ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0411.v1
Online: 16 November 2020 (10:44:29 CET)
Is there a wood-feeding insect inside a tree or wooden structure? We investigate several ways on how deep learning approaches can massively scan recordings of vibrations stemming from probed trees to infer their infestation state with wood-boring insects that feed and move inside wood. The recordings come from remotely controlled devices that sample the internal soundscape of trees on a 24/7 basis and wirelessly transmit brief recordings of the registered vibrations to a cloud server. We discuss the different sources of vibrations that can be picked up from trees in urban environments and how deep learning methods can focus on those originating from borers. Our goal is to match the problem of the accelerated—due to global trade and climate change— establishment of invasive xylophagus insects by increasing the capacity of inspection agencies. We aim at introducing permanent, cost-effective, automatic monitoring of trees based on deep learning techniques, in commodity entry point as well as in wild, urban and cultivated areas in order to effect large-scale, sustainable pest-risk analysis and management of wood boring insects such as those from the Cerambycidae family (longhorn beetles).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0164.v1
Online: 14 June 2020 (03:55:08 CEST)
Species of Acacia have been extensively entrenched in the tropical, and semi-arid regions as well as in the southern hemisphere. Acacia species have been bounteous faces the pest and pathogenic pressure. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an immensely important aspect of producing a healthy Acacia plantation without harmful impacts on the environment. Here an attempt was made to determine the possibilities of integrated pest management for Acacia. Overall, this information will be helpful to increase awareness about the integrated pest management of the members of the genus Acacia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0254.v1
Online: 9 March 2021 (10:03:23 CET)
Insects are the dominant group of organisms and act as indicators of biodiversity, ecosystem health, and landscape degradation. The research objective was to determine the spread of insects in the Mount Nona Ambon Protected Forest. The research was conduct in January - March 2020 using Pitfall traps, light traps, Sweep nets, Bait traps, namely detergent, sugar solution and tuna fish. The research was carried out in 2 ha as many as five lanes with a systematic inventory sampling method where the length of the line was 100 meters, 20 m wide and 20 m spacing between lanes. The analysis use descriptively quantitative by calculating the Diversity Index (H ') of Shannon Winner, Abundance Index (K), Dominance Index (C) and Evenness Index. The results of the study found 4063 individuals, 13 species in five orders. The Hymenoptera order dominated the spread of insects in the protected forest of Mount Nona, the Formicidae family with the smallest number of 12 individuals, namely Isodontia auripes from the order Hymenoptera family Sphecidae, and the largest number of them was Anoplolepis gracilipes with 401 individuals from the order Hymenoptera family Formicidae. The difference in insects' spread in the observation path is thought to be caused by differences in microclimate, altitude, vegetation cover, insect movement, light intensity and food availability.
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: adaptive significance; evolution of gall insects; gall-inducing insects; gall formation mechanism; insect effectors
Online: 24 August 2021 (13:04:19 CEST)
Galls are characteristic plant structures formed by cell size enlargement and/or cell proliferation induced by parasitic or pathogenic organisms. Insects are a major inducer of galls, and insect galls can occur on plant leaves, stems, floral buds, flowers, fruits, or roots. Many of these exhibit unique shapes, providing shelter and nutrients to insects. To form unique gall structures, gall-inducing insects are believed to secrete certain effector molecules and hijack host developmental programs. However, the molecular mechanisms of insect gall induction and development remain largely unknown due to the difficulties associated with the study of non-model plants in the wild. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing have allowed us to determine the biological processes in non-model organisms, including gall-inducing insects and their host plants. In this review, we first summarize the adaptive significance of galls for insects and plants. Thereafter, we summarize recent progress regarding the molecular aspects of insect gall formation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0254.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Morphology; insects; biodiversity research; ontology development
Online: 18 January 2022 (11:49:54 CET)
The spectacular radiation of insects has produced a stunning diversity of phenotypes. During the last 250 years, research on insect systematics has generated hundreds of terms for naming and comparing those phenotypes. In its current form, this terminological diversity is presented in natural language and lacks formalization, which prohibits computer-assisted comparison using semantic web technologies. Here we propose a Model for Describing Insect Anatomical Structures (MoDIAS) which incorporates structural properties and positional relationships for standardized, consistent, and reproducible descriptions of insect phenotypes. We applied the MoDIAS framework in creating the ontology for the Anatomy of the Insect Skeleto-Muscular system (AISM). The AISM is the first general insect ontology that aims to cover all taxa by providing generalized, fully logical, and queryable, definitions for each term. It was built using the Ontology Development Kit (ODK), which