Annual Review of Entomology
ISSN / EISSN : 0066-4170 / 1545-4487
Published by: Annual Reviews (10.1146)
Total articles ≅ 1,840
Latest articles in this journal
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 389-405; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-060920-094531
Of the approximately 1,200 plant virus species that have been described to date, nearly one-third are single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses, and all are transmitted by insect vectors. However, most studies of vector transmission of plant viruses have focused on RNA viruses. All known plant ssDNA viruses belong to two economically important families, Geminiviridae and Nanoviridae, and in recent years, there have been increased efforts to understand whether they have evolved similar relationships with their respective insect vectors. This review describes the current understanding of ssDNA virus–vector interactions, including how these viruses cross insect vector cellular barriers, the responses of vectors to virus circulation, the possible existence of viral replication within insect vectors, and the three-way virus–vector–plant interactions. Despite recent breakthroughs in our understanding of these viruses, many aspects of plant ssDNA virus transmission remain elusive. More effort is needed to identify insect proteins that mediate the transmission of plant ssDNA viruses and to understand the complex virus–insect–plant three-way interactions in the field during natural infection.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 209-224; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-041420-075608
In the past 25 years, studies on interactions between chewing lice and their bird hosts have increased notably. This body of work reveals that sampling of live avian hosts, collection of the lice, and the aggregated distributions of louse infestations pose challenges for assessing louse populations. The number of lice on a bird varies among host taxa, often with host size and social system. Host preening behavior limits louse abundance, depending on bill shape. The small communities of lice (typically one–four species) that live on individual birds show species-specific patterns of abundance, with consistently common and rare species, and lower year-to-year population variability than other groups of insects. Most species of lice appear to breed continuously on their hosts, with seasonal patterns of abundance sometimes related to host reproduction and molting. Competition may have led to spatial partitioning of the host by louse species, but seldom contributes to current patterns of abundance.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 243-256; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-042020-102149
Distant and predictable features in the environment make ideal compass cues to allow movement along a straight path. Ball-rolling dung beetles use a wide range of different signals in the day or night sky to steer themselves along a fixed bearing. These include the sun, the Milky Way, and the polarization pattern generated by the moon. Almost two decades of research into these remarkable creatures have shown that the dung beetle's compass is flexible and readily adapts to the cues available in its current surroundings. In the morning and afternoon, dung beetles use the sun to orient, but at midday, they prefer to use the wind, and at night or in a forest, they rely primarily on polarized skylight to maintain straight paths. We are just starting to understand the neuronal substrate underlying the dung beetle's compass and the mystery of why these beetles start each journey with a dance.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 81-99; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-041620-083838
All organisms are exposed to changes in their environment throughout their life cycle. When confronted with these changes, they adjust their development and physiology to ensure that they can produce the functional structures necessary for survival and reproduction. While some traits are remarkably invariant, or robust, across environmental conditions, others show high degrees of variation, known as plasticity. Generally, developmental processes that establish cell identity are thought to be robust to environmental perturbation, while those relating to body and organ growth show greater degrees of plasticity. However, examples of plastic patterning and robust organ growth demonstrate that this is not a hard-and-fast rule.In this review, we explore how the developmental context and the gene regulatory mechanisms underlying trait formation determine the impacts of the environment on development in insects. Furthermore, we outline future issues that need to be resolved to understand how the structure of signaling networks defines whether a trait displays plasticity or robustness.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 373-388; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-052720-094533
Ticks exist on all continents and carry more zoonotic pathogens than any other type of vector. Ticks spend most of their lives in the external environment away from the host and are thus expected to be affected by changes in climate. Most empirical and theoretical studies demonstrate or predict range shifts or increases in ticks and tick-borne diseases, but there can be a lot of heterogeneity in such predictions. Tick-borne disease systems are complex, and determining whether changes are due to climate change or other drivers can be difficult. Modeling studies can help tease apart and understand the roles of different drivers of change. Predictive models can also be invaluable in projecting changes according to different climate change scenarios. However, validating these models remains challenging, and estimating uncertainty in predictions is essential. Another focus for future research should be assessing the resilience of ticks and tick-borne pathogens to climate change.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 407-434; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-020117-043154
