against Varroa globally. For each control type, we describe all available treatments, their efficacies against Varroa as described in the primary scientific literature, and the obstacles to their adoption. Unfortunately, reliable IPM protocols do not exist for Varroa due to the complex biology of the mite and strong reliance on chemical control by beekeepers. To encourage beekeeper adoption, a successful IPM approach to Varroa control in managed colonies must be an improvement over conventional control methods and include cost-effective treatments that can be employed readily by beekeepers. It is our intention to provide the most thorough review of Varroa control options available, ultimately framing our discussion within the context of IPM. We hope this article is a call-to-arms against the most damaging pest managed honey bee colonies face worldwide.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab073
RNAi is an effective tool for gene function analysis and a promising strategy to provide environmentally friendly control approaches for pathogens and pests. Recent studies support the utility of bacterium-mediated RNAi as a cost-effective method for gene function study and a suitable externally applied delivery mechanism for pest control. Here, we developed a bacterium-mediated RNAi system in Spodoptera frugiperda based on four target genes, specifically, Chitinase (Sf-CHI), Chitin synthase B (Sf-CHSB), Sugar transporter SWEET1 (Sf-ST), and Hemolin (Sf-HEM). RNAi conducted by feeding larvae with bacteria expressing dsRNAs of target genes or injecting pupae and adults with bacterially synthesized dsRNA induced silencing of target genes and resulted in significant negative effects on growth and survival of S. frugiperda. However, RNAi efficiency and effects were variable among different target genes and dsRNA delivery methods. Injection of pupae with dsCHI and dsCHSB induced a significant increase in wing malformation in adults, suggesting that precise regulation of chitin digestion and synthesis is crucial during wing formation. Injection of female moths with dsHEM resulted in lower mating, fecundity, and egg hatching, signifying a critical role of Sf-HEM in the process of egg production and/or embryo development. Our collective results demonstrate that bacterium-mediated RNAi presents an alternative technique for gene function study in S. frugiperda and a potentially effective strategy for control of this pest, and that Sf-CHI, Sf-CHSB, Sf-ST, and Sf-HEM encoding genes can be potent targets.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab065
Islands are insular environments that are negatively impacted by invasive species. In Hawai‘i, at least 21 non-native bees have been documented to date, joining the diversity of >9,000 non-native and invasive species to the archipelago. The goal of this study is to describe the persistence, genetic diversity, and natural history of the most recently established bee to Hawai‘i, Megachile policaris Say, 1831 (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Contemporary surveys identify that M. policaris is present on at least O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island, with the earliest detection of the species in 2017. Furthermore, repeated surveys and observations by community members support the hypothesis that M. policaris has been established on Hawai‘i Island from 2017 to 2020. DNA sequenced fragments of the cytochrome oxidase I locus identify two distinct haplotypes on Hawai‘i Island, suggesting that at least two founders have colonized the island. In their native range, M. policaris is documented to forage on at least 21 different plant families, which are represented in Hawai‘i. Finally, ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) constructed with four bioclimatic variables and occurrence data from the native range of M. policaris predicts high habitat suitability on the leeward side of islands throughout the archipelago and at high elevation habitats. While many of the observations presented in our study fall within the predicted habitat suitability on Hawai‘i, we also detected the M. policaris on the windward side of Hawai‘i Island suggesting that the SDMs we constructed likely do not capture the bioclimatic niche flexibility of the species.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab055
Native to the neotropics, the avocado seed moth Stenoma catenifer Walsingham (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) is a specialist pest of the family Lauraceae and considered one of the most important pests of avocados worldwide. However, little is known regarding its spatial distribution within a single tree. Therefore, we designed a study to evaluate the effects of canopy height and aspect (i.e., side of the tree) on fruit infestation by S. catenifer larvae in avocados. The study was conducted in three commercial organic avocado orchards located in São Paulo, Brazil. At each orchard, 40 fruit from 30 random trees were sampled weekly from October 2017 through February 2018, evaluating the number of fruits infested by S. catenifer larvae at three tree heights (bottom, middle, and top). In addition, fruits on the ground were also sampled. We also evaluated the effect of the side of the tree where the fruits were collected, i.e., whether they were on the side facing the east (sunrise) or the west (sunset). Within the avocado canopy, the level of fruit infestation by S. catenifer larvae was significantly higher at the top of the trees than in the middle and bottom. Fruit on the ground had lower levels of infestation than those on the tree canopy. The level of fruit infestation was also higher on the side of avocado trees facing the east (sunrise). Understanding the within-tree distribution of S. catenifer will help to better target monitoring and control activities against this pest in avocados.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab066
