PAUL A. SELDEN
Full Text Available A trigonotarbid arachnid from the Upper Carboniferous (Westphalian D of San Giorgio Basin, Sardinia, is described and referred to Anthracomartus voelkelianus Karsch, 1882, the type genus of the family Anthracomartidae. The occurrence extends the range of this arachnid order outside of the major Euramerican coal basins and into the western Mediterranean region. This is the first pre-Miocene arachnid from Italy to be described.
Anne M Peattie
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many arachnids possess adhesive pads on their feet that help them climb smooth surfaces and capture prey. Spider and gecko adhesives have converged on a branched, hairy structure, which theoretically allows them to adhere solely by dry (solid-solid intermolecular interactions. Indeed, the consensus in the literature is that spiders and their smooth-padded relatives, the solifugids, adhere without the aid of a secretion. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the adhesive contact zone of living spiders, solifugids and mites using interference reflection microscopy, which allows the detection of thin liquid films. Like insects, all the arachnids we studied left behind hydrophobic fluid footprints on glass (mean refractive index: 1.48-1.50; contact angle: 3.7-11.2°. Fluid was not always secreted continuously, suggesting that pads can function in both wet and dry modes. We measured the attachment forces of single adhesive setae from tarantulas (Grammostola rosea by attaching them to a bending beam with a known spring constant and filming the resulting deflection. Individual spider setae showed a lower static friction at rest (26%±2.8 SE of the peak friction than single gecko setae (Thecadactylus rapicauda; 96%±1.7 SE. This may be explained by the fact that spider setae continued to release fluid after isolation from the animal, lubricating the contact zone. SIGNIFICANCE: This finding implies that tarsal secretions occur within all major groups of terrestrial arthropods with adhesive pads. The presence of liquid in an adhesive contact zone has important consequences for attachment performance, improving adhesion to rough surfaces and introducing rate-dependent effects. Our results leave geckos and anoles as the only known representatives of truly dry adhesive pads in nature. Engineers seeking biological inspiration for synthetic adhesives should consider whether model species with fluid secretions are appropriate to their
Younger, Herbert; Oreilly, John; Frogner, Bjorn
This paper discusses the results of a Phase 2 SBIR project sponsored by NASA and performed by MIMD Systems, Inc. A major objective of this project was to develop specific concepts for improved performance in accessing large databases. An object-oriented and distributed approach was used for the general design, while a geographical decomposition was used as a specific solution. The resulting software framework is called ARACHNID. The Faint Source Catalog developed by NASA was the initial database testbed. This is a database of many giga-bytes, where an order of magnitude improvement in query speed is being sought. This database contains faint infrared point sources obtained from telescope measurements of the sky. A geographical decomposition of this database is an attractive approach to dividing it into pieces. Each piece can then be searched on individual processors with only a weak data linkage between the processors being required. As a further demonstration of the concepts implemented in ARACHNID, a tourist information system is discussed. This version of ARACHNID is the commercial result of the project. It is a distributed, networked, database application where speed, maintenance, and reliability are important considerations. This paper focuses on the design concepts and technologies that form the basis for ARACHNID.
Full Text Available book review: Harvey Mark S. (2003: Catalogue of the smaller arachnid orders of the world: Amblypygi, Uropygi, Schizomida, Palpigradi, Ricinulei and Solifugae. Includes checklists for Europe of: Amblypygi, Uropygi, Schizomida, Palpigradi, Solifugae.
Alshurafa, Nabil I.; Harmon, Justin T.
Evolution has produced organisms whose locomotive agility and adaptivity mock the difficulty faced by robotic scientists. The problem of locomotion, which nature has solved so well, is surprisingly complex and difficult. We explore the ability of an artificial eight-legged arachnid, or animat, to autonomously learn a locomotive gait in a three-dimensional environment. We take a physics-based approach at modeling the world and the virtual body of the animat. The arachnid-like animat learns muscular control functions using simulated annealing techniques, which attempts to maximize forward velocity and minimize energy expenditure. We experiment with varying the weight of these parameters and the resulting locomotive gaits. We perform two experiments in which the first is a naive physics model of the body and world which uses point-masses and idealized joints and muscles. The second experiment is a more realistic simulation using rigid body elements with distributed mass, friction, motors, and mechanical joints. By emphasizing physical aspects we wish to minimize, a number of interesting gaits emerge.
Král, Jirí; Kovác, L'ubomír; St'áhlavský, Frantisek; Lonský, Petr; L'uptácik, Peter
Chromosomes of palpigrades (Arachnida: Palpigradi), a rare arachnid order with numerous primitive characters, were studied for the first time. We analysed two species of the genus Eukoenenia, namely E. spelaea and E. mirabilis. Their karyotypes are uniform, consisting of a low number of tiny chromosomes that decrease gradually in size. Study of the palpigrade karyotype did not reveal morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes. Analysis of E. spelaea showed that constitutive heterochromatin is scarce, GC-rich, and restricted mostly to presumed centromeric regions. Meiosis is remarkable for the presence of a short diffuse stage and prominent nucleolar activity. During prophase I, nuclei contain a large nucleolus. Prominent knob at the end of one bivalent formed by constitutive heterochromatin is associated to the nucleolus by an adjacent NOR. Presence of a nucleolus-like body at male prophase II suggests activity of NOR also during beginning of the second meiotic division. The data suggest acrocentric morphology of palpigrade chromosomes. Palpigrades do not display holocentric chromosomes which appear to be apomorphic features of a number of arachnid groups. These are: acariform mites, buthid scorpions, and spiders of the superfamily Dysderoidea. Therefore, cytogenetic data do not support a close relationship of palpigrades and acariform mites as suggested previously.
Giribet, Gonzalo; Sharma, Prashant P.; Benavides, Ligia R.
We investigate the phylogeny, biogeography, time of origin and diversification, ancestral area reconstruction and large-scale distributional patterns of an ancient group of arachnids, the harvestman suborder Cyphophthalmi. Analysis of molecular and morphological data allow us to propose a new cla...
Sensenig, Andrew T; Shultz, Jeffrey W
Certain leg joints in arachnids lack extensor muscles and have elastically deformable transarticular sclerites spanning their arthrodial membranes, an arrangement consistent with a model in which flexor muscles load transarticular sclerites during flexion and energy from elastic recoil is used for extension. This study quantifies the potential contribution of elastic recoil to extension torque at joints of the fourth leg of representative arachnids. Extension torques of isolated joints with and without transarticular sclerites were measured as the joint was rotated through angles and at angular velocities comparable with those used by walking animals. The procedure was repeated with the joint subjected to different internal fluid pressures in order to assess the potential role of hydraulically induced extension. The efficiency of elastic energy storage (resilience) in the absence of internal fluid pressure was 70-90% for joints with well-developed transarticular sclerites, and the magnitude of torque was similar to those produced by different joint extension mechanisms in other arthropods. Increased internal fluid pressure acted synergistically with transarticular sclerites in some joints but had little or no effect in others. Joints that lacked both extensor muscles and transarticular sclerites appeared to be specialized for hydraulic extension, and joints operated by antagonistic muscles lacked apparent specializations for either elastic or hydraulic extension. It is well known that elastic energy storage is a significant contributor to propulsion in running vertebrates and certain arthropods, where elastic elements are loaded as the center of mass falls during one phase of the locomotor cycle. However, transarticular sclerites are apparently loaded by contraction of flexor muscles when the leg is not in contact with the substratum. Hence the mechanism of a transarticular sclerite is more similar to the flight and jumping mechanisms of other arthropods than to
Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael
Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies.
Full Text Available book review: Thaler Konrad (wissenschaftliche Redaktion (2004: Diversität und Biologie von Webspinnen, Skorpionen und anderen Spinnentieren. Diversity and biology of spiders, scorpions and other arachnids.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: DNA barcoding is a popular tool in taxonomic and phylogenetic studies, but for most animal lineages protocols for obtaining the barcoding sequences--mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (cox1 AKA CO1--are not standardized. Our aim was to explore an optimal strategy for arachnids, focusing on the species-richest lineage, spiders by (1 improving an automated DNA extraction protocol, (2 testing the performance of commonly used primer combinations, and (3 developing a new cox1 primer suitable for more efficient alignment and phylogenetic analyses. METHODOLOGY: We used exemplars of 15 species from all major spider clades, processed a range of spider tissues of varying size and quality, optimized genomic DNA extraction using the MagMAX Express magnetic particle processor-an automated high throughput DNA extraction system-and tested cox1 amplification protocols emphasizing the standard barcoding region using ten routinely employed primer pairs. RESULTS: The best results were obtained with the commonly used Folmer primers (LCO1490/HCO2198 that capture the standard barcode region, and with the C1-J-2183/C1-N-2776 primer pair that amplifies its extension. However, C1-J-2183 is designed too close to HCO2198 for well-interpreted, continuous sequence data, and in practice the resulting sequences from the two primer pairs rarely overlap. We therefore designed a new forward primer C1-J-2123 60 base pairs upstream of the C1-J-2183 binding site. The success rate of this new primer (93% matched that of C1-J-2183. CONCLUSIONS: The use of C1-J-2123 allows full, indel-free overlap of sequences obtained with the standard Folmer primers and with C1-J-2123 primer pair. Our preliminary tests suggest that in addition to spiders, C1-J-2123 will also perform in other arachnids and several other invertebrates. We provide optimal PCR protocols for these primer sets, and recommend using them for systematic efforts beyond DNA barcoding.
Full Text Available Arachnids (Chelicerata: Arachnida were collected in the Ndumo Game Reserve (Maputaland, South Africa during 11 collecting trips in the period 2000–2006. Sampling was undertaken by various methods in eight broad habitat types: Acacia tortilis savanna; Acacia xanthophloea (fever tree forests; deciduous broadleaf woodland; Ficus (wild fig tree forests; floodplain vegetation; riparian forest; sand forest; and subtropical bush. In total, 457 species of arachnids were collected, representing six orders, 59 families and 240 determined genera. The most diverse order was the Araneae (46 families, 431 spp., followed by the Pseudoscorpiones (6 families, 12 spp., Scorpiones (3 families, 8 spp., Opiliones (2 families, 3 spp., Solifugae (1 family, 2 spp. and Amblypygi (a single species. The most diverse families all belonged to the Araneae: Salticidae (82 spp., Thomisidae (56 spp. and Araneidae (38 spp.. The spider diversity is the highest recorded from any protected area in South Africa so far, and represents approximately 22 % of the country’s spider fauna. The habitat and guild associations of each species are provided.
Sara L. Goodacre
Full Text Available Vertically acquired, endosymbiotic bacteria such as those belonging to the Rickettsiales and the Mollicutes are known to influence the biology of their arthropod hosts in order to favour their own transmission. In this study we investigate the influence of such reproductive parasites on the behavior of their insects and arachnid hosts. We find that changes in host behavior that are associated with endosymbiont infections are not restricted to characteristics that are directly associated with reproduction. Other behavioural traits, such as those involved in intraspecific competition or in dispersal may also be affected. Such behavioural shifts are expected to influence the level of intraspecific variation and the rate at which adaptation can occur through their effects on effective population size and gene flow amongst populations. Symbionts may thus influence both levels of polymorphism within species and the rate at which diversification can occur.
Goodacre, Sara L; Martin, Oliver Y
Vertically acquired, endosymbiotic bacteria such as those belonging to the Rickettsiales and the Mollicutes are known to influence the biology of their arthropod hosts in order to favour their own transmission. In this study we investigate the influence of such reproductive parasites on the behavior of their insects and arachnid hosts. We find that changes in host behavior that are associated with endosymbiont infections are not restricted to characteristics that are directly associated with reproduction. Other behavioural traits, such as those involved in intraspecific competition or in dispersal may also be affected. Such behavioural shifts are expected to influence the level of intraspecific variation and the rate at which adaptation can occur through their effects on effective population size and gene flow amongst populations. Symbionts may thus influence both levels of polymorphism within species and the rate at which diversification can occur.
Laino, Aldana; Cunningham, Mónica L; García, Fernando; Heras, Horacio
The importance of midgut diverticula (M-diverticula) and hemolymph lipoproteins in the lipid homeostasis of Polybetes phythagoricus was studied. Radioactivity distribution in tissues and hemolymph was analyzed either after feeding or injecting [1-(14)C]-palmitate. In both experiments, radioactivity was mostly taken up by M-diverticula that synthesized diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols and phospholipids in a ratio close to its lipid class composition. M-diverticula total lipids represent 8.08% (by wt), mostly triacylglycerols (74%) and phosphatidylcholine (13%). Major fatty acids were (in decreasing order of abundance) 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6, 16:0, 16:1n-7, 18:0, 18:3n-3. Spider hemocyanin-containing lipoprotein (VHDL) transported 83% of the circulating label at short incubation times. After 24h, VHDL and HDL-1 (comparable to insect lipophorin) were found to be involved in the lipid uptake and release from M-diverticula, HDL-2 playing a negligible role. Lipoprotein's labelled lipid changed with time, phospholipids becoming the main circulating lipid after 24h. These results indicate that arachnid M-diverticula play a central role in lipid synthesis, storage and movilization, analogous to insect fat body or crustacean midgut gland. The relative contribution of HDL-1 and VHDL to lipid dynamics indicated that, unlike insects, spider VHDL significantly contributes to the lipid exchange between M-diverticula and hemolymph.
Marco Isaia, Mauro Paschetta, Enrico Lana, Paolo Pantini, Axel L. Schönhofer, Erhard Christian & Guido Bandino (2011: Aracnidi sotterranei delle Alpi Occidentali italiane/Subterranean Arachnids of the Western Italian Alps (Arachnida: Araneae, Opiliones, Palpigradi, Pseudoscorpiones
Full Text Available book review: Marco Isaia, Mauro Paschetta, Enrico Lana, Paolo Pantini, Axel L. Schönhofer, Erhard Christian & Guido Bandino (2011: Aracnidi sotterranei delle Alpi Occidentali italiane/Subterranean Arachnids of the Western Italian Alps (Arachnida: Araneae, Opiliones, Palpigradi, Pseudoscorpiones
An annotated list of the centipedes (Chilopoda) in the National Collection of Arachnids, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México : Addendum: Scutigeromorpha and Scolopendromorpha
This addendum to “An annotated list of the centipedes (Chilopoda) in The National Collection of Arachnids (Colección Nacional de Arácnidos, CNAN), Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México” (México City), is based on new samples deposited in the last three years. It updates the preliminary list of 197 samples determined to genus and/or species. In this paper a total of 132 samples were added: Scutigeromorpha, 27; and Scolopendromorpha, 105. It also provides new state dist...
The concept attainment lesson, recommended by Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun (2004), is designed to give students practice in analyzing data and developing critical-thinking skills--without a complicated lab setup. The inductive lesson structure leads students step by step to an in-depth understanding of a new idea and scaffolds their thinking as they…
Sharma, Prashant P; Giribet, Gonzalo
Dating the Opiliones tree of life has become an important enterprise for this group of arthropods, due to their ancient origins and important biogeographic implications. To incorporate both methodological innovations in molecular dating as well as new systematic discoveries of harvestman diversity, we conducted total evidence dating on a data set uniting morphological and/or molecular sequence data for 47 Opiliones species, including all four well-known Palaeozoic fossils, to test the placement of both fossils and newly discovered lineages in a single analysis. Furthermore, we investigated node dating with a phylogenomic data set of 24,202 amino acid sites for 14 species of Opiliones, sampling all extant suborders. In this way, we approached molecular dating of basal harvestman phylogeny using different data sets and approaches to assess congruence of divergence time estimates. In spite of the markedly different composition of data sets, our results show congruence across all analyses for age estimates of basal nodes that are well constrained with respect to fossil calibrations (e.g., Opiliones, Palpatores). By contrast, derived nodes that lack fossil calibrations (e.g., the suborders Cyphophthalmi, and Laniatores) have large uncertainty intervals in diversification times, particularly in the total evidence dating analysis, reflecting the dearth of calibration points and undersampling of derived lineages. Total evidence dating consistently produced older median ages than node dating for ingroup nodes, due to the nested placement of multiple Palaeozoic fossils. Our analyses support basal diversification of Opiliones in the Ordovician-Devonian period, corroborating the inferred ancient origins of this arthropod order, and underscore the importance of diversity discovery-both paleontological and neontological-in evolutionary inference.
Dunlop, J.A.; Horrocks, C.A. [University of Manchester, Manchester (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Sciences
Four new specimens of phalangiotarbid (arachnida: Phalangiotarbida) from the Upper Carboniferous (upper Westphalian A) of Westhoughton, Lancashire, UK, are referred to Mesotarbus peteri sp. nov. an additional Lancashire phalangiotarbid, Phalangiotarbus subovalis (Woodward, 1872), from the Upper Carboniferous (lower/middle Westphalian A) of Burnley, is redescribed and designated the neotype of this species. This material allows new interpretations of the opisthosomal segmentation and respiratory organs of phalangiotarbids, and a reconstruction of Mesotarbus peteri is presented.
Peckmezian, Tina; Taylor, Phillip W
Electric shock is used widely as an aversive stimulus in conditioning experiments, yet little attention has been given to its physiological effects and their consequences for bioassays. In the present study, we provide a detailed characterization of how electric shock affects the mobility and behaviour of Servaea incana, a jumping spider. We begin with four mobility assays and then narrow our focus to a single effective assay with which we assess performance and behaviour. Based on our findings, we suggest a voltage range that may be employed as an aversive stimulus while minimizing decrements in physical performance and other aspects of behaviour. Additionally, we outline a novel method for constructing electric shock platforms that overcome some of the constraints of traditional methods while being highly effective and easily modifiable to suit the study animal and experimental context. Finally, as a demonstration of the viability of our aversive stimulus in a passive avoidance conditioning task, we successfully train spiders to associate a dark compartment with electric shock. Future research using electric shock as an aversive stimulus with terrestrial invertebrates such as spiders and insects may benefit from the flexible and reliable methods outlined in the present study.
Garcia, Francia; Villegas, Elba; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel; Rodriguez, Alexis; Paniagua-Solis, Jorge F; Sandoval-Lopez, Gabriel; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo
Two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named La47 and Css54, were isolated from the venom of the spider Lachesana sp. and from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, respectively. The primary structures of both La47 and Css54 were determined using N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. La47 is identical to the AMP latarcin 3a obtained previously from the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi, but the primary structure of Css54 is unique having 60% identities to the AMP ponericin-W2 from the venom of the ant Pachycondyla goeldii. Both La47 and Css54 have typical α-helix secondary structures in hydrophobic mimicking environments. The biological activities of both La47 and Css54 were compared with the AMP Pin2 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator. La47 has lower antimicrobial and hemolytic activities compared with Css54 and Pin2. In addition, La47 and Pin2 were evaluated in the presence of the commercial antibiotics, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, novobiocin, streptomycin and kanamycin. Interestingly, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with mixtures of La47 and Pin2 with the antibiotics chloramphenicol, streptomycin and kanamycin, respectively. Furthermore, the novel peptide Css54 was evaluated in the presence of antibiotics used for the treatment of tuberculosis, isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. Although the mixtures of Css54 with isoniazid, pyrazinamide or ethambutol inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the best effect was found with rifampicin. Overall, these data show a motivating outlook for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections using AMPs and commercial antibiotics.
Giglio, Anna Maria; Scozzafava, Annamaria; Filippelli, Orazio; Serafino, Giuseppe; Verre, Mario
The spider bites are quite frequent and often resolve quickly without leaving outcomes; only some species are capable of causing necrotic and systematic lesions in humans. Among them, we should mention the genus Loxosceles. The venom released from the spider bite of Loxosceles species is composed of proteins, enzymes, and nonenzymatic polypeptides. The phospholipase D family was identified as the active component of the venom. This family of enzymes is responsible for the local and systemic effects observed in loxoscelism. Phospholipases D interact with cell membranes triggering alterations which involve the complement system and activation of neutrophils and they cause the dermonecrotic skin lesions and systemic effects. We describe a fatal case of acute intoxication caused by a spider bite probably belonging to the species Loxosceles. The initial lesion was localized to a finger of a hand. Clinical course was worsening with deep necrotic lesions on limb, shock, hemolysis, acute kidney failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. All therapies were ineffective. This is the first fatal case described in Europe. PMID:27651958
Full Text Available The spider bites are quite frequent and often resolve quickly without leaving outcomes; only some species are capable of causing necrotic and systematic lesions in humans. Among them, we should mention the genus Loxosceles. The venom released from the spider bite of Loxosceles species is composed of proteins, enzymes, and nonenzymatic polypeptides. The phospholipase D family was identified as the active component of the venom. This family of enzymes is responsible for the local and systemic effects observed in loxoscelism. Phospholipases D interact with cell membranes triggering alterations which involve the complement system and activation of neutrophils and they cause the dermonecrotic skin lesions and systemic effects. We describe a fatal case of acute intoxication caused by a spider bite probably belonging to the species Loxosceles. The initial lesion was localized to a finger of a hand. Clinical course was worsening with deep necrotic lesions on limb, shock, hemolysis, acute kidney failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. All therapies were ineffective. This is the first fatal case described in Europe.
Chippaux, J P; Alagón, A
The incidence of scorpion stings and spider bites is high in Latin America. This is particularly true for Mexico, part of Amazonia, and southern and eastern Brazil. Centruroides and Tityus scorpion stings present a real danger for humans, especially children. Envenomation results in intense pain, neurological signs, and cardiorespiratory manifestations that can lead to death by acute pulmonary edema or heart failure. In the event of confirmed envenomation, antivenin must be administered as soon as possible in association with symptomatic treatment and, if necessary, cardiorespiratory resuscitation. Spider bites are a less frequent and severe. Envenomation by Loxosceles is extremely painful and necrotizing. Severe visceral complications can develop. An effective antivenim has recently become available for local and systemic envenomation. Envenomation by Latrodectus leads to neurological symptoms that can also be treated with antivenom. Envenomation by other spiders is less frequent and generally harmless.
Full Text Available Four antimicrobial peptides (AMPs named Pin2[G], Pin2, P18K and FA1 were chemically synthesized and purified. The four peptides were evaluated in the presence of eight commercial antibiotics against four microorganisms of medical importance: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The commercial antibiotics used were amoxicillin, azithromycin, ceftriaxone, gentamicin, levofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and vancomycin. The best AMP against P. aeruginosa was the peptide FA1, and the best AMP against S. aureus was Pin2[G]. Both FA1 and Pin2[G] were efficient against E. coli, but they were not effective against K. pneumoniae. As K. pneumoniae was resistant to most of the commercial antibiotics, combinations of the AMPs FA1 and Pin2[G] were prepared with these antibiotics. According to the fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC index, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with concomitant applications of mixtures of FA1 with levofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole. However, combinations of FA1 or Pin2[G] with other antibiotics showed that total inhibitory effect of the combinations were greater than the sum of the individual effects of either the antimicrobial peptide or the antibiotic. We also evaluated the stability of the AMPs. The AMP Pin2[G] manifested the best performance in saline buffer, in supernatants of bacterial growth and in human blood plasma. Nevertheless, all AMPs were cleaved using endoproteolytic enzymes. These data show advantages and disadvantages of AMPs for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections, using them in conjunction with commercial antibiotics.