maximizes interoperability with Uberon (Uberon multi-species anatomy ontology) and other basic ontologies, enhancing the integration of insect anatomy into the broader biological sciences. A template system for adding new terms, extending and linking the AISM to additional anatomical, phenotypic, genetic, and chemical ontologies is also introduced. The AISM is proposed as the backbone for taxon-specific insect ontologies and has potential applications spanning systematic biology and biodiversity informatics, allowing users to (1) use controlled vocabularies and create semi-automated computer-parsable insect morphological descriptions; (2) integrate insect morphology into broader fields of research, including ontology-informed phylogenetic methods, logical homology hypothesis testing, evo-devo studies, and genotype to phenotype mapping; and (3) automate the extraction of morphological data from the literature, enabling the generation of large-scale phenomic data, by facilitating the production and testing of informatic tools able to extract, link, annotate, and process morphological data. This system will allow for clear and semantically interoperable integration of insect phenotypes in biodiversity studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0027.v1
Online: 9 February 2017 (06:56:39 CET)
Atta capiguara is a grass-cutting ant species frequently found in Cerrado biome. However, little is known about the giant nest architecture of this ant. In this study, we investigated the architecture of three A. capiguara nests from the fragment of cerrado in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Casts were made of the nests by filling them with cement to permit better visualization of internal structures such as chambers and tunnels. After excavation, the depth and dimensions (length, width, and height) of the chambers were measured. The results showed the typical shape of Atta capiguara nests consisting of mounds of loose soil with unique features resembling a conic section. The fungus chambers were found outside the apparent main part of the nest and were spaced apart and distributed laterally at ground level. The waste chambers were located beneath the largest mound of loose soil. Both the fungus and waste chambers exhibited a sectoral distribution. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the so far unknown nest architecture of the grass-cutting ant A. capiguara.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0236.v1
Online: 17 May 2018 (06:33:55 CEST)
This paper introduces both a hardware and a software system designed to allow low-cost electronic monitoring of social insects using RFID tags. Data formats for individual insect identification and their associated experiment are proposed to facilitate data sharing from experiments conducted with this system. The antenna's configuration and their duty cycle ensure a high degree of detection rates. Other advantages and limitations of this system are discussed in detail in the paper.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0034.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: freshwater insects; gut microbiome; nitrogen provisioning; nitrate reduction
Online: 5 August 2019 (00:48:14 CEST)
Biological nitrogen (N) provisioning is a seminal function of the gut microbes in several terrestrial insects, given the unbalanced carbon (C) and N ratios of their diets. Although freshwater insects face comparable dietary N limitations like terrestrial insects, little is known about this function by their gut microbiomes. In this study, we investigated microbial nitrate reduction to ammonium pathways as possible routes of biological N provisioning in two freshwater insects; filter-feeding Hydropsychidae and grazers/collectors Baetidae. After incubation in filtered (microbe-free) artificial stream water (ASW) containing dissolved 15N-labeled nitrate (treatment) or standard nitrate (control), bulk δ15N values of treatment samples (Baetidae = 100.62 ± 10.23, mean ± S.E.; Hydropsychidae = 76.82 ± 7.20) were significantly higher than controls (Baetidae = 10.14 ± 0.12 ; Hydropsychidae = 9.03 ± 0.20) in both functional feeding groups (F (3, 13) = 296, P < 0.0001). The treatment δ15N values are cautiously interpreted as reflecting uptake and incorporation of microbe-derived 15N-metabolites (15NH4 or 15N-amino acids) into host tissues following nitrate reduction to ammonium pathways in the gut lumen. Microbial nitrate reduction to ammonium activities was assessed via the quantification of dissimilatory (nrfA) and assimilatory (nasA) nitrate reduction to ammonium gene transcripts. There were no significant differences between control and treatment groups within each insect groups. Overall, this study provides a demonstration of the feasibility of applying 15N-stable isotope analysis for investigating, potential symbiotic functions of freshwater insect gut microbiomes, despite the preliminary nature of the results.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0134.v1
Subject: Forestry, Biology Keywords: planting depth; drought; freeze injury; herbivory; mortality; survival; insects
Online: 7 February 2023 (14:01:52 CET)
Artificial regeneration is successful when high performing seedlings are transported with care to the planting site, stored for a short period in an environment without desiccation or fungal growth, and are planted in a deep hole so roots are in contact with moist soil. One of the requirements for success is the ability to avoid common planting mistakes. Due, in part, to use of container stock plus an increase in rainfall, average 1st year survival of pine seedlings (89%) in the southern United States is about 15% greater now than 45 years ago. However, when survival is less than 50% six months after planting, some landowners seek reimbursement for their loss. Some assume poor seedling quality was the cause without realizing that anaerobic soils or sudden freeze events or shallow planting holes or pruning roots, a lack of rain, or underground insects can kill pines. With a focus on pines planted in the southern United States, we list non-nursery factors that have killed seedlings in North America, Africa and Europe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0190.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: mites; insects; trophic relation; plant-arthropod interactions; SEKEM; fayoum
