Insect Physiology Research Papers/Topics

Exploiting Thrips Aggregation Pheromones to Develop a Lure-and-Kill Strategy for the Management of the Bean Flower Thrips

Abstract: The potential of semiochemicals to lure insect pests to a trap where they can be killed with biopesticides has been demonstrated as an eco-friendly pest management alternative. In this study, we tested two recently characterized male-produced aggregation pheromones of the bean flower thrips Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom), namely (R)-lavandulyl 3-methylbutanoate (major) and (R)-lavandulol (minor), for their field efficacy. Moreover, compatibility of these pheromones and two other...

Tissue Specificity in Social Context-DependentlysozymeExpression in Bumblebees

Abstract: Group living at high densities may result in the enhanced transmission of pathogens.Social insects are obligate group-living species, which often also exhibit high relatedness and frequentsocial interactions amongst individuals, resulting in a high risk of disease spread. Social species seemto exhibit immune systems that provide colonies of social insects with a certain level of flexibility foradjustment of immune activity according to the risk of disease spread. In bumblebees,Bomb...

Nestmate Recognition and the Role of Cuticular Hydrocarbons in the African Termite Raiding Ant Pachycondyla analis

Abstract: Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are used for chemical communication among nestmates in many ant species, and they may play a role in the discrimination of nestmates and non-nestmates. Using the mandible opening response (MOR) bioassay, we tested the response of the African termite raiding ant, Pachycondyla analis, to CHC extracts of nestmates and non-nestmates. The ants were able to distinguish control chemical cues, from nestmate CHCs, and from non-nestmate CHCs, and, based on a CHC...

Mosquito-specialist spiders

Abstract: What does ‘mosquito specialist’mean? A mosquito specialist is a predator that actively prefers mosquitoes, by which we mean that it is differentially motivated to capture mosquitoes among possible prey. This would make it extraordinarily useful, as it would be targeting an insect that matters to people. At best, the mosquito is a nuisance and, at worst,it is a notorious disease vector. There may be many predators that eat alot of mosquitoes, but experimental evidence is needed ...

Anopheles gambiae Exploits the Treehole Ecosystem in Western Kenya: A New Urban Malaria Risk?

Abstract: At six sites in western Kenya, we explored the presence of Anopheles immature stages in treeholes. An. gambiae larvae were found in 19 species, 13 of which are exotic. The most common exotic species were Delonix regia, Jacaranda mimosipholia, and Eucalyptus citrodora. In Kisumu city, longitudinal assessments of 10 flamboyant trees showed repeated presence of An. gambiae s.s. in treeholes with water. Production of Anopheles larvae did not correlate with habitat volume but with habit...

Vertical transmission of naturally occurring Bunyamwera and insect-specific flavivirus infections in mosquitoes from islands and mainland shores of Lakes Victoria and Baringo in Kenya

Abstract: Many arboviruses transmitted by mosquitoes have been implicated as causative agents of both human and animal illnesses in East Africa. Although epidemics of arboviral emerging infectious diseases have risen in frequency in recent years, the extent to which mosquitoes maintain pathogens in circulation during inter-epidemic periods is still poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate whether arboviruses may be maintained by vertical transmission via immature life stages of dif...

Effect of Discriminative Plant-sugar Feeding on the Survival and Fecundity of Anopheles gambiae

Abstract: Background: A previous study showed for Anopheles gambiae s.s. a gradation of feeding preference on common plant species growing in a malaria holoendemic area in western Kenya. The present follow-up study determines whether there is a relationship between the mosquito's preferences and its survival and fecundity. Methods: Groups of mosquitoes were separately given ad libitum opportunity to feed on five of the more preferred plant species (Hamelia patens, Parthenium hysterophorus, R...

Bugs with Backpacks Deter Vision-guided Predation by Jumping Spiders

Abstract: As a case study of how insects use masks as a defence against vision-guided predators, an experimental study was carried out using Acanthaspis petax, a reduviid bug (‘ant bug’) that covers itself with a ‘mask’, or ‘backpack’, made from carcasses of its preferred prey (ants), and three salticid spider species, Hyllus sp., Plexippus sp. and Thyene sp., salticids being predators with exceptionally acute vision. The ant bugs and the salticids were from the Lake Victoria reg...

When it looks and walks like an ant. Learning & Behavior

Abstract: Some jumping spiders (family Salticidae) bear a striking resemblance to ants, a dangerous type of prey, both in terms of their appearance and in terms of how they move. Recent research has taken important steps toward determining whether predators categorize these spiders as ants on the basis of the way they move.

Edible insect value chains in Africa

Abstract: This special issue was organised in the context of the 22nd meeting of the Association of African Insect Scientists (AAIS), in Wad Medani, Sudan in 2017. The aim was to ‘support impactful research that will yield genuine edible insects products and sustain value chains that enhance food and nutritional security and support sustained livelihoods in Africa’. The issue is composed of contributions from the following countries: Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Nigeria,Mali, Burkina Faso, Ca...

Vision-based Ability of an Ant-mimicking Jumping Spider to Discriminate Between Models, Conspecific Individuals and Prey

Abstract: Myrmarachne assimilis, an ant-like (myrmecomorphic) jumping spider (Araneae, Salticidae) from the Philippines, is a Batesian mimic of Oecophylla smaragdina, the Asian weaver ant. Salticids are well known for their acute eyesight and the elaborate vision-based display behaviour they adopt during encounters with conspecific individuals, but most salticids are not myrmecomorphic. Despite its unusual morphology, M. assimilis adopts display behaviour during intraspecific interactions th...

Mosquitoes Larvicidal Activity of Ocimum kilimandscharicum Oil Formulation under Laboratory and Field-Simulated Conditions

Abstract: Mosquitoes are vectors of many severe diseases, including malaria, yellow as well as dengue fever, and lymphatic filariasis. The use of synthetic chemical insecticides for mosquito control has been associated with resistance development and detrimental human, and ecological effects. For a safer alternative, the emulsified Ocimum kilimandscharicum oil formulation was evaluated for its larvicidal activity. The oil was analyzed by GC and GC/MS. The formulations were evaluated against ...

Editorial: Novel Insights Into Female Post-Mating Physiology in Insects

Abstract: Mating deeply affects female physiology and behavior. The major factors responsible for such post-mating changes that were identified so far comprise the act of mating itself, the ejaculate transferred by the male during copulation, and the female microbiome. The genes regulating post-mating responses have been only partially characterized, and mostly in model organisms. In most insects, the molecules transferred in the male ejaculate are still completely unknown, as are the biosyn...

Ontogenetic responses of physiological fitness in Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in response to repeated cold exposure

Abstract: In this era of global climate change, intrinsic rapid and evolutionary responses of invasive agricultural pests to thermal variability are of concern given the potential implications on their biogeography and dire consequences on human food security. For insects, chill coma recovery time (CCRT) and critical thermal minima (CTmin ), the point at which neuromuscu-lar coordination is lost following cold exposure, remain good indices for cold tolerance. Using laboratory-reared Spodopte...

Antennal Enriched Odorant Binding Proteins Are Required for Odor Communication in Glossina f. fuscipes

Abstract: Olfaction is orchestrated at different stages and involves various proteins at each step.For example, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are soluble proteins found in sensillum lymph that might encounter odorants before reaching the odorant receptors. In tsetse flies, the function of OBPs in olfaction is less understood. Here, we investigated the role of OBPs in Glossina fuscipes fuscipes olfaction, the main vector of sleeping sickness, using multidisciplinary approaches. Our tissue e...


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