What is this insect from Brazil

What is this insect from Brazil

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Im assuming 'cicada' with this insect but which one ? Small size- c1c-2 cm -

This neotropical leafhopper belongs to the subfamily Coelidiinae. According to this publication though, there are 25 genera & over 75 different species, and so, I'm having a difficult time narrowing it down from there (my current best guess would be genus Jikradia).

If I'm not mistaken, this insect is displaying an alarming signal by spreading its wings like that… it must have felt threatened by you when you were taking the picture (assuming that it wasn't already like that when you approached it).

For more information on this subfamily, I strongly suggest that you explore the text of the previously linked publication, as it contains great information regarding the various tribes of subfamily Coelidiinae, including distribution, origin, host plants, a bit of history, and so forth.

Broader prevalence of Wolbachia in insects including potential human disease vectors

Wolbachia are intracellular, maternally transmitted bacteria considered the most abundant endosymbionts found in arthropods. They reproductively manipulate their host in order to increase their chances of being transmitted to the offspring, and currently are being used as a tool to control vector-borne diseases. Studies on distribution of Wolbachia among its arthropod hosts are important both for better understanding why this bacterium is so common, as well as for its potential use as a biological control agent. Here, we studied the incidence of Wolbachia in a broad range of insect species, collected from different regions of Brazil, using three genetic markers (16S rRNA, wsp and ftsZ), which varied in terms of their sensitivity to detect this bacterium. The overall incidence of Wolbachia among species belonging to 58 families and 14 orders was 61.9%. The most common positive insect orders were Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera and Hymenoptera, with Diptera and Hemiptera having the highest numbers of Wolbachia-positive families. They included potential human disease vectors whose infection status has never been reported before. Our study further shows the importance of using quantitative polymerase chain reaction for high-throughput and sensitive Wolbachia screening.

Top 24 Types of Typical Insects (With Diagram) | Animal Kingdom

It is common household pest, usually found in cool damp places, such as among old books, under picture frames, wall papers, clothes, etc. It is wingless. Lepisma does not undergo metamor­phosis. The silver fish commonly feeds on starch, and cause considerable damage to books and clothes.

Insect: Type # 2. Mayflies:

The mayflies are the shortest-lived insects and hardly survive a couple of days.

Insect: Type # 3. Cimex (Bed Bug):

It lives as ectoparasite and sucks human blood so it is sanguivorous. Sometimes, they show cannibalism. The mesothorax is usually hidden by two small wing pads, which are the vestigial fore wings. The hind wings are completely absent. It is supposed that the germs of typhoid, plague, kala-azar, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, etc. can be transferred by them.

Insect: Type # 4. Vespa (Wasp):

They are colonial, polymorphic and social insects, living in the hives. The body is yellowish in colour. They are trimorphic. The workers have a powerful sting by which they can inject into the human body causing pain.

Insect: Type # 5. Aphis (The Aphid):

The aphid sucks plant sap. It excretes ‘honey dew’ through the cornicles (honey dew tubes). The ‘honey dew’, being sweet is eaten by ants. The ants domesticate the aphids for this purpose. Such aphids are called “ant cows”. The female aphids are viviparous and reproduce by parthenogenesis. Aphids are serious pests. They damage the plants by sucking their sap.

Insect: Type # 6. Beetles:

They are mostly pests of crops. The fore-wings are thickened, leathery, hard and opaque, which are called wing covers or elytra. They are not used for flight.

The order Coleoptera in which the beetles are placed, is the largest order in the animal kingdom. Herbivorous beetles feed on vegetables, thus they spoil useful crops. They also spoil stored food grains. Some carnivorous beetles feed on aphids, the harmful insects, therefore, they are useful in this respect.

Insect: Type # 7. Butterflies:

They are diurnal in habit. Pieris (the cabbage butterfly) lays eggs on cabbage leaves. The larvae are worm-like and called caterpillars. They are usually coloured insects. Most of the butterflies are quite destructive, as they feed on crops, orchards, gardens, etc. They are useful in cross pollination.

Insect: Type # 8. Locust:

There are many locusts but Schistocerca gregaria (desert locust) and Locusta migratria (migratory locust) have been known from time immemorial. They are the most destructive of all insects. Locusts come to India from Pakistan. Locusts are serious plant pests.

Insect: Type # 9. Poecilocerus pictus (Ak-grasshopper):

Grasshopper is essentially a solitary insect. Poecilocerus pictus lives on Ak plants. It feeds on leafy vegetation. Therefore, it sometimes causes serious damage to the crops.

