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Sample records for grasshopper sparrows compared

  1. Gender identification of Grasshopper Sparrows comparing behavioral, morphological, and molecular techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammer, F.K.; Wood, P.B.; McPherson, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Correct gender identification in monomorphic species is often difficult especially if males and females do not display obvious behavioral and breeding differences. We compared gender specific morphology and behavior with recently developed DNA techniques for gender identification in the monomorphic Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Gender was ascertained with DNA in 213 individuals using the 2550F/2718R primer set and 3% agarose gel electrophoresis. Field observations using behavior and breeding characteristics to identify gender matched DNA analyses with 100% accuracy for adult males and females. Gender was identified with DNA for all captured juveniles that did not display gender specific traits or behaviors in the field. The molecular techniques used offered a high level of accuracy and may be useful in studies of dispersal mechanisms and winter assemblage composition in monomorphic species.

  2. Grasshopper sparrow reproductive success and habitat use on reclaimed surface mines varies by age of reclamation

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    Wood, Petra; Ammer, Frank K.

    2015-01-01

    We studied 3 mountaintop mining–valley fill (MTMVF) complexes in southern West Virginia, USA to examine grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum pratensis) demographic response to different age classes of mine land reclamation. For 71 nests monitored during the 2001–2002 breeding seasons, overall nest success (36%) was within the range of nest success rates previously reported for this species, but it was highest on more recently reclaimed sites (56%). Nest density and clutch size did not differ (P > 0.30) among reclamation age classes, whereas number of fledglings was greater (P = 0.01) on more recently reclaimed sites. We measured vegetation variables at 70 nest subplots and at 96 systematic subplots to compare nest vegetation with vegetation available on the plots. We found that nests occurred in areas with more bare ground near the nest, greater vegetation height–density surrounding the nest site, lower grass height, and fewer woody stems, similar to previous studies. As postreclamation age increased, vegetation height–density and maximum grass height increased, and sericea (Lespedeza cuneata) became more dominant. Nest success declined with increasing vegetation height–density at the nest. The grasslands available on these reclaimed mine complexes are of sufficient quality to support breeding populations of grasshopper sparrows, but nest success decreased on the older reclaimed areas. Without active management, grasslands on reclaimed MTMVF mines become less suitable for nesting grasshopper sparrows about 10 years after reclamation.

  3. Song variation and environmental auditory masking in the grasshopper sparrow

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    Lohr, Bernard; Dooling, Robert J.; Gill, Douglas E.

    2004-05-01

    Some grassland bird species, in particular grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), sing songs with especially high mean frequencies (7.0-8.0 kHz). Acoustic interference is one potential explanation for the evolution of high frequency vocalizations, particularly in open habitats. We tested predictions from a model of effective auditory communication distances to understand the potential effects of vocal production and environmental auditory masking on vocal behavior and territoriality. Variation in the spectral structure of songs and the size and shape of territories was measured for grasshopper sparrows in typical grassland habitats. Median territory areas were 1629 m2 at a site in the center of the species range in Nebraska, and 1466 m2 at our study site in Maryland, with average territory diameters measuring 20.2 m. Species densities and sound pressure levels also were determined for stridulating insects and other noise sources in the habitat. Based on current models of effective communication distances, known noise levels, and information on hearing abilities, our results suggest that auditory sensitivity and environmental noise could be factors influencing the mean frequency and spatial dynamics of territorial behavior in grassland birds. [Work supported by NIH and the CRFRC.

  4. Factors associated with arrival densities of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) and baird's sparrow (A. bairdii) in the upper great plains

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    Ahlering, M.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Faaborg, John

    2009-01-01

    Although critical to habitat and population management, the proximate cues that birds use to establish territories are largely unknown. Understanding these cues is important for birds, such as many grassland birds, that exhibit high annual variability in population density and make new habitat-selection decisions annually. Identifying the actual cues used is difficult in the field, but the factors associated with the arrival densities of birds can help uncover variables that are involved in or correlated with cues used for selection. During the summers of 2002–2004, we investigated how weather and local vegetation factors were related to arrival densities of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and Baird's Sparrows (A. bairdii) at three locations across North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Spring densities of Grasshopper Sparrows were positively correlated with concurrent May precipitation, whereas densities of Baird's Sparrows were negatively correlated with the previous winter's snowfall. We used a model-selection approach to evaluate the vegetation characteristics associated with arrival densities of birds. Grasshopper Sparrow densities showed a strong negative relationship to woody cover, and Baird's Sparrow densities showed a negative relationship to vegetation height and vegetation density near the ground. Our results provide a first detailed look at habitat and weather associations immediately after arrival in spring and an important first step in uncovering factors that may be involved in habitat selection in two grassland species.

  5. Evaluation of a reproductive index to estimate grasshopper sparrow and eastern meadowlark reproductive success

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    Althoff, Donald P.; Gipson, P.S.; Pontius, J.S.; Japuntich, R.D.

    2009-01-01

    We compared an index of reproductive success based on breeding behavior to actual nest fates of grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and eastern meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) on 12 plots (4-ha). Concordance of results between the two methods was 58% for grasshopper sparrows and 42% for eastern meadowlarks on a plot-by-plot basis. The indirect method yielded higher estimates of reproductive activity than nest monitoring for the balance of the plots,. There was little evidence that brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism influenced the estimates of reproductive success using the indirect method. We concluded that nests and about-to-fledge nestlings were missed during searches on some plots. It may be appropriate to use an indirect method to more efficiently survey territories and/or plots for species with hard-to-find nests or when monitoring large areas. Use of a reproductive index may be appropriate and more time-efficient than nest searching and monitoring for comparing management effects such as burning, grazing, haying, military training, and other localized disturbances that are likely to affect reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows and eastern meadowlarks. However, nest monitoring may be necessary for more precise estimates of productivity necessary for long-term monitoring. Nest monitoring results are also likely to allow for direct comparisons to results from other studies because the index method requires intimate knowledge of the species being evaluated - a factor that could lead to reduced precision because the experience level of technicians relying only on behavioral cues from study-to-study is likely to vary considerably.

  6. Status assessment and conservation plan for the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2015-01-01

    The Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) breeds in grassland habitats throughout much of the U.S., southern and southeastern Canada, and northern Mexico. Additional subspecies are resident in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. It winters primarily in the coastal states of the southeastern U.S., southern portions of the southwestern states, and in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The species prefers relatively open grassland with intermediate grass height and density and patchy bare ground; because it is widely distributed across different grassland types in North America, it selects different vegetation structure and species composition depending on what is available. In the winter, they use a broader range of grassland habitats including open grasslands, as well as weedy fields and grasslands with woody vegetation. Analyses show significant range-wide population declines from the late 1960s through the present, primarily caused by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. Grasshopper Sparrow is still a relatively common and broadly distributed species, but because of significant population declines and stakeholder concerns, the species is considered of conservation concern nationally and at the state level for numerous states. Many factors, often related to different grassland management practices (e.g., grazing, burning, mowing, management of shrub encroachment, etc.) throughout the species’ range, have impacts on Grasshopper Sparrow distribution, abundance, and reproduction and may represent limiting factors or threats given steep declines in this species’ population. Because of the concerns for this species, Grasshopper Sparrow has been identified as a focal species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and this Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for Grasshopper Sparrow has been developed. Through literature searches and input from stakeholders across its range, this plan presents information about

  7. Territory and nest site selection patterns by Grasshopper Sparrows in southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2017-01-01

    Grassland bird populations are showing some of the greatest rates of decline of any North American birds, prompting measures to protect and improve important habitat. We assessed how vegetation structure and composition, habitat features often targeted for management, affected territory and nest site selection by Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) in southeastern Arizona. To identify features important to males establishing territories, we compared vegetation characteristics of known territories and random samples on 2 sites over 5 years. We examined habitat selection patterns of females by comparing characteristics of nest sites with territories over 3 years. Males selected territories in areas of sparser vegetation structure and more tall shrubs (>2 m) than random plots on the site with low shrub densities. Males did not select territories based on the proportion of exotic grasses. Females generally located nest sites in areas with lower small shrub (1–2 m tall) densities than territories overall when possible and preferentially selected native grasses for nest construction. Whether habitat selection was apparent depended upon the range of vegetation structure that was available. We identified an upper threshold above which grass structure seemed to be too high and dense for Grasshopper Sparrows. Our results suggest that some management that reduces vegetative structure may benefit this species in desert grasslands at the nest and territory scale. However, we did not assess initial male habitat selection at a broader landscape scale where their selection patterns may be different and could be influenced by vegetation density and structure outside the range of values sampled in this study.

  8. Postfledging survival of Grasshopper Sparrows in grasslands managed with fire and grazing

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    Hovick, Torre J.; Miller, James R.; Koford, Rolf R.; Engle, David M.; Debinski, Diane M.

    2011-01-01

    More accurate estimates of survival after nestlings fledge are needed for population models to be parameterized and population dynamics to be understood during this vulnerable life stage. The period after fledging is the time when chicks learn to fly, forage, and hide from predators. We monitored postfledging survival, causespecific mortality, and movements of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) in grassland managed with fire and grazing. In 2009, we attached radio transmitters to 50 nestlings from 50 different broods and modeled their survival in response to climatic, biological, and ecological variables. There was no effect of treatment on survival. The factor most influencing postfledging survival was age; no other variable was significant. The majority of chicks (74%) died within 3 days of radio-transmitter attachment. We attributed most mortality to mesopredators (48%) and exposure (28%). Fledglings' movements increased rapidly for the first 4 days after they left the nest and were relatively stable for the remaining 10 days we tracked them. On average, fledglings took flight for the first time 4 days after fledging and flew ≥10 m 9 days after fledging. Our data show that the Grasshopper Sparrow's survival rates may be less than most models relying on nest-success estimates predict, and we emphasize the importance of incorporating estimates of survival during the postfledging period in demographic models.

  9. Distribution of breeding Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) in the southwestern United States: Past, present, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2008-01-01

    The Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) breeds in desert grasslands of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico in the US, and in adjacent parts of northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico. Roads that were surveyed in 1982 and 1987 in Arizona and New Mexico were relocated and roadside survey protocols were repeated in 2004 and 2005 to identify changes in distribution or abundance of the subspecies during the subsequent 17 yr. The Sonoita and San Rafael valleys in Arizona and the Animas Valley in New Mexico remain as primary population centers, supporting the highest mean numbers of singing males per stop, as well as the largest populations of Arizona Grasshopper Sparrows in the US. Mean number of singing males per stop was highest in the San Rafael Valley. Mean number of singing males per survey stop showed an increasing pattern from 1982–1987 and a subsequent decline to the present (2004–2005). Present bird densities are intermediate in value between 1982 and 1987 values. Small populations remain in the Altar, San Pedro, Sulphur Springs, and San Bernardino valleys in Arizona. The valleys evaluated in this and historical surveys represent the areas in which almost all Arizona Grasshopper Sparrows breed in the US; if any additional areas exist, they support peripheral, small, or remnant populations. Although historic, current, and future land use, and current and future threats differ among valleys, the primary factors posing threats to the future of Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow populations appear to be loss and/or degradation of habitat due to exurban development, overgrazing, and the effects of long-term drought.

  10. Life history attributes of Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) and comparisons with other North American subspecies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2017-01-01

    Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus—commonly referred to as the Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow—occurs in the desert and plains grasslands of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Sonora, Mexico. Although a subspecies of conservation concern, this is the first intensive study of its life history and breeding ecology, providing baseline data and facilitating comparisons with other North American Grasshopper Sparrow subspecies. Specifically, I found A. s. ammolegus males generally weighed less than other subspecies (16.0 ± 0.8 g) but with intermediate exposed culmen length (11.6 ± 0.5 mm) and wing chord length similar to the other two migratory subspecies (62.7 ± 1.5 mm). Territory size for A. s. ammolegus was 0.72 ± 0.37 ha, with some variation between sites and among years, possibly indicating variation in habitat quality across spatial and temporal scales. The return rate for A. s. ammolegus males was 39.2%. Nest initiation for A. s. ammolegus was early to mid-July after the monsoons had begun. Domed nests were constructed on the ground, primarily under native bunch grasses, and frequently with a tunnel extending beyond the nest rim, with nest openings oriented north. Clutch size was 3.97 ± 0.68, with no evidence of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) nest parasitism. Extreme climate factors in the arid Southwest may have affected the life history and morphology of A. s. ammolegus as compared to other subspecies, influencing body size and mass, culmen length, breeding phenology, and nest orientation. Other geographic variation occurred in return rates, clutch size, and nest parasitism rates. The baseline data for A. s. ammolegus obtained in this study will inform future taxonomic and ecological studies as well as conservation planning. Comparisons of A. s. ammolegus morphometrics with those of other subspecies will assist field biologists in distinguishing among subspecies where they overlap, especially on wintering grounds.

  11. Molecular analysis of stomach contents reveals important grass seeds in the winter diet of Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows, two declining grassland bird species.

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    Titulaer, Mieke; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Panjabi, Arvind O; Sanchez-Flores, Alejandro; Martínez-Guerrero, José Hugo; Macías-Duarte, Alberto; Fernandez, Jesús A

    2017-01-01

    We analyzed the diet of Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) and Grasshopper Sparrow (A. savannarum) in three different sites and sampling periods across the Chihuahuan Desert in northern Mexico. DNA from seeds in regurgitated stomach contents was sequenced using NGS technology and identified with a barcoding approach using the P6 loop of the trnL intron as genetic marker. During each sampling period, we collected random soil samples to estimate seed availability in the soil seed bank. Due to the variability and size of the genetic marker, the resolution was limited to a family level resolution for taxonomic classification of seeds, but in several cases a genus level was achieved. Diets contained a high diversity of seeds but were dominated by a limited number of genera/families. Seeds from Panicoideae (from the genera Panicum, Setaria, Eriochloa, Botriochloa, and Hackelochloa) contributed for the largest part to the diets (53 ± 19%), followed by Bouteloua (10 ± 12%). Depending on the site and sampling period, other important seeds in the diets were Eragrostideae, Pleuraphis, Asteraceae, Verbena, and Amaranthus. The most abundant seeds were not always preferred. Aristida and Chloris were common in the soil seed bank but these seeds were avoided by both bird species. Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows did not differ in seed preferences. This work highlights the importance of range management practices that favor seed production of Panicoideae and Bouteloua grasses to enhance winter habitat use and survival of Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert.

  12. Object-Based Classification as an Alternative Approach to the Traditional Pixel-Based Classification to Identify Potential Habitat of the Grasshopper Sparrow

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    Jobin, Benoît; Labrecque, Sandra; Grenier, Marcelle; Falardeau, Gilles

    2008-01-01

    The traditional method of identifying wildlife habitat distribution over large regions consists of pixel-based classification of satellite images into a suite of habitat classes used to select suitable habitat patches. Object-based classification is a new method that can achieve the same objective based on the segmentation of spectral bands of the image creating homogeneous polygons with regard to spatial or spectral characteristics. The segmentation algorithm does not solely rely on the single pixel value, but also on shape, texture, and pixel spatial continuity. The object-based classification is a knowledge base process where an interpretation key is developed using ground control points and objects are assigned to specific classes according to threshold values of determined spectral and/or spatial attributes. We developed a model using the eCognition software to identify suitable habitats for the Grasshopper Sparrow, a rare and declining species found in southwestern Québec. The model was developed in a region with known breeding sites and applied on other images covering adjacent regions where potential breeding habitats may be present. We were successful in locating potential habitats in areas where dairy farming prevailed but failed in an adjacent region covered by a distinct Landsat scene and dominated by annual crops. We discuss the added value of this method, such as the possibility to use the contextual information associated to objects and the ability to eliminate unsuitable areas in the segmentation and land cover classification processes, as well as technical and logistical constraints. A series of recommendations on the use of this method and on conservation issues of Grasshopper Sparrow habitat is also provided.

  13. Comparative BAC-based mapping in the white-throated sparrow, a novel behavioral genomics model, using interspecies overgo hybridization

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    Gonser Rusty A

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genomics era has produced an arsenal of resources from sequenced organisms allowing researchers to target species that do not have comparable mapping and sequence information. These new "non-model" organisms offer unique opportunities to examine environmental effects on genomic patterns and processes. Here we use comparative mapping as a first step in characterizing the genome organization of a novel animal model, the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, which occurs as white or tan morphs that exhibit alternative behaviors and physiology. Morph is determined by the presence or absence of a complex chromosomal rearrangement. This species is an ideal model for behavioral genomics because the association between genotype and phenotype is absolute, making it possible to identify the genomic bases of phenotypic variation. Findings We initiated a genomic study in this species by characterizing the white-throated sparrow BAC library via filter hybridization with overgo probes designed for the chicken, turkey, and zebra finch. Cross-species hybridization resulted in 640 positive sparrow BACs assigned to 77 chicken loci across almost all macro-and microchromosomes, with a focus on the chromosomes associated with morph. Out of 216 overgos, 36% of the probes hybridized successfully, with an average number of 3.0 positive sparrow BACs per overgo. Conclusions These data will be utilized for determining chromosomal architecture and for fine-scale mapping of candidate genes associated with phenotypic differences. Our research confirms the utility of interspecies hybridization for developing comparative maps in other non-model organisms.

  14. Comparative genome scan detects host-related divergent selection in the grasshopper Hesperotettix viridis.

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    Apple, Jennifer L; Grace, Tony; Joern, Anthony; St Amand, Paul; Wisely, Samantha M

    2010-09-01

    In this study, we used a comparative genome scan to examine patterns of population differentiation with respect to host plant use in Hesperotettix viridis, a Nearctic oligophagous grasshopper locally specialized on various Asteraceae including Solidago, Gutierrezia, and Ericameria. We identified amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci with significantly elevated F(ST) (outlier loci) in multiple different-host and same-host comparisons of populations while controlling for geographic distance. By comparing the number and identities of outlier loci in different-host vs. same-host comparisons, we found evidence of host plant-related divergent selection for some population comparisons (Solidago- vs. Gutierrezia-feeders), while other comparisons (Ericameria- vs. Gutierrezia-feeders) failed to demonstrate a strong role for host association in population differentiation. In comparisons of Solidago- vs. Gutierrezia-feeding populations, a relatively high number of outlier loci observed repeatedly in different-host comparisons (35% of all outliers and 2.7% of all 625 AFLP loci) indicated a significant role for host-related selection in contributing to overall genomic differentiation in this grasshopper. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data revealed a star-shaped phylogeny with no host- or geography-related structure, low nucleotide diversity, and high haplotype diversity, suggesting a recent population expansion. mtDNA data do not suggest a long period of isolation in separate glacial refugia but are instead more compatible with a single glacial refugium and more recent divergence in host use. Our study adds to research documenting heterogeneity in differentiation across the genome as a consequence of divergent natural selection, a phenomenon that may occur as part of the process of ecological speciation. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Comparative cytogenetic analysis of two grasshopper species of the tribe Abracrini (Ommatolampinae, Acrididae)

    OpenAIRE

    de França Rocha, Marília; de Melo, Natoniel Franklin; de Souza, Maria José

    2011-01-01

    The grasshopper species Orthoscapheus rufipes and Eujivarus fusiformis were analyzed using several cytogenetic techniques. The karyotype of O. rufipes, described here for the first time, had a diploid number of 2n = 23, whereas E. fusiformis had a karyotype with 2n = 21. The two species showed the same mechanism of sex determination (XO type) but differed in chromosome morphology. Pericentromeric blocks of constitutive heterochromatin (CH) were detected in the chromosome complement of both sp...

  16. Comparative analysis of chromosomal localization of ribosomal and telomeric DNA markers in three species of Pyrgomorphidae grasshoppers.

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    Buleu, Olesya G; Jetybayev, Ilyas Y; Bugrov, Alexander G

    2017-01-01

    The karyotypes of three species of Pyrgomorphidae grasshoppers were studied: Zonocerus elegans (Thunberg, 1815), Pyrgomorpha guentheri (Burr, 1899) and Atractomorpha lata (Mochulsky, 1866). Data on karyotypes of P. guentheri and Z. elegans are reported here for the first time. All species have karyotypes consisting of 19 acrocentric chromosomes in males and 20 acrocentric chromosomes in females (2n♂=19, NF=19; 2n♀=20, NF=20) and X0/XX sex determination system. A comparative analysis of the localization of C-heterochromatin, clusters of ribosomal DNA, and telomere repeats revealed inter-species diversity in these cytogenetic markers. These differences indicate that the karyotype divergence in the species studied is not associated with structural chromosome rearrangements, but with the evolution of repeated DNA sequences.

  17. Comparative analysis of chromosomal localization of ribosomal and telomeric DNA markers in three species of Pyrgomorphidae grasshoppers

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    Olesya G. Buleu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The karyotypes of three species of Pyrgomorphidae grasshoppers were studied: Zonocerus elegans (Thunberg, 1815, Pyrgomorpha guentheri (Burr, 1899 and Atractomorpha lata (Mochulsky, 1866. Data on karyotypes of P. guentheri and Z. elegans are reported here for the first time. All species have karyotypes consisting of 19 acrocentric chromosomes in males and 20 acrocentric chromosomes in females (2n♂=19, NF=19; 2n♀=20, NF=20 and X0/XX sex determination system. A comparative analysis of the localization of C-heterochromatin, clusters of ribosomal DNA, and telomere repeats revealed inter-species diversity in these cytogenetic markers. These differences indicate that the karyotype divergence in the species studied is not associated with structural chromosome rearrangements, but with the evolution of repeated DNA sequences.

  18. Comparative cytogenetic analysis of two grasshopper species of the tribe Abracrini (Ommatolampinae, Acrididae

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    Marília de França Rocha

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The grasshopper species Orthoscapheus rufipes and Eujivarus fusiformis were analyzed using several cytogenetic techniques. The karyotype of O. rufipes, described here for the first time, had a diploid number of 2n = 23, whereas E. fusiformis had a karyotype with 2n = 21. The two species showed the same mechanism of sex determination (XO type but differed in chromosome morphology. Pericentromeric blocks of constitutive heterochromatin (CH were detected in the chromosome complement of both species. CMA3/DA/DAPI staining revealed CMA3-positive blocks in CH regions in four autosomal bivalents of O. rufipes and in two of E. fusiformis. The location of active NORs differed between the two species, occurring in bivalents M6 and S9 of O. rufipes and M6 and M7 of E. fusiformsi. The rDNA sites revealed by FISH coincided with the number and position of the active NORs detected by AgNO3 staining. The variability in chromosomal markers accounted for the karyotype differentiation observed in the tribe Abracrini.

  19. A comparative analysis of mitochondrial genomes in Orthoptera (Arthropoda: Insecta) and genome descriptions of three grasshopper species.

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    Zhao, Ling; Zheng, Zhe-Min; Huang, Yuan; Sun, Hui-Min

    2010-08-01

    The complete sequences of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the three new grasshopper species, Euchorthippus fusigeniculatus, Mekongiana xiangchengensis and Mekongiella xizangensis, consisting of 15772 bp, 15567 bp, and 15885 bp, respectively, were analyzed and compared to mtDNAs from other 19 Orthoptera species obtained from GenBank. The three mitochondrial genomes contain a standard set of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes. and an A+T-rich region in the same order as those of the other analyzed caeliferan species, but different from those of the ensiferan species by the rearrangement of trnD and trnK. The putative initiation codon for the cox1 gene is ATC in E. fusigeniculatus, CTG in M. xiangchengensis and CCG in M. xizangensis. All secondary structures of tRNA-Ser((AGN)) in the three species lack a DHU arm. In this study, we stressed the comparative analysis of the stem-loop secondary structure in A+T-rich region of all Orthoptera species available to date, and report new findings which may facilitate further investigation and better understanding of this secondary structure. Finally, we undertook a phylogenetic study of all Orthoptera species available from GenBank to date based on three different datasets using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference. Our result showed that protein-coding genes (PCG) and amino acid sequences (PCG_PROT) provided good resolution of higher-level relationships within the Orthoptera, whereas ribosomal RNA genes (RIBO) perform poorly under different optimality criteria.

  20. [Applications of spectral analysis technique to monitoring grasshoppers].

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    Lu, Hui; Han, Jian-guo; Zhang, Lu-da

    2008-12-01

    Grasshopper monitoring is of great significance in protecting environment and reducing economic loss. However, how to predict grasshoppers accurately and effectively is a difficult problem for a long time. In the present paper, the importance of forecasting grasshoppers and its habitat is expounded, and the development in monitoring grasshopper populations and the common arithmetic of spectral analysis technique are illustrated. Meanwhile, the traditional methods are compared with the spectral technology. Remote sensing has been applied in monitoring the living, growing and breeding habitats of grasshopper population, and can be used to develop a forecast model combined with GIS. The NDVI values can be analyzed throughout the remote sensing data and be used in grasshopper forecasting. Hyper-spectra remote sensing technique which can be used to monitor grasshoppers more exactly has advantages in measuring the damage degree and classifying damage areas of grasshoppers, so it can be adopted to monitor the spatial distribution dynamic of rangeland grasshopper population. Differentialsmoothing can be used to reflect the relations between the characteristic parameters of hyper-spectra and leaf area index (LAI), and indicate the intensity of grasshopper damage. The technology of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy has been employed in judging grasshopper species, examining species occurrences and monitoring hatching places by measuring humidity and nutrient of soil, and can be used to investigate and observe grasshoppers in sample research. According to this paper, it is concluded that the spectral analysis technique could be used as a quick and exact tool in monitoring and forecasting the infestation of grasshoppers, and will become an important means in such kind of research for their advantages in determining spatial orientation, information extracting and processing. With the rapid development of spectral analysis methodology, the goal of sustainable monitoring

  1. A Comparative Chromosome Mapping Study in Japanese Podismini Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae).

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    Grzywacz, Beata; Tatsuta, Haruki; Shikata, Kei-Ichiro; Warchałowska-Śliwa, Elżbieta

    2018-01-01

    In the present paper, karyotypes of 7 Japanese Podismini species, Anapodisma beybienkoi, Fruhstorferiola okinawaensis, Parapodisma caelestis, P. mikado, P. setouchiensis, P. tenryuensis, and Sinopodisma punctata (2n♂ = 21, all acrocentric), are described and compared on the basis of conventional (C-banding, DAPI/CMA3-staining, Ag-NOR) and molecular (FISH with 18S rDNA and telomeric probes) cytogenetic staining methods. This is the first study to report karyotypes of A. beybienkoi and P. caelestis. Differential staining techniques showed karyotypic diversity in these species. The number of 18S rDNA signals ranged from 2 to 6, and the signals were located on the autosomes or sex chromosomes. In all species, clusters of rDNA coincided with Ag-NORs. Telomeric signals occurred at the chromosome ends at the pachytene stage and seldom at other stages of meiosis. Paracentromeric and some distal and interstitial blocks of constitutive heterochromatin were detected in the chromosomes of Anapodisma, Fruhstorferiola, and Parapodisma species. Staining with DAPI and CMA3 revealed 2 groups of heterochromatin composition. In addition, intraspecific differences in the number of rDNA clusters and C-bands were observed within Parapodisma species. Based on the evidence of cytogenetic characteristics, the monophyly of Tonkinacridina cannot be supported. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. A RANGELAND GRASSHOPPER INSURANCE PROGRAM

    OpenAIRE

    Skold, Melvin D.; Davis, Robert M.

    1995-01-01

    The incidence of benefits and costs from controlling rangeland grasshoppers on public grazing lands poses problems of economic efficiency and distributional equity. Public grasshopper control programs operate like public disaster assistance. However, grasshopper infestations are an insurable risk. This article proposes a rangeland grasshopper insurance program which reduces the economic inefficiencies and distributional inequities of the existing program.

  3. grasshoppers in Ethiopia

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    economic injury level when applied under field conditions in a similar way as chemical pesticides. Key words/phrases: Entomopathogen, Ethiopia, gasoline, grasshopper sp., Metarhizium anisopliae. INTRODUCTION. Insect pests have been .... Species composition of target grasshoppers. The first trial site was found to be ...

  4. Variable effects of dipteran parasitoids and management treatment on grasshopper fecundity in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, A N; Joern, A

    2012-04-01

    Grasshoppers host a number of parasitoids, but little is known about their impact on grasshopper life history attributes or how those impacts may vary with land use. Here, we report on a three-year survey of nine grasshopper species in a tallgrass prairie managed with fire and bison grazing treatments. We measured parasitoid prevalence and the impact of parasitoid infection on grasshopper fecundity to determine if grasshopper-parasitoid interactions varied with management treatment. Adult female grasshoppers were collected every three weeks from eight watersheds managed with different prescribed burning and grazing treatments. Grasshopper fecundity with and without parasitoids was estimated through dissections of reproductive tracts. Dipteran parasitoids from two families (Nemestrinidae and Tachinidae) were observed infecting grasshoppers. We found significant effects of grazing treatment, but not burn interval, on grasshopper-parasitoid interactions. Parasitoids were three times more abundant in watersheds with bison grazing than in ungrazed watersheds, and the relative abundance of nemestrinid and tachinid flies varied with grazing treatment. Parasitoid prevalence varied among grasshopper species from grasshopper fecundity, with stronger effects on current reproduction than on past reproduction. Furthermore, current fecundity in parasitized grasshoppers was lower in grazed watersheds compared to ungrazed watersheds. Nemestrinid parasitoids generally had stronger impacts on grasshopper fecundity than tachinid parasitoids, the effects of which were more variable.

  5. Occupancy patterns of regionally declining grassland sparrow populations in a forested Pennsylvania landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason M; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-06-01

    Organisms can be affected by processes in the surrounding landscape outside the boundary of habitat areas and by local vegetation characteristics. There is substantial interest in understanding how these processes affect populations of grassland birds, which have experienced substantial population declines. Much of our knowledge regarding patterns of occupancy and density stem from prairie systems, whereas relatively little is known regarding how occurrence and abundance of grassland birds vary in reclaimed surface mine grasslands. Using distance sampling and single-season occupancy models, we investigated how the occupancy probability of Grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's Sparrows (A. henslowii) on 61 surface mine grasslands (1591 ha) in Pennsylvania changed from 2002 through 2011 in response to landscape, grassland, and local vegetation characteristics . A subset (n = 23; 784 ha) of those grasslands were surveyed in 2002, and we estimated changes in sparrow density and vegetation across 10 years. Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrow populations declined 72% and 49%, respectively from 2002 to 2011, whereas overall woody vegetation density increased 2.6 fold. Henslow's Sparrows avoided grasslands with perimeter-area ratios ≥0.141 km/ha and woody shrub densities ≥0.04 shrubs/m(2). Both species occupied grasslands ≤13 ha, but occupancy probability declined with increasing grassland perimeter-area ratio and woody shrub density. Grassland size, proximity to nearest neighboring grassland (x = 0.2 km), and surrounding landscape composition at 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0 km were not parsimonious predictors of occupancy probability for either species. Our results suggest that reclaimed surface mine grasslands, without management intervention, are ephemeral habitats for Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrows. Given the forecasted decline in surface coal production for Pennsylvania, it is likely that both species will continue to decline in our study region for the

  6. Occupancy patterns of regionally declining grassland sparrow populations in a forested Pennsylvania landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason M.; Diefenbach, Duane R.

    2014-01-01

    Organisms can be affected by processes in the surrounding landscape outside the boundary of habitat areas and by local vegetation characteristics. There is substantial interest in understanding how these processes affect populations of grassland birds, which have experienced substantial population declines. Much of our knowledge regarding patterns of occupancy and density stem from prairie systems, whereas relatively little is known regarding how occurrence and abundance of grassland birds vary in reclaimed surface mine grasslands. Using distance sampling and single-season occupancy models, we investigated how the occupancy probability of Grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's Sparrows (A. henslowii) on 61 surface mine grasslands (1591 ha) in Pennsylvania changed from 2002 through 2011 in response to landscape, grassland, and local vegetation characteristics . A subset (n = 23; 784 ha) of those grasslands were surveyed in 2002, and we estimated changes in sparrow density and vegetation across 10 years. Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrow populations declined 72% and 49%, respectively from 2002 to 2011, whereas overall woody vegetation density increased 2.6 fold. Henslow's Sparrows avoided grasslands with perimeter–area ratios ≥0.141 km/ha and woody shrub densities ≥0.04 shrubs/m2. Both species occupied grasslands ≤13 ha, but occupancy probability declined with increasing grassland perimeter–area ratio and woody shrub density. Grassland size, proximity to nearest neighboring grassland ( = 0.2 km), and surrounding landscape composition at 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0 km were not parsimonious predictors of occupancy probability for either species. Our results suggest that reclaimed surface mine grasslands, without management intervention, are ephemeral habitats for Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrows. Given the forecasted decline in surface coal production for Pennsylvania, it is likely that both species will continue to decline in our study region for the

  7. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates of cowbird parasitism, host responses to parasitism, and factors that influence parasitism, such as nest concealment and host density. The impact of management depends, in part, upon a species' nesting phenology and biology. The section on breeding-season phenology and site fidelity includes details on spring arrival and fall departure for migratory populations in the Great Plains, peak breeding periods, the tendency to renest after nest failure or success, and the propensity to return to a previous breeding site. The duration and timing of breeding varies among regions and years. Species' response to management summarizes the current knowledge and major findings in the literature on the effects of different management practices on the species. The section on management recommendations complements the previous section and summarizes specific recommendations for habitat management provided in the literature. If management recommendations differ in different portions of the species' breeding range, recommendations are given separately by region. The literature cited contains references to published and unpublished literature on the management effects and habitat requirements of the species. This section is not meant to be a complete bibliography; for a searchable, annotated bibliography of published and unpublished papers dealing with habitat needs of grassland birds and their responses to habitat management, use the Grassland and Wetland Birds Bibliography on the home page of this resource.

  8. The radioactive grasshopper

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1966-01-01

    Full text: Grasshoppers are 'tagged' with radiation in order to trace their movements for purposes of agricultural research. They are fed on young wheat containing iridium-192; the radioactivity taken up by the grasshoppers can then be observed by a portable scintillation counter. Laboratory tests have shown the biological period of the iridium to be of the order of seven days, and that about one microcurie per insect is needed to enable them to be traced during two months. (author)

  9. sparrow-weavers, PJocepasser mahali

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-01-27

    Jan 27, 1987 ... White-browed sparrow-weavers are social birds occurring in the semi-arid parts of Africa. .... individuals that fledged during the study period was ... adult (mated) birds. Results. Group composition, sex ratio and territory size. Sparrow-weavers occurred in groups ranging in size from two to nine birds (Figure ...

  10. The grasshopper problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulko, Olga; Kent, Adrian

    2017-11-01

    We introduce and physically motivate the following problem in geometric combinatorics, originally inspired by analysing Bell inequalities. A grasshopper lands at a random point on a planar lawn of area 1. It then jumps once, a fixed distance d, in a random direction. What shape should the lawn be to maximize the chance that the grasshopper remains on the lawn after jumping? We show that, perhaps surprisingly, a disc-shaped lawn is not optimal for any d>0. We investigate further by introducing a spin model whose ground state corresponds to the solution of a discrete version of the grasshopper problem. Simulated annealing and parallel tempering searches are consistent with the hypothesis that, for d<π-1/2, the optimal lawn resembles a cogwheel with n cogs, where the integer n is close to π (arcsin⁡(√{π }d / 2 )) -1. We find transitions to other shapes for d ≳π-1 / 2.

  11. Abundance and guild structure of grasshoppers (Orthoptera ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was conducted to determine how savanna grass sward modifications caused by heavy grazing pressure influenced the abundance and guild structure of grasshoppers. Heavily grazed communal land was compared with a lightly grazed area and a mowed airstrip, in adjacent protected land, in the Mpumalanga ...

  12. Households at Grasshopper Pueblo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, J. Jefferson; Whittlesey, Stephanie M.

    1982-01-01

    Describes the archaeological reconstruction of domestic life in Grasshopper, Arizona, a mogollon pueblo community which began around 1300 A.D. Categories of space and domestic activities are discussed. An analysis of variations in the patterns of household types within the pueblo is included. (AM)

  13. Mesoherbivores affect grasshopper communities in a megaherbivore-dominated South African savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Plas, Fons; Olff, Han

    2014-06-01

    African savannahs are among the few places on earth where diverse communities of mega- and meso-sized ungulate grazers dominate ecosystem functioning. Less conspicuous, but even more diverse, are the communities of herbivorous insects such as grasshoppers, which share the same food. Various studies investigated the community assembly of these groups separately, but it is poorly known how ungulate communities shape grasshopper communities. Here, we investigated how ungulate species of different body size alter grasshopper communities in a South African savannah. White rhino is the most abundant vertebrate herbivore in our study site. Other common mesoherbivores include buffalo, zebra and impala. We hypothesized that white rhinos would have greater impact than mesoherbivores on grasshopper communities. Using 10-year-old exclosures, at eight sites we compared the effects of ungulates on grasshopper communities in three nested treatments: (i) unfenced plots ('control plots') with all vertebrate herbivores present, (ii) plots with a low cable fence, excluding white rhino ('megaherbivore exclosures'), and (iii) plots with tall fences, excluding all herbivores larger than rodents ('complete ungulate exclosures'). In each plot, we collected data of vegetation structure, grass and grasshopper community composition. Complete ungulate exclosures contained 30% taller vegetation than megaherbivore exclosures and they were dominated by different grass and grasshopper species. Grasshoppers in complete ungulate exclosures were on average 3.5 mm longer than grasshoppers in megaherbivore exclosures, possibly due to changes in plant communities or vegetation structure. We conclude that surprisingly, in this megaherbivore hotspot, mesoherbivores, instead of megaherbivores, most strongly affect grasshopper communities.

  14. Grasshopper species composition shifts following a severe rangeland grasshopper outbreak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little is known about how grasshopper species abundances shift during and following severe outbreaks, as sampling efforts usually end when outbreaks subside. Grasshopper densities, species composition and vegetation have infrequently been sampled during and after a severe outbreak in the western U.S...

  15. Grasshoppers – Generalists to Specialists?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Insects like the grasshopper have developed different mecha- nisms to protect themselves from the chemical defenses of plants. During evolution, grasshoppers which showed no preference for a particular food, developed these for plants whose chemical defenses they could tolerate. Plants' Defence. How do plants, which ...

  16. Experimental removal of woody vegetation does not increase nesting success or fledgling production in two grassland sparrows (Ammodramus) in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason M.; Diefenbach, Duane R.

    2013-01-01

    The influence of vegetation structure on the probability of daily nest survival (DNS) for grassland passerines has received considerable attention. Some correlative studies suggest that the presence of woody vegetation lowers DNS. Over 3 years (2009–2011), we monitored 215 nests of the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii) on 162 ha of reclaimed surface-mine grasslands in Pennsylvania. We removed shrubs from treatment plots with ≤36% areal coverage of woody vegetation in a before-after-control-impact-pairs (BACIP) design framework. Daily nest survival (95% CI: 0.94–0.96) was as high as previous studies have reported but was not associated with woody vegetative cover, proximity to woody vegetation, or woody stem density. Variation in DNS was best explained by increasing nonwoody-vegetation height. Grasshopper Sparrow fledgling production on treatment plots in 2010 (95% CI: 3.3–4.7) and 2011 (95% CI: 3.8–5.0) was similar to baseline conditions of treatment plots (95% CI: 3.4–4.9) and control plots (95% CI: 3.2–4.5) in 2009. Fledgling production was associated with thatch depth (β ± SE = 0.13 ± 0.09) and bare ground (β ± SE = -2.62 ± 1.29) adjacent to the nest and plot woody vegetative cover ( ± SE = -3.09 ± 1.02). Our experimental research suggests that overall reproductive success of Grasshopper and Henslow's sparrows on reclaimed surfacemine grasslands is driven by a suite of largely nonwoody—vegetation components, and both species can successfully nest and produce young in habitats with greater amounts of scattered woody vegetation than has generally been considered.

  17. The Fall of a Sparrow

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 2; Issue 1. The Fall of a Sparrow The Life of Sálim Ali. Kartik Shanker. Book Review Volume 2 Issue 1 January 1997 pp 74-76. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/002/01/0074-0076 ...

  18. Language discrimination by Java sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Shigeru; Yamamoto, Erico; Uozumi, Midori

    2006-07-01

    Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora) were trained to discriminate English from Chinese spoken by a bilingual speaker. They could learn discrimination and showed generalization to new sentences spoken by the same speaker and those spoken by a new speaker. Thus, the birds distinguished between English and Chinese. Although auditory cues for the discrimination were not specified, this is the first evidence that non-mammalian species can discriminate human languages.

  19. Field diet of the grasshopper Abracris dilecta Walker (Orthoptera, Acrididae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Frankl Sperber

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Abracris dilecta Walker, 1870 (Orthoptera, Acrididae, Ommatolampinae ate leafs of at least 14 plant species, in the families Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Malvales (Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae or Malvaceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, Verbenaceae, Aristolochiaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataccae. Elephantopus mollis H.B.K. (Asteraceae and Hyptis suaveolens Poit. (Lamiaceae comprised 50% of the diet. The diet breadth of A. dilecta was compared to that of other 11 grasshopper species of the same sub-family, with rarefaction curves. The number of plant species eaten by A. dilecta was greater than that of nine other grasshopper species of the same sub-family (Rhachicreagra spp. but was lower then two others (Microptylopteryx hebardi Rehn, 1905 and Rhachicreagra astytophallus Jago & Rowell, 1981. This results are discussed in view of the broad geographical range and possession of developed wings by A. dilecta, which contrasts with most Ommatolampinae grasshoppers.

  20. A comparison of the grasshopper fauna ( Orthoptera: Acridoidea ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The grasshopper fauna of the Uluguru Mountains and the East Usambara Mountains is compared. There is a marked relationship between habitat and similarity in species composition. The faunal similarity between sites rises with distance from the forest, evidently because the savannah species are widespread species ...

  1. The diversity of caeliferins in American grasshoppers, what possible function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caeliferins is a new class of compounds recently identified from regurgitant of the American grasshopper (Schistocerca americana)1. Two closely related caeliferins were shown to induce the release of volatiles in corn plants comparable to what earlier has been shown with volicitin and other fatty a...

  2. Phylogenetic Characterization of Encephalitozoon Romaleae (Microsporidia) from a Grasshopper Host: Relationship to Encephalitozoon spp. Infecting Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encephalitozoon species are the most common microsporidian pathogens of humans and domesticated animals. We recently discovered a new microsporidium, Encephalitozoon romaleae, infecting the eastern lubber grasshopper Romalea microptera. To understand its evolutionary relationships, we compared par...

  3. Effects of urbanization on host-pathogen interactions, using Yersinia in house sparrows as a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Strubbe, Diederik; Teyssier, Aimeric; Salleh Hudin, Noraine; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie; Cox, Ivo; Haesendonck, Roel; Delmée, Michel; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Lens, Luc; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization strongly affects biodiversity, altering natural communities and often leading to a reduced species richness. Yet, despite its increasingly recognized importance, how urbanization impacts on the health of individual animals, wildlife populations and on disease ecology remains poorly understood. To test whether, and how, urbanization-driven ecosystem alterations influence pathogen dynamics and avian health, we use house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Yersinia spp. (pathogenic for passerines) as a case study. Sparrows are granivorous urban exploiters, whose western European populations have declined over the past decades, especially in highly urbanized areas. We sampled 329 house sparrows originating from 36 populations along an urbanization gradient across Flanders (Belgium), and used isolation combined with 'matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization- time of flight mass spectrometry' (MALDI-TOF MS) and PCR methods for detecting the presence of different Yersinia species. Yersinia spp. were recovered from 57.43% of the sampled house sparrows, of which 4.06%, 53.30% and 69.54% were identified as Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica and other Yersinia species, respectively. Presence of Yersinia was related to the degree of urbanization, average daily temperatures and the community of granivorous birds present at sparrow capture locations. Body condition of suburban house sparrows was found to be higher compared to urban and rural house sparrows, but no relationships between sparrows' body condition and presence of Yersinia spp. were found. We conclude that two determinants of pathogen infection dynamics, body condition and pathogen occurrence, vary along an urbanization gradient, potentially mediating the impact of urbanization on avian health.

  4. Concerning nest ecology of the house sparrow and tree sparrow in the central part of Ciscaucasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. V. Chursinova

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This article contemplates nest ecology of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus and the tree sparrow (Passer montanus living in the conditions of the central part of Ciscaucasia. In the publication we can see an observation of nest – building, clutch – sizing and the effectiveness of breeding of the birds of both species.

  5. Beak and skull shapes of human commensal and non-commensal house sparrows Passer domesticus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The granivorous house sparrow Passer domesticus is thought to have developed its commensal relationship with humans with the rise of agriculture in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago, and to have expanded with the spread of agriculture in Eurasia during the last few thousand years. One subspecies, P. d. bactrianus, residing in Central Asia, has apparently maintained the ancestral ecology, however. This subspecies is not associated with human settlements; it is migratory and lives in natural grass- and wetland habitats feeding on wild grass seeds. It is well documented that the agricultural revolution was associated with an increase in grain size and changes in seed structure in cultivated cereals, the preferred food source of commensal house sparrow. Accordingly, we hypothesize that correlated changes may have occurred in beak and skull morphology as adaptive responses to the change in diet. Here, we test this hypothesis by comparing the skull shapes of 101 house sparrows from Iran, belonging to five different subspecies, including the non-commensal P. d. bactrianus, using geometric morphometrics. Results The various commensal house sparrow subspecies share subtle but consistent skeletal features that differ significantly from those of the non-commensal P. d. bactrianus. Although there is a marked overall size allometry in the data set, the shape difference between the ecologically differentiated sparrows cannot be explained by differences in size alone. Relative to the size allometry commensal house sparrows exhibit a skull shape consistent with accelerated development (heterochrony), resulting in a more robust facial cranium and a larger, more pointed beak. Conclusion The difference in skull shape and robustness of the beak between commensal and non-commensal house sparrows is consistent with adaptations to process the larger and rachis encapsulated seeds of domesticated cereals among human associated populations. PMID:24044497

  6. Effects of urbanization on host-pathogen interactions, using Yersinia in house sparrows as a model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strubbe, Diederik; Teyssier, Aimeric; Salleh Hudin, Noraine; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie; Cox, Ivo; Haesendonck, Roel; Delmée, Michel; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Lens, Luc; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization strongly affects biodiversity, altering natural communities and often leading to a reduced species richness. Yet, despite its increasingly recognized importance, how urbanization impacts on the health of individual animals, wildlife populations and on disease ecology remains poorly understood. To test whether, and how, urbanization-driven ecosystem alterations influence pathogen dynamics and avian health, we use house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Yersinia spp. (pathogenic for passerines) as a case study. Sparrows are granivorous urban exploiters, whose western European populations have declined over the past decades, especially in highly urbanized areas. We sampled 329 house sparrows originating from 36 populations along an urbanization gradient across Flanders (Belgium), and used isolation combined with ‘matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization- time of flight mass spectrometry’ (MALDI-TOF MS) and PCR methods for detecting the presence of different Yersinia species. Yersinia spp. were recovered from 57.43% of the sampled house sparrows, of which 4.06%, 53.30% and 69.54% were identified as Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica and other Yersinia species, respectively. Presence of Yersinia was related to the degree of urbanization, average daily temperatures and the community of granivorous birds present at sparrow capture locations. Body condition of suburban house sparrows was found to be higher compared to urban and rural house sparrows, but no relationships between sparrows’ body condition and presence of Yersinia spp. were found. We conclude that two determinants of pathogen infection dynamics, body condition and pathogen occurrence, vary along an urbanization gradient, potentially mediating the impact of urbanization on avian health. PMID:29281672

  7. Grasshoppers as a food source? A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul, A.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Description of the subject. Current trends suggest an increasing future demand for conventional meats, which indicates a strong need to shift this dependency to other alternative protein sources such as insects. Literature. From a nutritional point of view, of all the insects consumed globally, grasshoppers are particularly important as a human food. Data from the literature regarding the nutrient composition, amino acid profile, fatty acid profile, mineral composition and vitamin content of grasshoppers as reviewed in this paper, suggest that a number of grasshopper species are a good source of nutrients. It also highlights some of the health related aspects that might arise from the consumption of grasshoppers, mostly linked to agricultural practices and the allergic response of sensitive individuals. The paper also summarizes some religious, social and economic factors that are associated with grasshopper consumption. Conclusions. The success of introducing grasshoppers as a novel food in western countries depends on changes in consumer attitudes. It would be interesting to develop food products derived from grasshoppers in a form acceptable to consumers. Furthermore, it is important to explore the food potential of some grasshopper species native to western countries and to develop their rearing methodologies to enhance availability.

  8. CHROMOSOME STUDY OF SOME GRASSHOPPER SPECIES ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Hence, this research is aimed at studying the chromosomes of some Ethiopian grasshopper species. The grasshopper specimens used in this study were collected from eight localities in central Ethiopia. The specimens were identified as belonging to two families (Acrididae and Tetrigidae). Chromosome preparations were ...

  9. Mechanical Vectors Enhance Fungal Entomopathogen Reduction of the Grasshopper Pest Camnula pellucida (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kistner, Erica J; Saums, Marielle; Belovsky, Gary E

    2015-02-01

    Mounting scientific evidence indicates that pathogens can regulate insect populations. However, limited dispersal and sensitivity to abiotic conditions often restricts pathogen regulation of host populations. While it is well established that arthropod biological vectors increase pathogen incidence in host populations, few studies have examined whether arthropod mechanical vectors (an organism that transmits pathogens but is not essential to the life cycle of the pathogen) influence host-pathogen dynamics. The importance of mechanical dispersal by ant scavengers, Formica fusca (L.), in a grasshopper-fungal entomopathogen system was investigated. We examined the ability of ants to mechanically disperse and transmit the pathogen, Entomophaga grylli (Fresenius) pathotype 1, to its host, the pest grasshopper Camnula pellucida (Scudder), in a series of laboratory experiments. Fungal spores were dispersed either externally on the ant's body surface or internally through fecal deposition. In addition, a third of all grasshoppers housed with fungal-inoculated ants became infected, indicating that ants can act as mechanical vectors of E. grylli. The effect of ant mechanical vectors on E. grylli incidence was also examined in a field experiment. Ant access to pathogen-exposed experimental grasshopper populations was restricted using organic ant repellent, thereby allowing us to directly compare mechanical and natural transmission. Ants increased grasshopper pathogen mortality by 58%, which led to greater pathogen reductions of grasshopper survival than natural transmission. Taken together, our results indicate that ants enhance E. grylli reduction of grasshopper pest numbers. Therefore, mechanical transmission of pathogens may be an important overlooking component of this grasshopper-fungal pathogen system. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nossen, Ida; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Dimmen, Malene V

    2016-01-01

    At high trophic levels, environmental contaminants have been found to affect endocrinological processes. Less attention has been paid to species at lower trophic levels. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) may be a useful model for investigating effects of POPs in mid-range trophic level species....... In male house sparrows, ornamental traits involved in male quality signalling are important for female selection. These traits are governed by endocrinological systems, and POPs may therefore interfere with male quality signalling. The aim of the present study was to use the house sparrow as a mid......-range trophic level model species to study the effects of environmental contaminants on endocrinology and male quality signalling. We analysed the levels of selected PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs and investigated the possible effects of these contaminants on circulating levels of steroid hormones (4 progestagens, 4...

  11. The distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in song sparrows along Arizona's upper Santa Cruz River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Michael B.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals are persistent environmental contaminants, and transport of metals into the environment poses a threat to ecosystems, as plants and wildlife are susceptible to long-term exposure, bioaccumulation, and potential toxicity. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in southwestern song sparrows (Melospiza melodia fallax), a resident riparian bird species that occurs along the US/Mexico border in Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the degree of heavy metal accumulation in sparrows and determine the distributional patterns among study sites, (2) compare concentrations of metals found in this study to those found in studies performed prior to a 2009 international wastewater facility upgrade, and (3) assess the condition of song sparrows among sites with differing potential levels of exposure. We examined five study sites along with a reference site that reflect different potential sources of contamination. Body mass residuals and leukocyte counts were used to assess sparrow condition. Birds at our study sites typically had higher metal concentrations than birds at the reference site. Copper, mercury, nickel, and selenium in song sparrows did exceed background levels, although most metals were below background concentrations determined from previous studies. Song sparrows generally showed lower heavy metal concentrations compared to studies conducted prior to the 2009 wastewater facility upgrade. We found no cascading effects as a result of metal exposure.

  12. Ferocious fighting between male grasshoppers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate D L Umbers

    Full Text Available Contests among individuals over mating opportunities are common across diverse taxa, yet physical conflict is relatively rare. Due to the potentially fatal consequences of physical fighting, most animals employ mechanisms of conflict resolution involving signalling and ritualistic assessment. Here we provide the first evidence of ubiquitous escalated fighting in grasshoppers. The chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis is an Australian alpine specialist, in which males engage in highly aggressive combat over ovipositing females. We describe discrete agonistic behaviours including mandible flaring, mounting, grappling, kicking and biting, and their use depending on the individual's role as challenger or defender. We show that male role predicts damage, with challengers being more heavily damaged than males defending females (defenders. Challengers also possess wider mandibles than defenders, but are similar in other metrics of body size. Our data suggest that fights escalate between males matched in body size and that mandibles are used as weapons in this species. This system represents an exciting opportunity for future research into the evolution of costly fighting behaviour in an otherwise placid group.

  13. Ferocious Fighting between Male Grasshoppers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbers, Kate D. L.; Tatarnic, Nikolai J.; Holwell, Gregory I.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2012-01-01

    Contests among individuals over mating opportunities are common across diverse taxa, yet physical conflict is relatively rare. Due to the potentially fatal consequences of physical fighting, most animals employ mechanisms of conflict resolution involving signalling and ritualistic assessment. Here we provide the first evidence of ubiquitous escalated fighting in grasshoppers. The chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis) is an Australian alpine specialist, in which males engage in highly aggressive combat over ovipositing females. We describe discrete agonistic behaviours including mandible flaring, mounting, grappling, kicking and biting, and their use depending on the individual’s role as challenger or defender. We show that male role predicts damage, with challengers being more heavily damaged than males defending females (defenders). Challengers also possess wider mandibles than defenders, but are similar in other metrics of body size. Our data suggest that fights escalate between males matched in body size and that mandibles are used as weapons in this species. This system represents an exciting opportunity for future research into the evolution of costly fighting behaviour in an otherwise placid group. PMID:23166725

  14. Predation on Japanese quail vs. house sparrow eggs in artificial nests: small eggs reveal small predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation studies frequently use eggs such as Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica) to identify potential predators of Neotropical migrants' eggs, but such eggs may be too large or thick-shelled to identify the full complement of potential predators. We compared predation events and predators of Japanese Quail and smaller House Sparrow (

  15. chromosome study of some grasshopper species from different

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    ABSTRACT: Around 200 grasshopper species have been identified in Ethiopia, hitherto. The diversity and economic importance of Ethiopian grasshoppers notwithstanding, there is only few studies done on their taxonomy, distribution and ecology. Additionally, no report on the karyology of Ethiopian grasshoppers is ...

