Photophase influence on the reproductive diapause, seasonal morphs, and feeding activity of Euschistus heros (Fabr., 1798) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). (1/11)

Laboratory studies were conducted to verify the influence of photophase on diapause incidence in the Neotropical brown stink bug, Euschistus heros (Fabr., 1798), fed with soybean [Glycine max (L.)] Merrill pods. Nymphs were maintained at three different photophases: 10 h, 12 h, and 14 h, with constant temperature of 25 +/- 1 degree C and relative humidity of 65 +/- 5%. With 14 h, approximately 100% of the adults showed mature reproductive organs; the shoulder (spine) length was significantly greater (2.96 and 2.79 mm for females and males, respectively) than those of bugs maintained at the photophase of 12 h (2.60 mm for females and males) and 10 h (2.59 and 2.53 mm for females and males). At the longer photophase (14 h), E. heros showed better reproductive performance and greater feeding activity than insects reared at 10 h and 12 h; in all photophases bugs tended to reduce feeding from the 1st to the 6th week of life. Body color was considered an unreliable parameter to indicate diapause incidence. However, at 14 h, 60% of the insects were dark brown and 40% were reddish brown. These results indicate that E. heros enters reproductive diapause with photophase of 12 hours or less, showing immature reproductive organs or with intermediate development, with shoulder (spine) less developed and reduced feeding activity.  (+info)

Trauma, disease and collateral damage: conflict in cimicids. (2/11)

The bed bugs and bat bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) are unusual in being a gonochorist (separate male and female genders) taxon with obligate traumatic insemination. Males of all the species in this family have a lanceolate paramere (intromittent organ) which they use to pierce the female's body wall and inseminate directly into her haemocoel, despite the presence of a functional female genital tract. Mating is tightly linked to the feeding cycle in Cimex lectularius, the common bed bug. In this paper, I examine key aspects of the reproductive anatomy and behaviour of C. lectularius that underpin the nature of the conflict over mating rate in this species. I then examine the consequences of traumatic insemination for female fitness and examine potential mechanisms that might underpin those costs. Finally, the collateral consequences of the male reproductive tactic on other males of C. lectularius and the African bat bug, Afrocimex constrictus are examined.  (+info)

Wolbachia infections in the Cimicidae: museum specimens as an untapped resource for endosymbiont surveys. (3/11)

Wolbachia spp. are obligate maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria that infect diverse arthropods and filarial nematodes. Previous microscopic and molecular studies have identified Wolbachia in several bed bug species (Cimicidae), but little is known about how widespread Wolbachia infections are among the Cimicidae. Because cimicids of non-medical importance are not commonly collected, we hypothesized that preserved museum specimens could be assayed for Wolbachia infections. For the screening of museum specimens, we designed a set of primers that specifically amplify small diagnostic fragments (130 to 240 bp) of the Wolbachia 16S rRNA gene. Using these and other previously published primers, we screened 39 cimicid species (spanning 16 genera and all 6 recognized subfamilies) and 2 species of the sister family Polyctenidae for Wolbachia infections using museum and wild-caught material. Amplified fragments were sequenced to confirm that our primers were amplifying Wolbachia DNA. We identified 10 infections, 8 of which were previously undescribed. Infections in the F supergroup were common in the subfamily Cimicinae, while infections in the A supergroup were identified in the subfamilies Afrocimicinae and Haematosiphoninae. Even though specimens were degraded, we detected infections in over 23% of cimicid species. Our results indicate that Wolbachia infections may be common among cimicids and that archived museum material is a useful untapped resource for invertebrate endosymbiont surveys. The new screening primers listed in this report will be useful for other researchers conducting Wolbachia surveys with specimens with less-than-optimum DNA quality.  (+info)

Phylogenetic analysis of Buggy Creek virus: evidence for multiple clades in the Western Great Plains, United States of America. (4/11)

