Biology Research Papers/Topics

Influence of seeing a red face during the male–male encounters of mosquito-specialist spiders

Abstract: Males of Evarcha culicivora, an East African jumping spider (Salticidae), have bright red faces. Here, we investigated how seeing a red face might influence a male’s behaviour during encounters with another male. We applied black eyeliner to conceal the red on a male’s face and measured the spectral properties of male faces with and without the eyeliner. Only the faces without eyeliner reflected in the long-wavelength range corresponding to red. In experiments over 2 days, wher...

Grand Challenges in Vector-Borne Disease Control Targeting Vectors

Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and projects growth mainly in global urban populations. The implications of this growth include changes in the urban environment, which will play an important role in public health, especially a significant proportion of global vector-borne tropical infectious diseases. Combined with these predicted developments is climate change and land use changes which will also grea...

Inter-population variation and phenotypic plasticity in kairomone use by a poly-specialist spider-eating predator

Abstract: Previous research on Cyrba algerina (Araneae, Salticidae) has shown this jumping spider expresses predatory specialisation with respect to spiders as prey as well as inter-population variation in responsiveness to prey-spider odour. However, this earlier research pertained to a single prey species (Oecobius machadoi) and only field-collected C. algerina individuals were tested. Here we extend the previous research by using laboratory-reared, as well as field-collected, individuals ...

Thermal adaptation in Lepidoptera under shifting environments: mechanisms, patterns, and consequences

Abstract: Thermal adaptation is a key facet safeguarding organismal function among ectothermic organisms. In this era of rapidly changing environments, understanding the diverse mechanisms mediating organismal climate stress resistance have become a priority given contrasting efects on organisms, vis declines in keystone species and an increase in invasive pest species. Here, we review mechanisms and patterns of thermal adaptation among shifting climates, specifcally focusing on Lepidoptera,...

Evaluation of improved coloured targets to control riverine tsetse in East Africa: A Bayesian approach

Abstract: Riverine tsetse (Glossina spp.) transmit Trypanosoma brucei gambiense which causes Gambian Human African Trypanosomiasis. Tiny Targets were developed for cost-effective riverine tsetse control, and comprise panels of insecticide-treated blue polyester fabric and black net that attract and kill tsetse. Versus typical blue polyesters, two putatively more attractive fabrics have been developed: Vestergaard ZeroFly blue, and violet. Violet was most attractive to savannah tsetse using l...

Evolutionary Genomics at the Human–Environment Interface in Africa

Abstract: We report on the first meeting of SMBE in Africa. SMBE Malawi was initiated to bring together African and internationalresearchers who use genetics or genomics to study natural systems impacted by human activities. The goals of thisconference were 1) to reach a world-class standard of science with a large number of contributions from Africa, 2) toinitiate exchange between African and international researchers, and 3) to identify challenges and opportunities forevolutionary genomics...

The relative contributions of host density and genetic diversity on prevalence of a multi-host parasite in bumblebees

Abstract: The role of population and demographic factors in influencing the transmission and establishment parasites infect-ing multiple hosts is poorly understood. We assessed the effects of these factors on parasite prevalence in a model system – the intestinal protozoan Crithidia bombi (Trypanosomatidae) infecting a range of bumblebee species (Bombus spp.). We used microsatellite markers and sibship reconstruction to infer genetic diversity and the density of host populations to infer t...

Characterization of honeys produced by sympatric species of Afrotropical stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Meliponini)

Abstract: We investigated the effect of bee species identity and harvesting methods on the chemical composition and antiradical activity of 53 honey samples, produced by six stingless bee species in western Kenya (Kakamega forest). Our results illustrate that none of the assayed parameters significantly varied between the honey samples harvested by “punching holes” (n = 25) and “squeezing” (n = 28) methods. By contrast, species identity drove significant differences in the assayed pa...

Diversity and phylogenetic analysis of endosymbionts fromTrioza erytreae(Del Guercio) and its parasitoids in Kenya

Abstract: The African citrus triozid (ACT), Trioza erytreae (Del Guercio), is the primary vector of Candidatus Liberibacter africanus (CLaf), the causative agent of Africa citrus greening disease (ACGD). This study evaluates the diversity of ACT parasitoids and further characterizes endosymbionts associated with both T. er y treae and its parasitoids that could be used as biological control agents of T. er y treae and management of ACGD. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene was used to re...

Prediction of breeding regions for the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria in East Africa.

Abstract: Desert locust outbreak in East Africa is threatening livelihoods, food security, environment, and economic development in the region. The current magnitude of the desert locust invasion in East Africa is unprecedented and has not been witnessed for more than 70 years. Identifying the potential breeding sites of the pest is essential to carry out cost-effective and timely preventive measures before it inflicts significant damage. We accessed 9,134 desert locust occurrence records an...

The Digestive Aspartic Proteinases of the Brown Ear Tick

Description: A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Science of the University of Neuchatel for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Polymorphism and the Role of Hormones in Caste Differentiation of a Higher Termite Species Macrotermes michaelseni (Isoptera, Macrotermitinae)

Abstract: Biometric studies coupled with physiological investigations have made it possible to propose a scheme of post-embryonic development and polymorphism in Macrotermes michaellseni. ...(continue from the attached PDF)

Identification and Tissue Localization of Olfactory Proteins in the Antenna and Head of Glossina Species

Abstract: Tsetse flies use olfaction in search for food, mates and larviposition sites. Olfactory proteins [(odorant binding proteins (OBPs), pheromone binding proteins (PBPs), chemosensory protein (CSPs), odorant degrading enzymes (ODEs) and odorant receptors (Ors)], located within the antennae, play key role in this process. In this work, presence of olfactory proteins was investigated by constructing and sequencing cDNA libraries from Glossina pallidipes Austen, antennae; Glossina palpali...

Biological control of soil-dwelling insect pests in cocoa agroforests using CO2-emitting capsules coformulated with entomopathogenic fungi

Abstract: Termites have recently gained importance as major pests in cocoa agroforests (AF) because of a loss in overall biodiversity at the transition from shaded agroforestry system to intensively managed unshaded monocultures (full sun) systems. Termite control relied almost exclusively on persistent organochlorine insecticides which are currently under restrictive use due to increasing concern over damage to human health and the environment. Entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) are considered as...

Study on the Biology and Some Ecological Aspects of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Relation to its Altitudinal Expansion

Abstract: Survey was carried out during 2004 main cropping season to investigate the abundance and distribution of stemborers, with emphasis on C. partellus in central and eastern Ethiopia. Three species of stemborers, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe), Busseola fusca (Fuller) and Sesamia calamistis (Hampson) were recorded. C. partellus was dominant and widely distributed species recorded in 96 % of the surveyed sites. On the other hand, B. fusca was mainly recorded in highland areas while S. calami...


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