  16. Male song sparrows have elevated testosterone in response to neighbors versus strangers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser-Purdy, Christopher; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A; Bonier, Frances; Graham, Brendan A; Boyer, Andrea C; Mennill, Daniel J

    2017-07-01

    Upon hearing a conspecific signal, animals must assess their relationship with the signaller and respond appropriately. Territorial animals usually respond more aggressively to strangers than neighbors in a phenomenon known as the "dear enemy effect". This phenomenon likely evolved because strangers represent a threat to an animal's territory tenure and parentage, whereas neighbors only represent a threat to an animal's parentage because they already possess a territory (providing territory boundaries are established and stable). Although the dear enemy effect has been widely documented using behavioral response variables, little research has been conducted on the physiological responses of animals to neighbors versus strangers. We sought to investigate whether the dear enemy effect is observed physiologically by exposing territorial male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to playback simulating a neighbor or a stranger, and then collecting blood samples to measure plasma testosterone levels. We predicted that song sparrows would exhibit increased testosterone levels after exposure to stranger playback compared to neighbor playback, due to the role testosterone plays in regulating aggression. Contrary to our prediction, we found that song sparrows had higher testosterone levels after exposure to neighbor playback compared to stranger playback. We discuss several explanations for our result, notably that corticosterone may regulate the dear enemy effect in male song sparrows and this may inhibit plasma testosterone. Future studies will benefit from examining corticosterone in addition to testosterone, to better understand the hormonal underpinnings of the dear enemy effect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Morphometric Variations in the Grasshopper, Chromacris speciosa from Two Localities of Pernambuco in Northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneiros, Roberta Araújo; de Almeida, Argus Vasconcelos; de Melo, Gabriel Rivas; da Câmara, Cláudio Augusto Gomes

    2012-01-01

    The present study describes morphometric variations in the grasshopper, Chromacris speciosa (Thunberg, 1824) (Orthoptera: Acridoidea: Romaleidae) from two locations in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. The distance between the sites chosen for collections (Recife and São Lourenço da Mata) is approximately 16 km. The investigation was based on a comparative study of external morphological characteristics of the grasshoppers. Morphometric measurements took into account the different body parts and appendages. Statistical analysis of the measurements revealed significant differences in the size of the specimens between the two locations. Homogeneity tests of the covariance and equality matrices between mean vectors of the results revealed that the grasshopper populations in Recife and São Lourenço da Mata are distinctly different. These findings provide morphological evidence for intraspecific variation in morphological characteristics of the C. speciosa populations from the two locations. PMID:23421530

  18. Migratory sleeplessness in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels C Rattenborg

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Twice a year, normally diurnal songbirds engage in long-distance nocturnal migrations between their wintering and breeding grounds. If and how songbirds sleep during these periods of increased activity has remained a mystery. We used a combination of electrophysiological recording and neurobehavioral testing to characterize seasonal changes in sleep and cognition in captive white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii across nonmigratory and migratory seasons. Compared to sparrows in a nonmigratory state, migratory sparrows spent approximately two-thirds less time sleeping. Despite reducing sleep during migration, accuracy and responding on a repeated-acquisition task remained at a high level in sparrows in a migratory state. This resistance to sleep loss during the prolonged migratory season is in direct contrast to the decline in accuracy and responding observed following as little as one night of experimenter-induced sleep restriction in the same birds during the nonmigratory season. Our results suggest that despite being adversely affected by sleep loss during the nonmigratory season, songbirds exhibit an unprecedented capacity to reduce sleep during migration for long periods of time without associated deficits in cognitive function. Understanding the mechanisms that mediate migratory sleeplessness may provide insights into the etiology of changes in sleep and behavior in seasonal mood disorders, as well as into the functions of sleep itself.

  19. Revision of the grasshopper genus Sedulia Stål, 1878 (Acrididae: Catantopinae) from Malay Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ming Kai; Robillard, Tony; Kamaruddin, Khairul Nizam

    2016-05-02

    Southeast Asia is a highly biodiverse region with many species of grasshoppers described since the 19th century. Historical species descriptions are however often not comprehensive and do not meet the modern criteria of taxonomy. Previously used characters for identification need to be re-examined. Here, we aim to revise the taxonomy of the grasshopper genus Sedulia Stål, 1878. Using morphology and simple morphometry, we compared and investigated interspecific and intraspecific variations among the two species of Sedulia. We also redescribed both species and constructed a key to species and closely related genera.

  20. Stable Isotope Systematics in Grasshopper Assemblages Along an Elevation Gradient, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, M. J.; Evans, S.; Dean, J.; Nufio, C.

    2012-12-01

    Insects comprise over three quarters of all animal species, yet studies of body water isotopic composition are limited to only the cockroach, the hoverfly, and chironomid flies. These studies suggest that oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions in body water are primarily controlled by dietary water sources, with modification from respiratory and metabolic processes. In particular, outward diffusion of isotopically depleted water vapor through insect spiracles at low humidity enriches residual body water in 18O and 2H (D). Stable isotope compositions (δ18O and δD) also respond to gradients in elevation and humidity, but these influences remain poorly understood. In this study, we measured grasshopper body water and local vegetation isotopic compositions along an elevation gradient in Colorado to evaluate three hypotheses: 1) Insect body water isotopic composition is directly related to food source water composition 2) Water vapor transport alters body water isotopic compositions relative to original diet sources, and 3) Elevation gradients influence isotopic compositions in insect body water. Thirty-five species of grasshopper were collected from 14 locations in Colorado grasslands, ranging in elevation from 450 to 800 meters (n=131). Body water was distilled from previously frozen grasshopper specimens using a vacuum extraction line, furnaces (90 °C), and liquid nitrogen traps. Water samples were then analyzed for δ18O and δD on an LGR Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer, housed in the Department of Geosciences, Boise State University. Grasshopper body water isotopic compositions show wide variation, with values ranging between -76.64‰ to +42.82‰ in δD and -3.06‰ to +26.78‰ in δ18O. Precipitation δ18O values over the entire Earth excluding the poles vary by approximately 30‰, comparable to the total range measured in our single study area. Most grasshopper values deviate from the global meteoric water line relating δ18O and δD in precipitation

  1. 78 FR 8588 - Rg Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-06

    ... Consulting, Crown Security, Eastern Automation, EDS(HP), Teksystems, URS Corporation, and B More Industrial... from B More Industrial Services LLC were employed on-site at the Sparrows Point, Maryland location of RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC. The Department has determined that these workers from B More Industrial...

  2. Commercialization of Ruspolia nitidula (nsenene grasshoppers) in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Trade in Ruspolia nitidula commonly known as grasshopper and locally known, as Nsenene is becoming a valuable source of income for many poor people in central Uganda, which although modest in terms of monetary value, could nonetheless form a significant proportion of their annual income. Though eaten by a large ...

  3. Antennal sensilla of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The external structure, i.e. number and distribution of sensillae on male and female antennae of 12 species of grasshoppers belonging to Pamphaginae, Catantopinae, Oedipodinae and Gomphocerinae in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Five major types of antennal ...

  4. Corticosterone regulation in house sparrows invading Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Lynn B; Kilvitis, Holly J; Thiam, Massamba; Ardia, Daniel R

    2017-09-01

    What traits help organisms expand their ranges? Several behavioral and life history traits have been identified, but physiological and especially endocrinological factors have been minimally considered. Here, we asked whether steroid hormonal responses to stressors might be important. Previously, we found that corticosterone (CORT) responses to a standard restraint stressor were stronger at a range edge than at the core of the recent house sparrow (Passer domesticus) invasion of Kenya. In related work in the same system, we found that various behaviors (exploratory activity, responses to novelty, etc.) that are affected by CORT in other systems varied among sparrow populations in a manner that would suggest that CORT regulation directly influenced colonization success; birds at the range edge were less averse to novelty and more exploratory than birds from the core. Here, we asked whether the pattern in CORT regulation we observed in Kenya was also detectable in the more recent (∼1970) and independent invasion of Senegal. We found, as in Kenya, that Senegalese range-edge birds mounted stronger CORT responses to restraint than core birds. We also found lower baseline CORT in range-edge than core Senegalese birds, but little evidence for effects of individual sex, body mass or body size on CORT. Follow-up work will be necessary to resolve whether CORT regulation in Senegal (and Kenya) actively facilitated colonization success, but our work implicates glucocorticoids as a mediator of range expansion success, making stress responses potentially useful biomarkers of invasion risk. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Transcriptome profiling of ontogeny in the acridid grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Emma L; Finck, Jonas; Johnston, Paul R; Waurick, Isabelle; Mazzoni, Camila J; Mayer, Frieder

    2017-01-01

    Acridid grasshoppers (Orthoptera:Acrididae) are widely used model organisms for developmental, evolutionary, and neurobiological research. Although there has been recent influx of orthopteran transcriptomic resources, many use pooled ontogenetic stages obscuring information about changes in gene expression during development. Here we developed a de novo transcriptome spanning 7 stages in the life cycle of the acridid grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Samples from different stages encompassing embryonic development through adults were used for transcriptomic profiling, revealing patterns of differential gene expression that highlight processes in the different life stages. These patterns were validated with semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Embryonic development showed a strongly differentiated expression pattern compared to all of the other stages and genes upregulated in this stage were involved in signaling, cellular differentiation, and organ development. Our study is one of the first to examine gene expression during post-embryonic development in a hemimetabolous insect and we found that only the fourth and fifth instars had clusters of genes upregulated during these stages. These genes are involved in various processes ranging from synthesis of biogenic amines to chitin binding. These observations indicate that post-embryonic ontogeny is not a continuous process and that some instars are differentiated. Finally, genes upregulated in the imago were generally involved in aging and immunity. Our study highlights the importance of looking at ontogeny as a whole and indicates promising directions for future research in orthopteran development.

  6. Transcriptome profiling of ontogeny in the acridid grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Emma L.; Finck, Jonas; Johnston, Paul R.; Waurick, Isabelle; Mazzoni, Camila J.; Mayer, Frieder

    2017-01-01

    Acridid grasshoppers (Orthoptera:Acrididae) are widely used model organisms for developmental, evolutionary, and neurobiological research. Although there has been recent influx of orthopteran transcriptomic resources, many use pooled ontogenetic stages obscuring information about changes in gene expression during development. Here we developed a de novo transcriptome spanning 7 stages in the life cycle of the acridid grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Samples from different stages encompassing embryonic development through adults were used for transcriptomic profiling, revealing patterns of differential gene expression that highlight processes in the different life stages. These patterns were validated with semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Embryonic development showed a strongly differentiated expression pattern compared to all of the other stages and genes upregulated in this stage were involved in signaling, cellular differentiation, and organ development. Our study is one of the first to examine gene expression during post-embryonic development in a hemimetabolous insect and we found that only the fourth and fifth instars had clusters of genes upregulated during these stages. These genes are involved in various processes ranging from synthesis of biogenic amines to chitin binding. These observations indicate that post-embryonic ontogeny is not a continuous process and that some instars are differentiated. Finally, genes upregulated in the imago were generally involved in aging and immunity. Our study highlights the importance of looking at ontogeny as a whole and indicates promising directions for future research in orthopteran development. PMID:28520760

  7. Sex-specific fitness correlates of dispersal in a house sparrow metapopulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pärn, Henrik; Jensen, Henrik; Ringsby, Thor H; Saether, Bernt-Erik

    2009-11-01

    1. Dispersal affects many important ecological and evolutionary processes. Still, little is known about the fitness of dispersing individuals. 2. Here, we use data from a long-term study of a house sparrow Passer domesticus metapopulation to compare lifetime reproductive success (LRS) of resident and immigrant individuals, all with known origin. 3. Lifetime production of recruits by immigrant males was much lower than for resident males, because of shorter life span and lower annual mating success. In contrast, lifetime production of recruits did not differ significantly between immigrant and resident females. 4. Over their lifetime, dispersers contributed fewer recruits to the local population than residents. This shows that immigrant house sparrows have different, sex specific, demographic effects on the population dynamics than residents.

  8. Reflecting on the Relationship Between Human Beings and Sparrows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyoti Trehan Sharma

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The Birdman of India, Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, was one of the first Indians to conduct a systematic and patterned survey of birds in India. W.S. Millard, the Secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS had introduced Salim Ali to the beautiful world of the birds. Millard had identified an unusually coloured sparrow that was actually shot by a young Salim Ali with his air gun. This was a yellow-throated sparrow. Following this, Millard showed Salim Ali the Society’s collection of stuffed birds, and this became the beginning of a marvelous journey of exploring the bird kingdom and establishing great landmarks by Salim Ali. The sparrow had transformed Salim Ali’s world. Undoubtedly, his autobiography was later titled ‘The Fall of a Sparrow’. Salim Ali has very carefully noted in his autobiography as to how this yellow-throated sparrow became the turning point in his life that led him into the fascinating world of ornithology. This research contribution is not about the birdman but the bird, which is rapidly vanishing from our vicinity. The reasons for the decline of the sparrow are varied but the fact of the matter is that the natural world around us is rapidly receding. And the decline of the sparrow is an alarm, a warning against the degrading ecosystems, and an alarm against blind-folded urbanisation which is leading to human-induced disasters.

  9. Vitellogenin-RNAi and ovariectomy each increase lifespan, increase protein storage, and decrease feeding, but are not additive in grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tetlak, Alicia G; Burnett, Jacob B; Hahn, Daniel A; Hatle, John D

    2015-12-01

    Reduced reproduction has been shown to increase lifespan in many animals, yet the mechanisms behind this trade-off are unclear. We addressed this question by combining two distinct, direct means of life-extension via reduced reproduction, to test whether they were additive. In the lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera, ovariectomized (OVX) individuals had a ~20% increase in lifespan and a doubling of storage relative to controls (Sham operated). Similarly, young female grasshoppers treated with RNAi against vitellogenin (the precursor to egg yolk protein) had increased fat body mass and halted ovarian growth. In this study, we compared VgRNAi to two control groups that do not reduce reproduction, namely buffer injection (Buffer) and injection with RNAi against a hexameric storage protein (Hex90RNAi). Each injection treatment was tested with and without ovariectomy. Hence, we tested feeding, storage, and lifespans in six groups: OVX and Buffer, OVX and Hex90RNAi, OVX and VgRNAi, Sham and Buffer, Sham and Hex90RNAi, and Sham and VgRNAi. Ovariectomized grasshoppers and VgRNAi grasshoppers each had similar reductions in feeding (~40%), increases in protein storage in the hemolymph (150-300%), and extensions in lifespan (13-21%). Ovariectomized grasshoppers had higher vitellogenin protein levels than did VgRNAi grasshoppers. Last but not least, when ovariectomy and VgRNAi were applied together, there was no greater effect on feeding, protein storage, or longevity. Hence, feeding regulation, and protein storage in insects, may be conserved components of life-extension via reduced reproduction.

  10. Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) community composition in the rangeland of the northern slopes of The Qilian Mountains in northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, T; Liu, Z Y; Qin, L P; Long, R J

    2015-01-01

    In order to describe grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) species composition, diversity, abundance, and density of four rangelands types, we compared the grasshopper community composition and dynamics in the rangeland of the northern slopes of the Qilian Mountains. In total, 55 grasshopper species were collected from 2007 to 2009, representing three families and six subfamilies. The subfamily Oedipodinae was dominant, followed by Gomphocerinae and Catantopinae. Species abundance varied among rangeland types (RTs). The greatest abundance of grasshoppers was found in mountain rangeland, while the lowest abundance of grasshoppers was caught in alpine shrublands. Three species (Chorthippus cf. brunneus (Thunberg) (Acrididae), Chorthippus Dubius (Zubovski), and Gomphocerus licenti (Chang) were broadly distributed in the four RTs and constituted 7.5% of all grasshoppers collected. Ch. dubius was very abundant in desert rangeland and alpine shrubland. Bryodema dolichoptera Yin et Feng Eremippus qilianshanensis Lian and Zheng, and Filchnerella qilianshanensis Xi and Zheng (Pamphagidae) were endemic to the region of the Qilian Mountains. Species similarity between RTs ranged from 17.8 to 51.6 based on the Renkonen index. Similarly, the Sörensen index indicated a wide separation in species composition among RTs. The abundance of the eight most common species showed obvious differences among RTs and years. On average, mountain rangeland had the highest density values in 2007 and 2008, and alpine shrubland supported the smallest density. The densities in desert and mountain rangeland in 2007 were significantly higher than in 2008, while alpine rangeland and shrublands did not present obvious differences among years. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  11. Comparison of intraosseous pentobarbital administration and thoracic compression for euthanasia of anesthetized sparrows (Passer domesticus) and starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul-Murphy, Joanne R; Engilis, Andrew; Pascoe, Peter J; Williams, D Colette; Gustavsen, Kate A; Drazenovich, Tracy L; Keel, M Kevin; Polley, Tamsen M; Engilis, Irene E

    2017-08-01

    OBJECTIVE To compare intraosseous pentobarbital treatment (IPT) and thoracic compression (TC) on time to circulatory arrest and an isoelectric electroencephalogram (EEG) in anesthetized passerine birds. ANIMALS 30 wild-caught adult birds (17 house sparrows [Passer domesticus] and 13 European starlings [Sturnus vulgaris]). PROCEDURES Birds were assigned to receive IPT or TC (n = 6/species/group). Birds were anesthetized, and carotid arterial pulses were monitored by Doppler methodology. Five subdermal braided-wire electrodes were used for EEG. Anesthetic depth was adjusted until a continuous EEG pattern was maintained, then euthanasia was performed. Times from initiation of euthanasia to cessation of carotid pulse and irreversible isoelectric EEG (indicators of death) were measured. Data (medians and first to third quartiles) were summarized and compared between groups within species. Necropsies were performed for all birds included in experiments and for another 6 birds euthanized under anesthesia by TC (4 sparrows and 1 starling) or IPT (1 sparrow). RESULTS Median time to isoelectric EEG did not differ significantly between treatment groups for sparrows (19.0 and 6.0 seconds for TC and IPT, respectively) or starlings (88.5 and 77.5 seconds for TC and IPT, respectively). Median times to cessation of pulse were significantly shorter for TC than for IPT in sparrows (0.0 vs 18.5 seconds) and starlings (9.5 vs 151.0 seconds). On necropsy, most (14/17) birds that underwent TC had grossly visible coelomic, pericardial, or perihepatic hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that TC might be an efficient euthanasia method for small birds. Digital pressure directly over the heart during TC obstructed venous return, causing rapid circulatory arrest, with rupture of the atria or vena cava in several birds. The authors propose that cardiac compression is a more accurate description than TC for this procedure.

  12. Two Neural Measures Differ between Urban and Rural Song Sparrows after Conspecific Song Playback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra B. Sewall

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization is a critical form of environmental change that can affect the physiology and behavior of wild animals and, notably, birds. One behavioral difference between birds living in urban and rural habitats is that urban males show elevated boldness or territorial aggression in response to simulated social challenge. This pattern has been described in several populations of song sparrow, Melospiza melodia. Such behavioral differences must be underpinned by differences in the brain, yet little work has explored how urbanization and neural function may be interrelated. We explored the relationship between urbanization and neural activation within a network of brain regions, collectively called the social behavior network, which contributes to the regulation of territorial aggression. Specifically, we captured free-living, territorial male song sparrows by playing them conspecific songs for 6–11 min, and then collected their brains. We estimated recent neural activation, as indicated by the immediate early gene FOS, and measured levels of a neuropeptide, arginine vasotocin (AVT, which is involved in the regulation of social behavior. Based on previous studies we expected urban males, which are generally more territorially aggressive, to have lower FOS expression in a node of the social behavior network implicated in regulating territoriality, the lateral septum (LS. Additionally, we expected urban males to have lower AVT expression in a brain region involved in the regulation of sociality, the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm. We found that, compared to rural males, urban male song sparrows did have lower FOS expression in the LS. This pattern suggests that lower neural activation in the LS could contribute to behavioral adjustments to urbanization in male song sparrows. Additionally, counter to our predictions, urban male song sparrows had higher AVT-like immunoreactivity in the BSTm. Future work building upon these findings

  13. Comparison of elliptical and spherical mirrors for the grasshopper monochromators at SSRL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waldhauer, A.P.

    1989-01-01

    A comparison of the performance of a spherical and elliptical mirror in the grasshopper monochromator is presented. The problem was studied by ray tracing and then tested using visible (λ=633 nm) laser light. Calculations using ideal optics yield an improvement in flux by a factor of up to 2.7, while tests with visible light show an increase by a factor of 5 because the old spherical mirror is compared to a new, perfect elliptical one. The FWHM of the measured focus is 90 μm with a spherical mirror, and 25 μm with an elliptical one. Elliptical mirrors have been acquired and are now being installed in the two grasshoppers at SSRL

  14. Equipment for neutron measurements at VR-1 Sparrow training reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolros, Antonin; Huml, Ondrej; Kríz, Martin; Kos, Josef

    2010-01-01

    The VR-1 sparrow reactor is an experimental nuclear facility for training, student education and teaching purposes. The sparrow reactor is an educational platform for the basic experiments at the reactor physic and dosimetry. The aim of this article is to describe the new experimental equipment EMK310 features and possibilities for neutron detection by different gas filled detectors at VR-1 reactor. Among the EMK310 equipment typical attributes belong precise set-up, simple control, resistance to electromagnetic interference, high throughput (counting rate), versatility and remote controllability. The methods for non-linearity correction of pulse neutron detection system and reactimeter application are presented. Copyright 2009. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Diet alters performance and transcription patterns in Oedaleus asiaticus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xunbing; Whitman, Douglas W; Ma, Jingchuan; McNeill, Mark Richard; Zhang, Zehua

    2017-01-01

    We reared Oedaleus asiaticus grasshoppers under four different single-plant diets to examine the relationships among diet, performance, stress, and transcription patterns. Grasshoppers fed only Artemisia frigida (Asteraceae) were stressed, as indicated by their lower growth, size, development, and survival, in comparison to grasshoppers fed on any of three grasses, Cleistogenes squarrosa, Leymus chinensis, or Stipa krylovii (all Poaceae). We then used transcriptome analysis to examine how gene expression levels in O. asiaticus were altered by feeding on these diets. Nymphs fed A. frigida had the largest variation in gene expression profiles with a total of 299 genes significantly up- or down-regulated compared to those feeding on the three grasses: down-regulated genes included those involved in cuticle biosynthesis, DNA replication, biosynthesis and metabolism of nutrition. The up-regulated genes included stress-resistant and detoxifying enzymes. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis also showed that feeding on A. frigida could down-regulate biosynthesis and metabolism related pathways, and up-regulate stress-resistant and detoxification terms and pathways. Our results show that diet significantly altered gene-expression, and that unfavorable, stressful diets induce more transcriptional changes than favorable diets. Altered gene-expression represents phenotypic plasticity, and many such changes appear to be evolved, adaptive responses. The ease and regularity by which individuals shift phenotypes via altered transcription suggests that populations consist not of similar, fixed phenotypes, but of a collection of ever-changing, divergent phenotypes.

  16. Grasshoppers – Generalists to Specialists?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    During swarms many people col- lect the insects which are then salted, fried or roasted to make a spicy crunchy snack serving as a good source of income to many people. The average retail price per kg of this insect in Kampala in 2008 was. US $2.80, which compared favourably with that of the goat meat, which sold at.

  17. Nymphal RNAi: systemic RNAi mediated gene knockdown in juvenile grasshopper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Ying

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Grasshopper serves as important model system in neuroscience, development and evolution. Representatives of this primitive insect group are also highly relevant targets of pest control efforts. Unfortunately, the lack of genetics or gene specific molecular manipulation imposes major limitations to the study of grasshopper biology. Results We investigated whether juvenile instars of the grasshopper species Schistocerca americana are conducive to gene silencing via the systemic RNAi pathway. Injection of dsRNA corresponding to the eye colour gene vermilion into first instar nymphs triggered suppression of ommochrome formation in the eye lasting through two instars equivalent to 10–14 days in absolute time. QRT-PCR analysis revealed a two fold decrease of target transcript levels in affected animals. Control injections of EGFP dsRNA did not result in detectable phenotypic changes. RT-PCR and in situ hybridization detected ubiquitous expression of the grasshopper homolog of the dsRNA channel protein gene sid-1 in embryos, nymphs and adults. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that systemic dsRNA application elicits specific and long-term gene silencing in juvenile grasshopper instars. The conservation of systemic RNAi in the grasshopper suggests that this pathway can be exploited for gene specific manipulation of juvenile and adult instars in a wide range of primitive insects.

  18. Rock Sparrow Song Reflects Male Age and Reproductive Success

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nemeth, Erwin; Kempenaers, Bart; Matessi, Giuliano

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of mating signals is closely linked to sexual selection. Acoustic ornaments are often used as secondary sexual traits that signal the quality of the signaller. Here we show that song performance reflects age and reproductive success in the rock sparrow (Petronia petronia). In an Alp...

  19. Oviposition site selection by the grasshoppers Melanoplus borealis and M. sanguinipes (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Female grasshoppers can affect the fitness of their offspring through their selection of oviposition sites. Successful embryological development depends on suitable temperature and moisture levels, factors which may vary considerably on a fine scale in natural environments where grasshoppers occur. ...

  20. Grasshopper Population Ecology: Catastrophe, Criticality, and Critique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dale R. Lockwood

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasshopper population dynamics are an important part of the North American rangeland ecosystem and an important factor in the economies that derive from the rangeland. Outbreak dynamics have plagued management strategies in the rangeland, and attempts to find simple, linear and mechanistic solutions to both understanding and predicting the dynamics have proved fruitless. These efforts to ground theory in a correspondence with the "real" world, including whether the population dynamics are ultimately density dependent or density independent, have generated abundant heat but little light. We suggest that a pragmatic approach, in which theories are taken to be "tools" rather than competing claims of truth, has greater promise to move ecological research in a constructive direction. Two recent non-linear approaches exploiting the tools of complexity science provide insights relevant to explaining and forecasting population dynamics. Observation and data collection were used to structure models derived from catastrophe theory and self-organized criticality. These models indicate that nonlinear processes are important in the dynamics of the outbreaks. And the conceptual structures of these approaches provide clear, albeit constrained or contingent, implications for pest managers. We show that, although these two frameworks, catastrophe theory and self-organized criticality, are very different, the frequency distributions of time series from both systems result in power law relationships. Further, we show that a simple lattice-based model, similar to SOC but structured on the biology of the grasshoppers gives a spatial time series similar to data over a 50-year span and the frequency distribution is also a power law relationship. This demonstration exemplifies how a "both-and" rather than an "either-or" approach to ecological modeling, in which the useful elements of particular theories or conceptual structures are extracted, may provide a way forward

  1. Captivity influences immune responses, stress endocrinology, and organ size in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Ashley C; Lovern, Matthew B; DuRant, Sarah E

    2017-10-01

    Studies using wild animals in laboratory-based research require bringing wild-captured organisms into a novel setting, which can have long-lasting impacts on physiology and behavior. In several species, captivity stimulates stress hormone production and can alter immune function. Despite this, there is little consensus on how captivity influences stress hormone regulation, or if captivity-induced changes in stress hormone production and regulation mediate changes in immune function. In this study, we investigate the influence of captivity on the physiology of a wild bird commonly-used in laboratory-based research, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). We tested how captivity influences stress endocrinology, immune responses, and organ mass, and also investigated if the production or regulation of corticosterone, the main stress hormone in birds, correlated with changes in immunity. We found that baseline corticosterone concentrations and maximum capacity of the adrenals to secrete corticosterone increase following captivity and remain elevated after 9weeks of captivity. A measure of innate immune function, the bactericidal ability of plasma, also increased with time spent in captivity. Wound healing was also influenced by time spent in captivity, with birds taking almost 2days longer to heal if they were wounded after 3weeks in captivity when compared with birds that were wounded immediately upon capture. Additionally, captivity caused notable reductions in spleen and liver mass. Together, these results imply that captivity can have long-lasting effects on house sparrow corticosterone release and immune function, and suggest that even after 9weeks house sparrows do not acclimate physiologically to life in captivity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Meat fatty acid and cholesterol level of free-range broilers fed on grasshoppers on alpine rangeland in the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Tao; Liu, Zhiyun; Qin, Liping; Long, Ruijun

    2012-08-30

    Meat safety and nutrition are major concerns of consumers. The development of distinctive poultry production methods based on locally available natural resources is important. Grasshoppers are rich in important nutrients and occur in dense concentrations in most rangelands of northern China. Foraging chickens could be used to suppress grasshopper infestations. However, knowledge of the fatty acid content of meat from free-range broilers reared on alpine rangeland is required. Rearing conditions and diet did not significantly (P > 0.05) affect concentrations of saturated fatty acid (SFA), arachidonic acid, docosahexaenoic acid or the ratio of total n-6 to total n-3 fatty acids. Breast muscle of chickens that had consumed grasshoppers contained significantly (P 0.05) higher than intensively reared birds. Compared with meat from intensively reared birds, meat from free-range broilers had less cholesterol and higher concentrations of total lipid and phospholipids. Chickens eating grasshoppers in rangeland produce superior quality meat and reduce the grasshopper populations that damage the pastures. This provides an economic system of enhanced poultry-meat production, which derives benefits from natural resources rather than artificial additives. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. The House Sparrows Passer domesticus and Tree Sparrows Passer montanus: fine-scale distribution, population densities, and habitat selection in a Central European city

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Riegert, J.; Grill, S.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 2 (2015), s. 221-232 ISSN 0001-6454 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : House Sparrow * Tree Sparrow * urban environment * city green * built-up area * habitat selection * nest-site selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.837, year: 2015

  4. Large-scale spatial variation in feather corticosterone in invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Mexico is related to climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treen, Gillian D; Hobson, Keith A; Marchant, Tracy A; Bortolotti, Gary R

    2015-09-01

    Ecologists frequently use physiological tools to understand how organisms cope with their surroundings but rarely at macroecological scales. This study describes spatial variation in corticosterone (CORT) levels in feathers of invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across their range in Mexico and evaluates CORT-climate relationships with a focus on temperature and precipitation. Samples were collected from 49 sites across Mexico. Feather CORT (CORTf) was measured using methanol-based extraction and radioimmunoassay. Relationships between CORTf and spatial and climate variables were examined using simple linear regressions. Ordination was used on climate data, CORTf was plotted against the resulting axes, and univariate regression trees were used to identify important predictors of CORTf. Universal kriging interpolation was used to illustrate spatial variation in CORTf across Mexico. Correlations with ordination axes showed that high CORTf was associated with low precipitation during the rainy season and low dry season temperatures. Specifically, CORTf was negatively related to May precipitation and January and July minimum temperatures, and positively related to April deuterium excess and June minimum temperatures. CORTf was higher in second-year birds compared to after-hatch years and after-second years. House sparrows had higher CORTf levels in the hot, dry, north-central region of Mexico, and CORTf was negatively related to temperature and precipitation. House sparrows molt primarily from August-September but climate conditions throughout the year were important predictors of CORTf, suggesting that conditions outside of molt can carry over to influence energetics during feather growth. These data suggest that dry conditions are challenging for house sparrows in Mexico, supporting previous work showing that precipitation is an important predictor of broad-scale CORT variation. This work highlights the utility of CORTf for evaluating the influence of

  5. Nutrient delivery to Lake Winnipeg from the Red-Assiniboine River Basin – A binational application of the SPARROW model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoy, Glenn A; Jenkinson, R. Wayne; Robertson, Dale M.; Saad, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Excessive phosphorus (TP) and nitrogen (TN) inputs from the Red–Assiniboine River Basin (RARB) have been linked to eutrophication of Lake Winnipeg; therefore, it is important for the management of water resources to understand where and from what sources these nutrients originate. The RARB straddles the Canada–United States border and includes portions of two provinces and three states. This study represents the first binationally focused application of SPAtially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models to estimate loads and sources of TP and TN by jurisdiction and basin at multiple spatial scales. Major hurdles overcome to develop these models included: (1) harmonization of geospatial data sets, particularly construction of a contiguous stream network; and (2) use of novel calibration steps to accommodate limitations in spatial variability across the model extent and in the number of calibration sites. Using nutrient inputs for a 2002 base year, a RARB TP SPARROW model was calibrated that included inputs from agriculture, forests and wetlands, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and stream channels, and a TN model was calibrated that included inputs from agriculture, WWTPs and atmospheric deposition. At the RARB outlet, downstream from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the majority of the delivered TP and TN came from the Red River Basin (90%), followed by the Upper Assiniboine River and Souris River basins. Agriculture was the single most important TP and TN source for each major basin, province and state. In general, stream channels (historically deposited nutrients and from bank erosion) were the second most important source of TP. Performance metrics for the RARB SPARROW model are similarly robust compared to other, larger US SPARROW models making it a potentially useful tool to address questions of where nutrients originate and their relative contributions to loads delivered to Lake Winnipeg.

  6. Spatial variability in nutrient transport by HUC8, state, and subbasin based on Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin SPARROW models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Dale M.; Saad, David A.; Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. With geospatial datasets for 2002, including inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and monitored loads throughout the MARB, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) watershed models were constructed specifically for the MARB, which reduced simulation errors from previous models. Based on these models, N loads/yields were highest from the central part (centered over Iowa and Indiana) of the MARB (Corn Belt), and the highest P yields were scattered throughout the MARB. Spatial differences in yields from previous studies resulted from different descriptions of the dominant sources (N yields are highest with crop-oriented agriculture and P yields are highest with crop and animal agriculture and major WWTPs) and different descriptions of downstream transport. Delivered loads/yields from the MARB SPARROW models are used to rank subbasins, states, and eight-digit Hydrologic Unit Code basins (HUC8s) by N and P contributions and then rankings are compared with those from other studies. Changes in delivered yields result in an average absolute change of 1.3 (N) and 1.9 (P) places in state ranking and 41 (N) and 69 (P) places in HUC8 ranking from those made with previous national-scale SPARROW models. This information may help managers decide where efforts could have the largest effects (highest ranked areas) and thus reduce hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. A Survey of Neospora caninum infection in sparrows (Passer domesticus in Khuzestan Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahrami, S.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study reports the presence of N. caninum DNA by PCR in brain tissues of house sparrows. The results showed that 6 (2.8% of brain samples were positive for N. caninum. This is the first report for detection of N. caninum in sparrows, in Khuzestan Province. The results suggest that the meat of infected sparrows can be the source for dogs' infection.

  8. Size differentiation in Finnish house sparrows follows Bergmann's rule with evidence of local adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brommer, J E; Hanski, I K; Kekkonen, J; Väisänen, R A

    2014-04-01

    Bergmann's rule predicts that individuals are larger in more poleward populations and that this size gradient has an adaptive basis. Hence, phenotypic divergence in size traits between populations (PST ) is expected to exceed the level of divergence by drift alone (FST ). We measured 16 skeletal traits, body mass and wing length in 409 male and 296 female house sparrows Passer domesticus sampled in 12 populations throughout Finland, where the species has its northernmost European distributional margin. Morphometric differentiation across populations (PST ) was compared with differentiation in 13 microsatellites (FST ). We find that twelve traits phenotypically diverged more than FST in both sexes, and an additional two traits diverged in males. The phenotypic divergence exceeded FST in several traits to such a degree that findings were robust also to strong between-population environmental effects. Divergence was particularly strong in dimensions of the bill, making it a strong candidate for the study of adaptive molecular genetic divergence. Divergent traits increased in size in more northern populations. We conclude that house sparrows show evidence of an adaptive latitudinal size gradient consistent with Bergmann's rule on the modest spatial scale of ca. 600 km. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Discrimination of consonance and dissonance in Java sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, S; Uozumi, M; Tanaka, N

    2005-09-30

    Six adult Java sparrows were trained to discriminate between consonant and dissonant sounds consisting of three tones. In the consonance group, the perching response was reinforced when consonance was presented, but not when dissonance was presented. Both groups were given an inversion test, in which the first inversion of the chord was used as a stimulus. Four of six birds learned the discrimination and were given two tests. In the first test, novel consonances and novel dissonances were presented. All birds maintained the discrimination. When inverted consonances and dissonances were presented in the second test, the discriminative behavior was not well demonstrated. When novel dissonances consisting of tones with different intervals were presented in the third test, birds trained to perch for dissonance performed well, whereas those trained to perch for consonance did not. In summary, Java sparrows were able to discriminate between consonances and dissonances and demonstrated generalization to new combinations, they do not discriminate the same consonances and dissonances.

  10. Relationships between Plant Diversity and Grasshopper Diversity and Abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David H. Branson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A continuing challenge in orthopteran ecology is to understand what determines grasshopper species diversity at a given site. In this study, the objective was to determine if variation in grasshopper abundance and diversity between 23 sites in western North Dakota (USA could be explained by variation in plant species richness and diversity. In this system with relatively low plant diversity, grasshopper species richness and abundance were not significantly associated with plant species richness in either year. Although a number of significant associations between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity were found through regression analyses, results differed greatly between years indicating that plant species richness and diversity did not lead to strong effects on grasshopper diversity metrics. Plant species richness appears to be too coarse grained to lead to accurate predictions of grasshopper species richness in this system dominated by generalist grasshopper species.

  11. Canalization of freeze tolerance in an alpine grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawes, Timothy C

    2015-10-01

    In the Rock and Pillar Range, New Zealand, the alpine grasshopper, Sigaus australis Hutton, survives equilibrium freezing (EF) all-year round. A comparison of freeze tolerance (FT) in grasshoppers over four austral seasons for a 1 year period finds that: (a) the majority (>70%) of the sample population of grasshoppers survive single freeze-stress throughout the year; (b) exposure to increased freeze stress (multiple freeze-stress events) does not lead to a loss of freeze tolerance; and (c) responses to increased freeze stress reveal seasonal tuning of the FT adaptation to environmental temperatures. The Rock and Pillar sample population provides a clear example of the canalization of the FT adaptation. Seasonal variability in the extent of tolerance of multiple freezing events indicates that physiology is modulated to environmental temperatures by phenotypic plasticity - i.e. the FT adaptation is permanent and adjustable. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Histological and biochemical biomarkers analysis reveal strong toxicological impacts of pollution in hybrid sparrow (Passer domesticus × Passer hispaniolensis) in southern Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amri, Nahed; Rahmouni, Fatma; Chokri, Med Ali; Rebai, Tarek; Badraoui, Riadh

    2017-07-01

    Environmental pollution is a great concern worldwide. Our aim was to investigate the histopathological injuries and oxidative stress induced by exposure to contaminants in liver tissues of hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus × Passer hispaniolensis) living in Gabès city, which is one of the most polluted hot spot in Tunisia. Our results show evidence of a pronounced impairment in liver function which is confirmed by histopathological changes as well as remarkable blood chemical alterations in sparrows living near the Gabès-Ghannouche factory complex of phosphate treatment. Moreover, a significant decrease in the hepatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) was observed in birds from Ghannouche when compared to other distant areas. Our study revealed also a significant increase in the liver levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), in sparrows living in Ghannouche, indicating oxidative damage to membrane lipids. Overall, our results suggest that the hybrid sparrow offers a suitable model for biomonitoring programs of atmosphere pollutants and the selected biomarkers may function as useful tool to evaluate the effects of pollutants on living organisms.

  13. Distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), upper Santa Cruz River watershed, southern Arizona, 2011-12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Michael B.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Riparian ecosystems in arid environments provide critical habitat for breeding, migratory, and wintering birds, yet are often at risk of contamination by heavy metals. Birds and other animals living in contaminated areas are susceptible to adverse health effects as a result of long-term exposure and bioaccumulation of heavy metals. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the degree of heavy metal accumulation in sparrows and determine the distributional patterns among study sites, (2) compare concentrations of metals found in this study to those found in studies performed prior to the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade, and (3) assess sparrow condition among sites with differing potential sources of contamination exposure. We examined six study sites that reflected different potential sources of contamination. Hematocrit values, body mass residuals, and leukocyte counts were used to assess sparrow condition. Cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, and selenium exceeded background concentrations at some sites, but generally were lower than or similar to concentrations found in earlier studies performed prior to the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Concentrations were higher in recaptured birds in 2012 than in 2011 for 7 metals in feathers and 14 metals in blood, suggesting possible bioaccumulation. We found no cascading effects as a result of heavy metal exposure, but did find that heavy metal concentrations were reduced following the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

  14. First Jurassic grasshopper (Insecta, Caelifera) from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Jun-Jie; Yue, Yanli; Shi, Fuming; Tian, He; Ren, Dong

    2016-09-20

    Orthoptera is divided into two suborders, the Ensifera (katydids, crickets and mole crickets) and the Caelifera (grasshoppers and pygmy mole crickets). The earliest definitive caeliferans are those found in the Triassic (Bethoux & Ross 2005). The extinct caeliferan families, such as Locustopsidae and Locustavidae, may prove to be stem groups to some of the modern superfamilies (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). Locustopsidae is known from the Late Triassic or Early Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, consisting of two subfamilies (Gorochov et al. 2006). They are recorded from Europe, England, Russia, central Asia, China, Egypt, North America, Brazil and Australia. Up to now, Late Mesozoic fossil deposits of China has been reported plenty taxa of orthopterids, e.g. ensiferans, phasmatodeans, grylloblattids (Cui et al. 2012; Gu et al. 2010; Gu et al. 2012a; Gu et al. 2012b; Ren et al. 2012; Wang et al. 2014); but, with few caeliferans records, only four species, Pseudoacrida costata Lin 1982, Mesolocustopsis sinica Hong 1990, Tachacris stenosis Lin 1977 and T. turgis Lin 1980, were reported from the Early Cretaceous of Ningxia, Shandong, Yunnan and Zhejiang of China.

  15. [Identification of the meiotic events in grasshopper spermatogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng-Hao; Zhao, Kai-Qiang; Wang, Ya-Dong; Yang, Meng-Ping; Zhao, Ning-Ning; Yang, Da-Xiang

    2012-12-01

    The grasshoppers are ideal materials to study various meiotic stages of spermatogenesis due to their easy availability, fairly large chromosomes, and fewer numbers of chromosomes. It is easy to make temporary squash preparation of grasshopper testes; however, it is usually difficult for the beginners to differentiate between stages of meiosis. In view of this, we demonstrated the method of identification of meiotic stages by chromosome number and chromosome conformation, taking spermatogonial meiosis of Locusta migratoria manilensis as an example. We described briefly the mitosis of spermatogonia and the spermatogenesis of this species as well.

  16. Detection experiments with humans implicate visual predation as a driver of colour polymorphism dynamics in pygmy grasshoppers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Animal colour patterns offer good model systems for studies of biodiversity and evolution of local adaptations. An increasingly popular approach to study the role of selection for camouflage for evolutionary trajectories of animal colour patterns is to present images of prey on paper or computer screens to human ‘predators’. Yet, few attempts have been made to confirm that rates of detection by humans can predict patterns of selection and evolutionary modifications of prey colour patterns in nature. In this study, we first analyzed encounters between human ‘predators’ and images of natural black, grey and striped colour morphs of the polymorphic Tetrix subulata pygmy grasshoppers presented on background images of unburnt, intermediate or completely burnt natural habitats. Next, we compared detection rates with estimates of capture probabilities and survival of free-ranging grasshoppers, and with estimates of relative morph frequencies in natural populations. Results The proportion of grasshoppers that were detected and time to detection depended on both the colour pattern of the prey and on the type of visual background. Grasshoppers were detected more often and faster on unburnt backgrounds than on 50% and 100% burnt backgrounds. Striped prey were detected less often than grey or black prey on unburnt backgrounds; grey prey were detected more often than black or striped prey on 50% burnt backgrounds; and black prey were detected less often than grey prey on 100% burnt backgrounds. Rates of detection mirrored previously reported rates of capture by humans of free-ranging grasshoppers, as well as morph specific survival in the wild. Rates of detection were also correlated with frequencies of striped, black and grey morphs in samples of T. subulata from natural populations that occupied the three habitat types used for the detection experiment. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that crypsis is background-dependent, and implicate visual predation

  17. A hierarchy of factors influence discontinuous gas exchange in the grasshopper Paracinema tricolor (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groenewald, Berlizé; Chown, Steven L; Terblanche, John S

    2014-10-01

    The evolutionary origin and maintenance of discontinuous gas exchange (DGE) in tracheate arthropods are poorly understood and highly controversial. We investigated prioritization of abiotic factors in the gas exchange control cascade by examining oxygen, water and haemolymph pH regulation in the grasshopper Paracinema tricolor. Using a full-factorial design, grasshoppers were acclimated to hypoxic or hyperoxic (5% O2, 40% O2) gas conditions, or dehydrated or hydrated, whereafter their CO2 release was measured under a range of O2 and relative humidity (RH) conditions (5%, 21%, 40% O2 and 5%, 60%, 90% RH). DGE was significantly less common in grasshoppers acclimated to dehydrating conditions compared with the other acclimations (hypoxia, 98%; hyperoxia, 100%; hydrated, 100%; dehydrated, 67%). Acclimation to dehydrating conditions resulted in a significant decrease in haemolymph pH from 7.0±0.3 to 6.6±0.1 (mean ± s.d., P=0.018) and also significantly increased the open (O)-phase duration under 5% O2 treatment conditions (5% O2, 44.1±29.3 min; 40% O2, 15.8±8.0 min; 5% RH, 17.8±1.3 min; 60% RH, 24.0±9.7 min; 90% RH, 20.6±8.9 min). The observed acidosis could potentially explain the extension of the O-phase under low RH conditions, when it would perhaps seem more useful to reduce the O-phase to lower respiratory water loss. The results confirm that DGE occurrence and modulation are affected by multiple abiotic factors. A hierarchical framework for abiotic factors influencing DGE is proposed in which the following stressors are prioritized in decreasing order of importance: oxygen supply, CO2 excretion and pH modulation, oxidative damage protection and water savings. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Antennal sensilla of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in relation ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The external structure, i.e. number and distribution of sensillae on male and female antennae of 12 species of grasshoppers belonging to Pamphaginae, Catantopinae, Oedipodinae and Gomphocerinae in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Five major types of antennal ...

  19. Breeding biology and nestling development of the Grasshopper Buzzard

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buij, R.; Kortekaas, K.; Folkertsma, I.; Velde, van der M.; Komdeur, J.; Iongh, de H.H.

    2012-01-01

    Research into the effect of environmental variables on reproductive success of tropical raptors is often constrained by the lack of information on breeding biology. We provide the first detailed information of the breeding biology and nestling development of the Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur

  20. Modifications to improve entrance slit thermal stability for grasshopper monochromators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Daniel J.; Rogers, Gregory C.; Crossley, Sherry L.

    1994-08-01

    As new monochromators are designed for high-flux storage rings, computer modeling and thermal engineering can be done to process increased heat loads and achieve mechanical stability. Several older monochromators, such as the Mark 2 and Mark 5 Grasshopper monochromators, which were designed in 1974, have thermal instabilities in their entrance slit mechanisms. The Grasshoppers operating with narrow slits experience closure of the entrance slit from thermal expansion. In extreme cases, the thermal expansion of the precision components has caused permanent mechanical damage, leaving the slit uncalibrated and/or inoperable. For the Mark 2 and Mark 5 Grasshopper monochromators at the Synchrotron Radiation Center, the original 440 stainless steel entrance slit jaws were retrofitted with an Invar (low expansion Fe, Ni alloy) slit jaw. To transfer the heat from the critical components, two flexible heat straps of Cu were attached. These changes allow safe operation with a 10 μm entrance slit width where the previous limit was 30 μm. After an initial 2 min equilibration, the slit remains stable to 10%, with 100 mA of beam current. Additional improvements in slit thermal stability are planned for a third Grasshopper.

  1. Antennal sensilla of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in relation ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    The external structure, i.e. number and distribution of sensillae on male and female antennae of 12 species of grasshoppers belonging to Pamphaginae, Catantopinae, Oedipodinae and Gomphocerinae in the grasslands of Inner. Mongolia was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Five major types of antennal ...

  2. North African hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus, P. hispaniolensis) back from oblivion - ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ait Belkacem, Abdelkrim; Gast, Oliver; Stuckas, Heiko; Canal, David; LoValvo, Mario; Giacalone, Gabriele; Päckert, Martin

    2016-08-01

    A stabilized hybrid form of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) is known as Passer italiae from the Italian Peninsula and a few Mediterranean islands. The growing attention for the Italian hybrid sparrow and increasing knowledge on its biology and genetic constitution greatly contrast the complete lack of knowledge of the long-known phenotypical hybrid sparrow populations from North Africa. Our study provides new data on the breeding biology and variation of mitochondrial DNA in three Algerian populations of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows, and phenotypical hybrids. In two field seasons, the two species occupied different breeding habitats: Spanish sparrows were only found in rural areas outside the cities and bred in open-cup nests built in large jujube bushes. In contrast, house sparrows bred only in the town centers and occupied nesting holes in walls of buildings. Phenotypical hybrids were always associated with house sparrow populations. House sparrows and phenotypical hybrids started breeding mid of March, and most pairs had three successive clutches, whereas Spanish sparrows started breeding almost one month later and had only two successive clutches. Mitochondrial introgression is strongly asymmetric because about 75% of the rural Spanish sparrow population carried house sparrow haplotypes. In contrast, populations of the Italian hybrid form, P. italiae, were genetically least diverse among all study populations and showed a near-fixation of house sparrow haplotypes that elsewhere were extremely rare or that were even unique for the Italian Peninsula. Such differences between mitochondrial gene pools of Italian and North African hybrid sparrow populations provide first evidence that different demographic histories have shaped the extant genetic diversity observed on both continents.

  3. Natural Plant Essential Oils for Controlling the Grasshopper (Heteracris littoralis and their Pathological Effects on the Alimentary Canal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aziza Sharaby

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, the toxic effect of three different natural essential oils of medicinal plants, namely Garlic (Allium sativum, Mint (Mintha pipereta and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus were tested on 1st nymphal instar of the grasshopper (Heteracris littoralis. The LC50 values of the tested oils were estimated after 14 days from feeding on treated diet mixed with different concentrations of the oil. The LC50 of the tested oils were arranged as follows: 0.067, 0.075 and 0.084ml. /100ml. diet for Garlic, Eucalyptus and Mint respectively. The effect of LC50 concentration of the oils on the biological aspects and histological changes that observed on the alimentary canal and fat bodies were recorded. The normal development of the grasshopper was exhibited. Results cleared that there was statistical variable numbers of increased the nymphal periods, life cycle, adults longevity and life span comparing with the control test. Garlic oil inhibited egg lying by the resulting females offspring of the treated1st instar nymphs. High reduction in the deposited eggs and egg fertility caused by Eucalyptus or Mint oil and marked malformation were observed. Histological changes on the alimentary canal and fat bodies of the remaining nymphs after treatment with Garlic oil (the most effective oil were detected by the light microscope have been recorded. The results suggest that the natural plant essential oils of Garlic, Eucalyptus and Mint may be used in IPM control program against H. littoralis grasshopper.

  4. Mercury in Nelson's Sparrow Subspecies at Breeding Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Virginia L.; Emslie, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Background Mercury is a persistent, biomagnifying contaminant that can cause negative effects on ecosystems. Marshes are often areas of relatively high mercury methylation and bioaccumulation. Nelson's Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni) use marsh habitats year-round and have been documented to exhibit tissue mercury concentrations that exceed negative effects thresholds. We sought to further characterize the potential risk of Nelson's Sparrows to mercury exposure by sampling individuals from sites within the range of each of its subspecies. Methodology/Principal Findings From 2009 to 2011, we captured adult Nelson's Sparrows at sites within the breeding range of each subspecies (A. n. nelsoni: Grand Forks and Upham, North Dakota; A. n. alterus: Moosonee, Ontario; and A. n. subvirgatus: Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick) and sampled breast feathers, the first primary feather (P1), and blood for total mercury analysis. Mean blood mercury in nelsoni individuals captured near Grand Forks ranged from 0.84±0.37 to 1.65±1.02 SD ppm among years, between 2.0 and 4.9 times as high as concentrations at the other sites (Pmercury did not vary among sites within a given sampling year (site means ranged from 0.98±0.69 to 2.71±2.93 ppm). Mean P1 mercury in alterus (2.96±1.84 ppm fw) was significantly lower than in any other sampled population (5.25±2.24–6.77±3.51 ppm; P≤0.03). Conclusions/Significance Our study further characterized mercury in Nelson's Sparrows near Grand Forks; we documented localized and potentially harmful mercury concentrations, indicating that this area may represent a biological mercury hotspot. This finding warrants further research to determine if wildlife populations of conservation or recreational interest in this area may be experiencing negative effects due to mercury exposure. We present preliminary conclusions about the risk of each sampled population to mercury exposure. PMID:22384194

  5. Antennal sensilla of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in relation to food preferences and habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hu-Hai; Zhao, Yun-Xian; Kang, Le

    2003-12-01

    The external structure, i.e. number and distribution of sensillae on male and female antennae of 12 species of grasshoppers belonging to Pamphaginae, Catantopinae, Oedipodinae and Gomphocerinae in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Five major types of antennal sensillae were detected--trichoid, long basiconic, short basiconic, slender and short basiconic, and coeloconic sensillae. Total number of antennal sensillae varied among different sexes, subfamilies, feeding groups, life forms and eco-forms. Males showed significantly more sensillae than females, due to presence of more short basiconic and coeloconic sensillae. Species under Catantopinae showed more long basiconic sensillae than the others. The Oedipodinae had the highest number of slender and short basiconic sensillae and coeloconic sensillae, followed by Catantopinae and Gomphocerinae; while Pamphaginae had the fewest. The total number of sensillae showed the same trend for these two types amongst the subfamilies as well, species which prefer habits on the ground possessed fewer antennal sensillae than species which prefer to stay on plants. The maximal number of antennal sensillae were observed in hygrophytous species, Chorthippus albomarginatus, in the 12 grasshopper species investigated, although the data is not statistically significant. The general trend which emerged was that species feeding on grass possessed more antennal sensillae, particularly coeloconic sensillae, compared to other feeding group species.

  6. Grasshopper fecundity responses to grazing and fire in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Angela N; Joern, Anthony

    2011-10-01

    Grasshopper abundance and diversity vary with management practices such as fire and grazing. Understanding how grasshopper life history traits such as fecundity respond to management practices is key to predicting grasshopper population dynamics in heterogeneous environments. Landscape-level experimental fire and bison grazing treatments at the Konza Prairie Biological Station (Manhattan, KS) provide an opportunity to examine how management affects grasshopper fecundity. Here we report on grasshopper fecundity for nine common species at Konza Prairie. From 2007 to 2009, adult female grasshoppers were collected every 3 wk from eight watersheds that varied in fire and grazing treatments. Fecundity was measured by examining female reproductive tracts, which contain a record of past and current reproductive activity. Body size was a poor predictor of fecundity for all species. Despite large differences in vegetation structure and composition with management regime (grazing and fire interval), we observed little effect of management on grasshopper fecundity. Habitat characteristics (grasshopper density, vegetation biomass, and vegetation quality; measured in 2008 and 2009) were better predictors of past fecundity than current fecundity, with species-specific responses. Fecundity increased throughout the summer, indicating that grasshoppers were able to acquire sufficient nutritional resources for egg production in the early fall when vegetation quality is generally low. Because fecundity did not vary across management treatments, population stage structure may be more important for determining population level reproduction than management regime at Konza Prairie.