We present the first detailed phylogenetic analysis of Buggy Creek virus (BCRV), a poorly known alphavirus with transmission cycles involving a cimicid swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) vector and cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus) as the principal avian hosts. Nucleotide sequences of a 2,075-bp viral envelope glycoprotein-coding region, covering the entire PE2 gene, were determined for 33 BCRV isolates taken from swallow bugs at cliff swallow colonies in Nebraska and Colorado in the summer of 2001 and were compared with the corresponding region of BCRV isolates collected from Oklahoma in the 1980s. We also analyzed isolates of the closely related Fort Morgan virus (FMV) collected from Colorado in the 1970s. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that BCRV falls into the western equine encephalomyelitis complex of alphaviruses, in agreement with antigenic results and a previous alphavirus phylogeny based on the E1 coding region. We found four distinct BCRV/FMV clades, one each unique to Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma and one containing isolates from both Nebraska and Colorado. BCRV isolates within the two clades from Nebraska showed 5.7 to 6.2% nucleotide divergence and 0.7 to 1.9% amino acid divergence, and within these clades, we found multiple subclades. Nebraska subclades tended to be confined to one or a few cliff swallow colonies that were close to each other in space, although in some cases, near-identical isolates were detected at sites up to 123 km apart. Viral gene flow occurs when cliff swallows move (bugs) between colony sites, and the genetic structure of BCRV may reflect the limited dispersal abilities of its insect vector.  (+info)

Genital Evolution: blurring the battle lines between the sexes. (5/11)

The rapid, divergent evolution of genitalia is a general trend in animals and likely influenced by sexual selection. Contrary to previous ideas, an intriguing new study suggests that sexual selection by sexual conflict can promote the evolution of both male and female genitalia.  (+info)

Phylogeographical structure and evolutionary history of two Buggy Creek virus lineages in the western Great Plains of North America. (6/11)

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Isolation of Buggy Creek virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) from field-collected eggs of Oeciacus vicarius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). (7/11)

Alphaviruses (Togaviridae) rarely have been found to be vertically transmitted from female arthropods to their progeny. We report two isolations of Buggy Creek virus (BCRV), an ecologically unusual alphavirus related to western equine encephalomyelitis virus, from field-collected eggs of cimicid swallow bugs (Oeciacus vicarius Horvath), the principal vector for BCRV. Ten percent of egg pools were positive for BCRV, and we estimated minimum infection rates to be 1.03 infected eggs per 1,000 tested. The results show potential vertical transmission of BCRV, represent one of the few isolations of any alphavirus from eggs or larvae of insects in the field, and are the first report of any virus in the eggs of cimicid bedbugs. The specialized ecological niche of BCRV in swallow bugs and at cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota Vieillot) nesting sites may promote vertical transmission of this virus.  (+info)

Stone Lakes virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus), a variant of Fort Morgan virus isolated from swallow bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) west of the Continental Divide. (8/11)

Multiple isolates of an alphaviruses within the western equine encephalomyelitis-serocomplex that were related closely to Ft. Morgan and its variant Buggy Creek virus were made from swallow bugs, Oeciacus vicarius Horvath (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), collected from cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) nests at the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Sacramento County, CA, during the summers of 2005 and 2006. This virus (hereafter Stone Lakes virus, family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, STLV) was the first record of this viral group west of the Continental Divide. STLV replicated well in Vero and other vertebrate cell cultures but failed to replicate in C6/36 cells or infect Culex tarsalis Coquillett mosquitoes. STLV failed to produce elevated viremias in adult chickens or house sparrows and was weakly immunogenic. In addition, STLV was not isolated from cliff swallow nestlings nor was antibody detected in adults collected at mist nets. We suggest that STL and related swallow bug viruses may be primarily infections of cimicids that are maintained and amplified either by vertical or nonviremic transmission and that cliff swallows may primarily be important as a bloodmeal source for the bugs rather than as an amplification host for the viruses.  (+info)