The exhaustion of food resources which occurs during the ontogenetic growth of Ascia monuste orseis (Godart) results in the dispersion of older larvae to nearby plants in order to complete their development, which might expose these animals to the nutritional variation of the hosts found. This study aimed to verify whether the food ingested in the beginning of the development influences the larvae host preference and whether the shift to a new host can affect the digestion and performance of A. monuste orseis, using two natural hosts: kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) and rocket (Eruca sativa), or kale and cabbage (B. oleracea var. capitata). Larvae were reared throughout their larval development on a single host or on two different hosts. When a host change was tested, larvae were reared for four instars on a host, and offered the other host plant in the fifth instar. Development time, percentage of pupation and emergence, pupal weight, fecundity and digestive indices were evaluated. The change in feeding preference for kale and for rocket in the fourth instar, when those were the original hosts, respectively, shows that prior experience plays a major role in food preference of immature A. monuste orseis. The shift can be beneficial for larval development, depending on the order of the hosts; in general, larvae fed on kale at the end of the development showed better performance. Our results presented strong evidence of a considerable phenotypic plasticity in A. monuste orseis for host preferences.
This is a study of the population fluctuation of euglossine species, as well as their preferences for scent baits (cineole, eugenol, vanillin and methyl salicylate) in two forest strata (canopy and understory) at the Reserva Florestal do Azulão, a forest fragment located in the municipality of Dourados, MS, Brazil (22°12'S, 54°55'W). We collected a total of 529 males from four genera and eight species. Diversity and equitability for both strata (understory: H' = 1.195 and J' = 0.6139; canopy: H' = 1.193 and J' = 0.6131) did not show a significant difference and a high similarity index was found (P = 87.5%). On the other hand, abundance was substantially higher in the canopy (n = 358) than in the understory (n = 171). From the scents used, eugenol attracted a larger number of individuals (n = 225), but cineole and vanillin attracted a higher number of species.
Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) and Solenopsis invicta Buren are the most abundant and widely distributed fire ants in Brazil. The occurrence of the two fire ant species and of their parasitoids Pseudacteon spp. is described for a climatic and phytophysiognomic transition area in the state of São Paulo. Both fire ant species have a parapatric distribution, apparently determined by the climate: S. saevissima predominates in the north part of São Paulo (Aw climate), while S. invicta in the south (Cfa climate). A sympatric area is observed between the latitudes 21ºS and 23ºS. Two different communities of parasitic decapitating flies were associated with S. saevissima in the north and with S. invicta in the south, with a sympatric area in the municipality of São Carlos (21º58'S 47º53'W). The possible causes of this biogeographic pattern are discussed. Preference tests with Pseudacteon flies challenge the association of P. litoralis Borgmeier, P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. wasmanni Schmitz, P. pradei Borgmeier and P. obtusus Borgmeier with S. saevissima, and P. dentiger Borgmeier, P. disneyi Pesquero and P. lenkoi Borgmeier & Prado with S. invicta.
The tribe Epiponini comprehends the swarm-founding Neotropical wasps, with several species endemic to Brazil, which are extremely important in studies of social evolution of wasps. The Epiponini diverge in several ways from the definitions of high eusociality, since caste syndromes range from species without morphological caste differentiation to those with complete caste dimorphism, and all species are polygynous. Frequently, indirect studies based on morphometry and physiology are the only solutions to collect data regarding the natural history and caste system in this tribe, since most species are extremely aggressive and build enveloped nests, usually in places of difficult access. We analyzed morphological parameters in seven colonies of the Epiponini species Polybia (Trichothorax) sericea Olivier in different phases of colonial development. Nine body variables were taken and females were classified according to their ovary development and spermathecal contents. The results showed that caste differences in this species are based on a contrast among variables: queens have larger mesosoma and abdomen, but are smaller in head width and wing length. These results suggest that morphological caste differentiation in this species is based mainly on body shape. We considered this combination of characters as being adaptive. We also showed that caste differences varied according to the colony cycle, with more conspicuous differences when queen number is reduced.
The aim of this study was to comparatively characterize the monthly variation and the sex ratio of Euxesta stigmatias (Loew) and Euxesta sororcula (Wiedermann) populations from a natural reserve and from a guava orchard. It was also investigated whether density and the climate factors affected the individuals' size and fluctuating asymmetry (FA). In both environments, E. sororcula predominated over E. stigmatias. The number of individuals of E. sororcula collected in the ecological station was significantly lower than the number of individuals caught in the orchard. However, the number of captured individuals of E. stigmatias did not differ between environments. Significant sex ratio differences were detected between the collection sites. Female's frequency of E. stigmatias was significantly higher than male's frequency in the ecological station, but not in the orchard. An opposite pattern was encountered for E. sororcula population, showing a significant larger number of females only in the orchard. The species populations also differed in the degree of asymmetry presented. Euxesta stigmatias individuals showed no change on size or on FA along the captures and between environments. Moreover, E. sororcula tended to be more susceptible to climatic variations, considering the significant observed correlation between temperature and body size and the expressive body size and FA variations. This study illustrates the influence of the environment in some structural and dynamic parameters of the studied populations.