Insect: Type # 10. Pediculus (Human louse):

Pediculus humanus is an ectoparasite of human beings and feeds on their blood. Eyes are poorly developed. Wings are absent. They suck the blood and carry germs of typhus fever.

Insect: Type # 11. Xenopsylla (Rat flea):

Xenopsylla cheopis is an ectoparasite of rats and men and feeds on their blood. Wings are absent. Xenopsylla cheopis transmits Bacillus pestis from rat to man which causes bubonic plague.

Insect: Type # 12. Musca (House Fly):

They are saprophagous in diet, viz., taking fluid only. Mandibles are absent. They are very harmful insects because they spread the germs of some dangerous diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, paratyphoid, anthrax, diarrhoea, dysentery, tuberculosis, etc.

Insect: Type # 13. Mosquitoes (Fig. 4.28):

The males generally feed on plants juices, while the females feed on blood. Its saliva contains anticoagulant. There are present piercing and sucking type of mouth parts. Mandibles are absent in male mosquito. The metathorax bears two club-shaped processes known as halteres or balancers.

The pedicel (second segment) of the antenna contains Johnston’s organ which perceives sound vibrations like an auditory Organ (hearing organ). Plasmodium (Malarial Parasite) which causes malaria fever is transmit­ted by the female anopheles.

Filaria which causes filariasis is transmitted by Culex. Encephalitis is caused by a virus in man, which results in high fever, headache, drowsiness and inflammation of the brain. This virus is also transmitted by some species of Culex. Aedes mosquito transmits virus of Dengu fever, Yellow fever and Chikungunya.

Insect: Type # 14. Termites (White ants):

Termites are colonial, polymorphic and social insects. In the colony, mostly two forms are present fertile caste and sterile caste. Fertile castes include the fertile males and females.

Sterile castes include both males and females but are without wings and their reproductive organs are vestigial. Sterile castes include workers, nasutes and soldiers. During the breeding season, the winged male and female fly together which is known as nuptial flight during which copu­lation occurs,

The king fertilizes the queen.

The workers construct and repair the nest (termitarium), collect the food, look after the eggs and feed the nymph and other castes.

They have at the tip of head opening of the frontal gland. The secretion of this gland is sticky in nature and used in the warfare during which it is inflected upon their enemies. This secretion is also used to dissolve hard substances, which workers face during nest formation.

They defend the colony. The main food constituent is cellulose, which they obtained from wood or wood work. They are able to digest cellulose with the help of certain flagellates such as Trichonympha that live in their intestine. The exchange of food between one insect and the other is called tropholaxis which is common in termites.

Insect: Type # 15. Ants:

Like termites they are social, colonial and polymorphic insects. Tropholaxis is common in the ants. Generally male and female go on a nuptial flight. After mating, the males usu­ally die. The mated females shed their wings and lay eggs in the nests.

The main castes of ants are the following:

They are fertile females. They may live up to 15 years in some species,

They are fertile male ants,

(iii) Workers:

Actually they are sterile, wingless females, which are smallest in the nest. The workers take over the feeding of the queen and larvae. They also store the food and build the nests,

(iv) Soldiers:

They are modified workers bearing large head and powerful serrated mandibles. They protect nest from the enemies. Ants destroy in bulk seeds and grains from fields and godowns. Their useful activities are helpful in pollination, act as scavengers by disposing dead bodies of animals, increase the fertility of soil by burrowing.

Insect: Type # 16. Silk Moth (Bombyx mori):

It is also called mulberry silk moth, which never occurs in the wild state and is a completely domesticated moth. It is called “Resham- Ka- Kira” in Hindi. It is extensively cultivated all over the world. In India, Kashmir, Mysore and Coimbatore are the main silk producing centres. The adults do not feed and survive for two to three days only. They fly very rarely.

The male dies soon after copulation and female after laying eggs. The silk is obtained by killing the pupa inside the hot water. Then, the silk thread is wound. About 1000 metres of silk thread can be obtained from a single cocoon and about one pound of silk can be obtained from 25000 cocoons. Rearing of silk moth for obtaining raw silk is called sericulture. It is done on large scale in China, Japan, Italy, France, Brazil, India, etc.