Full Text Available Basic explanations and illustrations of morphological terminology currently used in solifuge taxonomy are providedtogether with keys to the known families of solifuges fromsouthern Africa and the revised species of Chelypus Purcell. Themorphological criteria used by previous authors to differentiatecertain species of Chelypus are shown to be unreliable due to intraspecific variations. As a result of this C. macronyx Hewitt, 1919 is placed in synonymy of C. barberi Purcell, 1901. In addition,C. kalaharicus Lawrence, 1949 and C. wiihiischi Roewer, 1941 areplaced in synonymy of C. hirsti Hewitt, 1915. Chelypus coatoni Lawrence, 1966 is transferred to Siloanea coatoni (Lawrence, 1966.
Gustavo S Requena
Full Text Available Exclusive paternal care is the rarest form of parental investment in nature and theory predicts that the maintenance of this behavior depends on the balance between costs and benefits to males. Our goal was to assess costs of paternal care in the harvestman Iporangaia pustulosa, for which the benefits of this behavior in terms of egg survival have already been demonstrated. We evaluated energetic costs and mortality risks associated to paternal egg-guarding in the field. We quantified foraging activity of males and estimated how their body condition is influenced by the duration of the caring period. Additionally, we conducted a one-year capture-mark-recapture study and estimated apparent survival probabilities of caring and non-caring males to assess potential survival costs of paternal care. Our results indicate that caring males forage less frequently than non-caring individuals (males and females and that their body condition deteriorates over the course of the caring period. Thus, males willing to guard eggs may provide to females a fitness-enhancing gift of cost-free care of their offspring. Caring males, however, did not show lower survival probabilities when compared to both non-caring males and females. Reduction in mortality risks as a result of remaining stationary, combined with the benefits of improving egg survival, may have played an important and previously unsuspected role favoring the evolution of paternal care. Moreover, males exhibiting paternal care could also provide an honest signal of their quality as offspring defenders, and thus female preference for caring males could be responsible for maintaining the trait.
Guerra, Ana Flávia de Paula
Conclusões: Os resultados indicam que a prevalência do araneísmo está ligada ao processo de expansão urbana. O tratamento foi em geral satisfatório, com alto índice de cura e inexistência de óbitos. Houve uso desnecessário de soro e de um número incorreto de ampolas em muitos casos. Os dados sugerem um distanciamento das recomendações do Ministério da Saúde, que possui protocolos claros, desde a identificação da aranha até o uso de soro conforme a gravidade do caso
Hammen, van der L.
A study is made of the Arachnid fauna of the subterranean limestone quarries in Southern Limburg, The Netherlands. About a hundred quarries have been investigated, and ten species of Opilionida, three species of Pseudoscorpionida and fifty-six species of Araneida are listed here. Among the species m
PAUL A. SELDEN
Full Text Available A new and well-preserved fossil whip scorpion (Arachnida: Uropygi: Thelyphonida is described from the Late Carboniferous of the Carnic Alps, Friuli, Italy. It is referred to Parageralinura marsiglioi n. sp. The new specimen is the first Carboniferous arachnid to be described from mainland Italy and is possibly the youngest Palaeozoic thelyphonid.
... dientes Video: Getting an X-ray Hey! A Scorpion Stung Me! KidsHealth > For Kids > Hey! A Scorpion ... Ay! ¡Me ha picado un escorpión! What's a Scorpion? A scorpion is part of the arachnid family, ...
Blank, S; Schiener, M; Ollert, M.
Allergic reactions due to stings of Hymenoptera species, such as honeybees or yellow jackets, are well known as severe allergies with potentially fatal outcome. Much less common is that also bites of blood-sucking insects (mosquitos, horseflies, flies, bugs, lice and fleas) and arachnids (ticks...
Noordijk, J.; Berg, M.P.
The corticolous fauna of plane trees: I. Arachnids (Arachnida: Araneae, Pseudoscorpiones, Acari) From February until September 2000 an inventory was made of the bark-dwelling arthropod fauna of more than 400 plane trees (Platanus hybrida), all over the Netherlands. Arthropods were collected from bar
Kamenz, Carsten; Staude, Andreas; Dunlop, Jason A.
Invasion of the land by arachnids required adaptations of numerous organs, such as gills evolving into lungs, as well as mechanisms facilitating sperm transfer in a terrestrial environment. Many modern arachnids use spermatophores for this purpose, i.e. sperm transmitters detached from the body. Exceptionally preserved Silurian (423 Ma) fossils of Eurypterus tetragonophthalmus Fischer, 1839 (Chelicerata: Eurypterida) preserve so-called `horn organs' which we here demonstrate as being equivalent to the spermatophore-producing parts of the genital tract in certain modern arachnids. This clarifies a long-running debate about sexing eurypterids based on the shape of the median abdominal (or genital) appendage. To our knowledge this is also the oldest direct evidence for spermatophore-mediated sperm transfer in the fossil record and suggests that eurypterids had evolved mating techniques using spermatophores as early as the Silurian, a valuable prerequisite for life on land. Spermatophores are absent in sea spiders (Pycnogonida) and horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura); thus the shared presence of sclerotized sperm-transfer devices in eurypterids and arachnids is a novel character, newly elucidated here, which offers explicit support for (Eurypterida + Arachnida). For this clade the name Sclerophorata n. nov. is proposed. Arachnida can be further defined by fusion of the originally paired genital opening.
Full Text Available A checklist of german arachnids (spiders, harvestmen, pseudoscorpions is presented here for the first time. 956 species of spiders, 45 species of harvestmen and 45 species of pseudoscorpions are listed. Important junior synonyms are given. References are cited for the species established in Germany.
Full Text Available The first case of centipede (Scolopendra gigantea Linneaus 1758 envenomation in a newborn is reported. When first examined, approximately 6 hours after the bite, the 28-day-old girl was irritable, with uncontrollable cry and intense local pain, oedema, local hyperthermia, and blood clots at punctures. Uncontrollable crying in neonates should rise the possibility of an insect or arachnid sting.
Young, Monica R; Hebert, Paul D N
Because sequence information is now available for the 648bp barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) from more than 400,000 animal species, this gene segment can be used to probe patterns of mitochondrial evolution. The present study examines levels of amino acid substitution and the frequency of indels in COI from 4177 species of arachnids, including representatives from all 16 orders and 43% of its families (267/625). It examines divergences at three taxonomic levels-among members of each order to an outgroup, among families in each order and among BINs, a species proxy, in each family. Order Distances vary fourfold (0.10-0.39), while the mean of the Family Distances for the ten orders ranges fivefold (0.07-0.35). BIN Distances show great variation, ranging from 0.01 or less in 12 families to more than 0.25 in eight families. Patterns of amino acid substitution in COI are generally congruent with previously reported variation in nucleotide substitution rates in arachnids, but provide some new insights, such as clear rate acceleration in the Opiliones. By revealing a strong association between elevated rates of nucleotide and amino acid substitution, this study builds evidence for the selective importance of the rate variation among arachnid lineages. Moreover, it establishes that groups whose COI genes have elevated levels of amino acid substitution also regularly possess indels, a dramatic form of protein reconfiguration. Overall, this study suggests that the mitochondrial genome of some arachnid groups is dynamic with high rates of amino acid substitution and frequent indels, while it is 'locked down' in others. Dynamic genomes are most prevalent in arachnids with short generation times, but the possible impact of breeding system deserves investigation since many of the rapidly evolving lineages reproduce by haplodiploidy, a mode of reproduction absent in 'locked down' taxa.
Monica R Young
Full Text Available Because sequence information is now available for the 648bp barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI from more than 400,000 animal species, this gene segment can be used to probe patterns of mitochondrial evolution. The present study examines levels of amino acid substitution and the frequency of indels in COI from 4177 species of arachnids, including representatives from all 16 orders and 43% of its families (267/625. It examines divergences at three taxonomic levels-among members of each order to an outgroup, among families in each order and among BINs, a species proxy, in each family. Order Distances vary fourfold (0.10-0.39, while the mean of the Family Distances for the ten orders ranges fivefold (0.07-0.35. BIN Distances show great variation, ranging from 0.01 or less in 12 families to more than 0.25 in eight families. Patterns of amino acid substitution in COI are generally congruent with previously reported variation in nucleotide substitution rates in arachnids, but provide some new insights, such as clear rate acceleration in the Opiliones. By revealing a strong association between elevated rates of nucleotide and amino acid substitution, this study builds evidence for the selective importance of the rate variation among arachnid lineages. Moreover, it establishes that groups whose COI genes have elevated levels of amino acid substitution also regularly possess indels, a dramatic form of protein reconfiguration. Overall, this study suggests that the mitochondrial genome of some arachnid groups is dynamic with high rates of amino acid substitution and frequent indels, while it is 'locked down' in others. Dynamic genomes are most prevalent in arachnids with short generation times, but the possible impact of breeding system deserves investigation since many of the rapidly evolving lineages reproduce by haplodiploidy, a mode of reproduction absent in 'locked down' taxa.
Full Text Available This study forms part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA, initiated in 1997 with the main aim to create an inventory of the arachnid fauna of South Africa (Dippenaar-Schoeman & Craemer 2000. One of the objectives of SANSA is to assess the number of arachnid species presently protected in conserved areas in the country. Check lists of spiders are now available for three national parks, three nature reserves and a conservancy. These areas include: Mountain Zebra National Park (Dippenaar-Schoeman 1988; Karoo National Park (Dippenaar-Schoeman et al. 1999; Kruger National Park (Dippenaar- Schoeman & Leroy 2002; Roodeplaatdam Nature Reserve (Dippenaar-Schoeman et al. 1989; Makelali Nature Reserve (Whitmore et al. 2001, 2002; Swartberg Nature Reserve (Dippenaar-Schoeman et al. 2005; and the Soutpansberg Conservancy (Foord et al. 2002.
Masta, Susan E
Arachnids are a highly diverse group of arthropods, and many of the mitochondrial genomes that have been sequenced from arachnids possess unusual features in their inferred gene structures and genome organization. The first complete sequence of a mitochondrial genome from the arachnid order Opiliones (harvestmen) is presented here. Secondary structures of the two mitochondrial ribosomal subunits of Phalangium opilio are inferred and compared to mitochondrial rRNA structures of a hexapod and a chelicerate. The large subunit rRNA of P. opilio is found to have more helices conserved than in other arthropods, while the small subunit rRNA shows a complexity similar to that of other arthropods. These comparisons suggest that a reduction in rRNA complexity occurred in Pancrustacea after the divergence of Pancrustacea and Chelicerata from a common ancestor. The gene arrangement of the mitochondrial genome of P. opilio is compared with the gene order of taxa from all seven other orders of arachnids for which representative mitochondrial genomes have been sequenced. Taxa from five of these seven orders possess gene arrangements identical to that of Limulus polyphemus, and P. opilio is found to have a similar arrangement. However, in P. opilio, some genes near the putative control region are rearranged, with the suite of genes encoding tRNA(Gln), the control region, and tRNA(Ile) located downstream of the two ribosomal RNA genes, and upstream of where they are typically located in chelicerates. The genome encodes only 21 of the typical 22 mitochondrial tRNA genes and lacks the gene for tRNA(Leu(CUN)). The protein-coding genes in the mitochondrial genome of P. opilio show a significantly decreased use of codons recognized by tRNA(Leu(CUN)), likely due to selection to utilize the more specific tRNA(Leu(UUR)) anticodon. The gene arrangement and lack of a tRNA(Leu(CUN)) gene in P. opilio is most parsimoniously explained by the occurrence of at least two translocation events, one
Over its fifty year history nearly twenty percent of the papers published in the Revista de Biología Tropical have been about insects and arachnids. In the 1950's papers on arthropods of medical importance were dominant, in the 1960's there was a poliferation of papers on bees, and in more recent years the subjects have become increasingly diverse. In terms of nationality of contributing authors, the journal appears to have become increasingly international in later years.
Felipe Jun Fuzita
Spiders and scorpions are efficient predators arachnid (PA) consuming preys larger than themselves. Few studies reported, molecularly, the digestion in PA. This work describes a biochemical, transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of the midgut and midgut glands (MMG) and digestive juice (DJ) from Nephilengys cruentata and Tityus serrulatus MMG. Cathepsin L, B, D and F, legumain, trypsin, astacin, carbohydrases and lipases were identified by these approaches. Peptide isomerase and ctenitoxins, ...
Quiñones-Lebrón, Shakira G.; Simona Kralj-Fišer; Matjaž Gregorič; Tjaša Lokovšek; Klemen Čandek; Charles R. Haddad; Matjaž Kuntner
Though not uncommon in other animals, heterospecific mating is rarely reported in arachnids. We investigated sexual interactions among four closely related and syntopical African golden orbweb spiders, Nephila inaurata, N. fenestrata, N. komaci, and N. senegalensis. In two South African localities, female webs were often inhabited by heterospecific males that sometimes outnumbered conspecifics. Species association of males with females was random in nature. In subsequent laboratory choice exp...
Full Text Available As part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA inventories are underway to determine the diversity of the South African Arachnida fauna (Dippenaar- Schoeman & Craemer 2000. Several SANSA projects are in progress, including inventories of the arachnid faunas of protected areas. One such project is an inventory of the Solifugae (sun spiders from protected areas. Meaningful conservation can not take place if the species involved are not known.
Masta, Susan E; Klann, Anja E; Podsiadlowski, Lars
Arachnids are an ancient and diverse group of arthropods, yet few representative mitochondrial genomes have been published for most of the 11 orders. Here, we present and compare sequence and genomic data from two complete mitochondrial genomes from the arachnid order Solifugae (the camel spiders or wind scorpions), representing two families, Ammotrechidae and Eremobatidae. We also make genome-level and sequence comparisons between these taxa and the horseshoe crab, a chelicerate from the sister group to arachnids. In their organization, the two solifuge mitochondrial genomes are similar to that of the horseshoe crab, although both of the solifuges possess a region of repeated sequence. All 13 protein-coding genes and the two ribosomal RNA genes are of similar sizes to those found in the horseshoe crab. The ammotrechid and the eremobatid each have one tRNA gene that differs in location from those of other chelicerates, suggesting that these translocations occurred after the divergence of Solifugae from other arachnid lineages. All 22 tRNA genes in both solifuges are inferred to form secondary structures that are typical of those found in other metazoan mt genomes. However, in the eremobatid, the tRNA(Ser(UCN)) gene in the repeat region appears to have undergone partial duplication and loss of function, and a new tRNA(Ser(UCN)) gene has been created de novo. Our divergence data, in conjunction with the fossil record, indicate that these two solifuge families diverged more than 230 million years ago. Thus, despite several gene rearrangements and duplications, these data indicate a remarkable degree of evolutionary stasis.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Mitochondrial genomes are widely utilized for phylogenetic and population genetic analyses among animals. In addition to sequence data the mitochondrial gene order and RNA secondary structure data are used in phylogenetic analyses. Arachnid phylogeny is still highly debated and there is a lack of sufficient sequence data for many taxa. Ricinulei (hooded tickspiders are a morphologically distinct clade of arachnids with uncertain phylogenetic affinities. Results The first complete mitochondrial DNA genome of a member of the Ricinulei, Pseudocellus pearsei (Arachnida: Ricinulei was sequenced using a PCR-based approach. The mitochondrial genome is a typical circular duplex DNA molecule with a size of 15,099 bp, showing the complete set of genes usually present in bilaterian mitochondrial genomes. Five tRNA genes (trnW, trnY, trnN, trnL(CUN, trnV show different relative positions compared to other Chelicerata (e.g. Limulus polyphemus, Ixodes spp.. We propose that two events led to this derived gene order: (1 a tandem duplication followed by random deletion and (2 an independent translocation of trnN. Most of the inferred tRNA secondary structures show the common cloverleaf pattern except tRNA-Glu where the TψC-arm is missing. In phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, Bayesian inference using concatenated amino acid and nucleotide sequences of protein-coding genes the basal relationships of arachnid orders remain unresolved. Conclusion Phylogenetic analyses (ML, MP, BI of arachnid mitochondrial genomes fail to resolve interordinal relationships of Arachnida and remain in a preliminary stage because there is still a lack of mitogenomic data from important taxa such as Opiliones and Pseudoscorpiones. Gene order varies considerably within Arachnida – only eight out of 23 species have retained the putative arthropod ground pattern. Some gene order changes are valuable characters in phylogenetic analysis of
Russell J. Garwood
Full Text Available Arachnids are an important group of arthropods. They are: diverse and abundant; a major constituent of many terrestrial ecosystems; and possess a deep and extensive fossil record. In recent years a number of exceptionally preserved arachnid fossils have been investigated using tomography and associated techniques, providing valuable insights into their morphology. Here we use X-ray microtomography to reconstruct members of two extinct arachnid orders. In the Haptopoda, we demonstrate the presence of ‘clasp-knife’ chelicerae, and our novel redescription of a member of the Phalangiotarbida highlights leg details, but fails to resolve chelicerae in the group due to their small size. As a result of these reconstructions, tomographic studies of three-dimensionally preserved fossils now exist for three of the four extinct orders, and for fossil representatives of several extant ones. Such studies constitute a valuable source of high fidelity data for constructing phylogenies. To illustrate this, here we present a cladistic analysis of the chelicerates to accompany these reconstructions. This is based on a previously published matrix, expanded to include fossil taxa and relevant characters, and allows us to: cladistically place the extinct arachnid orders; explicitly test some earlier hypotheses from the literature; and demonstrate that the addition of fossils to phylogenetic analyses can have broad implications. Phylogenies based on chelicerate morphology—in contrast to molecular studies—have achieved elements of consensus in recent years. Our work suggests that these results are not robust to the addition of novel characters or fossil taxa. Hypotheses surrounding chelicerate phylogeny remain in a state of flux.
Full Text Available Ein aus dem Unterkarbon von NW-Sachsen stammendes Opisthosoma wird als Cryptomartus sp. beschrieben. Damit liegt stratigraphisch nach bisherigen Erkenntnissen der älteste Fund dieses Genus vor. An Arachnid-Opisthosoma from the Lower Carboniferous of North Western Saxony. An opisthosoma of Cryptomartus sp. is described from the Lower Carboniferous of North Western Saxony. That this my knowledge is the oldest record for the genus. doi:10.1002/mmng.19980010109
A variety of insect and arachnid species are able to remain submerged in water indefinitely using plastron respiration. A plastron is a surface-retained film of air produced by surface morphology that acts as an oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange surface. Many highly water repellent and hydrophobic surfaces when placed in water exhibit a silvery sheen which is characteristic of a plastron. In this article, the hydrophobicity of a range of commercially available water repellent fabrics and polymer...
those of odonates ( dragonflies ). Our comparative exploration has also included studies of visually adept arachnids. These also have distinct...distant from the kind of “real world ” situation that any insect confronts. Towards this end, we have acquired two iPhones, and we are devising... world . Again, if the insect visual system is to be reverse engineered as a step towards devising artificial visual processors for robots and machines
Alimentação de um filhote de bem-te-vi, Pitangus sulphuratus (Linnaeus (Passeriformes, Tyrannidae, em ambiente urbano Feeding of a fledgling oreat kiskadee, Pitanqus sulphuratus (Ilnnaeus (Passeriformes, Tyrannidae in urban environment
Maria Martha Argel-de-Oliveira
Full Text Available The observation of parents feeding a captive fledgling of Great Kiskadee revealed that visitation is more frequent in the first hour after sunrising, with lesscr peaks along the day. The diet supplied consisted mainly of insects (Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, along with other items as human-made materiais (food scraps, pellets of animal food, lizards (Hemidactylus mabouia, non-identified fruit pulp, gastropods and arachnids (Opiliones. The ability that P. sulphuratus has for identifying food items absent froni more natural habitats and for exploiting resources of unpredictablc spatial and temporal distributions confers the species a dietary flexibility that probably contributes to its efficiency in colonizing urban habitats.
McGhee, Stephen; Weiner, Aaron; Finnegan, Alan; Visovsky, Constance; Clochesy, John M; Graves, Brian
Envenomation by spiders or scorpions is a public health problem in many parts of the world and is not isolated to the tropics and subtropics. Spiders and scorpions can be unintentionally transported globally, and keeping them as pets is becoming more popular, so envenomation can occur anywhere. Emergency nurses should be prepared to assess and treat patients who present with a bite or sting. This article gives an overview of the signs, symptoms and treatment of envenomation by species of arachnids that are clinically significant to humans.
Sagastume-Espinoza, Kevin O; Longhorn, Stuart J; Santibáñez-López, Carlos E
Three species of genus Diplocentrus are found in north-northwestern Honduras. These species represent the southern east limits of Diplocentrus' distribution. In recent years, a broad survey of arachnids in Honduras has yielded a collection of several specimens of an undescribed species from two islands in northern Honduras. This new species represents the second species of the genus inhabiting an island. The present contribution describes this new species, and compares it against its most similar relatives. A dichotomous key for the identification of the species of Diplocentrus in Honduras is also included.
Critters and creatures can strike fear into anyone who thinks about dangerous animals. This article focuses on the management of the most common North American scorpion, arachnid, hymenoptera, and snake envenomations that cause clinically significant problems. Water creatures and less common animal envenomations are not covered in this article. Critical care management of envenomed patients can be challenging for unfamiliar clinicians. Although the animals are located in specific geographic areas, patients envenomed on passenger airliners and those who travel to endemic areas may present to health care facilities distant from the exposure.
Dunlop, Jason A.
Full Text Available Camel spiders (Arachnida: Solifugae are one of the arachnid groups characterised by a prosomal dorsal shield composed of three distinct elements: the pro-, meso- and metapeltidium. These are associated respectively with prosomal appendages one to four, five, and six. What is less well known, although noted in the historical literature, is that the coxae of the 4th and 5th prosomal segments (i.e. walking legs 2 and 3 of camel spiders are also separated ventrally by a distinct membranous region, which is absent between the coxae of the other legs. We suggest that this essentially ventral division of the prosoma specifically between coxae 2 and 3 is homologous with the so-called sejugal furrow (the sejugal interval sensu van der Hammen. This division constitutes a fundamental part of the body plan in acariform mites (Arachnida: Acariformes. If homologous, this sejugal furrow could represent a further potential synapomorphy for (Solifugae + Acariformes; a relationship with increasing morphological and molecular support. Alternatively, outgroup comparison with sea spiders (Pycnogonida and certain early Palaeozoic fossils could imply that the sejugal furrow defines an older tagma, derived from a more basal grade of organisation. In this scenario the (still divided prosoma of acariform mites and camel spiders would be plesiomorphic. This interpretation challenges the textbook arachnid character of a peltidium (or ‘carapace’ covering an undivided prosoma.