  7. Populations of the northern grasshopper, Melanoplus borealis (Orthoptera: Acrididae), in Alaska are rarely food limited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, Dennis J; Zhang, Mingchu

    2011-06-01

    In some systems, grasshoppers appear to be food limited in most years, whereas in other systems top down forces, for example, predators, are more often implicated in population regulation. Sustainable strategies to manage grasshopper populations through habitat management require knowledge of the forces that regulate grasshopper populations. This experiment was undertaken to determine whether populations of Melanoplus borealis (Fieber), a common pest species in Alaska, are food-limited in Alaska. Cages were set up in a fallow field near Delta Junction, AK, in 3 yr (2007-2009). In 2007 and 2008, fertilizer was added to half the plots to increase primary production, and, in all years, cages within each plot were stocked with 0, 5, 9, or 13 fourth-instar M. borealis (equivalent to 0, 20, 36, or 52 grasshoppers/m(2)). Grasshoppers in each cage were counted weekly. Near the end of the growing season, surviving female grasshoppers (≈40% of the original number) were collected. Femur length was taken as a measure of adult size, and functional ovarioles were counted as a measure of current fecundity. If the grasshoppers were food limited, we expected to see significant effects of either density or fertilizer on grasshopper survival, size, or fecundity. The fertilizer treatment greatly increased primary production in both years. Neither fertilizer treatment nor grasshopper density had consistent effects on survival, size, or potential fecundity, leading us to conclude that food is seldom limiting to populations in the interior of Alaska at densities <50 m(-2).

  8. To flock or fight: neurochemical signatures of divergent life histories in sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Wilson, Leah C; Schrock, Sara E

    2012-06-26

    Many bird species exhibit dramatic seasonal switches between territoriality and flocking, but whereas neuroendocrine mechanisms of territorial aggression have been extensively studied, those of seasonal flocking are unknown. We collected brains in spring and winter from male field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), which seasonally flock, and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), which are territorial year-round in much of their range. Spring collections were preceded by field-based assessments of aggression. Tissue series were immunofluorescently multilabeled for vasotocin, mesotocin (MT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, tyrosine hydroxylase, and aromatase, and labeling densities were measured in many socially relevant brain areas. Extensive seasonal differences are shared by both species. Many measures correlate significantly with both individual and species differences in aggression, likely reflecting evolved mechanisms that differentiate the less aggressive field sparrow from the more aggressive song sparrow. Winter-specific species differences include a substantial increase of MT and CRH immunoreactivity in the dorsal lateral septum (LS) and medial amygdala of field sparrows but not song sparrows. These species differences likely relate to flocking rather than the suppression of winter aggression in field sparrows, because similar winter differences were found for two other emberizids that are not territorial in winter--dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), which seasonally flock, and eastern towhees (Pipilo erythropthalmus), which do not flock. MT signaling in the dorsal LS is also associated with year-round species differences in grouping in estrildid finches, suggesting that common mechanisms are targeted during the evolution of different life histories.

  9. Estimating summer nutrient concentrations in Northeastern lakes from SPARROW load predictions and modeled lake depth and volume.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Bryan Milstead

    Full Text Available Global nutrient cycles have been altered by the use of fossil fuels and fertilizers resulting in increases in nutrient loads to aquatic systems. In the United States, excess nutrients have been repeatedly reported as the primary cause of lake water quality impairments. Setting nutrient criteria that are protective of a lakes ecological condition is one common solution; however, the data required to do this are not always easily available. A useful solution for this is to combine available field data (i.e., The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA National Lake Assessment (NLA with average annual nutrient load models (i.e., USGS SPARROW model to estimate summer concentrations across a large number of lakes. In this paper we use this combined approach and compare the observed total nitrogen (TN and total phosphorus (TN concentrations in Northeastern lakes from the 2007 National Lake Assessment to those predicted by the Northeast SPARROW model. We successfully adjusted the SPARROW predictions to the NLA observations with the use of Vollenweider equations, simple input-output models that predict nutrient concentrations in lakes based on nutrient loads and hydraulic residence time. This allows us to better predict summer concentrations of TN and TP in Northeastern lakes and ponds. On average we improved our predicted concentrations of TN and TP with Vollenweider models by 18.7% for nitrogen and 19.0% for phosphorus. These improved predictions are being used in other studies to model ecosystem services (e.g., aesthetics and dis-services (e.g. cyanobacterial blooms for ~18,000 lakes in the Northeastern United States.

  10. Niche tracking and rapid establishment of distributional equilibrium in the house sparrow show potential responsiveness of species to climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B Monahan

    Full Text Available The ability of species to respond to novel future climates is determined in part by their physiological capacity to tolerate climate change and the degree to which they have reached and continue to maintain distributional equilibrium with the environment. While broad-scale correlative climatic measurements of a species' niche are often described as estimating the fundamental niche, it is unclear how well these occupied portions actually approximate the fundamental niche per se, versus the fundamental niche that exists in environmental space, and what fitness values bounding the niche are necessary to maintain distributional equilibrium. Here, we investigate these questions by comparing physiological and correlative estimates of the thermal niche in the introduced North American house sparrow (Passer domesticus. Our results indicate that occupied portions of the fundamental niche derived from temperature correlations closely approximate the centroid of the existing fundamental niche calculated on a fitness threshold of 50% population mortality. Using these niche measures, a 75-year time series analysis (1930-2004 further shows that: (i existing fundamental and occupied niche centroids did not undergo directional change, (ii interannual changes in the two niche centroids were correlated, (iii temperatures in North America moved through niche space in a net centripetal fashion, and consequently, (iv most areas throughout the range of the house sparrow tracked the existing fundamental niche centroid with respect to at least one temperature gradient. Following introduction to a new continent, the house sparrow rapidly tracked its thermal niche and established continent-wide distributional equilibrium with respect to major temperature gradients. These dynamics were mediated in large part by the species' broad thermal physiological tolerances, high dispersal potential, competitive advantage in human-dominated landscapes, and climatically induced

  11. Allocation of Nutrients to Somatic Tissues in Young Ovariectomized Grasshoppers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judd, Evan T.; Hatle, John D.; Drewry, Michelle D.; Wessels, Frank J.; Hahn, Daniel A.

    2010-01-01

    The disposable soma hypothesis predicts that when reproduction is reduced, life span is increased because more nutrients are invested in the soma, increasing somatic repair. Rigorously testing the hypothesis requires tracking nutrients from ingestion to allocation to the soma or to reproduction. Fruit flies on life-extending dietary restriction increase allocation to the soma “relative” to reproduction, suggesting that allocation of nutrients can be associated with extension of life span. Here, we use stable isotopes to track ingested nutrients in ovariectomized grasshoppers during the first oviposition cycle. Previous work has shown that ovariectomy extends life span, but investment of protein in reproduction is not reduced until after the first clutch of eggs is laid. Because ovariectomy does not affect investment in reproduction at this age, the disposable soma hypothesis would predict that ovariectomy should also not affect investment in somatic tissues. We developed grasshopper diets with distinct signatures of 13C and 15N, but that produced equivalent reproductive outputs. These diets are, therefore, appropriate for the reciprocal switches in diet needed for tracking ingested nutrients. Incorporation of stable isotopes into eggs showed that grasshoppers are income breeders, especially for carbon. Allocation to the fat body of nitrogen ingested as adults was slightly increased by ovariectomy; this was our only result that was not consistent with the disposable soma hypothesis. In contrast, ovariectomy did not affect allocation of nitrogen to femoral muscles. Further, allocation of carbon to the fat body or femoral muscles did not appear to be affected by ovariectomy. Total anti-oxidant activities in the hemolymph and femoral muscles were not affected by ovariectomy. These experiments showed that allocation of nutrients was altered little by ovariectomy in young grasshoppers. Additional studies on older individuals are needed to further test the disposable

  12. Micro-Evolution in Grasshoppers Mediated by Polymorphic Robertsonian Translocations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Pablo C.

    2013-01-01

    This review focuses on grasshoppers that are polymorphic for Robertsonian translocations because in these organisms the clarity of meiotic figures allows the study of both chiasma distribution and the orientation of trivalents and multivalents in metaphase I. Only five species of such grasshoppers were found in the literature, and all of them were from the New World: Oedaleonotus enigma (Scudder) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), Leptysma argentina Bruner, Dichroplus pratensis Bruner, Sinipta dalmani Stål, and Cornops aquaticum Bruner. A general feature of these species (except O. enigma) is that fusion carriers suffer a marked reduction of proximal and interstitial (with respect to the centromere) chiasma frequency; this fact, along with the reduction in the number of linkage groups with the consequent loss of independent segregation, produces a marked decrease of recombination in fusion carriers. This reduction in recombination has led to the conclusion that Robertsonian polymorphic grasshopper species share some properties with inversion polymorphic species of Drosophila, such as the central-marginal pattern (marginal populations are monomorphic, central populations are highly polymorphic). This pattern might be present in D. pratensis, which is certainly the most complex Robertsonian polymorphism system in the present study. However, L. argentina and C. aquaticum do not display this pattern. This issue is open to further research. Since C. aquaticum is soon to be released in South Africa as a biological control, the latitudinal pattern found in South America may repeat there. This experiment's outcome is open and deserves to be followed. PMID:23909914

  13. Chemical cues from females trigger male courtship behaviour in grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finck, Jonas; Kuntze, Janine; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Gomphocerine grasshoppers use species-specific calling songs for sex recognition and mate attraction. In two closely related species, Chorthippus biguttulus and C. mollis, acoustic communication is the only experimentally characterized communication channel that elicits male courtship behaviour. However, courtship in these species involves extensive close-range interactions that are likely to be mediated by other signalling modalities, in particular chemical cues. We developed a bioassay to determine if female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) act as chemical cues that induce courtship behaviour, and if males assess variation in CHCs to determine whether or not to court a female. The results of this approach provide evidence that grasshopper males use species- and sex-specific information from CHC signals and respond with a courtship song to the CHC profile of conspecific females but not to the CHC profile of heterospecific females and conspecific males. We conclude that males of C. biguttulus and C. mollis use multimodal channels for mating decisions, based on both acoustic and olfactory cues. We discuss various factors that might favour the evolution of male choosiness in grasshoppers.

  14. Spatial autocorrelation in farmland grasshopper assemblages (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in western France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badenhausser, I; Gouat, M; Goarant, A; Cornulier, T; Bretagnolle, V

    2012-10-01

    Agricultural intensification in western Europe has caused a dramatic loss of grassland surfaces in farmlands, which have resulted in strong declines in grassland invertebrates, leading to cascade effects at higher trophic levels among consumers of invertebrates. Grasshoppers are important components of grassland invertebrate assemblages in European agricultural ecosystems, particularly as prey for bird species. Understanding how grasshopper populations are distributed in fragmented landscapes with low grassland availability is critical for both studies in biodiversity conservation and insect management. We assessed the range and strength of spatial autocorrelation for two grasshopper taxa (Gomphocerinae subfamily and Calliptamus italicus L.) across an intensive farmland in western France. Data from surveys carried out over 8 yr in 1,715 grassland fields were analyzed using geostatistics. Weak spatial patterns were observed at small spatial scales, suggesting important local effects of management practices on grasshopper densities. Spatial autocorrelation patterns for both grasshopper taxa were only detected at intermediate scales. For Gomphocerinae, the range of spatial autocorrelation varied from 802 to 2,613 m according to the year, depending both on grasshopper density and on grassland surfaces in the study site, whereas spatial patterns for the Italian locust were more variable and not related to grasshopper density or grassland surfaces. Spatial patterns in the distribution of Gomphocerinae supported our hypothesis that habitat availability was a major driver of grasshopper distribution in the landscape, and suggested it was related to density-dependent processes such as dispersal.

  15. Effects of nymph-overwintering grasshopper density on Ageneotettix deorum survival in a northern mixed grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although most pest grasshopper species in North America hatch in late spring or early summer, some species hatch in late summer and become adults in late spring. It is not well understood how they impact densities of later developing pest grasshopper species. In an earlier study examining temporall...

  16. Positive interactions between large herbivores and grasshoppers, and their consequences for grassland plant diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Zhiwei; Wang, Deli; Zhu, Hui; Wang, Ling; Feng, Chao; Wang, Zhongnan

    2014-04-01

    Although the influence of positive interactions on plant and sessile communities has been well documented, surprisingly little is known about their role in structuring terrestrial animal communities. We evaluated beneficial interactions between two distantly related herbivore taxa, large vertebrate grazers (sheep) and smaller insect grazers (grasshoppers), using a set of field experiments in eastern Eurasian steppe of China. Grazing by large herbivores caused significantly higher grasshopper density, and this pattern persisted until the end of the experiment. Grasshoppers, in turn, increased the foraging time of larger herbivores, but such response occurred only during the peak of growing season (August). These reciprocal interactions were driven by differential herbivore foraging preferences for plant resources; namely, large herbivores preferred Artemisia forbs, whereas grasshoppers preferred Leymus grass. The enhancement of grasshopper density in areas grazed by large herbivores likely resulted from the selective consumption of Artemisia forbs by vertebrate grazers, which may potentially improve the host finding of grasshoppers. Likewise, grasshoppers appeared to benefit large herbivores by decreasing the cover and density of the dominant grass Leymus chinensis, which hampers large herbivores' access to palatable forbs. Moreover, we found that large herbivores grazing alone may significantly decrease plant diversity, yet grasshoppers appeared to mediate such negative effects when they grazed with large herbivores. Our results suggest that the positive, reciprocal interactions in terrestrial herbivore communities may be more prevalent and complex than previously thought.

  17. Diet influences rates of carbon and nitrogen mineralization from decomposing grasshopper frass and cadavers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect herbivory can produce a pulse of mineral nitrogen (N) in soil from the decomposition of frass and cadavers. In this study we examined how diet quality affects rates of N and carbon (C) mineralization from grasshopper frass and cadavers. Frass was collected from grasshoppers fed natural or mer...

  18. Effects of livestock grazing on grasshopper abundance on a native rangeland in Montana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Kevin M; Olson, Bret E; Wallander, Roseann; Rolston, Marni G; Seibert, Catherine E

    2010-06-01

    Livestock grazing can affect habitat quality for grasshoppers through effects on food and oviposition site availability, microclimate, and other factors. Because of this, some authors have suggested that grazing programs can be used to help manage pest grasshopper populations. In a 6-yr study, we controlled access of cattle to replicated experimental plots on an Agropyron spicatum/Poa sandbergii pasture to create consistent year-to-year differences in postgrazing plant cover, with resultant affects on microclimate. After sampling grasshoppers multiple times after grazing treatments each summer, we found evidence of between-treatment differences in grasshopper abundance for the entire assemblage during 4 of the 6 yr. Some species, including Melanoplus sanguinipes (perhaps the worse rangeland grasshopper pest in the western United States), tended to be more abundant on ungrazed plots, whereas Melanoplus gladstoni often had greater densities on heavily-grazed plots. The effect of grazing on grasshopper densities in this study was lower in magnitude and less consistent among years than in a study we conducted simultaneously at a nearby site where the vegetation was dominated by the exotic species crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). Our results generally support proposals that grazing could be used to reduce pest grasshopper densities, although the effectiveness of a particular grazing scheme may vary among sites, years, and grasshopper and vegetation assemblages.

  19. Acquisition of nonspecific Bartonella strains by the northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Y.; Kosoy, M.Y.; Cully, J.F.; Bala, T.; Ray, C.; Collinge, S.K.

    2007-01-01

    Rodent-associated Bartonella species are generally host-specific parasites in North America. Here evidence that Bartonella species can 'jump' between host species is presented. Northern grasshopper mice and other rodents were trapped in the western USA. A study of Bartonella infection in grasshopper mice demonstrated a high prevalence that varied from 25% to 90% by location. Bartonella infection was detected in other rodent species with a high prevalence as well. Sequence analyses of gltA identified 29 Bartonella variants in rodents, 10 of which were obtained from grasshopper mice. Among these 10, only six variants were specific to grasshopper mice, whereas four were identical to variants specific to deer mice or 13-lined ground squirrels. Fourteen of 90 sequenced isolates obtained from grasshopper mice were strains found more commonly in other rodent species and were apparently acquired from these animals. The ecological behavior of grasshopper mice may explain the occurrence of Bartonella strains in occasional hosts. The observed rate at which Bartonella jumps from a donor host species to the grasshopper mouse was directly proportional to a metric of donor host density and to the prevalence of Bartonella in the donor host, and inversely proportional to the same parameters for the grasshopper mouse. ?? 2007 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  20. Relationships between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity and abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    A continuing challenge in Orthoptera ecology is to understand what determines grasshopper species diversity at a given site. In this study, the objective was to determine if variation in grasshopper abundance and diversity between 23 sites in western North Dakota (USA) could be explained by variatio...

  1. Grasshopper responses to fire and postfire grazing in the northern Great Plains vary among species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland management practices such as burning and grazing management may affect grasshopper populations by impacting development, survival and reproduction. Experiments are lacking in the northern Great Plains examining the effects of fire and grazing intensity on grasshoppers. As part of a larger ...

  2. The Sparrow Question: Social and Scientific Accord in Britain, 1850-1900.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Matthew

    2017-08-01

    During the latter-half of the nineteenth century, the utility of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) to humankind was a contentious topic. In Britain, numerous actors from various backgrounds including natural history, acclimatisation, agriculture and economic ornithology converged on the bird, as contemporaries sought to calculate its economic cost and benefit to growers. Periodicals and newspapers provided an accessible and anonymous means of expression, through which the debate raged for over 50 years. By the end of the century, sparrows had been cast as detrimental to agriculture. Yet consensus was not achieved through new scientific methods, instruments, or changes in practice. This study instead argues that the rise and fall of scientific disciplines and movements paved the way for consensus on "the sparrow question." The decline of natural history and acclimatisation stifled a raging debate, while the rising science of economic ornithology sought to align itself with agricultural interests: the latter overwhelmingly hostile to sparrows.

  3. Effects of diet breadth on autogenous chemical defense of a generalist grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, C G; Hess, T A; Whitman, D W; Silk, P J; Blum, M S

    1987-02-01

    The lubber grasshopper,Romalea guttata, produces a metathoracic defensive secretion containing primarily phenolics and quinones. This insect feeds on a wide range of plant species. Insects reared on an artificial diet and a diet of onion,Allium canadense, had secretions that contained fewer compounds, lower concentrations of compounds, and markedly altered relative composition of components compared to insects reared on a varied diet of 26 plant species that included onion. The study demonstrates that diet breadth has a major effect on the quality and quantity of the autogenous defensive secretion of this generalist herbivore. The results are compared to diet effects known in chemically defended specialists. Two possible mechanisms explaining the effects of diet breadth are proposed: one involves changes in precursor availability with changing diet breadth; the other suggests that physiological stress due to diet restriction changes allocation of resources to chemical defense.

  4. Avian metapneumovirus subtype B experimental infection and tissue distribution in chickens, sparrows, and pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gharaibeh, S; Shamoun, M

    2012-07-01

    Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) is a respiratory virus that infects a range of avian hosts, including chickens and turkeys. Migratory and local wild birds are implicated in aMPV spread among farms, countries, and seasonal outbreaks of the disease. A subtype B aMPV isolate from commercial chicken flocks suffering from respiratory disease was experimentally inoculated oculonasally into 7-week old chickens, young pigeons, and sparrows. Chickens showed minimal tracheal rales, whereas pigeons and sparrows were asymptomatic. Shedding of aMPV was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction on homogenates from nasal turbinates. At 5 days postinfection, 5 of 5 chickens, 2 of 5 pigeons, and 1 of 5 sparrows were positive; at 10 or 15 days, none were positive. At 2 and 5 days, aMPV antigens were localized at the ciliated boarder of respiratory epithelium in nasal cavity and trachea of chickens, as well as to the conjunctival epithelium. Pigeons had detectable viral antigens in only the trachea at 2 and 5 days; sparrow tissues did not show any positive staining. At the end of the experiment, at 21 days postinfection, 14 of 15 inoculated chickens seroconverted against aMPV, but none of the inoculated pigeons or sparrows did. The authors believe that pigeons and sparrows have the ability to transmit the virus between chicken farms, although they do not consider pigeons and sparrows as natural hosts for aMPV, given that they failed to seroconvert. In conclusion, pigeons and sparrows are partially susceptible to aMPV infection, probably acting more as mechanical vectors because infection is only temporary and short-lived.

  5. Conservation Controversy: Sparrow, Marshall, and the Mi’kmaq of Esgenoôpetitj

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah J. King

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores the interplay between the Sparrow and Marshall decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the sovereigntist and traditionalist convictions of the Mi’kmaq of the Esgenoôpetitj/BurntChurch First Nation, as expressed in the conservationist language of the Draft for the Esgenoopotitj First Nations (EFN) Fishery Act (Fisheries Policy). With the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Sparrow, conservation became an important justification available to the Canadian government t...

  6. A PCR-based method to identify Entomophaga spp. infections in North American grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casique-Valdes, Rebeca; Sanchez-Peña, Sergio; Ivonne Torres-Acosta, R; Bidochka, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    A PCR-based method was developed for the detection and identification of two species of grasshopper-specific pathogens belonging to the genus Entomophaga in North America, Entomophaga calopteni and Entomophaga macleodii. Two separate sets of primers specific for amplification of a DNA product from each species of Entomophaga as well as a positive control were utilized. Grasshoppers were collected from two sites in Mexico during an epizootic with grasshoppers found in "summit disease", typical of Entomophaga infections. There was a preponderance of Melanopline grasshoppers infected by E. calopteni. The described method is an accurate tool for identification of North American grasshopper infections by Entomophaga species. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Degree-day requirements for eight economically important grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in Nebraska using field data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brust, Mathew L; Hoback, W Wyatt; Wright, Robert J

    2009-10-01

    The timing of application for the management of rangeland grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) is critical, especially as insecticides become more specialized and the use of Insect Growth Regulators becomes more widespread. The general seasonal occurrence of adults of many grasshopper species has been well documented; however, their appearance varies widely between years. We analyzed sweep samples collected over the western two thirds of Nebraska from a 3-yr period and noted the occurrence of adults by region for eight species of rangeland grasshoppers. We analyzed occurrence based on degree-day accumulations for the region and developed estimates of degree-day requirements for these species. Because these grasshopper species are common rangeland pests, degree-day requirements to reach adulthood should improve the effectiveness of grasshopper treatment programs over a large geographic area.

  8. Infection of Melanoplus sanguinipes Grasshoppers following Ingestion of Rangeland Plant Species Harboring Vesicular Stomatitis Virus▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drolet, Barbara S.; Stuart, Melissa A.; Derner, Justin D.

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of the many mechanisms of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transmission is critical for understanding of the epidemiology of sporadic disease outbreaks in the western United States. Migratory grasshoppers [Melanoplus sanguinipes (Fabricius)] have been implicated as reservoirs and mechanical vectors of VSV. The grasshopper-cattle-grasshopper transmission cycle is based on the assumptions that (i) virus shed from clinically infected animals would contaminate pasture plants and remain infectious on plant surfaces and (ii) grasshoppers would become infected by eating the virus-contaminated plants. Our objectives were to determine the stability of VSV on common plant species of U.S. Northern Plains rangelands and to assess the potential of these plant species as a source of virus for grasshoppers. Fourteen plant species were exposed to VSV and assayed for infectious virus over time (0 to 24 h). The frequency of viable virus recovery at 24 h postexposure was as high as 73%. The two most common plant species in Northern Plains rangelands (western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii] and needle and thread [Hesperostipa comata]) were fed to groups of grasshoppers. At 3 weeks postfeeding, the grasshopper infection rate was 44 to 50%. Exposure of VSV to a commonly used grasshopper pesticide resulted in complete viral inactivation. This is the first report demonstrating the stability of VSV on rangeland plant surfaces, and it suggests that a significant window of opportunity exists for grasshoppers to ingest VSV from contaminated plants. The use of grasshopper pesticides on pastures would decrease the incidence of a virus-amplifying mechanical vector and might also decontaminate pastures, thereby decreasing the inter- and intraherd spread of VSV. PMID:19286779

  9. Infection of Melanoplus sanguinipes grasshoppers following ingestion of rangeland plant species harboring vesicular stomatitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drolet, Barbara S; Stuart, Melissa A; Derner, Justin D

    2009-05-01

    Knowledge of the many mechanisms of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transmission is critical for understanding of the epidemiology of sporadic disease outbreaks in the western United States. Migratory grasshoppers [Melanoplus sanguinipes (Fabricius)] have been implicated as reservoirs and mechanical vectors of VSV. The grasshopper-cattle-grasshopper transmission cycle is based on the assumptions that (i) virus shed from clinically infected animals would contaminate pasture plants and remain infectious on plant surfaces and (ii) grasshoppers would become infected by eating the virus-contaminated plants. Our objectives were to determine the stability of VSV on common plant species of U.S. Northern Plains rangelands and to assess the potential of these plant species as a source of virus for grasshoppers. Fourteen plant species were exposed to VSV and assayed for infectious virus over time (0 to 24 h). The frequency of viable virus recovery at 24 h postexposure was as high as 73%. The two most common plant species in Northern Plains rangelands (western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii] and needle and thread [Hesperostipa comata]) were fed to groups of grasshoppers. At 3 weeks postfeeding, the grasshopper infection rate was 44 to 50%. Exposure of VSV to a commonly used grasshopper pesticide resulted in complete viral inactivation. This is the first report demonstrating the stability of VSV on rangeland plant surfaces, and it suggests that a significant window of opportunity exists for grasshoppers to ingest VSV from contaminated plants. The use of grasshopper pesticides on pastures would decrease the incidence of a virus-amplifying mechanical vector and might also decontaminate pastures, thereby decreasing the inter- and intraherd spread of VSV.

  10. Factors affecting stream nutrient loads: A synthesis of regional SPARROW model results for the continental United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Stephen D.; Alexander, Richard B.; Schwarz, Gregory E.; Crawford, Charles G.

    2011-01-01

    We compared the results of 12 recently calibrated regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models covering most of the continental United States to evaluate the consistency and regional differences in factors affecting stream nutrient loads. The models - 6 for total nitrogen and 6 for total phosphorus - all provide similar levels of prediction accuracy, but those for major river basins in the eastern half of the country were somewhat more accurate. The models simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport. The results confirm the dominant effects of urban and agricultural sources on stream nutrient loads nationally and regionally, but reveal considerable spatial variability in the specific types of sources that control water quality. These include regional differences in the relative importance of different types of urban (municipal and industrial point vs. diffuse urban runoff) and agriculture (crop cultivation vs. animal waste) sources, as well as the effects of atmospheric deposition, mining, and background (e.g., soil phosphorus) sources on stream nutrients. Overall, we found that the SPARROW model results provide a consistent set of information for identifying the major sources and environmental factors affecting nutrient fate and transport in United States watersheds at regional and subregional scales. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Haste makes waste: accelerated molt adversely affects the expression of melanin-based and depigmented plumage ornaments in house sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csongor I Vágási

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Many animals display colorful signals in their integument which convey information about the quality of their bearer. Theoretically, these ornaments incur differential production and/or maintenance costs that enforce their honesty. However, the proximate mechanisms of production costs are poorly understood and contentious in cases of non-carotenoid-based plumage ornaments like the melanin-based badge and depigmented white wing-bar in house sparrows Passer domesticus. Costly life-history events are adaptively separated in time, thus, when reproduction is extended, the time available for molt is curtailed and, in turn, molt rate is accelerated.We experimentally accelerated the molt rate by shortening the photoperiod in order to test whether this environmental constraint is mirrored in the expression of plumage ornaments. Sparrows which had undergone an accelerated molt developed smaller badges and less bright wing-bars compared to conspecifics that molted at a natural rate being held at natural-like photoperiod. There was no difference in the brightness of the badge or the size of the wing-bar.These results indicate that the time available for molt and thus the rate at which molt occurs may constrain the expression of melanin-based and depigmented plumage advertisements. This mechanism may lead to the evolution of honest signaling if the onset of molt is condition-dependent through the timing of and/or trade-off between breeding and molt.

  12. Liver cancer induction by 241Am and thorotrast in deer mice and grasshopper mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, G.N.; Mays, C.W.; Lloyd, R.D.; Jones, C.W.; Rojas, J.; Wrenn, M.E.; Ayoroa, G.; Kaul, A.; Riedel, W.

    1986-01-01

    The carcinogenicity of 241 Am, relative to thorotrast, has been determined in two species of mice: the grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) and the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). These species were used since both have high uptakes of Pu and Am and, unlike conventional mice and rats, both retain relatively high concentrations of plutonium and americium in their livers. The study indicated that the liver carcinogenicity of comparable rad doses of 241 Am or thorotrast is approximately equal. The toxicity ratio ( 241 Am/thorotrast) for liver cancer induction approximated 1.2 with a range of about 0.6 to 1.6. This suggested that nonradiation factors of thorotrast were not significant in liver tumor induction. (orig.)

  13. Area-wide pest management of locusts and grasshoppers: The striking similarities of problems and solutions in Africa and the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lockwood, Jeffrey A.

    2000-01-01

    Grasshoppers and locusts are among the most devastating pests of human agriculture. These insects cause serious damage to crops and forage on every arable continent, and their depredations have become the basis for legends, myths, and (in recent times) complex political and economic programmes. No pest problem spans such immense areas, with up to 8 million ha treated for rangeland grasshoppers during outbreaks in the US and 16 million km 2 prone to outbreaks of the Desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal, alone. The traditional management approach has involved extensive, regionalised control programmes, but recent trends suggest a decentralised future for grasshopper and locust management. Hence, we have a dynamic situation that presents the opportunity for a comparative analysis of the costs and benefits of an area-wide approach to pest management at different scales. As political, cultural, and communication barriers between scientists dissolve, the possibility of learning from one another's experiences (both failures and successes) promises to dramatically accelerate the rate of innovation, progress and discovery in pest management. For example, the recent advances in Reduced Agent-Area Treatments (RAAT, in which insecticide is applied to swaths, separated by untreated swaths or buffers) for management of rangeland grasshoppers in the US (Lockwood and Schell 1997) are based on the adaptation of tactics developed by African, Australian, Asian, and European scientists (Rachadi and Foucart 1996, Musuna and Mugisha 1997, Scherer and Celestin 1997, Wilps and Diop 1997, Launois and Rachadi 1997). The key to successful adaptation of management methods must begin with intellectual modesty and nationalistic humility so that the insights of non-scientists and experts from outside one's country are given respect and serious consideration. It is subsequently necessary to recognise the essential similarities and differences between land use systems and understand the

  14. Using Cape Sable seaside sparrow distribution data for water management decision support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M.; Romañach, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis; hereafter sparrow) is endemic to south Florida and a key indicator species of marl prairie, the most diverse freshwater community in the Florida Everglades. Marl prairie habitat is shaped by intermediate levels of disturbances such as flooding, drying, and fire, which maintain periphyton production (Gaiser et al. 2011), vegetation composition (Sah et al. 2011), and habitat structure for wildlife (Lockwood et al. 2003). Historically, patches of marl prairie shifted in response to changing climatic conditions,; however, habitat loss and hydrologic alteration have restricted the sparrow’s range and increased their sensitivity to changing hydropatterns. As a result, sparrow numbers have declined as much as 60% range-wide since 1992 (Curnutt et al. 1998, Nott et al. 1998). Currently, the sparrow is restricted to the freshwater prairies of the Everglades National Park (ENP) and Big Cypress Preserve (Lockwood et al. 1997). Because this non-migratory bird is restricted in its range it was among the first species to be listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on March 11, 1967 (Pimm et al. 2000). Now protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the sparrow is listed as an endangered species, and the marl prairies that it resides in are listed as critical habitat. Since its designation as an endangered species, federal agencies have a statutory obligation to not jeopardize the survival of the species or modify its critical habitat. However, there are still uncertainties in how to increase suitable habitat within and surrounding the six existing sparrow subpopulations (Fig. 1) which are vulnerable to environmental stochasticity because of their small population size and restricted range. Since Because maintenance and creation of suitable habitat is seen as the most important pathway to the persistence of sparrow subpopulations (Sustainable Ecosystems Institute 2007), emphasis should be on

  15. Density mediates grasshopper performance in response to temperature manipulation and spider predation in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, A N; Joern, A

    2017-04-01

    Species interactions are often context-dependent, where outcomes require an understanding of influences among multiple biotic and abiotic factors. However, it remains unclear how abiotic factors such as temperature combine with important biotic factors such as density-dependent food limitation and predation to influence species interactions. Using a native grassland - grasshopper - wolf spider model food chain in tallgrass prairie, we conducted a manipulative field experiment to examine how predator-prey interactions respond to manipulations of temperature, grasshopper density, and food chain length. We find that grasshopper performance responses to temperature and predator treatments were density dependent. At high densities, grasshopper survival decreased with increased temperature when no spiders were present. When spiders were present, grasshopper survival was reduced, and this effect was strongest in the cooled treatment. In contrast, grasshopper survival did not vary significantly with spider presence or among temperature treatments at low grasshopper densities. Our results indicate that context-dependent species interactions are common and highlight the importance of understanding how and when key biotic and abiotic factors combine to influence species interactions.

  16. Horizontal transmission of Paranosema locustae (Microsporidia) in grasshopper populations via predatory natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang-Peng, Shi; Zheng, Xuan; Jia, Wan-Tong; Li, Ao-Mei; Camara, Ibrahima; Chen, Hong-Xing; Tan, Shu-Qian; Liu, Yi-Qing; Ji, Rong

    2018-04-24

    Paranosema locustae Canning, 1953 (Microsporidia) provides effective control of grasshoppers. While horizontal transmission of P. locustae is known to occur, evidence for the mechanisms of such transmission via predatory natural enemies was found. We conducted a three-year laboratory and field study to assess the potential impact of feces both from grasshoppers Locusta migratoria L. and from their natural enemies on the persistence of P. locustae. We found that P. locustae persisted among grasshopper populations in treated areas and in adjacent untreated areas for up to two years, and the density of grasshoppers decreased in both areas. We showed that healthy grasshoppers could be infected by feeding on food contaminated by feces from their natural enemies. Predators of grasshoppers retained a large number of spores acquired from eating grasshoppers infected with P. locustae. Spores in the feces of the main natural enemy, the beetle Pterostichus gebleri Dejean 1828 in treated area showed clear viability. These results demonstrate that predatory natural enemies are important vectors for this microsporidian disease, and suggest that sustainable transmission and continuing population suppression might be achieved by horizontal transmission through natural enemies, which should be maximized to increase the effectiveness of P. locustae. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. Laboratory bioassays of vegetable oils as kairomonal phagostimulants for grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latchininsky, Alexandre V; Schell, Scott P; Lockwood, Jeffrey A

    2007-10-01

    Vegetable oils have kairomonal attractant properties to grasshoppers primarily due to the presence of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. These fatty acids are dietary essentials for grasshoppers and, once volatilized, can be detected by the insects' olfactory receptors. A laboratory bioassay method has been developed to identify vegetable oils that have fatty acid profiles similar to grasshoppers and that induce grasshopper attraction and feeding. Such oils could be useful kairomonal adjuvants and/or carriers for acridicide formulations. Three sets of laboratory bioassays demonstrated that the addition of a standard aliquot of different vegetable oils resulted in varying degrees of grasshopper feeding on otherwise neutral substrates. Addition of olive oil stimulated the greatest feeding in all three sets of assays, regardless of the age of the tested insects. Furthermore, addition of canola or flax oils markedly enhanced grasshopper feeding. These three oils--i.e., olive, canola, and flax oil--proved to be the best performing grasshopper stimulants. A second group of oils included rapeseed-flax mix and rapeseed oils; however, their performance was not as consistent as oils in the first group--especially with regard to nymphal feeding. A third group of oils consisted of soybean, corn, peanut, and sunflower oil. Theoretical expectations regarding these oils varied wildly, suggesting that the results of a single bioassay should be cautiously interpreted as being negative.

  18. Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) could serve as reservoirs and vectors of vesicular stomatitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunamaker, Richard A; Lockwood, Jeffrey A; Stith, Charles E; Campbell, Corey L; Schell, Scott P; Drolet, Barbara S; Wilson, William C; White, David M; Letchworth, Geoffrey J

    2003-11-01

    Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is an economically devastating disease of livestock in the Americas. Despite strong circumstantial evidence for the role of arthropods in epizootics, no hematophagous vector explains the field evidence. Based on the spatiotemporal association of grasshopper outbreaks and VS epizootics, we investigated the potential role of these insects as vectors and reservoirs of the disease. The critical steps in the grasshopper-bovine transmission cycle were demonstrated, including 1) 62% of grasshoppers [Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.)] fed vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) from cell culture became infected, with titers reaching 40,000 times the inoculative dose; 2) 40% of grasshoppers that cannibalized VSV-infected grasshopper cadavers became infected, amplifying virus up to 1,000-fold; 3) one of three cattle consuming VSV-infected grasshopper cadavers contracted typical VS and shed virus in saliva; and 4) 15% of grasshoppers became infected when fed saliva from this infected cow. The ecological conditions and biological processes necessary for these transmissions to occur are present throughout much of the Americas. Field studies will be required to show these findings are relevant to the natural epidemiology of VSV.

  19. Vitellogenin RNAi halts ovarian growth and diverts reproductive proteins and lipids in young grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokar, Derek R; Veleta, Katherine A; Canzano, Joseph; Hahn, Daniel A; Hatle, John D

    2014-11-01

    Reduced reproduction extends lifespan of females in many animals. To test the effects of reproduction on storage of macronutrients, we block reproductive output in the lubber grasshopper by injecting RNAi against the precursor to egg-yolk protein, vitellogenin, in early adulthood. Controls were injected with either buffer or RNAi against the major storage protein in the hemolymph, hexamerin-90. Vitellogenin RNAi greatly reduced both levels of mRNA for vitellogenin and ovarian growth, in comparison to both controls. Fat body mass was increased upon vitellogenin RNAi, but concentrations of the three hexameric storage proteins from the hemolymph were not. Surprisingly, hemolymph vitellogenin levels were increased upon vitellogenin RNAi. Total reproductive protein (hemolymph vitellogenin plus ovarian vitellin) was unchanged by vitellogenin RNAi, as reproductive protein was diverted to the hemolymph. Similarly, the increased lipid storage upon vitellogenin RNAi was largely attributable to the reduction in lipid in the ovary, due to decreased ovarian growth. A BLAST search revealed that the 515 bp sequence of vitellogenin used for RNAi had three 11 bp regions identical to the vitellogenin receptor of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae. This suggests that our treatment, in addition to reducing levels of vitellogenin transcript, may have also blocked transport of vitellogenin from the hemolymph to the ovary. This would be consistent with halted ovarian growth simultaneous with high levels of vitellogenin in the hemolymph. Nonetheless, the accumulation of vitellogenin, instead of hexameric storage proteins, is inconsistent with a simple model of the trade-off between reproduction and storage. This was observed in young females; future studies will address whether investment of proteins may shift to the soma as individuals age. Overall, our results suggest that blockage of reproduction in young grasshoppers redirects lipids to storage and reproductive proteins to the hemolymph

  20. Phenotypic disparity in Iberian short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae): the role of ecology and phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Navas, Vicente; Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro J; Ortego, Joaquín

    2017-05-04

    The combination of model-based comparative techniques, disparity analyses and ecomorphological correlations constitutes a powerful method to gain insight into the evolutionary mechanisms that shape morphological variation and speciation processes. In this study, we used a time-calibrated phylogeny of 70 Iberian species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae) to test for patterns of morphological disparity in relation to their ecology and phylogenetic history. Specifically, we examined the role of substrate type and level of ecological specialization in driving different aspects of morphological evolution (locomotory traits, chemosensitive organs and cranial morphology) in this recent radiation. We found a bimodal distribution of locomotory attributes corresponding to the two main substrate type guilds (plant vs. ground); plant-perching species tend to exhibit larger wings and thicker femora than those that remain on the ground. This suggests that life form (i.e., substrate type) is an important driving force in the evolution of morphological traits in short-horned grasshoppers, irrespective of ancestry. Substrate type and ecological specialization had no significant influence on head shape, a trait that showed a strong phylogenetic conservatism. Finally, we also found a marginal significant association between the length of antennae and the level of ecological specialization, suggesting that the development of sensory organs may be favored in specialist species. Our results provide evidence that even in taxonomic groups showing limited morphological and ecological disparity, natural selection seems to play a more important role than genetic drift in driving the speciation process. Overall, this study suggests that morphostatic radiations should not necessarily be considered as "non-adaptive" and that the speciation process can bind both adaptive divergence mechanisms and neutral speciation processes related with allopatric and/or reproductive isolation.

  1. Species composition of grasshoppers (Orthoptera) in open plots and farmlands in calabar metropolis, southern Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oku, E E; Arong, G A; Bassey, D A

    2011-04-15

    The grasshoppers are strategic in the welfare of man and may constitute a major threat when its population is not checked. A study on the distribution of grasshoppers in open plots and farmlands was carried out within Calabar Metropolis between August to November, 2010. A total of 295 grasshoppers belonging to 11 species grouped under 3 families (Tettigoniidae, Acrididae and Pyrgomorphidae) were collected from 8 study locations. Grasshoppers were collected weekly from all study sites using sweep nets between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The collection was done using sweep nets between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. when grasshoppers baked themselves under the sun. The percentage abundance of these species were Spathosterrium pygmaeum (16.27%), Tettigonia viridissima (11.86%), Catantops spissus (11.19%) Acridaturita sp. (10.17%), Gastrimargus acrididae (9.83%), Schistocerca nitens (9.49%), Tylopsis sp. (7.46%), Zonocerus variegatus (6.78%), Omocestus viridulus (6.10%), Scudderia mexicana (5.76%) and Zonocerus elegans (5.08%). Tettigonia viridissima and Acridaturita sp. were largely distributed as it occurred in 7 of 8 study sites while Scudderia mexicana was the least distributed, as it was reported in 3 sites only. The dominant grasshopper species in open plot was Spathosterrium pygmaeum (19%) in relative abundance and the least was Zonocerus variegatus (0.64%). Zonocerus variegatus was the dominant species in farmland (14%) in relative abundance and the least was Schistocerca nitens (4%). Chi-square test showed a high significant difference between the distribution of grasshoppers in open plots and farmlands (p grasshopper species composition were attributed to lizard predation and management practices such as grass cutting, fertilizer and pesticide applications. It was therefore concluded that species abundance and population of grasshoppers could be enhanced by minimizing human activities that interfere with land use.

  2. Evidence for mito-nuclear and sex-linked reproductive barriers between the hybrid Italian sparrow and its parent species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra N Trier

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies of reproductive isolation between homoploid hybrid species and their parent species have rarely been carried out. Here we investigate reproductive barriers between a recently recognized hybrid bird species, the Italian sparrow Passer italiae and its parent species, the house sparrow P. domesticus and Spanish sparrow P. hispaniolensis. Reproductive barriers can be difficult to study in hybrid species due to lack of geographical contact between taxa. However, the Italian sparrow lives parapatrically with the house sparrow and both sympatrically and parapatrically with the Spanish sparrow. Through whole-transcriptome sequencing of six individuals of each of the two parent species we identified a set of putatively parent species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers. After filtering for coverage, genotyping success (>97% and multiple SNPs per gene, we retained 86 species-informative, genic, nuclear and mitochondrial SNP markers from 84 genes for analysis of 612 male individuals. We show that a disproportionately large number of sex-linked genes, as well as the mitochondria and nuclear genes with mitochondrial function, exhibit sharp clines at the boundaries between the hybrid and the parent species, suggesting a role for mito-nuclear and sex-linked incompatibilities in forming reproductive barriers. We suggest that genomic conflict via interactions between mitochondria and sex-linked genes with mitochondrial function ("mother's curse" at one boundary and centromeric drive at the other may best explain our findings. Hybrid speciation in the Italian sparrow may therefore be influenced by mechanisms similar to those involved in non-hybrid speciation, but with the formation of two geographically separated species boundaries instead of one. Spanish sparrow alleles at some loci have spread north to form reproductive barriers with house sparrows, while house sparrow alleles at different loci, including some on the same chromosome

  3. Evidence for Mito-Nuclear and Sex-Linked Reproductive Barriers between the Hybrid Italian Sparrow and Its Parent Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sætre, Glenn-Peter; Bailey, Richard I.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of reproductive isolation between homoploid hybrid species and their parent species have rarely been carried out. Here we investigate reproductive barriers between a recently recognized hybrid bird species, the Italian sparrow Passer italiae and its parent species, the house sparrow P. domesticus and Spanish sparrow P. hispaniolensis. Reproductive barriers can be difficult to study in hybrid species due to lack of geographical contact between taxa. However, the Italian sparrow lives parapatrically with the house sparrow and both sympatrically and parapatrically with the Spanish sparrow. Through whole-transcriptome sequencing of six individuals of each of the two parent species we identified a set of putatively parent species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. After filtering for coverage, genotyping success (>97%) and multiple SNPs per gene, we retained 86 species-informative, genic, nuclear and mitochondrial SNP markers from 84 genes for analysis of 612 male individuals. We show that a disproportionately large number of sex-linked genes, as well as the mitochondria and nuclear genes with mitochondrial function, exhibit sharp clines at the boundaries between the hybrid and the parent species, suggesting a role for mito-nuclear and sex-linked incompatibilities in forming reproductive barriers. We suggest that genomic conflict via interactions between mitochondria and sex-linked genes with mitochondrial function (“mother's curse”) at one boundary and centromeric drive at the other may best explain our findings. Hybrid speciation in the Italian sparrow may therefore be influenced by mechanisms similar to those involved in non-hybrid speciation, but with the formation of two geographically separated species boundaries instead of one. Spanish sparrow alleles at some loci have spread north to form reproductive barriers with house sparrows, while house sparrow alleles at different loci, including some on the same chromosome, have spread

  4. Grasshoppers of the Mascarene Islands: new species and new records (Orthoptera, Caelifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hugel, Sylvain

    2014-12-23

    The grasshopper fauna of Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Rodrigues and La Réunion), in South Western Indian ocean is examined. Numerous field surveys and examination of museum specimens recorded twenty species of Grasshoppers on the archipelago. Five of them are new records, including a new species: Odontomelus ancestrus n. sp. restricted to Round Island, a 2 km² islet North to Mauritius. Despite intensive searching, five of the non endemic species once recorded on the archipelago have not been recorded again and might correspond to temporary settlements/introductions. A key to Mascarene grasshoppers is given.

  5. Morphological differentiation despite gene flow in an endangered grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowle, Eddy J; Morgan-Richards, Mary; Trewick, Steven A

    2014-10-16

    Gene flow is traditionally considered a limitation to speciation because selection is required to counter the homogenising effect of allele exchange. Here we report on two sympatric short-horned grasshoppers species in the South Island of New Zealand; one (Sigaus australis) widespread and the other (Sigaus childi) a narrow endemic. Of the 79 putatively neutral markers (mtDNA, microsatellite loci, ITS sequences and RAD-seq SNPs) all but one marker we examined showed extensive allele sharing, and similar or identical allele frequencies in the two species where they co-occur. We found no genetic evidence of deviation from random mating in the region of sympatry. However, analysis of morphological and geometric traits revealed no evidence of morphological introgression. Based on phenotype the two species are clearly distinct, but their genotypes thus far reveal no divergence. The best explanation for this is that some loci associated with the distinguishing morphological characters are under strong selection, but exchange of neutral loci is occurring freely between the two species. Although it is easier to define species as requiring a barrier between them, a dynamic model that accommodates gene flow is a biologically more reasonable explanation for these grasshoppers.

  6. Morph matters: aggression bias in a polymorphic sparrow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent M Horton

    Full Text Available In species with discrete morphs exhibiting alternative behavioral strategies, individuals may vary their aggressive behavior in competitive encounters according to the phenotype of their opponent. Such aggression bias has been documented in multiple polymorphic species evolving under negative frequency-dependent selection, but it has not been well-studied under other selection regimes. We investigated this phenomenon in white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis, a passerine with plumage polychromatism maintained by disassortative mating. The two distinct color morphs differ with respect to reproductive strategy in that white-striped birds invest more in territorial aggression than tan-striped birds. Whether territorial aggression in this species is biased according to the morph of an intruder is less understood. We found that during peak territorial and mating activity, both color morphs and sexes can exhibit aggression bias, but whether they do so depends on the strategy (morph of the intruder. During simulated territorial intrusions, resident white-striped males and tan-striped females, which represent the opposite ends of a continuum from high to low territorial aggression, altered their territorial responses according to intruder morph. Tan-striped males and white-striped females, which represent the middle of the continuum, did not show a bias. We propose that because of the disassortative mating system and morph differences in reproductive strategy, the fitness risks of intrusions vary according to the morphs of the resident and the intruder, and that aggression bias is an attuned response to varying threats to fitness.

  7. From song dialects to speciation in white-crowned sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toews, David P L

    2017-06-01

    The behavioural signals used in mate selection are a key component in the evolution of premating isolating barriers and, subsequently, the formation of new species. The importance of mating signals has a long tradition of study in songbirds, where many species differ in their song characteristics. In oscine songbirds, individual birds usually learn their songs from a tutor. Mistakes during learning can help generate geographic dialects, akin to those within human language groups. In songbirds, dialect differences can often be substantial and there is an intuitive connection between the evolution of song amongst populations at a small scale, and the more substantive song differences between bird species and presumably used in species recognition. However, studies investigating the concordance between putative genetic and behavioural boundaries have generated mixed results. In many cases, this is possibly a function of the poor resolving power of the genetic markers employed. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Lipshutz et al. () combine genomic markers with a robust behavioural assay to address the importance of song variation amongst white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) subspecies. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Effect of ethyl methanesulphonate and X-irradiation on the spermatocyte chromosomes of the grasshopper, Gesonula punctifrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, Mita; Majumdar, K.C.; Duttagupta, A.K.

    1977-01-01

    Present investigation was performed to find out the effect of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) and X-irradiation on the meiotic cells of the grasshopper Gesonula punctifrons. Adult male grasshoppers were administered EMS (intraperitoneal injection) with one of the following concentration : 0.05%, 0.05% + 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.2%. Only 0.002 ml of required concentration were injected/animal and irradiated with 200R of X-ray in one acute dose/animal as per experimental schedule. Controls were injected with distilled water with a quantity 0.002 ml/animal. Treated and control animals were sacrificed 24 hours and 48 hours after treatment and the dividing spermatocytes were analysed for chromosomal aberrations. It was shown that EMS had stage spcificity as compared to the 200R of X-ray on the production of chromosome aberrations. Combined treatment of X-ray and EMS showed an additive effect compared to the individual effect of X-irradiation or EMS. (author)

  9. Effect of fasting in the digestive system: histological study of the small intestine in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funes, Samanta Celeste; Filippa, Verónica Palmira; Cid, Fabricio Damián; Mohamed, Fabián; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Chediack, Juan Gabriel

    2014-10-01

    In birds and mammals the metabolic response to fasting has been studied and can be characterized by three consecutive phases reflecting metabolic and physiological adjustments. An effective way to minimize energy expenditure during food scarcity is to decrease the mass of the organs. As the digestive system is metabolically expensive to maintain, the small intestine and the liver are the most affected organs. We evaluated the effects of phase III starvation on the mass of the different organs and histological parameters on house sparrows, a small non-migrant bird. In a short period of time (34 h) we observed a larger reduction in the digestive organ mass when compared to the mass of the body and non-alimentary tissues. Furthermore, the intestinal mass was proportionally more reduced than its length and nominal surface area. A reduction on the intestinal mucosal layer also resulted in a shortening of villus (length and thickness) and crypt depth. Moreover, the morphology of the enterocytes changed from cylindrical to cubical, suggesting that the surface exposed to the lumen was conserved. This may indicate an adaptive response to the moment of refeeding. The nominal surface area/body mass remained constant in both groups and several histological parameters were reduced, suggesting that starving induces the atrophy of the small intestine. However, the goblet cells were conserved after fasting indicating a protective tendency. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Extrapair paternity rates vary with latitude and elevation in emberizid sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonier, Frances; Eikenaar, Cas; Martin, Paul R; Moore, Ignacio T

    2014-01-01

    Mating systems can vary among species and populations and thus influence evolutionary trajectories, ecological traits, and population demography. The siring of offspring by an extrapair male, or extrapair paternity (EPP), is a widespread and varied phenomenon in all vertebrate classes. However, we do not understand all of the factors associated with variation in EPP rates. The breeding synchrony hypothesis suggests that EPP rates should increase with latitude and elevation, whereas the paternal care hypothesis predicts that EPP rates should decrease with elevation. To address these hypotheses, we investigated how population EPP rates vary over elevation and latitude in emberizid sparrows. In comparative analyses including the effects of phylogeny, the relationship between EPP rates and elevation depended on latitude. EPP rates were greater in higher-latitude populations. But within higher-latitude populations, EPP rates decreased with increasing elevation. These findings provide support for both the breeding synchrony and paternal care hypotheses, suggesting that in lower-latitude, higher-elevation populations, the need for male parental care does not outweigh the benefits of seeking extrapair fertilizations in populations with relatively synchronous breeding. In contrast, at higher-latitude, higher-elevation sites, the need for male parental care is greater and might drive lower rates of extrapair mating despite highly synchronous breeding.

  11. Impacts of short-term food restriction on immune development in altricial house sparrow nestlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killpack, Tess L; Carrel, Elijah; Karasov, William H

    2015-01-01

    Food limitation is a common ecological scenario for nestling altricial birds, and reductions in growth and maintenance have been observed in resource-limited nestlings. Substantial development of the immune system occurs during the nestling period, yet the resource dependence of this immune development is understudied. We examined constitutive immune system development as well as acute-phase responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection after 48 h of food restriction in house sparrows at 7 and 13 d posthatch. We also examined nestlings that were restricted early (5-7 d) but refed and tested at 13 d posthatch to determine whether altered immune function and growth early in the nestling period were recovered upon return to adequate resource supply. Induced acute-phase protein response was reduced in food-restricted birds, yet no lasting reductions in acute-phase protein levels were observed in previously restricted nestlings that were challenged with LPS after refeeding. Food restriction did not significantly impact constitutive levels of complement-mediated lysis or circulating IgY antibodies. As a comparator to immune measures, we found that organ and tarsus size, as well as muscle size and citrate synthase enzyme activity (an index of muscle cellular aerobic capacity), were significantly reduced in food-restricted nestlings. Reductions in flight muscle mass and function persisted in birds refed after early food restriction, which may have contributed to persistent body temperature reductions observed in refed birds.

  12. Biological and ecological evidences suggest Stipa krylovii (Pooideae), contributes to optimal growth performance and population distribution of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, X B; McNeill, M R; Ma, J C; Qin, X H; Tu, X B; Cao, G C; Wang, G J; Nong, X Q; Zhang, Z H

    2017-06-01

    Oedaleus asiaticus Bey. Bienko is a significant grasshopper pest species occurring in north Asian grasslands. Outbreaks often result in significant loss in grasses and economic losses. Interestingly, we found this grasshopper was mainly restricted to Stipa-dominated grassland. We suspected this may be related to the dominant grasses species, Stipa krylovii Roshev, and hypothesized that S. krylovii contributes to optimal growth performance and population distribution of O. asiaticus. A 4 year investigation showed that O. asiaticus density was positively correlated to the above-ground biomass of S. krylovii and O. asiaticus growth performance variables (survival rate, size, growth rate) were significantly higher in Stipa-dominated grassland. A feeding trial also showed that O. asiaticus had a higher growth performance when feeding exclusively on S. krylovii. In addition, the choice, consumption and the efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) by O. asiaticus was highest for S. krylovii compared with other plant species found in the Asian grasslands. These ecological and biological traits revealed why O. asiaticus is strongly associated with Stipa-dominated grasslands. We concluded that the existence of S. krylovii benefited the growth performance and explained the distribution of O. asiaticus. These results are useful for improved pest management strategies and developing guidelines for the monitoring of grasshopper population dynamics against the background of vegetation succession and changing plant communities in response to activities such as grazing, fire and climate change.