Insect: Type # 17. Apis (Honey Bee):

Species of Honey bee are:

(1) Apis mellifera — Italian bee,

(2) Apis dorsata— Rock bee – largest,

(4) Apis florea— Little bee – smallest.

Most common Indian honey bee in wild state is Apis indica, however in domestic state the most common Indian honey bee is Apis mellifera (Italian honey bee). Honey bees are colonial, social and polymorphic insects. Unfertilized eggs develop into drones (males) by parthenogenesis. Fertilized eggs develop into queens or workers.

Three types of individuals (castes) are found in the colony of honey bees:

(i) Queen is a fertile female,

(ii) Drones are males. Life span of a drone is 1-2 months,

(iii) Workers are sterile females and perform various duties of the colony. The queens are fed by the workers. The abdomen contains the wax glands and the sting.

The worker bees of a hive fall into three major castes:

(a) Scavenger or Sanitary bees. For the first three days each worker bee acts a scaven­ger.

(b) House or Nurse bees. From the fourth day onwards, each worker bee feeds like a foster mother, with a mixture of honey and pollen.

From the seventh day, the maxillary glands of a worker bee secrete “royal jelly” to feed young larvae, the queen and those older larvae which are destinated to develop into future queens. From the twelfth to the eigh­teenth day, each worker bee develops wax glands. Wax is secreted in the form of thin scales,

(c) Foraging or Field Bees. When a worker bee is about 15 days old, it explores new sources of nectar and pollen and collects these and water. These bees are also called scout bees. Ernest Spytzner (1788) was the first to draw attention to the fact that bees communicate by means of definite movements now called “bee dances”.

Prof Karl von Frisch decoded the language of “bee dances” and got Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for it in 1973. He discovered that scout bees perform two types of dances for communica­tion.

(i) Round dance is performed when a newly discovered food source is close (less than 75 metres) to the hive

(ii) Tail wagging dance is performed for long distance sources. Life­span of a worker honey bee is 3-4 months.

(i) Honey bees provide honey. Honey is a natural valuable tonic for human body. It contains enzymes, vitamins, monosaccharide sugars mainly glucose and fructose, pigments, ash, moisture, minerals and so on. Honey has neutral ph. Honey also acts as antiseptic,

(ii) Bee wax is used in making candles, polishes, toilet goods, cosmetics, electric goods, carbon paper, etc.

(iii) Honey bees help in the pollination of flowers of fruit plants and seed crops,

(iv) Their sting is poisonous and sometimes fatal to man when they attack in large numbers.

Rearing of honey bees to obtain honey and bee wax is called apiculture. A place where bees are kept is known as apiary. A person who keeps bees is called apiarist.

Insect: Type # 18. Laccifer (Tachardia) lacca— Lac Insect:

It is found in thick forest in India, Myanmar (Burma), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Thailand, Philippine Island, Formosa and East Indies. The females are degenerate individuals, without wings, legs and eyes. The body of the female is soft, ovoid and without segmentation. It has at the anterior end a 2-jointed rostrum and 2- short processes bearing a pair of spiracles.

Male has a segmented body divisible into head, thorax and abdomen. The abdomen bears at its end a pair of long anal hair. There is sexual reproduction. The females can also reproduce parthenogenetically. The males are active and females are motionless.

During unfavorable season, the females secrete lac to form protective nest for egg laying upon branches of Peepal, Dhak, Bargad and other trees. Nymphs, not larvae, hatch- out from the eggs. Lac is scraped from the surface of trees, crushed and sieved to produce lac dust.

It is used in the manufacture of shellac, varnish, polish, buttons, bangles, toys and some electrical items. A dye is prepared from dead and dried bodies of the females. This dye is used by women folk of our country for mahavar. India is the major lac producing country.

Insect: Type # 19. Sympetrum (Dragon Fly):

The dragon flies are mostly found in the vicinity of water. They are also called the “mosquito hawks” as their main diet is mosquitoes. Thus, they help in controlling malaria. The female lays eggs in the water.

The naiads are stout, and their rectum is elongated to form a rectal respiratory chamber in which the gaseous exchange takes place. In the rectal chamber, the naiad draws water and then expels out. This is an unusual structure, which occurs in naiads of dragon fly only.

Insect: Type # 20. Mantis (Praying mantis):

Praying mantis is usually found on the leafy vegetables, where it feeds on other insects which it captures by means of their prehensile fore-legs. Canni­balism is very common in these insects. Praying mantis destroys certain harmful insects, so it is a useful insect.