Talarico, G; Michalik, P
The ultrastructure of spermatozoa is a valuable tool for phylogenetic and systematic studies. Ricinulei are enigmatic and poorly studied arachnids. So far, spermatozoa are only known from New World ricinuleids. The goals were to study, by means of light and transmission electron microcopy, the spermatozoa of an Old World species with regard to their phylogenetic implications, e.g., does the sperm structure contribute to the debated sister-group relationship of Acari and Ricinulei. The spermatozoa are coiled-flagellate and characterized by a cap-like acrosomal vacuole covered by electron-dense material, an elongated nucleus covered by a manchette of microtubules during spermiogenesis, an axoneme with a 9+2 microtubular pattern, a nuclear tube and axonemal basis which both originate underneath the acrosomal vacuole and cleistospermia as transfer form equipped with three intracellular plates. The data of the present study did not support a close relationship of Ricinulei and Acari which have aflagellate sperm with various synapomorphies as e.g., lacking nuclear envelopes/membranes in Actinotrichida (very similar to Solifugae) or vacuolated spermatozoa in Anactinotrichida. Affinities of Ricinulei are discussed in the light of the ultrastructure of arachnid spermatozoa.
Fahrein, Kathrin; Masta, Susan E; Podsiadlowski, Lars
Amblypygi (whip spiders) are terrestrial chelicerates inhabiting the subtropics and tropics. In morphological and rRNA-based phylogenetic analyses, Amblypygi cluster with Uropygi (whip scorpions) and Araneae (spiders) to form the taxon Tetrapulmonata, but there is controversy regarding the interrelationship of these three taxa. Mitochondrial genomes provide an additional large data set of phylogenetic information (sequences, gene order, RNA secondary structure), but in arachnids, mitochondrial genome data are missing for some of the major orders. In the course of an ongoing project concerning arachnid mitochondrial genomics, we present the first two complete mitochondrial genomes from Amblypygi. Both genomes were found to be typical circular duplex DNA molecules with all 37 genes usually present in bilaterian mitochondrial genomes. In both species, gene order is identical to that of Limulus polyphemus (Xiphosura), which is assumed to reflect the putative arthropod ground pattern. All tRNA gene sequences have the potential to fold into structures that are typical of metazoan mitochondrial tRNAs, except for tRNA-Ala, which lacks the D arm in both amblypygids, suggesting the loss of this feature early in amblypygid evolution. Phylogenetic analysis resulted in weak support for Uropygi being the sister group of Amblypygi.
Hedin, Marshal; Starrett, James; Akhter, Sajia; Schönhofer, Axel L; Shultz, Jeffrey W
Next-generation sequencing technologies are rapidly transforming molecular systematic studies of non-model animal taxa. The arachnid order Opiliones (commonly known as "harvestmen") includes more than 6,400 described species placed into four well-supported lineages (suborders). Fossil plus molecular clock evidence indicates that these lineages were diverging in the late Silurian to mid-Carboniferous, with some fossil harvestmen representing the earliest known land animals. Perhaps because of this ancient divergence, phylogenetic resolution of subordinal interrelationships within Opiliones has been difficult. We present the first phylogenomics analysis for harvestmen, derived from comparative RNA-Seq data for eight species representing all suborders. Over 30 gigabases of original Illumina short-read data were used in de novo assemblies, resulting in 50-80,000 transcripts per taxon. Transcripts were compared to published scorpion and tick genomics data, and a stringent filtering process was used to identify over 350 putatively single-copy, orthologous protein-coding genes shared among taxa. Phylogenetic analyses using various partitioning strategies, data coding schemes, and analytical methods overwhelmingly support the "classical" hypothesis of Opiliones relationships, including the higher-level clades Palpatores and Phalangida. Relaxed molecular clock analyses using multiple alternative fossil calibration strategies corroborate ancient divergences within Opiliones that are possibly deeper than the recorded fossil record indicates. The assembled data matrices, comprising genes that are conserved, highly expressed, and varying in length and phylogenetic informativeness, represent an important resource for future molecular systematic studies of Opiliones and other arachnid groups.
D. M. Candido
Full Text Available This work presents the experience of the Laboratory of Arthropods at Instituto Butantan, which maintains scorpions in captivity in order to obtain the venom used in the production of anti-arachnid serum. Between 1993 and 2000, the laboratory received 24.781 specimens of Tityus serrulatus in order to obtain poison for the production of anti-scorpion serum. In the first extraction, performed by electrical stimulation, the animals gave an average quantity of 0.4 mg venom per specimen. Animal acquisition and involved professional safety are considered. In addition, the captivity, handling and feeding techniques are described, as well as the method and equipment used for venom extraction. It shows the importance of regular campaigns, offering information to the general population in order to motivate these to catch and send alive scorpions to the Institute to assuring a regular entrance of scorpions.
Quiñones-Lebrón, Shakira G; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Gregorič, Matjaž; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Čandek, Klemen; Haddad, Charles R; Kuntner, Matjaž
Though not uncommon in other animals, heterospecific mating is rarely reported in arachnids. We investigated sexual interactions among four closely related and syntopical African golden orbweb spiders, Nephila inaurata, N. fenestrata, N. komaci, and N. senegalensis. In two South African localities, female webs were often inhabited by heterospecific males that sometimes outnumbered conspecifics. Species association of males with females was random in nature. In subsequent laboratory choice experiments, N. inaurata males chose heterospecific females in 30% of trials. We also observed natural mating interactions between N. inaurata males and N. komaci females, and between N. komaci males and N. inaurata females in laboratory experiments. While heterospecific mating in the laboratory never produced offspring, conspecific mating did. We discuss potential ecological and evolutionary consequences of heterospecific mating interactions in Nephila that may be particularly costly to the rarer species.
Full Text Available As part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA, projects are underway to determine the biodiversity of arachnids present in protected areas in South Africa. Spiders have been collected over a period of 16 years from the Kruger National Park, South Africa. A check list is provided consisting of 152 species, 116 genera and 40 families. This represents about 7.6 % of the total known South African spider fauna. Of the 152 species, 103 are new records for the park. The ground dwelling spiders comprise 58 species from 25 families. Of these, 21 % are web dwellers and 62 % free living, while 17 % live in burrows. From the plant layer, 94 species have been collected of which 53 % were web builders and 47 % free living wandering spiders.
Lira-da-Silva, R M; Matos, G B; Sampaio, R O; Nunes, T B
This work is a retrospective study of latrodectism in the State of Bahia, Brazil, from August 1980 to July 1990. The data concerning the accidents were obtained from file cards at the Antivenom Information Center of Bahia (AVICB). Latrodectus curacavienis was the ethiologic agent identified in 28% of the arachnid accidents. The major incidence was registered in urban area (57%) affecting men (70%) more than women, with 10 to 29 year-old age group (58%). Local pain (56%), erythematous papula (29%) and light oedema (17%) were the principal local symptoms. Pain in the limbs (29%), tremor and rigidities (29%), sweating (28%), limbs and arms paresthesia (21%) and abdominal pain (17%) were systemic ones. The treatment was mainly symptomatic (67%) and antivenin serum was used in 21% of the cases. After serotherapy, 64% of the patients left the hospital within less than 24 hours.
Predel, R; Wegener, C
CAPA peptides have been isolated from a broad range of insect species as well as an arachnid, and can be grouped into the periviscerokinin and pyrokinin peptide families. In insects, CAPA peptides are the characteristic and most abundant neuropeptides in the abdominal neurohemal system. In many species, CAPA peptides exert potent myotropic effects on different muscles such as the heart. In others, including blood-sucking insects able to transmit serious diseases, CAPA peptides have strong diuretic or anti-diuretic effects and thus are potentially of medical importance. CAPA peptides undergo cell-type-specific sorting and packaging, and are the first insect neuropeptides shown to be differentially processed. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the structure, distribution, receptors and physiological actions of the CAPA peptides.
Giribet, Gonzalo; Sharma, Prashant P
Opiliones are one of the largest arachnid orders, with more than 6,500 species in 50 families. Many of these families have been erected or reorganized in the last few years since the publication of The Biology of Opiliones. Recent years have also seen an explosion in phylogenetic work on Opiliones, as well as in studies using Opiliones as test cases to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions more broadly. Accelerated activity in the study of Opiliones evolution has been facilitated by the discovery of several key fossils, including the oldest known Opiliones fossil, which represents a new, extinct suborder. Study of the group's biology has also benefited from rapid accrual of genomic resources, particularly with respect to transcriptomes and functional genetic tools. The rapid emergence and utility of Phalangium opilio as a model for evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods serve as demonstrative evidence of a new area of study in Opiliones biology, made possible through transcriptomic data.
Santos, Adalberto J; Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes; Buzatto, Bruno A
Two new species of the arachnid order Schizomida, Rowlandius ubajara sp.nov. and Rowlandius potiguar sp.nov., are described based on both male and female specimens collected in caves from northeastern Brazil. Rowlandius ubajara is known only from the Ubajara Cave, in the state of Ceará; R. potiguar is recorded from 20 caves of the Apodi Limestone Group, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. A remarkable dimorphism in male pedipalp length is described and analyzed in R. potiguar. The distribution of male pedipalp length is clearly bimodal in the species, but the two male morphs (homeomorphic and heteromorphic) present some overlap in the sizes of this structure. Moreover, males show a steeper allometry in pedipalp length than females, indicating that this trait is under a different selective regime in males and in females.
Huang, Diying; Selden, Paul A.; Dunlop, Jason A.
Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) are familiar animals in most terrestrial habitats but are rare as fossils, with only a handful of species known from each of the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras. Fossil harvestmen from Middle Jurassic (ca. 165 Ma) strata of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China, are described as Mesobunus martensi gen. et sp. nov. and Daohugopilio sheari gen. et sp. nov.; the two genera differ primarily in the relative length of their legs and details of the pedipalps. Jurassic arachnids are extremely rare and these fossils represent the first Jurassic, and only the fourth Mesozoic, record of Opiliones. These remarkably well-preserved and modern-looking fossils are assigned to the Eupnoi, whereby M. martensi demonstrably belongs in Sclerosomatidae. It thus represents the oldest record of a modern harvestman family and implies a high degree of evolutionary stasis among one of the most widespread and abundant groups of long-legged, round-bodied harvestmen.
dos Santos, Gilson Costa; Hogan, Jerry A; Willemart, Rodrigo Hirata
Associative learning has been demonstrated in many species of invertebrates, but has not been studied in arachnids, except for some spiders and a whip-spider. Herein, we tested the ability of a Neotropical harvestman, Discocyrtus invalidus (Arachnida, Opiliones) to associate a shelter with a chemical stimulus. We used an arena with a white light at the top and two openings on the floor, one giving access to a dark shelter and the other one closed with a mesh. Filter paper with different chemicals (mate or green tea) surrounded both openings. A harvestman (n=37) was released in the arena and its behavior recorded. The procedure was repeated for 14 consecutive days with each individual. We found that harvestmen got faster at finding the refuge, became less exploratory and tended to move toward the open shelter as the days passed. We conclude that the animals learned to associate the chemical stimulus with the shelter.
Full Text Available The ‘Hesse collection’ of spiders (Araneae and harvestmen (Opiliones in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is documented. Biographical notes on Erich Hesse – a former arachnid curator at the museum (1921–1940 – are provided. The ‘Hesse collection’ was actually put together by other workers, and can be broadly divided into two parts. One comes from Bielinek (= Bellinchen on the Polish side of the Oder Valley (West Pommerania; now part of the ‘Unteres Odertal’ National Park. This Bielinek material includes notable records of Heriaeus oblongus Simon, 1918 and Gibbaranea ullrichi (Hahn, 1835. The other part of the collection comes from Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Notable here are Pistius truncatus (Pallas, 1772 and Philodromus buchari Kubcová, 2004; the latter representing the first record of this species for Saxony-Anhalt.
Full Text Available Liquid bioformulation of Metarhizium anisopliae amended with oils and adjuvants was prepared. Six oils viz., sunflower, safflower, soybean, mustard, arachnid and coconut oils at three different concentrations, 0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 per cent and three adjuvants viz., glycerol @ 5, 8 and 10 per cent; tween-80 @ 0.02, 0.04, 0.06 and 1.0 per cent and arachnid oil @ 1, 5 and 10 per cent were tested to see their effect on growth and development of M. anisopliae in the bioformulation. Liquid bioformulation of M. anisopliae amended with Glycerol (10.0% + Sunflower oil (0.5% was found significantly effective which showed 84.33 per cent and 94.93 per cent higher surface area covered and biomass production respectively than the control. Efficacy of the bioformulation was tested against cow pea aphid, Aphis craccivora in pot as well as field condition. Liquid formulation of M. anisopliae supplemented with Glycerol (10.0% + Sunflower oil (0.5% was found to be significantly effective causing aphid mortality of 80 per cent at 30 days after spraying with protection of secondary spread of cow pea mosaic disease up to 100 per cent and 96.03 per cent in pot and field condition respectively. Spraying liquid formulation of M. anisopliae amended with Glycerol (10.0% + Sunflower oil (0.5% at 15 days interval for twice proved to be the best treatment with highest yield of 24.03 t/ha with a cost benefit ratio of 1:7.95 as compared to control (11.20 t/ha.
Lajmanovich, Rafael Carlos
Full Text Available Se analiza la dieta de juveniles de Leptodactylus ocellatus, la relación entre el tamaño predador-presa así como la variación de la dieta con el crecimiento. Se cuantificó el espectro trófico y se calculó la diversidad y amplitud trófica del nicho, tamaño e índice de importancia relativa de las presas. L ocellatus presenta una dieta generalista, integrada principalmente por insectos y arácnidos. Se halló una correlación positiva entre el tamaño de las ranas con el de las presas y se observó la existencia de un mayor consumo de presas terrestres en la clase de mayor tamaño. Is paper concerns the diet of juvenile Leptodactylus ocellatus, the predator-prey size relationships, and the changes in diet as the frogs grow. The trophic spectrum was quantified, and niche diversity and amplitude, prey size, and index of relative importance were calculated. Results show that L. ocellatus has a generalist diet, consisting mainly of insects and arachnids. A positive correlation between size frogs and prey was found, and a change of diet with increasing body size.
Hilbrant, Maarten; Damen, Wim G M
Silk production in spiders is considered a key innovation, and to have been vital for the diversification of the clade. The evolutionary origin of the organs involved in spider silk production, however, and in particular of the silk glands, is poorly understood. Homologies have been proposed between these and other glands found in arachnids, but lacking knowledge of the embryonic development of spider silk glands hampers an evaluation of hypotheses. This study focuses on the embryonic origin of the largest silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei, the major and minor ampullate glands. We show how the ampullate glands originate from ectodermal invaginations on the embryonic spinneret limb buds, in relation to morphogenesis of these buds. Moreover, we visualize the subsequent growth of the ampullate glands in sections of the early postembryonic stages. The invaginations are shown to correlate with expression of the proneural gene CsASH2, which is remarkable since it has been proposed that spider silk glands and their nozzles originate from sensory bristles. Hence, by confirming the ectodermal origin of spider silk glands, and by describing the (post-)embryonic morphogenesis of the ampullate glands, this work provides a starting point for further investigating into the genetic program that underlies their development.
成玮; 蒋飞; 武向文; 郭玉人; 王玉香; 陆爽; 陶赛峰
连续数年对上海市柑橘树病虫害进行普查，共发现病虫害91种，包括病害18种、昆虫纲66种、蛛形纲等其他有害生物7种；并从发生程度、分布和危害等方面对上海市柑橘病虫害发生的历史资料进行了分析，基本摸清了上海市柑橘病虫害发生现状。%A survey of citrus pests and diseases in Shanghai area was carried out for several years.91 kinds of pests and diseases were found,including 18 species of diseases,66 species of insects,7 species of Arachnids and other pests.The historical data of citrus pests and diseases in Shanghai was analyzed from the occurrence de-gree,distribution and damage and so on.The status of citrus pests and diseases in Shanghai area was basically found out.
Tsabouri, Sophia; Triga, Maria; Makris, Michael; Kalogeromitros, Dimitris; Church, Martin K; Priftis, Kostas N
The increased consumption of fish and shellfish has resulted in more frequent reports of adverse reactions to seafood, emphasizing the need for more specific diagnosis and treatment of this condition and exploring reasons for the persistence of this allergy. This review discusses interesting and new findings in the area of fish and shellfish allergy. New allergens and important potential cross-reacting allergens have been identified within the fish family and between shellfish, arachnids, and insects. The diagnostic approach may require prick to-prick tests using crude extracts of both raw and cooked forms of seafood for screening seafood sensitization before a food challenge or where food challenge is not feasible. Allergen-specific immunotherapy can be important; mutated less allergenic seafood proteins have been developed for this purpose. The persistence of allergy because of seafood proteins' resistance after rigorous treatment like cooking and extreme pH is well documented. Additionally, IgE antibodies from individuals with persistent allergy may be directed against different epitopes than those in patients with transient allergy. For a topic as important as this one, new areas of technological developments will likely have a significant impact, to provide more accurate methods of diagnosing useful information to patients about the likely course of their seafood allergy over the course of their childhood and beyond.
Emata, K N; Hedin, M
The harvestmen genus Calicina is represented by 25 short-range endemic species occurring in the western Sierra Nevada, Transverse and Coast Ranges of California. Our principal aim was to reconstruct the temporal and spatial biogeographic history of this arachnid lineage. We inferred a time-calibrated species tree for 21 of 25 described Calicina species using multiple genes and multilocus coalescent-based methods. This species tree was used as a framework for algorithmic biogeographic and divergence time analyses, and a phylogenetic canonical correlation analysis (CCA) was used to examine the relationship between morphological evolution and environmental variables. Species tree and biogeographic analyses indicate that high-elevation Sierran taxa are early-diverging in Calicina, with subsequent biogeographic "criss-crossing" of lineages from the Sierra Nevada to the Coast Ranges, back to the Sierra Nevada, then back to Coast Ranges. In both the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges, distantly-related parapatric lineages essentially never occur in sympatry. CCA reveals that in both the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada, distant phylogenetic relatives evolve convergent morphologies. Our evidence shows that Calicina is clearly dispersal-limited, with an ancient biogeographic history that provides unique insight into the complex geologic evolution of California since the mid-Paleogene.
Averdam, Anne; Markl, Jürgen; Burmester, Thorsten
The transport of oxygen in the hemolymph of many arthropod and mollusc species is mediated by large copper-proteins that are referred to as hemocyanins. Arthropod hemocyanins are composed of hexamers and oligomers of hexamers. Arachnid hemocyanins usually form 4 x 6-mers consisting of seven distinct subunit types (termed a-g), although in some spider taxa deviations from this standard scheme have been observed. Applying immunological and electrophoretic methods, six distinct hemocyanin subunits were identified in the red-legged golden orb-web spider Nephila inaurata madagascariensis (Araneae: Tetragnathidae). The complete cDNA sequences of six subunits were obtained that corresponded to a-, b-, d-, e-, f- and g-type subunits. No evidence for a c-type subunit was found in this species. The inclusion of the N. inaurata hemocyanins in a multiple alignment of the arthropod hemocyanins and the application of the Bayesian method of phylogenetic inference allow, for the first time, a solid reconstruction of the intramolecular evolution of the chelicerate hemocyanin subunits. The branch leading to subunit a diverged first, followed by the common branch of the dimer-forming b and c subunits, while subunits d and f, as well as subunits e and g form common branches. Assuming a clock-like evolution of the chelicerate hemocyanins, a timescale for the evolution of the Chelicerata was obtained that agrees with the fossil record.
Legg, David A.
The morphology of the arthropod Sanctacaris uncata, from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of Canada, is reinterpreted based on a restudy of previously described material. Although originally considered a chelicerate-like arthropod, these affinities were dismissed based primarily on interpretations of the anterior appendages and hypotheses which considered the megacheirans (`great-appendage' arthropods) as putative ancestors of chelicerates. The similarities between megacheirans and chelicerates appear to be overstated however, and this study instead reaffirms the identity of putative chelicerate feature in S. uncata and similar arthropods such as Sidneyia and Emeraldella, both also from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. Newly interpreted features, including the presence of pediform exites, multi-partite trunk exopods, and a trunk differentiated into an anterior limb-bearing area and a differentiated posterior limbless abdomen, were coded into an extensive phylogenetic data set of fossil and recent arthropods. In all analyses, Sanctacaris resolved as the basal-most member of total-group Euchelicerata (the least inclusive group including horseshoe crabs and arachnids but not pycnogonids), thus making it the oldest chelicerate in the fossil record. The vicissicaudates (including Sidneyia, Emeraldella, aglaspidids, and cheloniellids—all of which have previously been allied to chelicerates) resolved as sister-taxon to crown-group Chelicerata. This topology indicates that many purported chelicerate features, such as lamellar gills, and a differentiated posterior abdomen evolved sequentially in the chelicerate stem-lineage.
Legg, David A; Sutton, Mark D; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Caron, Jean-Bernard
Extant arthropods are diverse and ubiquitous, forming a major constituent of most modern ecosystems. Evidence from early Palaeozoic Konservat Lagerstätten indicates that this has been the case since the Cambrian. Despite this, the details of arthropod origins remain obscure, although most hypotheses regard the first arthropods as benthic predators or scavengers such as the fuxianhuiids or megacheirans ('great-appendage' arthropods). Here, we describe a new arthropod from the Tulip Beds locality of the Burgess Shale Formation (Cambrian, series 3, stage 5) that possesses a weakly sclerotized thorax with filamentous appendages, encased in a bivalved carapace, and a strongly sclerotized, elongate abdomen and telson. A cladistic analysis resolved this taxon as the basal-most member of a paraphyletic grade of nekto-benthic forms with bivalved carapaces. This grade occurs at the base of Arthropoda (panarthropods with arthropodized trunk limbs) and suggests that arthrodization (sclerotization and jointing of the exoskeleton) evolved to facilitate swimming. Predatory and fully benthic habits evolved later in the euarthropod stem-lineage and are plesiomorphically retained in pycnogonids (sea spiders) and euchelicerates (horseshoe crabs and arachnids).
Full Text Available Spiders (Araneae are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant. Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field.
Full Text Available A variety of insect and arachnid species are able to remain submerged in water indefinitely using plastron respiration. A plastron is a surface-retained film of air produced by surface morphology that acts as an oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange surface. Many highly water repellent and hydrophobic surfaces when placed in water exhibit a silvery sheen which is characteristic of a plastron. In this article, the hydrophobicity of a range of commercially available water repellent fabrics and polymer membranes is investigated, and how the surface of the materials mimics this mechanism of underwater respiration is demonstrated allowing direct extraction of oxygen from oxygenated water. The coverage of the surface with the plastron air layer was measured using confocal microscopy. A zinc/oxygen cell is used to consume oxygen within containers constructed from the different membranes, and the oxygen consumed by the cell is compared to the change in oxygen concentration as measured by an oxygen probe. By comparing the membranes to an air-tight reference sample, it was found that the membranes facilitated oxygen transfer from the water into the container, with the most successful membrane showing a 1.90:1 ratio between the cell oxygen consumption and the change in concentration within the container.