The pierid Charonias theano (Boisduval), an endangered butterfly species, has been rarely observed in nature, and has not been recorded in the state of São Paulo in the last 50 years despite numerous efforts to locate extant colonies. Based on museum specimens and personal information, C. theano was known from 26 sites in southeastern and southern Brazil. Recently, an apparently viable population was recorded in a new locality, at Serra do Japi, Jundiaí, São Paulo, with several individuals observed during two weeks in April, 2011. The existence of this population at Serra do Japi is an important finding, since this site represents one of the few large forested protected areas where the species could potentially persist not only in the state of São Paulo, but within its entire historical distribution.
In Hymenoptera, midgut changes begin in the last instar. At this stage, the larval epithelial digestive cells degenerate, leaving only the basal membrane and the regenerative cells which will develop into a new epithelium during the pupal stage and in the adult. Epithelium renewal is followed by changes in volume and shape of the midgut. Morphometric analysis of digestive cells and total midgut volume of Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides (Lepeletier) were conducted to verify whether cell volume increase are sufficient to account for the total midgut volume increase that occurs during metamorphosis. An increase in midgut volume was verified in spite of the scarcity of cell proliferation found during metamorphosis. At the end of metamorphosis, the increase in cell volume was not sufficient to explain the increase in volume of the midgut, indicating that an increase in the number of digestive cells is apparently necessary. Nevertheless, the mechanism by which regenerative cells reconstitute the epithelium during metamorphosis remains unknown.
New records of Leptohyphidae for Northeastern Brazil are provided. Previously, only Tricorythopsis bahiensis Dias, Salles & Ferreira had been recorded in this region, but we now record one species of Amanahyphes Salles & Molineri, one of Leptohyphes Eaton, three of Traverhyphes Molineri, three of Tricorythodes Ulmer, and seven of Tricorythopsis Traver. Two of these species are recorded for the first time in Brazil. As all of these species are reported, the Northeastern Brazil became the second most diverse geographic region in Brazil in Leptohyphidae.
Four new species of Alloxysta Förster are described (A. andrewsi Ferrer-Suay & Pujade-Villar n. sp., A. costaricensis Ferrer-Suay & Pujade-Villar n. sp., A. hansoni Pujade-Villar n. sp. and A. luismii Ferrer-Suay n. sp.) from Costa Rica being the first records of this genus in this area. Their morphological features and diagnostic characters are illustrated. We provide a diagnosis of Apocharips hansoni Menke with a detailed description of the radial cell, which expands the characteristics of the genus Apocharips.
The female of Navicordulia aemulatrix Pinto & Lamas is described and illustrated for the first time based on a single specimen from the same locality of the type series (state of Santa Catarina, [municipality of São Bento do Sul, 26°14'58"S, 49°22'59"W, railroad station] Rio Vermelho, 29.I.1952, in MZSP). In addition, further morphological notes for the male are provided based on three specimens collected at the type locality and at a new locality in the state of Santa Catarina (Timbó municipality). The pronotal process present in N. aemulatrix is re-evaluated and considered non-homologous to that found in Neocordulia setifera (Hagen in Selys) as previously suggested.
This is the first record on the invasion of the Neotropical brown stink bug, Euschistus heros (F.) in Paraná County (latitude 31º 51' 9.6" S, longitude 60º 32' 11.2" W), Entre Ríos province, Argentina. Five adults were intercepted in 2009/2010, one in crop residues and four on soybean fields. The expanding range in the distribution of E. heros in the Southern Hemisphere is believed to be due to the increased commercial trade among countries, increase in the area cultivated with soybean, and the adoption of no-tillage cropping systems.
Anastrepha serpentina (Wiedemann) is recorded for the first time in citrus (Rutaceae) in Brazil. Specimens were obtained from sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) sampled in the municipalities of Belém and Capitão Poço, and from mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) from Tomé-Açu, state of Pará, Brazil.
The present work tested whether Triatoma pseudomaculata Corrêa & Espínola shows behavioral traits indicating that it is capable of feeding on arthropods. We consistently observed nymphs extending their proboscis in the direction of cockroaches and attempting to bite. Insects presented a preference for biting specific cockroach body parts. Our results suggest that arthropod hemolymph represents an alternative source of food that increases the survival of T. pseudomaculata individuals undergoing long starvation.
Doryctobracon crawfordi (Viereck) was recorded in the states of Amapá and Roraima, Brazil. This is also the first time that this parasitoid is associated with Anastrepha atrigona Hendel from Geissospermum argenteum.
We combined two models to investigate the theoretical dynamics of five exotic and native blowfly species in response to the Allee effect by using demographic parameters estimated from experimental populations. Most of the results suggest stabilization of dynamic behavior in response to the Allee effect. However, the results depended on the magnitude of the demographic parameters of each species, and also indicated chaotic fluctuations and limit cycles. The results are discussed in the context of larval aggregation, an important biological process for blowflies, which naturally incorporates the Allee effect.