Insect: Type # 21. Palamneus (Scorpion):

It is viviparous. The body is divisible into (i) anterior the prosoma and (ii) posterior the opisthosoma.

It is un-segmented and covered by a carapace. The latter bears a pair of large median eyes and two groups of smaller lateral simple eyes, each group comprise three eyes. Ventrally the prosoma has a sternal plate and six pairs of appendages, i.e., one pair of small chalicerae, one pair pedipalpi and four pairs of walking legs.

It is differentiated into anterior mesosoma and posterior metasoma.

It is made of seven segments. The sternum of the second segment bears a pair of comb-like sensory appendages, the pectines. The sternum of each of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th mesosomal segments bears a pair of oblique slit like openings the stigmata, which lead into respiratory organs, the book lungs,

Its posterior narrow part consists of five segments. The last segment bears the anus and a stinging apparatus or telson. The latter consists of a swollen base, the vesicle or ampulla and a curved and pointed spine, the aculeus. Inside the vesicle lies a pair of poison glands, the ducts of which open by a pair of minute apertures at the tip of the spine.

Insect: Type # 22. Aranea (Spider):

The body is divisible into an anterior cephalothorax and a posterior abdomen. The cephalothorax has six pairs of appendages (one pair of chelicerae, one pair of pedipalpi and four pairs of walking legs).

The abdomen is un-segmented, rounded and without telson but has three pairs of spinnerets or spinning organs which produce threads for the construction of spider web. Book lungs and the tracheae are the respiratory organs. Excretory product of spider is guanine. Poisonous spider is Lectodectus meactans.

Insect: Type # 23. Sarcoptes (Mite):

Sarcoptes scabiei is a dangerous ectoparasite which attacks man, causing scabies, producing severe irritation. Anterior two pairs of legs are stronger. Posterior two pairs of legs are shorter and attached more ventrally and carry long bristles.

Insect: Type # 24. Ixodes. (Sheep Tick):

The body is covered with leathery skin and is without segmenta­tion. Four pairs of legs are segmented. The tarsus of first pair of legs has a sensory cup shaped Haller’s organ. Respiration is by spiracles and tracheae. It has blood sucking mouth parts. Its saliva contains an anticoagulant which prevents coagulation of blood. It feeds on the blood of sheep.

First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in U.S. Are Hatching Now

This week, mosquito eggs placed in the Florida Keys are expected to hatch tens of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes, a result of the first U.S. release of such insects in the wild. A biotechnology firm called Oxitec delivered the eggs in late April as part of a federally approved experiment to study the use of genetic engineering&mdashrather than insecticides&mdashto control disease-carrying mosquito populations. The move targets an invasive species, called Aedes aegypti, that carries Zika, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and other potentially deadly diseases, some of which are on the rise in Florida.

The experiment relies on a genetic alteration that will be lethal to a large number of future offspring. In this case, male mosquitoes have been modified to carry a gene that makes their female progeny dependent on the antibiotic tetracycline&mdashand thus fated to die in the wild. As the mating cycle repeats over generations, female numbers are depleted, and the population is suppressed. The modified insects eventually die off, making this approach self-limiting.

Oxitec overcame significant regulatory hurdles before getting the go-ahead from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016 and then the Environmental Protection Agency in 2020. If the current pilot effort is successful, the firm is set to release as many as 20 million more males in the prime of Florida&rsquos mosquito season later this year. The results of the experiment could ultimately help address concerns about releasing genetically modified organisms into the wild.

To learn more about the risks and rewards of Florida&rsquos foray into bioengineered pest control, Scientific American spoke with Omar Akbari, a molecular biologist whose lab works on genetic control technologies at the University of California, San Diego. He is also a co-founder of Agragene, a biotech company that is using genetically engineered agricultural pests as a biological pest control.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

Do you think the Aedes aegypti experiment in the Florida Keys will reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases?

The current method of controlling this species is to use insecticides, but they don&rsquot really work well. We&rsquove noticed resistance in the field, so new technologies are definitely needed.

Oxitec&rsquos technology for releasing genetically modified insects has been tested in other places. [The company has] reported reaching A. aegypti population suppression of more than 90 percent in many of their releases, including effective control of the A. aegypti population in Brazil. Given its prior testing, the experiment in the Keys is likely to work and to suppress A. aegypti populations. And hopefully it will directly translate into an epidemiological impact, effectively reducing disease transmission.

How safe is this technology?