J. A. Dunlop
Full Text Available A new trigonotarbid (Arachnida: Trigonotarbida is described as Permotarbus schuberti n. gen., n. sp. from the Early Permian Petrified Forest (Rotliegend of Chemnitz in Saxony (Germany. At ca. 290 Ma it represents the youngest record of this extinct arachnid order discovered to date. Its familial affinities are uncertain, but may lie close to the Aphantomartidae. The distribution of the trigonotarbid genera through time is summarised, together with a list of their seventy-seven fossil-yielding localities. Together they offer a broad overview of the group's fossil record, which is heavily biased towards the Moscovian Stage (ca. 307–312 Ma of the Late Carboniferous in Europe and North America. This is due in no small part to numerous localities associated with coal mining districts, and trigonotarbids are found less frequently after this stage. While it is tempting to associate this with biological events – such as a putative "Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse" dating to ca. 305 Ma – it is difficult to differentiate the effects of genuine extinction patterns from artefacts caused by fewer appropriate localities in the economically less relevant latest Carboniferous and Early Permian strata. Nevertheless, trigonotarbids became extinct at some point after the Early Permian and loss of the Coal Measures forests remains one of the most likely possible causes. doi:10.1002/mmng.201300012
Kronenberger, Katrin; Dicko, Cedric; Vollrath, Fritz
The discovery of a novel silk production system in a marine amphipod provides insights into the wider potential of natural silks. The tube-building corophioid amphipod Crassicorophium bonellii produces from its legs fibrous, adhesive underwater threads that combine barnacle cement biology with aspects of spider silk thread extrusion spinning. We characterised the filamentous silk as a mixture of mucopolysaccharides and protein deriving from glands representing two distinct types. The carbohydrate and protein silk secretion is dominated by complex β-sheet structures and a high content of charged amino acid residues. The filamentous secretion product exits the gland through a pore near the tip of the secretory leg after having moved through a duct, which subdivides into several small ductules all terminating in a spindle-shaped chamber. This chamber communicates with the exterior and may be considered the silk reservoir and processing/mixing space, in which the silk is mechanically and potentially chemically altered and becomes fibrous. We assert that further study of this probably independently evolved, marine arthropod silk processing and secretion system can provide not only important insights into the more complex arachnid and insect silks but also into crustacean adhesion cements.
Kilpatrick, A L; Hagerty, A M; Turnipseed, S G; Sullivan, M J; Bridges, W C
Certain neonicotinoids are used in cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.), to control various piercing-sucking pests. We conducted field studies using three neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid) and an organophosphate (dicrotophos) to assess the activity of these insecticides against nontarget arthropods, particularly predators, and to determine the potential economic consequences of such activity. Mortality among populations of the big-eyed bug, Geocoris punctipes (Say), and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was highest after thiamethoxam and dicrotophos treatments. Numbers of arachnids were consistently lower after dicrotophos treatments, whereas none of the neonicotinoids caused appreciable mortality. Total predators in pooled data from five separate studies revealed that numbers, compared with untreated plots, were reduced by -75% in dicrotophos, 55-60% in thiamethoxam, and only 30% in both acetamiprid and imidacloprid plots. Acetamiprid and thiamethoxam exhibited significant mortality against field-deposited eggs of bollworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). Both thiamethoxam and dicrotophos plots exhibited bollworm numbers that were approximately three times higher than treatment thresholds (three per 100 plants), whereas numbers in untreated plots were below threshold levels. In one study on Bt cotton, a significant negative correlation was observed between numbers of predators and bollworm larvae. Results demonstrated that neonicotinoids differ in activity against predaceous arthropods and bollworm eggs and that high predator mortality can result in resurgence of bollworm larvae and additional insecticide costs.
Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A
The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae).
Chen, Xiaolin; Jiang, Yong
The diet of the skink, Eumeces chinensis (Lacertilia: Scincidae), in Xiamen (Amoy), China was examined using stomach analysis during April and May, and its selection of prey size was tested by feeding trials. Insects (primarily Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Orthoptera), gastropods and arachnids constituted most of the E. chinensis diet, but earthworms, leeches, crustaceans and fish were also consumed. In the field, male skinks ate more prey items that were 11-20 mm in length than other size classes. When presented with a choice of different-sized prey in the laboratory, male E. chinensis exhibited a strong preference for prey items 11-20 mm in length over other size classes. The relationship between prey size and handling time was exponential, indicating that there is an upper limit to the ability of E. chinensis to process prey. Mean energy intake for handling different-sized prey showed that selection of midsizeclass prey items would provide male E. chinensis with the most energy-efficient prey option. These results indicate that prey size selection in E. chinensis favors maximization of rates of energy intake, which is in agreement with optimal foraging theory.
Daniel D Wiegmann
Full Text Available Navigation is an ideal behavioral model for the study of sensory system integration and the neural substrates associated with complex behavior. For this broader purpose, however, it may be profitable to develop new model systems that are both tractable and sufficiently complex to ensure that information derived from a single sensory modality and path integration are inadequate to locate a goal. Here, we discuss some recent discoveries related to navigation by amblypygids, nocturnal arachnids that inhabit the tropics and sub-tropics. Nocturnal displacement experiments under the cover of a tropical rainforest reveal that these animals possess navigational abilities that are reminiscent, albeit on a smaller spatial scale, of true-navigating vertebrates. Specialized legs, called antenniform legs, which possess hundreds of olfactory and tactile sensory hairs, and vision appear to be involved. These animals also have enormous mushroom bodies, higher-order brain regions that, in insects, integrate contextual cues and may be involved in spatial memory. In amblypygids, the complexity of a nocturnal rainforest may impose navigational challenges that favor the integration of information derived from multimodal cues. Moreover, the movement of these animals is easily studied in the laboratory and putative neural integration sites of sensory information can be manipulated. Thus, amblypygids could serve as a model system for the discovery of neural substrates associated with a unique and potentially sophisticated navigational capability. The diversity of habitats in which amblypygids are found also offers an opportunity for comparative studies of sensory integration and ecological selection pressures on navigation mechanisms.
Candido-Ferreira, Ivan Lavander; Kronenberger, Thales; Sayegh, Raphael Santa Rosa; Batista, Isabel de Fátima Correia; da Silva Junior, Pedro Ismael
The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) is a hallmark of the eukaryotic cell. In jawed vertebrates, it has been co-opted by the adaptive immune system, where proteasomal degradation produces endogenous peptides for major histocompatibility complex class I antigen presentation. However, proteolytic products are also necessary for the phylogenetically widespread innate immune system, as they often play a role as host defense peptides (HDPs), pivotal effectors against pathogens. Here, we report the identification of the arachnid HDP oligoventin, which shares homology to a core member of the UPP, E3 ubiquitin ligases. Oligoventin has broad antimicrobial activity and shows strong synergy with lysozymes. Using computational and phylogenetic approaches, we show high conservation of the oligoventin signature in HECT E3s. In silico simulation of HECT E3s self-proteolysis provides evidence that HDPs can be generated by fine-tuned 26S proteasomal degradation, and therefore are consistent with the hypothesis that oligoventin is a cryptic peptide released by the proteolytic processing of an Nedd4 E3 precursor protein. Finally, we compare the production of HDPs and endogenous antigens from orthologous HECT E3s by proteasomal degradation as a means of analyzing the UPP coupling to metazoan immunity. Our results highlight the functional plasticity of the UPP in innate and adaptive immune systems as a possibly recurrent mechanism to generate functionally diverse peptides. PMID:28119686
Hilger, Christiane; Kuehn, Annette; Raulf, Monika; Jakob, Thilo
Arthropods form a broad phylum within the animal kingdom, comprising widely varying members such as insects, arachnids, crabs and centipedes. In addition to common allergies to house dust mites or hymenoptera venom, there are also rarer allergies that can be attributed to three major sources of allergens: cockroaches, ticks and storage mites. Other less known allergen sources include spiders, mosquitos, horseflies, red chironomid larvae, silverfish and ladybugs, as well as a variety of storage pests. At present, only extract-based test systems are available for the majority of allergens in IgE-based diagnostics. Molecular characterisation of numerous individual allergens has already been carried out. However, these individual allergens are only available for a small number of allergen sources (e. g. cockroaches and storage mites) in routine diagnostics. Particularly in the case of allergen sources with known high cross-reactivity, the use of marker allergens is believed to improve diagnostics. The currently known individual allergens of the above-mentioned allergy triggers from the arthropod realm are summarized and their potential use in allergy diagnostics discussed.
Sharma, Prashant P; Schwager, Evelyn E; Extavour, Cassandra G; Wheeler, Ward C
The evolutionary success of the largest animal phylum, Arthropoda, has been attributed to tagmatization, the coordinated evolution of adjacent metameres to form morphologically and functionally distinct segmental regions called tagmata. Specification of regional identity is regulated by the Hox genes, of which 10 are inferred to be present in the ancestor of arthropods. With six different posterior segmental identities divided into two tagmata, the bauplan of scorpions is the most heteronomous within Chelicerata. Expression domains of the anterior eight Hox genes are conserved in previously surveyed chelicerates, but it is unknown how Hox genes regionalize the three tagmata of scorpions. Here, we show that the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus has two paralogues of all Hox genes except Hox3, suggesting cluster and/or whole genome duplication in this arachnid order. Embryonic anterior expression domain boundaries of each of the last four pairs of Hox genes (two paralogues each of Antp, Ubx, abd-A and Abd-B) are unique and distinguish segmental groups, such as pectines, book lungs and the characteristic tail, while maintaining spatial collinearity. These distinct expression domains suggest neofunctionalization of Hox gene paralogues subsequent to duplication. Our data reconcile previous understanding of Hox gene function across arthropods with the extreme heteronomy of scorpions.
Di, Zhiyong; Yu, Yao; Wu, Yingliang; Hao, Pei; He, Yawen; Zhao, Huabin; Li, Yixue; Zhao, Guoping; Li, Xuan; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian
Homeobox genes belong to a large gene group, which encodes the famous DNA-binding homeodomain that plays a key role in development and cellular differentiation during embryogenesis in animals. Here, one hundred forty-nine homeobox genes were identified from the Asian scorpion, Mesobuthus martensii (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Scorpiones: Buthidae) based on our newly assembled genome sequence with approximately 248 × coverage. The identified homeobox genes were categorized into eight classes including 82 families: 67 ANTP class genes, 33 PRD genes, 11 LIM genes, five POU genes, six SINE genes, 14 TALE genes, five CUT genes, two ZF genes and six unclassified genes. Transcriptome data confirmed that more than half of the genes were expressed in adults. The homeobox gene diversity of the eight classes is similar to the previously analyzed Mandibulata arthropods. Interestingly, it is hypothesized that the scorpion M. martensii may have two Hox clusters. The first complete genome-wide analysis of homeobox genes in Chelicerata not only reveals the repertoire of scorpion, arachnid and chelicerate homeobox genes, but also shows some insights into the evolution of arthropod homeobox genes.
Full Text Available Ticks are hematophagous arachnids transmitting a wide variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and protozoans to their vertebrate hosts. The tick vector competence has to be intimately linked to the ability of transmitted pathogens to evade tick defense mechanisms encountered on their route through the tick body comprising midgut, hemolymph, salivary glands or ovaries. Tick innate immunity is, like in other invertebrates, based on an orchestrated action of humoral and cellular immune responses. The direct antimicrobial defense in ticks is accomplished by a variety of small molecules such as defensins, lysozymes or by tick-specific antimicrobial compounds such as microplusin/hebraein or 5.3-kDa family proteins. Phagocytosis of the invading microbes by tick hemocytes seems to be mediated by the primordial complement-like system composed of thioester-containing proteins, fibrinogen-related lectins and convertase-like factors. Moreover, an important role in survival of the ingested microbes seems to be played by host proteins and redox balance maintenance in the tick midgut. Here, we summarize recent knowledge about the major components of tick immune system and focus on their interaction with the relevant tick-transmitted pathogens, represented by spirochetes (Borrelia, rickettsiae (Anaplasma, and protozoans (Babesia. Availability of the tick genomic database and feasibility of functional genomics based on RNA interference greatly contribute to the understanding of molecular and cellular interplay at the tick-pathogen interface and may provide new targets for blocking the transmission of tick pathogens.
Roy, Lise; Bouvier, Jean-Charles; Lavigne, Claire; Galès, Mathieu; Buronfosse, Thierry
Pesticide applications have a strong impact on biodiversity in agroecosystems. The present study aimed to assess the impact of pest control strategies on the arthropodofauna of Parus major nests built within nestboxes installed in orchards. Unlike many studied groups, these arthropod communities are not in direct contact with pesticide sprays (on account of their being sheltered by nestboxes) and are also unable to move away from the treated area. In this pilot study, we estimated the prevalence and the taxonomic and ecological diversities of arthropodofauna sampled in the nests and assessed the extent to which the whole and nest-specific arthropodofauna were affected by pest control strategies. Sixteen different insect and arachnid Primary Taxonomic Groups (PTGs, order level or below) were found in nests. The best represented PTGs (≥10% occurrence in years 2007 and 2008) were Psocoptera (Insecta, detritivorous/saprophagous), detritivorous/saprophagous Astigmata (Acari) and hematophagous Mesostigmata (Acari). Pest control strategies had a large impact on the prevalence of arthropods in nests, with higher proportions of nests hosting arthropods in organic orchards than in conventional orchards and with intermediate proportions in nests in Integrated Pest Management orchards. In contrast, pest control strategies had no significant effect on the composition of the arthropod communities when only nests hosting nidicolous arthropods were considered.
Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Ryan, Joseph F; Kempler, Karen E; Saraf, Spencer R; Marten, Catherine E; Warren, Wesley C; Minx, Patrick J; Montague, Michael J; Green, Pamela J; Schmidt, Skye A; Fulton, Lucinda; Patel, Nipam H; Protas, Meredith E; Wilson, Richard K; Porter, Megan L
Horseshoe crabs are xiphosuran chelicerates, the sister group to arachnids. As such, they are important for understanding the most recent common ancestor of Euchelicerata and the evolution and diversification of Arthropoda. Limulus polyphemus is the most investigated of the four extant species of horseshoe crabs, and the structure and function of its visual system have long been a major focus of studies critical for understanding the evolution of visual systems in arthropods. Likewise, studies of genes encoding Limulus opsins, the protein component of the visual pigments, are critical for understanding opsin evolution and diversification among chelicerates, where knowledge of opsins is limited, and more broadly among arthropods. In the present study, we sequenced and assembled a high quality nuclear genomic sequence of L. polyphemus and used these data to annotate the full repertoire of Limulus opsins. We conducted a detailed phylogenetic analysis of Limulus opsins, including using gene structure and synteny information to identify relationships among different opsin classes. We used our phylogeny to identify significant genomic events that shaped opsin evolution and therefore the visual system of Limulus We also describe the tissue expression patterns of the 18 opsins identified and show that transcripts encoding a number, including a peropsin, are present throughout the central nervous system. In addition to significantly extending our understanding of photosensitivity in Limulus and providing critical insight into the genomic evolution of horseshoe crab opsins, this work provides a valuable genomic resource for addressing myriad questions related to xiphosuran physiology and arthropod evolution.
Teder, Tiit; Vellau, Helen; Tammaru, Toomas
Optimality models predict that diet-induced bivariate reaction norms for age and size at maturity can have diverse shapes, with the slope varying from negative to positive. To evaluate these predictions, we perform a quantitative review of relevant data, using a literature-derived database of body sizes and development times for over 200 insect species. We show that bivariate reaction norms with a negative slope prevail in nearly all taxonomic and ecological categories of insects as well as in some other ectotherm taxa with comparable life histories (arachnids and amphibians). In insects, positive slopes are largely limited to species, which feed on discrete resource items, parasitoids in particular. By contrast, with virtually no meaningful exceptions, herbivorous and predatory insects display reaction norms with a negative slope. This is consistent with the idea that predictable resource depletion, a scenario selecting for positively sloped reaction norms, is not frequent for these insects. Another source of such selection-a positive correlation between resource levels and juvenile mortality rates-should similarly be rare among insects. Positive slopes can also be predicted by models which integrate life-history evolution and population dynamics. As bottom-up regulation is not common in most insect groups, such models may not be most appropriate for insects.
Casas, Jérôme; Steinmann, Thomas; Krijnen, Gijs
Insects and arachnids are often quite hairy. The reasons for this high density of sensory hairs are unknown. Previous studies have predicted strong hydrodynamic coupling between densely packed airflow-sensitive hairs. Flow perturbation owing to single hairs and between tandem hairs, however, has never been experimentally measured. This paper aims to quantify the extent of flow perturbation by single and tandem hairs directly, using biomimetic microelectromechanical system (MEMS) hairs as physical models and particle image velocimetry (PIV) for flow visualization. Single and tandem MEMS hairs of varying interhair distances were subjected to oscillatory flows of varying frequency. Decreasing hair-to-hair distance markedly reduced flow velocity amplitude and increased the phase shift between the far-field flow and the flow between hairs. These effects were stronger for lower flow frequencies. We predict strong hydrodynamic coupling within whole natural hair canopies exposed to natural stimuli, depending on arthropod and hair sizes, and hair density. Thus, rather than asking why arthropods have so many hairs, it may be useful to address why hairs are packed together at such high densities, particularly given the exquisite sensitivity of a single hair.
Sanggaard, Kristian W; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Scavenius, Carsten; Wang, Tobias; Bilde, Trine; Enghild, Jan J
Arthropods include chelicerates, crustaceans, and insects that all have open circulation systems and thus require different properties of their coagulation system than vertebrates. Although the clotting reaction in the chelicerate horseshoe crab (Family: Limulidae) has been described in details, the overall protein composition of the resulting clot has not been analyzed for any of the chelicerates. The largest class among the chelicerates is the arachnids, which includes spiders, ticks, mites, and scorpions. Here, we use a mass spectrometry-based approach to characterize the spider hemolymph clot proteome from the Brazilian whiteknee tarantula, Acanthoscurria geniculata. We focused on the insoluble part of the clot and demonstrated high concentrations of proteins homologous to the hemostasis-related and multimerization-prone von Willebrand factor. These proteins, which include hemolectins and vitellogenin homologous, were previously identified as essential components of the hemolymph clot in crustaceans and insects. Their presence in the spider hemolymph clot suggests that the origin of these proteins' function in coagulation predates the split between chelicerates and mandibulata. The clot proteome reveals that the major proteinaceous component is the oxygen-transporting and phenoloxidase-displaying abundant hemolymph protein hemocyanin, suggesting that this protein also plays a role in clot biology. Furthermore, quantification of the peptidome after coagulation revealed the simultaneous activation of both the innate immune system and the coagulation system. In general, many of the identified clot-proteins are related to the innate immune system, and our results support the previously suggested crosstalk between immunity and coagulation in arthropods.
Kleespies, Regina G; Federici, Brian A; Leclerque, Andreas
The taxonomic genus Rickettsiella (Gammaproteobacteria; Legionellales) comprises intracellular bacteria associated with a wide range of arthropods including insects, arachnids and crustaceans. The present study provides ultrastructural together with genetic evidence for a Rickettsiella bacterium in the common rough woodlouse, Porcellio scaber (Isopoda, Porcellionidae), occurring in Germany, and shows that this bacterium is very closely related to one of the same genus occurring in California that infects the pill bug, Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda, Armadillidiidae). Both bacterial isolates displayed the ultrastructural features described previously for crustacean-associated bacteria of the genus Rickettsiella, including the absence of well-defined associated protein crystals; occurrence of the latter is a typical characteristic of infection by this type of bacteria in insects, but has not been reported in crustaceans. A molecular systematic approach combining multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) with likelihood-based significance testing demonstrated that despite their distant geographic origins, both bacteria form a tight sub-clade within the genus Rickettsiella. In the 16S rRNA gene trees, this sub-clade includes other bacterial sequences from woodlice. Moreover, the bacterial specimens from P. scaber and A. vulgare are found genetically or morphologically different from each of the four currently recognized Rickettsiella species. Therefore, the designation 'Candidatus Rickettsiella isopodorum' is introduced for this new lineage of isopod-associated Rickettsiella bacteria.
Rong, Mingqiang; Liu, Jiangxin; Zhang, Meilin; Wang, Gan; Zhao, Gang; Wang, Guodong; Zhang, Yaping; Hu, Kaifeng; Lai, Ren
Members of arachnida, such as spiders and scorpions, commonly produce venom with specialized venom glands, paralyzing their prey with neurotoxins that specifically target ion channels. Two well-studied motifs, the disulfide-directed hairpin (DDH) and the inhibitor cystine knot motif (ICK), are both found in scorpion and spider toxins. As arachnids, ticks inject a neurotoxin-containing cocktail from their salivary glands into the host to acquire a blood meal, but peptide toxins acting on ion channels have not been observed in ticks. Here, a new neurotoxin (ISTX-I) that acts on sodium channels was identified from the hard tick Ixodes scapularis and characterized. ISTX-I exhibits a potent inhibitory function with an IC50 of 1.6 μM for sodium channel Nav1.7 but not other sodium channel subtypes. ISTX-I adopts a novel structural fold and is distinct from the canonical ICK motif. Analysis of the ISTX-I, DDH and ICK motifs reveals that the new ISTX-I motif might be an intermediate scaffold between DDH and ICK, and ISTX-I is a clue to the evolutionary link between the DDH and ICK motifs. These results provide a glimpse into the convergent evolution of neurotoxins from predatory and blood-sucking arthropods. PMID:27407029
Daniela Tiemi Myamoto
Full Text Available The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB, the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP, a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA, and a serine protease domain (SP. The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43% and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3 from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae.
Myamoto, Daniela Tiemi; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Pedroso, Aurélio; van den Berg, Carmen W; Tambourgi, Denise V
The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB), the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP), a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA), and a serine protease domain (SP). The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43%) and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3) from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae.
Full Text Available The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed to neurotoxins. Omics analyses have detected plentiful amounts of metalloproteases in T. serrulatus venom. However, the roles played by these enzymes in envenomation are still unclear. Endeavoring to investigate the functions of scorpion venom proteases, we describe here for the first time an Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme-like peptidase (ACE-like purified from T. serrulatus venom. The crude venom cleaved natural and fluorescent substrates and these activities were inhibited by captopril. Regarding the serum neutralization, the scorpion antivenom was more effective at blocking the ACE-like activity than arachnid antivenom, although neither completely inhibited the venom cleavage action, even at higher doses. ACE-like was purified from the venom after three chromatographic steps and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometric and transcriptomic analyses. Bioinformatics analysis showed homology between the ACE-like transcript sequences from Tityus spp. and human testis ACE. These findings advance our understanding of T. serrulatus venom components and may improve treatment of envenomation victims, as ACE-like may contribute to envenomation symptoms, especially the resulting hypertension.
Bjoern Marcus von Reumont
Full Text Available Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.