Parasites sometimes manipulate their host’s behavior to increase their own fitness by enhancing the likelihood that their offspring will reach their hosts. Bees are often parasitized by immobile adult female strepsipterans which seem to modify bees’ behavior to facilitate the release of mobile first-instar larvae onto flowers. To better understand how the parasite may modify the host’s behavior, we compared the foraging behavior of the sweat bee Lasioglossum apristum (Vachal, 1903) (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) between bees parasitized and unparasitized by the strepsipteran Halictoxenos borealis Kifune, 1982 (Strepsiptera: Stylopidae). Both parasitized and unparasitized bees frequently visited Hydrangea serrata (Thunb.) (Cornales: Hydrangeaceae) inflorescences, which are polleniferous but nectarless. On H. serrata inflorescences, unparasitized bees collected pollen from the anthers, but parasitized bees did not collect or eat pollen. Instead, they displayed a peculiar behavior, bending their abdomens downward and pressing them against the flower. This peculiar behavior, which was observed only in bees parasitized by a female strepsipteran in the larvae-releasing stage, may promote the release of mobile first-instar larvae onto flowers. Our observations suggest that the altered flower-visiting behavior of parasitized bees may benefit the parasite. Moreover, it suggests that strepsipteran parasites may modify their host’s behavior only when the larvae reach a certain life stage.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab067
Stably expressed reference genes are critical internal standards for the quantification of gene transcription levels using quantitative real-time PCR. Housekeeping genes are commonly used as reference genes but their expressions were variable depending on experimental conditions in many insect species studied. Here we report the identification and evaluation of 10 housekeeping genes in alligator weed flea beetle, Agasicles hygrophila Selman & Vogt (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), a biocontrol agent of alligator weed. The 10 housekeeping genes are: beta-actin (Actin), ribosomal protein L13A (PRL13a), succinate dehydrogenase complex subunit A (SDHA), ribosomal protein S20 (RPS20), ribosomal protein S13 (RPS13), glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), TATA-box-binding protein (TBP), ribosomal protein L32 (RPL32), tubulin alpha-1 chain (TUBULIN), and elongation factor-1 alpha (ELF). Five programs, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, ΔCt method, and RefFinder, were used to evaluate the expression stability of the 10 genes among various A. hygrophila body parts and with different nutrient types (starvation, diet types). The expression stability analysis showed that RPS32 and RPL13a were reliable reference genes for the study of gene transcription in different body parts; Actin and RPL13a were optimal reference genes for different nutrient types. The selections of reference genes were validated using a CarE gene (GeneBank No: KX353552). The results of this study provide useful bases for studies of gene expression in various aspects relating to A. hygrophila.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab071
Hollows of veteran trees (i.e., rot holes) provide habitat for many rare and threatened saproxylic invertebrates. Rot holes are highly heterogeneous, particularly in terms of substrate and microclimate conditions. There is, however, a dearth of information regarding the differences in biological communities inhabiting rot holes with different environmental conditions. Invertebrates were sampled from European beech (Fagus sylvatica) rot holes in Windsor, Savernake, and Epping Forests (United Kingdom). For each rot hole, physical and environmental conditions were measured, including tree diameter, rot hole dimensions, rot hole height, substrate density, water content, and water potential. These parameters were used to assess the influence of environmental conditions and habitat characteristics on invertebrate communities. Rot hole invertebrate communities were extremely diverse, containing both woodland generalist and saproxylic specialist taxa. Large variation in community structure was observed between rot holes and across woodlands; all sites supported threatened and endangered taxa. Environmental conditions in rot holes were highly variable within and between woodland sites, and communities were predominantly structured by these environmental conditions. In particular, turnover between invertebrate communities was linked to high β-diversity. The linked heterogeneity of environmental conditions and invertebrate communities in rot holes suggests that management of deadwood habitats in woodlands should strive to generate environmental heterogeneity to promote invertebrate diversity. Additional research is required to define how management and conservation activities can further promote enhanced biodiversity across rot holes.
Journal of Insect Science, Volume 21; https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieab056
The insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes has remained the major threat for vector control programs but the fitness effects conferred by these mechanisms are poorly understood. To fill this knowledge gap, the present study aimed at testing the hypothesis that antibiotic oxytetracycline could have an interaction with insecticide resistance genotypes and consequently inhibit the fecundity in An. gambiae. Four strains of An. gambiae: Kisumu (susceptible), KisKdr (kdr (L1014F) resistant), AcerKis (ace-1 (G119S) resistant) and AcerKdrKis (both kdr (L1014F) and ace-1 (G119S) resistant) were used in this study. The different strains were allowed to bloodfeed on a rabbit previously treated with antibiotic oxytetracycline at a concentration of 39·10–5 M. Three days later, ovarian follicles were dissected from individual mosquito ovaries into physiological saline solution (0.9% NaCl) under a stereomicroscope and the eggs were counted. Fecundity was substantially lower in oxytetracycline-exposed KisKdr females when compared to that of the untreated individuals and oxytetracycline-exposed Kisumu females. The exposed AcerKis females displayed an increased fecundity compared to their nontreated counterparts whereas they had reduced fecundity compared to that of oxytetracycline-exposed Kisumu females. There was no substantial difference between the fecundity in the treated and untreated AcerKdrKis females. The oxytetracycline-exposed AcerKdrKis mosquitoes had an increased fecundity compared to that of the exposed Kisumu females. Our data indicate an indirect effect of oxytetracycline in reducing fecundity of An. gambiae mosquitoes carrying kdrR (L1014F) genotype. These findings could be useful for designing new integrated approaches for malaria vector control in endemic countries.