It&rsquos extremely safe. The EPA has done its due diligence and tested many of the potential side effects of this technology. The real question here is: What are the existing control mechanisms that are in place? This mosquito has been controlled using many different broad-spectrum insecticides in Florida, including pyrethroids that also kill honeybees, ladybugs, dragonflies and other insects. Pictures show aerial spraying of insecticides from airplanes over neighborhoods in Florida during the Zika virus outbreak in 2016. By comparison, Oxitec&rsquos technology is extremely safe. It&rsquos only going to target A. aegypti, and you&rsquore using the mosquito to control the mosquito.

Is there a risk to the ecosystem?

It&rsquos a misconception that this process could get rid of all mosquitoes. There are more than 3,500 different species of mosquitoes on earth. A handful of them transmit pathogens. Oxitec is not trying to eliminate all mosquitoes. [The company is] getting rid of one mosquito species from a localized population to stop it from transmitting pathogens to humans. And this mosquito species&mdashA. aegypti&mdashis invasive and doesn&rsquot have a purpose in this environment. So I don&rsquot think there will be any negative environmental impact from removing the species from the environment.

Do you anticipate the future use of Oxitec&rsquos technology in other U.S. states?

Right now it is only approved to do mosquito egg releases in that one area of Florida. It&rsquos authorized here for experimental use. And the technology is localized. These mosquitoes can&rsquot travel very far.

The first requirement for use of the technology in other areas will be success with the current experiment in Florida. Once that is in hand, Oxitec can apply for more permits to do broader releases in other areas. If that were to happen, the process would resemble what took place in Florida. I think [Oxitec] would connect with the local mosquito-control districts in those locations and coordinate releases and monitoring the density of the A. aegypti female population over time. Getting approval in other locations might also require putting it on a ballot to get the public to weigh in on the decision, as was done in Florida.

What are the possible limitations of this approach to controlling mosquitoes that spread diseases?

One question is scalability. Can they scale this technology to eliminate this pest from, let&rsquos say, all the states in America that it&rsquos present in, which is basically half of the U.S.? Or is it only useful in small communities? And if they scale it, what is the cost associated with that?

Also, species-specific technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you&rsquore only targeting one species. On the other hand, there are often multiple species transmitting a pathogen. For example, in Brazil, you have two different species that transmit dengue virus&mdashA. aegypti and Aedes albopictus. That&rsquos also the case in Florida. So if you get rid of one of them, the other is still out there.

With global warming, how likely is it that other regions will take the same course that the Florida Keys mosquito district has?

Some already have. Oxitec has received approvals to do releases of its modified A. aegypti mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands and Panama. It is doing trials in India&mdashgenetically modified mosquitoes are released into cages with wild-type mosquitoes to mate and then compared with cages without the modified insect. [Others have] done releases in Malaysia and Australia. And as there are more examples of success stories, I think more countries will be willing to adopt this technology, assuming that the costs make sense.

With global warming, the habitable range of A. aegypti mosquitoes is expanding. The species now is present in many U.S. states, whereas 10 years ago it wasn&rsquot. This, too, is going to become more important as this mosquito species becomes more prevalent and the pathogens also become more prevalent.

What biological pest-control technologies are you currently working on?

Our lab has a [preprint] paper currently under review describing a new CRISPR-based technology that can be used to eliminate A. aegypti populations. It&rsquos also self-limiting. We&rsquore excited about this because we were able to eliminate the populations in experimental cages in the lab. And we think this technology might be a next-generation technology that can be used alongside the Oxitec technology. The outcome is very similar.

Researchers and practitioners in insect physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology entomology, or chemical ecology

1. Production and Reception of Insect Pheromones – Introduction and Overview
2. Lepidoptera: Female Sex pheromone biosynthesis and its hormonal regulation
3. Yeast/plants: production of insect pheromones
4. Pheromone production in bark beetles
5. Drosophila: pheromone production
6. Pheromone mediated social regulation in honey bees (Apis mellifera)
7. Hydrocarbon pheromone production in the housefly and other insects
8. Pheromone Production in Nasonia
9. Hemiptera/stink bugs: pheromone production
10. The neuroethology of labeled lines in insect olfactory systems
11. Pheromone Detection and Responses in Bombyx mori
12. Molecular Mechanisms of pheromone detection
13. Insect Odorant Receptors: Function and Regulation
14. Biophysics of Lepidoptera Pheromone Receptors
15. Olfactory genomics within the Lepidoptera
16. lfactory Genomics of Eusociality within the Hymenoptera
17. Olfactory Genomics of the Coleoptera
18. Mechanisms and dynamics of insect odorant-binding proteins
19. Odor Degrading Enzymes and Signal Termination
20. Olfactory Genomics and Biotechnology in Insect Control
21. Reflections on antennal proteins