  13. Distribution of Grasshoppers (Insecta: Orthoptera among different host plants and habitats in two districts of Tamil Nadu, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.G. Paulraj

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In a survey of grasshoppers in nine localities of northeastern Tamil Nadu, carried out from August 2004 to December 2006, 33 grasshopper species grouped under four families were recorded. Family Acrididae was found to be the predominant group of grasshoppers represented by 21 species, which was 63.6% of the total species collected. The acridids collected can be classified under seven subfamilies and 15 genera. Family Tettigoniidae was the second largest group represented by six species falling under five genera and three subfamilies, and this family contributed 18.2% to the total grasshopper species recorded in this study. Among the different habitats, grasses supported the highest number of 18 species (54.6% while 11 species were surface grasshoppers. The painted grasshopper Poekilocerus pictus (Fab. was collected from many plants viz., Calotropis, curry leaf, grass, groundnut, okra, and on ground. The maximum number of species was recorded from Manimangalam in Kancheepuram District during the entire study period.

  14. Spatial Genetic Structure and Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeography of Argentinean Populations of the Grasshopper Dichroplus elongatus

    OpenAIRE

    Rosetti, Natalia; Remis, Maria Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Many grasshopper species are considered of agronomical importance because they cause damage to pastures and crops. Comprehension of pest population dynamics requires a clear understanding of the genetic diversity and spatial structure of populations. In this study we report on patterns of genetic variation in the South American grasshopper Dichroplus elongatus which is an agricultural pest of crops and forage grasses of great economic significance in Argentina. We use Direct Amplification of ...

  15. DNA barcoding reveals polymorphism in the pygmy grasshopper Tetrix bolivari (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae)

    OpenAIRE

    zhao,ling; Ling,li-liang; Zheng,Zhe-Min

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Many pygmy grasshopper species exhibit colour-marking polymorphism. However, this polymorphism in some species, such as Tetrix bolivari , is almost unknown. The aim of this work is to identify using DNA barcoding the colour-marking polymorphic morphs of this pygmy grasshopper species collected from both grass and sand microhabitats. Analysis by NJ clustering and pairwise distances indicated that all specimens collected showing colour-marking polymorphism are species of Tetrix bolivar...

  16. A MORPHOMETRIC STUDY OF THE VARIEGATED GRASSHOPPER

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    BIG TIMMY

    Department of Zoology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Correspondence a. Morphometry of the dry-season population of adult ... female specimens from Port-Harcourt were the most correctly classified compared to specimens from other locations . The present study demonstrated the morphological similarities ...

  17. Analysis of Spatial Pattern among Grasshopper and Vegetation in Heihe based on GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wei; Wang, KeMing; Zhao, Chengzhang; Zhang, Qi-peng

    Geostatistics was used to analyze the grasshopper and dominant plants population spatial pattern and their relationship in the upper reaches of Heihe River under GIS platform. The results showed that the plants and grasshoppers populations have strong spatial correlation in study area. The Semivariogram curve of Chorthippus brunneus huabeiensis, Filchnerella, Aneurolepidium dasystanchys and Artemisia dalailamae is spherical model, Gomphocerus licenti and Stipa krylovii's Semivariogram curve is exponential and Gaussian model respectively, and their spatial autocorrelation scope is 10.8, 11.3, 11.5, 12.4, 23.5 and 59.7 meters respectively. Stipa krylovii and Artemisia dalailamae spatial distribution was patchy, Aneurolepidium dasystanchys showed flaky distribution; Gomphocerus licenti and Chorthippus brunneus huabeiensis mainly located in southeast areas with high coverage of Stipa krylovii and Aneurolepidium dasystanchys. Filchnerella nearly located in North areas with high coverage of Artemisia dalailamae, but were rarely found in south and east areas. The effects of different plants coverage on grasshopper abundance are significantly different. Filchnerella abundance and Artemisia dalailamae coverage showed significantly positive correlation, Chorthippus brunneus huabeiensis and Gomphocerus licenti positively correlated with Aneurolepidium dasystanchys and Stipa krylovii. Grasshopper spatial patterns and occurrence numbers are both influenced by grasshopper biological characteristics and plant community composition, which reflected complex coupled relation between grasshopper and plant.

  18. Different levels of shade on population of grasshoppers and its oviposition preference on heliconias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Bittar

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Grasshoppers of the families Acrididae and Romaleidae (Orthoptera are among the insects that defoliate heliconias and have been gaining status as pests of commercial crops of these plants in Brazil. The objectives of the present study were to identify the grasshopper defoliating heliconias in the municipality of Santo Antônio de Pádua, RJ (Brazil, to evaluate the effect of different levels of shade on the population of this grasshopper and the production parameters of heliconias, and to determine if this grasshopper has an oviposition preference among the heliconias evaluated. The experiment was in a completely randomized block design, in subdivided plots (four levels of shade in the plot, 0%, 30%, 50% and 80%, and four species of Heliconia: H. psittacorum, H. stricta, H. wagneriana and H. psittacorum x H. spathocircinata ‘Golden Torch’ in the subplot, with four replications. The grasshopper was identified as Cornops frenatum frenatum (Acrididae. An increase in shade resulted in a decrease in the number of oviposition holes from the grasshopper and the number of lateral buds. Shade did not influence the number of C. f. frenatum nymphs and adults and the number of flower stems. H. wagneriana was the most preferred species for oviposition by C. f. frenatum. Results suggested using screens to shade heliconia plants can help control C. f. frenatum populations, however, the light requirements of the heliconias should be considered to guarantee productivity.

  19. Prey change behaviour with predation threat, but demographic effects vary with prey density: experiments with grasshoppers and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belovsky, Gary E; Laws, Angela Nardoni; Slade, Jennifer B

    2011-04-01

    Increasingly, ecologists emphasize that prey frequently change behaviour in the presence of predators and these behavioural changes can reduce prey survival and reproduction as much or more than predation itself. However, the effects of behavioural changes on survival and reproduction may vary with prey density due to intraspecific competition. In field experiments, we varied grasshopper density and threat of avian predation and measured grasshopper behaviour, survival and reproduction. Grasshopper behaviour changed with the threat of predation and these behavioural changes were invariant with grasshopper density. Behavioural changes with the threat of predation decreased per capita reproduction over all grasshopper densities; whereas the behavioural changes increased survival at low grasshopper densities and then decreased survival at high densities. At low grasshopper densities, the total reproductive output of the grasshopper population remained unchanged with predation threat, but declined at higher densities. The effects of behavioural changes with predation threat varied with grasshopper density because of a trade-off between survival and reproduction as intraspecific competition increased with density. Therefore, resource availability may need to be considered when assessing how prey behavioural changes with predation threat affect population and food web dynamics. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. New case of long-term persistence of Paranosema locustae (Microsporidia) in melanopline grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae) of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Carlos E; Azzaro, Francisco G

    2008-11-01

    We report an additional case of long-term persistence of Paranosema locustae in grasshoppers of Argentina. The pathogen was introduced from North America on rangeland at Loncopué, Neuquén province. Microsporidia were not detected in pre-introduction samples whereas infected grasshoppers were found 11 years after introduction. Affected grasshoppers were the melanoplines Dichroplus elongatus, Dichroplus maculipennis, and Scotussa lemniscata, some of them with high spore loads. The case highlights the ability of P. locustae to recycle in local grasshopper communities by parasitizing susceptible species other than the natural hosts.

  1. Rock sparrow song reflects male age and reproductive success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erwin Nemeth

    Full Text Available The evolution of mating signals is closely linked to sexual selection. Acoustic ornaments are often used as secondary sexual traits that signal the quality of the signaller. Here we show that song performance reflects age and reproductive success in the rock sparrow (Petronia petronia. In an Alpine population in south-east France, we recorded the songs of males and assessed their genetic breeding success by microsatellite analysis. In addition to temporal and spectral song features, we also analysed for the first time whether the sound pressure level of bird song reflects reproductive success. Males with higher breeding success sang at a lower rate and with a higher maximum frequency. We found also that older males gained more extra-pair young and had a higher overall breeding success, although they also differed almost significantly by having a higher loss of paternity in their own nests. Older males could be distinguished from yearlings by singing at lower rate and higher amplitudes. Our findings suggest that song rate may be used as a signal of age and together with song pitch as a signal of reproductive success in this species. Alternatively, younger and less successful males might try to compensate their inferior status by increased song rates and lower pitch. Independent of age and quality, high-amplitude songs correlated with paternity loss in the own nest, suggesting that in this species song amplitude is not an indicator of male quality but high-intensity songs may be rather a response to unfaithful social mates.

  2. Song competition affects monoamine levels in sensory and motor forebrain regions of male Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra B Sewall

    Full Text Available Male animals often change their behavior in response to the level of competition for mates. Male Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii modulate their competitive singing over the period of a week as a function of the level of challenge associated with competitors' songs. Differences in song challenge and associated shifts in competitive state should be accompanied by neural changes, potentially in regions that regulate perception and song production. The monoamines mediate neural plasticity in response to environmental cues to achieve shifts in behavioral state. Therefore, using high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, we compared levels of monoamines and their metabolites from male Lincoln's sparrows exposed to songs categorized as more or less challenging. We compared levels of norepinephrine and its principal metabolite in two perceptual regions of the auditory telencephalon, the caudomedial nidopallium and the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM, because this chemical is implicated in modulating auditory sensitivity to song. We also measured the levels of dopamine and its principal metabolite in two song control nuclei, area X and the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA, because dopamine is implicated in regulating song output. We measured the levels of serotonin and its principal metabolite in all four brain regions because this monoamine is implicated in perception and behavioral output and is found throughout the avian forebrain. After controlling for recent singing, we found that males exposed to more challenging song had higher levels of norepinephrine metabolite in the CMM and lower levels of serotonin in the RA. Collectively, these findings are consistent with norepinephrine in perceptual brain regions and serotonin in song control regions contributing to neuroplasticity that underlies socially-induced changes in behavioral state.

  3. Grasshopper beam line for utilization of synchrotron radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, Norio; Suzuki, I.H.; Onuki, Hideo; Nishi, Morotake

    1989-01-01

    Optical characteristics of a new beam line consisting of a pre-mirror, a Grasshopper monochromator and a re-focusing mirror have been investigated. A ray-tracing calculation was performed for designing the mirrors so as to optimize the photon intensity and the spot size at the sample point. The intensity of the monochromatic soft x-ray was about 10 8 photons/(sec·100mA) at 25 A under the storage electron energy of 600 MeV with the minimum slit width which corresponded to a resolution of about 500. The sum of stray light and higher order components was less than 10% of the total intensity except around the C-K edge. Using an appropriate filter, it was reduced to less than a few percent. (author)

  4. γ-rays kill grasshopper primary spermatocytes in groups

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Taweel, A.A.; Shawkit, M.A.; Fox, D.P.

    1985-01-01

    Primary spermatocyte killing by γ-rays was studied in the grasshopper Heteracris littoralis in which spermatogenic development occurs in cysts containing a maximum of 64 cells during the first meiotic division. Cell killing at this stage is not random and mainly involves the death of whole cysts. The dose-response curve for cell killing has complex kinetics with at least two components but lacks any shoulder at low doses, thus indicating no repair of the lethal damage. Cell loss is apparent from surviving cysts as early as 45 min post irradiation but loss of > 24 cells is incompatible with cyst survival. Loss of fewer than 24 cells also is not random since certain values for cell loss are frequently observed while other, interspersed values are not seen at all. (Auth.)

  5. Costs of immunity and their role in the range expansion of the house sparrow in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Lynn B; Kilvitis, Holly J; Brace, Amber J; Cooper, Laken; Haussmann, Mark F; Mutati, Alex; Fasanello, Vincent; O'Brien, Sara; Ardia, Daniel R

    2017-06-15

    There are at least two reasons to study traits that mediate successful range expansions. First, dispersers will found new populations and thus impact the distribution and evolution of species. Second, organisms moving into new areas will influence the fate of resident communities, directly competing with or indirectly affecting residents by spreading non-native or spilling-back native parasites. The success of invaders in new areas is likely mediated by a counterbalancing of costly traits. In new areas where threats are comparatively rare, individuals that grow rapidly and breed prolifically should be at an advantage. High investment in defenses should thus be disfavored. In the present study, we compared the energetic, nutritional and collateral damage costs of an inflammatory response among Kenyan house sparrow ( Passer domesticus ) populations of different ages, asking whether costs were related to traits of individuals from three different capture sites. Kenya is among the world's most recent range expansions for this species, and we recently found that the expression of Toll-like receptors ( TLRs ), leukocyte receptors that instigate inflammatory responses when bound to microbial elements, was related to the range expansion across the country. Here, we found (contrary to our expectations) that energetic and nutritional costs of inflammation were higher, but damage costs were lower, in range-edge compared with core birds. Moreover, at the individual level, TLR-4 expression was negatively related to commodity costs (energy and a critical amino acid) of inflammation. Our data thus suggest that costs of inflammation, perhaps mediated by TLR expression, might mitigate successful range expansions. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Photoperiod as a proximate factor in control of seasonality in the subtropical male Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Namram S

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most species of birds exhibit well-defined seasonality in their various physiological and behavioral functions like reproduction, molt, bill color etc. such that they occur at the most appropriate time of the year. Day length has been shown to be a major source of temporal information regulating seasonal reproduction and associated events in a number of avian species. The present study aims to investigate the role of photoperiod in control of seasonal cycles in the subtropical male tree sparrow (Passer montanus and to compare its responses at Shillong (Latitude 25°34'N, Longitude 91°53'E with those exhibited by its conspecifics and related species at other latitudes. Results Initial experiment involving study of seasonal cycles revealed that the wild tree sparrows posses definite seasonal cycles of testicular volume, molt and bill color. These cycles were found remarkably linked to annual solar cycle suggesting the possibility of their photoperiodic control. To confirm this possibility in the next experiment, the photosensitive birds were exposed to three different light-dark regimes that were close to what they experience at this latitude: 9L/15D (close to shortest day length, 12L/12D (equinox day length and 14L/10D (close to longest day length for 18 months. Tree sparrows showed testicular growth followed by regression and development of photorefractoriness, molting and bill color changes only under long daily photoperiods (12 L and 14 L but not under short daily photoperiod (9 L. Birds, under stimulatory photoperiods, did not show reinitiation of the above responses after the completion of initiation regression cycle even after their exposure to these photoperiods for 18 months. This precludes the possibility of circannual rhythm generation and suggests the involvement of photoperiodic mechanism in control of their seasonal cycles. Further, replacement of body and primary feathers progressed with gonadal regression only

  7. Photoperiod as a proximate factor in control of seasonality in the subtropical male Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Anand S; Singh, Namram S

    2011-01-11

    Most species of birds exhibit well-defined seasonality in their various physiological and behavioral functions like reproduction, molt, bill color etc. such that they occur at the most appropriate time of the year. Day length has been shown to be a major source of temporal information regulating seasonal reproduction and associated events in a number of avian species. The present study aims to investigate the role of photoperiod in control of seasonal cycles in the subtropical male tree sparrow (Passer montanus) and to compare its responses at Shillong (Latitude 25°34'N, Longitude 91°53'E) with those exhibited by its conspecifics and related species at other latitudes. Initial experiment involving study of seasonal cycles revealed that the wild tree sparrows posses definite seasonal cycles of testicular volume, molt and bill color. These cycles were found remarkably linked to annual solar cycle suggesting the possibility of their photoperiodic control. To confirm this possibility in the next experiment, the photosensitive birds were exposed to three different light-dark regimes that were close to what they experience at this latitude: 9L/15D (close to shortest day length), 12L/12D (equinox day length) and 14L/10D (close to longest day length) for 18 months. Tree sparrows showed testicular growth followed by regression and development of photorefractoriness, molting and bill color changes only under long daily photoperiods (12 L and 14 L) but not under short daily photoperiod (9 L). Birds, under stimulatory photoperiods, did not show reinitiation of the above responses after the completion of initiation regression cycle even after their exposure to these photoperiods for 18 months. This precludes the possibility of circannual rhythm generation and suggests the involvement of photoperiodic mechanism in control of their seasonal cycles. Further, replacement of body and primary feathers progressed with gonadal regression only under long days suggesting that the two

  8. Characterization of the nest site preferences of Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows, and hybrids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltmarsh Sparrows (hereafter SALS) are named on the National Audubon Society’s current WatchList as a species of global conservation concern (National Audubon Society 2007). Anthropogenic climate change is perhaps the largest threat to SALS populations because sea level ri...

  9. Reading, Laterality, and the Brain: Early Contributions on Reading Disabilities by Sara S. Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jack M.; Morris, Robin D.

    2014-01-01

    Although best known for work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, training in speech pathology and a doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology was the foundation for Sara Sparrow's long-term interest in reading disabilities. Her first papers were on dyslexia and laterality, and the…

  10. Novel Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in Tree Sparrow, Shanghai, China, 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Baihui; Zhang, Xi; Zhu, Wenfei; Teng, Zheng; Yu, Xuelian; Gao, Ye; Wu, Di; Pei, Enle; Yuan, Zhengan; Yang, Lei; Wang, Dayan; Shu, Yuelong

    2014-01-01

    In spring 2013, influenza A(H7N9) virus was isolated from an apparently healthy tree sparrow in Chongming Dongping National Forest Park, Shanghai City, China. The entire gene constellation of the virus is similar to that of isolates from humans, highlighting the need to monitor influenza A(H7N9) viruses in different species. PMID:24751370

  11. 76 FR 65118 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bear Creek, Sparrows Point, MD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-20

    ...-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bear Creek, Sparrows Point, MD AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION... regulation. The Baltimore County Revenue Authority (Dundalk Avenue) highway toll drawbridge across Bear Creek... applicable or necessary. Basis and Purpose The drawbridge across Bear Creek, mile 1.5 was removed and...

  12. Construction of a GeogDetector-based model system to indicate the potential occurrence of grasshoppers in Inner Mongolia steppe habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, J; Zhang, N; Gexigeduren; He, B; Liu, C-Y; Li, Y; Zhang, H-Y; Chen, X-Y; Lin, H

    2015-06-01

    Grasshopper plagues have seriously disturbed grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, China. The accurate prediction of grasshopper infestations and control of grasshopper plagues have become urgent needs. We sampled 234, 342, 335, and 369 plots in Xianghuangqi County of Xilingol League in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively, and measured the density of the most dominant grasshopper species, Oedaleus decorus asiaticus, and the latitude, longitude, and associated relatively stable habitat factors at each plot. We used Excel-GeogDetector software to explore the effects of individual habitat factors and the two-factor interactions on grasshopper density. We estimated the membership of each grasshopper density rank and determined the weights of each habitat category. These results were used to construct a model system evaluating grasshopper habitat suitability. The results showed that our evaluation system was reliable and the fuzzy evaluation scores of grasshopper habitat suitability were good indicators of potential occurrence of grasshoppers. The effects of the two-factor interactions on grasshopper density were greater than the effects of any individual factors. O. d. asiaticus was most likely to be found at elevations of 1300-1400 m, flat terrain or slopes of 4-6°, typical chestnut soil with 70-80% sand content in the top 5 cm of soil, and medium-coverage grassland. The species preferred temperate bunchgrass steppe dominated by Stipa krylovii and Cleistogenes squarrosa. These findings may be used to improve models to predict grasshopper occurrence and to develop management guidelines to control grasshopper plagues by changing habitats.

  13. Molecular Ecological Basis of Grasshopper (Oedaleus asiaticus) Phenotypic Plasticity under Environmental Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Xinghu; Hao, Kun; Ma, Jingchuan; Huang, Xunbing; Tu, Xiongbing; Ali, Md. Panna; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Cao, Guangchun; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Whitman, Douglas W.; Zhang, Zehua

    2017-01-01

    While ecological adaptation in insects can be reflected by plasticity of phenotype, determining the causes and molecular mechanisms for phenotypic plasticity (PP) remains a crucial and still difficult question in ecology, especially where control of insect pests is involved. Oedaleus asiaticus is one of the most dominant pests in the Inner Mongolia steppe and represents an excellent system to study phenotypic plasticity. To better understand ecological factors affecting grasshopper phenotypic plasticity and its molecular control, we conducted a full transcriptional screening of O. asiaticus grasshoppers reared in four different grassland patches in Inner Mongolia. Grasshoppers showed different degrees of PP associated with unique gene expressions and different habitat plant community compositions. Grasshopper performance variables were susceptible to habitat environment conditions and closely associated with plant architectures. Intriguingly, eco-transcriptome analysis revealed five potential candidate genes playing important roles in grasshopper performance, with gene expression closely relating to PP and plant community factors. By linking the grasshopper performances to gene profiles and ecological factors using canonical regression, we first demonstrated the eco-transcriptomic architecture (ETA) of grasshopper phenotypic traits (ETAGPTs). ETAGPTs revealed plant food type, plant density, coverage, and height were the main ecological factors influencing PP, while insect cuticle protein (ICP), negative elongation factor A (NELFA), and lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (LCT) were the key genes associated with PP. Our study gives a clear picture of gene-environment interaction in the formation and maintenance of PP and enriches our understanding of the transcriptional events underlying molecular control of rapid phenotypic plasticity associated with environmental variability. The findings of this study may also provide new targets for pest control and highlight the

  14. Molecular Ecological Basis of Grasshopper (Oedaleus asiaticus Phenotypic Plasticity under Environmental Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinghu Qin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available While ecological adaptation in insects can be reflected by plasticity of phenotype, determining the causes and molecular mechanisms for phenotypic plasticity (PP remains a crucial and still difficult question in ecology, especially where control of insect pests is involved. Oedaleus asiaticus is one of the most dominant pests in the Inner Mongolia steppe and represents an excellent system to study phenotypic plasticity. To better understand ecological factors affecting grasshopper phenotypic plasticity and its molecular control, we conducted a full transcriptional screening of O. asiaticus grasshoppers reared in four different grassland patches in Inner Mongolia. Grasshoppers showed different degrees of PP associated with unique gene expressions and different habitat plant community compositions. Grasshopper performance variables were susceptible to habitat environment conditions and closely associated with plant architectures. Intriguingly, eco-transcriptome analysis revealed five potential candidate genes playing important roles in grasshopper performance, with gene expression closely relating to PP and plant community factors. By linking the grasshopper performances to gene profiles and ecological factors using canonical regression, we first demonstrated the eco-transcriptomic architecture (ETA of grasshopper phenotypic traits (ETAGPTs. ETAGPTs revealed plant food type, plant density, coverage, and height were the main ecological factors influencing PP, while insect cuticle protein (ICP, negative elongation factor A (NELFA, and lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (LCT were the key genes associated with PP. Our study gives a clear picture of gene-environment interaction in the formation and maintenance of PP and enriches our understanding of the transcriptional events underlying molecular control of rapid phenotypic plasticity associated with environmental variability. The findings of this study may also provide new targets for pest control and

  15. Lean birds in the city: body size and condition of house sparrows along the urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liker, A; Papp, Z; Bókony, V; Lendvai, A Z

    2008-07-01

    1. Urbanized habitats differ from natural ones in several ecological features, including climate, food availability, strength of predation and competition. Although the effects of urbanization on avian community composition are well known, there is much less information about how individual birds are affected by these human-generated habitat differences. 2. In this study we investigated the relationships between the morphological characteristics and the degree of habitat urbanization in house sparrows, Passer domesticus (Linne 1758) . We collected data for more than 1000 non-breeding adult birds in Hungary between 1997 and 2006, from seven sites including farmlands, suburban areas and city centres. 3. We found that the body mass, tarsus length and body condition of free-living sparrows differed among the sites: birds in more urbanized habitats were consistently smaller and in worse condition than birds in more rural habitats. A composite measure of habitat urbanization (based on building density, road density and vegetation cover) explained over 75% of variance between sites in the studied traits, after we controlled for the effects of sex, year, season and time of capture. 4. The difference in body mass between rural and urban sparrows was significant when birds were kept in aviaries under identical conditions, with constant ad libitum food availability. It is therefore unlikely that the reduced body size and condition of urban sparrows are a consequence of reduced access to food for adults (e.g. due to strong competition), or their short-term responses to high food predictability (e.g. by strategic mass regulation). 5. We suggest that habitat differences in nestling development or adaptive divergence of sparrow populations due to distinct environmental conditions (such as differing predation pressure) may account for the differences along the urbanization gradient.

  16. Natural epigenetic variation within and among six subspecies of the house sparrow,Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riyahi, Sepand; Vilatersana, Roser; Schrey, Aaron W; Ghorbani Node, Hassan; Aliabadian, Mansour; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2017-11-01

    Epigenetic modifications can respond rapidly to environmental changes and can shape phenotypic variation in accordance with environmental stimuli. One of the most studied epigenetic marks is DNA methylation. In the present study, we used the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique to investigate the natural variation in DNA methylation within and among subspecies of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus We focused on five subspecies from the Middle East because they show great variation in many ecological traits and because this region is the probable origin for the house sparrow's commensal relationship with humans. We analysed house sparrows from Spain as an outgroup. The level of variation in DNA methylation was similar among the five house sparrow subspecies from the Middle East despite high phenotypic and environmental variation, but the non-commensal subspecies was differentiated from the other four (commensal) Middle Eastern subspecies. Further, the European subspecies was differentiated from all other subspecies in DNA methylation. Our results indicate that variation in DNA methylation does not strictly follow subspecies designations. We detected a correlation between methylation level and some morphological traits, such as standardized bill length, and we suggest that part of the high morphological variation in the native populations of the house sparrow is influenced by differentially methylated regions in specific loci throughout the genome. We also detected 10 differentially methylated loci among subspecies and three loci that differentiated between commensal or non-commensal status. Therefore, the MSAP technique detected larger scale differences among the European and non-commensal subspecies, but did not detect finer scale differences among the other Middle Eastern subspecies. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Rapid top-down regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo; Elser, James J

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how food web interactions alter the processing of limiting nutrient elements is an important goal of ecosystem ecology. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was performed to assess top-down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). With increased grasshopper feeding, plant biomass declined fourfold, litter abundance increased 30%, and the plant community became dominated by non-host plant taxa. Plant stoichiometric response depended on whether or not the plant was a grasshopper host food species: C:N and C:P ratios increased with increasing grasshopper density (GD) for host plants but decreased in non-host plants. These data suggest either a direct transfer of grasshopper-recycled nutrients from host to non-host plants or a release of non-host plants from nutrient competition with heavily grazed host plants. Litterfall C:N and C:P decreased across moderate levels of grasshopper density but no effects on C:N:P stoichiometry in the surface soil were observed, possibly due to the short experimental period. Our observations of divergent C:N:P stoichiometric response among plant species highlight the important role of grasshopper herbivory in regulating plant community structure and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems.

  18. Infection of two non-target grasshoppers by the biological control agent Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum in the Sahel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fisker, E. N.; Eilenberg, J.; Langewald, J.

    2006-01-01

    Fungal isolates from grasshoppers of the family Acrididae are suspected to be less virulent to grasshoppers of the family Pyrgomorphidae. The biological control agent Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum was isolated from an acridid and is thus hypothesized to be less virulent to pyrgomorphids...

  19. Ecological notes and annotated checklist of the grasshoppers (Orthoptera - Acridoidea) of the Savanna ecosystem project study area, Nylsvley.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gandar, MV

    1983-11-01

    Full Text Available be distinguished according to the physical characteristics of the preferred food plants. The amount of grass production removed by grasshoppers in a year varied between 9 and 24%. The effect of feeding and the extent to which grasshoppers were in competition...

  20. Fate of biological control introductions: monitoring an Australian fungal pathogen of grasshoppers in North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidochka, M J; Walsh, S R; Ramos, M E; St Leger, R J; Silver, J C; Roberts, D W

    1996-01-01

    In North America there are two generally recognized pathotypes (pathotypes 1 and 2) of the fungus Entomophaga grylli which show host-preferential infection of grasshopper subfamilies. Pathotype 3, discovered in Australia, has a broader grasshopper host range and was considered to be a good biocontrol agent. Between 1989 and 1991 pathotype 3 was introduced at two field sites in North Dakota. Since resting spores are morphologically indistinguishable among pathotypes, we used pathotype-specific DNA probes to confirm pathotype identification in E. grylli-infected grasshoppers collected at the release sites in 1992, 1993, and 1994. In 1992, up to 23% of E. grylli-infected grasshoppers of the subfamilies Melanoplinae, Oedipodinae, and Gomphocerinae were infected by pathotype 3, with no infections > 1 km from the release sites. In 1993, pathotype 3 infections declined to 1.7%. In 1994 grasshopper populations were low and no pathotype 3 infections were found. The frequency of pathotype 3 infection has declined to levels where its long-term survival in North America is questionable. Analyses of biocontrol releases are critical to evaluating the environmental risks associated with these ecological manipulations, and molecular probes are powerful tools for monitoring biocontrol releases. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8570660

  1. First Record of Fusarium verticillioides as an Entomopathogenic Fungus of Grasshoppers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelizza, SA; Stenglein, SA; Cabello, MN; Dinolfo, MI; Lange, CE

    2011-01-01

    Fusarium verticillioides (Saccardo) Nirenberg (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) is the most common fungus reported on infected corn kernels and vegetative tissues, but has not yet been documented as being entomopathogenic for grasshoppers. Grasshoppers and locusts represent a large group of insects that cause economic damage to forage and crops. Tropidacris collaris (Stoll) (Orthoptera: Acridoidea: Romaleidae) is a large and voracious grasshopper that in recent years has become an increasingly recurrent and widespread pest in progressively more greatly extended areas of some of in Argentina's northern provinces, with chemical insecticides being currently the only means of control. During February and March of 2008–09, nymphs and adults of T. collaris were collected with sweep nets in dense woodland vegetation at a site near Tres Estacas in western Chaco Province, Argentina, and kept in screened cages. F. verticillioides was isolated from insects that died within 10 days and was cultured in PGA medium. Pathogenicity tests were conducted and positive results recorded. Using traditional and molecular-biological methods, an isolate of F. verticillioides was obtained from T. collaris, and its pathogenecity in the laboratory was shown against another harmful grasshopper, Ronderosia bergi (Stål) (Acridoidea: Acrididae: Melanoplinae). The mortality caused by F. verticillioides on R. bergi reached 58 ± 6.53% by 10 days after inoculation. This is the first record of natural infection caused by F. verticillioides in grasshoppers. PMID:21867437

  2. Latitudinal variation of immune defense and sickness behavior in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen-Ashley, Noah T; Hasselquist, Dennis; Råberg, Lars; Wingfield, John C

    2008-05-01

    There is a general trend that parasitism risk declines as latitude increases. Host populations breeding at high latitudes should therefore invest less in costly immune defenses than populations breeding in temperate or tropical zones, although it is unknown if such an effect is mediated by environmental (photoperiodic) or genetic factors or both. Acquired immune function (humoral, cell-mediated) and behavioral sickness responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS; mimics bacterial infection) were assessed in two subspecies of white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) that breed at different latitudes in western North America. Zonotrichia l. gambelii (GWCS) is a high-latitude breeder (47-68 degrees N) while Z. l. pugetensis (PWCS) breeds at temperate latitudes (40-49 degrees N). Captive males of each subspecies were acclimated to (1) a short day (non-breeding) photoperiod (8L:16D), (2) the breeding photoperiod of PWCS (16L:8D), or (3) the breeding photoperiod of GWCS (20L:4D). Photoperiod was manipulated because shorter day lengths may enhance immune function. In support of a genetic effect, humoral responses to diphtheria-tetanus vaccination were significantly higher in PWCS compared to GWCS, regardless of photoperiod. There were no differences in cell-mediated responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) between subspecies or among photoperiods. For sickness responses to LPS, a significant interaction between photoperiod and subspecies was found, with long day GWCS producing stronger sickness responses (losing more weight, eating less) than short day GWCS and PWCS on all day lengths. However, these effects were influenced by photoperiodic changes in body condition. In conclusion, we find evidence for genetic control of immune responses across latitude, but no support for environmental (photoperiodic) regulation.

  3. Comparisons of patch-use models for wintering American tree sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tome, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory has stimulated numerous theoretical and empirical studies of foraging behavior for >20 years. These models provide a valuable tool for studying the foraging behavior of an organism. As with any other tool, the models are most effective when properly used. For example, to obtain a robust test of a foraging model, Stephens and Krebs (1986) recommend experimental designs in which four questions are answered in the affirmative. First, do the foragers play the same "game" as the model? Sec- ond, are the assumptions of the model met? Third, does the test rule out alternative possibilities? Finally, are the appropriate variables measured? Negative an- swers to any of these questions could invalidate the model and lead to confusion over the usefulness of foraging theory in conducting ecological studies. Gaines (1989) attempted to determine whether American Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea) foraged by a time (Krebs 1973) or number expectation rule (Gibb 1962), or in a manner consistent with the predictions of Charnov's (1976) marginal value theorem (MVT). Gaines (1989: 118) noted appropriately that field tests of foraging models frequently involve uncontrollable circumstances; thus, it is often difficult to meet the assumptions of the models. Gaines also states (1989: 118) that "violations of the assumptions are also in- formative but do not constitute robust tests of predicted hypotheses," and that "the problem can be avoided by experimental analyses which concurrently test mutually exclusive hypotheses so that alter- native predictions will be eliminated if falsified." There is a problem with this approach because, when major assumptions of models are not satisfied, it is not justifiable to compare a predator's foraging behavior with the model's predictions. I submit that failing to follow the advice offered by Stephens and Krebs (1986) can invalidate tests of foraging models.

  4. "Ant" and "grasshopper" life-history strategies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aymé Spor

    Full Text Available From the evolutionary and ecological points of view, it is essential to distinguish between the genetic and environmental components of the variability of life-history traits and of their trade-offs. Among the factors affecting this variability, the resource uptake rate deserves particular attention, because it depends on both the environment and the genetic background of the individuals. In order to unravel the bases of the life-history strategies in yeast, we grew a collection of twelve strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae from different industrial and geographical origins in three culture media differing for their glucose content. Using a population dynamics model to fit the change of population size over time, we estimated the intrinsic growth rate (r, the carrying capacity (K, the mean cell size and the glucose consumption rate per cell. The life-history traits, as well as the glucose consumption rate, displayed large genetic and plastic variability and genetic-by-environment interactions. Within each medium, growth rate and carrying capacity were not correlated, but a marked trade-off between these traits was observed over the media, with high K and low r in the glucose rich medium and low K and high r in the other media. The cell size was tightly negatively correlated to carrying capacity in all conditions. The resource consumption rate appeared to be a clear-cut determinant of both the carrying capacity and the cell size in all media, since it accounted for 37% to 84% of the variation of those traits. In a given medium, the strains that consume glucose at high rate have large cell size and low carrying capacity, while the strains that consume glucose at low rate have small cell size but high carrying capacity. These two contrasted behaviors may be metaphorically defined as "ant" and "grasshopper" strategies of resource utilization. Interestingly, a strain may be "ant" in one medium and "grasshopper" in another. These life

  5. Testing the role of ancient and contemporary landscapes on structuring genetic variation in a specialist grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro J; Ortego, Joaquín

    2017-05-01

    Understanding the processes underlying spatial patterns of genetic diversity and structure of natural populations is a central topic in evolutionary biogeography. In this study, we combine data on ancient and contemporary landscape composition to get a comprehensive view of the factors shaping genetic variation across the populations of the scrub-legume grasshopper ( Chorthippus binotatus binotatus ) from the biogeographically complex region of southeast Iberia. First, we examined geographical patterns of genetic structure and employed an approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) approach to compare different plausible scenarios of population divergence. Second, we used a landscape genetic framework to test for the effects of (1) Late Miocene paleogeography, (2) Pleistocene climate fluctuations, and (3) contemporary topographic complexity on the spatial patterns of population genetic differentiation. Genetic structure and ABC analyses supported the presence of three genetic clusters and a sequential west-to-east splitting model that predated the last glacial maximum (LGM, c . 21 Kya). Landscape genetic analyses revealed that population genetic differentiation was primarily shaped by contemporary topographic complexity, but was not explained by any paleogeographic scenario or resistance distances based on climate suitability in the present or during the LGM. Overall, this study emphasizes the need of integrating information on ancient and contemporary landscape composition to get a comprehensive view of their relative importance to explain spatial patterns of genetic variation in organisms inhabiting regions with complex biogeographical histories.

  6. Chromosomal Speciation Revisited: Modes of Diversification in Australian Morabine Grasshoppers (Vandiemenella, viatica Species Group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J. B. Cooper

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Chromosomal rearrangements can alter the rate and patterns of gene flow within or between species through a reduction in the fitness of chromosomal hybrids or by reducing recombination rates in rearranged areas of the genome. This concept, together with the observation that many species have structural variation in chromosomes, has led to the theory that the rearrangements may play a direct role in promoting speciation. Australian morabine grasshoppers (genus Vandiemenella, viatica species group are an excellent model for studying the role of chromosomal rearrangement in speciation because they show extensive chromosomal variation, parapatric distribution patterns, and narrow hybrid zones at their boundaries. This species group stimulated development of one of the classic chromosomal speciation models, the stasipatric speciation model proposed by White in 1968. Our population genetic and phylogeographic analyses revealed extensive non-monophyly of chromosomal races along with historical and on-going gene introgression between them. These findings suggest that geographical isolation leading to the fixation of chromosomal variants in different geographic regions, followed by secondary contact, resulted in the present day parapatric distributions of chromosomal races. The significance of chromosomal rearrangements in the diversification of the viatica species group can be explored by comparing patterns of genetic differentiation between rearranged and co-linear parts of the genome.

  7. Metabolism by grasshoppers of volatile chemical constituents from Mangifera indica and Solanum paniculatum leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Clécio S; Ramos, Natália S M; Da Silva, Rodolfo R; Da Câmara, Cláudio A G; Almeida, Argus V

    2012-12-01

    The chemical volatiles from plant leaves and their biological activities have been extensively studied. However, no studies have addressed plant-chemical volatiles after undergoing the digestive process in host insects. Here we describe for the first time chemical profiles of volatile constituents from Solanum paniculatum and Mangifera indica leaves metabolized by grasshoppers. Both profiles were qualitatively and quantitatively different from the profiles of non-metabolized leaves. The amount of nerolidol, the major constituent of S. paniculatum leaves, decreased and other sesquiterpenes, such as spathulenol, were formed during the digestive process of the grasshopper Chromacris speciosa. In M. indica, the presence of phenylpropanoids was observed (dillapiole, Z-asarone, E-asarone and γ-asarone) in the leaves metabolized by the grasshopper Tropidacris collaris, but these compounds were not found in the non-metabolized leaves. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Monitoring grasshopper and locust habitats in Sahelian Africa using GIS and remote sensing technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tappan, G. Gray; Moore, Donald G.; Knauseberger, Walter I.

    1991-01-01

    Development programmes in Sahelian Africa are beginning to use geographic information system (GIS) technology. One of the GIS and remote sensing programmes introduced to the region in the late 1980s was the use of seasonal vegetation maps made from satellite data to support grasshopper and locust control. Following serious outbreaks of these pests in 1987, the programme addressed a critical need, by national and international crop protection organizations, to monitor site-specific dynamic vegetation conditions associated with grasshopper and locust breeding. The primary products used in assessing vegetation conditions were vegetation index (greenness) image maps derived from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite imagery. Vegetation index data were integrated in a GIS with digital cartographic data of individual Sahelian countries. These near-real-time image maps were used regularly in 10 countries for locating potential grasshopper and locust habitats. The programme to monitor vegetation conditions is currently being institutionalized in the Sahel.

  9. Developing a Dynamic SPARROW Water Quality Decision Support System Using NASA Remotely-Sensed Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hamdan, M. Z.; Smith, R. A.; Hoos, A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Alexander, R. B.; Crosson, W. L.; Srikishen, J.; Estes, M., Jr.; Cruise, J.; Al-Hamdan, A.; Ellenburg, W. L., II; Flores, A.; Sanford, W. E.; Zell, W.; Reitz, M.; Miller, M. P.; Journey, C. A.; Befus, K. M.; Swann, R.; Herder, T.; Sherwood, E.; Leverone, J.; Shelton, M.; Smith, E. T.; Anastasiou, C. J.; Seachrist, J.; Hughes, A.; Graves, D.

    2017-12-01

    The USGS Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) surface water quality modeling system has been widely used for long term, steady state water quality analysis. However, users have increasingly requested a dynamic version of SPARROW that can provide seasonal estimates of nutrients and suspended sediment to receiving waters. The goal of this NASA-funded project is to develop a dynamic decision support system to enhance the southeast SPARROW water quality model and finer-scale dynamic models for selected coastal watersheds through the use of remotely-sensed data and other NASA Land Information System (LIS) products. The spatial and temporal scale of satellite remote sensing products and LIS modeling data make these sources ideal for the purposes of development and operation of the dynamic SPARROW model. Remote sensing products including MODIS vegetation indices, SMAP surface soil moisture, and OMI atmospheric chemistry along with LIS-derived evapotranspiration (ET) and soil temperature and moisture products will be included in model development and operation. MODIS data will also be used to map annual land cover/land use in the study areas and in conjunction with Landsat and Sentinel to identify disturbed areas that might be sources of sediment and increased phosphorus loading through exposure of the bare soil. These data and others constitute the independent variables in a regression analysis whose dependent variables are the water quality constituents total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment. Remotely-sensed variables such as vegetation indices and ET can be proxies for nutrient uptake by vegetation; MODIS Leaf Area Index can indicate sources of phosphorus from vegetation; soil moisture and temperature are known to control rates of denitrification; and bare soil areas serve as sources of enhanced nutrient and sediment production. The enhanced SPARROW dynamic models will provide improved tools for end users to manage water

  10. Grasshopper community response to climatic change: variation along an elevational gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nufio, César R; McGuire, Chris R; Bowers, M Deane; Guralnick, Robert P

    2010-09-23

    The impacts of climate change on phenological responses of species and communities are well-documented; however, many such studies are correlational and so less effective at assessing the causal links between changes in climate and changes in phenology. Using grasshopper communities found along an elevational gradient, we present an ideal system along the Front Range of Colorado USA that provides a mechanistic link between climate and phenology. This study utilizes past (1959-1960) and present (2006-2008) surveys of grasshopper communities and daily temperature records to quantify the relationship between amount and timing of warming across years and elevations, and grasshopper timing to adulthood. Grasshopper communities were surveyed at four sites, Chautauqua Mesa (1752 m), A1 (2195 m), B1 (2591 m), and C1 (3048 m), located in prairie, lower montane, upper montane, and subalpine life zones, respectively. Changes to earlier first appearance of adults depended on the degree to which a site warmed. The lowest site showed little warming and little phenological advancement. The next highest site (A1) warmed a small, but significant, amount and grasshopper species there showed inconsistent phenological advancements. The two highest sites warmed the most, and at these sites grasshoppers showed significant phenological advancements. At these sites, late-developing species showed the greatest advancements, a pattern that correlated with an increase in rate of late-season warming. The number of growing degree days (GDDs) associated with the time to adulthood for a species was unchanged across the past and present surveys, suggesting that phenological advancement depended on when a set number of GDDs is reached during a season. Our analyses provide clear evidence that variation in amount and timing of warming over the growing season explains the vast majority of phenological variation in this system. Our results move past simple correlation and provide a stronger process

  11. Grasshopper community response to climatic change: variation along an elevational gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César R Nufio

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The impacts of climate change on phenological responses of species and communities are well-documented; however, many such studies are correlational and so less effective at assessing the causal links between changes in climate and changes in phenology. Using grasshopper communities found along an elevational gradient, we present an ideal system along the Front Range of Colorado USA that provides a mechanistic link between climate and phenology.This study utilizes past (1959-1960 and present (2006-2008 surveys of grasshopper communities and daily temperature records to quantify the relationship between amount and timing of warming across years and elevations, and grasshopper timing to adulthood. Grasshopper communities were surveyed at four sites, Chautauqua Mesa (1752 m, A1 (2195 m, B1 (2591 m, and C1 (3048 m, located in prairie, lower montane, upper montane, and subalpine life zones, respectively. Changes to earlier first appearance of adults depended on the degree to which a site warmed. The lowest site showed little warming and little phenological advancement. The next highest site (A1 warmed a small, but significant, amount and grasshopper species there showed inconsistent phenological advancements. The two highest sites warmed the most, and at these sites grasshoppers showed significant phenological advancements. At these sites, late-developing species showed the greatest advancements, a pattern that correlated with an increase in rate of late-season warming. The number of growing degree days (GDDs associated with the time to adulthood for a species was unchanged across the past and present surveys, suggesting that phenological advancement depended on when a set number of GDDs is reached during a season.Our analyses provide clear evidence that variation in amount and timing of warming over the growing season explains the vast majority of phenological variation in this system. Our results move past simple correlation and provide a stronger

  12. Influence of weather variables and plant communities on grasshopper density in the Southern Pampas, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wysiecki, María Laura; Arturi, Marcelo; Torrusio, Sandra; Cigliano, María Marta

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the influence of weather (precipitation and temperature) and plant communities on grasshopper density over a 14-year period (1996-2009) in Benito Juárez County, Southern Pampas, Argentina. Total density strongly varied among plant communities. Highest values were registered in 2001 and 2003 in highly disturbed pastures and in 2002 and 2009 in halophilous grasslands. Native grasslands had the lowest density values. Seasonal precipitation and temperature had no significant effect on total grasshopper density. Dichroplus elongatus (Giglio-Tos) (Orthoptera: Acridoidea), Covasacris pallidinota (Bruner), Dichroplus pratensis Bruner, Scotussa lemniscata Stål, Borellia bruneri (Rehn) and Dichroplus maculipennis (Blanchard) comprised, on average, 64% of the grasshopper assemblages during low density years and 79% during high density years. Dichroplus elongatus, S. lemniscata and C. pallidinota were the most abundant species in 2001, 2002 and 2003, while D. elongatus, B. brunneri and C. pallidinota in 2009. Dichroplus elongatus and D. pratensis, mixed feeders species, were positively affected by summer rainfall. This suggests that the increase in summer precipitation had a positive effect on the quantity and quality forage production, affecting these grasshopper populations. Scotussa lemniscata and C. pallidinota were negatively affected by winter and fall temperature, possibly affecting the embryonic development before diapause and hatching. Dichroplus elongatus and D. pratensis were associated with highly disturbed pastures, S. lemniscata with pastures and B. bruneri and D. maculipennis with halophilous grasslands. Covasacris pallidinota was closely associated with halophilous grasslands and moderately disturbed pastures. Weather conditions changed over the years, with 2001, 2002 and 2003 having excessive rainfall while 2008 and 2009 were the driest years since the study started. We suggest that although seasonal precipitation and

  13. [Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Lange, Carlos Ernesto

    2013-03-01

    In Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province), as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10). Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S), eveness (E), dominance (J), and diversity index (H'). In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22 species of grasshoppers were collected, of which 21 belong to the family Acrididae. The subfamily Melanoplinae was the most diverse with eight species. The largest species richness was recorded in native grasslands (18). The different communities of grasshoppers had similar indices of evenness and dominance (p>0.05). Considering all plant communities, the average value of Shannon-Wiener index was 1.58+/-0.075. There was a positive correlation between evenness index and species richness (pgrasshoppers species richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. According to the qualitative indices applied, the similitude between different grasshopper communities was higher than 60%. In general, the species that had a higher frequency of occurrence showed greater

  14. Synchrotron imaging of the grasshopper tracheal system: morphological and physiological components of tracheal hypermetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenlee, K.J.; Henry, J.R.; Kirkton, S.D.; Westneat, M.W.; Fezzaa, K.; Lee, W.; Harrison, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    As grasshoppers increase in size during ontogeny, they have mass specifically greater whole body tracheal and tidal volumes and ventilation than predicted by an isometric relationship with body mass and body volume. However, the morphological and physiological bases to this respiratory hypermetry are unknown. In this study, we use synchrotron imaging to demonstrate that tracheal hypermetry in developing grasshoppers (Schistocerca americana) is due to increases in air sacs and tracheae and occurs in all three body segments, providing evidence against the hypothesis that hypermetry is due to gaining flight ability. We also assessed the scaling of air sac structure and function by assessing volume changes of focal abdominal air sacs. Ventilatory frequencies increased in larger animals during hypoxia (5% O 2 ) but did not scale in normoxia. For grasshoppers in normoxia, inflated and deflated air sac volumes and ventilation scaled hypermetrically. During hypoxia (5% O 2 ), many grasshoppers compressed air sacs nearly completely regardless of body size, and air sac volumes scaled isometrically. Together, these results demonstrate that whole body tracheal hypermetry and enhanced ventilation in larger/older grasshoppers are primarily due to proportionally larger air sacs and higher ventilation frequencies in larger animals during hypoxia. Prior studies showed reduced whole body tracheal volumes and tidal volume in late-stage grasshoppers, suggesting that tissue growth compresses air sacs. In contrast, we found that inflated volumes, percent volume changes, and ventilation were identical in abdominal air sacs of late-stage fifth instar and early-stage animals, suggesting that decreasing volume of the tracheal system later in the instar occurs in other body regions that have harder exoskeleton.

  15. A test of the thermal melanism hypothesis in the wingless grasshopper Phaulacridium vittatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Rebecca M; McQuillan, Peter; Hughes, Lesley

    2013-01-01

    Altitudinal clines in melanism are generally assumed to reflect the fitness benefits resulting from thermal differences between colour morphs, yet differences in thermal quality are not always discernible. The intra-specific application of the thermal melanism hypothesis was tested in the wingless grasshopper Phaulacridium vittatum (Sjöstedt) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) first by measuring the thermal properties of the different colour morphs in the laboratory, and second by testing for differences in average reflectance and spectral characteristics of populations along 14 altitudinal gradients. Correlations between reflectance, body size, and climatic variables were also tested to investigate the underlying causes of clines in melanism. Melanism in P. vittatum represents a gradation in colour rather than distinct colour morphs, with reflectance ranging from 2.49 to 5.65%. In unstriped grasshoppers, darker morphs warmed more rapidly than lighter morphs and reached a higher maximum temperature (lower temperature excess). In contrast, significant differences in thermal quality were not found between the colour morphs of striped grasshoppers. In support of the thermal melanism hypothesis, grasshoppers were, on average, darker at higher altitudes, there were differences in the spectral properties of brightness and chroma between high and low altitudes, and temperature variables were significant influences on the average reflectance of female grasshoppers. However, altitudinal gradients do not represent predictable variation in temperature, and the relationship between melanism and altitude was not consistent across all gradients. Grasshoppers generally became darker at altitudes above 800 m a.s.l., but on several gradients reflectance declined with altitude and then increased at the highest altitude.

  16. Synchrotron imaging of the grasshopper tracheal system : morphological and physiological components of tracheal hypermetry.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenlee, K. J.; Henry, J. R.; Kirkton, S. D.; Westneat, M. W.; Fezzaa, K.; Lee, W.; Harrison, J. F.; North Dakota State Univ.; Arizona State Univ.; Union Coll.; Field Museum of Natural History

    2009-11-01

    As grasshoppers increase in size during ontogeny, they have mass specifically greater whole body tracheal and tidal volumes and ventilation than predicted by an isometric relationship with body mass and body volume. However, the morphological and physiological bases to this respiratory hypermetry are unknown. In this study, we use synchrotron imaging to demonstrate that tracheal hypermetry in developing grasshoppers (Schistocerca americana) is due to increases in air sacs and tracheae and occurs in all three body segments, providing evidence against the hypothesis that hypermetry is due to gaining flight ability. We also assessed the scaling of air sac structure and function by assessing volume changes of focal abdominal air sacs. Ventilatory frequencies increased in larger animals during hypoxia (5% O{sub 2}) but did not scale in normoxia. For grasshoppers in normoxia, inflated and deflated air sac volumes and ventilation scaled hypermetrically. During hypoxia (5% O{sub 2}), many grasshoppers compressed air sacs nearly completely regardless of body size, and air sac volumes scaled isometrically. Together, these results demonstrate that whole body tracheal hypermetry and enhanced ventilation in larger/older grasshoppers are primarily due to proportionally larger air sacs and higher ventilation frequencies in larger animals during hypoxia. Prior studies showed reduced whole body tracheal volumes and tidal volume in late-stage grasshoppers, suggesting that tissue growth compresses air sacs. In contrast, we found that inflated volumes, percent volume changes, and ventilation were identical in abdominal air sacs of late-stage fifth instar and early-stage animals, suggesting that decreasing volume of the tracheal system later in the instar occurs in other body regions that have harder exoskeleton.

  17. A Test of the Thermal Melanism Hypothesis in the Wingless Grasshopper Phaulacridium vittatum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Rebecca M.; McQuillan, Peter; Hughes, Lesley

    2013-01-01

    Altitudinal clines in melanism are generally assumed to reflect the fitness benefits resulting from thermal differences between colour morphs, yet differences in thermal quality are not always discernible. The intra-specific application of the thermal melanism hypothesis was tested in the wingless grasshopper Phaulacridium vittatum (Sjöstedt) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) first by measuring the thermal properties of the different colour morphs in the laboratory, and second by testing for differences in average reflectance and spectral characteristics of populations along 14 altitudinal gradients. Correlations between reflectance, body size, and climatic variables were also tested to investigate the underlying causes of clines in melanism. Melanism in P. vittatum represents a gradation in colour rather than distinct colour morphs, with reflectance ranging from 2.49 to 5.65%. In unstriped grasshoppers, darker morphs warmed more rapidly than lighter morphs and reached a higher maximum temperature (lower temperature excess). In contrast, significant differences in thermal quality were not found between the colour morphs of striped grasshoppers. In support of the thermal melanism hypothesis, grasshoppers were, on average, darker at higher altitudes, there were differences in the spectral properties of brightness and chroma between high and low altitudes, and temperature variables were significant influences on the average reflectance of female grasshoppers. However, altitudinal gradients do not represent predictable variation in temperature, and the relationship between melanism and altitude was not consistent across all gradients. Grasshoppers generally became darker at altitudes above 800 m a.s.l., but on several gradients reflectance declined with altitude and then increased at the highest altitude. PMID:23909454

  18. Grasshopper hunchback expression reveals conserved and novel aspects of axis formation and segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, N H; Hayward, D C; Lall, S; Pirkl, N R; DiPietro, D; Ball, E E

    2001-09-01

    While the expression patterns of segment polarity genes such as engrailed have been shown to be similar in Drosophila melanogaster and Schistocerca americana (grasshopper), the expression patterns of pair-rule genes such as even-skipped are not conserved between these species. This might suggest that the factors upstream of pair-rule gene expression are not conserved across insect species. We find that, despite this, many aspects of the expression of the Drosophila gap gene hunchback are shared with its orthologs in the grasshoppers S. americana and L. migratoria. We have analyzed both mRNA and protein expression during development, and find that the grasshopper hunchback orthologs appear to have a conserved role in early axial patterning of the germ anlagen and in the specification of gnathal and thoracic primordia. In addition, distinct stepped expression levels of hunchback in the gnathal/thoracic domains suggest that grasshopper hunchback may act in a concentration-dependent fashion (as in Drosophila), although morphogenetic activity is not set up by diffusion to form a smooth gradient. Axial patterning functions appear to be performed entirely by zygotic hunchback, a fundamental difference from Drosophila in which maternal and zygotic hunchback play redundant roles. In grasshoppers, maternal hunchback activity is provided uniformly to the embryo as protein and, we suggest, serves a distinct role in distinguishing embryonic from extra-embryonic cells along the anteroposterior axis from the outset of development - a distinction made in Drosophila along the dorsoventral axis later in development. Later hunchback expression in the abdominal segments is conserved, as are patterns in the nervous system, and in both Drosophila and grasshopper, hunchback is expressed in a subset of extra-embryonic cells. Thus, while the expected domains of hunchback expression are conserved in Schistocerca, we have found surprising and fundamental differences in axial patterning, and

  19. Human population, grasshopper and plant species richness in European countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

    Surprisingly, several studies over large scales have reported a positive spatial correlation of people and biodiversity. This pattern has important implications for conservation and has been documented for well studied taxa such as plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, it is unknown whether the pattern applies also to invertebrates other than butterflies and more work is needed to establish whether the species-people relationship is explained by both variables correlating with other environmental factors. We studied whether grasshopper species richness (Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera) is related to human population size in European countries. As expected, the number of Caelifera species increases significantly with increasing human population size. But this is not the case when controlling for country area, latitude and number of plant species. Variations in Caelifera species richness are primarily associated with variations in plant species richness. Caelifera species richness also increases with decreasing mean annual precipitation, Gross Domestic Product per capita (used as an indicator for economic development) and net fertility rate of the human population. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis that the broad-scale human population-biodiversity correlations can be explained by concurrent variations in factors other than human population size such as plant species richness, environmental productivity, or habitat heterogeneity. Nonetheless, more populated countries in Europe still have more Caelifera species than less populated countries and this poses a particular challenge for conservation.