Cajado-Carvalho, Daniela; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre Kazuo; Duzzi, Bruno; Iwai, Leo Kei; de Oliveira, Úrsula Castro; Junqueira de Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles; Kodama, Roberto Tadashi; Portaro, Fernanda Vieira
The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed to neurotoxins. Omics analyses have detected plentiful amounts of metalloproteases in T. serrulatus venom. However, the roles played by these enzymes in envenomation are still unclear. Endeavoring to investigate the functions of scorpion venom proteases, we describe here for the first time an Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme-like peptidase (ACE-like) purified from T. serrulatus venom. The crude venom cleaved natural and fluorescent substrates and these activities were inhibited by captopril. Regarding the serum neutralization, the scorpion antivenom was more effective at blocking the ACE-like activity than arachnid antivenom, although neither completely inhibited the venom cleavage action, even at higher doses. ACE-like was purified from the venom after three chromatographic steps and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometric and transcriptomic analyses. Bioinformatics analysis showed homology between the ACE-like transcript sequences from Tityus spp. and human testis ACE. These findings advance our understanding of T. serrulatus venom components and may improve treatment of envenomation victims, as ACE-like may contribute to envenomation symptoms, especially the resulting hypertension. PMID:27886129
Full Text Available The South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA was initiated to make an inventory of the arachnid fauna of South Africa. Various projects are underway to prepare inventories of the spider fauna of the different floral biomes and provinces of South Africa. During April and May 2004 five different collecting methods were sed to sample spiders from four slopes on Sovenga Hill, an inselberg situated in the Savanna Biome, near Polokwane, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A total of 793 specimens represented by 29 families, 62 genera and 76 species were recorded over the twomonth period. The Thomisidae was the most abundant (n = 167 representing 21.1 % of all spiders sampled, followed by the Gnaphosidae (n = 101 with 12.7 % and the Lycosidae (n = 77 with 9.7 %. The most abundant species was a thomisid Tmarus comellini Garcia-Neto (n = 82, representing 10.3 % of the total, followed by a clubionid Clubiona godfreyi Lessert (n = 66 with 8.3 %. The Thomisidae was the most species-rich family with 12 species, followed by the Gnaphosidae with 11 species and the Araneidae with 10 species. Of the species collected 83.9 % were wandering spiders and 16.1 % web builders. This is the first quantitative survey of the Savanna Biome in the Polokwane area.
Wolff, Jonas O; Seiter, Michael; Gorb, Stanislav N
Whip spiders (Amblypygi) are a small, cryptic order of arachnids mainly distributed in the tropics. Some basal lineages (families Charinidae and Charontidae) have adhesive pads on the tips of their six walking legs. The present study describes the macro- and ultrastructure of these pads and investigates their contact mechanics and adhesive strength on smooth and rough substrates. Furthermore, the structure of the pretarsus and its kinematics are compared in Charon cf. grayi (with an adhesive pad) and Phrynus longipes (without an adhesive pad). The adhesive pads exhibit an elaborate structure with a unique combination of structural features of smooth and hairy foot pads including a long transversal contact zone performing lateral detachment, a thick internally-branched cuticle with longitudinal ribs and hexagonal surface microstructures with spatulate keels. The contact area of the pads on smooth glass is discontinuous due to the spatulate microstructures with a discontinuous detachment, which could be observed in vivo by high speed videography at a rate of up to 10,000 fps. Adhesive strength was measured with vertical whole animal pull-off tests, obtaining mean values between 55 and 200 kPa. The occurrence of viscous lipid secretions between microstructures was occasionally observed, which, however, seems not to be a necessity for good foothold. The results are discussed in relation to the whip spider's ecology and evolution. Structure-function relationships of the adhesive pads are compared to those of insects and vertebrates.
Cushing, Paula E; Graham, Matthew R; Prendini, Lorenzo; Brookhart, Jack O
Camel spiders (Solifugae) are a diverse but poorly studied order of arachnids. No robust phylogenetic analysis has ever been carried out for the order or for any family within the Solifugae. We present a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the endemic North American family Eremobatidae Kraepelin, 1899, the first such analysis of a family of Solifugae. We use a multi-locus exemplar approach using DNA sequences from partial nuclear (28S rDNA and Histone H3) and mitochondrial (16S rRNA and Cytochrome c Oxidase I) gene loci for 81 ingroup exemplars representing all genera of Eremobatidae and most species groups within the genera Eremobates Banks, 1900, Eremochelis Roewer, 1934, and Hemerotrecha Banks, 1903. Maximum Likelihood and two Bayesian analyses consistently recovered the monophyly of Eremobatidae, Eremorhax Roewer, 1934 and Eremothera Muma, 1951 along with a group comprising all subfamily Eremobatinae Kraepelin, 1901 exemplars except Horribates bantai Muma, 1989 and a group comprising all Eremocosta Roewer, 1934 exemplars except Eremocosta acuitalpanensis (Vasquez and Gavin, 2000). The subfamily Therobatinae Muma, 1951 and the genera Chanbria Muma, 1951, Hemerotrecha, Eremochelis, and Eremobates were polyphyletic or paraphyletic. Only the banksi group of Hemerotrecha was monophyletic; the other species groups recognized within Eremobates, Eremochelis, and Hemerotrecha were paraphyletic or polyphyletic. We found no support for the monophyly of the subfamily Therobatinae. A time-calibrated phylogeny dated the most recent common ancestor of extant eremobatids to the late Eocene to early Miocene, with a mean estimate in the late Oligocene (32.2 Ma).
Molecular characterization and evolutionary insights into potential sex-determination genes in the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Acari: Phytoseiidae).
Pomerantz, Aaron F; Hoy, Marjorie A; Kawahara, Akito Y
Little is known about the process of sex determination at the molecular level in species belonging to the subclass Acari, a taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks. The recent sequencing of the transcriptome and genome of the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis allows investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying the biological processes of sex determination in this predator of phytophagous pest mites. We identified four doublesex-and-mab-3-related transcription factor (dmrt) genes, one transformer-2 gene, one intersex gene, and two fruitless-like genes in M. occidentalis. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted to infer the molecular relationships to sequences from species of arthropods, including insects, crustaceans, acarines, and a centipede, using available genomic data. Comparative analyses revealed high sequence identity within functional domains and confirmed that the architecture for certain sex-determination genes is conserved in arthropods. This study provides a framework for identifying potential target genes that could be implicated in the process of sex determination in M. occidentalis and provides insight into the conservation and change of the molecular components of sex determination in arthropods.
Klann, A E; Gromov, A V; Cushing, P E; Peretti, A V; Alberti, G
Solifugae possess an evertable, adhesive pedipalpal organ (suctorial organ) at the tip of the distal tarsus of each pedipalp that is unique among arachnids. When inverted inside the pedipalp, the suctorial organ is covered with two cuticular lips, a dorsal upper lip and a ventral lower lip, but it can be protruded rapidly in order to facilitate grasping prey or climbing on bushes or even climbing on smooth surfaces due to its remarkable adhesive properties. In this study, the suctorial organs of different species from old world families Galeodidae and Karschiidae and new world families Ammotrechidae and Eremobatidae were investigated by means of light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. In all representatives, the suctorial organ is formed by an evertable, cuticular pad with a complex internal stabilizing structure. The procuticle of this pad consists of a lattice-like basal plate and numerous stalked structures connected to this basal plate. The shafts of the stalked structures are regularly organized and ramify apically. The surface of the suctorial organ is constituted of a very thin epicuticle overlaying the ramifying apices forming ridges and furrows on the ventral side of the suctorial organ.
Full Text Available A comprehensive overview of plant, fungus and animal species of Austria revealed a total of 748 endemic and subendemic species, including, 11 harvestman and 46 spider species. Altogether two endemic harvestmen (Nemastoma bidentatum relictum, Nemastoma schuelleri and 8 endemic spiders (Abacoproeces molestus, Collinsia (caliginosa nemenziana, Mughiphantes severus, Mughiphantes styriacus, Pelecopsis alpica, Scotophaeus nanus, Troglohyphantes novicordis, Troglohyphantes tauriscus, beside 9 subendemic harvestman and 38 subendemic spider species have been recorded from Austria. Hot-spots of endemism in the Eastern Alps are the north-eastern (Ennstaler Alps and southern Calcareous Alps (Karawanken, Karnische Alps and the Central Alps (Hohe Tauern, Gurktaler Alps, Ötztaler and Stubaier Alps. Most of the endemic arachnid species occur from the nival down to the montane zone. Important habitats are rocky areas, caves and woodlands. High absolute numbers and percentages of endemics can be found within the harvestman families Cladonychiidae, Ischyropsalididae and Nemastomatidae and in the spider genera Lepthyphantes s. l. and Troglohyphantes. The conservation status of these highly endangered taxa – 85 % of the spider species and 100 % of the harvestman taxa are endangered in Austria – is poor.
Sharma, Prashant P.; Tourinho, Ana Lúcia
Opiliones are iconic arachnids with a Palaeozoic origin and a diversity that reflects ancient biogeographic patterns dating back at least to the times of Pangea. Owing to interest in harvestman diversity, evolution and biogeography, their relationships have been thoroughly studied using morphology and PCR-based Sanger approaches to infer their systematic relationships. More recently, two studies utilized transcriptomics-based phylogenomics to explore their basal relationships and diversification, but sampling was limiting for understanding deep evolutionary patterns, as they lacked good taxon representation at the family level. Here, we analysed a set of the 14 existing transcriptomes with 40 additional ones generated for this study, representing approximately 80% of the extant familial diversity in Opiliones. Our phylogenetic analyses, including a set of data matrices with different gene occupancy and evolutionary rates, and using a multitude of methods correcting for a diversity of factors affecting phylogenomic data matrices, provide a robust and stable Opiliones tree of life, where most families and higher taxa are precisely placed. Our dating analyses using alternative calibration points, methods and analytical parameters provide well-resolved old divergences, consistent with ancient regionalization in Pangea in some groups, and Pangean vicariance in others. The integration of state-of-the-art molecular techniques and analyses, together with the broadest taxonomic sampling to date presented in a phylogenomic study of harvestmen, provide new insights into harvestmen interrelationships, as well as an overview of the general biogeographic patterns of this ancient arthropod group. PMID:28228511
Full Text Available To date, only morphological and anatomical descriptions of microwhip scorpions (Arachnida: Palpigradi have been published. This very rare group is enigmatic not only in its relationships to other arachnids, but especially due to the fact that these animals dwell only underground (in caves, soil, and interstitial spaces. We observed the curious feeding habit of the microwhip scorpion Eukoenenia spelaea over the course of one year in Ardovská Cave, located in Slovakia's Karst region. We chose histology as our methodology in studying 17 specimens and based it upon Masson's triple staining, fluorescent light and confocal microscopy. Single-celled cyanobacteria (blue-green algae were conspicuously predominant in the gut of all studied palpigrades. Digestibility of the consumed cyanobacteria was supported by the presence of guanine crystals, glycogen deposits and haemocytes inside the palpigrade body. Cyanobacteria, the oldest cellular organisms on Earth, are very resistant to severe conditions in caves, including even darkness. Therefore, the cyanobacteria are able to survive in dark caves as nearly heterotrophic organisms and are consumed by cave palpigrades. Such feeding habit is extraordinary within the almost wholly predacious orders of the class Arachnida, and particularly so due to the type of food observed.
Smrž, Jaroslav; Kováč, Ĺubomír; Mikeš, Jaromír; Lukešová, Alena
To date, only morphological and anatomical descriptions of microwhip scorpions (Arachnida: Palpigradi) have been published. This very rare group is enigmatic not only in its relationships to other arachnids, but especially due to the fact that these animals dwell only underground (in caves, soil, and interstitial spaces). We observed the curious feeding habit of the microwhip scorpion Eukoenenia spelaea over the course of one year in Ardovská Cave, located in Slovakia's Karst region. We chose histology as our methodology in studying 17 specimens and based it upon Masson's triple staining, fluorescent light and confocal microscopy. Single-celled cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were conspicuously predominant in the gut of all studied palpigrades. Digestibility of the consumed cyanobacteria was supported by the presence of guanine crystals, glycogen deposits and haemocytes inside the palpigrade body. Cyanobacteria, the oldest cellular organisms on Earth, are very resistant to severe conditions in caves, including even darkness. Therefore, the cyanobacteria are able to survive in dark caves as nearly heterotrophic organisms and are consumed by cave palpigrades. Such feeding habit is extraordinary within the almost wholly predacious orders of the class Arachnida, and particularly so due to the type of food observed.
Buzatto, Bruno A; Machado, Glauco
Strong sexual selection may lead small males or males in poor condition to adopt alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) as a way to avoid the risk of being completely excluded from the mating pool. ARTs, sometimes accompanying morphological dimorphism among males, are taxonomically widespread, especially common in arthropods. Here we review the current knowledge on ARTs and male dimorphism in a diverse but relatively overlooked group of arachnids, the order Opiliones, popularly known as harvestmen or daddy long-legs. We begin with a summary of harvestman mating systems, followed by a review of the two lines of evidence for the presence of ARTs in the group: (1) morphological data from natural populations and museum collections; and (2) behavioral information from field studies. Despite receiving less attention than spiders, scorpions and insects, our review shows that harvestmen are an exciting group of organisms that are potentially great models for sexual selection studies focused on ARTs. We also suggest that investigating the proximate mechanisms underlying male dimorphism in the order would be especially important. New research on ARTs and male dimorphism will have implications for our understanding of the evolution of mating systems, sperm competition, and polyandry. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neotropical Behaviour.
Full Text Available In medical entomology, "Arthropod Borne Diseases", or "Vector Borne Diseases" (VBD are intended as a group of human and animal infections caused by different pathogen organisms (protozoa, helminthes, bacteria and viruses transmitted by the bite of a bloodsucking insect or arachnid. It is commonly known that the infectious diseases transmitted by Arthropods are mainly affecting tropical and subtropical countries, nevertheless some of them were or are still common also in the northern hemisphere, where they are usually maintained under control. VBD still represent some of the most important public health problems in the endemic areas but are becoming source of concern for developed countries too. Since the last decades of the past century, a number of VBD has been spreading geographically, being recorded for the first time in areas outside their original range. This phenomenon is strictly related to the peculiar epidemiological characteristics of these diseases, that are considered the most susceptible to climatic, environmental and socioeconomic changes. This article is a short overview of the VBD endemic and emerging in Italy. The possibility that some exotic vectors and/or pathogens could be introduced and become established in Italy is also discussed.
Jason L Rasgon
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Wolbachia are maternally inherited endosymbionts that infect a diverse range of invertebrates, including insects, arachnids, crustaceans and filarial nematodes. Wolbachia are responsible for causing diverse reproductive alterations in their invertebrate hosts that maximize their transmission to the next generation. Evolutionary theory suggests that due to maternal inheritance, Wolbachia should evolve toward mutualism in infected females, but strict maternal inheritance means there is no corresponding force to select for Wolbachia strains that are mutualistic in males. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using cohort life-table analysis, we demonstrate that in the mosquito Culex pipiens (LIN strain, Wolbachia-infected females show no fitness costs due to infection. However, Wolbachia induces up to a 30% reduction in male lifespan. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results indicate that the Wolbachia infection of the Culex pipiens LIN strain is virulent in a sex-specific manner. Under laboratory situations where mosquitoes generally mate at young ages, Wolbachia strains that reduce male survival could evolve by drift because increased mortality in older males is not a significant selective force.
Ricardo Marques Frezza
Full Text Available The loxoscelism is the most serious form of arachnidism in Brazil. The genus Loxosceles comprises more than 100 species of spiders in African and American continents. In Brazil, they are known as brown spiders. Nevertheless the great incidence of occurrence, few are the reports about repairing procedures, specially related to Physiotherapy after surgeries due to dermonecrosis. The aim of this case report was to register the Physiotherapeutic attendance of a female patient, 29 years old, victim of loxoscelism and who underwent debridement and skin transplantation for repairing right forearm lesions while she was interned at a hospital. Afterwards, data were confronted with the literature about loxoscelism, burns and Physiotherapy after skin transplantation. It is concluded that the patients with lesions caused by loxoscelism, who need repairing surgeries, may benefit a lot from Physiotherapeutic attendance while still at hospital. Although, factors such as: the lesion’s location, the cicatrization period, the number and complexity of surgeries, may be decisive for this indication.
Full Text Available We compared fish diet composition between permanent (P and semi-permanent (SP pools in Petenes Biosphere Reserve (PBR, Campeche. A total of 445 gut contents were examined to determine stomach relative fullness (RF, fish diet as index of niche breadth (INB and diet overlap. In SP pools, species showed a RF of 1.66 (57.20 % empty stomachs whereas in P pools, the RF was 2.91 (31.16%. We classified fish diet into six trophic groups: detritivorous, herbivorous-detritivorous, insectivorous, piscivorous, omnivorous and malacophagous. Species in P pools were found to be specialist. Conversely, species present in both habitats shifted to generalist patterns. There was a 54.0% dissimilarity in fish diet composition between pools. From all items identified, detritus (21.33% of the total dissimilarity, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates (12.31%, fish remains (10.29%, plant remains (7.37%, and crustaceans (2.74% distinguished diets between pools. Significant diet overlaps (>0.6 and low INB values (0.5 were observed. In SP pools seasonality had a strong effect on fish diet, increasing the frequency of food items such as terrestrial insects, amphipods and arachnids, during the rainy season while P pools showed lower variation. Thus, fish trophic habits appear to be regulated by pools hydrology.
Gerdol, Marco; Puillandre, Nicolas; De Moro, Gianluca; Guarnaccia, Corrado; Lucafò, Marianna; Benincasa, Monica; Zlatev, Ventislav; Manfrin, Chiara; Torboli, Valentina; Giulianini, Piero Giulio; Sava, Gianni; Venier, Paola; Pallavicini, Alberto
We report the identification of a novel gene family (named MgCRP-I) encoding short secreted cysteine-rich peptides in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. These peptides display a highly conserved pre-pro region and a hypervariable mature peptide comprising six invariant cysteine residues arranged in three intramolecular disulfide bridges. Although their cysteine pattern is similar to cysteines-rich neurotoxic peptides of distantly related protostomes such as cone snails and arachnids, the different organization of the disulfide bridges observed in synthetic peptides and phylogenetic analyses revealed MgCRP-I as a novel protein family. Genome- and transcriptome-wide searches for orthologous sequences in other bivalve species indicated the unique presence of this gene family in Mytilus spp. Like many antimicrobial peptides and neurotoxins, MgCRP-I peptides are produced as pre-propeptides, usually have a net positive charge and likely derive from similar evolutionary mechanisms, that is, gene duplication and positive selection within the mature peptide region; however, synthetic MgCRP-I peptides did not display significant toxicity in cultured mammalian cells, insecticidal, antimicrobial, or antifungal activities. The functional role of MgCRP-I peptides in mussel physiology still remains puzzling.
Full Text Available "nAbstract "nBackground: Ticks are hematophagous arthropod belonging to the Class of Arachnids. Ticks are also one of the major vectors of pathogens to animal and human. This study was conducted to determine tick infestation rate of sheep in Abdanan during 2007–2008. "nMethods: Sampling was performed seasonally in 19 villages during spring 2007 until winter 2008. A total of 1095 sheep were selected and tested for tick infestation. After collection, all ticks were transported to laboratory of Medical Entomology and were identified with appropriate identification keys. "nResults: Totally, 864 hard ticks were collected. The ticks were classified into two genera and 5 species including: Hyalomma marginatum (44.67%, Hy. anatolicum (43.17%, Hy.asiaticum (6.37%, Hy. dromedarii (5.55%, Heamaphysalis sulcata (0.24%. The highest seasonal activity was observed in spring (36.46 % and the lowest seasonal was in winter (11.57%. The rate of tick frequency in mountainous region was 48.15% and it was 51.85% in plateau regions. In this study, tick infestation of sheep was 11.41%. "nConclusion: Hy.marginatum has the more frequent density in the study area. "n "nKeywords: Ticks, sheep, Iran
Full Text Available The Hexapoda is the most diverse clade of the history of life. They cannot be considered as the oldest terrestrial animals and the first Hexapoda were small apterous animals of the Devonian soil fauna, apparently not very diverse and “dominated” by myriapods and arachnids at that time. Things dramatically changed during the Early Carboniferous with the appearance and the expansion of the winged insects. This crucial innovation allowed this clade to diversify in a spectacular way in the Late Carboniferous. The main clades were already present at the end of this period, viz. Palaeoptera, “Polyneoptera”, Paraneoptera and Holometabola. The latter two groups became truly diverse and began to dominate the animal kingdom after the major Permo-Triassic biodiversity crisis. Nevertheless a causal link is difficult to establish between the two phenomena. After the Triassic, all insect orders are present and many modern families are as old as the Jurassic, a situation completely different from that of the terrestrial vertebrates. The last major change in the hexapods took place about 100 Ma ago, and may be linked with the mid-Cretaceous angiosperm diversification, but apparently not with the supposed major crisis of diversity at the end of the Cretaceous.
Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.
Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited. This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003-2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station-Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas. To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December-February) during the winters of 2003-2008 in transects (100 meter ? 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured during 2003
Pedro Luís Bernardo da Rocha; Blandina Felipe Viana; Márcio Zikán Cardoso; Amada Mariana Costa de Melo; Misonete Gueidneli Cavalcanti Costa; Rodrigo Nogueira de Vasconcelos; Tatiana Bichara Dantas
Eucalyptus plantations are increasing in Brazil,frequently replacing pastures,but there is still scarce information about its capacity to maintain the fauna of neighbor forest remnants.In this study,we compared descriptors of the communities of leaf litter organisms (lizards,anurans,myriapods,arachnids,orthopterans,coleopterans,and ants)between a large remnant of primary Atlantic Forest and an adjacent eucalyptus monoculture (phase 1).Then,we compared the same descriptors for leaf litter lizards and anurans,Euglossini bees,and frugivorous butterflies among the largest remnant,small remnants at intermediate regeneration stage,and eucalyptus monocultures that were not adjacent to the largest remnant (phase 2).Monocultures were sampled immediately before logging.In phase 1,we detected significant differences in structure between the forest and the monoculture in six out of seven communities sampled.Ca.81％ of the species of the landscape were recorded in the forest,but only 54％ of these were found also in the monoculture.In phase 2,the structure of two out of four forest communities was significantly different from the structure of small remnants and monocultures.On average,76％ of the species found in the whole landscape were sampled in the forest.Out of this subset,on average 74％ of the species were also sampled in small remnants and 68％ in monocultures.Findings of the present study point out a moderate capacity of eucalyptus monocultures to harbor species of the forest fauna even when fully grown but highlights the opportunity that they might offer for increasing connectivity in anthropogenic forest landscapes depending on their management.
Full Text Available Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug, considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems.