Phylogenomics Reveals that Asaia Symbionts from Insects Underwent Convergent Genome Reduction, Preserving an Insecticide-Degrading Gene

The mosquito microbiota is composed of several lineages of microorganisms whose ecological roles and evolutionary histories have yet to be investigated in depth. Among these microorganisms, Asaia bacteria play a prominent role, given their abundance in the gut, reproductive organs, and salivary glands of different mosquito species, while their presence has also been reported in several other insects. Notably, Asaia has great potential as a tool for the control of mosquito-borne diseases. Here, we present a wide phylogenomic analysis of Asaia strains isolated from different species of mosquito vectors and from different populations of the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata, an insect pest of worldwide economic importance. We show that phylogenetically distant lineages of Asaia experienced independent genome reductions, despite following a common pattern, characterized by the early loss of genes involved in genome stability. This result highlights the role of specific metabolic pathways in the symbiotic relationship between Asaia and the insect host. Finally, we discovered that all but one of the Asaia strains included in the study possess the pyrethroid hydrolase gene. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this gene is ancestral in Asaia, strongly suggesting that it played a role in the establishment of the symbiotic association between these bacteria and the mosquito hosts. We propose that this gene from the symbiont contributed to initial pyrethroid resistance in insects harboring Asaia, also considering the widespread production of pyrethrins by several plants.IMPORTANCE We have studied genome reduction within several strains of the insect symbiont Asaia isolated from different species/strains of mosquito and medfly. Phylogenetically distant strains of Asaia, despite following a common pattern involving the loss of genes related to genome stability, have undergone independent genome reductions, highlighting the peculiar role of specific metabolic pathways in the symbiotic relationship between Asaia and its host. We also show that the pyrethroid hydrolase gene is present in all the Asaia strains isolated except for the South American malaria vector Anopheles darlingi, for which resistance to pyrethroids has never been reported, suggesting a possible involvement of Asaia in determining resistance to insecticides.

Keywords: Asaia genome reduction pyrethroid hydrolase.

Copyright © 2021 Comandatore et al.


Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree obtained using…

Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree obtained using the 612 core genes among the 30 Asaia…

Bidimensional principal-coordinate analysis plots generated…

Bidimensional principal-coordinate analysis plots generated on the basis of gene presence/absence (explained variance,…

Pathway erosion. For each of…

Pathway erosion. For each of the 30 Asaia species strains included in the…

Eroded and entire genes among…

Eroded and entire genes among Asaia species genomes. Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree obtained using…

Eroded COG pathways. A heatmap…

Eroded COG pathways. A heatmap of insect, plant, and unknown gene presence/absence in…

Proportions of pseudogenes among COG…

Proportions of pseudogenes among COG pathways. On the left, the maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree…

Comparison of an Asaia species…

Comparison of an Asaia species tree and a pyrethroid hydrolase phylogenetic tree. On…

Comparative study of the floral biology and of the response of productivity to insect visitation in two rapeseed cultivars (Brassica napus L.) in Rio Grande do Sul

Planning the artificial pollination of agricultural crops requires knowledge of the floral biology and reproductive system of the crop in question. Many studies have shown that rapeseed (Brassica napus Linnaeus) is self-compatible and self-pollinated, but its productivity may be increased by insect visitation. In the present study, the floral biology and the response of productivity to insect visitation of two rapeseed cultivars (Hyola 420 and Hyola 61) were analyzed and compared in three regions of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The rapeseed flowers presented three stages during anthesis, with the time periods varying between the cultivars. Both cultivars are self-compatible, but free visitation of insects increased productivity by 17% in the Hyola 420 cultivar and by approximately 30% in the Hyola 61 cultivar. Therefore, it is concluded that the cultivar Hyola 61 is more dependent on insect pollination than Hyola 420.