  20. Experimental infection of highly and low pathogenic avian influenza viruses to chickens, ducks, tree sparrows, jungle crows, and black rats for the evaluation of their roles in virus transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiono, Takahiro; Okamatsu, Masatoshi; Yamamoto, Naoki; Ogasawara, Kohei; Endo, Mayumi; Kuribayashi, Saya; Shichinohe, Shintaro; Motohashi, Yurie; Chu, Duc-Huy; Suzuki, Mizuho; Ichikawa, Takaya; Nishi, Tatsuya; Abe, Yuri; Matsuno, Keita; Tanaka, Kazuyuki; Tanigawa, Tsutomu; Kida, Hiroshi; Sakoda, Yoshihiro

    2016-01-01

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) have spread in both poultry and wild birds. Determining transmission routes of these viruses during an outbreak is essential for the control of avian influenza. It has been widely postulated that migratory ducks play crucial roles in the widespread dissemination of HPAIVs in poultry by carrying viruses along with their migrations; however close contacts between wild migratory ducks and poultry are less likely in modern industrial poultry farming settings. Therefore, we conducted experimental infections of HPAIVs and low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs) to chickens, domestic ducks, tree sparrows, jungle crows, and black rats to evaluate their roles in virus transmission. The results showed that chickens, ducks, sparrows, and crows were highly susceptible to HPAIV infection. Significant titers of virus were recovered from the sparrows and crows infected with HPAIVs, which suggests that they potentially play roles of transmission of HPAIVs to poultry. In contrast, the growth of LPAIVs was limited in each of the animals tested compared with that of HPAIVs. The present results indicate that these common synanthropes play some roles in influenza virus transmission from wild birds to poultry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Establishing the breeding provenance of a temperate-wintering North American passerine, the Golden-crowned Sparrow, using light-level geolocation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathaniel E Seavy

    Full Text Available The migratory biology and connectivity of passerines remains poorly known, even for those that move primarily within the temperate zone. We used light-level geolocators to describe the migratory geography of a North American temperate migrant passerine. From February to March of 2010, we attached geolocator tags to 33 Golden-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla wintering on the central coast of California, USA, and recovered four tags the following winter (October to December 2010. We used a bayesian state-space model to estimate the most likely breeding locations. All four birds spent the breeding season on the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. These locations spanned approximately 1200 kilometers, and none of the individuals bred in the same location. Speed of migration was nearly twice as fast during spring than fall. The return rate of birds tagged the previous season (33% was similar to that of control birds (39%, but comparing return rates was complicated because 7 of 11 returning birds had lost their tags. For birds that we recaptured before spring migration, we found no significant difference in mass change between tagged and control birds. Our results provide insight into the previously-unknown breeding provenance of a wintering population of Golden-crowned Sparrows and provide more evidence of the contributions that light-level geolocation can make to our understanding of the migratory geography of small passerines.

  2. Studying wildlife at local and landscape scales: Bachman's Sparrows at the Savannah River Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunning, J.B.; Danielson, B.J.; Watts, B.D.; Liu, L.; Krementz, D.G.; Dunning, John B.=; Kilgo, John C.

    2000-01-01

    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, mutual research interests between land managers at the Savannah River Site and biologists at the University of Georgia resulted in a landscape-ecology study of the Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis). This species had been declining throughout its range for several decades and was considered a species of management concern by the U.S. Forest Service. The reasons for its decline were obscure, but the distribution of suitable habitat across complex landscapes was a possible factor. Thus the species seemed well suited for a pioneer study on landscape influences on avian population dynamics. A cooperative research program developed from these mutual interests, including quantifying the landscape and local habitat patterns shown by the sparrow, spatially explicit modeling of population response to landscape change, and demographic field studies of reproductive success, survivorship and dispersal. These studies are summarized, and the value of the research to both management and research interests is discussed.

  3. Effects of urbanization on host-pathogen interactions, using Yersinia in house sparrows as a model

    OpenAIRE

    Rouffaer, Lieze; Strubbe, Diederik; Teyssier, Aimeric; Salleh Hudin, Noraine; Van Den Abeele, Anne-Marie; Cox, Ivo; Haesendonck, Roel; Delmée, Michel; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Lens, Luc; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization strongly affects biodiversity, altering natural communities and often leading to a reduced species richness. Yet, despite its increasingly recognized importance, how urbanization impacts on the health of individual animals, wildlife populations and on disease ecology remains poorly understood. To test whether, and how, urbanization-driven ecosystem alterations influence pathogen dynamics and avian health, we use house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Yersinia spp. (pathogenic for...

  4. Genes located in a chromosomal inversion are correlated with territorial song in white-throated sparrows

    OpenAIRE

    Zinzow-Kramer, Wendy M.; Horton, Brent M.; McKee, Clifton D.; Michaud, Justin M.; Tharp, Gregory K.; Thomas, James W.; Tuttle, Elaina M.; Yi, Soojin; Maney, Donna L.

    2015-01-01

    The genome of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) contains an inversion polymorphism on chromosome 2 that is linked to predictable variation in a suite of phenotypic traits including plumage color, aggression, and parental behavior. Differences in gene expression between the two color morphs, which represent the two common inversion genotypes (ZAL2/ZAL2 and ZAL2/ZAL2m), are therefore of potential interest toward understanding the molecular underpinnings of these phenotypes. To...

  5. Estimates of Nitrogen Removal in U.S. Streams and Reservoirs from the SPARROW Watershed Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, R. B.; Smith, R. A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Nolan, J. V.; Boyer, E. W.

    2003-12-01

    Greater understanding is needed of the biotic and abiotic processes that remove nitrogen (N) from streams and reservoirs to quantify transport to downstream coastal waters where eutrophication is a major concern. Recent studies have improved estimates of N removal rates (e.g., denitrification, biological uptake) over small spatial scales in low-order streams. However, limited knowledge of the factors that explain the large variation in literature removal rates has made it difficult to accurately predict N transport through the range of stream and reservoir sizes that link sources to downstream waters. Spatially referenced watershed models (SPARROW) have been used to statistically estimate long-term mean-annual rates of total nitrogen removal in streams and reservoirs over large spatial scales. These rates are estimated as a function of physical and hydraulic properties (channel depth, water travel time) that influence the contact and exchange of water with benthic sediment. We recently refined our SPARROW model structure with expanded descriptions of climatic, topographic, and other surficial features of terrestrial and aquatic landscapes. We find that the net rates of N removal decline from about 0.3 day-1 of water travel time in streams with depths less than 0.5 meters to negligible quantities in large rivers (greater than 4 meters). These rates are generally consistent with those of earlier regional and national SPARROW models and with measured rates from the literature (adjusted for water travel time) over the reported range of stream depths. A settling velocity of approximately 8 meters year-1 is estimated for lakes and reservoirs and agrees well with literature rates for lakes where denitrification is the predominant removal process. We applied these removal rates within the SPARROW stream and reservoir network to estimate the regional-scale N transport and delivery to U.S. coastal waters.

  6. Physiological responses to food deprivation in the house sparrow, a species not adapted to prolonged fasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalilieh, Anton; McCue, Marshall D; Pinshow, Berry

    2012-09-01

    Many wild birds fast during reproduction, molting, migration, or because of limited food availability. Species that are adapted to fasting sequentially oxidize endogenous fuels in three discrete phases. We hypothesized that species not adapted to long fasts have truncated, but otherwise similar, phases of fasting, sequential changes in fuel oxidization, and similar changes in blood metabolites to fasting-adapted species. We tested salient predictions in house sparrows (Passer domesticus biblicus), a subspecies that is unable to tolerate more than ~32 h of fasting. Our main hypothesis was that fasting sparrows sequentially oxidize substrates in the order carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. We dosed 24 house sparrows with [(13)C]glucose, palmitic acid, or glycine and measured (13)CO(2) in their breath while they fasted for 24 h. To ascertain whether blood metabolite levels reflect fasting-induced changes in metabolic fuels, we also measured glucose, triacylglycerides, and β-hydroxybutyrate in the birds' blood. The results of both breath (13)CO(2) and plasma metabolite analyses did not support our hypothesis; i.e., that sparrows have the same metabolic responses characteristic of fasting-adapted species, but on a shorter time scale. Contrary to our main prediction, we found that recently assimilated (13)C-tracers were oxidized continuously in different patterns with no definite peaks corresponding to the three phases of fasting and also that changes in plasma metabolite levels accurately tracked the changes found by breath analysis. Notably, the rate of recently assimilated [(13)C]glycine oxidization was significantly higher (P fast for longer than 32 h is likely related to their inability to accrue large lipid stores, separately oxidize different fuels, and/or spare protein during fasting.

  7. An experimental analysis of grasshopper community responses to fire and livestock grazing in a northern mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H; Sword, Gregory A

    2010-10-01

    The outcomes of grasshopper responses to both vertebrate grazing and fire vary across grassland ecosystems, and are strongly influenced by local climactic factors. Thus, the possible application of grazing and fire as components of an ecologically based grasshopper management strategy must be investigated in regional studies. In this study, we examined the effects of grazing and fire on grasshopper population density and community composition in a northern Great Plains mixed-grass prairie. We employed a large-scale, replicated, and fully-factorial manipulative experimental design across 4 yr to examine the separate and interactive effects of three grazing systems in burned and unburned habitats. Grasshopper densities were low throughout the 4-yr study and 1 yr of pretreatment sampling. There was a significant fire by grazing interaction effect on cumulative density and community composition, resulting from burned season long grazing pastures having higher densities than unburned pastures. Shannon diversity and grasshopper species richness were significantly higher with twice-over rotational livestock grazing. The ability to draw strong conclusions regarding the nature of species composition shifts and population changes in the presence of fire and grazing is complicated by the large site differences and low grasshopper densities. The results reinforce the importance of long-term research to examine the effects of habitat manipulation on grasshopper population dynamics.

  8. Ecotypic differentiation between urban and rural populations of the grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus relative to climate and habitat fragmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Martin Y Gomez, Gilles; Van Dyck, Hans

    2012-05-01

    Urbanization alters environmental conditions in multiple ways and offers an ecological or evolutionary challenge for organisms to cope with. Urban areas typically have a warmer climate and strongly fragmented herbaceous vegetation; the urban landscape matrix is often assumed to be hostile for many organisms. Here, we addressed the issue of evolutionary differentiation between urban and rural populations of an ectotherm insect, the grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus. We compared mobility-related morphology and climate-related life history traits measured on the first generation offspring of grasshoppers from urban and rural populations reared in a common garden laboratory experiment. We predicted (1) the urban phenotype to be more mobile (i.e., lower mass allocation to the abdomen, longer relative femur and wing lengths) than the rural phenotype; (2) the urban phenotype to be more warm adapted (e.g., higher female body mass); and (3) further evidence of local adaptation in the form of significant interaction effects between landscape of origin and breeding temperature. Both males and females of urban origin had significantly longer relative femur and wing lengths and lower mass allocation to the abdomen (i.e., higher investment in thorax and flight muscles) relative to individuals of rural origin. The results were overall significant but small (2-4%). Body mass and larval growth rate were much higher (+10%) in females of urban origin. For the life history traits, we did not find evidence for significant interaction effects between the landscape of origin and the two breeding temperatures. Our results point to ecotypic differentiation with urbanization for mobility-related morphology and climate-related life history traits. We argue that the warmer urban environment has an indirect effect through longer growth season rather than direct effects on the development.

  9. Molecular evidence for an old world origin of Galapagos and Caribbean band-winged grasshoppers (Acrididae: Oedipodinae: Sphingonotus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Husemann

    Full Text Available Patterns of colonization and diversification on islands provide valuable insights into evolutionary processes. Due to their unique geographic position and well known history, the Galapagos Islands are an important model system for evolutionary studies. Here we investigate the evolutionary history of a winged grasshopper genus to infer its origin and pattern of colonization in the Galapagos archipelago. The grasshopper genus Sphingonotus has radiated extensively in the Palaearctic and many species are endemic to islands. In the New World, the genus is largely replaced by the genus Trimerotropis. Oddly, in the Caribbean and on the Galapagos archipelago, two species of Sphingonotus are found, which has led to the suggestion that these might be the result of anthropogenic translocations from Europe. Here, we test this hypothesis using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from a broad sample of Sphingonotini and Trimerotropini species from the Old World and New World. The genetic data show two distinct genetic clusters representing the New World Trimerotropini and the Old World Sphingonotini. However, the Sphingonotus species from Galapagos and the Caribbean split basally within the Old World Sphingonotini lineage. The Galapagos and Caribbean species appear to be related to Old World taxa, but are not the result of recent anthropogenic translocations as revealed by divergence time estimates. Distinct genetic lineages occur on the four investigated Galapagos Islands, with deep splits among them compared to their relatives from the Palaearctic. A scenario of a past wider distribution of Sphingonotus in the New World with subsequent extinction on the mainland and replacement by Trimerotropis might explain the disjunct distribution.

  10. Molecular evidence for an old world origin of Galapagos and Caribbean band-winged grasshoppers (Acrididae: Oedipodinae: Sphingonotus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husemann, Martin; Habel, Jan Christian; Namkung, Suk; Hochkirch, Axel; Otte, Daniel; Danley, Patrick D

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of colonization and diversification on islands provide valuable insights into evolutionary processes. Due to their unique geographic position and well known history, the Galapagos Islands are an important model system for evolutionary studies. Here we investigate the evolutionary history of a winged grasshopper genus to infer its origin and pattern of colonization in the Galapagos archipelago. The grasshopper genus Sphingonotus has radiated extensively in the Palaearctic and many species are endemic to islands. In the New World, the genus is largely replaced by the genus Trimerotropis. Oddly, in the Caribbean and on the Galapagos archipelago, two species of Sphingonotus are found, which has led to the suggestion that these might be the result of anthropogenic translocations from Europe. Here, we test this hypothesis using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from a broad sample of Sphingonotini and Trimerotropini species from the Old World and New World. The genetic data show two distinct genetic clusters representing the New World Trimerotropini and the Old World Sphingonotini. However, the Sphingonotus species from Galapagos and the Caribbean split basally within the Old World Sphingonotini lineage. The Galapagos and Caribbean species appear to be related to Old World taxa, but are not the result of recent anthropogenic translocations as revealed by divergence time estimates. Distinct genetic lineages occur on the four investigated Galapagos Islands, with deep splits among them compared to their relatives from the Palaearctic. A scenario of a past wider distribution of Sphingonotus in the New World with subsequent extinction on the mainland and replacement by Trimerotropis might explain the disjunct distribution.

  11. Reproductive success of Belding's Savannah Sparrows in a highly fragmented landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, A.N.; Collier, Christine L.

    1998-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can influence the abundance and distribution of birds. Decreases in patch size increase the amount of edge habitat, which can allow greater invasion by exotic species, predators, and brood parasites (Hagan and Johnston 1992, Donovan et al., 1995). Fragmented habitats may act as population sinks and result in local extinctions unless immigration occurs from source habitats (Pulliam 1988, Howeet al., 1991, Pulliam et al., 1992, Stacey and Taper 1992).Fragmentation is especially severe in coastal California, where about 75% of the presettlement acreage of coastal wetlands has been lost to development (Zedler 1982, Zedler and Powell 1993). This degradation has produced a highly fragmented landscape that may have a negative influence on the Belding's Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi), which is one of two wetland-dependent bird species endemic to coastal salt marshes in southern California. This nonmigratory subspecies is listed as endangered by the State of California. Statewide censuses of Belding's Savannah Sparrows reveal wide fluctuations in local population sizes, with local extinctions occurring in some years (Zembalet al. 1988). Thus, the population dynamics of Belding's Savannah Sparrow may reflect the effects of fragmentation.

  12. Male Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia) Nest Defence Correlates with Female Ornament Size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between male nest defence and female breast patch size in an alpine population of rock sparrow (Petronia petronia) in northern Italy. We presented a mounted weasel (Mustela nivalis), a common nest predator, to 28 pairs breeding in nest boxes, with 12-13-d-old nest...... defence factor was significantly related only to female breast patch size. We argue that male rock sparrows apparently make parental investment decisions according to their mate's quality, and examine possible alternative hypotheses.......We investigated the relationship between male nest defence and female breast patch size in an alpine population of rock sparrow (Petronia petronia) in northern Italy. We presented a mounted weasel (Mustela nivalis), a common nest predator, to 28 pairs breeding in nest boxes, with 12-13-d......-old nestlings, and measured the intensity of male and female defence reaction. We measured the frequency of attack flights, intensity of alarm calling and total time spent in view, and then combined these for each individual, in a single defence factor by principal component analysis. All the females arrived...

  13. SPARROW models used to understand nutrient sources in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Dale M.; Saad, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. To describe where and from what sources those loads originate, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were constructed for the MARB using geospatial datasets for 2002, including inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and calibration sites throughout the MARB. Previous studies found that highest N and P yields were from the north-central part of the MARB (Corn Belt). Based on the MARB SPARROW models, highest N yields were still from the Corn Belt but centered over Iowa and Indiana, and highest P yields were widely distributed throughout the center of the MARB. Similar to that found in other studies, agricultural inputs were found to be the largest N and P sources throughout most of the MARB: farm fertilizers were the largest N source, whereas farm fertilizers, manure, and urban inputs were dominant P sources. The MARB models enable individual N and P sources to be defined at scales ranging from SPARROW catchments (∼50 km2) to the entire area of the MARB. Inputs of P from WWTPs and urban areas were more important than found in most other studies. Information from this study will help to reduce nutrient loading from the MARB by providing managers with a description of where each of the sources of N and P are most important, thus providing a basis for prioritizing management actions and ultimately reducing the extent of Gulf hypoxia.

  14. White-throated sparrows alter songs differentially in response to chorusing anurans and other background noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenske, Ariel K; La, Van T

    2014-06-01

    Animals can use acoustic signals to attract mates and defend territories. As a consequence, background noise that interferes with signal transmission has the potential to reduce fitness, especially in birds that rely on song. While much research on bird song has investigated vocal flexibility in response to urban noise, weather and other birds, the possibility of inter-class acoustic competition from anurans has not been previously studied. Using sound recordings from central Ontario wetlands, we tested if white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicolis) make short-term changes to their singing behaviour in response to chorusing spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), as well as to car noise, wind and other bird vocalizations. White-throated sparrow songs that were sung during the spring peeper chorus were shorter with higher minimum frequencies and narrower bandwidths resulting in reduced frequency overlap. Additionally, sparrows were less likely to sing when car noise and the vocalizations of other birds were present. These patterns suggest that birds use multiple adjustment strategies. This is the first report to demonstrate that birds may alter their songs differentially in response to different sources of noise. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Conservation Controversy: Sparrow, Marshall, and the Mi’kmaq of Esgenoôpetitj

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah J. King

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the interplay between the Sparrow and Marshall decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the sovereigntist and traditionalist convictions of the Mi’kmaq of the Esgenoôpetitj/BurntChurch First Nation, as expressed in the conservationist language of the Draft for the Esgenoopotitj First Nations (EFN Fishery Act (Fisheries Policy. With the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Sparrow, conservation became an important justification available to the Canadian government to support its regulatory infringement on aboriginal and treaty rights. Ten years later, in Marshall, the Court recognized the treaty rights of the Mi’kmaq to a limited commercial fishery. The EFN Fishery Act, written to govern thecontroversial post-Marshall fishery in Esgenoôpetitj (also known as the Burnt Church First Nation demonstrates that for the Mi’kmaq, scientific management, traditional knowledge, sovereignty and spirituality are understood in a holistic philosophy. The focus placed on conservation by the courts, and the managementfocusedapproach taken by the government at Esgenoôpetitj have led to government policy which treats conservation simply as a resource access and management problem. Conservation, which the Court deems“uncontroversial” in Sparrow, is a politically loaded ideal in post-Marshall Burnt Church.

  16. Morphology-function relationships and repeatability in the sperm of Passer sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Emily R A; Laskemoen, Terje; Stensrud, Even; Rowe, Melissah; Haas, Fredrik; Lifjeld, Jan T; Saetre, Glenn-Peter; Johnsen, Arild

    2015-04-01

    Sperm performance is likely to be an important determinant of male reproductive success, especially when females copulate with multiple males. Understanding sperm performance is therefore crucial to fully understand the evolution of male reproductive strategies. In this study, we examined the repeatability of sperm morphology and motility measures over three breeding seasons, and we studied relationships between sperm morphology and function. We conducted this study in wild-derived captive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Spanish sparrows (P. hispaniolensis). Results for the two species were similar. As predicted from results in other passerine species, total sperm length was highly repeatable across ejaculates, and repeatability for the length of other components was moderate. The repeatability of sperm swimming speed across ejaculates was lower, but statistically significant, suggesting that sperm velocity may be a relatively dynamic trait. Surprisingly, swimming speed did not correlate with the relative length of the midpiece, and it correlated negatively with the relative length of the flagellum and with total sperm length. This pattern is the opposite of what theory predicts and differs from what has been found in house sparrows before. Also contrary to previous work, we found no evidence that total sperm length correlates with sperm longevity. These results therefore highlight the need for a better understanding of relationships between sperm morphology and function in passerine birds. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Discriminative and reinforcing properties of paintings in Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikkatai, Yuko; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2011-03-01

    Previous studies suggest that non-human animals can discriminate two different artworks (such as music or paintings) that were created by humans. However, such studies rarely examined whether those animals were reinforced by one artwork more than another. It has been shown that music composed by humans has both discriminative and reinforcing properties when played for Java sparrows. Here, we investigated the effects of another artistic medium in Java sparrows, namely paintings. The first experiment tested the reinforcing properties. Staying time at three painting categories--Japanese, cubist, and impressionist--was measured as an index of their reinforcing properties. The second experiment used operant conditioning to reveal the discriminative properties of the different artistic styles of such paintings. Results suggest that the paintings have both discriminative and reinforcing properties for Java sparrows. However, the reinforcing properties vary from individual to individual. This is the first report demonstrating reinforcing properties of visual artworks in non-human animals. © Springer-Verlag 2010

  18. Influence of a large late summer precipitation event on food limitation and grasshopper population dynamics in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H

    2008-06-01

    The complex interplay between grasshoppers, weather conditions, and plants that cause fluctuations in grasshopper populations remains poorly understood, and little is known about the ecological processes that generate grasshopper outbreaks. Grasshopper populations respond to interacting extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with yearly and decadal weather patterns and the timing of precipitation all potentially important. The effects of initial and increasing grasshopper densities on grasshopper survival and reproductive correlates were examined at a northern mixed-grass prairie site through manipulations of grasshopper densities inside 10-m2 cages. High-quality grass growth occurred after a 9.1-cm mid-August rain. Reduced proportional survival was apparent in the two higher density treatments before the rain, indicative of food-limited density-dependent mortality. However, the large late summer rainfall event mediated the effects of exploitative competition on demographic characteristics because of the high-quality vegetation growth. This led to weaker effects of food limitation on survival and reproduction at the end of the experiment. The results indicate a direct link between weather variation, resource quality and grasshopper population dynamics led to a severe grasshopper outbreak and show that infrequent large precipitation events can have significant effects on population dynamics. Additional research is needed to examine the importance of infrequent large precipitation events on grasshopper population dynamics in grassland ecosystems.

  19. Optimal diapause strategies of a grasshopper, Melanoplus sanguinipes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, Dennis

    2006-01-01

    Previous analyses of diapause in insects have most often focused on the timing of the switch from non-diapausing to diapausing offspring in bivoltine populations and have assumed that diapause is irreversible or that the insect cannot survive winter if not in diapause. Many insects exhibit more flexibility in their life cycles, such as the age at which diapause begins, and facultative diapause, that may influence the evolution of different diapause strategies in different environments. The grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes F. (Orthoptera: Acrididae), has a very wide geographic range over which diapause characteristics vary greatly. Embryonic diapause in this species may be under maternal control, may be obligate or facultative (i.e., may be averted by cold temperature treatment of pre-diapause embryos), and embryos may enter diapause at different ages. Diapause traits were examined in two populations of M. sanguinipes from very different environments. In the population from a temperate climate (Idaho, USA), diapause was facultative, i.e., pre-diapause embryos averted diapause when held at 5° C for 90 days at all ages tested (7 days and older). The Idaho embryos entered diapause in late stage of development if held at 22° C for 30 days or more. In populations from subarctic Alaska, USA, embryos also entered diapause in a late stage of development, but diapause was obligate and could not be averted by chilling in the pre-diapause stages. Simulated evolution of these traits over a wide range of season-lengths showed that late stage diapause is an essential trait in very short season environments, resulting in early hatching, and a semivoltine life-cycle. Facultative diapause enabled bivoltinism to be a viable strategy in shorter seasons than when diapause was obligate. At transitions from semivoltine to univoltine, and from univoltine to bivoltine life cycles, populations with obligate diapause adopted a strategy of no diapause (via maternal effects) to enable

  20. Grasshoppers regulate N:p stoichiometric homeostasis by changing phosphorus contents in their frass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zijia Zhang

    Full Text Available Nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P are important limiting nutrients for plant production and consumer performance in a variety of ecosystems. As a result, the N:P stoichiometry of herbivores has received increased attention in ecology. However, the mechanisms by which herbivores maintain N:P stoichiometric homeostasis are poorly understood. Here, using a field manipulation experiment we show that the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus maintains strong N:P stoichiometric homeostasis regardless of whether grasshoppers were reared at low or high density. Grasshoppers maintained homeostasis by increasing P excretion when eating plants with higher P contents. However, while grasshoppers also maintained constant body N contents, we found no changes in N excretion in response to changing plant N content over the range measured. These results suggest that O. asiaticus maintains P homeostasis primarily by changing P absorption and excretion rates, but that other mechanisms may be more important for regulating N homeostasis. Our findings improve our understanding of consumer-driven P recycling and may help in understanding the factors affecting plant-herbivore interactions and ecosystem processes in grasslands.

  1. A new genus of Tetratermini (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Lysiterminae) parasitic on grasshoppers (Gryllacrididae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Achterberg, van C.; Steiner, H.

    1996-01-01

    The new genus Katytermus from Malaysia (type species: Katytermus palmicola spec. nov.) is described and illustrated. The new genus belongs to a new tribe, Tetratermini, of the subfamily Lysiterminae. The type species has been reared as a gregarious endoparasite of a "katydid" longhorn grasshopper

  2. A technique for studying digestion by grasshoppers using a 103Ruthenium-labelled marker

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gandar, M.V.

    1981-01-01

    103 Ru-labelled tris (I,10-phenanthroline) ruthenium (II) chloride has proved to be a convenient marker in investigating digestion in grasshoppers. Assimilation efficiencies and the retension time of the food in the gut were measured. It is surmised that the technique described in this paper will be applicable to studies of a variety of chewing herbivorous insects. (author)

  3. Mesoherbivores affect grasshopper communities in a megaherbivore-dominated South African savannah

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, Fons; Olff, Han

    African savannahs are among the few places on earth where diverse communities of mega- and meso-sized ungulate grazers dominate ecosystem functioning. Less conspicuous, but even more diverse, are the communities of herbivorous insects such as grasshoppers, which share the same food. Various studies

  4. The Fifth Enemy of the Ottoman Empire During World War I: Grasshoppers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Ali YILDIRIM

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In Ottoman States there had always been grasshopper infestation now and then; and this caused some socio-economic problems and famine as a result. However, in the last years of the state, especially during World War I, the grasshoppers vastly influenced West and South Anatolia along with Aleppo and Syria regions; and the residents in these locations were negatively influenced. Acting to prevent a more destructive disaster, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce ensured that the law and regulations related to grasshopper problem - enacted in 1912 - were strictly implemented with the aim of a centralized control. Later, in 1916, an organization under the leadership of German experts arose. This way, despite the problems of war conditions, a more efficient, informed and institutional struggle started. Despite insufficient technological infrastructure and transportation and the lack of financial resources, a considerable amount of time and money were spent on the combat efforts against grasshoppers. During the war, the authorities pushed on fighting with limited sources available at hand. They strived for effective implementation of modern mass destroying methods together with traditional methods; raising awareness of the people for a full scale campaign; and ensuring their participation to the fight with every means at hand. The local civilian and military staffs were exploited to the maximum extent for the purpose. Finally, the efforts were not wasted and this campaign became successful. As a result of the efforts, important results were accomplished

  5. Embryonic development rates of northern grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae): implications for climate change and habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temperature-dependent rates of embryonic development are a primary determinant of the life cycle of many species of grasshoppers which, in cold climates, spend two winters in the egg stage. Knowledge of embryonic developmental rates is important for an assessment of the effects of climate change and...

  6. Grasshoppers regulate N:p stoichiometric homeostasis by changing phosphorus contents in their frass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zijia; Elser, James J; Cease, Arianne J; Zhang, Ximei; Yu, Qiang; Han, Xingguo; Zhang, Guangming

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are important limiting nutrients for plant production and consumer performance in a variety of ecosystems. As a result, the N:P stoichiometry of herbivores has received increased attention in ecology. However, the mechanisms by which herbivores maintain N:P stoichiometric homeostasis are poorly understood. Here, using a field manipulation experiment we show that the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus maintains strong N:P stoichiometric homeostasis regardless of whether grasshoppers were reared at low or high density. Grasshoppers maintained homeostasis by increasing P excretion when eating plants with higher P contents. However, while grasshoppers also maintained constant body N contents, we found no changes in N excretion in response to changing plant N content over the range measured. These results suggest that O. asiaticus maintains P homeostasis primarily by changing P absorption and excretion rates, but that other mechanisms may be more important for regulating N homeostasis. Our findings improve our understanding of consumer-driven P recycling and may help in understanding the factors affecting plant-herbivore interactions and ecosystem processes in grasslands.

  7. Heat dosage and oviposition depth influence egg mortality of two common rangeland grasshopper species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland fire is a common naturally occurring event and management tool, with the amount and structure of biomass controlling transfer of heat belowground. Temperatures grasshopper eggs are exposed to during rangeland fires are mediated by species specific oviposition traits. This experiment examin...

  8. Le Conte's sparrows breeding in Conservation Reserve Program fields: precipitation and patterns of population change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    1999-01-01

    The climate of the North American Great Plains is highly dynamic, with great year-to-year variability in precipitation and periodic, often extreme, wet and dry cycles (Bragg 1995). Drought is a major force of ecological disturbance on the Great Plains and has played a key role in directing the evolution of the grassland biota of this region (Knopf and Samson 1997). Although grassland birds may differ in their responses to enviromenental variations (Rotenberry and Wiens 1991), climatic variability and concomitant unpredictability of resources strongly influence populations of grassland birds across space and time (Wiens 1974, 1986; Cody 1985). Not surprisingly, breeding bird populations on the Great Plains are highly dynamic, exhibiting considerable annual variation in composition, abundance, and distribution (Johnson and Grier 1988, George et al. 1992, Zimmerman 1992, Igl and Johnson 1997). Recently, interest in grassland birds has increased with the recognition that many species are declining both continentally (Droege and Sauer 1994) and globally (Goriup 1988). Identification of the specific factors associated with grassland bird declines in North America, however, remains largely enigmatic (Herkert 1997), and it is complicated by the considerable annual fluctuations in grassland bird distribution and abundance (Igl and Johnson 1997). Although there is evidence that land-use changes on the breeding grounds may have contributed to grassland bird declines (e.g., Igl and Johnson 1997), there also is an indication that long-term drought conditions may have influenced recent population changes of some breeding birds on the Great Plains (Droege and Sauer 1989, Peterjohn and Sauer 1993, Bethke and Nudds 1995, Igl and Johnson 1997). Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii) is a secretive grassland bird that breeds in central and southern Canada and the northcentral United States (Murray 1969). It winters primarily in the southern United States (Peterson 1980, 1990

  9. [An evaluation of potential occurrence of grasshopper plague in Xianghuangqi grasslands of Inner Mongolia, North China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Yan; Zhang, Na; Chen, Xiao-Yan

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the key climatic factors in spawning, overwintering, and hatching periods of grasshopper were taken as the main factors to establish the climatic suitability index of potential occurrence of grasshopper (POG) in Inner Mongolia, and an evaluation was conducted on the climatic suitability of POG in Xianghuangqi County of Inner Mongolia in 2010. Based on the field investigation data collected in early and mid July 2010, seven relatively stable habitat factors including elevation, aspect, soil type, soil sand content, vegetation type, vegetation coverage, and land cover type were selected, and the habitat suitability for POG throughout the County was estimated by using fuzzy evaluation combining with 3S (GIS, RS, and GPS) technology. The POG ranks in 2010 were estimated by integrating the climatic and habitat suitability for POG. The simulated locations where grasshopper occurred were verified by the field investigation data in 2010, and the simulated areas infected by grasshopper were verified by historical data from 2001 to 2010. The results confirmed that the estimated POG ranks were reliable. The climatic suitability for POG was very homogeneous over the study area, and the vast majority of the study area was in the rank of "suitable". The spatial heterogeneity of the potential locations where the grasshopper might occur was mainly related to habitat factors. The highest POG rank was found at the locations with elevation 1300-1400 m, flat or aspect of east or south, typical chestnut soil, soil sand content 60%-80%, and vegetation coverage 30%-50% in temperate bunchgrass steppe.

  10. A possible effect of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations on the number of breeding house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everaert, Joris; Bauwens, Dirk

    2007-01-01

    A possible effect of long-term exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone (GSM) base stations on the number of House Sparrows during the breeding season was studied in six residential districts in Belgium. We sampled 150 point locations within the 6 areas to examine small-scale geographic variation in the number of House Sparrow males and the strength of electromagnetic radiation from base stations. Spatial variation in the number of House Sparrow males was negatively and highly significantly related to the strength of electric fields from both the 900 and 1800 MHz downlink frequency bands and from the sum of these bands (Chi(2)-tests and AIC-criteria, Pnegative relationship was highly similar within each of the six study areas, despite differences among areas in both the number of birds and radiation levels. Thus, our data show that fewer House Sparrow males were seen at locations with relatively high electric field strength values of GSM base stations and therefore support the notion that long-term exposure to higher levels of radiation negatively affects the abundance or behavior of House Sparrows in the wild.

  11. Plant DNA detection from grasshopper guts: A step-by-step protocol, from tissue preparation to obtaining plant DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avanesyan, Alina

    2014-02-01

    A PCR-based method of identifying ingested plant DNA in gut contents of Melanoplus grasshoppers was developed. Although previous investigations have focused on a variety of insects, there are no protocols available for plant DNA detection developed for grasshoppers, agricultural pests that significantly influence plant community composition. • The developed protocol successfully used the noncoding region of the chloroplast trnL (UAA) gene and was tested in several feeding experiments. Plant DNA was obtained at seven time points post-ingestion from whole guts and separate gut sections, and was detectable up to 12 h post-ingestion in nymphs and 22 h post-ingestion in adult grasshoppers. • The proposed protocol is an effective, relatively quick, and low-cost method of detecting plant DNA from the grasshopper gut and its different sections. This has important applications, from exploring plant "movement" during food consumption, to detecting plant-insect interactions.

  12. Environmental factors governing population dynamics of rangeland grasshoppers: The first application of GIS and remote sensing to acridology in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latchininsky, Alexandre Vsevolodovich

    Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) are pests of rangeland and crops in temperate Eurasia (Siberia) where landscapes are dominated by short-grass vegetation and have many common features with the prairies of the Great Plains of North America. The zone of economic importance of grasshoppers in Siberia is localized in its southern part between 50° and 55°N and 68° and 132°E. In particular, grasshopper infestations are concentrated in close proximity to Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake, holding one-fifth of the Earth's total fresh water supply. From a biodiversity perspective, Lake Baikal is unparalleled because >80% of its 1,085 plant and 1,550 animal species are endemic. Broad-scale pesticide applications in the zone close to the Baikal ecosystem can seriously aggravate the hazards of environmental pollution, with potentially catastrophic consequences on a vast scale. Specific composition and density of grasshopper communities were studied over a variety of habitats. Of about 50 local grasshopper species, two gomphocerines, Aeropus sibiricus and Chorthippus albomarginatus, dominated grasshopper communities in dry and mesic habitats, respectively. These species accounted for the most of the crop damage during recent outbreaks in the 1990s requiring large-scale insecticidal control. Annual fluctuations of grasshopper infestations appeared to track changes in air temperature and summer precipitation, but only a synthetic "Aridity index" was statistically significant. Spatial distribution of historic grasshopper infestations was studied using GIS (ERDAS IMAGINERTM) and remote sensing (Landsat TM satellite imagery) and was found to be significantly clumped. The highest grasshopper densities were associated with dry grasslands in transitional zones between foothills and valleys characterized by a particular elevation (600--650 m), soil type (sod-forest, or pararendzina), amount of April--October precipitation (250 mm) and degree of grazing (moderate

  13. DNA damage in grasshoppers' larvae--comet assay in environmental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustyniak, Maria; Orzechowska, Helena; Kędziorski, Andrzej; Sawczyn, Tomasz; Doleżych, Bogdan

    2014-02-01

    The comet assay that provides a quantitative measure of the DNA-strand breaks may be used for assessing the 'genotoxic potential' of the environment. Young adults of Chorthippus brunneus (Orthoptera), collected at three sites in Southern Poland, differing in the level of pollution, particularly with heavy metals: Pilica (reference), Olkusz (moderately polluted) and Szopienice (heavily polluted) - were allowed to mate under laboratory conditions that were free from any pollution. Egg-pods were collected and, after diapause, brain cells from one-day old larvae were used for the comet assay. We compared the level of DNA damage in the larvae originating from these sites and also measured time-dependent DNA repair after single 10min. application of H2O2 (20μM final concentration). The DNA damage was relatively low in larval cells irrespectively of the site pollution their parents came from. However, measured comet parameters - tail DNA content (TDNA), tail length (TL), and olive tail moment (OTM) - were significantly higher in larvae originating from the Szopienice site than in those from the reference site. Incubation of cells with H2O2 resulted in significantly higher values of the comet parameters in the insects from all the study sites with the highest ones observed in the offspring of grasshoppers from Szopienice. Moreover, DNA repair, following the treatment, did not occur in the latter group. These data contribute to almost unexplored subject of genotoxic effects of environmental pollutants in insects. They are discussed in the light of the concept of adaptive strategies in energy allocation depending on the level of biotope pollution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Wide prevalence of hybridization in two sympatric grasshopper species may be shaped by their relative abundances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohde, Katja; Hau, Yvonne; Weyer, Jessica; Hochkirch, Axel

    2015-09-16

    Hybridization between species is of conservation concern as it might threaten the genetic integrity of species. Anthropogenic factors can alter hybridization dynamics by introducing new potentially hybridizing species or by diminishing barriers to hybridization. This may even affect sympatric species pairs through environmental change, which so far has received little attention. We studied hybridization prevalence and the underlying behavioral mechanisms in two sympatric grasshopper species, a rare specialist (Chorthippus montanus) and a common generalist (Chorthippus parallelus). We conducted a mate choice experiment with constant intraspecific density and varying heterospecific density, i.e. varying relative frequency of both species. Mate choice was frequency-dependent in both species with a higher risk of cross-mating with increasing heterospecific frequency, while conspecific mating increased linearly with increasing conspecific density. This illustrates that reproductive barriers could be altered by environmental change, if the relative frequency of species pairs is affected. Moreover, we performed a microsatellite analysis to detect hybridization in twelve syntopic populations (and four allotopic populations). Hybrids were detected in nearly all syntopic populations with hybridization rates reaching up to 8.9 %. Genetic diversity increased for both species when hybrids were included in the data set, but only in the common species a positive correlation between hybridization rate and genetic diversity was detected. Our study illustrates that the relative frequency of the two species strongly determines the effectiveness of reproductive barriers and that even the more choosy species (Ch. montanus) may face a higher risk of hybridization if population size decreases and its relative frequency becomes low compared to its sister species. The asymmetric mate preferences of both species may lead to quasi-unidirectional gene flow caused by unidirectional

  15. Damage potential of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) on early growth stages of small-grains and canola under subarctic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begna, Sultan H; Fielding, Dennis J

    2003-08-01

    We characterized the type and extent of grasshopper injury to above- and below-ground plant parts for four crops [barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oats (Avena sativa L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and canola (Brassica campestris L.)] commonly grown, or with potential to grow, in central Alaska. Cages were placed on 48 pots containing plants in second to third leaf stages and stocked with 0, 2, 4, and 6 first-instar Melanoplus sanguinipes F. pot(-1). Plants were harvested 22 d after planting. Stem growth of barley and oats was not affected except at the highest grasshopper treatment. In canola, stem biomass was reduced at the medium and high grasshopper treatments, when most of the leaves had been consumed. The highest grasshopper treatment reduced leaf area in barley and oats by approximately 55%, and caused a significant reduction in dry weight of leaves, stems, and roots (41-72%). Wheat and canola plants were smaller than barley and oats across all treatments and, at the highest grasshopper density, above-ground portions of wheat and canola were completely destroyed. Length and surface area of roots of barley and oats were reduced by 20-28% again at the highest grasshopper density, whereas the reduction for wheat and canola ranged from 50 to 90%. There was little or no difference among all grasshopper densities for C-N ratio in leaf and stem tissues of all crops. The results suggest that wheat and canola are more susceptible than barley and oats and that densities > or = 2 pot(-1) (approximately > or = 50 m(-2)) of even very small grasshoppers could cause significant damage in small-grain and oilseed crop production.

  16. Predator-Prey Interactions are Context Dependent in a Grassland Plant-Grasshopper-Wolf Spider Food Chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Angela N; Joern, Anthony

    2015-06-01

    Species interactions are often context dependent, where outcomes vary in response to one or more environmental factors. It remains unclear how abiotic conditions like temperature combine with biotic factors such as consumer density or food quality to affect resource availability or influence species interactions. Using the large grasshopper Melanoplus bivittatus (Say) and a common wolf spider [Rabidosa rabida (Walkenaer)], we conducted manipulative field experiments in tallgrass prairie to examine how spider-grasshopper interactions respond to manipulations of temperature, grasshopper density, and food quality. Grasshopper survival was density dependent, as were the effects of spider presence and food quality in context-dependent ways. In high grasshopper density treatments, predation resulted in increased grasshopper survival, likely as a result of reduced intraspecific competition in the presence of spiders. Spiders had no effect on grasshopper survival when grasshoppers were stocked at low densities. Effects of the experimental treatments were often interdependent so that effects were only observed when examined together with other treatments. The occurrence of trophic cascades was context dependent, where the effects of food quality and spider presence varied with temperature under high-density treatments. Temperature weakly affected the impact of spider presence on M. bivittatus survivorship when all treatments were considered simultaneously, but different context-dependent responses to spider presence and food quality were observed among the three temperature treatments under high-density conditions. Our results indicate that context-dependent species interactions are common and highlight the importance of understanding how key biotic and abiotic factors combine to influence species interactions. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Plant functional traits reveal the relative contribution of habitat and food preferences to the diet of grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Manneville, Olivier; Miquel, Christian; Taberlet, Pierre; Valentini, Alice; Aubert, Serge; Coissac, Eric; Colace, Marie-Pascale; Duparc, Quentin; Lavorel, Sandra; Moretti, Marco

    2013-12-01

    Food preferences and food availability are two major determinants of the diet of generalist herbivores and of their spatial distribution. How do these factors interact and eventually lead to diet differentiation in co-occurring herbivores? We quantified the diet of four grasshopper species co-occurring in subalpine grasslands using DNA barcoding of the plants contained in the faeces of individuals sampled in the field. The food preferences of each grasshopper species were assessed by a choice (cafeteria) experiment from among 24 plant species common in five grassland plots, in which the four grasshoppers were collected, while the habitat was described by the relative abundance of plant species in the grassland plots. Plant species were characterised by their leaf economics spectrum (LES), quantifying their nutrient vs. structural tissue content. The grasshoppers' diet, described by the mean LES of the plants eaten, could be explained by their plant preferences but not by the available plants in their habitat. The diet differed significantly across four grasshopper species pairs out of six, which validates food preferences assessed in standardised conditions as indicators for diet partitioning in nature. In contrast, variation of the functional diversity (FD) for LES in the diet was mostly correlated to the FD of the available plants in the habitat, suggesting that diet mixing depends on the environment and is not an intrinsic property of the grasshopper species. This study sheds light on the mechanisms determining the feeding niche of herbivores, showing that food preferences influence niche position whereas habitat diversity affects niche breadth.

  18. Effects of Altered Seasonality of Precipitation on Grass Production and Grasshopper Performance in a Northern Mixed Prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H

    2017-06-01

    Climatic changes are leading to differing patterns and timing of precipitation in grassland ecosystems, with the seasonal timing of precipitation affecting plant biomass and plant composition. No previous studies have examined how drought seasonality affects grasshopper performance and the impact of herbivory on vegetation. We modified seasonal patterns of precipitation and grasshopper density in a manipulative experiment to examine if seasonality of drought combined with herbivory affected plant biomass, nitrogen content, and grasshopper performance. Grass biomass was affected by both precipitation and grasshopper density treatments, while nitrogen content of grass was higher with early-season drought. Proportional survival was negatively affected by initial density, while survival was higher with early drought than with full-season drought. Drought timing affected the outcome, with early summer drought increasing grass nitrogen content and grasshopper survival, while season-long and late-season drought did not. The results support arguments that our knowledge of plant responses to seasonal short-term variation in climate is limited and illustrate the importance of experiments manipulating precipitation phenology. The results confirm that understanding the season of drought is critical for predicting grasshopper population dynamics, as extreme early summer drought may be required to strongly affect Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.) performance. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  19. Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Avipoxvirus in House Sparrows in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Martínez, Jorge; Ferraguti, Martina; Figuerola, Jordi; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Williams, Richard Alexander John; Herrera-Dueñas, Amparo; Aguirre, José Ignacio; Soriguer, Ramón; Escudero, Clara; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Benítez, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Avipoxvirus (APV) is a fairly common virus affecting birds that causes morbidity and mortality in wild and captive birds. We studied the prevalence of pox-like lesions and genetic diversity of APV in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in natural, agricultural and urban areas in southern Spain in 2013 and 2014 and in central Spain for 8 months (2012-2013). Overall, 3.2% of 2,341 house sparrows visually examined in southern Spain had cutaneous lesions consistent with avian pox. A similar prevalence (3%) was found in 338 birds from central Spain. Prevalence was higher in hatch-year birds than in adults. We did not detect any clear spatial or temporal patterns of APV distribution. Molecular analyses of poxvirus-like lesions revealed that 63% of the samples were positive. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of 29 DNA sequences from the fpv167 gene, detected two strains belonging to the canarypox clade (subclades B1 and B2) previously found in Spain. One of them appears predominant in Iberia and North Africa and shares 70% similarity to fowlpox and canarypox virus. This APV strain has been identified in a limited number of species in the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco and Hungary. The second one has a global distribution and has been found in numerous wild bird species around the world. To our knowledge, this represents the largest study of avian poxvirus disease in the broadly distributed house sparrow and strongly supports the findings that Avipox prevalence in this species in South and central Spain is moderate and the genetic diversity low.

  20. California's Endangered Belding's Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi: Tolerance of Pedestrian Disturbance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esteban Fernández-Juricic

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes constitute habitat islands for many endemic animal species, particularly along the California coast, where urban sprawl has fragmented this habitat. Recreational activities in salt marshes have increased recently, posing an interesting problem: how do endemic species lacking alternative habitat modify their tolerance to humans? We assessed seasonal and site variations in three tolerance parameters (distances at which animals became alert, fled, and moved after fleeing of California's endangered Belding's Savannah Sparrow ((Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi. We approached individuals on trails in three salt marshes with different levels of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Belding's Savannah Sparrows became aware and fled at shorter distances in the salt marsh coincident with greater levels of recreational activity as a result of habituation or visual obstruction effects. Seasonal effects in tolerance varied between sites. Alert and flight initiation distances were higher in the pre-nesting than in the non-breeding season in the site with the highest levels of recreational use likely due to greater exposure of breeding individuals; however, the opposite seasonal trend was found in each of the two sites with relatively lower human use, probably because individuals were less spatially attached in the non-breeding season when they foraged in aggregations. Distance fled was greater in the non-breeding than in the breeding season. Our findings call for dynamic management of recreational activities in different salt marshes depending on the degree of exposure to humans and seasonal variations in tolerance. We recommend a minimum approaching distance of 63 m and buffer areas of 1.3 ha around Belding's Savannah Sparrows.

  1. The effect of discontinuous gas exchange on respiratory water loss in grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) varies across an aridity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shu-Ping; Talal, Stav; Ayali, Amir; Gefen, Eran

    2015-08-01

    The significance of discontinuous gas-exchange cycles (DGC) in reducing respiratory water loss (RWL) in insects is contentious. Results from single-species studies are equivocal in their support of the classic 'hygric hypothesis' for the evolution of DGC, whereas comparative analyses generally support a link between DGC and water balance. In this study, we investigated DGC prevalence and characteristics and RWL in three grasshopper species (Acrididae, subfamily Pamphaginae) across an aridity gradient in Israel. In order to determine whether DGC contributes to a reduction in RWL, we compared the DGC characteristics and RWL associated with CO2 release (transpiration ratio, i.e. the molar ratio of RWL to CO2 emission rates) among these species. Transpiration ratios of DGC and continuous breathers were also compared intraspecifically. Our data show that DGC characteristics, DGC prevalence and the transpiration ratios correlate well with habitat aridity. The xeric-adapted Tmethis pulchripennis exhibited a significantly shorter burst period and lower transpiration ratio compared with the other two mesic species, Ocneropsis bethlemita and Ocneropsis lividipes. However, DGC resulted in significant water savings compared with continuous exchange in T. pulchripennis only. These unique DGC characteristics for T. pulchripennis were correlated with its significantly higher mass-specific tracheal volume. Our data suggest that the origin of DGC may not be adaptive, but rather that evolved modulation of cycle characteristics confers a fitness advantage under stressful conditions. This modulation may result from morphological and/or physiological modifications. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Male rock sparrows differentially allocate nest defence but not food provisioning to offspring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matessi, Giuliano; Carmagnani, Cristina; Griggio, Matteo

    2009-01-01

    for a number of species, while male differential allocation based on female secondary sexual traits has received less attention. Yet females of many species, among birds in particular, are ornamented. We performed a test of male differential allocation based on a female ornament in the rock sparrow (Petronia......Secondary sexual characters may provide information about individual quality to a partner, which may use it during parental care to strategically allocate resources to the current breeding attempt (Differential Allocation Hypothesis). Differential allocation by females has been demonstrated...

  3. Male rock sparrows adjust their breeding strategy according to female ornamentation: parental or mating investment?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pilastro, Andrea; Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the relations between female quality and ornamentation and between male breeding investment and female ornamentation in the rock sparrow, Petronia petronia, a passerine in which both sexes have a yellow breast patch. Breast patch size in females was positively correlated with body...... trend for females with enlarged ornaments, contrary to predictions, to increase their feeding rate. Reducing female ornaments resulted in a decrease in male nest attendance, a measure of passive brood defence, whereas enlarging the ornament had no effect. Males concurrently reduced their territorial...

  4. Annual Hematocrit Profiles in Two Subspecies of White-Crowned Sparrow: A Migrant and a Resident Comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Jesse S; Németh, Zoltán; Pérez, Jonathan H; Chmura, Helen E; Ramenofsky, Marilyn; Wingfield, John C

    2016-01-01

    Hematocrit is an easily measured parameter that can be used to assess changes in oxygen carrying capacity necessitated by fluctuations in metabolic demands. Most hematocrit studies draw conclusions from changes in hematocrit that occur over a small sampling interval without an understanding of the variation that exists across the annual cycle. White-crowned sparrows provide an excellent model system due to the existence of a resident subspecies (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli) that serves as a natural control for a migrant subspecies (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). Comparing these two subspecies allows for the investigation of adaptive physiological changes at each life-history stage (i.e., migration, breeding, molt, etc.) in response to changing metabolic demands. Of particular interest, this subspecies comparison, by both calendar month and life-history stage, allows for the separation of adaptive increases in hematocrit due to migration from the natural seasonal variation in hematocrit. Hematocrit levels for males and females ranged throughout the year between 42%-47% and 40%-47% in the resident and between 45%-58% and 45%-56% in the migrant. In both subspecies, hematocrit levels were elevated during the breeding season compared to the nonbreeding season, and levels were reduced in females during egg laying. When grouped by life-history stage, hematocrit levels were always higher in the migrant compared to the resident. During the months in which migration occurred, hematocrit levels were 10%-12% higher in the migrant compared to the resident subspecies. These data suggest differential regulation of hematocrit between the two subspecies that may be attributed to phenotypic plasticity or genetic differences.

  5. Characterization of the mitochondrial genome of the montane grasshopper, Qinlingacris elaeodes (Orthoptera: Catantopidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ran; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Liang, Ai-Ping; Zhong, Xin-Tong; Liu, Ying

    2016-05-01

    Qinlingacris elaeodes is the dominant grasshopper at an altitude of 3000 meters and above, and is a representative species of the genus Qinlingacris endemic to China. The sequenced mitochondrial genome of this grasshopper is 14,818 bp in length, including 13 protein-coding genes (ND1-6, COI-III, ATP6, ATP8, ND4L, CTYB), 21 transfer RNAs, and 2 ribosomal RNAs (12S and 16S). The orientation and gene order of these genes are identical to those found in the putative ancestral insect mitogenome. The 13 PCGs start with a typical ATN codon as their start codons. The usual TAA and TAG termination codons are found for 12 PCGs. However, the ND5 gene has an incomplete termination codon (T).