Arthropods (ISSN 2224-4255
Full Text Available Arthropods ISSN 2224-4255 URL: http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/arthropods/online-version.asp RSS: http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/arthropods/rss.xml E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief: WenJun Zhang Aims and Scope ARTHROPODS (ISSN 2224-4255 is an international journal devoted to the publication of articles on various aspects of arthropods, e.g., ecology, biogeography, systematics, biodiversity (species diversity, genetic diversity, et al., conservation, control, etc. The journal provides a forum for examining the importance of arthropods in biosphere (both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and human life in such fields as agriculture, forestry, fishery, environmental management and human health. The scope of Arthropods is wide and embraces all arthropods-insects, arachnids, crustaceans, centipedes, millipedes, and other arthropods. Articles/short communications on new taxa (species, genus, families, orders, etc. and new records of arthropods are particularly welcome. Authors can submit their works to the email box of this journal, email@example.com. All manuscripts submitted to this journal must be previously unpublished and may not be considered for publication elsewhere at any time during review period of this journal. Authors are asked to read Author Guidelines before submitting manuscripts. In addition to free submissions from authors around the world, special issues are also accepted. The organizer of a special issue can collect submissions (yielded from a research project, a research group, etc. on a specific research topic, or submissions of a scientific conference for publication of special issue.
Ardisson-Araújo, Daniel Mendes Pereira; Morgado, Fabrício Da Silva; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni; Corzo, Gerardo; Ribeiro, Bergmann Morais
Baculoviruses are the most studied insect viruses in the world and are used for biological control of agricultural and forest insect pests. They are also used as versatile vectors for expression of heterologous proteins. One of the major problems of their use as biopesticides is their slow speed to kill insects. Thus, to address this shortcoming, insect-specific neurotoxins from arachnids have been introduced into the baculovirus genome solely aiming to improve its virulence. In this work, an insecticide-like toxin gene was obtained from a cDNA derived from the venom glands of the theraphosid spider Brachypelma albiceps. The mature form of the peptide toxin (called Ba3) has a high content of basic amino acid residues, potential for three possible disulfide bonds, and a predicted three-stranded β-sheetDifferent constructions of the gene were engineered for recombinant baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nuclepolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) expression. Five different forms of Ba3 were assessed; (1) the full-length sequence, (2) the pro-peptide and mature region, (3) only the mature region, and the mature region fused to an (4) insect or a (5) virus-derived signal peptide were inserted separately into the genome of the baculovirus. All the recombinant viruses induced cell death by necrosis earlier in infection relative to a control virus lacking the toxin gene. However, the recombinant virus containing the mature portion of the toxin gene induced a faster cell death than the other recombinants. We found that the toxin construct with the signal peptide and/or pro-peptide regions delayed the necrosis phenotype. When infected cells were subjected to ultrastructural analysis, the cells showed loss of plasma membrane integrity and structural changes in mitochondria before death. Our results suggest this use of baculovirus is a potential tool to help understand or to identify the effect of insect-specific toxic peptides when produced during infection of insect cells. PMID
Renner, Susanne S
Descriptions and diagnoses are alternative choices in all Codes of Nomenclature because Linnaeus relied on diagnoses, not descriptions, to name ca. 13,400 animals, plants, and fungi. A diagnosis names characters in which a new taxon differs from the most similar known taxon; a description mixes taxonomically informative and uninformative features, usually without indicating which is which. The first formal diagnoses of new taxa that included DNA-based characters came out in 2001, and by November 2015, at least 98 names of species of acoels, lichens, angiosperms, annelids, alveolates, arachnids, centipedes, turtles, fishes, butterflies, mollusks, nematodes, and pathogenic fungi have been published based on diagnostic mitochondrial, plastid, or nuclear DNA substitutions, indels, or rarely genetic distances, with or without additional morphological features. Authors have found diverse ways to specify the diagnostic traits (all published studies are here tabulated). While descriptions try to "cover" within-species variation, a goal rarely accomplished because of (i) the stochastic nature of specimen availability (thousands of species are known from single collections) and (ii) the subjective circumscription of species, the purpose of diagnoses was and is speedy identification. Linnaeus tried to achieve this by citing images, geographic occurrence, and previous literature. The renewed attention to sharp diagnosis now coincides with worldwide barcoding efforts, may speed up formal naming, and matches the increasing reliance on DNA for both classification and identification. I argue for DNA-based diagnoses of new species becoming a recommendation in all Codes, not just the bacterial code. [Codes of Nomenclature; description; diagnosis; DNA-based diagnosis; naming new species; nomenclature.
The Cambrian fossil record of euarthropods (extant arachnids, myriapods, crustaceans, hexapods) has played a major role in understanding the origins of these successful animals and indicates that early ancestors underwent an evolutionary transition from soft-bodied taxa (lobopodians) to more familiar sclerotized forms with jointed appendages [1-3]. Recent advances in paleoneurology and developmental biology show that this major transformation is reflected by substantial changes in the head region of early euarthropods, as informed by the segmental affinity of the cephalic appendages [1, 4-6]. However, data on the implications of this reorganization for non-appendicular exoskeletal structures are lacking, given the difficulty of inferring the precise segmental affinities of these features. Here, I report neurological remains associated with the stalked eyes and "anterior sclerite" in the (middle Cambrian) Burgess Shale euarthropods Helmetia expansa and Odaraia alata and provide evidence that these features are associated with nerve traces originating from the anterior brain region, the protocerebrum. The position of the protocerebral ganglia in exceptionally preserved Cambrian euarthropods indicates the homology of the anterior sclerite in extinct groups (e.g., fuxianhuiids, bivalved forms, artiopodans [7, 8]) and allows new comparisons with the dorsal cephalic plate of radiodontans, large nektonic predators whose anterior segmental organization bears fundamental similarities to that of Paleozoic lobopodians [1, 6, 9, 10]. These observations allow reconstruction of the segmental architecture of the head region in the earliest sclerotized euarthropods and demonstrate the deep homology between exoskeletal features in an evolutionary continuum of taxa with distinct types of body organization.
Patil, Bhavani; Prabhu, Suphala; Rajashekhar, K P
Lyriform slits sense organs (LSSO) are a precise assembly of stress detecting cuticular slit sensilla found on the appendages of arachnids. While these structures on the legs of the wandering spider Cupennius salei are well studied in terms of morphology, function and contribution to behaviour, their distribution on pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders is not well explored. A study was therefore carried out to observe the distribution of LSSO on pedipalps and spinnerets of some spider species. Haplogyne spiders belonging to family Pholcidae have a simple complement of LSSOs represented by one or two LSSOs on their femur. The entelegyne spiders possess a complex assembly of LSSOs on the distal segments of their pedipalps. Various types of LSSOs are found on the pedipalps indicating a capacity for analysis of complex cuticular stress. It is suggested that the complexity of LSSOs on pedipalps of entel-egyne spiders relates to courtship and spermatophore transfer and may help in reproductive isolation. Lack of LSSOs on the distal segments of pedipalps leads us to infer that unlike legs, pedipalps are less likely to receive vibratory input through their distal segments. Spinnerets have a relatively simple complement of LSSOs. One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneid Argiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms of LSSOs on the spinnerets and LSSOs are simple in nature (type A), it is likely that spinning and weaving are not largely regulated by sensory input from LSSOs on the spinnerets.
Conti, F. D.; Menta, C.; Piovesan, G.
The contribution of soil organisms to ecosystem functions such as decomposition, nutrient recycling and the maintenance of physico-chemical properties is well recognised, as is the fact that soil fauna plays an important role in the formation and stabilisation of soil structure. The diversity of soil fauna includes a quarter of described living species, the majority of which are insects and arachnids. Soil fauna plays an essential role in forests and agro-ecosystems by maintaining their functionality and productivity. The aim of this study is to evaluate the biodiversity of soil microarthropods communities in different Italian beech forest. Particular attention is paid to the role of fossorial microarthropods in the maintenance of soil structure and in the organic matter movements. Three beech forests are studied, two located in the North and one in the Centre of Italy. Microarthropods are extracted from litter and soil with a Berlese-Tullgren funnel, identified to order level (class level for myriapods) and counted using a microscope. Relative order abundance and biodiversity are expressed using the Shannon-Weaver diversity index (H) and evenness index (J). Soil biological quality is expressed using the QBS-ar index and Acari/Collembola ratio. The results show a richness of microarthropods: several orders, till 19 different groups, are determined and identified. Acari and collembola are the main represented taxa and, especially in litter samples, pseudoscorpions, different specimens of diplopods (or millipedes) and chilopods (centipedes) are found. Thus the presence in particular of diplopods offers the possibility of studying fossorial microarthropods functions in detail. Furthermore, both in soil and in litter samples, adapted groups are recognized, such as pauropods, symphyla, proturans and diplurans, with specific morphological characteristics that these species suited to soil habitat. Therefore they attest a good level of soil quality and high natural value
Daniel Mendes Pereira Ardisson-Araújo
Full Text Available Baculoviruses are the most studied insect viruses in the world and are used for biological control of agricultural and forest insect pests. They are also used as versatile vectors for expression of heterologous proteins. One of the major problems of their use as biopesticides is their slow speed to kill insects. Thus, to address this shortcoming, insect-specific neurotoxins from arachnids have been introduced into the baculovirus genome solely aiming to improve its virulence. In this work, an insecticide-like toxin gene was obtained from a cDNA derived from the venom glands of the theraphosid spider Brachypelma albiceps. The mature form of the peptide toxin (called Ba3 has a high content of basic amino acid residues, potential for three possible disulfide bonds, and a predicted three-stranded β-sheetDifferent constructions of the gene were engineered for recombinant baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nuclepolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV expression. Five different forms of Ba3 were assessed; (1 the full-length sequence, (2 the pro-peptide and mature region, (3 only the mature region, and the mature region fused to an (4 insect or a (5 virus-derived signal peptide were inserted separately into the genome of the baculovirus. All the recombinant viruses induced cell death by necrosis earlier in infection relative to a control virus lacking the toxin gene. However, the recombinant virus containing the mature portion of the toxin gene induced a faster cell death than the other recombinants. We found that the toxin construct with the signal peptide and/or pro-peptide regions delayed the necrosis phenotype. When infected cells were subjected to ultrastructural analysis, the cells showed loss of plasma membrane integrity and structural changes in mitochondria before death. Our results suggest this use of baculovirus is a potential tool to help understand or to identify the effect of insect-specific toxic peptides when produced during infection of insect
Kartsev, V M
In general, there are no drastic differences in phenoptosis patterns in plant and animal organisms. However, there are some specific features characteristic for insects and other arthropods: 1) their development includes metamorphosis with different biochemical laws at consecutive developmental stages; 2) arthropods can reduce or stop development and aging when in a state of diapause or temporal cold immobility; 3) their life cycle often correlates with seasonal changes of surroundings; 4) polymorphism is widespread - conspecifics differ by their lifespans and phenoptosis features; 5) lifespan-related sexual dimorphism is common; 6) significant situational plasticity of life cycle organization is an important feature; for example, the German wasp (Paravespula germanica) is obligatorily univoltine in the temperate zone, while in tropical regions its lifespan increases and leads to repeated reproduction; 7) life cycles of closely related species may differ significantly, for example, in contrast to German wasp, some tropical hornets (Vespa) have only one reproduction period. Surprisingly, many insect species have been shown to be subjected to gradual aging and phenoptosis, like the highest mammals. However, queens of social insects and some long-lived arachnids can apparently be considered non-aging organisms. In some species, lifespan is limited to one season, while others live much longer or shorter. Cases of one-time reproduction are rather rare. Aphagia is common in insects (over 10,000 species). Cannibalism is an important mortality factor in insects as well as in spiders. In social insects, which exist only in colonies (families), the lifetime of a colony can be virtually unlimited. However, in case of some species the developmental cycle and death of a colony after its completion are predetermined. Most likely, natural selection in insects does not lengthen individual lifespan, but favors increase in reproduction efficiency based on fast succession of
Full Text Available Arthropods ISSN 2224-4255 URL: http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/arthropods/online-version.asp RSS: http://www.iaees.org/publications/journals/arthropods/rss.xml E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief: WenJun Zhang Aims and Scope ARTHROPODS (ISSN 2224-4255 is an international journal devoted to the publication of articles on various aspects of arthropods, e.g., ecology, biogeography, systematics, biodiversity (species diversity, genetic diversity, et al., conservation, control, etc. The journal provides a forum for examining the importance of arthropods in biosphere (both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and human life in such fields as agriculture, forestry, fishery, environmental management and human health. The scope of Arthropods is wide and embraces all arthropods-insects, arachnids, crustaceans, centipedes, millipedes, and other arthropods. Articles/short communications on new taxa (species, genus, families, orders, etc. and new records of arthropods are particularly welcome. Authors can submit their works to the email box of this journal, email@example.com. All manuscripts submitted to this journal must be previously unpublished and may not be considered for publication elsewhere at any time during review period of this journal. Authors are asked to read Author Guidelines before submitting manuscripts. In addition to free submissions from authors around the world, special issues are also accepted. The organizer of a special issue can collect submissions (yielded from a research project, a research group, etc. on a specific research topic, or submissions of a scientific conference for publication of special issue.
Zels, Sven; Dillen, Senne; Crabbé, Katleen; Spit, Jornt; Nachman, Ronald J; Vanden Broeck, Jozef
Sulfakinin (SK) is a sulfated insect neuropeptide that is best known for its function as a satiety factor. It displays structural and functional similarities with the vertebrate peptides gastrin and cholecystokinin. Peptidomic studies in multiple insects, crustaceans and arachnids have revealed the widespread occurrence of SK in the arthropod phylum. Multiple studies in hemi- and holometabolous insects revealed the pleiotropic nature of this neuropeptide: in addition to its activity as a satiety factor, SK was also reported to affect muscle contraction, digestive enzyme release, odor preference, aggression and metabolism. However, the main site of action seems to be the digestive system of insects. In this study, we have investigated whether SK can intervene in the control of nutrient uptake and digestion in the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria). We provide evidence that sulfakinin reduces food uptake in this species. Furthermore, we discovered that SK has very pronounced effects on the main digestive enzyme secreting parts of the locust gut. It effectively reduced digestive enzyme secretion from both the midgut and gastric caeca. SK injection also elicited a reduction in absorbance and proteolytic activity of the gastric caeca contents. The characteristic sulfation of the tyrosine residue is crucial for the observed effects on digestive enzyme secretion. In an attempt to provide potential leads for the development of peptidomimetic compounds based on SK, we also tested two mimetic analogs of the natural peptide ligand in the digestive enzyme secretion assay. These analogs were able to mimic the effect of the natural SK, but their effects were milder. The results of this study provide new insights into the action of SK on the digestive system in (hemimetabolous) insects.
Ronaldo Costa Argôlo-Filho
Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt has been used successfully as a biopesticide for more than 60 years. More recently, genes encoding their toxins have been used to transform plants and other organisms. Despite the large amount of research on this bacterium, its true ecology is still a matter of debate, with two major viewpoints dominating: while some understand Bt as an insect pathogen, others see it as a saprophytic bacteria from soil. In this context, Bt’s pathogenicity to other taxa and the possibility that insects may not be the primary targets of Bt are also ideas that further complicate this scenario. The existence of conflicting research results, the difficulty in developing broader ecological and genetics studies, and the great genetic plasticity of this species has cluttered a definitive concept. In this review, we gathered information on the aspects of Bt ecology that are often ignored, in the attempt to clarify the lifestyle, mechanisms of transmission and target host range of this bacterial species. As a result, we propose an integrated view to account for Bt ecology. Although Bt is indeed a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a broad arsenal for virulence and defense mechanisms, as well as a wide range of target hosts, this seems to be an adaptation to specific ecological changes acting on a versatile and cosmopolitan environmental bacterium. Bt pathogenicity and host-specificity was favored evolutionarily by increased populations of certain insect species (or other host animals, whose availability for colonization were mostly caused by anthropogenic activities. These have generated the conditions for ecological imbalances that favored dominance of specific populations of insects, arachnids, nematodes, etc., in certain areas, with narrower genetic backgrounds. These conditions provided the selective pressure for development of new hosts for pathogenic interactions, and so, host specificity of certain strains.
Arthropod-borne diseases are a major problem whenever outdoor activities bring arthropods and people into contact. The arthropods discussed here include arachnids (ticks) and insects. Most arthropod bites and stings are minor, with the notable exception being bee-sting anaphylaxis. Ticks cause the most disease transmission. Key hard tick vectors include black-legged (Ixodes), dog (Dermacentor), and lone star (Amblyomma) ticks, which transmit Lyme and various rickettsial diseases. Insect repellents, permethrin sprays, and proper tick inspection reduce this risk significantly. Lyme disease and the milder southern-tick-associated rash illness (STARI) are characterized by the erythema migrans rash followed, in the case of Lyme disease, by early, disseminated, and late systemic symptoms. Treatment is with doxycycline or ceftriaxone. Indefinite treatment of "chronic Lyme disease" based on subjective symptoms is not beneficial. Rickettsial diseases include ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which are characterized by fever, headache, and possible rash and should be empirically treated with doxycycline while awaiting laboratory confirmation. Tularemia is a bacterial disease (Francisella) spread by ticks and rabbits and characterized by fever and adenopathy. Treatment is with gentamicin or streptomycin. Babesiosis is a protozoal disease, mimicking malaria, that causes a self-limited flu-like disease in healthy hosts but can be life threatening with immune compromise. Treatment is with atovaquone and azithromycin. Other tick-related conditions include viral diseases (Powassan, Colorado tick fever, heartland virus), tick-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia), and tick paralysis (toxin). Mosquitoes, lice, fleas, and mites are notable for their annoying bites but are increasingly significant disease vectors even in the United States.
Ricardo R. Figueiredo
Full Text Available Forma de estudo: Clínico retrospectivo. Material e método: Foram reportados 56 casos de corpos estranhos animados em orelhas (55 insetos e 1 aracnídeo e 1 caso (inseto em fossas nasais. O material foi coletado no setor de Emergência do serviço de ORL do Hospital Municipal Souza Aguiar, no centro do Rio de Janeiro, entre os anos de 1998 e 2000, e identificado por zoólogos do Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro. A maior parte dos casos ocorreu em Nova Iguaçu e Campo Grande, sendo analisados os quadros clínicos e as complicações ocorridas. Resultado: Os insetos são: 30,35% Blattaria (baratas; 25% Diptera (moscas e mosquitos; 12,5% Lepidoptera (borboletas e mariposas; 10,7% Coleoptera (besouros; 7,15% Hemiptera (percevejos, cigarras, afídeos, etc., 5,35% Hymenoptera (vespas, abelhas, formigas, marimbondos e 5,31 % outros.Study design: Clinical retrospective. Material and method: Fufty-six cases of animated foreign bodies collected inside human ears (55 insects and 1 arachnid and one case collected in nasal fossae (insect were reported. The material was collected in the Emergency sector of Souza Aguiar Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro, between 1998 and 2000, and was identified by zoologists of Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro. Most of the cases had occurred in Nova Iguaçu and Campo Grande, suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. Clinical features and complications were analyzed. Results: The recorded insects are: 30,35% Blattaria (cockroaches; 25% Diptera (flies and mosquitos; 12,5% Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths; 10,7% Coleoptera (beetles; 7,15% Hemiptera (bugs, cicads, aphids, etc., 5,35% Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants, and sawflies and 5,31 % others.
Transcriptome Analysis of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Spider Cupiennius salei Reveals Multiple Putative Cys-Loop Ligand Gated Ion Channel Subunits and an Acetylcholine Binding Protein.
Päivi H Torkkeli
Full Text Available Invertebrates possess a diverse collection of pentameric Cys-loop ligand gated ion channel (LGIC receptors whose molecular structures, evolution and relationships to mammalian counterparts have been intensely investigated in several clinically and agriculturally important species. These receptors are targets for a variety of control agents that may also harm beneficial species. However, little is known about Cys-loop receptors in spiders, which are important natural predators of insects. We assembled de novo transcriptomes from the central and peripheral nervous systems of the Central American wandering spider Cupiennius salei, a model species for neurophysiological, behavioral and developmental studies. We found 15 Cys-loop receptor subunits that are expected to form anion or cation permeable channels, plus a putative acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP that has only previously been reported in molluscs and one annelid. We used phylogenetic and sequence analysis to compare the spider subunits to homologous receptors in other species and predicted the 3D structures of each protein using the I-Tasser server. The quality of homology models improved with increasing sequence identity to the available high-resolution templates. We found that C. salei has orthologous γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA, GluCl, pHCl, HisCl and nAChα LGIC subunits to other arthropods, but some subgroups are specific to arachnids, or only to spiders. C. salei sequences were phylogenetically closest to gene fragments from the social spider, Stegodyphus mimosarum, indicating high conservation within the Araneomorphae suborder of spiders. C. salei sequences had similar ligand binding and transmembrane regions to other invertebrate and vertebrate LGICs. They also had motifs associated with high sensitivity to insecticides and antiparasitic agents such as fipronil, dieldrin and ivermectin. Development of truly selective control agents for pest species will require information about
Becker, Jamie E; Brown, Christopher A
selection in other arachnids.
Ortega-Hernández, Javier; Janssen, Ralf; Budd, Graham E
The panarthropod head represents a complex body region that has evolved through the integration and functional specialization of the anterior appendage-bearing segments. Advances in the developmental biology of diverse extant organisms have led to a substantial clarity regarding the relationships of segmental homology between Onychophora (velvet worms), Tardigrada (water bears), and Euarthropoda (e.g. arachnids, myriapods, crustaceans, hexapods). The improved understanding of the segmental organization in panarthropods offers a novel perspective for interpreting the ubiquitous Cambrian fossil record of these successful animals. A combined palaeobiological and developmental approach to the study of the panarthropod head through deep time leads us to propose a consensus hypothesis for the intricate evolutionary history of this important tagma. The contribution of exceptionally preserved brains in Cambrian fossils - together with the recognition of segmentally informative morphological characters - illuminate the polarity for major anatomical features. The euarthropod stem-lineage provides a detailed view of the step-wise acquisition of critical characters, including the origin of a multiappendicular head formed by the fusion of several segments, and the transformation of the ancestral protocerebral limb pair into the labrum, following the postero-ventral migration of the mouth opening. Stem-group onychophorans demonstrate an independent ventral migration of the mouth and development of a multisegmented head, as well as the differentiation of the deutocerebral limbs as expressed in extant representatives. The anterior organization of crown-group Tardigrada retains several ancestral features, such as an anterior-facing mouth and one-segmented head. The proposed model aims to clarify contentious issues on the evolution of the panarthropod head, and lays the foundation from which to further address this complex subject in the future.