Insects play important roles as predators, prey, pollinators, recyclers, hosts, parasitoids, and sources of economically important products. They can also destroy crops; wound animals; and serve as vectors for plant, animal, and human diseases. Gene drive—a process by which genes, gene complexes, or chromosomes encoding specific traits are made to spread through wild populations, even if these traits result in a fitness cost to carriers—provides new opportunities for altering populations to benefit humanity and the environment in ways that are species specific and sustainable. Gene drive can be used to alter the genetic composition of an existing population, referred to as population modification or replacement, or to bring about population suppression or elimination. We describe technologies under consideration, progress that has been made, and remaining technological hurdles, particularly with respect to evolutionary stability and our ability to control the spread and ultimate fate of genes introduced into populations.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 435-461; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-061720-071644
Color vision is widespread among insects but varies among species, depending on the spectral sensitivities and interplay of the participating photoreceptors. The spectral sensitivity of a photoreceptor is principally determined by the absorption spectrum of the expressed visual pigment, but it can be modified by various optical and electrophysiological factors. For example, screening and filtering pigments, rhabdom waveguide properties, retinal structure, and neural processing all influence the perceived color signal. We review the diversity in compound eye structure, visual pigments, photoreceptor physiology, and visual ecology of insects. Based on an overview of the current information about the spectral sensitivities of insect photoreceptors, covering 221 species in 13 insect orders, we discuss the evolution of color vision and highlight present knowledge gaps and promising future research directions in the field.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 225-241; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-061520-083414
Spiders (Araneae) make up a remarkably diverse lineage of predators that have successfully colonized most terrestrial ecosystems. All spiders produce silk, and many species use it to build capture webs with an extraordinary diversity of forms. Spider diversity is distributed in a highly uneven fashion across lineages. This strong imbalance in species richness has led to several causal hypotheses, such as codiversification with insects, key innovations in silk structure and web architecture, and loss of foraging webs. Recent advances in spider phylogenetics have allowed testing of some of these hypotheses, but results are often contradictory, highlighting the need to consider additional drivers of spider diversification. The spatial and historical patterns of diversity and diversification remain contentious. Comparative analyses of spider diversification will advance only if we continue to make progress with studies of species diversity, distribution, and phenotypic traits, together with finer-scale phylogenies and genomic data.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 1-22; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-022720-061725
This review was solicited as an autobiography. The “problems” in my title have two meanings. First, they were professional difficulties caused by my decision to study oviposition preferences of butterflies that were not susceptible to traditional preference-testing designs. Until I provided video, my claim that the butterflies duplicate natural post-alighting host-assessment behavior when placed on hosts by hand was not credible, and the preference-testing technique that I had developed elicited skepticism, anger, and derision. The second meaning of “problems” is scientific. Insect preference comes with complex dimensionality that interacts with host acceptability. Part Two of this review describes how my group's work in this area has revealed unexpected axes of variation in plant–insect interactions—axes capable of frustrating attempts to derive unequivocal conclusions from apparently sensible experimental designs. The possibility that these complexities are lurking should be kept in mind as preference and performance experiments are devised.
Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66, pp 101-119; https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ento-022020-081531
Thrips (Thysanoptera) are small insects that can cause huge problems in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry through feeding and the transmission of plant viruses. They produce a rich chemical diversity of pheromones and allomones and also respond to a broad range of semiochemicals from plants. These semiochemicals offer many opportunities to develop new approaches to pest management. Aggregation pheromones and plant-derived semiochemicals are already available in commercial products. We review these semiochemicals and consider how we can move away from using them mainly for monitoring to using them for control. We still know very little about the behavioral responses of thrips to semiochemicals, and we show that research in this area is needed to improve the use of semiochemicals in pest management. We also propose that thrips should be used as a model system for semiochemically mediated behaviors of small insects that have limited ability to fly upwind.