  6. The neuroblast of the grasshopper embryo as a new mutagen test system. Pt. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang, J.C.; Gaulden, M.E.

    1982-01-01

    The neuroblasts of the grasshopper embryo (Chortophaga viridifasciata De Geer) are being studied to determine their suitability for detecting environmental clastogens (chromosome-breaking agents). They are very sensitive to the induction of chromosome breakage by radiation in viro. Their sensitvity, 0.011 break/cell/R, is 4-5 times higher than pollen mother cells of Tradescantia (micronuclei), 10 times higher than either human lymphocytes or Chinese hamster cells (metaphase chromosome aberrations), and 15 times higher than mouse erythroblasts (micronuclei). Furthermore, they have no spontaneous chromosome breakage, which facilitates the detection of agents that break chromosomes. The present study shows that Chortophaga embryos maintain normal mitotic activity in vitro for 5 cell cycles at 38 0 C (20 h), and that neuroblasts of embryos grown in vitro have the same radiosensitivity as those of embryos in vivo. Thus in vitro exposure of grasshopper embryos is a promising method for obtaining data on the response of neuroblasts to chemical clastogens. (orig.)

  7. Physical mapping of the Period gene on meiotic chromosomes of South American grasshoppers (Acridomorpha, Orthoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, T E; Oliveira, D L; Santos, J F; Rieger, T T

    2014-12-19

    The single-copy gene Period was located in five grasshopper species belonging to the Acridomorpha group through permanent in situ hybridization (PISH). The mapping revealed one copy of this gene in the L1 chromosome pair in Ommexecha virens, Xyleus discoideus angulatus, Tropidacris collaris, Schistocerca pallens, and Stiphra robusta. A possible second copy was mapped on the L2 chromosome pair in S. robusta, which should be confirmed by further studies. Except for the latter case, the chromosomal position of the Period gene was highly conserved among the four families studied. The S. robusta karyotype also differs from the others both in chromosome number and morphology. The position conservation of the single-copy gene Period contrasts with the location diversification of multigene families in these species. The localization of single-copy genes by PISH can provide new insights about the genomic content and chromosomal evolution of grasshoppers and others insects.

  8. Processing of acoustic signals in grasshoppers - a neuroethological approach towards female choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronacher, Bernhard; Stange, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    Acoustic communication is a major factor for mate attraction in many grasshopper species and thus plays a vital role in a grasshopper's life. First of all, the recognition of the species-specific sound patterns is crucial for preventing hybridization with other species, which would result in a drastic fitness loss. In addition, there is evidence that females are choosy with respect to conspecific males and prefer or reject the songs of some individuals, thereby exerting a sexual selection on males. Remarkably, the preferences of females are preserved even under masking noise. To discriminate between the basically similar signals of conspecifics is obviously a challenge for small nervous systems. We therefore ask how the acoustic signals are processed and represented in the grasshopper's nervous system, to allow for a fine discrimination and assessment of individual songs. The discrimination of similar signals may be impeded not only by signal masking due to external noise sources, but also by intrinsic noise due to the inherent variability of spike trains. Using a spike train metric we could estimate how well, in principle, the songs of different individuals can be discriminated on the basis of neuronal responses, and found a remarkable potential for discrimination performance at the first stage, but not on higher stages of the auditory pathway. Next, we ask which benefits a grasshopper female may earn from being choosy. New results, which revealed correlations between specific song features and the size and immunocompetence of the males, suggest that females may derive from acoustic signals clues about condition and health of the sending male. However, we observed substantial differences between the preference functions of individual females and it may be particularly rewarding to relate the variations in female preferences to individual differences in the responses of identified neurons. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Grasshoppers Regulate N:P Stoichiometric Homeostasis by Changing Phosphorus Contents in Their Frass

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Zijia; Elser, James J.; Cease, Arianne J.; Zhang, Ximei; Yu, Qiang; Han, Xingguo; Zhang, Guangming

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are important limiting nutrients for plant production and consumer performance in a variety of ecosystems. As a result, the N:P stoichiometry of herbivores has received increased attention in ecology. However, the mechanisms by which herbivores maintain N:P stoichiometric homeostasis are poorly understood. Here, using a field manipulation experiment we show that the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus maintains strong N:P stoichiometric homeostasis regardless of whe...

  10. Characterization and cloning of fasciclin I and fasciclin II glycoproteins in the grasshopper

    OpenAIRE

    Snow, Peter M.; Zinn, Kai; Harrelson, Allan L.; McAllister, Linda; Schilling, Jim; Bastiani, Michael J.; Makk, George; Goodman, Corey S.

    1988-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies were previously used to identify two glycoproteins, called fasciclin I and II (70 and 95 kDa, respectively), which are expressed on different subsets of axon fascicles in the grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) embryo. Here the monoclonal antibodies were used to purify these two membrane-associated glycoproteins for further characterization. Fasciclin II appears to be an integral membrane protein, whereas fasciclin I is an extrinsic membrane protein. The amino acid sequ...

  11. B-Chromosome Ribosomal DNA Is Functional in the Grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans

    OpenAIRE

    Ruiz-Est??vez, Mercedes; L??pez-Le??n, Mar??a Dolores; Cabrero, Josefa; Mart??nez Camacho, Juan Pedro

    2012-01-01

    B-chromosomes are frequently argued to be genetically inert elements, but activity for some particular genes has been reported, especially for ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes whose expression can easily be detected at the cytological level by the visualization of their phenotypic expression, i.e., the nucleolus. The B(24) chromosome in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans frequently shows a nucleolus attached to it during meiotic prophase I. Here we show the presence of rRNA transcripts that uneq...

  12. On the origin of grasshopper oviposition behavior: structural homology in pregenital and genital motor systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Karen J; Jones, Alaine D; Miller, Sandra A

    2014-01-01

    In female grasshoppers, oviposition is a highly specialized behavior involving a rhythm-generating neural circuit, the oviposition central pattern generator, unusual abdominal appendages, and dedicated muscles. This study of Schistocerca americana (Drury) grasshoppers was undertaken to determine whether the simpler pregenital abdominal segments, which do not contain ovipositor appendages, share common features with the genital segment, suggesting a roadmap for the genesis of oviposition behavior. Our study revealed that although 5 of the standard pregenital body wall muscles were missing in the female genital segment, homologous lateral nerves were, indeed, present and served 4 ovipositor muscles. Retrograde labeling of the corresponding pregenital nerve branches in male and female grasshoppers revealed motor neurons, dorsal unpaired median neurons, and common inhibitor neurons which appear to be structural homologues of those filled from ovipositor muscles. Some pregenital motor neurons displayed pronounced contralateral neurites; in contrast, some ovipositor motor neurons were exclusively ipsilateral. Strong evidence of structural homology was also obtained for pregenital and ovipositor skeletal muscles supplied by the identified neurons and of the pregenital and ovipositor skeletons. For example, transient embryonic segmental appendages were maintained in the female genital segments, giving rise to ovipositor valves, but were lost in pregenital abdominal segments. Significant proportional differences in sternal apodemes and plates were observed, which partially obscure the similarities between the pregenital and genital skeletons. Other changes in reorganization included genital muscles that displayed adult hypertrophy, 1 genital muscle that appeared to represent 2 fused pregenital muscles, and the insertion points of 2 ovipositor muscles that appeared to have been relocated. Together, the comparisons support the idea that the oviposition behavior of genital

  13. Reproduction-Related Sound Production of Grasshoppers Regulated by Internal State and Actual Sensory Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Ralf; Kunst, Michael; Wirmer, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    The interplay of neural and hormonal mechanisms activated by entero- and extero-receptors biases the selection of actions by decision making neuronal circuits. The reproductive behavior of acoustically communicating grasshoppers, which is regulated by short-term neural and longer-term hormonal mechanisms, has frequently been used to study the cellular and physiological processes that select particular actions from the species-specific repertoire of behaviors. Various grasshoppers communicate with species- and situation-specific songs in order to attract and court mating partners, to signal reproductive readiness, or to fend off competitors. Selection and coordination of type, intensity, and timing of sound signals is mediated by the central complex, a highly structured brain neuropil known to integrate multimodal pre-processed sensory information by a large number of chemical messengers. In addition, reproductive activity including sound production critically depends on maturation, previous mating experience, and oviposition cycles. In this regard, juvenile hormone released from the corpora allata has been identified as a decisive hormonal signal necessary to establish reproductive motivation in grasshopper females. Both regulatory systems, the central complex mediating short-term regulation and the corpora allata mediating longer-term regulation of reproduction-related sound production mutually influence each other’s activity in order to generate a coherent state of excitation that promotes or suppresses reproductive behavior in respective appropriate or inappropriate situations. This review summarizes our current knowledge about extrinsic and intrinsic factors that influence grasshopper reproductive motivation, their representation in the nervous system and their integrative processing that mediates the initiation or suppression of reproductive behaviors. PMID:22737107

  14. High plant species diversity indirectly mitigates CO 2- and N-induced effects on grasshopper growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strengbom, Joachim; Reich, Peter B.; Ritchie, Mark E.

    2008-09-01

    We examined how elevated atmospheric [CO 2] and higher rate of nitrogen (N) input may influence grasshopper growth by changing food plant quality and how such effects may be modified by species diversity of the plant community. We reared grasshopper nymphs ( Melanoplus femurrubrum) on Poa pratensis from field-grown monocultures or polycultures (16 species) that were subjected to either ambient or elevated levels of CO 2 and N. Grasshopper growth rate was higher on P. pratensis leaves grown in monocultures than in polycultures, higher on P. pratensis grown under elevated than under ambient [CO 2], and higher on P. pratensis grown under elevated than under ambient [N]. The higher growth rate observed on P. pratensis exposed to elevated [CO 2] was, however, less pronounced for polyculture- than monoculture-grown P. pratensis. Growth rate of the grasshoppers was positively correlated with leaf [N], [C], and concentration of soluble carbohydrates + lipids. Concentration of non-structural carbohydrates + lipids was higher in leaves grown under elevated than under ambient [CO 2], and the difference between P. pratensis grown under ambient and elevated [CO 2] was greater for monoculture- than polyculture-grown P. pratensis. In addition, leaf N concentration was higher in P. pratensis grown in monocultures than in polycultures, suggesting that plant species richness, indirectly, may influence insect performance by changed nutritional value of the plants. Because we found interactive effects between all factors included ([CO 2], [N], and plant species diversity), our results suggest that these parameters may influence plant-insect interactions in a complex way that is not predictable from the sum of single factor manipulations.

  15. Lachesin: an immunoglobulin superfamily protein whose expression correlates with neurogenesis in grasshopper embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlstrom, R O; Wilder, L P; Bastiani, M J

    1993-06-01

    We describe the developmental expression in grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) and molecular characterization in grasshopper and fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) of Lachesin, a novel immunoglobulin superfamily protein. Lachesin is expressed on the surfaces of differentiating neuronal cells from the onset of neurogenesis in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Lachesin expression begins in some cells of the neurogenic ectoderm immediately after engrailed expression begins in the posterior cells of each future segment. All neurogenic cells express Lachesin early, but only those cells that become neuroblasts continue to express Lachesin. Ectodermal cells in the neurogenic region that adopt non-neuronal fates lose Lachesin at the time that they diverge from a potentially neurogenic pathway. Neuroblasts, ganglion mother cells and neurons all express Lachesin early in their lives, but expression becomes restricted to a subset of neurons as development progresses. Sensory neurons express Lachesin as they delaminate from the body wall ectoderm. Lachesin is also present on growing axons of the CNS and PNS and becomes restricted to a subset of axons later in development. This expression is unique among known insect neurogenic genes and suggests a role for Lachesin in early neuronal differentiation and axon outgrowth. Grasshopper Lachesin is a 38 x 10(3) M(r) protein linked to cell membranes through a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol anchor. We have cloned the Lachesin gene from both grasshopper and fly. The proteins are highly conserved (70% identical) between the two species. Lachesin is similar to Drosophila amalgam, bovine OBCAM and the human poliovirus receptor, putting it into a subgroup of the immunoglobulin superfamily containing one V- and two C2-type immunoglobulin domains. Lachesin is also similar to several other vertebrate immunoglobulin superfamily proteins (TAG-1, F11, L1 and NgCAM) known to function in neurite outgrowth and other cell surface

  16. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  17. House sparrows mitigate growth effects of post-natal glucocorticoid exposure at the expense of longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Jacquelyn K; Froud, Louise; Meillère, Alizée; Angelier, Frédéric

    2017-11-01

    Acute, short-term effects of early-life stress and associated glucocorticoid upregulation on physiology and survival are widely documented across vertebrates. However, the persistence and severity of these effects are largely unknown, especially through the adult stage and for natural systems. Here, we investigate physiological, morphological, and survival effects of post-natal glucocorticoid upregulation across the nestling, juvenile, and adult life stages in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We manipulate circulating corticosterone concentration in wild, free-living house sparrow nestlings and monitor body size, size-corrected mass, two measures of health (hematocrit and phytohemagglutinin-induced skin swelling), and survival in a captive environment until adulthood. We find that early-life corticosterone exposure depresses nestling size-corrected mass in both sexes, with no strong effect of the treatment on body size or our two measures of health. Birds are able to compensate for negative effects of high early-life corticosterone exposure in the long-term and this effect largely disappears by the juvenile and adult stages. However, treatment has a negative effect on survival through one year of age, suggesting that long-term compensation comes at a price. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Exposure of resident sparrows to West Nile virus evidenced in South Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammouda, A; Lecollinet, S; Hamza, F; Nasri, I; Neb, A; Selmi, S

    2015-12-01

    During the last few years, several cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans have been reported in Tunisia. However, detailed information on WNV infection in wild birds, the primary amplifying host of WNV, are lacking. In this work, we investigated the exposure of wild sparrows (hybrid Passer domesticus × hispaniolensis) living in two oases in southern Tunisia (Gabès and Kébili oases) to WNV, through the detection of WNV-specific antibodies by using ELISA and microneutralization tests. In total, 208 birds were sampled (54 from Kébili, 154 from Gabès). Anti-WNV antibodies were detected in two birds, corresponding to an overall seroprevalence of 1%. There was no significant difference between the two sampled populations [1·85% (1/54) in Kébili, 0·65% (1/154) in Gabès]. These data provide indirect evidence of the exposure of resident sparrows in southern Tunisia to WNV.

  19. Habitat Use Patterns of Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows in the Northeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P. Shustack

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In the northeastern United States, grassland birds regularly use agricultural fields as nesting habitat. However, birds that nest in these fields regularly experience nest failure as a result of agricultural practices, such as mowing and grazing. Therefore, information on both spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use is needed to effectively manage these species. We addressed these complex habitat use patterns by conducting point counts during three time intervals between May 21, 2002 and July 2, 2002 in agricultural fields across the Champlain Valley in Vermont and New York. Early in the breeding season, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus used fields in which the landscape within 2500 m was dominated by open habitats. As mowing began, suitable habitat within 500 m became more important. Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis initially used fields that contained a high proportion of suitable habitat within 500 m. After mowing, features of the field (i.e., size and amount of woody edge became more important. Each species responded differently to mowing: Savannah Sparrows were equally abundant in mowed and uncut fields, whereas Bobolinks were more abundant in uncut fields. In agricultural areas in the Northeast, large areas (2000 ha that are mostly nonforested and undeveloped should be targeted for conservation. Within large open areas, smaller patches (80 ha should be maintained as high-quality, late-cut grassland habitat.

  20. Characterization of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) transcriptome: a resource for molecular ecology and immunogenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekblom, Robert; Wennekes, Paul; Horsburgh, Gavin J; Burke, Terry

    2014-05-01

    The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is an important model species in ecology and evolution. However, until recently, genomic resources for molecular ecological projects have been lacking in this species. Here, we present transcriptome sequencing data (RNA-Seq) from three different house sparrow tissues (spleen, blood and bursa). These tissues were specifically chosen to obtain a diverse representation of expressed genes and to maximize the yield of immune-related gene functions. After de novo assembly, 15,250 contigs were identified, representing sequence data from a total of 8756 known avian genes (as inferred from the closely related zebra finch). The transcriptome assembly contain sequence data from nine manually annotated MHC genes, including an almost complete MHC class I coding sequence. There were 407, 303 and 68 genes overexpressed in spleen, blood and bursa, respectively. Gene ontology terms related to ribosomal function were associated with overexpression in spleen and oxygen transport functions with overexpression in blood. In addition to the transcript sequences, we provide 327 gene-linked microsatellites (SSRs) with sufficient flanking sequences for primer design, and 3177 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within genes, that can be used in follow-up molecular ecology studies of this ecological well-studied species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Surface ultrastructural (SEM) characteristics of oropharyngeal cavity of house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abumandour, Mohamed M A

    2017-12-22

    The focus of the present study is to provide a full morphological description of the oropharyngeal cavity of the house sparrow. The head of six birds was prepared for gross examination and by stereo and electron microscopy. The bifid lingual apex has multiple long, rostrally directed needle-like processes. The lateral border of the apex carries rostromedially directed needle-like processes. The dorsal lingual surface of the apex and body carries numerous caudomedially directed filiform papillae and many orifices of lingual salivary glands. The lingual body is divided into two parts: rostral and caudal. The caudal part is divided into two laterally elevated regions by a median groove, while the rostral part is bounded laterally by a rostrodorsally directed papillary row, which on SEM is formed from two rows. On SEM, the lingual root has many orifices of posterior salivary glands. The pharyngeal papillary row is located at the caudal border of the laryngeal mound, but this single papillary row is formed from two rows at SEM magnification. The laryngeal cleft continues caudally as a laryngeal fissure bounded by two longitudinal rows of caudally directed papillae; at high SEM magnification, this fissure is divided into two halves by a median ridge which carries caudally directed papillae on its posterior part. The choanal cleft proceeds rostrally by the median tubercle. There are a small number of orifices of palatine salivary glands. The morphological characters of the oropharyngeal cavity of the sparrow confirm its adaptation to surrounding environmental conditions and available food particles.

  2. Reprint of: The effectiveness of common thermo-regulatory behaviours in a cool temperate grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Rebecca M B; McQuillan, Peter; Hughes, Lesley

    2015-12-01

    Behavioural thermoregulation has the potential to alleviate the short-term impacts of climate change on some small ectotherms, without the need for changes to species distributions or genetic adaptation. We illustrate this by measuring the effect of behaviour in a cool temperate species of grasshopper (Phaulacridium vittatum) over a range of spatial and temporal scales in laboratory and natural field experiments. Microhabitat selection at the site scale was tested in free-ranging grasshoppers and related to changing thermal quality over a daily period. Artificial warming experiments were then used to measure the temperature at which common thermoregulatory behaviours are initiated and the subsequent reductions in body temperature. Behavioural means such as timing of activity, choice of substrates with optimum surface temperatures, shade seeking and postural adjustments (e.g. stilting, vertical orientation) were found to be highly effective at maintaining preferred body temperature. The maximum voluntarily tolerated temperature (MVT) was determined to be 44 °C ± 0.4 °C, indicating the upper bounds of thermal flexibility in this species. Behavioural thermoregulation effectively enables small ectotherms to regulate exposure to changing environmental temperatures and utilize the spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments they occupy. Species such as the wingless grasshopper, although adapted to cool temperate conditions, are likely to be well equipped to respond successfully to coarse scale climate change. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Morphological and molecular identification of acridid grasshoppers (Acrididae: Orthoptera from Poonch division, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Nazir

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study was conducted to resolve conflicts in the identification of grasshopper species of the family Acrididae (Orthoptera on the basis of morphology and DNA barcoding. Grasshoppers representing 26 species of the family Acrididae were collected from different habitats and host plants from Poonch division of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Pakistan. Specimens were identified taxonomically and DNA sequenced for the cytochrome c oxidase (COI barcode region. Barcodes of 19 morphological species were successfully obtained and the sequence data was used to separate species by Neighbor-Joining cluster analysis. Barcode data successfully discriminated 18 species, while two: Patanga japonica (Bolivar, 1898 and P. succincta (Johannson, 1763 could not be distinguished since they shared the barcode sequence and clustered together on the Neighbor-Joining (NJ tree. Morphologically, specimens of Shirakiacris shirakii (Bolívar, 1914 were identified as one species, but barcode data revealed that in addition to Shirakiacris shirakii (Bolívar, 1914 two other species of the genus Shirakiacris are present in the region. Similarly, on the basis of morphological characters two species were indentified in subfamily Catantopinae, Catantops erubescens (Walker, 1870 and Xenocatantops brachycerus (Willemse, 1932, but barcode data suggest the presence of an additional Catantops species in the region. These findings show the usefulness of barcode data in discriminating grasshopper species and indicate that such data can be reliably used for developing reference libraries for species identification via sequence matches.

  4. Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: evidence for sexual selection against large genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schielzeth, Holger; Streitner, Corinna; Lampe, Ulrike; Franzke, Alexandra; Reinhold, Klaus

    2014-12-01

    Genome size is largely uncorrelated to organismal complexity and adaptive scenarios. Genetic drift as well as intragenomic conflict have been put forward to explain this observation. We here study the impact of genome size on sexual attractiveness in the bow-winged grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Grasshoppers show particularly large variation in genome size due to the high prevalence of supernumerary chromosomes that are considered (mildly) selfish, as evidenced by non-Mendelian inheritance and fitness costs if present in high numbers. We ranked male grasshoppers by song characteristics that are known to affect female preferences in this species and scored genome sizes of attractive and unattractive individuals from the extremes of this distribution. We find that attractive singers have significantly smaller genomes, demonstrating that genome size is reflected in male courtship songs and that females prefer songs of males with small genomes. Such a genome size dependent mate preference effectively selects against selfish genetic elements that tend to increase genome size. The data therefore provide a novel example of how sexual selection can reinforce natural selection and can act as an agent in an intragenomic arms race. Furthermore, our findings indicate an underappreciated route of how choosy females could gain indirect benefits. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Short-Term Dynamics of Behavioral Thermoregulation by Adults of the Grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Kevin M.; Rolston, Marni G.

    2007-01-01

    The short-term behavioral responses of adult grasshoppers, Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), were examined after they experienced changes in microclimate when beingforced to change positions in their habitat. It was also determined if and when behavioral tactics allowed adults to achieve body temperatures within their preferred range. The preferred or set-point range, here taken as the interquartile range of temperatures selected on a laboratory thermal gradient, was estimated to be 37.4–40.5°C. In the field, adults progressed through a relatively consistent daily sequence of behaviors, basking on the soil early in the day, but moving onto vegetation as temperatures increased. Although basking allowed grasshoppers to maximize body temperature within the available range, as much as 7°C in excess of air temperature, they could not attain preferred body temperatures until soil surface temperatures reach about 35°C. Basking was more effective in grazed than ungrazed pastures due to a lower degree of shading of the soil surface. As soil surface temperatures exceeded 35°C, grasshoppers could achieve body temperatures within the preferred range by moving to the appropriate height on vegetation. These results illustrate the advantage of assessing behavior in the field in relation to preferred body temperatures determined in the laboratory. PMID:20302531

  6. A conserved plan for wiring up the fan-shaped body in the grasshopper and Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyan, George; Liu, Yu; Khalsa, Sat Kartar; Hartenstein, Volker

    2017-07-01

    The central complex comprises an elaborate system of modular neuropils which mediate spatial orientation and sensory-motor integration in insects such as the grasshopper and Drosophila. The neuroarchitecture of the largest of these modules, the fan-shaped body, is characterized by its stereotypic set of decussating fiber bundles. These are generated during development by axons from four homologous protocerebral lineages which enter the commissural system and subsequently decussate at stereotypic locations across the brain midline. Since the commissural organization prior to fan-shaped body formation has not been previously analyzed in either species, it was not clear how the decussating bundles relate to individual lineages, or if the projection pattern is conserved across species. In this study, we trace the axonal projections from the homologous central complex lineages into the commissural system of the embryonic and larval brains of both the grasshopper and Drosophila. Projections into the primordial commissures of both species are found to be lineage-specific and allow putatively equivalent fascicles to be identified. Comparison of the projection pattern before and after the commencement of axon decussation in both species reveals that equivalent commissural fascicles are involved in generating the columnar neuroarchitecture of the fan-shaped body. Further, the tract-specific columns in both the grasshopper and Drosophila can be shown to contain axons from identical combinations of central complex lineages, suggesting that this columnar neuroarchitecture is also conserved.

  7. Reduced predation risk for melanistic pygmy grasshoppers in post-fire environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpestam, Einat; Merilaita, Sami; Forsman, Anders

    2012-01-01

    The existence of melanistic (black) color forms in many species represents interesting model systems that have played important roles for our understanding of selective processes, evolution of adaptations, and the maintenance of variation. A recent study reported on rapid evolutionary shifts in frequencies of the melanistic forms in replicated populations of Tetrix subulata pygmy grasshoppers; the incidence of the melanistic form was higher in recently burned areas with backgrounds blackened by fire than in nonburned areas, and it declined over time in postfire environments. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the frequency shifts of the black color variant were driven, at least in part, by changes in the selective regime imposed by visual predators. To study detectability of the melanistic form, we presented human “predators” with images of black grasshoppers and samples of the natural habitat on computer screens. We demonstrate that the protective value of black coloration differs between burnt and nonburnt environments and gradually increases in habitats that have been more blackened by fire. These findings support the notion that a black color pattern provides improved protection from visually oriented predators against blackened backgrounds and implicate camouflage and predation as important drivers of fire melanism in pygmy grasshoppers. PMID:23139879

  8. The effectiveness of common thermo-regulatory behaviours in a cool temperate grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Rebecca M B; McQuillan, Peter; Hughes, Lesley

    2015-08-01

    Behavioural thermoregulation has the potential to alleviate the short-term impacts of climate change on some small ectotherms, without the need for changes to species distributions or genetic adaptation. We illustrate this by measuring the effect of behaviour in a cool temperate species of grasshopper (Phaulacridium vittatum) over a range of spatial and temporal scales in laboratory and natural field experiments. Microhabitat selection at the site scale was tested in free-ranging grasshoppers and related to changing thermal quality over a daily period. Artificial warming experiments were then used to measure the temperature at which common thermoregulatory behaviours are initiated and the subsequent reductions in body temperature. Behavioural means such as timing of activity, choice of substrates with optimum surface temperatures, shade seeking and postural adjustments (e.g. stilting, vertical orientation) were found to be highly effective at maintaining preferred body temperature. The maximum voluntarily tolerated temperature (MVT) was determined to be 44°C±0.4°C, indicating the upper bounds of thermal flexibility in this species. Behavioural thermoregulation effectively enables small ectotherms to regulate exposure to changing environmental temperatures and utilize the spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments they occupy. Species such as the wingless grasshopper, although adapted to cool temperate conditions, are likely to be well equipped to respond successfully to coarse scale climate change. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The effect of flight, fasting and p,p'-DDT on thyroid hormones and corticosterone in Gambel's white-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scollon, Edward J; Carr, James A; Cobb, George P

    2004-02-01

    This study examined the effects of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDT), fasting and flight on thyroid hormones and corticosterone in Gambel's White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelli). Female sparrows were dosed daily with either 5 mg p,p'-DDT per kg body mass or corn oil vehicle over 3 days. On the fifth day the sparrows were divided into 3 groups: (1) unstressed - non-stressed control sparrows; (2) fasted - sparrows fasted for intervals ranging from 20 min to 9 h; or (3) flown - sparrows flown in a wind tunnel for intervals between 20 min and 2.5 h while fasting. Half the sparrows from each group received DDT (DDT-dosed sparrows) and the other half corn oil vehicle only (vehicle sparrows). Trunk blood plasma was analyzed for thyroxine, triiodothyronine and corticosterone using radioimmunoassay. In the flown group, corticosterone was elevated (DDT-dosed 35.52 ng/ml, P < or = 0.05), and thyroxine was depressed (DDT-dosed 4.09 ng/ml, P < or = 0.05; vehicle 4.33 ng/ml, P < or = 0.05). Elevated corticosterone likely decreased thyroid hormone production through a negative feedback mechanism originating at the hypothalamus. Mean triiodothyronine concentrations did not differ among any of the test groups. Relative to time fasted and flown, thyroxine decreased in flown birds dosed with DDT (P < 0.001) and triiodothyronine decreased in fasted birds dosed with DDT (P = 0.004). The increased rate of hormone diminution may be a result of the ability of DDT to induce microsomal enzyme production.

  10. 75 FR 20591 - AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Final General Conformity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-20

    ...] AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Final General Conformity... revised draft Final General Conformity Determination (GCD) for Pennsylvania to assess the potential air... the above-referenced dockets. In accordance with the General Conformity Regulations under the Code of...

  11. Sparrow nest survival in relation to prescribed fire and woody plant invasion in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Robert K.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Grant, Todd A.; Derrig, James L.; Rubin, Cory S.; Kerns, Courtney K.

    2017-01-01

    Prescribed fire is used to reverse invasion by woody vegetation on grasslands, but managers often are uncertain whether influences of shrub and tree reduction outweigh potential effects of fire on nest survival of grassland birds. During the 2001–2003 breeding seasons, we examined relationships of prescribed fire and woody vegetation to nest survival of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) in mixed-grass prairie at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern North Dakota, USA. We assessed relationships of nest survival to 1) recent fire history, in terms of number of breeding seasons (2, 3, or 4–5) since the last prescribed fire, and 2) prevalence of trees and tall (>1.5 m) shrubs in the landscape and of low (≤1.5 m) shrubs within 5 m of nests. Nest survival of both species exhibited distinct patterns related to age of the nest and day of year, but bore no relationship to fire history. Survival of clay-colored sparrow nests declined as the amount of trees and tall shrubs within 100 m increased, but we found no relationship to suggest nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) as an underlying mechanism. We found little evidence linking nest survival of Savannah sparrow to woody vegetation. Our results suggest that fire can be used to restore northern mixed-grass prairies without adversely affecting nest survival of ≥2 widespread passerine species. Survival of nests of clay-colored sparrow may increase when tall woody cover is reduced by fire. Our data lend support to the use of fire for reducing scattered patches of tall woody cover to enhance survival of nests of ≥1 grassland bird species in northern mixed-grass prairies, but further study is needed that incorporates experimental approaches and assessments of shorter term effects of fire on survival of nests of grassland passerines.

  12. House sparrow biomarkers as lead pollution bioindicators. Evaluation of dose and exposition length on hematological and oxidative stress parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cid, Fabricio D; Fernández, Noelia C; Pérez-Chaca, María V; Pardo, Rafael; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Chediack, Juan G

    2018-06-15

    House sparrows (Passer domesticus) have been proposed as a key ecological indicator of urban pollution. Remarkably, we lack knowledge about the physiological effects of lead on this bird species. Therefore, this study was aimed to evaluate the effect of Pb on several physiological parameters in house sparrows exposed to environmental Pb concentrations. In a first experiment, birds were exposed to Pb sub-lethal doses (from 1.3 to 14.0 µg of Pb/g animal/day) during 5 days, which resulted in a dose response increase of blood Pb levels and decrease of blood ALAD activity. However, at the higher doses tested (> 7 μg of Pb/g animal/day) the blood ALAD activity inhibition (~82%) remained constant. Hematocrit and hemoglobin were significantly reduced only at the highest-doses, and the stress indicator, heterophils to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, did not show apparent changes. In a second experiment, house sparrows were exposed to Pb in drinking water (12.3 ppm) during either 15 or 30 days. Pb concentration used in this study was enough to produce blood lead levels equivalents to those found recently in house sparrows inhabiting urban areas, reduced blood ALAD activity and inversion of the H/L ratio. Decreasing blood ALAD activities were correlated with increasing blood Pb levels. In addition, Pb exposure produced modification in the levels of hepatic antioxidant enzymes, increased GST activity and decreased CAT activity, without lipid peroxidation. In conclusion, our results suggest that blood ALAD activity is a reliable and sensitive biomarker for environmental Pb exposure in house sparrows, additionally chronic exposure produce physiological stress (H/L inversion) and small changes in antioxidant enzyme activity. Finally, this specie could be considered a bioindicator for monitoring the urban Pb contamination. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Quantitative analysis of diet structure by real-time PCR, reveals different feeding patterns by two dominant grasshopper species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xunbing; Wu, Huihui; McNeill, Mark Richard; Qin, Xinghu; Ma, Jingchuan; Tu, Xiongbing; Cao, Guangchun; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-01-01

    Studies on grasshopper diets have historically employed a range of methodologies, each with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, some methodologies are qualitative instead of quantitative. Others require long experimental periods or examine population-level effects, only. In this study, we used real-time PCR to examine diets of individual grasshoppers. The method has the advantage of being both fast and quantitative. Using two grasshopper species, Oedaleus asiaticus and Dasyhippus barbipes, we designed ITS primer sequences for their three main host plants, Stipa krylovii, Leymus chinensis and Cleistogenes squarrosa and used real-time PCR method to test diet structure both qualitatively and quantitatively. The lowest detection efficiency of the three grass species was ~80% with a strong correlation between actual and PCR-measured food intake. We found that Oedaleus asiaticus maintained an unchanged diet structure across grasslands with different grass communities. By comparison, Dasyhippus barbipes changed its diet structure. These results revealed why O. asiaticus distribution is mainly confined to Stipa-dominated grassland, and D. barbipes is more widely distributed across Inner Mongolia. Overall, real-time PCR was shown to be a useful tool for investigating grasshopper diets, which in turn offers some insight into grasshopper distributions and improved pest management. PMID:27562455

  14. Quantitative analysis of diet structure by real-time PCR, reveals different feeding patterns by two dominant grasshopper species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xunbing; Wu, Huihui; McNeill, Mark Richard; Qin, Xinghu; Ma, Jingchuan; Tu, Xiongbing; Cao, Guangchun; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-08-26

    Studies on grasshopper diets have historically employed a range of methodologies, each with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, some methodologies are qualitative instead of quantitative. Others require long experimental periods or examine population-level effects, only. In this study, we used real-time PCR to examine diets of individual grasshoppers. The method has the advantage of being both fast and quantitative. Using two grasshopper species, Oedaleus asiaticus and Dasyhippus barbipes, we designed ITS primer sequences for their three main host plants, Stipa krylovii, Leymus chinensis and Cleistogenes squarrosa and used real-time PCR method to test diet structure both qualitatively and quantitatively. The lowest detection efficiency of the three grass species was ~80% with a strong correlation between actual and PCR-measured food intake. We found that Oedaleus asiaticus maintained an unchanged diet structure across grasslands with different grass communities. By comparison, Dasyhippus barbipes changed its diet structure. These results revealed why O. asiaticus distribution is mainly confined to Stipa-dominated grassland, and D. barbipes is more widely distributed across Inner Mongolia. Overall, real-time PCR was shown to be a useful tool for investigating grasshopper diets, which in turn offers some insight into grasshopper distributions and improved pest management.

  15. Grazing damage to plants and gastropod and grasshopper densities in a CO 2-enrichment experiment on calcareous grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledergerber, Stephan; Thommen, G. Heinrich; Baur, Bruno

    Plant-herbivore interactions may change as atmospheric CO 2 concentrations continue to rise. We examined the effects of elevated atmospheric CO 2 and CO 2-exposure chambers on the grazing damage to plants, and on the abundances of potential herbivores (terrestrial gastropods and grasshoppers) in a calcareous grassland in the Jura mountains of Switzerland (village of Nenzlingen). Individuals of most plant species examined showed slight grazing damage. However, plots with CO 2 enrichment and plots with ambient atmosphere did not differ in the extent of grazing damage. Similarly, plots with CO 2 enrichment and plots with ambient atmosphere did not differ in either gastropod or grasshopper density. Experimental plots with and without chambers did not differ in the number of gastropods. However, the densities of gastropods and grasshoppers and extent of grazing damage to plants were generally lower in the experimental area than in the grassland outside the experimental field.

  16. Expression and phylogenetic analyses reveal paralogous lineages of putatively classical and non-classical MHC-I genes in three sparrow species (Passer).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, Anna; Strandh, Maria; Råberg, Lars; Westerdahl, Helena

    2017-06-26

    The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) plays a central role in immunity and has been given considerable attention by evolutionary ecologists due to its associations with fitness-related traits. Songbirds have unusually high numbers of MHC class I (MHC-I) genes, but it is not known whether all are expressed and equally important for immune function. Classical MHC-I genes are highly expressed, polymorphic and present peptides to T-cells whereas non-classical MHC-I genes have lower expression, are more monomorphic and do not present peptides to T-cells. To get a better understanding of the highly duplicated MHC genes in songbirds, we studied gene expression in a phylogenetic framework in three species of sparrows (house sparrow, tree sparrow and Spanish sparrow), using high-throughput sequencing. We hypothesize that sparrows could have classical and non-classical genes, as previously indicated though never tested using gene expression. The phylogenetic analyses reveal two distinct types of MHC-I alleles among the three sparrow species, one with high and one with low level of polymorphism, thus resembling classical and non-classical genes, respectively. All individuals had both types of alleles, but there was copy number variation both within and among the sparrow species. However, the number of highly polymorphic alleles that were expressed did not vary between species, suggesting that the structural genomic variation is counterbalanced by conserved gene expression. Overall, 50% of the MHC-I alleles were expressed in sparrows. Expression of the highly polymorphic alleles was very variable, whereas the alleles with low polymorphism had uniformly low expression. Interestingly, within an individual only one or two alleles from the polymorphic genes were highly expressed, indicating that only a single copy of these is highly expressed. Taken together, the phylogenetic reconstruction and the analyses of expression suggest that sparrows have both classical and non

  17. Effects of Abiotic Factors on the Geographic Distribution of Body Size Variation and Chromosomal Polymorphisms in Two Neotropical Grasshopper Species (Dichroplus: Melanoplinae: Acrididae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio J. Bidau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We review the effects of abiotic factors on body size in two grasshopper species with large geographical distributions: Dichroplus pratensis and D. vittatus, inhabiting Argentina in diverse natural habitats. Geographical spans for both species provide an opportunity to study the effects of changes in abiotic factors on body size. The analyses of body size distribution in both species revealed a converse Bergmannian pattern: body size is positively correlated with latitude, altitude, and seasonality that influences time available for development and growth. Allen’s rule is also inverted. Morphological variability increases towards the ends of the Bergmannian clines and, in D. pratensis, is related with a central-marginal distribution of chromosomal variants that influence recombination. The converse Bergmannian patterns influence sexual size dimorphism in both species but in different fashions. Body size variation at a microspatial scale in D. pratensis is extremely sensitive to microclimatic clines. We finally compare our results with those for other Orthopteran species.

  18. Should I stay or should I go? Female brood desertion and male counterstrategy in rock sparrows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    Brood desertion involves a series of interactions between the members of a pair. This process is likely to be based on either member's perception of the other's propensity to desert. We manipulated this perception in males by experimentally increasing female body mass in the rock sparrow (Petronia...... petronia), a species in which females can desert their first brood before the nestlings from the first brood leave the nest. We predicted that the male would either desert the brood first or stay even if this implied the risk of caring for the brood alone. We found that males mated to loaded females did...... not leave but stayed and significantly increased their courtship rate and mate guarding. Unexpectedly, they also increased their food provisioning to the nestlings, even though loaded females did not reduce their nestling-feeding rate. The increase in male feeding rate may be explained as a way for the male...

  19. Reading, laterality, and the brain: early contributions on reading disabilities by Sara S. Sparrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jack M; Morris, Robin D

    2014-02-01

    Although best known for work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, training in speech pathology and a doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology was the foundation for Sara Sparrow's long-term interest in reading disabilities. Her first papers were on dyslexia and laterality, and the maturational lag theory of developmental dyslexia proposed with Paul Satz, her mentor. The research program that emerged from this work had a wide impact on early neuropsychological models of reading disabilities. Although Sara went on to research focused on children with other developmental disabilities after she moved to Yale University, this initial research influenced her career- long interests in assessment, developmental models of disabilities, and early screening methods.

  20. Control of grasshoppers by combined application of Paranosema locustae and an insect growth regulator (IGR) (cascade) in rangelands in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yanyan; An, Zhao; Shi, Wangpeng

    2012-12-01

    The relatively low direct mortality caused by Paranosema locustae (Canning) has limited its application for controlling grasshopper when densities are high, and this study sought to determine if the simultaneous use of this pathogen and the IGR, Flufenoxuron (Cascade) could provide effective control. Nine treatments were tested: 45% Malathion EC at 1500 ml/ha, 5% Cascade at 150 ml/ha, 5% Cascade at 75 ml/ha, 5% Cascade at 37.5 ml/ha, P. locustae at 7.5 x 10(9) spores/ha, combinations of 5% Cascade at 75 ml/ha and P. locustae at 7.5 x 10(9) spores/ha, applied in different rations (1:1, 1:2, 1:3) in the same plot, the untreated control. P. locustae was applied on nonoverlapping plots with the IGR. The different in-plot combinations of P. locustae and Cascade in different ratios provided significantly better overall control of grasshoppers (all species) than the treatment of 5% Cascade of 150 ml/ha after 5d, but combinations were not significantly different from the other concentrations of Cascade after 12 and 31 d. When results were examined separately for specific species of grasshoppers, reduction of Dasyhippus harbipes (Fischer-Waldheim), was higher than that of Myrmeleotettix palpalis (Zubovsky). While combinations showed significant differences in the infection of different grasshopper species at 5 and 12 d posttreatment, no significant differences in rate of infection among the primary species (M. palpalis, D. harbipes, and Oedaleus asiaticus Bei-Bienko) were detected 31 d posttreatment. Our study found that P. locustae by itself could control grasshopper populations at medium densities but the combined application of P. locustae and Cascade at a ratio of 1:2 was more effective against high-density grasshopper populations.

  1. A Digital Hydrologic Network Supporting NAWQA MRB SPARROW Modeling--MRB_E2RF1WS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brakebill, J.W.; Terziotti, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    A digital hydrologic network was developed to support SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models within selected regions of the United States. These regions correspond with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Major River Basin (MRB) study units 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 (Preston and others, 2009). MRB2, covers the South Atlantic-Gulf and Tennessee River basins. MRB3, covers the Great Lakes, Ohio, Upper Mississippi, and Souris-Red-Rainy River basins. MRB4, covers the Missouri River basins. MRB5, covers the Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf River basins. MRB7, covers the Pacific Northwest River basins. The digital hydrologic network described here represents surface-water pathways (MRB_E2RF1) and associated catchments (MRB_E2RF1WS). It serves as the fundamental framework to spatially reference and summarize explanatory information supporting nutrient SPARROW models (Brakebill and others, 2011; Wieczorek and LaMotte, 2011). The principal geospatial dataset used to support this regional effort was based on an enhanced version of a 1:500,000 scale digital stream-reach network (ERF1_2) (Nolan et al., 2002). Enhancements included associating over 3,500 water-quality monitoring sites to the reach network, improving physical locations of stream reaches at or near monitoring locations, and generating drainage catchments based on 100m elevation data. A unique number (MRB_ID) identifies each reach as a single unit. This unique number is also shared by the catchment area drained by the reach, thus spatially linking the hydrologically connected streams and the respective drainage area characteristics. In addition, other relevant physical, environmental, and monitoring information can be associated to the common network and accessed using the unique identification number.

  2. A Digital Hydrologic Network Supporting NAWQA MRB SPARROW Modeling--MRB_E2RF1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brakebill, J.W.; Terziotti, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    A digital hydrologic network was developed to support SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models within selected regions of the United States. These regions correspond with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Major River Basin (MRB) study units 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 (Preston and others, 2009). MRB2, covers the South Atlantic-Gulf and Tennessee River basins. MRB3, covers the Great Lakes, Ohio, Upper Mississippi, and Souris-Red-Rainy River basins. MRB4, covers the Missouri River basins. MRB5, covers the Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf River basins. MRB7, covers the Pacific Northwest River basins. The digital hydrologic network described here represents surface-water pathways (MRB_E2RF1) and associated catchments (MRB_E2RF1WS). It serves as the fundamental framework to spatially reference and summarize explanatory information supporting nutrient SPARROW models (Brakebill and others, 2011; Wieczorek and LaMotte, 2011). The principal geospatial dataset used to support this regional effort was based on an enhanced version of a 1:500,000 scale digital stream-reach network (ERF1_2) (Nolan et al., 2002). Enhancements included associating over 3,500 water-quality monitoring sites to the reach network, improving physical locations of stream reaches at or near monitoring locations, and generating drainage catchments based on 100m elevation data. A unique number (MRB_ID) identifies each reach as a single unit. This unique number is also shared by the catchment area drained by the reach, thus spatially linking the hydrologically connected streams and the respective drainage area characteristics. In addition, other relevant physical, environmental, and monitoring information can be associated to the common network and accessed using the unique identification number.

  3. Genes located in a chromosomal inversion are correlated with territorial song in white-throated sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinzow-Kramer, W M; Horton, B M; McKee, C D; Michaud, J M; Tharp, G K; Thomas, J W; Tuttle, E M; Yi, S; Maney, D L

    2015-11-01

    The genome of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) contains an inversion polymorphism on chromosome 2 that is linked to predictable variation in a suite of phenotypic traits including plumage color, aggression and parental behavior. Differences in gene expression between the two color morphs, which represent the two common inversion genotypes (ZAL2/ZAL2 and ZAL2/ZAL2(m) ), may therefore advance our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of these phenotypes. To identify genes that are differentially expressed between the two morphs and correlated with behavior, we quantified gene expression and terrirorial aggression, including song, in a population of free-living white-throated sparrows. We analyzed gene expression in two brain regions, the medial amygdala (MeA) and hypothalamus. Both regions are part of a 'social behavior network', which is rich in steroid hormone receptors and previously linked with territorial behavior. Using weighted gene co-expression network analyses, we identified modules of genes that were correlated with both morph and singing behavior. The majority of these genes were located within the inversion, showing the profound effect of the inversion on the expression of genes captured by the rearrangement. These modules were enriched with genes related to retinoic acid signaling and basic cellular functioning. In the MeA, the most prominent pathways were those related to steroid hormone receptor activity. Within these pathways, the only gene encoding such a receptor was ESR1 (estrogen receptor 1), a gene previously shown to predict song rate in this species. The set of candidate genes we identified may mediate the effects of a chromosomal inversion on territorial behavior. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  4. Microsatellite Markers for the Chameleon Grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis (Orthoptera: Acrididae, an Australian Alpine Specialist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ange-Marie Risterucci

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available A set of polymorphic loci was characterised using an enrichment library for the Australian alpine specialist, the chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis, an atypical grasshopper known for its remarkable temperature-controlled colour change. The number of alleles per locus ranged from three to 20 and observed heterozygosity from 0.16 to 0.76. These are the first microsatellite markers for a non-endangered Australian alpine animal and will inform questions of gene flow across the sky islands of this unique and threatened region.

  5. Change in the Chemical Profile of Mangifera indica Leaves after their Metabolism in the Tropidacris collaris Grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Rodolfo R; Moraes, Marcilio M; Camara, Claudio A G; Ramos, Clécio S

    2015-11-01

    This present work addresses research on the discovery of new compounds from natural sources. It is based on a study of Mangifera indica leaf metabolism by the Tropidacris collaris grasshopper. We found that the grasshopper hydrolyzed the flavonoid isoquercitrin to quercetin when the O-glycosidic bond was broken and sugar released as a probable energy source for the insect. There was not, however, hydrolysis of the major compound in the leaves, mangiferin, which contains the C-glycosidic bond. All compounds were isolated and their chemical structure determined by UV, IR, MS, 1H and 13C NMR.

  6. Deep phylogeographic divergence and cytonuclear discordance in the grasshopper Oedaleus decorus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindler, Eveline; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Heckel, Gerald

    2012-11-01

    The grasshopper Oedaleus decorus is a thermophilic insect with a large, mostly south-Palaearctic distribution range, stretching from the Mediterranean regions in Europe to Central-Asia and China. In this study, we analyzed the extent of phylogenetic divergence and the recent evolutionary history of the species based on 274 specimens from 26 localities across the distribution range in Europe. Phylogenetic relationships were determined using sequences of two mitochondrial loci (ctr, ND2) with neighbour-joining and Bayesian methods. Additionally, genetic differentiation was analyzed based on mitochondrial DNA and 11 microsatellite markers using F-statistics, model-free multivariate and model-based Bayesian clustering approaches. Phylogenetic analyses detected consistently two highly divergent, allopatrically distributed lineages within O. decorus. The divergence among these Western and Eastern lineages meeting in the region of the Alps was similar to the divergence of each lineage to the sister species O. asiaticus. Genetic differentiation for ctr was extremely high between Western and Eastern grasshopper populations (F(ct)=0.95). Microsatellite markers detected much lower but nevertheless very significant genetic structure among population samples. The nuclear data also demonstrated a case of cytonuclear discordance because the affiliation with mitochondrial lineages was incongruent in Northern Italy. Taken together these results provide evidence of an ancient separation within Oedaleus and either historical introgression of mtDNA among lineages and/or ongoing sex-specific gene flow in this grasshopper. Our study stresses the importance of multilocus approaches for unravelling the history and status of taxa of uncertain evolutionary divergence. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Age structure and feeding of the neotropical grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Bruner) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) on water hyacinth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, M C; de Wysiecki, M L; Poi, A

    2013-08-01

    We aimed to evaluate the variation in the age structure of Cornops aquaticum (Bruner) population and its relation to the host plant biomass and the feeding of the different age classes of this grasshopper on the water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes along 2 years, in a Paraná River floodplain lake (Chaco, Argentina). Individuals of C. aquaticum were captured with a 70-cm diameter sweep and separated in nymphs A (instars I and II), nymphs B (instars III to VI), adult females, and adult males; host plant biomass was sampled using a ring with a 0.30-m(2) diameter. Relative daily feeding of C. aquaticum population was calculated by multiplying the number of individuals captured per minute by the daily consumption by individual obtained in each age classes. We found that the age structure and the relative daily feeding of C. aquaticum varied between seasons and years. The highest values of grasshopper abundance, leaf biomass, and relative daily feeding of C. aquaticum population were observed in summer 2006. Plant biomass was directly correlated with nymph abundance and not correlated with adult abundance. Plant biomass available as refuge (leaves), food (laminas), and oviposition site (petioles) to C. aquaticum represented up to 62% of the total plant biomass. The results obtained in C. aquaticum show the importance of considering total plant biomass and plant biomass available for herbivores separately. Our study highlights the need to find an adequate method to estimate the density of C. aquaticum and other semiaquatic grasshoppers in the Paraná River floodplain involving different seasons, years, and water phases (rising and falling).

  8. Specificity Responses of Grasshoppers in Temperate Grasslands to Diel Asymmetric Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tingjuan; Hao, Shuguang; Sun, Osbert Jianxin; Kang, Le

    2012-01-01

    Background Global warming is characterized by not only an increase in the daily mean temperature, but also a diel asymmetric pattern. However, most of the current studies on climate change have only concerned with the mean values of the warming trend. Although many studies have been conducted concerning the responses of insects to climate change, studies that address the issue of diel asymmetric warming under field conditions are not found in the literature. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a field climate manipulative experiment and investigated developmental and demographic responses to diel asymmetric warming in three grasshopper species (an early-season species Dasyhippus barbipes, a mid-season species Oedaleus asiaticus, and a late-season species Chorthippus fallax). It was found that warming generally advanced the development of eggs and nymphs, but had no apparent impacts on the hatching rate of eggs, the emergence rate of nymphs and the survival and fecundity of adults in all the three species. Nighttime warming was more effective in advancing egg development than the daytime warming. The emergence time of adults was differentially advanced by warming in the three species; it was advanced by 5.64 days in C. fallax, 3.55 days in O. asiaticus, and 1.96 days in D. barbipes. This phenological advancement was associated with increases in the effective GDDs accumulation. Conclusions/Significance Results in this study indicate that the responses of the three grasshopper species to warming are influenced by several factors, including species traits, developmental stage, and the thermal sensitivity of the species. Moreover, species with diapausing eggs are less responsive to changes in temperature regimes, suggesting that development of diapausing eggs is a protective mechanism in early-season grasshopper for avoiding the risk of pre-winter hatching. Our results highlight the need to consider the complex relationships between climate change and

  9. Trait similarity patterns within grass and grasshopper communities: multitrophic community assembly at work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Plas, F; Anderson, T M; Olff, H

    2012-04-01

    Trait-based community assembly theory suggests that trait variation among co-occurring species is shaped by two main processes: abiotic filtering, important in stressful environments and promoting similarity, and competition, more important in productive environments and promoting dissimilarity. Previous studies have indeed found trait similarity to decline along productivity gradients. However, these studies have always been done on single trophic levels. Here, we investigated how interactions between trophic levels affect trait similarity patterns along environmental gradients. We propose three hypotheses for the main drivers of trait similarity patterns of plants and herbivores along environmental gradients: (1) environmental control of both, (2) bottom-up control of herbivore trait variation, and (3) top-down control of grass trait variation. To test this, we collected data on the community composition and trait variation of grasses (41 species) and grasshoppers (53 species) in 50 plots in a South African savanna. Structural equation models were used to investigate how the range and spacing of within-community functional trait values of both grasses and their insect herbivores (grasshoppers; Acrididae) respond to (1) rainfall and fire frequency gradients and (2) the trait similarity patterns of the other trophic level. The analyses revealed that traits of co-occurring grasses became more similar toward lower rainfall and higher fire frequency (environmental control), while showing little evidence for top-down control. Grasshopper trait range patterns, on the other hand, were mostly directly driven by vegetation structure and grass trait range patterns (bottom-up control), while environmental factors had mostly indirect effects via plant traits. Our study shows the potential to expand trait-based community assembly theory to include trophic interactions.

  10. Does insecticide drift adversely affect grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Saltatoria) in field margins? A case study combining laboratory acute toxicity testing with field monitoring data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundschuh, Rebecca; Schmitz, Juliane; Bundschuh, Mirco; Brühl, Carsten Albrecht

    2012-08-01

    The current terrestrial risk assessment of insecticides regarding nontarget arthropods considers exclusively beneficial organisms, whereas herbivorous insects, such as grasshoppers, are ignored. However, grasshoppers living in field margins or meadows adjacent to crops may potentially be exposed to insecticides due to contact with or ingestion of contaminated food. Therefore, the present study assessed effects of five active ingredients of insecticides (dimethoate, pirimicarb, imidacloprid, lambda-cyhalothrin, and deltamethrin) on the survival of Chorthippus sp. grasshopper nymphs by considering two routes of exposure (contact and oral). The experiments were accompanied by monitoring field margins that neighbored cereals, vineyards, and orchards. Grasslands were used as reference sites. The laboratory toxicity tests revealed a sensitivity of grasshoppers with regard to the insecticides tested in the present study similar to that of the standard test species used in arthropod risk assessments. In the field monitoring program, increasing grasshopper densities were detected with increasing field margin width next to cereals and vineyards, but densities remained low over the whole range of field margins from 0.5 to 20 m next to orchards. Grasshopper densities equivalent to those of grassland sites were only observed in field margins exceeding 9 m in width, except for field margins next to orchards. These results may indicate that current insecticide risk assessments are insufficiently protective for grasshoppers in field margins. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  11. Preferential Occupancy of R2 Retroelements on the B Chromosomes of the Grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans

    OpenAIRE

    Montiel, Eugenia E.; Cabrero, Josefa; Ruiz-Estévez, Mercedes; Burke, William D.; Eickbush, Thomas H.; Camacho, Juan Pedro M.; López-León, María Dolores

    2014-01-01

    R2 non-LTR retrotransposons exclusively insert into the 28S rRNA genes of their host, and are expressed by co-transcription with the rDNA unit. The grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans contains transcribed rDNA clusters on most of its A chromosomes, as well as non-transcribed rDNA clusters on the parasitic B chromosomes found in many populations. Here the structure of the E. plorans R2 element, its abundance relative to the number of rDNA units and its retrotransposition activity were determined...