Rejâne Maria Lira-da-Silva
Full Text Available O trabalho apresenta um estudo retrospectivo de setenta e sete casos de latrodectismo no Estado da Bahia, Brasil, de agosto de 1980 a julho de 1990. Os dados foram levantados nos livros de registro e arquivo de fichas do CIAVE. O agente etiológico em 28% dos acidentes aracnídeos foi a espécie L. curacaviensis e a maior incidência foi registrada no meio urbano (57%, em indivíduos do sexo masculino (70% e faixa etária de 10 a 29 anos (58%. Os principais sinais locais foram dor (56%, pápula eritematosa (21% e edema discreto (17%, e os sistêmicos foram dor em membros inferiores (29%, tremores e contraturas (29%, sudorese (28% parestesia em membros (21% e dor abdominal (17%. O tratamento foi sintomático em 67% dos casos e específico em 21%. O tempo de permanência hospitalar após o uso do soro antilatrodectus foi menor que 24 horas em 64% dos casos.This work is a retrospective study of latrodectism in the State of Bahia, Brazil, from August 1980 to July 1990. The data concerning the accidents were obtained from file cards at the Antivenom Information Center of Bahia (AVICB. Latrodectus curacavienis was the ethiologic agent identified in 28% of the arachnid accidents. The major incidence was registered in urban area (57% affecting men (70% more than women, with 10 to 29year-old age group (58%. Local pain (56%, erythematous papula (29% and light oedema (17% were the principal local symptoms. Pain in the limbs (29%, tremor and rigidities (29%, sweating (28%, limbs and arms paresthesia (21% and abdominal pain (17% were systemic ones. The treatment was mainly symptomatic (67% and antivenin serum was used in 21% of the cases. After serotherapy, 64% of the patients left the hospital within less than 24 hours.
Camilo I Mattoni
Full Text Available Autotomy, the voluntary shedding or detachment of a body part at a determined cleavage plane, is a common anti-predation defense mechanism in several animal taxa, including arthropods. Among arachnids, autotomy has been observed in harvestmen, mites, and spiders, always involving the loss of legs. Autotomy of the opisthosoma (abdomen was recently reported in a single species of the Neotropical buthid scorpion genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891, but few details were revealed. Based on observations in the field and laboratory, examination of material in museum collections, and scanning electron microscopy, we document autotomy of the metasoma (the hind part of the opisthosoma, or 'tail' in fourteen species of Ananteris. Autotomy is more common in males than females, and has not been observed in juveniles. When the scorpion is held by the metasoma, it is voluntarily severed at the joints between metasomal segments I and II, II and III, or III and IV, allowing the scorpion to escape. After detachment, the severed metasoma moves (twitches automatically, much like the severed tail of a lizard or the severed leg of a spider, and reacts to contact, even attempting to sting. The severed surface heals rapidly, scar tissue forming in five days. The lost metasomal segments and telson cannot be regenerated. Autotomy of the metasoma and telson results in permanent loss of the posterior part of the scorpion's digestive system (the anus is situated posteriorly on metasomal segment V and the ability to inject venom by stinging. After autotomy, scorpions do not defecate and can only capture small prey items. However, males can survive and mate successfully for up to eight months in the laboratory. In spite of diminished predation ability after autotomy, survival allows males to reproduce. Autotomy in Ananteris therefore appears to be an effective, adaptive, anti-predation escape mechanism.
Fuzita, Felipe J; Pinkse, Martijn W H; Patane, José S L; Juliano, Maria A; Verhaert, Peter D E M; Lopes, Adriana R
, a large gene duplication of cathepsin L occurred in Arachnida with the sequences from ticks being completely divergent from other arachnids probably due to the particular selective pressures over this group.
Venancio, Emerson J; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre K; Carvalho, Daniela Cajado; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Tambourgi, Denise V
Tityus scorpion stings are an important public health problem in Brazil, where the incidence of such stings exceeds the incidence of the health problems caused by other venomous animals, including snakes. In this study, we have analysed specific enzymatic activities of the venom from the Brazilian scorpions of Tityus genus, i.e., Tityus serrulatus, Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus. The data presented here revealed that Tityus spp. venoms exhibited significant hyaluronidase activity but no phospholipase activity. All the venom samples exhibited the ability to hydrolyse Abz-FLRRV-EDDnp and dynorphin 1-13 substrates. These activities were inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline but not by PMSF, indicating the presence of metalloproteinases in the Tityus spp. venoms. The venom peptidase activity on Abz-FLRRV-EDDnp and on dynorphin 1-13 was partially inhibited by therapeutic Brazilian anti-scorpion and anti-arachnidic antivenoms. Dynorphin 1-13 (YGGFLRRIRPKLK) contains two scissile bonds between the residues Leu-Arg and Arg-Arg that are susceptible to cleavage by the Tityus venom metallopeptidase(s). Their cleavage releases leu-enkephalin, an important bioactive peptide. The detection of metalloproteinase(s) with specificity for both dynorphin 1-13 degradation and leu-enkephalin releasing can be important for the mechanistic understanding of hypotension and bradycardia induction in cases of scorpion stings, whereas hyaluronidases might contribute to the diffusion of the toxins present in these venoms. Furthermore, the limited inhibition of the toxic enzymatic activities by commercial antivenoms illustrates the necessity of improvements in current antivenom preparation.
Mattoni, Camilo I; García-Hernández, Solimary; Botero-Trujillo, Ricardo; Ochoa, José A; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés A; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo; Prendini, Lorenzo
Autotomy, the voluntary shedding or detachment of a body part at a determined cleavage plane, is a common anti-predation defense mechanism in several animal taxa, including arthropods. Among arachnids, autotomy has been observed in harvestmen, mites, and spiders, always involving the loss of legs. Autotomy of the opisthosoma (abdomen) was recently reported in a single species of the Neotropical buthid scorpion genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891, but few details were revealed. Based on observations in the field and laboratory, examination of material in museum collections, and scanning electron microscopy, we document autotomy of the metasoma (the hind part of the opisthosoma, or 'tail') in fourteen species of Ananteris. Autotomy is more common in males than females, and has not been observed in juveniles. When the scorpion is held by the metasoma, it is voluntarily severed at the joints between metasomal segments I and II, II and III, or III and IV, allowing the scorpion to escape. After detachment, the severed metasoma moves (twitches) automatically, much like the severed tail of a lizard or the severed leg of a spider, and reacts to contact, even attempting to sting. The severed surface heals rapidly, scar tissue forming in five days. The lost metasomal segments and telson cannot be regenerated. Autotomy of the metasoma and telson results in permanent loss of the posterior part of the scorpion's digestive system (the anus is situated posteriorly on metasomal segment V) and the ability to inject venom by stinging. After autotomy, scorpions do not defecate and can only capture small prey items. However, males can survive and mate successfully for up to eight months in the laboratory. In spite of diminished predation ability after autotomy, survival allows males to reproduce. Autotomy in Ananteris therefore appears to be an effective, adaptive, anti-predation escape mechanism.
Crisol-Martínez, Eduardo; Moreno-Moyano, Laura T; Wormington, Kevin R; Brown, Philip H; Stanley, Dragana
Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug), considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems.
Frank, J H; Lounibos, L P
Bromeliads are a Neotropical plant family (Bromeliaceae) with about 2,900 described species. They vary considerably in architecture. Many impound water in their inner leaf axils to form phytotelmata (plant pools), providing habitat for terrestrial arthropods with aquatic larvae, while their outer axils provide terraria for an assemblage of fully terrestrial arthropods. Many bromeliads are epiphytic.Dominant terrestrial arthropods with aquatic larvae inhabiting bromeliad phytotelmata are typically larvae of Diptera, of which at least 16 families have been reported, but in some circumstances are Coleoptera, of which only three families have been reported. Other groups include crabs and the insect orders Odonata, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, plus Hemiptera with adults active on the water surface. The hundreds of arthropod species are detritivores or predators and do not harm their host plants. Many of them are specialists to this habitat.Terrestrial arthropods with terrestrial larvae inhabiting bromeliad terraria include many more arachnid and insect orders, but relatively few specialists to this habitat. They, too, are detritivores or predators.Arthropod herbivores, especially Curculionidae (Coleoptera) and Lepidoptera, consume leaves, stems, flowers, pollen, and roots of bromeliads. Some herbivores consume nectar, and some of these and other arthropods provide pollination and even seed-dispersal.Ants have complex relationships with bromeliads, a few being herbivores, some guarding the plants from herbivory, and some merely nesting in bromeliad terraria. A few serve as food for carnivorous bromeliads, which also consume other terrestrial insects.Bromeliads are visited by far more species of arthropods than breed in them. This is especially notable during dry seasons, when bromeliads provide moist refugia.
Masta, Susan E.; Boore, Jeffrey L.
We sequenced the entire mitochondrial genome of the jumping spider Habronattus oregonensis of the arachnid order Araneae (Arthropoda: Chelicerata). A number of unusual features distinguish this genome from other chelicerate and arthropod mitochondrial genomes. Most of the transfer RNA gene sequences are greatly reduced in size and cannot be folded into typical cloverleaf-shaped secondary structures. At least nine of the tRNA sequences lack the potential to form TYC arm stem pairings, and instead are inferred to have TV-replacement loops. Furthermore, sequences that could encode the 3' aminoacyl acceptor stems in at least 10 tRNAs appear to be lacking, because fully paired acceptor stems are not possible and because the downstream sequences instead encode adjacent genes. Hence, these appear to be among the smallest known tRNA genes. We postulate that an RNA editing mechanism must exist to restore the 3' aminoacyl acceptor stems in order to allow the tRNAs to function. At least seven tRN As are rearranged with respect to the chelicerate Limulus polyphemus, although the arrangement of the protein-coding genes is identical. Most mitochondrial protein-coding genes of H. oregonensis have ATN as initiation codons, as commonly found in arthropod mtDNAs, but cytochrome oxidase subunit 2 and 3 genes apparently use UUG as an initiation codon. Finally, many of the gene sequences overlap one another and are truncated. This 14,381 bp genome, the first mitochondrial genome of a spider yet sequenced, is one of the smallest arthropod mitochondrial genomes known. We suggest that post transcriptional RNA editing can likely maintain function of the tRNAs while permitting the accumulation of mutations that would otherwise be deleterious. Such mechanisms may have allowed for the minimization of the spider mitochondrial genome.
White, Julian; Warrell, David; Eddleston, Michael; Currie, Bart J; Whyte, Ian M; Isbister, Geoffrey K
Clinical toxinology encompasses a broad range of medical conditions resulting from envenomation by venomous terrestrial and marine organisms, and also poisoning from ingestion of animal and plant toxins. Toxin-related disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in the tropical and subtropical continents. Snake bite is the single most important toxin-related disease, causing substantial mortality in many parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The most important snake families are Viperidae and Elapidae, causing a range of clinical effects including local necrosis, neurotoxicity, coagulopathy and hemorrhage, myotoxicity and renal toxicity. These effects vary according to geography and group of snake. Arachnid envenomation results mainly in morbidity, particularly scorpion stings which can cause severe systemic envenomation. Spider bite is far less of a problem, and the majority of medically important cases can be attributed to widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.) and recluse spiders (Loxosceles spp.). Marine-related envenomations are common, but severe effects are less so. Plant and mushroom poisoning occur in most parts of the world, but the types and methods of poisoning vary considerably between continents. Management of toxin-related disease is often difficult, and in many cases meticulous supportive care is all that is available. The mainstay of treatment is the use of antivenoms for many envenomations and poisoning, although these do not exist for all dangerous organisms. Unfortunately antivenoms are not an economically viable product, so development and manufacture of these agents have been limited. This is now further worsened by a current shortage of antivenom. There is a need for improvement in the preventionand management of toxin-related disease. This will require well-designed studies to define the extent of the problem, initiatives to improve the prevention and management of these conditions, and development of new
Cueva-Dabkoski, M.; Kavanaugh, D.
Between 1998 and 2007, the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) was the lead institution in a multi-national, multi-disciplinary biodiversity inventory project in the Gaoligong Shan region (GLGS) in the Yunnan province of China. The project surveyed the species diversity of both higher plants and bryophytes, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and selected groups of arachnids and insects. The GLGS of China is one of the most biodiverse areas in all of Asia, yet it is also very poorly sampled and in great threat from increasing human activities in the region. CAS's biodiversity inventory project there has increased the number of carabid species known from just 50 to more than 550 species, an eleven-fold increase. The task that remains is to identify all of those 500 additional species and describe any that are new to science. This project is part of that larger biodiversity survey. Our objective was to identify and/or describe carabid beetles of the tribe Cyclosomini represented by nearly a hundred specimens collected in the GLSG. Among those specimens, six morphospecies were identified - one belonging to the genus Cyclosomus Latreille 1829, and the other five belonging to the genus Tetragonoderus Dejean 1829. Following this initial identification process, a list of known distributions of taxa in both genera was assembled to determine which described species to consider for comparative work. Original descriptions were then located for candidate species with known distributions in or near the GLGS; and these are being used now in morphological comparison of specimens. Type specimens for each of the candidate species have been requested from various academic institutions, and morphological comparisons with these types are underway. Morphological characteristics being examined include body proportions and overall shape, color of appendages, color and shape of pronotum, elytral color patterns, and shape and internal structure of male genitalia.
Turner, F.B. (ed.)
Baseline ecological measurements and observations were made in 1978 and 1979 at the site of the Barstow pilot 10 MWe solar thermal power system. The station will be constructed on Southern California Edison's Coolwater property. The climate of the area is typical of the Mojave Desert, with high summer temperatures (monthly means of up to 31/sup 0/C), and low rainfall (annual mean of 94 mm). About 66% of the rain falls in winter and spring. About 75% of winds are from the west-southwest to northwest, and mean monthly wind velocities during spring and summer are around 15 to 20 km hr/sup -1/. Surface soils of the site are sandy, but soils below 3 m are generally well graded sand with some silt and gravel. Some of the soils are highly saline, to an extent precluding plant growth. All soils are alkaline, with pH values as high as 9. Over 130 species of plants have been identified on the site, 18 of which are non-native. Estimated aggregate densities of annual plants range from around 600 to almost 9000 m/sup -2/, depending on sampling locale. Aggregate densities of perennials (including herbaceous species) range from as low as 0.2 to 4.4 m/sup -2/. Creosotebush supports a varied assemblage of sap-feeding and defoliating insects, principally homopterans and orthopterans. Other shrubs are populated with hemipterans, mealybugs, thrips, phytophagous beetles and moth larvae. Common ground-dwelling species are ants, tenebrionid beetles, weevils, various orthopterans, and predatory arachnids. Some 300 different kinds of arthropods were distinguished in samples from the site. The most commonly trapped rodents were kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami, D. deserti), pocket mice (Perognathus formosus) and ground squirrels (Spermophilus tereticaudus). Over 60 kinds of birds were observed around the site, many associated with evaporating ponds adjoining the Coolwater Generating Station.
Rocha-E-Silva, Thomaz A A; Sutti, Rafael; Hyslop, Stephen
The theraphosid spider genus Vitalius contains several species found in southeastern Brazil. In this work, we used electrostimulation to obtain venom from Vitalius dubius and examined its general composition. Male spiders yielded significantly less (p venom (12.5 +/- 0.7 mg of liquid/spider, n = 16; mean +/- S.E.M.) than female spiders (25.5 +/- 2.0 mg of liquid/spider, n = 11). However, when corrected for spider weight, males yielded slightly more venom (2.89 +/- 0.16 mg/g vs. 2.45 +/- 0.76 mg/g for males and females, respectively, p Venom yield correlated linearly with spider weight for spiders weighing up to approximately 12-13 g, but decreased in very heavy females. There was a marked decrease in venom yield after the first milking. The protein concentration of pooled venom was 18.3 +/- 2.4 mg/ml (n = 4) and accounted for 16.6 +/- 4.7% of the dry venom weight. The venom contained high hyaluronidase activity (275 +/- 24 TRU/mg of protein, n = 4), with a molecular mass of approximately 45 kDa estimated by zymography. SDS-PAGE revealed a few proteins with molecular masses >14 kDa but showed two staining bands of peptides venom reacted in ELISA with affinity-purified IgG from commercial arachnidic antivenom. Immunoblotting with this IgG detected proteins of 30-140 kDa only. Fractionation of the venom by reverse-phase chromatography resulted in five major and eight minor peaks.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In practically every human culture, the use of arthropods as medicinal resources has been reported. In Mexico, the Mayan people mainly use plants but occasionally also animals and minerals in their medicine. This article is the first to report the traditional use of the tarantula Brachypelma vagans by medicine men in the Chol community, an ancient indigenous group that inhabits the southeastern part of Mexico. We also describe the utility of such arachnids in traditional medicine. Methods This study was carried out in different Chol communities in the states of Chiapas and Campeche (southeastern Mexico from 2003 until 2007. We interviewed the local medicine men, patients and non-Chol people in each village visited to collect information about the rituals involved and the effectiveness of this traditional medicine and also their opinion of this traditional medicine. Results In all independent villages, the people who present an illness called 'aire de tarantula' or tarantula wind with symptoms including chest pain, coughing and asthma, were treated by the medicine man (called 'hierbatero' with a tarantula-based beverage. From village to village, the beverage has a similar base composition but some variations occur in additional ingredients depending on the individual medicine man. Like in all traditional Mayan medicine, the ritual of the ceremony consists of drinking the tarantula-based beverage and this is principally accompanied by chants and burning of incense. Conclusions The recipe of the tarantula-based beverage and the procedure of this ritual ceremony were fairly constant in all the villages visited. Our work shows that despite the tarantula's bad image in several cultures, in others positive use is made of these spiders, as in modern medicine.
Schumacher, Verona; Poehling, Hans-Michael
Entomopathogenic fungi are widely used as biological control agents against a broad range of insect and arachnid pests. However, the control efficacy of entomopathogenic fungi is variable because of unfavourable and fluctuating environmental conditions and intrinsic factors. One strategy to enhance entomopathogenic fungi efficacy is a combined use of entomopathogenic fungi and low dosages of pesticides. These sub-lethal dosages of chemicals can increase the control efficiency of entomopathogenic fungi but only if they do not affect the fungi. Adverse effects could include the inhibition of germination and/or vegetative growth as well as conidiogenesis. The present study investigated the in vitro effects of different concentrations of fipronil, permethrin, imidacloprid, NeemAzal, and amitraz as potential candidates for combined applications on two strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (MA). MA was inoculated on a medium amended with five different concentrations (0.32-200 ppm) of the abovementioned pesticides. The germination, vegetative growth, and sporulation were evaluated. The results showed, according to a physiology parameter compatibility classification, that all pesticides were compatible with both tested MA strains. Only fipronil in the higher dose rates of 40 and 200 ppm was close to moderately toxic to MA-7. Furthermore, only higher concentrations of the pesticides caused a slight inhibition (about 15%) of conidial germination and a reduction in colony size. Sporulation was reduced at most by approximately 50% by 40 or 200 ppm of fipronil or amitraz, respectively. Therefore, it is possible to use the tested pesticides in combination with either strain of MA for an integrated pest management approach. Studies on the effect of these combinations on target organisms are in progress.
García-Gómez, B I; Coronas, F I V; Restano-Cassulini, R; Rodríguez, R R; Possani, L D
This communication describes the first general biochemical, molecular and functional characterization of the venom from the Cuban blue scorpion Rhopalurus junceus, which is often used as a natural product for anti-cancer therapy in Cuba. The soluble venom of this arachnid is not toxic to mice, injected intraperitoneally at doses up to 200 μg/20 g body weight, but it is deadly to insects at doses of 10 μg per animal. The venom causes typical alpha and beta-effects on Na+ channels, when assayed using patch-clamp techniques in neuroblastoma cells in vitro. It also affects K+ currents conducted by ERG (ether-a-go-go related gene) channels. The soluble venom was shown to display phospholipase, hyaluronidase and anti-microbial activities. High performance liquid chromatography of the soluble venom can separate at least 50 components, among which are peptides lethal to crickets. Four such peptides were isolated to homogeneity and their molecular masses and N-terminal amino acid sequence were determined. The major component (RjAa12f) was fully sequenced by Edman degradation. It contains 64 amino acid residues and four disulfide bridges, similar to other known scorpion toxins. A cDNA library prepared from the venomous glands of one scorpion allowed cloning 18 genes that code for peptides of the venom, including RjA12f and eleven other closely related genes. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic reconstruction of the amino acid sequences deduced from the cloned genes showed that this scorpion contains sodium channel like toxin sequences clearly segregated into two monophyletic clusters. Considering the complex set of effects on Na+ currents verified here, this venom certainly warrant further investigation.
Kury, Adriano B
A review of the names used in the arachnid order Opiliones above superfamily level is presented. Many historical branching patterns of Opiliones (for five terminals), of Laniatores (for six terminals), and of Cyphophthalmi (for six terminals) are extrapolated, compared and graphically displayed. For the first time a historical review is made of the circumscriptions of those names and comparisons are drawn to current usage. Critical clades are used as terminals and represented by the oldest valid generic name of each. Comments are made on the variant usage for 25 suprafamilial names from the literature. Cladistic definitions are provided for these names under relevant hypotheses of phylogeny. It is noted that virtually all important suprafamilial names in Opiliones changed concept over time, and the purpose of this project is to clarify the original usage compared to current, and to add historical perspective. Two options are considered for higher-level nomenclature in Opiliones: (1) a circumscriptional option, sticking to the original inclusion of the names; (2) an inertial option, where no name has priority, and follows recent use in the literature. As there is no priority for names not regulated by ICZN, option 2 prevails, because it entails massive momentum. The following new names are introduced as unranked taxa to define clades under different hypotheses of phylogeny: Tricospilata (= Triaenonychidae + Grassatores), Lomaniatores (Laniatores in the restricted sense used by Loman/Pocock), and Eulaniatores (Laniatores excluding the bizarre Synthetonychiidae). Some of the hypotheses implied by these names are conflicting and mutually exclusive, but the state of knowledge of harvestman taxonomy is quickly changing, and no hypothesis that clearly supersedes the others can be detected.
Clarke, Laurence J; Soubrier, Julien; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan
Studies of insect assemblages are suited to the simultaneous DNA-based identification of multiple taxa known as metabarcoding. To obtain accurate estimates of diversity, metabarcoding markers ideally possess appropriate taxonomic coverage to avoid PCR-amplification bias, as well as sufficient sequence divergence to resolve species. We used in silico PCR to compare the taxonomic coverage and resolution of newly designed insect metabarcodes (targeting 16S) with that of existing markers [16S and cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI)] and then compared their efficiency in vitro. Existing metabarcoding primers amplified in silico mitochondrial genomes available, whereas new primers targeting 16S provided >90% coverage. Furthermore, metabarcodes targeting COI appeared to introduce taxonomic PCR-amplification bias, typically amplifying a greater percentage of Lepidoptera and Diptera species, while failing to amplify certain orders in silico. To test whether bias predicted in silico was observed in vitro, we created an artificial DNA blend containing equal amounts of DNA from 14 species, representing 11 insect orders and one arachnid. We PCR-amplified the blend using five primer sets, targeting either COI or 16S, with high-throughput amplicon sequencing yielding more than 6 million reads. In vitro results typically corresponded to in silico PCR predictions, with newly designed 16S primers detecting 11 insect taxa present, thus providing equivalent or better taxonomic coverage than COI metabarcodes. Our results demonstrate that in silico PCR is a useful tool for predicting taxonomic bias in mixed template PCR and that researchers should be wary of potential bias when selecting metabarcoding markers.