Harmonia axyridis is a typical coccinellid beetle in shape and structure, being domed and having a "smooth" transition between its elytra (wing coverings), pronotum, and head. It ranges from 5.5–8.5mm in size. The common color form, f. succinea, is orange or red in colouration with 0–22 black spots of variable size. The other usual forms, f. conspicua and f. spectabilis, are uniformly black with, respectively, two or four red markings. The pronotum is white with variable black patterning, ranging from a few black spots in an M formation to almost entirely black. The underside is dark with a wide reddish-brown border.

However, numerous other forms have also been recorded. Extreme forms may be entirely black, or feature complex patterns of black, orange and red.

The large size of this species is usually the first clue to its identification. [5] [6] Despite variation, this species does not generally overlap in pronotal or elytral pattern with any other species, except in unmarked orange or red forms. In Europe it is similar to the much smaller Adalia decempunctata, while in America it is similar to the much narrower Mulsantina picta and spotless forms of Adalia bipunctata. When identification is difficult, the underside pattern usually enables a reliable conclusion. [1] Identification is most simple for the common forms, while less common varieties may take longer to identify. [7] They always have reddish-brown legs and are obviously brown on the underside of the abdomen, even in the melanic colour forms. [3]

Harmonia axyridis is native to eastern Asia from central Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan in the west, through Russia south to the Himalayas and east to the Pacific coast and Japan, including Korea, Mongolia, China, and Taiwan. As a voracious predator, it was identified as a biocontrol agent for aphids and scale insects. Consequently, it has been introduced into greenhouses, crop fields, and gardens in many countries, including the United States and parts of Europe. The species is now established in North America (United States, Canada, Mexico), Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama), South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Brazil), Europe (Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland), Israel, and South Africa. [3] [8]

North America Edit

This species became established in North America as the result of introductions into the United States in an attempt to control the spread of aphids. In the last three decades, this insect has spread throughout the US and Canada, and has been a prominent factor in controlling aphid populations. The first introductions into the US took place as far back as 1916. The species repeatedly failed to establish in the wild after successfully controlling aphid populations, but an established population of beetles was observed in the wild near New Orleans, Louisiana, in about 1988. In the following years, it quickly spread to other states, being occasionally observed in the Midwest within five to seven years and becoming common in the region by about 2000. The species was also established in the Northwest by 1991, and the Northeast by 1994, aided by additional introductions from the native range, rather than just reaching there from the Southeast. Reportedly, it has heavily fed on soybean aphids (which recently appeared in the US after coming from China), supposedly saving farmers vast sums of money in 2001.

Worldwide propagation Edit

Worldwide routes of propagation of H. axyridis were described with genetic markers in 2010. [9] The populations in eastern and western North America originated from two independent introductions from the native range. [9] The South American and African populations both originated independently from eastern North America. [9] The European population also originated from eastern North America, but with substantial genetic admixture with individuals of the European biocontrol strain (estimated at about 40%). [9]

This species is widely considered to be one of the world’s most invasive insects, [10] [11] partly due to their tendency to overwinter indoors and the unpleasant odor and stain left by their bodily fluids when frightened or crushed, as well as their tendency to bite humans. [10] In Europe it is currently increasing to the detriment of indigenous species, [10] its voracious appetite enabling it to outcompete and even consume other ladybirds. [10] The harlequin ladybird is also highly resistant to diseases that affect other ladybird species, and carries a microsporidian parasite to which it is immune, but that can infect and kill other species. [11] Native ladybird species have experienced often dramatic declines in abundance in areas invaded by H. axyridis. [12] In 2015, it was declared the fastest invading species in the UK, spreading throughout the country after the first sighting was confirmed in 2004. [13]

In addition to its household pest status, [14] the harlequin has been reported to be a minor agricultural pest that is inadvertently harvested with crops in Iowa, Ohio, New York State, and Ontario. [15] This can cause visible and sensory contamination. [16] Contamination of grapes by this beetle has been found to alter the taste of wine. [17]

Harmonia axyridis becomes dormant in cooler months, though it will move around whenever the temperature reaches about 10 °C (50 °F). Because the beetles will use crevices and other cool, dry, confined spaces to overwinter, significant numbers may congregate inside walls if given a large enough opening.

Large aggregations are often seen in autumn. The beetles have pheromones to signal to each other. However, many aggregation cues are visual, picking out sites at both long (light-coloured structures that are distinct from their surroundings) and short (pre-existing aggregations to join) distances. Non-volatile long-chain hydrocarbons laid down by previous aggregations also play a significant role in site selection. Both visual and hydrocarbon cues are more important than volatile pheromones.