  12. Short Communication A small B chromosome in the grasshopper Ommexecha virens (Ommexechidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, T E; Silva-Neto, L C; Santos, J F; Loreto, V; Rieger, T T

    2015-12-21

    B chromosomes, also called supernumerary or accessory chromosomes, have been characterized as extra elements found in the karyotypes of different eukaryotic species. B chromosomes are nonvital and only occur in some individuals within a species. Moreover, the chromosomes contain silenced genes, and they exhibit heterochromatinization and the accumulation of repetitive DNA and transposons. In the present study, we describe an extra chromosome in the grasshopper Ommexecha virens for the first time, using conventional staining and fluorescent in situ hybridization techniques, and we discuss the possible origin of the B chromosome.

  13. Performance tests of a 2-meter grasshopper monochromator at photon factory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yanagihara, Mihiro; Maezawa, Hideki; Sasaki, Taizo; Suzuki, Yoshio; Iguchi, Yasuo.

    1984-12-01

    A 2-meter grasshopper monochromator was installed and adjusted at BL-11A in Photon Factory, and performance tests were carried out. The usable photon energy range for the monochromator is 90 to 1000 eV for a 2400 grooves/mm grating, and the flux is 10 8 - 10 9 photons/sec for entrance and exit slit widths of 15 μm. A resolving power of about 2000 is realized at 250 eV for this slit width. (author)

  14. Farmers' perception on the importance of variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus (L.)) in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kekeunou, Sévilor; Weise, Stephan; Messi, Jean; Tamò, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Background Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) is known as an agricultural pest in West and Central Africa. However, its importance in the agricultural production system in Cameroon has not been investigated. The study assesses farmers' perception on the importance of Z. variegatus in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Methods Research was carried out in 5 villages of each of three Agro-Ecological, Cultural and Demographic Blocks (AECD-Blocks) of the Forest Margin Benchmark Area (FMBA). In each village, a semi-structured survey was used; male and female groups of farmers were interviewed separately. Results Z. variegatus is present throughout the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon, where it is ranked as the third most economically important insect pest of agriculture. In the farmers' opinion, Z. variegatus is a polyphagous insect with little impact on young perennial crops. The length of the pre-farming fallow does not affect Z. variegatus pest pressure in the following crops. The increased impact of the grasshopper observed today in the fields, compared to what existed 10 years ago is as a result of deforestation and increase in surface of herbaceous fallow. The damage caused by Z. variegatus is higher in fields adjacent to C. odorata and herbaceous fallows than in those adjacent to forests and shrubby fallows. The fight against this grasshopper is often done through physical methods carried out by hand, for human consumption. The farmers highlight low usage of the chemical methods and a total absence of biological and ecological methods. Conclusion Farmers' perception have contributed to understanding the status of Z. variegatus in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. The results are in general similar to those obtained in other countries. PMID:16573815

  15. Farmers' perception on the importance of variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus (L. in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Messi Jean

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758 (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae is known as an agricultural pest in West and Central Africa. However, its importance in the agricultural production system in Cameroon has not been investigated. The study assesses farmers' perception on the importance of Z. variegatus in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Methods Research was carried out in 5 villages of each of three Agro-Ecological, Cultural and Demographic Blocks (AECD-Blocks of the Forest Margin Benchmark Area (FMBA. In each village, a semi-structured survey was used; male and female groups of farmers were interviewed separately. Results Z. variegatus is present throughout the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon, where it is ranked as the third most economically important insect pest of agriculture. In the farmers' opinion, Z. variegatus is a polyphagous insect with little impact on young perennial crops. The length of the pre-farming fallow does not affect Z. variegatus pest pressure in the following crops. The increased impact of the grasshopper observed today in the fields, compared to what existed 10 years ago is as a result of deforestation and increase in surface of herbaceous fallow. The damage caused by Z. variegatus is higher in fields adjacent to C. odorata and herbaceous fallows than in those adjacent to forests and shrubby fallows. The fight against this grasshopper is often done through physical methods carried out by hand, for human consumption. The farmers highlight low usage of the chemical methods and a total absence of biological and ecological methods. Conclusion Farmers' perception have contributed to understanding the status of Z. variegatus in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. The results are in general similar to those obtained in other countries.

  16. Intestinal digestive enzyme modulation in house sparrow nestlings occurs within 24 h of a change in diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rott, Katherine H; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H

    2017-08-01

    Nestling house sparrows near fledging age (12 days) were previously found to reversibly modulate the activity of their intestinal digestive enzymes in response to changes in diet composition. However, it is not known how quickly nestlings can adjust to new diets with different substrate compositions, nor is it known how early in life nestlings can modulate their enzyme activity in response to changes in diet. In the present study, 3-day-old nestlings were captured from the wild and fed and switched among contrasting diets - one high in protein and low in carbohydrate and another higher in carbohydrate and with lower, but adequate, protein - in order to determine (1) how quickly house sparrow nestlings could adjust to changes in diet composition, (2) how early in life nestlings could modulate their digestive enzyme activity in response to these changes and (3) which digestive enzymes could be modulated in house sparrow nestlings earlier in life. We found that house sparrow nestlings as young as 3 days post-hatch were capable of modulating their intestinal disaccharidase activity within 24 h of a change in diet composition, and nestlings gained the ability to modulate aminopeptidase-N by 6 or 7 days of age. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of digestive enzyme modulation completed within 24 h of a change in diet in an avian species and the first study to show intestinal digestive enzyme modulation in response to changes in diet composition in any animal this early in development. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Large-scale spatial variation in feather corticosterone in invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Mexico is related to climate

    OpenAIRE

    Treen, Gillian D; Hobson, Keith A; Marchant, Tracy A; Bortolotti, Gary R

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists frequently use physiological tools to understand how organisms cope with their surroundings but rarely at macroecological scales. This study describes spatial variation in corticosterone (CORT) levels in feathers of invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across their range in Mexico and evaluates CORT–climate relationships with a focus on temperature and precipitation. Samples were collected from 49 sites across Mexico. Feather CORT (CORTf) was measured using methanol-based ex...

  18. The Influence of Urban Environments on Oxidative Stress Balance: A Case Study on the House Sparrow in the Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amparo Herrera-Dueñas

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The House Sparrow is a globally distributed species and is closely associated with anthropised environments. They are well-adapted to urban life; therefore the decline of their populations in Europe represents an unexpected event that demands an investigation into its causes. Causes that have promoted this decline are not well-known, but one of the highlighted hypotheses is an increase of oxidative stress linked to the toxicity of pollution in urban areas. From an ecophysiological perspective, oxidative damage, antioxidant defense, and oxidative balance are considered reliable indicators of environmental stressors such as pollutants. To carry out this study, blood samples were collected from House Sparrows in three different habitats that varied in terms of urbanization degree: urban, suburban, and rural; during the winter and breeding season. According to our results, urban sparrows showed higher levels of oxidative damage and higher activity of antioxidant enzymes, but lower antioxidant capacity in comparison with the rural birds; and these differences especially increase during the breeding season. The maintenance of oxidative balance increases in an urban environment in comparison to a rural one; we suggest that the high level of pollution and the poor quality diet linked to urban environments. The breeding season is expected to be particularly challenging for the oxidative balance of urban birds, when the reallocation of resources between self-maintenance and reproduction may be critical due to the scarcity of antioxidants found in urban areas. This study may contribute to determining the causes of the population decrease of House Sparrows in cities.

  19. Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks Show a Mixed Response to Cattle Grazing in the Intermountain Region of British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan L. Harrison

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Livestock grazing in the shortgrass steppe of the Intermountain region of British Columbia is predicted to have significant effects on grassland habitats and their associated ground-nesting bird communities. We tested whether grazed and ungrazed sites could be discriminated on the basis of their vegetation communities, whether the abundance of two ground-nesting bird species, Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus and Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta, differed between grazed and ungrazed sites, and whether vegetation variables found to differ between grazed and ungrazed plots could be used to predict the abundance of the two bird species at a fine scale. Grazed sites were easily distinguishable from a site that had been ungrazed for >30 years based on the structure and composition of their vegetation communities. However, more detailed grazing categories could not be distinguished on the basis of vegetation characteristics. Despite the existence of grazing effects on vegetation structure and composition, we found no consistent differences in abundance of Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks between the grazed and ungrazed sites. However, there was weak evidence that the abundance of both species was higher at fine-scale plots (100 m radius point count station with less bare ground and taller vegetation. Bare ground cover was lower on grazed plots, but vegetation was taller on ungrazed plots. Combined, our results suggest that low intensity grazing leads to grassland habitat change with both negative and positive effects on Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks, resulting in no net change in their broad-scale abundance.

  20. Invertebrates of The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Western Cascades, Oregon: III. The Orthoptera (Grasshoppers and Crickets).

    Science.gov (United States)

    David C. Lightfoot

    1986-01-01

    An inventory of Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets) at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, near Blue River, Oregon, was conducted to determine the species present and ecological relationships. A key for identification and an annotated list are presented. From qualitative assessments of successional habitat relationships, generalized species associations of forest...

  1. DNA double-strand breaks, recombination and synapsis: the timing of meiosis differs in grasshoppers and flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viera, Alberto; Santos, Juan L; Page, Jesús; Parra, M Teresa; Calvente, Adela; Cifuentes, Marta; Gómez, Rocío; Lira, Renee; Suja, José A; Rufas, Julio S

    2004-04-01

    The temporal and functional relationships between DNA events of meiotic recombination and synaptonemal complex formation are a matter of discussion within the meiotic field. To analyse this subject in grasshoppers, organisms that have been considered as models for meiotic studies for many years, we have studied the localization of phosphorylated histone H2AX (gamma-H2AX), which marks the sites of double-strand breaks (DSBs), in combination with localization of cohesin SMC3 and recombinase Rad51. We show that the loss of gamma-H2AX staining is spatially and temporally linked to synapsis, and that in grasshoppers the initiation of recombination, produced as a consequence of DSB formation, precedes synapsis. This result supports the idea that grasshoppers display a pairing pathway that is not present in other insects such as Drosophila melanogaster, but is similar to those reported in yeast, mouse and Arabidopsis. In addition, we have observed the presence of gamma-H2AX in the X chromosome from zygotene to late pachytene, indicating that the function of H2AX phosphorylation during grasshopper spermatogenesis is not restricted to the formation of gamma-H2AX foci at DNA DSBs.

  2. MicroRNAs of the mesothorax in Qinlingacris elaeodes, an alpine grasshopper showing a wing polymorphism with unilateral wing form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, R; Jiang, G F; Ren, Q P; Wang, Y T; Zhou, X M; Zhou, C F; Qin, D Z

    2016-04-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are now recognized as key post-transcriptional regulators in regulation of phenotypic diversity. Qinlingacris elaeodes is a species of the alpine grasshopper, which is endemic to China. Adult individuals have three wing forms: wingless, unilateral-winged and short-winged. This is an ideal species to investigate the phenotypic plasticity, development and evolution of insect wings because of its case of unilateral wing form in both the sexes. We sequenced a small RNA library prepared from mesothoraxes of the adult grasshoppers using the Illumina deep sequencing technology. Approximately 12,792,458 raw reads were generated, of which the 854,580 high-quality reads were used only for miRNA identification. In this study, we identified 49 conserved miRNAs belonging to 41 families and 69 species-specific miRNAs. Moreover, seven miRNA*s were detected both for conserved miRNAs and species-specific miRNAs, which were supported by hairpin forming precursors based on polymerase chain reaction. This is the first description of miRNAs in alpine grasshoppers. The results provide a useful resource for further studies on molecular regulation and evolution of miRNAs in grasshoppers. These findings not only enrich the miRNAs for insects but also lay the groundwork for the study of post-transcriptional regulation of wing forms.

  3. Level of heat shock proteins decreases in individuals carrying B-chromosomes in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teruel, M; Sørensen, Jesper Givskov; Loeschcke, Volker

    2010-01-01

    We analyzed the effect of B-chromosome presence on expression level of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) in cerebral ganglion and gonad in both males and females of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans. Two natural Spanish populations, Salobreña (Granada) and Torrox (Málaga) were assayed, the former...

  4. A novel adipokinetic peptide from the corpus cardiacum of the primitive caeliferan pygmy grasshopper Tetrix subulata (Caelifera, Tetrigidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gäde, G.; Šimek, Petr; Marco, H. G.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 68, JUN 01 (2015), s. 43-49 ISSN 0196-9781 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-18509S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : insects * pygmy grasshopper s * Tetrigidae Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.535, year: 2015 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196978115000339

  5. Plant DNA Detection from Grasshopper Guts: A Step-by-Step Protocol, from Tissue Preparation to Obtaining Plant DNA Sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Avanesyan

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Premise of the study: A PCR-based method of identifying ingested plant DNA in gut contents of Melanoplus grasshoppers was developed. Although previous investigations have focused on a variety of insects, there are no protocols available for plant DNA detection developed for grasshoppers, agricultural pests that significantly influence plant community composition. Methods and Results: The developed protocol successfully used the noncoding region of the chloroplast trnL (UAA gene and was tested in several feeding experiments. Plant DNA was obtained at seven time points post-ingestion from whole guts and separate gut sections, and was detectable up to 12 h post-ingestion in nymphs and 22 h post-ingestion in adult grasshoppers. Conclusions: The proposed protocol is an effective, relatively quick, and low-cost method of detecting plant DNA from the grasshopper gut and its different sections. This has important applications, from exploring plant “movement” during food consumption, to detecting plant–insect interactions.

  6. Effects of altered seasonality of precipitation on grass production and grasshopper performance in a northern mixed prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climatic changes are leading to differing patterns and timing of precipitation in grassland ecosystems, with the seasonal timing of precipitation affecting plant biomass and plant composition. No previous studies have examined how drought seasonality affects grasshopper performance and the impact of...

  7. Computational principles underlying recognition of acoustic signals in grasshoppers and crickets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronacher, Bernhard; Hennig, R Matthias; Clemens, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Grasshoppers and crickets independently evolved hearing organs and acoustic communication. They differ considerably in the organization of their auditory pathways, and the complexity of their songs, which are essential for mate attraction. Recent approaches aimed at describing the behavioral preference functions of females in both taxa by a simple modeling framework. The basic structure of the model consists of three processing steps: (1) feature extraction with a bank of 'LN models'-each containing a linear filter followed by a nonlinearity, (2) temporal integration, and (3) linear combination. The specific properties of the filters and nonlinearities were determined using a genetic learning algorithm trained on a large set of different song features and the corresponding behavioral response scores. The model showed an excellent prediction of the behavioral responses to the tested songs. Most remarkably, in both taxa the genetic algorithm found Gabor-like functions as the optimal filter shapes. By slight modifications of Gabor filters several types of preference functions could be modeled, which are observed in different cricket species. Furthermore, this model was able to explain several so far enigmatic results in grasshoppers. The computational approach offered a remarkably simple framework that can account for phenotypically rather different preference functions across several taxa.

  8. DNA barcoding reveals polymorphism in the pygmy grasshopper Tetrix bolivari (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ling; Lin, Li-Liang; Zheng, Zhe-Min

    2016-01-01

    Many pygmy grasshopper species exhibit colour-marking polymorphism. However, this polymorphism in some species, such as Tetrix bolivari, is almost unknown. The aim of this work is to identify using DNA barcoding the colour-marking polymorphic morphs of this pygmy grasshopper species collected from both grass and sand microhabitats. Analysis by NJ clustering and pairwise distances indicated that all specimens collected showing colour-marking polymorphism are species of Tetrix bolivari. Haplotype network construction showed ten different haplotypes from a total of 57 Tetrix bolivari individuals with H1(82.5%) being the most common type and it also displayed low divergence within Tetrix bolivari population. The haplotype analyses were consistent with the NJ clustering. Our field census showed the frequency of Tetrix bolivari morphs differed significantly, with the rank order of morphs (from high to low) typeA1, type B1, type A2, type A3, type A4, type A5, type A6, type A7, type B2, type B3, and type B4. The most common type A morphs were without contrasting markings, while the rarer type B morphs have contrasting white markings. We suggest that type B morphs have greater camouflage effects against natural backgrounds such as grass or sand than type A morphs. Both our field census and haplotype analysis revealed that type A has higher frequency and more haplotypes than type B.

  9. Differentiations of chitin content and surface morphologies of chitins extracted from male and female grasshopper species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat Kaya

    Full Text Available In this study, we used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR, elemental analysis (EA, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA, X-ray diffractometry (XRD, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM to investigate chitin structure isolated from both sexes of four grasshopper species. FT-IR, EA, XRD, and TGA showed that the chitin was in the alpha form. With respect to gender, two main differences were observed. First, we observed that the quantity of chitin was greater in males than in females and the dry weight of chitin between species ranged from 4.71% to 11.84%. Second, using SEM, we observed that the male chitin surface structure contained 25-90 nm wide nanofibers and 90-250 nm nanopores, while no pores or nanofibers were observed in the chitin surface structure of the majority of females (nanofibers were observed only in M. desertus females. In contrast, the elemental analysis, thermal properties, and crystalline index values for chitin were similar in males and females. Also, we carried out enzymatic digestion of the isolated chitins using commercial chitinase from Streptomyces griseus. We observed that there were no big differences in digestion rate of the chitins from both sexes and commercial chitin. The digestion rates were for grasshoppers' chitins; 88.45-95.48% and for commercial chitin; 94.95%.

  10. High similarity in physicochemical properties of chitin and chitosan from nymphs and adults of a grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdogan, Sevil; Kaya, Murat

    2016-08-01

    This is the first study to explain the differences in the physicochemical properties of chitin and chitosan obtained from the nymphs and adults of Dociostaurus maroccanus using the same method. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and x-ray diffraction analysis results demonstrated that the chitins from both the adults and nymphs were in the α-form. The chitin contents of the adults (14%) and nymphs (12%) were of the same order of magnitude. The crystalline index values of chitins from the adult and nymph grasshoppers were 71% and 74%, respectively. Thermal stabilities of the chitins and chitosans from adult and nymph grasshoppers were close to each other. Both the adult (7.2kDa) and nymph (5.6kDa) chitosans had low molar masses. Environmental scanning electron microscopy revealed that the surface morphologies of both chitins consisted of nanofibers and nanopores together, and they were very similar to each other. Consequently, it was determined that the physicochemical properties of the chitins and chitosans from adults and nymphs of D. maroccanus were not very different, so it can be hypothesized that the development of the chitin structure in the nymph has almost been completed and the nymph chitin has the same characteristics as the adult. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Differentiations of chitin content and surface morphologies of chitins extracted from male and female grasshopper species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaya, Murat; Lelešius, Evaldas; Nagrockaitė, Radvilė; Sargin, Idris; Arslan, Gulsin; Mol, Abbas; Baran, Talat; Can, Esra; Bitim, Betul

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), elemental analysis (EA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to investigate chitin structure isolated from both sexes of four grasshopper species. FT-IR, EA, XRD, and TGA showed that the chitin was in the alpha form. With respect to gender, two main differences were observed. First, we observed that the quantity of chitin was greater in males than in females and the dry weight of chitin between species ranged from 4.71% to 11.84%. Second, using SEM, we observed that the male chitin surface structure contained 25-90 nm wide nanofibers and 90-250 nm nanopores, while no pores or nanofibers were observed in the chitin surface structure of the majority of females (nanofibers were observed only in M. desertus females). In contrast, the elemental analysis, thermal properties, and crystalline index values for chitin were similar in males and females. Also, we carried out enzymatic digestion of the isolated chitins using commercial chitinase from Streptomyces griseus. We observed that there were no big differences in digestion rate of the chitins from both sexes and commercial chitin. The digestion rates were for grasshoppers' chitins; 88.45-95.48% and for commercial chitin; 94.95%.

  12. Pioneer neurons of the antennal nervous system project to protocerebral pioneers in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyan, George; Ehrhardt, Erica

    2015-11-01

    The twin nerve tracts of the antenna of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria are established early in embryogenesis by sibling pairs of pioneers which delaminate from the epithelium into the lumen at the antennal tip. These cells can be uniquely identified via their co-expression of the neuronal labels horseradish peroxidase and the lipocalin Lazarillo. The apical pioneers direct axons toward the antennal base where they encounter guidepost-like cells called base pioneers which transiently express the same molecular labels as the apical pioneers. To what extent the pioneer growth cones then progress into the brain neuropil proper, and what their targets there might be, has remained unclear. In this study, we show that the apical antennal pioneers project centrally beyond the antennal base first into the deutocerebral, and then into the protocerebral brain neuropils. In the protocerebrum, we identify their target circuitry as being identified Lazarillo-positive cells which themselves pioneer the primary axon scaffold of the brain. The apical and base antennal pioneers therefore form part of a molecularly contiguous pathway from the periphery to an identified central circuit of the embryonic grasshopper brain.

  13. Within-season variability of fighting behaviour in an Australian alpine grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muschett, Giselle; Umbers, Kate D L; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-01-01

    Throughout the breeding season, changing environmental and biological conditions can lead to variation in the reproductive landscape of many species. In alpine environments temperature is a key driver of behaviour for small ectotherms such as insects, but variable biotic factors such as mate quality and availability can also influence behaviour. Kosicuscola tristis is a small semelparous grasshopper of the Australian alpine region. In a rare behaviour among grasshoppers, K. tristis males engage in vigorous fights over access to females, involving mandible displays, kicking, biting and grappling. In this study we describe the variation in fighting behaviour of K. tristis throughout the breeding season and test several hypotheses related to temperature, body size, mating behaviour, and female quality. We show that K. tristis males are more aggressive toward each other at the end of the breeding season than at the beginning. This increased aggression is associated with decreased daily average temperatures (from ~20°C to ~9°C), decreased mating activity, increased female fecundity, and an unexpected trend toward an increase in female-to-male aggression. These results suggest that K. tristis is likely under increased selective pressure to time key life cycle events with favourable biological and climatic conditions. The stochastic nature of alpine environments combined with a relatively short life span and breeding season, as well as limited mating opportunities toward the end of the season may have contributed to the evolution of this extraordinary mating system.

  14. Suppression of grasshopper sound production by nitric oxide-releasing neurons of the central complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinrich, Anja; Kunst, Michael; Wirmer, Andrea; Holstein, Gay R.

    2008-01-01

    The central complex of acridid grasshoppers integrates sensory information pertinent to reproduction-related acoustic communication. Activation of nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic GMP-signaling by injection of NO donors into the central complex of restrained Chorthippus biguttulus females suppresses muscarine-stimulated sound production. In contrast, sound production is released by aminoguanidine (AG)-mediated inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the central body, suggesting a basal release of NO that suppresses singing in this situation. Using anti-citrulline immunocytochemistry to detect recent NO production, subtypes of columnar neurons with somata located in the pars intercerebralis and tangential neurons with somata in the ventro-median protocerebrum were distinctly labeled. Their arborizations in the central body upper division overlap with expression patterns for NOS and with the site of injection where NO donors suppress sound production. Systemic application of AG increases the responsiveness of unrestrained females to male calling songs. Identical treatment with the NOS inhibitor that increased male song-stimulated sound production in females induced a marked reduction of citrulline accumulation in central complex columnar and tangential neurons. We conclude that behavioral situations that are unfavorable for sound production (like being restrained) activate NOS-expressing central body neurons to release NO and elevate the behavioral threshold for sound production in female grasshoppers. PMID:18574586

  15. Within-season variability of fighting behaviour in an Australian alpine grasshopper.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giselle Muschett

    Full Text Available Throughout the breeding season, changing environmental and biological conditions can lead to variation in the reproductive landscape of many species. In alpine environments temperature is a key driver of behaviour for small ectotherms such as insects, but variable biotic factors such as mate quality and availability can also influence behaviour. Kosicuscola tristis is a small semelparous grasshopper of the Australian alpine region. In a rare behaviour among grasshoppers, K. tristis males engage in vigorous fights over access to females, involving mandible displays, kicking, biting and grappling. In this study we describe the variation in fighting behaviour of K. tristis throughout the breeding season and test several hypotheses related to temperature, body size, mating behaviour, and female quality. We show that K. tristis males are more aggressive toward each other at the end of the breeding season than at the beginning. This increased aggression is associated with decreased daily average temperatures (from ~20°C to ~9°C, decreased mating activity, increased female fecundity, and an unexpected trend toward an increase in female-to-male aggression. These results suggest that K. tristis is likely under increased selective pressure to time key life cycle events with favourable biological and climatic conditions. The stochastic nature of alpine environments combined with a relatively short life span and breeding season, as well as limited mating opportunities toward the end of the season may have contributed to the evolution of this extraordinary mating system.

  16. Homeostatic regulation of sleep in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cirelli Chiara

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sleep is regulated by both a circadian and a homeostatic process. The homeostatic process reflects the duration of prior wakefulness: the longer one stays awake, the longer and/or more intense is subsequent sleep. In mammals, the best marker of the homeostatic sleep drive is slow wave activity (SWA, the electroencephalographic (EEG power spectrum in the 0.5–4 Hz frequency range during non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep. In mammals, NREM sleep SWA is high at sleep onset, when sleep pressure is high, and decreases progressively to reach low levels in late sleep. Moreover, SWA increases further with sleep deprivation, when sleep also becomes less fragmented (the duration of sleep episodes increases, and the number of brief awakenings decreases. Although avian and mammalian sleep share several features, the evidence of a clear homeostatic response to sleep loss has been conflicting in the few avian species studied so far. The aim of the current study was therefore to ascertain whether established markers of sleep homeostasis in mammals are also present in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, a migratory songbird of the order Passeriformes. To accomplish this goal, we investigated amount of sleep, sleep time course, and measures of sleep intensity in 6 birds during baseline sleep and during recovery sleep following 6 hours of sleep deprivation. Results Continuous (24 hours EEG and video recordings were used to measure baseline sleep and recovery sleep following short-term sleep deprivation. Sleep stages were scored visually based on 4-sec epochs. EEG power spectra (0.5–25 Hz were calculated on consecutive 4-sec epochs. Four vigilance states were reliably distinguished based on behavior, visual inspection of the EEG, and spectral EEG analysis: Wakefulness (W, Drowsiness (D, slow wave sleep (SWS and rapid-eye movement (REM sleep. During baseline, SWA during D, SWS, and NREM sleep (defined as D and SWS

  17. An initial SPARROW model of land use and in-stream controls on total organic carbon in streams of the conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Jhih-Shyang; Alexander, Richard B.; Smith, Richard A.; Boyer, Elizabeth W.; Shwarz, Grogory E.; Chung, Susie

    2010-01-01

    Watersheds play many important roles in the carbon cycle: (1) they are a site for both terrestrial and aquatic carbon dioxide (CO2) removal through photosynthesis; (2) they transport living and decomposing organic carbon in streams and groundwater; and (3) they store organic carbon for widely varying lengths of time as a function of many biogeochemical factors. Using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model, along with long-term monitoring data on total organic carbon (TOC), this research quantitatively estimates the sources, transport, and fate of the long-term mean annual load of TOC in streams of the conterminous United States. The model simulations use surrogate measures of the major terrestrial and aquatic sources of organic carbon to estimate the long-term mean annual load of TOC in streams. The estimated carbon sources in the model are associated with four land uses (urban, cultivated, forest, and wetlands) and autochthonous fixation of carbon (stream photosynthesis). Stream photosynthesis is determined by reach-level application of an empirical model of stream chlorophyll based on total phosphorus concentration, and a mechanistic model of photosynthetic rate based on chlorophyll, average daily solar irradiance, water column light attenuation, and reach dimensions. It was found that the estimate of in-stream photosynthesis is a major contributor to the mean annual TOC load per unit of drainage area (that is, yield) in large streams, with a median share of about 60 percent of the total mean annual carbon load in streams with mean flows above 500 cubic feet per second. The interquartile range of the model predictions of TOC from in-stream photosynthesis is from 0.1 to 0.4 grams (g) carbon (C) per square meter (m-2) per day (day-1) for the approximately 62,000 stream reaches in the continental United States, which compares favorably with the reported literature range for net carbon fixation by

  18. B chromosomes showing active ribosomal RNA genes contribute insignificant amounts of rRNA in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Estévez, Mercedes; Badisco, Liesbeth; Broeck, Jozef Vanden; Perfectti, Francisco; López-León, María Dolores; Cabrero, Josefa; Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2014-12-01

    The genetic inertness of supernumerary (B) chromosomes has recently been called into question after finding several cases of gene activity on them. The grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans harbors B chromosomes containing large amounts of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) units, some of which are eventually active, but the amount of rRNA transcripts contributed by B chromosomes, compared to those of the standard (A) chromosomes, is unknown. Here, we address this question by means of quantitative PCR (qPCR) for two different ITS2 amplicons, one coming from rDNA units located in both A and B chromosomes (ITS2(A+B)) and the other being specific to B chromosomes (ITS2(B)). We analyzed six body parts in nine males showing rDNA expression in their B chromosomes in the testis. Amplification of the ITS2(B) amplicon was successful in RNA extracted from all six body parts analyzed, but showed relative quantification (RQ) values four orders of magnitude lower than those obtained for the ITS(A+B) amplicon. RQ values differed significantly between body parts for the two amplicons, with testis, accessory gland and wing muscle showing threefold higher values than head, gastric cecum and hind leg. We conclude that the level of B-specific rDNA expression is extremely low even in individuals where B chromosome rDNA is not completely silenced. Bearing in mind that B chromosomes carry the largest rDNA cluster in the E. plorans genome, we also infer that the relative contribution of B chromosome rRNA genes to ribosome biogenesis is insignificant, at least in the body parts analyzed.

  19. Ecological drivers of body size evolution and sexual size dimorphism in short-horned grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Navas, V; Noguerales, V; Cordero, P J; Ortego, J

    2017-08-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is widespread and variable in nature. Although female-biased SSD predominates among insects, the proximate ecological and evolutionary factors promoting this phenomenon remain largely unstudied. Here, we employ modern phylogenetic comparative methods on eight subfamilies of Iberian grasshoppers (85 species) to examine the validity of different models of evolution of body size and SSD and explore how they are shaped by a suite of ecological variables (habitat specialization, substrate use, altitude) and/or constrained by different evolutionary pressures (female fecundity, strength of sexual selection, length of the breeding season). Body size disparity primarily accumulated late in the history of the group and did not follow a Brownian motion pattern, indicating the existence of directional evolution for this trait. We found support for the converse of Rensch's rule (i.e. females are proportionally bigger than males in large species) across all taxa but not within the two most speciose subfamilies (Gomphocerinae and Oedipodinae), which showed an isometric pattern. Our results do not provide support for the fecundity or sexual selection hypotheses, and we did not find evidence for significant effects of habitat use. Contrary to that expected, we found that species with narrower reproductive window are less dimorphic in size than those that exhibit a longer breeding cycle, suggesting that male protandry cannot solely account for the evolution of female-biased SSD in Orthoptera. Our study highlights the need to consider alternatives to the classical evolutionary hypotheses when trying to explain why in certain insect groups males remain small. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  20. Plant DNA detection from grasshopper guts: A step-by-step protocol, from tissue preparation to obtaining plant DNA sequences 1

    OpenAIRE

    Avanesyan, Alina

    2014-01-01

    Premise of the study: A PCR-based method of identifying ingested plant DNA in gut contents of Melanoplus grasshoppers was developed. Although previous investigations have focused on a variety of insects, there are no protocols available for plant DNA detection developed for grasshoppers, agricultural pests that significantly influence plant community composition. Methods and Results: The developed protocol successfully used the noncoding region of the chloroplast trnL (UAA) gene and was te...

  1. Using survival analysis of artificial and Real Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri) nests to model site level and nest site factors associated with nest success in the South Okanagan region of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pam Krannitz Kym Welstead

    2005-01-01

    Predation is the predominant cause of nest failure for the Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri), a provincially red-listed shrub-steppe species that has experienced significant declines throughout most of its range. We monitored Brewer’s Sparrow nests and conducted an artificial nest experiment, in the South Okanagan Valley,...

  2. Sensitivity analysis of effective population size to demographic parameters in house sparrow populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubberud, Marlene Waege; Myhre, Ane Marlene; Holand, Håkon; Kvalnes, Thomas; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Saether, Bernt-Erik; Jensen, Henrik

    2017-05-01

    The ratio between the effective and the census population size, Ne/N, is an important measure of the long-term viability and sustainability of a population. Understanding which demographic processes that affect Ne/N most will improve our understanding of how genetic drift and the probability of fixation of alleles is affected by demography. This knowledge may also be of vital importance in management of endangered populations and species. Here, we use data from 13 natural populations of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Norway to calculate the demographic parameters that determine Ne/N. Using the global variance-based Sobol' method for the sensitivity analyses, we found that Ne/N was most sensitive to demographic variance, especially among older individuals. Furthermore, the individual reproductive values (that determine the demographic variance) were most sensitive to variation in fecundity. Our results draw attention to the applicability of sensitivity analyses in population management and conservation. For population management aiming to reduce the loss of genetic variation, a sensitivity analysis may indicate the demographic parameters towards which resources should be focused. The result of such an analysis may depend on the life history and mating system of the population or species under consideration, because the vital rates and sex-age classes that Ne/N is most sensitive to may change accordingly. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. External and gastrointestinal parasites of the rufous-collared sparrow Zonotrichia capensis (Passeriformes, Emberizidae in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Llanos-Soto

    Full Text Available Abstract A total of 277 rufous-collared sparrows, Zonotrichia capensis Müller, 1776 (Emberizidae, were examined for external parasites. The birds were captured using mist nets in seven locations in northern and central Chile. Additionally, seven carcasses from central Chile (the Biobío region were necropsied to evaluate the presence of endoparasite infection. Ectoparasites were found on 35.8% (99/277 of the examined birds and they were represented by the following arthropods: feather mites Amerodectes zonotrichiae Mironov and González-Acuña, 2014 (Analgoidea: Proctophyllodidae, Proctophyllodes polyxenus Atyeo and Braasch, 1966 (Analgoidea: Proctophyllodidae, and Trouessartia capensis Berla, 1959 (Analgoidea: Trouessartiidae; a louse Philopterus sp. (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera; and ticks Amblyomma tigrinum Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae and Ixodes auritulus Neumann, 1904 (Acari: Ixodidae. Two of the seven necropsied carcasses were infected with the acanthocephalan Mediorhynchus papillosus Van Cleave, 1916 (Gigantorhynchida: Gigantorhynchidae. To our knowledge, this study reports P. polyxenus, Philopterus sp., A. tigrinum, and M. papillosus for the first time for Z. capensis and expands the distributional range for T. capensis to Chile.

  4. No evidence of inbreeding depression in sperm performance traits in wild song sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losdat, Sylvain; Germain, Ryan R; Nietlisbach, Pirmin; Arcese, Peter; Reid, Jane M

    2018-02-01

    Inbreeding is widely hypothesized to shape mating systems and population persistence, but such effects will depend on which traits show inbreeding depression. Population and evolutionary consequences could be substantial if inbreeding decreases sperm performance and hence decreases male fertilization success and female fertility. However, the magnitude of inbreeding depression in sperm performance traits has rarely been estimated in wild populations experiencing natural variation in inbreeding. Further, the hypothesis that inbreeding could increase within-ejaculate variation in sperm traits and thereby further affect male fertilization success has not been explicitly tested. We used a wild pedigreed song sparrow ( Melospiza melodia ) population, where frequent extrapair copulations likely create strong postcopulatory competition for fertilization success, to quantify effects of male coefficient of inbreeding ( f ) on key sperm performance traits. We found no evidence of inbreeding depression in sperm motility, longevity, or velocity, and the within-ejaculate variance in sperm velocity did not increase with male f . Contrary to inferences from highly inbred captive and experimental populations, our results imply that moderate inbreeding will not necessarily constrain sperm performance in wild populations. Consequently, the widely observed individual-level and population-level inbreeding depression in male and female fitness may not stem from reduced sperm performance in inbred males.

  5. Within-species digestive tract flexibility in rufous-collared sparrows and the climatic variability hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Karin; Bozinovic, Francisco; Rojas, José M; Sabat, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The climatic variability hypothesis (CVH) states that species are geographically more widespread at higher latitudes because individuals have a broader range of physiological tolerance or phenotypic flexibility as latitude and climatic variability increase. However, it remains unclear to what extent climatic variability or latitude, acting on the phenotype, account for any observed geographical gradient in mean range size. In this study, we analyzed the physiological flexibility within the CVH framework by using an intraspecific population experimental approach. We tested for a positive relationship between digestive-tract flexibility (i.e., morphology and enzyme activities) and latitude and climatic and natural diet variability in populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) captured in desert (27°S), Mediterranean (33°S), and cold-temperate (41°S) sites in Chile. In accordance with the CVH, we observed a positive relationship between the magnitude of digestive-tract flexibility and environmental variability but not latitude. The greatest digestive flexibility was observed in birds at middle latitudes, which experience the most environmental variability (a Mediterranean climate), whereas individuals from the most stable climates (desert and cold-temperate) exhibited little or no digestive-tract flexibility in response to experimental diets. Our findings support the idea that latitudinal gradients in geographical ranges may be strongly affected by the action of regional features, which makes it difficult to find general patterns in the distribution of species.

  6. Dynamics of West Nile virus persistence in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah S Wheeler

    Full Text Available West Nile Virus (WNV is now endemic throughout North America, with annual recurrence dependent upon successful overwintering when cold temperatures drive mosquito vectors into inactivity and halt transmission. To investigate whether avian hosts may serve as an overwintering mechanism, groups of eight to ten House Sparrows were experimentally infected with a WN02 genotype of WNV and then held until necropsy at 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, or 18 weeks post-infection (pi when they were assessed for the presence of persistent infection. Blood was collected from all remaining birds every two weeks pi, and sera tested for WNV RNA and WNV neutralizing antibodies. West Nile virus RNA was present in the sera of some birds up to 7 weeks pi and all birds retained neutralizing antibodies throughout the experiment. The detection of persistently infected birds decreased with time, from 100% (n = 13 positive at 3 weeks post-infection (pi to 12.5% (n = 8 at 18 weeks pi. Infectious virus was isolated from the spleens of birds necropsied at 3, 5, 7 and 12 weeks pi. The current study confirmed previous reports of infectious WNV persistence in avian hosts, and further characterized the temporal nature of these infections. Although these persistent infections supported the hypothesis that infected birds may serve as an overwintering mechanism, mosquito-infectious recrudescent viremias have yet to be demonstrated thereby providing proof of principle.

  7. Individual-learning ability predicts social-foraging strategy in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsnelson, Edith; Motro, Uzi; Feldman, Marcus W; Lotem, Arnon

    2011-02-22

    Social foragers can use either a 'producer' strategy, which involves searching for food, or a 'scrounger' strategy, which involves joining others' food discoveries. While producers rely on personal information and past experience, we may ask whether the tendency to forage as a producer is related to being a better learner. To answer this question, we hand-raised house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings that upon independence were given an individual-learning task that required them to associate colour signal and food presence. Following the testing phase, all fledglings were released into a shared aviary, and their social-foraging tendencies were measured. We found a significant positive correlation between individual's performance in the individual-learning task and subsequent tendency to use searching (producing) behaviour. Individual-learning score was negatively correlated with initial fear of the test apparatus and with body weight. However, the correlation between individual learning and searching remained significant after controlling for these variables. Since it was measured before the birds entered a social group, individual-learning ability could not be the outcome of being a producer. However, the two traits may be initially associated, or individual learning could facilitate producing behaviour. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that associates individual-learning abilities with social-foraging strategies in animal groups.

  8. Reproduction and modulation of the stress response: an experimental test in the house sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lendvai, Ádám Zoltán; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Chastel, Olivier

    2006-01-01

    The stress response is highly variable among individuals, but the causes of this variation remain largely unknown. In response to stressors, vertebrates secrete elevated levels of glucocorticoids which enhance survival, but concurrently interfere with reproduction. We tested the hypothesis that individuals flexibly modulate their stress response with respect to the reproductive value of their brood in free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We experimentally increased or decreased clutch size during the nestling period and found that parents tending enlarged clutches responded less strongly to a stressor than those tending reduced clutches. In addition, we examined whether individuals responded less strongly to a stressor as the breeding season progressed and future reproductive opportunities declined. We found that the stress response decreased with breeding date during the birds' first breeding attempt, but it remained constant during their second breeding attempt. Within-individual variability in the stress response was related to the brood size manipulations the birds received in their two consecutive breeding attempts. These results provide the first experimental support for the hypothesis that individuals actively modulate their stress response with respect to the value of current reproduction. PMID:17164203

  9. Plasmodium relictum infection and MHC diversity in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Claire; Zoorob, Rima; Robert, Alexandre; Chastel, Olivier; Julliard, Romain; Sorci, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites has been proposed as a mechanism maintaining genetic diversity in both host and parasite populations. In particular, the high level of genetic diversity usually observed at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is generally thought to be maintained by parasite-driven selection. Among the possible ways through which parasites can maintain MHC diversity, diversifying selection has received relatively less attention. This hypothesis is based on the idea that parasites exert spatially variable selection pressures because of heterogeneity in parasite genetic structure, abundance or virulence. Variable selection pressures should select for different host allelic lineages resulting in population-specific associations between MHC alleles and risk of infection. In this study, we took advantage of a large survey of avian malaria in 13 populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) to test this hypothesis. We found that (i) several MHC alleles were either associated with increased or decreased risk to be infected with Plasmodium relictum, (ii) the effects were population specific, and (iii) some alleles had antagonistic effects across populations. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that diversifying selection in space can maintain MHC variation and suggest a pattern of local adaptation where MHC alleles are selected at the local host population level. PMID:20943698

  10. Differential regulation of adipokines may influence migratory behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica F Stuber

    Full Text Available White-throated sparrows increase fat deposits during pre-migratory periods and rely on these fat stores to fuel migration. Adipose tissue produces hormones and signaling factors in a rhythmic fashion and may be controlled by a clock in adipose tissue or driven by a master clock in the brain. The master clock may convey photoperiodic information from the environment to adipose tissue to facilitate pre-migratory fattening, and adipose tissue may, in turn, release adipokines to indicate the extent of fat energy stores. Here, we present evidence that a change in signal from the adipokines adiponectin and visfatin may act to indicate body condition, thereby influencing an individual's decision to commence migratory flight, or to delay until adequate fat stores are acquired. We quantified plasma adiponectin and visfatin levels across the day in captive birds held under constant photoperiod. The circadian profiles of plasma adiponectin in non-migrating birds were approximately inverse the profiles from migrating birds. Adiponectin levels were positively correlated to body fat, and body fat was inversely related to the appearance of nocturnal migratory restlessness. Visfatin levels were constant across the day and did not correlate with fat deposits; however, a reduction in plasma visfatin concentration occurred during the migratory period. The data suggest that a significant change in the biological control of adipokine expression exists between the two migratory conditions and we propose a role for adiponectin, visfatin and adipose clocks in the regulation of migratory behaviors.

  11. COMPAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuefner, K.

    1976-01-01

    COMPAR works on FORTRAN arrays with four indices: A = A(i,j,k,l) where, for each fixed k 0 ,l 0 , only the 'plane' [A(i,j,k 0 ,l 0 ), i = 1, isub(max), j = 1, jsub(max)] is held in fast memory. Given two arrays A, B of this type COMPAR has the capability to 1) re-norm A and B ind different ways; 2) calculate the deviations epsilon defined as epsilon(i,j,k,l): =[A(i,j,k,l) - B(i,j,k,l)] / GEW(i,j,k,l) where GEW (i,j,k,l) may be chosen in three different ways; 3) calculate mean, standard deviation and maximum in the array epsilon (by several intermediate stages); 4) determine traverses in the array epsilon; 5) plot these traverses by a printer; 6) simplify plots of these traverses by the PLOTEASY-system by creating input data blocks for this system. The main application of COMPAR is given (so far) by the comparison of two- and three-dimensional multigroup neutron flux-fields. (orig.) [de

  12. Pathotypes in the Entomophaga grylli species complex of grasshopper pathogens differentiated with random amplification of polymorphic DNA and cloned-DNA probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidochka, M J; Walsh, S R; Ramos, M E; Leger, R J; Silver, J C; Roberts, D W

    1995-01-01

    The zygomycetous fungus Entomophaga grylli is a pathogen that shows host-specific variance to grasshopper subfamilies. Three pathotypes of the E. grylli species complex were differentiated by three molecular techniques. In the first method, the three pathotypes showed different fragment patterns generated by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). There was little or no interisolate variability in RAPD fragment patterns within each pathotype. Passage of an isolate of pathotype 3, originally from an Australian grasshopper (Praxibulus sp.), through a North America grasshopper resulted in no differences in the resultant RAPD fragment patterns. In the second method, polymorphic RAPD fragments were used to probe the genomic DNA from the three pathotypes, and pathotype-specific fragments were found. In the third method, restriction fragments from genomic DNA of the three pathotypes were cloned and screened for pathotype specificity. A genomic probe specific for each pathotype was isolated. These probes did not hybridize to DNA from Entomophaga aulicae or from grasshoppers. To facilitate the use of RAPD analysis and other molecular tools to identify pathotypes, a method for extracting DNA from resting spores from infected grasshoppers was developed. The DNA from the fractured resting spores was of sufficient integrity to be blotted and probed with the pathotype-specific DNA probes, thus validating the use of these probes for pathotype identification in field-collected grasshoppers. PMID:7574596

  13. A basal aquatic-terrestrial trophic link in rivers: algal subsidies via shore-dwelling grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastow, Justin L; Sabo, John L; Finlay, Jacques C; Power, Mary E

    2002-04-01

    Rivers provide important resources for riparian consumers, especially in arid or seasonally arid biomes. Pygmy grasshoppers (Paratettix aztecus and P. mexicanus; Tetrigidae) graze river algae stranded along shorelines of the South Fork Eel River in northern California (39°44'N, 123°39'W) as the river recedes during the summer drought. Densities of tetrigids during the mid to late summer were highest (1 individual/m 2 in July) within 1 m of the river margin, and declined to near zero at 4 m from the margin, especially during peak temperatures in the afternoon. These observations suggested that the distribution of tetrigids was determined by the availability of algae, water, or both. We manipulated the presence/absence of water and beached algae (Cladophora glomerata) in a 2×2 factorial design. All treatments were positioned 2 m upslope from the river's edge (about 30 cm above the water table), where the cobble bar was naturally dry and devoid of algae and densities of tetrigids were lower than at the river margin (0.4 individuals/m 2 in July). Tetrigids responded only to the wet Cladophora treatment, which had 30× higher densities than other treatments. Stable isotopic signatures (δ 13 C) of tetrigids (-19.7‰) collected from the same cobble bars were more similar to those of epilithic algae (-20.4‰) than terrestrial plants (-28.2‰), and higher than those of acridid grasshoppers (-27.9‰) from the same habitats. Mixing models suggest that 88-100% of the C in tetrigid grasshoppers at our study site is derived from riverine algae. A preliminary analysis suggests that tetrigids ingested sufficient quantities of algae to easily meet their energetic demands during the summer. This study supports the idea that algae, produced in stream systems, can determine the distribution and relative abundance of a common terrestrial scavenger and provide an additional pathway for energy exchange between rivers and riparian food webs.

  14. Supercooling capacity and cold hardiness of band-winged grasshopper eggs (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Bao-Ping; Li, Na; Zhou, Xiao-Rong

    2014-01-01

    The band-winged grasshopper, Oedaleus asiaticus Bei-Bienko, is one of the most dominant and economically important grasshopper species in the steppe grasslands and farming-pastoral ecotone in northern China. It is a univoltine species and overwinters as eggs in soil. The cold hardiness of its eggs was examined in the laboratory. Water content in soil significantly affected the supercooling points (SCPs), water content and fat content of prediapause eggs. With the increase of water content in soil, the SCP, and water content of prediapause eggs rose whereas the fat content declined. There was a significant relationship between the SCP and water content or fat content of prediapause eggs. The SCPs of prediapause and diapause eggs varied from -7.6 to -28.4°C and the SCPs of eggs 30 d after oviposition could be divided into two groups. The means of high SCP group (-11.0 to -11.9°C) were much higher than those of low SCP group (-21.8 to -21.9°C), and the majority belonged to the latter (90.48-93.33%). The SCPs of prediapause eggs and early-diapause eggs 30 d after oviposition were significantly higher than those of deep-diapause eggs 60 d after oviposition. The survival rates of diapause eggs were significantly different among different temperature treatments. The survival rate was higher than 88% at greater than -20°C and declined significantly to 57% at -25°C, and suddenly dropped to zero at -30°C. The lower lethal temperature (Ltemp50) for 12 h exposure was -25.3°C and the lower lethal time (Ltime50) at -20°C was 32.8 d. As the mean SCPs of diapause eggs were similar to their Ltemp50, the SCP of eggs can be considered as a good indicator of cold hardiness for O. asiaticus and that this grasshopper is a freeze-intolerant insect. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  15. Control of the variegated grasshopper Zonocerus variegatus (L.) on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Comparatively high concentrations of glucose in the guts of Z. variegatus feeding on cyanogenic plants suggest that cyanogens are a primary nutrient. ... Les jeunes stades agrégatifs (stades I-III) préfèrent les herbes spontanées, mais plus tard, au cours de la saison sèche (janvier-mars) les plantes alimentaires se faisant ...

  16. Effects of Climate Change and Various Grassland Management Practices on Grasshopper (Orthoptera Assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán Kenyeres

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Influence of different grassland management practices on Orthoptera assemblages inhabiting humid grassland areas was studied since 2003 to 2011. The examined sites were within the protected area of Balaton Uplands National Park. The physiognomy and climatic conditions of the studied habitats were similar but their land use types were significantly different. After the preliminary analyses of Nonmetric multidimensional scaling, neighbour joining clustering, and Spearman rank correlation, we examined the possible effects of such independent variables as land use (nonmanagement, mowing, grazing, microclimate (humidity and temperature, regional macroclimate (annual and monthly mean temperatures and rainfall, using General Linear Mixed Models, and canonical correlation analysis. Our results showed that the effect of grassland management practices on the organization of Orthoptera assemblages was at least as important as that of macro- and microclimate. Furthermore, grassland management could intensify the influence of several local and regional parameters. These results can help finding the most suitable type of grassland management to conserve the grasshopper assemblages.

  17. Exposure to exogenous enkephalins disrupts reproductive development in the Eastern lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera (Insecta: Orthoptera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Kumar

    Full Text Available Enkephalins play a major role in reproductive physiology in crustaceans; however their role in reproductive development in insects is largely unknown. We investigated the effect of exposure to exogenous leucine-enkephalin (Leu-Enk, methionine-enkephalin (Met-Enk, and the opioid antagonist naloxone on gonad development in the Eastern lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera. Injection of either Leu-Enk or naloxone alone significantly increased the testicular index and testicular follicular diameter in males, and the ovarian index, oocyte length, and oocyte diameter in females. In contrast, injection of Met-Enk inhibited all measures of reproductive development in both sexes. Surprisingly, co-injection of naloxone with either enkephalin enhanced the effect associated with administration of the enkephalin alone. This study clearly demonstrates the ability of enkephalins to disrupt insect sexual development and also suggests the existence of conserved enkephaline-dependent regulatory mechanisms in insects and crustaceans.

  18. Mark IV 'Grasshopper' grazing incidence mono-chromator for the Canadian Synchrotron Radiation Facility (CSRF)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tan, K.H.; Bancroft, G.M.; Coatsworth, L.L.; Yates, B.W.

    1982-01-01

    The vacuum, mechanical, and optical characteristics of a 'Grasshopper' grazing incidence monochromator for use with a synchrotron radiation source in the 30-300 eV range is described. The monochromator is compatible with ultrahigh vacuum ( -10 Torr throughout), and the motor driven scan mechanism is linear and reliable. The monchromator has been calibrated using several known absorption edges between 36 and 102 eV and a nonlinear least squares fit to the scan equation. These same absorption edges, plus a scan over zero order, show that the present resolution of the monochromator (with 10 and 16 μm exit and entrance slits respectively) is 0.16 A (0.06 eV at the AlLsub(2,3) edge). With 10 μm entrance and exit slits the resolution will be very close to the theoretical Δlambda = 0.083 A

  19. Complete mitochondrial genome of the geophilous grasshopper Trilophidia annulata (Acrididae: Oedipodinae: Trilophidia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, De-Long; Xu, Sheng-Quan

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitogenome of the geophilous grasshopper Trilophidia annulata was reconstructed from whole-genome Illumina sequencing data. After annotation, the circular genome was obtained with 16,501 bp in length, and typically consisted of 37 genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNAs (tRNAs), 2 ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and 1 D-loop region. All PCGs were initiated with ATN codons, except ND2 with the start codon GTG. Most of the PCGs used TAA as their stop codons, while the others used TAG as stop codons (COX1, COX3&ND1). The nucleotide composition was asymmetric (42.3% A, 15.0% C, 11.0% G, 31.8% T) with an overall GC content of 25.9%. These data would contribute to the design of novel molecular markers for population and evolutionary research of T. annulata.

  20. The closed spiracle phase of discontinuous gas exchange predicts diving duration in the grasshopper Paracinema tricolor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudowska, Agnieszka; Boardman, Leigh; Terblanche, John S

    2016-08-15

    The discontinuous gas exchange (DGE) pattern of respiration shown by many arthropods includes periods of spiracle closure (C-phase) and is largely thought to serve as a physiological adaptation to restrict water loss in terrestrial environments. One major challenge to this hypothesis is to explain the presence of DGE in insects in moist environments. Here, we show a novel ecological correlate of the C-phase, namely, diving behaviour in mesic Paracinema tricolor grasshoppers. Notably, maximal dive duration is positively correlated with C-phase length, even after accounting for mass scaling and absolute metabolic rate. Here, we propose that an additional advantage of DGE may be conferred by allowing the tracheal system to act as a sealed underwater oxygen reservoir. Spiracle closure may facilitate underwater submersion, which, in turn, may contribute to predator avoidance, the survival of accidental immersion or periodic flooding and the exploitation of underwater resources. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Distribution Patterns of Grasshoppers and Their Kin in the Boreal Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael G. Sergeev

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The distribution patterns of Orthoptera are described for the boreal zone. The boreal fauna of Eurasia includes more than 81 species. Many of them are widely distributed. The monotypic genus Paracyphoderris Storozhenko and at least 13 species are endemics or subendemics. About 50 species are known from boreal North America. Four endemic species are distributed very locally. Relationships between the faunas of the Eurasian and North American parts of the boreal zone are relatively weak. The boreal assemblages are usually characterized by the low levels of species diversity and abundance. Grasshoppers and their relatives occupy almost exclusively open habitats, such as different types of meadows, mountain steppes and tundras, clearings, openings, bogs, and stony flood plains. The local endemics and subendemics are found only in some habitats of the eastern part of Eurasia and the north-western part of North America. Retrospective and prospective of the boreal fauna of Orthoptera are also discussed.