Bhavani Patil; Suphala Prabhu; K P Rajashekhar
Lyriform slits sense organs (LSSO) are a precise assembly of stress detecting cuticular slit sensilla found on the appendages of arachnids. While these structures on the legs of the wandering spider Cupennius salei are well studied in terms of morphology, function and contribution to behaviour, their distribution on pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders is not well explored. A study was therefore carried out to observe the distribution of LSSO on pedipalps and spinnerets of some spider species. Haplogyne spiders belonging to family Pholcidae have a simple complement of LSSOs represented by one or two LSSOs on their femur. The entelegyne spiders possess a complex assembly of LSSOs on the distal segments of their pedipalps. Various types of LSSOs are found on the pedipalps indicating a capacity for analysis of complex cuticular stress. It is suggested that the complexity of LSSOs on pedipalps of entelegyne spiders relates to courtship and spermatophore transfer and may help in reproductive isolation. Lack of LSSOs on the distal segments of pedipalps leads us to infer that unlike legs, pedipalps are less likely to receive vibratory input through their distal segments. Spinnerets have a relatively simple complement of LSSOs. One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneid Argiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms of LSSOs on the spinnerets and LSSOs are simple in nature (type A), it is likely that spinning and weaving are not largely regulated by sensory input from LSSOs on the spinnerets.
Felipe J Fuzita
detected. Evolutionarily, a large gene duplication of cathepsin L occurred in Arachnida with the sequences from ticks being completely divergent from other arachnids probably due to the particular selective pressures over this group.
A percepção de animais como “insetos” e sua utilização como recursos medicinais na cidade de Feira de Santana, Estado da Bahia, Brasil - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v26i2.1612 The perception of animals as “insects” and their use as medicinal resources in the city of Feira de Santana, state of Bahia, Brazil - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v26i2.1612
Janete Jane Resende
Full Text Available Este artigo trata da utilização medicinal de animais reconhecidos como “insetos” por feirantes do Centro de Abastecimento de Feira de Santana, Bahia. Os dados foram obtidos por meio de entrevistas abertas realizadas com dez feirantes de ambos os sexos. Registram-se 18 animais categorizados como “insetos” que são utilizados na medicina popular local e estão representados por insetos, répteis, anfíbios e aracnídeos. Deles, são extraídas matérias-primas utilizadas na elaboração de remédios populares prescritos para o tratamento de diferentes doenças. Esses remédios são administrados especialmente sob a forma de chás. O uso disseminado e constante de remédios à base de animais permite supor que substâncias de valor medicinal desconhecidas pela ciência ocidental possam estar presentes em seus corpos. O potencial zooterápico desses recursos animais torna-se significativo para programas de saúde pública adequados à cultura local, bem como abre perspectivas para a valorização econômica e cultural de animais considerados prejudiciaisThe present article deals with the medicinal use of animals, referred to as “insects” by men and women actuating in Centro de Abastecimento, located in the city of Feira de Santana, state of Bahia. Data were obtained through open interviews, conducted with ten marketers. Eighteen animals categorized as “insects” were recorded. They were, actually, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids. The extracted raw materials are used in the elaboration of folk remedies, which are prescribed for the treatment of different illnesses. It was observed that animalbased medicines are administered usually as teas. The very disseminated and recurrent use of animal-based medicines allows the supposition that medicinally useful chemicals, yet unknown to the Western science, may be present in their bodies. The zootherapeutic potential of these resources is significant for public health programs
Zacaï, Axelle; Vannier, Jean; Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy
The feeding ecology of the 505-million-year-old arthropod Sidneyia inexpectans from the middle Cambrian (Series 3, Stage 5) Burgess Shale fauna (British Columbia, Canada) is revealed by three lines of evidence: the structure of its digestive system, the fossilized contents of its gut and the functional anatomy of its appendages. The digestive tract of Sidneyia is straight, tubular and relatively narrow in the trunk region. It is enlarged into a pear-shaped area in the cephalic region and stretches notably to form a large pocket in the abdomen. The mouth is ventral, posteriorly directed and leads to the midgut via a short tubular structure interpreted as the oesophagus. Anteriorly, three pairs of glands with internal, branching tubular structures open into the digestive tract. These glands have equivalents in various Cambrian arthropod taxa (e.g. naraoiids) and modern arthropods. Their primary function was most likely to digest and assimilate food. The abdominal pocket of Sidneyia concentrates undigested skeletal elements and various residues. It is interpreted here as the functional analogue of the stercoral pocket of some extant terrestrial arachnids (e.g. Araneae, Solifugae), whose primary function is to store food residuals and excretory material until defecation. Analysis of the gut contents indicates that Sidneyia fed largely on small ptychopariid trilobites, brachiopods, possibly agnostids, worms and other undetermined animals. Sidneyia was primarily a durophagous carnivore with predatory and/or scavenging habits, feeding on small invertebrates that lived at the water-sediment interface. There is no evidence for selective feeding. Its food items (e.g. living prey or dead material) were grasped and manipulated ventrally by its anterior appendages, then macerated into ingestible fragments and conveyed to the mouth via the converging action of strong molar-like gnathobases. Digestion probably took place within the anterior midgut via enzymes secreted in the
Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo
Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil
Hesler, Louis S
Soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a major pest of soybean in northern production regions of North America, and insecticides have been the primary management approach while alternative methods are developed. Knowledge of arthropod natural enemies and their impact on soybean aphid is critical for developing biological control as a management tool. Soybean is a major field crop in South Dakota, but information about its natural enemies and their impact on soybean aphid is lacking. Thus, this study was conducted in field plots in eastern South Dakota during July and August of 2004 and 2005 to characterize foliar-dwelling, arthropod natural enemies of soybean aphid, and it used exclusion techniques to determine impact of natural enemies and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on soybean aphid densities. In open field plots, weekly soybean aphid densities reached a plateau of several hundred aphids per plant in 2004, and peaked at roughly 400 aphids per plant in 2005. Despite these densities, a relatively high frequency of aphid-infested plants lacked arthropod natural enemies. Lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were most abundant, peaking at 90 and 52% of all natural enemies sampled in respective years, and Harmonia axyridis Pallas was the most abundant lady beetle. Green lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) were abundant in 2005, due mainly to large numbers of their eggs. Abundances of arachnids and coccinellid larvae correlated with soybean aphid densities each year, and chrysopid egg abundance was correlated with aphid density in 2005. Three-week cage treatments of artificially infested soybean plants in 2004 showed that noncaged plants had fewer soybean aphids than caged plants, but abundance of soybean aphid did not differ among open cages and ones that provided partial or total exclusion of natural enemies. In 2005, plants within open cages had fewer soybean aphids than those within cages that excluded natural enemies, and aphid
本文是《广西壮族自治区畜禽寄生虫名录》的补遗与修订，收载了广西畜禽体内外寄生虫共计518种，隶属于7门，10纲，25目。它们包括：鞭毛虫2科，2属，2种；类锥体虫2科，4 属，46种；无类锥体虫2科，2属，4种；纤毛虫1科，1属，1种；吸虫16科，38属，95种;绦虫6科，24属，42种；线虫30科，65属，136种，棘头虫3科，3属，5种；蜱螨7科，13属，25 种；昆虫19科，38属，162种。%This paper is corrections and additions to “A list of parasites for livestock and po ultry in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region”.Up to the present,a grand total of 5 18 species of parasites have been recorded.They belong to 25 orders,10 classes,7 phyla,which include:2 species,2 genera,2 families of mastigote;46 species,4 gen era,2 families of conoide;4 species,2 genera,2 families of aconoide;1 species,1 genus,1 family of cliliate;95 species,38 genera,16 families of tremat ode;42 species,24 genera,6 families of cestode;136 species,64 genera,30 familiea of nematode;5 species,3 genera,3 families of acanthocephalan;25 species,13 gene ra,7 families of arachnid;162 species,38 genera,19 families of insect.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Oxygen transport in the hemolymph of many arthropod species is facilitated by large copper-proteins referred to as hemocyanins. Arthropod hemocyanins are hexamers or oligomers of hexamers, which are characterized by a high O2 transport capacity and a high cooperativity, thereby enhancing O2 supply. Hemocyanin subunit sequences had been available from horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura and various spiders (Araneae, but not from any other chelicerate taxon. To trace the evolution of hemocyanins and the emergence of the large hemocyanin oligomers, hemocyanin cDNA sequences were obtained from representatives of selected chelicerate classes. Results Hemocyanin subunits from a sea spider, a scorpion, a whip scorpion and a whip spider were sequenced. Hemocyanin has been lost in Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, Solifugae and Acari, which may be explained by the evolution of trachea (i.e., taxon Apulmonata. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis was used to reconstruct the evolution of hemocyanin subunits and a relaxed molecular clock approach was applied to date the major events. While the sea spider has a simple hexameric hemocyanin, four distinct subunit types evolved before Xiphosura and Arachnida diverged around 470 Ma ago, suggesting the existence of a 4 × 6mer at that time. Subsequently, independent gene duplication events gave rise to the other distinct subunits in each of the 8 × 6mer hemocyanin of Xiphosura and the 4 × 6mer of Arachnida. The hemocyanin sequences were used to infer the evolutionary history of chelicerates. The phylogenetic trees support a basal position of Pycnogonida, a sister group relationship of Xiphosura and Arachnida, and a sister group relationship of the whip scorpions and the whip spiders. Conclusion Formation of a complex hemocyanin oligomer commenced early in the evolution of euchelicerates. A 4 × 6mer hemocyanin consisting of seven subunit types is conserved in most arachnids since more than 400 Ma, although some
Farley Roger D
Full Text Available Abstract Background Near the end of the nineteenth century the hypothesis was presented for the homology of book lungs in arachnids and book gills in the horseshoe crab. Early studies with the light microscope showed that book gill lamellae are formed by outgrowth and possibly some invagination (infolding of hypodermis (epithelium from the posterior surface of opisthosomal limb buds. Scorpion book lungs are formed near the bilateral sites of earlier limb buds. Hypodermal invaginations in the ventral opisthosoma result in spiracles and sac-like cavities (atria. In early histological sections of embryo book lungs, widening of the atrial entrance of some lamellae (air channels, air sacs, saccules was interpreted as an indication of invagination as hypothesized for book gill lamellae. The hypodermal infolding was thought to produce the many rows of lamellar precursor cells anterior to the atrium. The ultrastructure of scorpion book lung development is compared herein with earlier investigations of book gill formation. Results In scorpion embryos, there is ingression (inward migration of atrial hypodermal cells rather than invagination or infolding of the atrial hypodermal layer. The ingressing cells proliferate and align in rows anterior to the atrium. Their apical-basal polarity results in primordial air channels among double rows of cells. The cuticular walls of the air channels are produced by secretion from the apical surfaces of the aligned cells. Since the precursor cells are in rows, their secreted product is also in rows (i.e., primordial air channels, saccules. For each double row of cells, their opposed basal surfaces are gradually separated by a hemolymph channel of increasing width. Conclusions The results from this and earlier studies show there are differences and similarities in the formation of book lung and book gill lamellae. The homology hypothesis for these respiratory organs is thus supported or not supported depending on which
Farley Roger D
Full Text Available Abstract Background The transmission electron microscope (TEM is used for the first time to study the development of book gills in the horseshoe crab. Near the end of the nineteenth century the hypothesis was presented for homology and a common ancestry for horseshoe crab book gills and arachnid book lungs. The present developmental study and the author's recent ones of book gills (SEM and scorpion book lungs (TEM are intended to clarify early histological work and provide new ultrastructural details for further research and for hypotheses about evolutionary history and relationships. Results The observations herein are in agreement with earlier reports that the book gill lamellae are formed by proliferation and evagination of epithelial cells posterior to opisthosomal branchial appendages. A cartilage-like endoskeleton is produced in the base of the opisthosomal appendages. The lamellar precursor cells in the appendage base proliferate, migrate outward and secrete the lamellar cuticle from their apical surface. A series of external, posteriorly-directed lamellae is formed, with each lamella having a central channel for hemolymph and pillar-type space holders formed from cells of the opposed walls. This repeated, page-like pattern results also in water channels (without space holders between the sac-like hemolymph lamellae. Conclusions The developmental observations herein and in an earlier study (TEM of scorpion book lungs show that the lamellae in book gills and book lungs result from some similar activities and features of the precursor epithelial cells: proliferation, migration, alignment and apical/basal polarity with secretion of cuticle from the apical surface and the basal surface in contact with hemolymph. These cellular similarities and the resulting book-like structure suggest a common ancestry, but there are also substantial developmental differences in producing these organs for gas exchange in the different environments, aqueous
Roy, Grégory; Wateau, Karine; Legrand, Mickaël; Oste, Sandrine
Several arthropods are natural predators of pests, and they are able to reduce and control their population development. FREDON Nord Pas-de-Calais (Federation Regionate de Defense contre les Organismes Nuisibles = Regional Federation for Pest Control) has begun for a long time to form farmers to the recognition of beneficial arthropods and to show them their usefulness. These beneficial insects or arachnids are present everywhere, in orchards and even in fields which are areas relatively poor in biodiversity. Adults feed in the flower strips instead larvae and some adults feed on preys such as aphids or caterpillars. Most of the time, beneficial insects can regulate pest but sometimes, in agricultural area, they can't make it early enough and efficiently. Their action begin too late and there biodiversity and number are too low. It's possible to enhance their action by manipulating the ecological infrastructures, like sewing flower strips or installing refuges. Flower strips increase the density of natural enemies and make them be present earlier in the field in order to control pests. Refuges permit beneficial's to spend winter on the spot. So they're able to be active and to grow in number earlier. From 2004 to 2007, on the one hand, FREDON Nord Pas-de-Calais has developed a research program. Its purpose was to inventory practices and also tools and means available and to judge the advisability of using such or such beneficial refuge in orchards. On the second hand, it studied the impact in orchard of refuges on population of beneficial's and the difference there were between manufactured refuges and homemade refuges. Interesting prospects were obtained with some of them. Otherwise, since 2003, FREDON has studied flower strips influence on beneficial population and their impact on pest control. In cabbage fields, results of trials have shown that flower strips lead to a reduction of aphid number under acceptable economic level, up to 50 meters from flower strips
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The frequency of accidental spider bites in Brazil is growing, and poisoning due to bites from the spider genus Phoneutria nigriventer is the second most frequent source of such accidents. Intense local pain is the major symptom reported after bites of P. nigriventer, although the mechanisms involved are still poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the mechanisms involved in nociception triggered by the venom of Phoneutria nigriventer (PNV. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty microliters of PNV or PBS was injected into the mouse paw (intraplantar, i.pl.. The time spent licking the injected paw was considered indicative of the level of nociception. I.pl. injection of PNV produced spontaneous nociception, which was reduced by arachnid antivenin (ArAv, local anaesthetics, opioids, acetaminophen and dipyrone, but not indomethacin. Boiling or dialysing the venom reduced the nociception induced by the venom. PNV-induced nociception is not dependent on glutamate or histamine receptors or on mast cell degranulation, but it is mediated by the stimulation of sensory fibres that contain serotonin 4 (5-HT4 and vanilloid receptors (TRPV1. We detected a kallikrein-like kinin-generating enzyme activity in tissue treated with PNV, which also contributes to nociception. Inhibition of enzymatic activity or administration of a receptor antagonist for kinin B2 was able to inhibit the nociception induced by PNV. PNV nociception was also reduced by the blockade of tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na(+ channels, acid-sensitive ion channels (ASIC and TRPV1 receptors. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Results suggest that both low- and high-molecular-weight toxins of PNV produce spontaneous nociception through direct or indirect action of kinin B2, TRPV1, 5-HT4 or ASIC receptors and voltage-dependent sodium channels present in sensory neurons but not in mast cells. Understanding the mechanisms involved in nociception caused by PNV are of
Lizandra Lucy Catelli
Full Text Available Arachnids make up an exclusive predator group. Eating habit makes the arthropods to move around in search for hunting or building traps with silk threads. In order to know the araneofauna of the Godoy’s Forest State Park, pitfall-like traps were installed inside the forest, edge and adjacent area predominantly grassy. Collections were carried out fortnightly, in the period of a year, separating what was collected during the day and during the night. One hundred and twenty-one individuals were collected, belonging to 18 families where Lycosidae and Theridiidae were the most abundant, although Lyniphiidae family has prevailed in the forest area. Young individuals prevailed. It is concluded that the highest frequency and abundance of young individuals may be directly related to its dispersal and spiders belonging to the Lycosidae, Zoridae and Theridiidae families, being able to be used as bioindicators. Os aracnídeos compõem um grupo exclusivamente predador. O hábito alimentar faz com que o artropoda locomova-se em busca da caça ou construa armadilhas com fios de seda. Buscando conhecer a araneofauna do Parque Estadual Mata dos Godoy, foram instaladas armadilhas tipo ptiffal dentro da mata, borda e área adjacente, com vegetação predominantemente formada por gramíneas. As coletas eram realizadas quinzenalmente, no período de um ano, separando o coletado em diurno e noturno. Foram coletados 121 indivíduos, pertencentes a 18 famílias, das quais as famílias Lycosidae e Theridiidae foram as mais abundantes, embora a família Lyniphiidae tenha predominado na área de mata. Houve maior freqüência de indivíduos jovens. Conclui-se que a maior freqüência e abundância de indivíduos jovens pode estar diretamente relacionada a sua dispersão e, além disso, as aranhas pertencentes as famílias Lycosidae, Zoridae e Theridiidae, podem ser utilizadas como bioindicadores.
Basili, M.; Cioci, C.; Cocco, S.; Agnelli, A.; di Peco, D.; Ferraris, P.; Corti, G.
The effects of the global climate change on the soil organic matter (SOM) are still open to debate. Many studies hypothesize an increase of the CO2 fluxes from the soil following the rise of air temperature, especially for the high latitude soils where the low temperatures have a protective effect on the SOM, holding the mineralization reactions back. We studied the feedback between soil and climate change in the Mediterranean environments, on patterned ground soils and soils developed from glacial lacustrine sediments found in the high-elevated areas (2500 m a.s.l.) of Majella massif (Central Apennines, Italy). Here, several profiles were opened and the soil described and sampled according to the recognized horizons. The samples were characterised according to the routine analyses and the SOM extracted according to the International Humic Substances Society protocol. The obtained humic and fulvic acids were characterised for elemental composition and by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Further, the basal respiration at 5°C, 20°C and 30°C for 20 days was determined on the samples collected from the superficial horizon of each soil. The extracted humic substances showed a particular composition, being mostly comprised of proteinaceous residues (amides II and III), polysaccarides, and esters and aliphatic compounds. This unusual chemical structure and the paucity of vegetation in the study area could support the hypothesis of a mainly soil animal origin of the SOM, probably due to residues of insects, arachnids and arthropods. In fact, the species belonging to these Orders are abundant in these ecosystems and, further, are often characterised by the presence of compounds, such as glycerine and glycoproteins, in their organic fluids that act as antifreezing systems. The basal respiration experiments indicated that the soil microbial community was active at 5°C, while at 20°C or 30°C rather no respiration occurred; further, after 20 days at both
Pseudoescorpiões (Arachnida da vegetação de sub-bosque da floresta primária tropical de terra firme (Coari, Amazonas, Brasil Pseudoscorpions (Aracnida in the undergrowth vegetetion in dryland forest in Coari, Amazonas, Brazil
Nair Otaviano Aguiar
Full Text Available Foi encontrada uma riqueza de 15 espécies de pseudoscorpiões, de 12 gêneros e 5 famílias (Chthoniidae, Geogarypidae, Olpiidae, Atemnidae e Chernetidae, habitando diferentes plantas da vegetação do sub-bosque, em floresta primária de terra firme, no alto rio Urucu, Coari, Amazonas, no período de 1991 a 1996. As plantas foram examinadas pelo método de "bateção". Apolpium aff. vastum foi à espécie mais freqüente e abundante sobre as plantas. Dentre os tipos de plantas avaliados, as maiores diversidades de espécies de pseudoscorpiões foram registradas nas pequenas palmeiras, tanto com fronde junto ao chão, como elevada acima do chão. A análise da composição das espécies que ocorreram sobre os diferentes tipos de plantas avaliadas foi realizada pelo "modo-Q", tendo como base a matriz de coeficientes de similaridade de "Jaccard", o que demonstrou maior similaridade entre a fauna das palmeiras e outras plantas que acumulam detritos acima do chão, entre as bromélias e entre aráceas de chão e outras plantas que acumulam detritos junto ao chão.A richness of 15 pseudoscorpion species, 12 genera belonging to 5 families (Chthoniidae, Geogarypidae, Olpiidae, Atemnidae and Chernetidae were found in the undergrowth vegetation of the dryland forest, at the upper Urucu river, Coari, Amazonas, from 1991 to 1996, and was collected by the "beating tray" method. Apolpium aff. vastum was the most frequent and abundant species in the undergrowth forest vegetation. Among the various types of plants examined, the majority of the pseudoscorpions occurred in small palms (in the ground-trenched palms as much as the erect stemmed palms. To appraise the specie's composition of these arachnids found in the different kinds of plants, the Q-mode analysis was used based on Jaccard's similarity coefficients. The coefficients that showed the greatest similarity were between the fauna of the palms and other plants that accumulate litter on top of the
Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.
The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences
Juan Carlos GARCIA-R
Full Text Available We studied the diet of 15 montane frog species of the genus Pristimantis (Craugastoridae from the Andes of Western Colombia to determine the diet range, breadth of niche and overlap among species. We identified 499 prey items from stomach and intestinal contents of 154 specimens. Prey items were included in 74 different categories. The most common 15 prey categories accounted for 65 % of all frogs’ diet. The invertebrate families Isotomidae, Chironomidae, Formicidae, and Tipulidae were the most abundant categories and accounted for 32 % of the frogs’ diet. Ten of the 15 frog species were found with at least one item of Araneae. Coleoptera and Tipulidae were found in nine frog species, and Acari and Carabidae in eight frog species. In general, beetles were found in gastrointestinal tracts of all species examined, except for P. quantus, but interpretation needs caution because only one individual of this species was caught. Pristimantis hectus showed a specialized diet, consuming mainly dipterans of the family Chironomidae, while the remaining species showed a generalist diet. Pristimantis palmeri showed niche overlap with P. erythropleura (Фjk = 0.69, P. myops (Фjk = 0.64, and P. orpacobates (Фjk = 0.64. Our results suggest that most of the frogs species studied are generalist, foraging opportunistically on dipterans, arachnids, collembolans, coleopterans, and hymenopterans. Here, we report the diet of montane Pristimantis species and discuss the results in comparison with data on related species in montane and lowland regionsDieta de ranas de desarrollo directo (Anura: Craugastoridae: Pristimantis de los Andes occidentales de ColombiaEstudiamos la dieta de 15 especies de ranas montanas del género Pristimantis (Craugastoridae en la Cordillera Occidental de Colombia para determinar su variación, amplitud y traslape de nicho. En los contenidos estomacales e intestinales de 154 especímenes se identificaron 499 presas que fueron