Online: 16 February 2022 (02:46:57 CET)
Due to a lack of knowledge about arthropod biodiversity in Egyptian organic agro-ecosystems; the study aimed to introduce information on the diversity, richness, and distribution of insect and mite species in two organic agro-ecosystems, also, to investigate the impact of plant-arthropod interactions. Samples collected from two organic farms, i) Shampoliah farm, Fayoum (GCS 29°21'07.4"N 30°44'17.8"E), and ii) SEKEM farm, Sharkia (GCS 18 30°22'56.1"N 31°39'17.4"E). Results shown 39 species recorded in Shampoliah farm, and 35 species in SEKEM of mite, insect, medicinal, and weed species. When 14 species shared among two sites. Study has measured the H', D and 1/D indices within each location, and the similarity/dissimilarity between locations. The study hypothesized the possible plant-arthropod interactions that explain why diversity differs from an ecosystem to another; due to; plant size, plant morphological characters, soil fertilization, plant nutritional content, and the prey-predator interactions. The added hypothesis; is to show that the importance of natural habitat is supporting natural enemies and distribution of arthropods, which could vary dramatically with the type of pest species, IPM, and landscape type considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0352.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: remote sensing; spectroscopy; blind source separation; unsupervised clustering; insects
Online: 12 March 2021 (20:16:55 CET)
Characterization of flying insects in-situ measurement using remote sensing spectroscopy is an emerging research field. Also, most analysis techniques in remote sensing spectroscopy are based on the use of an intensity threshold which introduces indeterminacies in the number of detected specimens. In this manuscript, we investigated the possibility of analysing passive remote sensing spectroscopy measurement data using the maximum noise fraction method. The results obtained show that this analysis technique can help to overcome the measurement of background noise in spectroscopic measurements.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0119.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: predator-prey; insects; arthropods; entomology; herpetology; species interactions; predation
Online: 10 February 2020 (05:29:27 CET)
Arthropod predators preying on vertebrates is generally overlooked in ecological studies, as it is not typically observed in nature and generally considered a rare event. This is likely due to the cryptic nature of these predatory events, the relatively small size of arthropods, and the difficulty in collating published data which is scattered throughout the literature. Although arthropods are known to readily hunt and consume vertebrates, very little is known about these predatory events. In this study, a systematic literature review was conducted to provide a conceptual framework, identify global patterns, and create a searchable database of arthropod preying on vertebrates. This study represents the largest global assessment of arthropod predators and vertebrate prey with over a thousand recorded observations collated from over 80 countries across every continent except Antarctica, where no arthropod predator exists. Arthropod predators were represented by six classes (insects, arachnids, centipedes, and crustaceans: Malacostraca, Ostracoda, Hexanauplia) and over 80 families. Vertebrate prey were represented by five classes (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish) and 160 families. The most common prey were frogs consisting of over a third of all observations. The most commonly preyed reptiles were nearly all lizards, half of mammal prey were bats, nearly a third of fish were Cypriniformes, and half of bird prey were passerines. Spiders represented over half of all predatory events found and were the main predator for all vertebrates except birds, which were preyed mostly upon praying mantises. However, prey varied between spider families. For insects, true bugs (Hemiptera) and beetles preyed mostly on amphibians while the aquatic Odonata larvae preyed on amphibians and fish. Decapod predators were observed preying equally between reptiles, birds, and amphibians; with centipedes preying mainly on reptiles and mammals. Predation was mostly recorded from the Americas and Australia, with countries and regions varying between predator and prey groups. This study demonstrates that arthropods are indeed an overlooked predator of vertebrates. Recognizing and quantifying these predator-prey interactions is vital for identifying patterns and the potential impact of these relationships on shaping vertebrate populations and communities. Understanding the possible threat of arthropod predators may be especially important to improve the success of conservation efforts by accounting for predators which may currently be overlooked.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0303.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: chitin; Vespa velutina; Asian hornet; polymer; invasive species; insects
Online: 25 November 2019 (03:44:34 CET)