They often congregate in sunlit areas because of the heat available, so even on fairly cold winter days, some of the hibernating beetles will "wake up" because of solar heating. Large populations can be problematic because they can form swarms and linger in an area for a long time. The beetles can form groups that stay in upper corners of windows. This beetle has been also found to be attracted to dark screening material for its warmth. It has good eyesight it will return from a location to which it is removed, and is known to give a small bite if provoked. [18]

Harmonia axyridis, like other ladybeetles or ladybirds, uses isopropyl methoxy pyrazine as a defensive chemical to deter predation, and also carries this chemical in its hemolymph at much higher concentrations than many other ladybeetle species, along with species-/genus-specific defensive compounds such as harmonine. These insects will "reflex bleed" when agitated, releasing hemolymph from their legs. The liquid has a foul odour (similar to that of dead leaves), a bitter taste, and can stain porous materials. Some people have allergic reactions, including allergic rhinoconjunctivitis when exposed to these beetles. [2] Occasionally, the beetles will bite humans, [2] presumably in an attempt to acquire salt, although many people feel a pricking sensation as a beetle walks across the skin. Bites normally do no more harm than cause irritation, although a small number of people are allergic to bites. [19]

These beetles can be difficult to identify because of their variations in color, spot size, and spot count of the elytra. The easiest way to identify H. axyridis f. succinea is to look at the pronotum and see whether the black markings look like a letter "W" or "M". This species has more white markings on the pronotum than have most native North American species, though this feature is not useful when attempting to separate it from species in other parts of the world.

Life cycle: mating, eggs, five larval stages, pupa and newly emerged adult

The insect spermatheca: an overview

In the female insect, the spermatheca is an ectodermal organ responsible for receiving, maintaining, and releasing sperm to fertilize eggs. The number and morphology of spermathecae vary according to species. Within the spermathecal lumen, substances in the semen and secretions from the spermathecal gland nourish the sperm. Thus, the spermatheca provides an appropriate environment that ensures the long-term viability of sperm. Maintaining sperm viability for long periods within the spermatheca is crucial for insect reproductive success however, the details of this process remain poorly understood. This review examines several aspects of and gaps in the current understanding of spermatheca biology, including morphology, function, reservoir filling, development, and biochemistry. Despite the importance of the spermatheca in insects, there is little information on the gland secretions and their role in the maintenance and protection of male gametes. Furthermore, in this review, we highlight the current information on spermathecal gland secretions and the likely roles they play in the maintenance and protection of sperm.

Keywords: Insect spermatheca Reproduction Reproductive system Sperm Spermatozoa.

The biology and thermal requirements of the fennel aphid Hyadaphis foeniculi (Passerini) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

The relationship between the insect development rate and temperature was established very early and represents an important ecological variable for modeling the population dynamics of insects. The accurate determination of thermal constant values and the lower and upper developmental thresholds of Hyadaphis foeniculi (Passerini) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Miller (Apiales: Apiaceae)) crops would obviously benefit the effective application of control measures. This paper is a study of the biology and thermal requirements of H. foeniculi. Winged insects were collected from fennel crops at the Embrapa Algodão in Campina Grande, Paraíba. Nymphs (age ≤24 h) produced by winged insects were subjected to constant temperatures of 15, 20, 25, 28, 30 or 33°C, a photophase of 12 h and a relative humidity of 70±10%. The results of the study showed that at temperatures between 15 and 30°C, H. foeniculi nymphs were able to develop normally. The four instars were found at all temperatures tested. However, temperatures of 3 and 33°C were lethal to the nymphs. The nymph stage development time varied from 5 (30°C) to 19 (15°C) days. The influence of temperature on the development time is dependent on the instar. The base temperature (Tb) and the thermal constant (K) for the nymph stage were estimated at 11.2°C and 107.5 degree-days, respectively. The shortest nymph development stage was observed at 30°C, and the highest nymph viability (85.0%) was observed at 28°C. This information can be used for developing phenological models based on the temperature and development rate relationships so that outbreaks of H. foeniculi in the fennel crop can be predicted, therefore improving the application of control programs targeting this fennel pest.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1. Survival probability of H. foeniculi…

Figure 1. Survival probability of H. foeniculi nymphs at different temperatures (15°C, 20°C, 25°C, 28°C…

Figure 2. Development time (day) (— —…

Figure 2. Development time (day) (— — —) and development rate (——) of H. foeniculi…

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