The isolation and characterization of chitin (CHI) obtained from Vespa velutina (CHIVV) is described. Moreover, a trapping procedure is presented to selectively catch the invasive species. The chitin contents of dry Vespa velutina was observed to be 11.7 %. The physicochemical properties of CHIVV was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), solid-state NMR (ssNMR), elemental analysis (EA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TG). Obtained CHIVV is close to pure (43, 47% C, 6.94% H, and 6.85% N) and full acetylated with a value of 95.44%. Also, lifetime and kinetic parameters such as activation E and the frequency factor A using model-free and model-fitting methods, were determined. For CHIVV the solid state mechanism that follows the thermodegradation is of type F2 (Random nucleation around two nuclei). Vespa velutina chitin should not be used at temperatures above 60ºC, since its half-life would be only one year, and from an industrial point of view it would not be profitable. Based on certain factors such as the current and probable continued abundance of Vespa velutina and the quality of the product obtained, the invasive Asian hornet is a promising alternative source of chitin.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0278.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: nociception; pain; modulation of nociception; insects; descending control of nociception
Online: 22 February 2022 (14:24:24 CET)
Modulation of nociception allows animals to prioritise their survival by adapting their behaviour in different contexts. In mammals, this is executed by neurons from the brain, and is referred to as the descending control of nociception. Whether insects have this control, or have the neural circuits underpinning it, has not been clarified. Here, we review evidence supporting descending control of nociception control in insects, and consider which neuronal sub-types and brain areas may be involved.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0333.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: Insects, Forest, Fungi, ITS1, metagenomics, NGS, Oomycete, Phytopathogens, Phytophthora, vectors
Online: 15 October 2018 (18:52:27 CEST)
Understanding ecological interactions is a key in managing phytopathology. Although entomologists rely mostly on both traditional molecular methods and morphological characteristics to identify pests, next-generation sequencing is becoming the go-to avenue for scientists studying fungal and oomycete phytopathogens. These organisms sometimes infect plants together with insects. There are many relationships yet to be discovered and much to learn about how these organisms interact with one another. Considering the growing number of exotic insect introductions in Canada, a high-throughput strategy for screening those insects is already implemented by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). However, no plan is deployed to investigate the phytopathogenic fungal and oomycete species interacting with insects. Metagenomics analysis was performed on the preservation fluids from CFIA’s insect traps across Canada. Using the Ion Torrent PGM technology and fusion primers for multiplexing and indexing, community profiling was conducted on the different semiochemicals used in the insect traps and the various areas where these traps were placed. Internal transcribed spacer 1 (fungi and oomycetes) and adenosine triphosphate synthase subunit 9-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 9 spacer amplicons were generated. Although direct links between organisms could not be established, moderately phytopathogenic fungi (e.g., Leptographium spp. and Meria laricis) and oomycetes (mainly Peronospora spp. and Pythium spp.) unique to every type of semiochemical were discovered. The entomopathogenic yeast Candida michaelii was also detected. This project demonstrated our ability to screen for unwanted species faster and at a higher scale and throughput than traditional pathogen diagnostic techniques. Additionally, minimal modifications to this approach would allow it to be used in other phytopathology fields.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0190.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; neurotoxic model; early stage; biologically active substances from insects
Online: 14 May 2021 (10:58:45 CEST)
The effect of aqueous extracts of the biomass of the adult Ulomoides dermestoides beetle on the delayed effects of the defoliant paraquat causing parkinsonism in experimental mice was evaluated. The motor activity of the animals was analyzed in behavioral tests using a rotarod and a vertical pole. The number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunopositive neurons in the ventral part of the substantia nigra of the midbrains of experimental and control mice was studied by immunohistochemistry. In the model in vitro system with SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma, the effect of the extracts on cell proliferation was examined in the absence and presence of the neurotoxin MPP+. The isolation of biologically active substances from raw biomass using cavitation effects made it possible to obtain extracts with protective properties in the model of an early stage of Parkinson's disease used in this study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0102.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: invasive species; Noctuidae; host plants; polyphagous insects; host-strain; pest management
Online: 5 January 2021 (17:12:12 CET)
The alien invasive insect pest Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), commonly referred to as Fall Armyworm (FAW), is a polyphagous insect feeding on more than 350 host plants in addition to maize in its native habitat. Due to the voracious nature of FAW, significant yield losses on maize production were reported across the African continent since its detection in 2016. Despite being a polyphagous insect, little is known about its alternative host plants in the new habitat including Mozambique. This study aimed to assess the host range of FAW in the central province of Manica, Mozambique. A field survey was conducted from May to August 2019 (dry season of 2018/2019 cropping season) and in December 2019 and January 2020 (rainy season of 2019/2020 cropping season) in maize fields and crops often mixed with maize or located in the vicinity of maize fields. A total of 1291 fields were surveyed. In each field, 20 plants were selected in a “W” pattern and checked for the presence of FAW egg masses and/or larvae. At the time of the sampling, no evidence was found suggesting that in Manica province FAW feeds in crops other than maize because out of 35 different crops surveyed, FAW was only recorded on maize. Results from this study suggest that the strain of FAW occurring in Manica province might be the one specialized in maize or the continuous availability of maize fields throughout the year is influencing the choices of the host plants of this invasive insect pest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0099.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: genetically modified insects; symbiosis; microbiome; transgenic; self-limiting; insect rearing; mutualism
Online: 7 March 2019 (14:00:12 CET)
Mass insect rearing can have a range of applications, for example in biological control of insects. Since the performance of released biological control agents determines efficacy, the competitive fitness of insects post release is a key variable. Here, we tested whether inoculation with a gut symbiont, Enterobacter cloacae, and gnotobiotic rearing of larvae could improve insect growth and male competitive fitness of a transgenic diamondback moth, which has shown variation in fitness when reared in different insectaries. All larvae were readily infected with the focal symbiont. Under gnotobiotic rearing pupal weights were reduced and there was a marginal reduction in larval survival. However, gnotobiotic rearing substantially improved the fitness of transgenic males. In addition, in gnotobiotic conditions, inoculation with the gut symbiont increased pupal weights and male fitness, increasing the proportion of transgenic progeny from 20 to 30% relative to symbiont-free insects. Gnotobiotic conditions may improve the fitness of transgenic males by excluding microbial contaminants, while symbiont inoculation could further improve fitness by providing additional protection against infections, or by normalizing insect physiology. The simple innovation of incorporating antibiotic into diet, and inoculating insects with symbiotic bacteria that are resistant to that antibiotic, could provide a readily transferable tool for other insect rearing systems.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0173.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: Insects; Acari; Araneae; Gastropods; Weeds; Pesticides; Fertilizers; IPM; Arthropod-Plant Interac-tions; Tri-trophic relationship
Online: 14 February 2022 (11:08:33 CET)
The National Research Centre’s experimental research station (NRCERS) locates in Wadi El Natrun, Egypt 30°29'54.22"N 30°19'10.94"E. The NRCERS has various crop yields (vegetables, fruits, ornamental, and field crops) for different experimental treatments. It followed conventional agricultural procedures in vegetation, fertilisation, irrigation, and plant protection. Such policies have not been evaluated for their impacts on arthropod diversity and distribution. Thus, this study conclusion aims to sufficiently map the arthropod species (pest/predators) distribution, measure the biodiversity indices, to the NRCERS agricultural policies to be modified to support arthropod diversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0217.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: cognitive function; pet insects; animal-assisted therapy; Wisconsin Card Sorting Task; functional magnetic resonance imaging; elderly women
Online: 20 August 2019 (15:46:32 CEST)
Background: Animal-assisted therapy has positive effects on cognitive function, depression, performance ability, and social functioning in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of rearing pet insects on the cognitive function of healthy elderly participants, with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) being used for this purpose. Methods: Community-dwelling elderly women (≥60 years) with normal cognitive function were enrolled during April 2015. They were randomized at a 1:1 ratio into two groups: insect-rearing and control (n=16) groups, with the insect-rearing group being further classified into two groups for analysis according to the subjects’ scores in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, WCST) at the first fMRI: insect-rearing group I with a relatively high score (n=13), and insect-rearing group II with a relatively low score (n=6). All subjects were educated on a healthy lifestyle for better cognitive function at every visit, and the insect-rearing groups received and reared crickets as pet insects. The fMRI was performed at baseline and after 8 weeks using the WCST as a stimulus. The WCST consisted of two variations, a high level baseline (HLB) and semi-WCST version. Results: There were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics among the three groups. There was a significant difference accuracy of the HLB–semi-WCST (p<0.05) in insect-rearing group II after 8 weeks from the baseline test. In the fMRI analysis involving the WCST reaction test, increased activation was observed in the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex in insect-rearing group II when the semi-WCST, rather than the HLB, was performed. There were no significant differences in the other groups. Conclusion: The rearing of pet insects as an animal-assisted therapy is cost-effective, easy, and occupies little space. In this study, it showed positive effects on executive functions and performance improvement in elderly women. Further larger studies on the effects of pet insects on cognitive function are warranted.