  2. Triplex configuration in the nick-free DNAs that constitute the chromosomal scaffolds in grasshopper spermatids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerná, Adriana; López-Fernández, Carmen; Fernández, José Luis; Moreno Díaz de la Espina, Susana; de la Torre, Consuelo; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2008-02-01

    After applying proper deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) probes, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that the 8/9 centromeres-one per chromatid of the male haploid complement (X0) of Pyrgomorpha conica grasshopper-colocalized at the spermatid blunt end, where the spermatozoa flagellum inserts. A bundle of aligned 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole-positive chromatid scaffolds, which formed the central spermatid core, was observed after DNA breakage detection followed by FISH. Modular nature of scaffold DNA was occasionally evident. The technique also showed that in the early spermatid, the chromatid scaffolds lacked any DNA nick, whereas abundant breaks accumulated in the surrounding loops. Moreover, immunodetection showed that scaffold DNA participated in the formation of triplex DNA, while this configuration was absent from the loops. During spermatid maturation, triplex DNA disappeared from the scaffold in parallel with loop retraction, while protamines replace histones. Thus, the presence of triplex DNA in the chromatid scaffold correlates with the anchoring of expanded DNA loops to it. After loop retraction, the scaffolds of all chromatids coiled as a single unit in the spermatid head. This cooperative coiling produced enlargement and tilting of the distal telomeric signals, which were distributed along the spermatid head according to the length of each chromosome. We propose that specific DNA sequences dispersed throughout the whole chromatid fold forward and backward coaxially to chromatid length, forming individual scaffold modules whose linear assembly accounts for the minimum length of each individual chromatid. Finally, the core of the grasshopper male spermatid should be considered as a single chromosome in which the DNA scaffolds of the whole set of the nonhomologous chromosomes of the haploid complement are interconnected. This pattern of chromatin organization applies probably to other elongated spermatids.

  3. U1 snDNA clusters in grasshoppers: chromosomal dynamics and genomic organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjos, A; Ruiz-Ruano, F J; Camacho, J P M; Loreto, V; Cabrero, J; de Souza, M J; Cabral-de-Mello, D C

    2015-02-01

    The spliceosome, constituted by a protein set associated with small nuclear RNA (snRNA), is responsible for mRNA maturation through intron removal. Among snRNA genes, U1 is generally a conserved repetitive sequence. To unveil the chromosomal/genomic dynamics of this multigene family in grasshoppers, we mapped U1 genes by fluorescence in situ hybridization in 70 species belonging to the families Proscopiidae, Pyrgomorphidae, Ommexechidae, Romaleidae and Acrididae. Evident clusters were observed in all species, indicating that, at least, some U1 repeats are tandemly arrayed. High conservation was observed in the first four families, with most species carrying a single U1 cluster, frequently located in the third or fourth longest autosome. By contrast, extensive variation was observed among Acrididae, from a single chromosome pair carrying U1 to all chromosome pairs carrying it, with occasional occurrence of two or more clusters in the same chromosome. DNA sequence analysis in Eyprepocnemis plorans (species carrying U1 clusters on seven different chromosome pairs) and Locusta migratoria (carrying U1 in a single chromosome pair) supported the coexistence of functional and pseudogenic lineages. One of these pseudogenic lineages was truncated in the same nucleotide position in both species, suggesting that it was present in a common ancestor to both species. At least in E. plorans, this U1 snDNA pseudogenic lineage was associated with 5S rDNA and short interspersed elements (SINE)-like mobile elements. Given that we conclude in grasshoppers that the U1 snDNA had evolved under the birth-and-death model and that its intragenomic spread might be related with mobile elements.

  4. Spatial genetic structure and mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of Argentinean populations of the grasshopper Dichroplus elongatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosetti, Natalia; Remis, Maria Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Many grasshopper species are considered of agronomical importance because they cause damage to pastures and crops. Comprehension of pest population dynamics requires a clear understanding of the genetic diversity and spatial structure of populations. In this study we report on patterns of genetic variation in the South American grasshopper Dichroplus elongatus which is an agricultural pest of crops and forage grasses of great economic significance in Argentina. We use Direct Amplification of Minisatellite Regions (DAMD) and partial sequences of the cytochrome oxydase 1 (COI) mitochondrial gene to investigate intraspecific structure, demographic history and gene flow patterns in twenty Argentinean populations of this species belonging to different geographic and biogeographic regions. DAMD data suggest that, although genetic drift and migration occur within and between populations, measurable relatedness among neighbouring populations declines with distance and dispersal over distances greater than 200 km is not typical, whereas effective gene flow may occur for populations separated by less than 100 km. Landscape analysis was useful to detect genetic discontinuities associated with environmental heterogeneity reflecting the changing agroecosystem. The COI results indicate the existence of strong genetic differentiation between two groups of populations located at both margins of the Paraná River which became separated during climate oscillations of the Middle Pleistocene, suggesting a significant restriction in effective dispersion mediated by females and large scale geographic differentiation. The number of migrants between populations estimated through mitochondrial and DAMD markers suggest that gene flow is low prompting a non-homogeneous spatial structure and justifying the variation through space. Moreover, the genetic analysis of both markers allows us to conclude that males appear to disperse more than females, reducing the chance of the genetic loss

  5. Ribosomal DNA is active in different B chromosome variants of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruíz-Estévez, Mercedes; López-León, M Dolores; Cabrero, Josefa; Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2013-09-01

    B chromosomes are considered to be genetically inert elements. However, some of them are able to show nucleolus organizer region (NOR) activity, as detected by both cytological and molecular means. The grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans shows a B chromosome polymorphism characterized by the existence of many B variants. One of them, B24, shows NOR activity in about half of B-carrying males in the Torrox population. Molecular data have suggested the recent origin for B chromosomes in this species, and on this basis it would be expected that NOR activity was widespread among the different B variants. Here we test this hypothesis in four different B chromosome variants (B1, B2, B5, and B24) from 11 natural populations of the grasshopper E. plorans covering the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula plus the Balearic Islands. We used two different approaches: (1) the cytological observation of nucleoli attached to the distal region of the B chromosome (where the rDNA is located), and (2) the molecular detection of the rDNA transcripts carrying an adenine insertion characteristic of B chromosome ITS2 sequences. The results showed NOR expression not only for B24 but also for the B1 and B2 variants. However, the level of B-NOR expression in these latter variants, measured by the proportion of cells showing nucleoli attached to the B chromosomes, was much lower than that previously reported for B24. This suggests the possibility that structural or genetic background conditions are enhancing the expressivity of the rDNA in the B24 variant.

  6. Relevance of multiple spatial scales in habitat models: A case study with amphibians and grasshoppers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmoos, Michael; Henle, Klaus

    2010-11-01

    Habitat models for animal species are important tools in conservation planning. We assessed the need to consider several scales in a case study for three amphibian and two grasshopper species in the post-mining landscapes near Leipzig (Germany). The two species groups were selected because habitat analyses for grasshoppers are usually conducted on one scale only whereas amphibians are thought to depend on more than one spatial scale. First, we analysed how the preference to single habitat variables changed across nested scales. Most environmental variables were only significant for a habitat model on one or two scales, with the smallest scale being particularly important. On larger scales, other variables became significant, which cannot be recognized on lower scales. Similar preferences across scales occurred in only 13 out of 79 cases and in 3 out of 79 cases the preference and avoidance for the same variable were even reversed among scales. Second, we developed habitat models by using a logistic regression on every scale and for all combinations of scales and analysed how the quality of habitat models changed with the scales considered. To achieve a sufficient accuracy of the habitat models with a minimum number of variables, at least two scales were required for all species except for Bufo viridis, for which a single scale, the microscale, was sufficient. Only for the European tree frog ( Hyla arborea), at least three scales were required. The results indicate that the quality of habitat models increases with the number of surveyed variables and with the number of scales, but costs increase too. Searching for simplifications in multi-scaled habitat models, we suggest that 2 or 3 scales should be a suitable trade-off, when attempting to define a suitable microscale.

  7. U1 snDNA clusters in grasshoppers: chromosomal dynamics and genomic organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anjos, A; Ruiz-Ruano, F J; Camacho, J P M; Loreto, V; Cabrero, J; de Souza, M J; Cabral-de-Mello, D C

    2015-01-01

    The spliceosome, constituted by a protein set associated with small nuclear RNA (snRNA), is responsible for mRNA maturation through intron removal. Among snRNA genes, U1 is generally a conserved repetitive sequence. To unveil the chromosomal/genomic dynamics of this multigene family in grasshoppers, we mapped U1 genes by fluorescence in situ hybridization in 70 species belonging to the families Proscopiidae, Pyrgomorphidae, Ommexechidae, Romaleidae and Acrididae. Evident clusters were observed in all species, indicating that, at least, some U1 repeats are tandemly arrayed. High conservation was observed in the first four families, with most species carrying a single U1 cluster, frequently located in the third or fourth longest autosome. By contrast, extensive variation was observed among Acrididae, from a single chromosome pair carrying U1 to all chromosome pairs carrying it, with occasional occurrence of two or more clusters in the same chromosome. DNA sequence analysis in Eyprepocnemis plorans (species carrying U1 clusters on seven different chromosome pairs) and Locusta migratoria (carrying U1 in a single chromosome pair) supported the coexistence of functional and pseudogenic lineages. One of these pseudogenic lineages was truncated in the same nucleotide position in both species, suggesting that it was present in a common ancestor to both species. At least in E. plorans, this U1 snDNA pseudogenic lineage was associated with 5S rDNA and short interspersed elements (SINE)-like mobile elements. Given that we conclude in grasshoppers that the U1 snDNA had evolved under the birth-and-death model and that its intragenomic spread might be related with mobile elements. PMID:25248465

  8. Characterization and analysis of a de novo transcriptome from the pygmy grasshopper Tetrix japonica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Zhongying; Liu, Fei; Lu, Huimeng; Huang, Yuan

    2017-05-01

    The pygmy grasshopper Tetrix japonica is a common insect distributed throughout the world, and it has the potential for use in studies of body colour polymorphism, genomics and the biology of Tetrigoidea (Insecta: Orthoptera). However, limited biological information is available for this insect. Here, we conducted a de novo transcriptome study of adult and larval T. japonica to provide a better understanding of its gene expression and develop genomic resources for future work. We sequenced and explored the characteristics of the de novo transcriptome of T. japonica using Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. A total of 107 608 206 paired-end clean reads were assembled into 61 141 unigenes using the trinity software; the mean unigene size was 771 bp, and the N50 length was 1238 bp. A total of 29 225 unigenes were functionally annotated to the NCBI nonredundant protein sequences (Nr), NCBI nonredundant nucleotide sequences (Nt), a manually annotated and reviewed protein sequence database (Swiss-Prot), Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases. A large number of putative genes that are potentially involved in pigment pathways, juvenile hormone (JH) metabolism and signalling pathways were identified in the T. japonica transcriptome. Additionally, 165 769 and 156 796 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms occurred in the adult and larvae transcriptomes, respectively, and a total of 3162 simple sequence repeats were detected in this assembly. This comprehensive transcriptomic data for T. japonica will provide a usable resource for gene predictions, signalling pathway investigations and molecular marker development for this species and other pygmy grasshoppers. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Local climate determines intra- and interspecific variation in sexual size dimorphism in mountain grasshopper communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laiolo, P; Illera, J C; Obeso, J R

    2013-10-01

    The climate is often evoked to explain broad-scale clines of body size, yet its involvement in the processes that generate size inequality in the two sexes (sexual size dimorphism) remains elusive. Here, we analyse climatic clines of sexual size dimorphism along a wide elevation gradient (i) among grasshopper species in a phylogenetically controlled scenario and (ii) within species differing in distribution and cold tolerance, to highlight patterns generated at different time scales, mainly evolutionary (among species or higher taxa) and ontogenetic or microevolutionary (within species). At the interspecific level, grasshoppers were slightly smaller and less dimorphic at high elevations. These clines were associated with gradients of precipitation and sun exposure, which are likely indicators of other factors that directly exert selective pressures, such as resource availability and conditions for effective thermoregulation. Within species, we found a positive effect of temperature and a negative effect of elevation on body size, especially on condition-dependent measures of body size (total body length rather than hind femur length) and in species inhabiting the highest elevations. In spite of a certain degree of species-specific variation, females tended to adjust their body size more often than males, suggesting that body size in females can evolve faster among species and can be more plastic or dependent on nutritional conditions within species living in adverse climates. Natural selection on female body size may therefore prevail over sexual selection on male body size in alpine environments, and abiotic factors may trigger consistent phenotypic patterns across taxonomic scales. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. Multielectrode recordings from auditory neurons in the brain of a small grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhavsar, Mit Balvantray; Heinrich, Ralf; Stumpner, Andreas

    2015-12-30

    Grasshoppers have been used as a model system to study the neuronal basis of insect acoustic behavior. Auditory neurons have been described from intracellular recordings. The growing interest to study population activity of neurons has been satisfied so far with artificially combining data from different individuals. We for the first time used multielectrode recordings from a small grasshopper brain. We used three 12μm tungsten wires (combined in a multielectrode) to record from local brain neurons and from a population of auditory neurons entering the brain from the thorax. Spikes of the recorded units were separated by sorting algorithms and spike collision analysis. The tungsten wires enabled stable recordings with high signal to noise ratio. Due to the tight temporal coupling of auditory activity to the stimulus spike collisions were frequent and collision analysis retrieved 10-15% of additional spikes. Marking the electrode position was possible using a fluorescent dye or electrocoagulation with high current. Physiological identification of units described from intracellular recordings was hard to achieve. 12μm tungsten wires gave a better signal to noise ratio than 15μm copper wires previously used in recordings from bees' brains. Recording the population activity of auditory neurons in one individual prevents interindividual and trial-to-trial variability which otherwise reduce the validity of the analysis. Double intracellular recordings have quite low success rate and therefore are rarely achieved and their stability is much lower than that of multielectrode recordings which allows sampling of data for 30min or more. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Spatial genetic structure and mitochondrial DNA phylogeography of Argentinean populations of the grasshopper Dichroplus elongatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Rosetti

    Full Text Available Many grasshopper species are considered of agronomical importance because they cause damage to pastures and crops. Comprehension of pest population dynamics requires a clear understanding of the genetic diversity and spatial structure of populations. In this study we report on patterns of genetic variation in the South American grasshopper Dichroplus elongatus which is an agricultural pest of crops and forage grasses of great economic significance in Argentina. We use Direct Amplification of Minisatellite Regions (DAMD and partial sequences of the cytochrome oxydase 1 (COI mitochondrial gene to investigate intraspecific structure, demographic history and gene flow patterns in twenty Argentinean populations of this species belonging to different geographic and biogeographic regions. DAMD data suggest that, although genetic drift and migration occur within and between populations, measurable relatedness among neighbouring populations declines with distance and dispersal over distances greater than 200 km is not typical, whereas effective gene flow may occur for populations separated by less than 100 km. Landscape analysis was useful to detect genetic discontinuities associated with environmental heterogeneity reflecting the changing agroecosystem. The COI results indicate the existence of strong genetic differentiation between two groups of populations located at both margins of the Paraná River which became separated during climate oscillations of the Middle Pleistocene, suggesting a significant restriction in effective dispersion mediated by females and large scale geographic differentiation. The number of migrants between populations estimated through mitochondrial and DAMD markers suggest that gene flow is low prompting a non-homogeneous spatial structure and justifying the variation through space. Moreover, the genetic analysis of both markers allows us to conclude that males appear to disperse more than females, reducing the chance of the

  12. Patterns of cell death in the embryonic antenna of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyan, George; Graf, Philip; Ehrhardt, Erica

    2018-03-06

    We have investigated the pattern of apoptosis in the antennal epithelium during embryonic development of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria. The molecular labels lachesin and annulin reveal that the antennal epithelium becomes subdivided into segment-like meristal annuli within which sensory cell clusters later differentiate. To determine whether apoptosis is involved in the development of such sensory cell clusters, we examined the expression pattern of the cell death labels acridine orange and TUNEL in the epithelium. We found stereotypic, age-dependent, wave-like patterns of cell death in the antenna. Early in embryogenesis, apoptosis is restricted to the most basal meristal annuli but subsequently spreads to encompass almost the entire antenna. Cell death then declines in more basal annuli and is only found in the tip region later in embryogenesis. Apoptosis is restricted throughout to the midregion of a given annulus and away from its border with neighboring annuli, arguing against a causal role in annular formation. Double-labeling for cell death and sensory cell differentiation reveals apoptosis occurring within bands of differentiating sensory cell clusters, matching the meristal organization of the apical antenna. Examination of the individual epithelial lineages which generate sensory cells reveals that apoptosis begins peripherally within a lineage and with age expands to encompass the differentiated sensory cell at the base. We conclude that complete lineages can undergo apoptosis and that the youngest cells in these lineages appear to die first, with the sensory neuron dying last. Lineage-based death in combination with cell death patterns in different regions of the antenna may contribute to odor-mediated behaviors in the grasshopper.

  13. Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pap, Péter László; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Vágási, Csongor István; Barta, Zoltán; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2010-10-01

    Difference between sexes in parasitism is a common phenomenon among birds, which may be related to differences between males and females in their investment into immune functions or as a consequence of differential exposure to parasites. Because life-history strategies change sex specifically during the annual cycle, immunological responses of the host aiming to reduce the impact of parasites may be sexually dimorphic. Despite the great complexity of the immune system, studies on immunoecology generally characterise the immune status through a few variables, often overlooking potentially important seasonal and gender effects. However, because of the differences in physiological and defence mechanisms among different arms of the immune system, we expect divergent responses of immune components to environmental seasonality. In male and female house sparrows ( Passer domesticus), we measured the major components of the immune system (innate, acquired, cellular and humoral) during four important life-history stages across the year: (1) mating, (2) breeding, (3) moulting and (4) during the winter capture and also following introduction to captivity in aviary. Different individuals were sampled from the same population during the four life cycle stages. We found that three out of eight immune variables showed a significant life cycle stage × sex interaction. The difference in immune response between the sexes was significant in five immune variables during the mating stage, when females had consistently stronger immune function than males, while variables varied generally non-significantly with sex during the remaining three life cycle stages. Our results show that the immune system is highly variable between life cycle stages and sexes, highlighting the potential fine tuning of the immune system to specific physiological states and environmental conditions.

  14. Urbanization, trace metal pollution, and malaria prevalence in the house sparrow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coraline Bichet

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic pollution poses a threat for the environment and wildlife. Trace metals (TMs are known to have negative effects on haematological status, oxidative balance, and reproductive success in birds. These pollutants particularly increase in concentration in industrialized, urbanized and intensive agricultural areas. Pollutants can also interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system and, as such, alter the dynamics of host-parasite interactions. Nevertheless, the impact of pollution on infectious diseases has been largely neglected in natural populations of vertebrates. Here, we used a large spatial scale monitoring of 16 house sparrow (Passer domesticus populations to identify environmental variables likely to explain variation in TMs (lead, cadmium, zinc concentrations in the feathers. In five of these populations, we also studied the potential link between TMs, prevalence of infection with one species of avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum, and body condition. Our results show that lead concentration is associated with heavily urbanized habitats and that areas with large woodland coverage have higher cadmium and zinc feather concentrations. Our results suggest that lead concentration in the feathers positively correlates with P. relictum prevalence, and that a complex relationship links TM concentrations, infection status, and body condition. This is one of the first studies showing that environmental pollutants are associated with prevalence of an infectious disease in wildlife. The mechanisms underlying this effect are still unknown even though it is tempting to suggest that lead could interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system, as shown in other species. We suggest that more effort should be devoted to elucidate the link between pollution and the dynamics of infectious diseases.

  15. Urbanization, trace metal pollution, and malaria prevalence in the house sparrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bichet, Coraline; Scheifler, Renaud; Cœurdassier, Michaël; Julliard, Romain; Sorci, Gabriele; Loiseau, Claire

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic pollution poses a threat for the environment and wildlife. Trace metals (TMs) are known to have negative effects on haematological status, oxidative balance, and reproductive success in birds. These pollutants particularly increase in concentration in industrialized, urbanized and intensive agricultural areas. Pollutants can also interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system and, as such, alter the dynamics of host-parasite interactions. Nevertheless, the impact of pollution on infectious diseases has been largely neglected in natural populations of vertebrates. Here, we used a large spatial scale monitoring of 16 house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations to identify environmental variables likely to explain variation in TMs (lead, cadmium, zinc) concentrations in the feathers. In five of these populations, we also studied the potential link between TMs, prevalence of infection with one species of avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum, and body condition. Our results show that lead concentration is associated with heavily urbanized habitats and that areas with large woodland coverage have higher cadmium and zinc feather concentrations. Our results suggest that lead concentration in the feathers positively correlates with P. relictum prevalence, and that a complex relationship links TM concentrations, infection status, and body condition. This is one of the first studies showing that environmental pollutants are associated with prevalence of an infectious disease in wildlife. The mechanisms underlying this effect are still unknown even though it is tempting to suggest that lead could interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system, as shown in other species. We suggest that more effort should be devoted to elucidate the link between pollution and the dynamics of infectious diseases.

  16. Activity of intestinal carbohydrases responds to multiple dietary signals in nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzek, Paweł; Kohl, Kevin D; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H

    2013-11-01

    The 'adaptive modulation hypothesis' predicts that activity of digestive enzymes should match the amount of their substrates in diet. Interestingly, many passerine birds do not adjust the activity of intestinal carbohydrases to dietary carbohydrate content. It is difficult to assess the generality of this rule, because in some studies passerines fed on low-carbohydrate and high-lipid diet showed reduced activity of intestinal carbohydrases. However, as carbohydrase activity may be inhibited by high dietary lipid content, it is unclear whether observed effects reflected lack of induction by the low carbohydrate levels or suppression by the high lipid levels. Here, we isolated the specific effects of dietary carbohydrate and lipid on carbohydrases. We hand-fed house sparrow nestlings on diets with 25% starch and 8% lipid (diet HS), no starch and 20% lipid (HL), or 25% starch and 20% lipid (HSL). Our results show that activity of intestinal carbohydrases is simultaneously induced by dietary carbohydrates and decreased by dietary lipid, although the latter effect seems stronger. Activities of maltase and sucrase summed over the total intestine decreased in the order HS>HSL>HL. We observed a complex interaction between diet composition and intestinal position for mass-specific activity of these enzymes, suggesting site-specific responses to changes in digesta composition along the intestines caused by digestion and absorption. We re-interpret results of earlier studies and conclude that there is no unequivocal example of adaptive modulation of intestinal carbohydrases by dietary carbohydrate in adult passerine birds, whereas the present experiment confirms that nestlings of at least some species possess such capacity.

  17. Population Differences at MHC Do Not Explain Enhanced Resistance of Song Sparrows to Local Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slade, Joel W G; Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina; Gloor, Gregory B; Lachance, Marc-André; MacDougall-Shackleton, Elizabeth A

    2017-03-01

    Infectious disease represents an emerging threat to natural populations, particularly when hosts are more susceptible to novel parasites (allopatric) than to parasites from the local area (sympatric). This pattern could arise through evolutionary processes (host populations become adapted to their local parasites and genetically differentiated from other populations at immune-related loci) and/or through ecological interactions (host individuals develop resistance to local parasites through previous exposure). The relative importance of these candidate mechanisms remains unclear. In jawed vertebrates, genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a fundamental role in immunity and are compelling candidates for spatially varying selection. We recently showed that song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) are more susceptible to allopatric than to sympatric strains of malaria (Plasmodium). In the current study, to determine whether population differences at MHC explain this pattern, we characterized the peptide-binding regions of MHC (classes I and II) of birds that did or did not become infected in the previous experiment. We recovered up to 4 alleles per individual at class I, implying at least 2 loci, and up to 26 alleles per individual at class II, implying at least 13 loci. Individuals with more class I alleles were less likely to become infected by Plasmodium, consistent with parasite-mediated balancing selection. However, we found no evidence for population genetic differentiation at either class of MHC, based on 36 individuals sequenced. Resistance to sympatric parasites previously described for this system likely stems from individuals' prior immune experience, not from population differentiation and locally protective alleles at MHC. © The American Genetic Association 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Genetic population structure in an equatorial sparrow: roles for culture and geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, J E; Fleischer, R C; Danner, R M; Moore, I T

    2017-06-01

    Female preference for local cultural traits has been proposed as a barrier to breeding among animal populations. As such, several studies have found correlations between male bird song dialects and population genetics over relatively large distances. To investigate whether female choice for local dialects could act as a barrier to breeding between nearby and contiguous populations, we tested whether variation in male song dialects explains genetic structure among eight populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in Ecuador. Our study sites lay along a transect, and adjacent study sites were separated by approximately 25 km, an order of magnitude less than previously examined for this and most other species. This transect crossed an Andean ridge and through the Quijos River Valley, both of which may be barriers to gene flow. Using a variance partitioning approach, we show that song dialect is important in explaining population genetics, independent of the geographic variables: distance, the river valley and the Andean Ridge. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that song acts as a barrier to breeding among populations in close proximity. In addition, songs of contiguous populations differed by the same degree or more than between two populations previously shown to exhibit female preference for local dialect, suggesting that birds from these populations would also breed preferentially with locals. As expected, all geographic variables (distance, the river valley and the Andean Ridge) also predicted population genetic structure. Our results have important implications for the understanding whether, and at what spatial scale, culture can affect population divergence. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Studies of the effect of grasshopper abdominal secretion on wound healing with the use of murine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buszewska-Forajta, M; Siluk, D; Daghir-Wojtkowiak, E; Sejda, A; Staśkowiak, D; Biernat, W; Kaliszan, R

    2015-12-24

    Grasshopper, belonging to Chorthippus sp., is a widespread insect inhabiting Polish territory. According to folk knowledge and folk tales, the grasshopper abdominal secretion was used by villagers of Central and South-West Poland as a natural drug accelerating the wound healing process. In the reported study the hypothesis about beneficial properties of grasshopper abdominal secretion on hard to heal wounds was verified. The study was carried out with the use of a murine model (mice C57BL/6). In order to verify the beneficial properties of grasshopper abdominal secretion, the wounds of 8mm in diameter were formed on one side of each tested mouse. The influence of ethanolic extract of insects' secretion on healing process was evaluated in comparison to ethanolic solution of allantoin and 30% aqueous solution of ethanol (medium). The observation was carried out over a 14 day period. Finally the statistical analysis (ANOVA) was carried out to highlight the differences in wound healing rate between applied preparations. Moreover, qualitative composition of grasshoppers' secretion was studied with the use of GC/MS technique. During the first three days of observation, wounds treated with allantoin were healed with higher efficiency in comparison to ethanol and insect secretion preparations. The trend of healing changed from the 4th day of observation. Wounds treated with grasshoppers' abdominal secretion were closuring faster than wounds treated with allantoin or ethanol. In this part of observation, in the case of allantoin and ethanol application, the wound healing efficiency was similar. Since the 9th day of experiment the measurement of wounds size was problematic, due to crust formation. Finally at the 14th day of the study, wounds were totally healed. Morphological study enabled to observe all the phases of healing. In the 5th and 8th day, the infiltration of neutrophils and mononuclear cells in dermis was observed, which is characteristic for inflammatory phase

  20. Effects of weather and plague-induced die-offs of prairie dogs on the fleas of northern grasshopper mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Stapp, Paul

    2009-05-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus Ord). Other mammal hosts living on prairie dog colonies may be important in the transmission and maintenance of plague. We examined the flea populations of northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster Wied) before, during, and after plague epizootics in northern Colorado and studied the influence of host and environmental factors on flea abundance patterns. Grasshopper mice were frequently infested with high numbers of fleas, most commonly Pleochaetis exilis Jordan and Thrassis fotus Jordan. Flea loads changed in response to both environmental temperature and rainfall. After plague-induced prairie dog die-offs, flea loads and likelihood of infestation were unchanged for P. exilis, but T. fotus loads declined.

  1. Independent Recruitment of a Flavin-Dependent Monooxygenase for Safe Accumulation of Sequestered Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Grasshoppers and Moths

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Linzhu; Beuerle, Till; Timbilla, James; Ober, Dietrich

    2012-01-01

    Several insect lineages have developed diverse strategies to sequester toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids from food-plants for their own defense. Here, we show that in two highly divergent insect taxa, the hemimetabolous grasshoppers and the holometabolous butterflies, an almost identical strategy evolved independently for safe accumulation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This strategy involves a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase that transfers the pyrrolizidine alkaloids to their respective N-oxide,...

  2. Quantitative analysis of diet structure by real-time PCR, reveals different feeding patterns by two dominant grasshopper species

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Xunbing; Wu, Huihui; McNeill, Mark Richard; Qin, Xinghu; Ma, Jingchuan; Tu, Xiongbing; Cao, Guangchun; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-01-01

    This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, 31471823, the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System, CARS-35-07, and the Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. Studies on grasshopper diets have historically employed a range of methodologies, each with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, some methodologies are qualitative instead of quantitative. Others require long experimental periods or examine population...

  3. The DNA-repair Ku70 protein is located in the nucleus and tail of elongating spermatids in grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrero, Josefa; Palomino-Morales, Rogelio J; Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2007-01-01

    Fluorescence immunostaining for the phosphorylated H2AX histone (gammaH2AX) in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans has shown abundance of gammaH2AX in the nuclei of round and elongating spermatids, suggesting that DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) occur regularly during spermiogenesis. Immunofluorescence patterns for Ku70, a DNA-repair protein participating in the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway, showed that this protein is present in round and elongating spermatids, implying that the NHEJ DNA-repair pathway operates during chromatin compaction in spermiogenesis. In addition, during the final stages of spermiogenesis, the Ku70 protein concentrates on the region forming the sperm tail. Since Ku70 was also abundant in spermatid tails, it is reasonable to assume that Ku70 might play a novel function in sperm-tail formation. The analysis of Ku70 immunofluorescence patterns in 13 other grasshopper species also showed the presence of this protein in the nucleus and tail of elongating spermatids, indicating that this is a general characteristic in grasshoppers.

  4. Feeding patterns of the aquatic grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Bruner) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in the middle Paraná river, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capello, S; de Wysiecki, M L; Marchese, M

    2011-01-01

    The aquatic grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Bruner) is native to South America and inhabits lowlands from southern Mexico to Central Argentina and Uruguay. This grasshopper is host-specific to aquatic plants of the genera Eichhornia and Pontederia. The objectives of this study were to analyze the feeding patterns of the aquatic grasshopper C. aquaticum in relationship to development stages and sex and to determine the food consumption rate in their host plant, Eichhornia crassipes. Samples were collected from April 2006 to May 2007 in different floodplain lakes of the Middle Parana River. The average consumption was greater in the females (0.127 g food/day ± 0.051) than in the males (0.060 g food/day ± 0.025). The feces of 361 nymphs and adults of this locust were examined and the most common tissue fragments found were of the water hyacinth (E. crassipes). In the initial nymphal stages (I, II and III), an exclusive consumption of E. crassipes was registered, while in the IV and V stages the choice included also other macrophytes. In summary, C. aquaticum presents polyphagy in the field, feeding on six macrophytes of different classes and families.

  5. The grasshopper

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, Olga; Hansen, Steen Honore; Hellman, Karin

    2013-01-01

    The aim with the present study is to develop a blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability model, which is applicable in the drug discovery phase. The BBB ensures proper neural function but it restricts many drugs from entering the brain and this complicates the development of new drugs against centra...

  6. Participation of endogenous circadian rhythm in photoperiodic time measurement during ovarian responses of the subtropical tree sparrow, Passer montanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Namram Sushindrajit; Dixit, Anand Shanker

    2014-05-01

    Resonance experiment was employed to investigate the mechanism of photoperiodic time measurement during initiation of ovarian growth and functions in the subtropical population of female tree sparrow (Passer montanus) at Shillong (Latitude 25 degrees 34 'N, Longitude 91 degrees 53 'E). Photosensitive birds were subjected to various resonance light dark cycles of different durations such as: 12-(6L:6D), 24-(6L:18D), 36-(6L:30D), 48-(6L:42D), 60-(6L:54D) and 72-(6L:66D) h along with a control group under long days (14L:10D) for 35 days. Birds, exposed to long days, exhibited ovarian growth confirming their photosensitivity at the beginning of the experiment. The birds experiencing resonance light/dark cycles of 12, 36 and 60 h responded well while those exposed to 24, 48 and 72 h cycles did not. Serum levels of estradiol-17beta ran almost parallel to changes in the follicular size. Further, histomorphometric analyses of ovaries of the birds subjected to various resonance light dark cycles revealed distinct correlation with the ovarian growth and the serum levels of estradiol-17beta. No significant change in body weight was observed in the birds under any of the light regimes. The results are in agreement with the avian external coincidence model of photoperiodic time measurement and indicate that an endogenous circadian rhythm is involved during the initiation of the gonadal growth and functions in the female tree sparrow.

  7. High costs of infection: Alphavirus infection reduces digestive function and bone and feather growth in nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassbinder-Orth, Carol A.; Killpack, Tess L.; Goto, Dylan S.; Rainwater, Ellecia L.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.

    2018-01-01

    Increasingly, ecoimmunology studies aim to use relevant pathogen exposure to examine the impacts of infection on physiological processes in wild animals. Alphaviruses are arthropod-borne, single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses (“arboviruses”) responsible for millions of cases of human illnesses each year. Buggy Creek virus (BCRV) is a unique alphavirus that is transmitted by a cimicid insect, the swallow bug, and is amplified in two avian species: the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota). BCRV, like many alphaviruses, exhibits age-dependent susceptibility where the young are most susceptible to developing disease and exhibit a high mortality rate. However, alphavirus disease etiology in nestling birds is unknown. In this study, we infected nestling house sparrows with Buggy Creek virus and measured virological, pathological, growth, and digestive parameters following infection. Buggy Creek virus caused severe encephalitis in all infected nestlings, and the peak viral concentration in brain tissue was over 34 times greater than any other tissue. Growth, tissue development, and digestive function were all significantly impaired during BCRV infection. However, based on histopathological analysis performed, this impairment does not appear to be the result of direct tissue damage by the virus, but likely caused by encephalitis and neuronal invasion and impairment of the central nervous system. This is the first study to examine the course of alphavirus diseases in nestling birds and these results will improve our understanding of age-dependent infections of alphaviruses in vertebrate hosts.

  8. Effects of experimentally elevated traffic noise on nestling white-crowned sparrow stress physiology, immune function and life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, Ondi L; Johnson, Erin E; Blickley, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Breuner, Creagh W

    2013-06-01

    Roads have been associated with behavioral and physiological changes in wildlife. In birds, roads decrease reproductive success and biodiversity and increase physiological stress. Although the consequences of roads on individuals and communities have been well described, the mechanisms through which roads affect birds remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine one mechanism through which roads could affect birds: traffic noise. We exposed nestling mountain white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) to experimentally elevated traffic noise for 5 days during the nestling period. Following exposure to traffic noise we measured nestling stress physiology, immune function, body size, condition and survival. Based on prior studies, we expected the traffic noise treatment to result in elevated stress hormones (glucocorticoids), and declines in immune function, body size, condition and survival. Surprisingly, nestlings exposed to traffic noise had lower glucocorticoid levels and improved condition relative to control nests. These results indicate that traffic noise does affect physiology and development in white-crowned sparrows, but not at all as predicted. Therefore, when evaluating the mechanisms through which roads affect avian populations, other factors (e.g. edge effects, pollution and mechanical vibration) may be more important than traffic noise in explaining elevated nestling stress responses in this species.

  9. Range expansion of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Kenya: evidence of genetic admixture and human-mediated dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrey, Aaron W; Liebl, Andrea L; Richards, Christina L; Martin, Lynn B

    2014-01-01

    Introduced species offer an opportunity to study the ecological process of range expansions. Recently, 3 mechanisms have been identified that may resolve the genetic paradox (the seemingly unlikely success of introduced species given the expected reduction in genetic diversity through bottlenecks or founder effects): multiple introductions, high propagule pressure, and epigenetics. These mechanisms are probably also important in range expansions (either natural or anthropogenic), yet this possibility remains untested in vertebrates. We used microsatellite variation (7 loci) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), an introduced species that has been spreading across Kenya for ~60 years, to determine if patterns of variation could explain how this human commensal overcame the genetic paradox and expresses such considerable phenotypic differentiation across this new range. We note that in some cases, polygenic traits and epistasis among genes, for example, may not have negative effects on populations. House sparrows arrived in Kenya by a single introduction event (to Mombasa, ~1950) and have lower genetic diversity than native European and introduced North American populations. We used Bayesian clustering of individuals (n = 233) to detect that at least 2 types of range expansion occurred in Kenya: one with genetic admixture and one with little to no admixture. We also found that genetic diversity increased toward a range edge, and the range expansion was consistent with long-distance dispersal. Based on these data, we expect that the Kenyan range expansion was anthropogenically influenced, as the expansions of other introduced human commensals may also be.

  10. Are color or high rearing density related to migratory polyphenism in the band-winged grasshopper, Oedaleus asiaticus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cease, Arianne J; Hao, Shuguang; Kang, Le; Elser, James J; Harrison, Jon F

    2010-08-01

    Locusts represent an impressive example of migratory polyphenism, with high densities triggering a switch from a solitarious, shorter dispersal range, and sometimes greenish phenotype to a gregarious and sometimes darker form exhibiting behavioral, morphological and physiological traits associated with long-distance migratory swarms. While such polyphenism has been well documented in Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria, the extent to which other grasshoppers exhibit this type of migratory polyphenism is unclear. Anecdotally, the Chinese grasshopper, Oedaleus asiaticus, forms migratory swarms comprised mostly of a darker, brown-colored morph, but also exhibits a non-migratory green-colored morph that predominates at low densities. In a population in Inner Mongolia not currently exhibiting migratory swarms, we found that while green and brown O. asiaticus are found concurrently across our sampled range, only brown grasshoppers were found in high densities. Differences between field-collected brown and green forms matched some but not key predictions associated with the hypothesis that the brown form is morphologically and physiologically specialized for gregarious migration. Controlling for body mass, brown forms had more massive thoraxes, abdomens and legs, and higher metabolic rates, but not more flight muscle or lipid stores. Further, the brown and green grasshoppers did not differ in gregarious behavior, and neither would fly in multiple lab and field trials. Lab or field-rearing at high densities for one-to-multiple juvenile instars caused grasshoppers to exhibit some morphological traits predicted to benefit migration (larger wings and a shift in relative mass from abdomen to thorax), but did not change color or induce flight behavior. One hypothesis to explain these data is that a migratory form of O. asiaticus is partially triggered by high field densities, but that existing ecological conditions blocked full expression of such traits (and outbreak

  11. Publically accessible decision support system of the spatially referenced regressions on watershed attributes (SPARROW) model and model enhancements in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celeste Journey; Anne B. Hoos; David E. Ladd; John W. brakebill; Richard A. Smith

    2016-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment program has developed a web-based decision support system (DSS) to provide free public access to the steady-stateSPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model simulation results on nutrient conditions in streams and rivers and to offer scenario testing capabilities for...

  12. Susceptibility and antibody response of Vesper Sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) to West Nile virus: A potential amplification host in sagebrush-grassland habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Fassbinder-Orth, Carol; Owen, Benjamin; Franson, J. Christian

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) spread to the US western plains states in 2003, when a significant mortality event attributed to WNV occurred in Greater Sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ). The role of avian species inhabiting sagebrush in the amplification of WNV in arid and semiarid regions of the North America is unknown. We conducted an experimental WNV challenge study in Vesper Sparrows ( Pooecetes gramineus ), a species common to sagebrush and grassland habitats found throughout much of North America. We found Vesper Sparrows to be moderately susceptible to WNV, developing viremia considered sufficient to transmit WNV to feeding mosquitoes, but the majority of birds were capable of surviving infection and developing a humoral immune response to the WNV nonstructural 1 and envelope proteins. Despite clearance of viremia, after 6 mo, WNV was detected molecularly in three birds and cultured from one bird. Surviving Vesper Sparrows were resistant to reinfection 6 mo after the initial challenge. Vesper sparrows could play a role in the amplification of WNV in sagebrush habitat and other areas of their range, but rapid clearance of WNV may limit their importance as competent amplification hosts of WNV.

  13. Adaptation to ephemeral habitat may overcome natural barriers and severe habitat fragmentation in a fire-dependent species, the Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerame, Blain; Cox, James A; Brumfield, Robb T; Tucker, James W; Taylor, Sabrina S

    2014-01-01

    Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) is a fire-dependent species that has undergone range-wide population declines in recent decades. We examined genetic diversity in Bachman's Sparrows to determine whether natural barriers have led to distinct population units and to assess the effect of anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation. Genetic diversity was examined across the geographic range by genotyping 226 individuals at 18 microsatellite loci and sequencing 48 individuals at mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Multiple analyses consistently demonstrated little genetic structure and high levels of genetic variation, suggesting that populations are panmictic. Based on these genetic data, separate management units/subspecies designations or translocations to promote gene flow among fragmented populations do not appear to be necessary. Panmixia in Bachman's Sparrow may be a consequence of an historical range expansion and retraction. Alternatively, high vagility in Bachman's Sparrow may be an adaptation to the ephemeral, fire-mediated habitat that this species prefers. In recent times, high vagility also appears to have offset inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity in highly fragmented habitat.

  14. Newcastle disease virus infection in sparrows (Passer domesticus, Linneaus, 1758 captured in poultry farms of the agreste region of the State of Pernambuco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JSA Silva

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Reservoir competence for the Newcastle Disease virus (NDV was evaluated in sparrows (Passer domesticus, Linnaeus 1758 captured on a commercial poultry farm and a chicken hatchery in the State of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. A total number of 103 birds collected from a poultry farm (24/103 and a chicken hatchery (79/103 were examined. Hemagglutination inhibition tests, isolation, and viral characterization were performed in all samples collected from each bird. Titers ranging from 1:2 to 1:64 were detectable in 10.68% of sparrows, but positive serology and viral isolation were obtained only from sparrows captured at the hatchery. Hemagglutination activity was inhibited by anti-avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1 serum, and this sample showed an intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICOI of 0.21, which is similar to the B1 stock vaccine (0.20 used for vaccination in those farms. Therefore, it was concluded that the sparrows were infected by stock vaccine virus, and that these birds could be a reservoir for NDV. However, additional studies involving sequencing of the virus genome of stock vaccine must be carried out.

  15. Chronic exposure to a low dose of ingested petroleum disrupts corticosterone receptor signalling in a tissue-specific manner in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Romero, L Michael

    2014-01-01

    Stress-induced concentrations of glucocorticoid hormones (including corticosterone, CORT) can be suppressed by chronic exposure to a low dose of ingested petroleum. However, endocrine-disrupting chemicals could interfere with CORT signalling beyond the disruption of hormone titres, including effects on receptors in different target tissues. In this study, we examined the effects of 6 weeks of exposure to a petroleum-laced diet (1% oil weight:food weight) on tissue mass and intracellular CORT receptors in liver, fat, muscle and kidney (metabolic tissues), spleen (an immune tissue) and testes (a reproductive tissue). In the laboratory, male house sparrows were fed either a 1% weathered crude oil (n = 12) or a control diet (n = 12); glucocorticoid receptors and mineralocorticoid receptors were quantified using radioligand binding assays. In oil-exposed birds, glucocorticoid receptors were lower in one metabolic tissue (liver), higher in another metabolic tissue (fat) and unchanged in four other tissues (kidney, muscle, spleen and testes) compared with control birds. We saw no differences in mineralocorticoid receptors between groups. We also saw a trend towards reduced mass of the testes in oil-exposed birds compared with controls, but no differences in fat, kidney, liver, muscle or spleen mass between the two groups. This is the first study to examine the effects of petroleum on CORT receptor density in more than one or two target tissues. Given that a chronic low dose of ingested petroleum can affect stress-induced CORT titres as well as receptor density, this demonstrates that oil can act at multiple levels to disrupt an animal's response to environmental stressors. This also highlights the potential usefulness of the stress response as a bioindicator of chronic crude oil exposure.

  16. Little effect of extrapair paternity on the opportunity for sexual selection in Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman-Gallant, Corey R; Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Meiklejohn, Katherine E; States, Sarah L; Sollecito, Suzanne V

    2005-02-01

    Extrapair paternity (EPP) can dramatically increase the opportunity for sexual selection if relatively few males are able to monopolize the majority of fertilizations in a population. Although recent work with birds suggests that EPP can increase the standardized variance in male reproductive success (Is) as much as 13-fold, only a male's within-pair success is typically quantified with any accuracy. In most cases, nearly half of all extrapair young are of unknown parentage. A strong, negative correlation across studies between the proportion of extrapair young for which parentage is known and the apparent effect of EPP on Is (r(s) = -0.71, P = 0.013, N = 13 studies) suggests that the incomplete sampling of extrapair sires has greatly exaggerated the influence of EPP. To achieve a more thorough accounting of EPP and its importance to variation in male fitness, we used a suite of four to six microsatellite loci to identify extrapair young and their sires in a polygynous population of Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis). Pooling over the 2002 and 2003 breeding seasons, 79 of 116 females (68.1%) produced young outside of the pairbond and 194 of 411 offspring (47.2%) were extrapair. We identified sires for 96.4% of all young (N = 396), including sires for 92.3% of the extrapair young (N = 179), allowing us to partition Is into within-pair and extrapair components. In both years, EPP-related fitness components generated more variation in male reproductive success than the number or quality of within-pair mates. Differences among males in the number of extrapair mates alone accounted for 56.6% of Is in 2002 and for 23.6% of Is in 2003. Nonetheless, in absolute terms, the occurrence of EPP on Kent Island increased the opportunity for sexual selection less than two-fold. Averaging over the two years, Is was only 78% higher than Is,app, the variance in male reproductive success that would have occurred had EPP been nonexistent and males sired all young on their

  17. Use of MODIS Data in Dynamic SPARROW Analysis of Watershed Loading Reductions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R. A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Brakebill, J. W.; Hoos, A.; Moore, R. B.; Nolin, A. W.; Shih, J. S.; Journey, C. A.; Macauley, M.

    2014-12-01

    Predicting the temporal response of stream water quality to a proposed reduction in contaminant loading is a major watershed management problem due to temporary storage of contaminants in groundwater, vegetation, snowpack, etc. We describe the response of dynamically calibrated SPARROW models of total nitrogen (TN) flux to hypothetical reductions in reactive nitrogen inputs in three sub-regional watersheds: Potomac River Basin (Chesapeake Bay drainage), Long Island Sound drainage, and South Carolina coastal drainage. The models are based on seasonal water quality and watershed input data from 170 monitoring stations for the period 2002 to 2008.The spatial reference frames of the three models are stream networks containing an average 38,000 catchments and the time step is seasonal. We use MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and snow/ice cover data to parameterize seasonal uptake and release of nitrogen from vegetation and snowpack. The model accounts for storage of total nitrogen inputs from fertilized cropland, pasture, urban land, and atmospheric deposition. Model calibration is by non-linear regression. Model source terms based on previous season export allow for recursive simulation of stream flux and can be used to estimate the approximate residence times of TN in the watersheds. Catchment residence times in the Long Island Sound Basin are shorter (typically 1 year), in part, because a significant fraction of nitrogen flux derives from snowmelt and occurs within one season of snowfall. We use the calibrated models to examine the response of TN flux to hypothetical step reductions in source inputs at the beginning of the 2002-2008 period and the influence of observed fluctuations in precipitation, temperature, vegetation growth and snow melt over the period. Following non-point source reductions of up to 100%, stream flux was found to continue to vary greatly for several years as a function of seasonal conditions, with high values in both winter (January

  18. Sequential loading of cohesin subunits during the first meiotic prophase of grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdeolmillos, Ana M; Viera, Alberto; Page, Jesús; Prieto, Ignacio; Santos, Juan L; Parra, María Teresa; Heck, Margarete M S; Martínez-A, Carlos; Barbero, José L; Suja, José A; Rufas, Julio S

    2007-02-23

    The cohesin complexes play a key role in chromosome segregation during both mitosis and meiosis. They establish sister chromatid cohesion between duplicating DNA molecules during S-phase, but they also have an important role during postreplicative double-strand break repair in mitosis, as well as during recombination between homologous chromosomes in meiosis. An additional function in meiosis is related to the sister kinetochore cohesion, so they can be pulled by microtubules to the same pole at anaphase I. Data about the dynamics of cohesin subunits during meiosis are scarce; therefore, it is of great interest to characterize how the formation of the cohesin complexes is achieved in order to understand the roles of the different subunits within them. We have investigated the spatio-temporal distribution of three different cohesin subunits in prophase I grasshopper spermatocytes. We found that structural maintenance of chromosome protein 3 (SMC3) appears as early as preleptotene, and its localization resembles the location of the unsynapsed axial elements, whereas radiation-sensitive mutant 21 (RAD21) (sister chromatid cohesion protein 1, SCC1) and stromal antigen protein 1 (SA1) (sister chromatid cohesion protein 3, SCC3) are not visualized until zygotene, since they are located in the synapsed regions of the bivalents. During pachytene, the distribution of the three cohesin subunits is very similar and all appear along the trajectories of the lateral elements of the autosomal synaptonemal complexes. However, whereas SMC3 also appears over the single and unsynapsed X chromosome, RAD21 and SA1 do not. We conclude that the loading of SMC3 and the non-SMC subunits, RAD21 and SA1, occurs in different steps throughout prophase I grasshopper meiosis. These results strongly suggest the participation of SMC3 in the initial cohesin axis formation as early as preleptotene, thus contributing to sister chromatid cohesion, with a later association of both RAD21 and SA1

  19. Sequential loading of cohesin subunits during the first meiotic prophase of grasshoppers.

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    Ana M Valdeolmillos

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available The cohesin complexes play a key role in chromosome segregation during both mitosis and meiosis. They establish sister chromatid cohesion between duplicating DNA molecules during S-phase, but they also have an important role during postreplicative double-strand break repair in mitosis, as well as during recombination between homologous chromosomes in meiosis. An additional function in meiosis is related to the sister kinetochore cohesion, so they can be pulled by microtubules to the same pole at anaphase I. Data about the dynamics of cohesin subunits during meiosis are scarce; therefore, it is of great interest to characterize how the formation of the cohesin complexes is achieved in order to understand the roles of the different subunits within them. We have investigated the spatio-temporal distribution of three different cohesin subunits in prophase I grasshopper spermatocytes. We found that structural maintenance of chromosome protein 3 (SMC3 appears as early as preleptotene, and its localization resembles the location of the unsynapsed axial elements, whereas radiation-sensitive mutant 21 (RAD21 (sister chromatid cohesion protein 1, SCC1 and stromal antigen protein 1 (SA1 (sister chromatid cohesion protein 3, SCC3 are not visualized until zygotene, since they are located in the synapsed regions of the bivalents. During pachytene, the distribution of the three cohesin subunits is very similar and all appear along the trajectories of the lateral elements of the autosomal synaptonemal complexes. However, whereas SMC3 also appears over the single and unsynapsed X chromosome, RAD21 and SA1 do not. We conclude that the loading of SMC3 and the non-SMC subunits, RAD21 and SA1, occurs in different steps throughout prophase I grasshopper meiosis. These results strongly suggest the participation of SMC3 in the initial cohesin axis formation as early as preleptotene, thus contributing to sister chromatid cohesion, with a later association of both RAD21

  20. B chromosome prevalence and physical mapping of 18S rDNA and H4 histone sites in the grasshopper Xyleus discoideus angulatus (Romaleidae).

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    Machado, C B; Silva Neto, L C; Loreto, V; Souza, M J

    2014-03-26

    We sampled 11 natural populations of the grasshopper Xyleus discoideus angulatus in Northeastern Brazil to analyze B chromosome frequency and meiotic behavior. We observed a single large B chromosome, resembling the X chromosome, in 29 of the 402 specimens. Eight of the 11 populations had B chromosomes, with a rather broad geographical distribution, suggesting that this is an ancient polymorphism; significant differences were observed in B chromosome prevalence among the populations. Presence of the B chromosome was associated with increased frequency of macrospermatids. Fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed 18S rDNA sites in the pericentromeric regions of the X and L3 chromosomes, although some populations had an additional locus on the M4 chromosome. No variation was found for chromosome location of H4 histone genes, which were always observed in paracentromeric regions of the L2, M4 and X chromosomes, a rather unusual location compared to locations known from the families Acrididae and Proscopiidae. These B chromosomes lacked these two kinds of repetitive DNA, at least in amounts that can be visualized by fluorescent in situ hybridization, suggesting that these B chromosomes did not originate from any of the four chromosomes carrying rDNA or H4 histone genes.

  1. The U2 snDNA Is a Useful Marker for B Chromosome Detection and Frequency Estimation in the Grasshopper Abracris flavolineata.

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    Milani, Diogo; Palacios-Gimenez, Octavio M; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we describe a strategy to determine the presence of B chromosomes in the living grasshopper Abracris flavolineata by FISH using U2 snDNA as a probe in interphase hemolymph nuclei. In individuals without B chromosomes, (0B) 2 dot signals were noticed, corresponding to A complement U2 snDNA clusters. In +1B and +2B individuals, 4 or 8 additional signals were noticed, respectively. In all cases, the absence or presence of 1 or 2 B chromosomes correlated in hemolymph and in somatic or germline tissues, validating the efficiency of the marker. Our data suggest that the B chromosome of A. flavolineata is present in all somatic tissues. B-carrying individuals showed the same number of B chromosomes in germ and somatic cells, suggesting that the B is mitotically stable. The marker was used to compare B chromosome frequency in the analyzed population with a sample collected previously, in order to test for B frequency changes and differences of B chromosome prevalence among sexes, but no statistically significant differences were noticed. The identification of living animals harboring B chromosomes will be very useful in future studies of B chromosome transmission, as well as in functional studies involving RNA analysis, thus contributing to the understanding of evolutionary history and the possible role of the B chromosome in A. flavolineata. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. Identification of lipid fraction constituents from grasshopper (Chorthippus spp.) abdominal secretion with potential activity in wound healing with the use of GC-MS/MS technique.

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    Buszewska-Forajta, Magdalena; Siluk, Danuta; Struck-Lewicka, Wiktoria; Raczak-Gutknecht, Joanna; Markuszewski, Michał J; Kaliszan, Roman

    2014-02-01

    In recent years biologically active compounds isolated from insects call special interest of drug researchers. According to some Polish etnopharmacological observations, secretion from the grasshopper's abdomen (Orthoptera family) is believed to speed up the process of wound healing. In the present work we focused on determination of main components of the lipid fraction of material from grasshopper abdomen using GC-MS/MS. Samples were qualitatively analyzed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Both liquid-liquid extraction and solid-phase extraction pretreatment methods were used to concentrate and fractionate the compounds from the insect. In the derivatized fractions ca. 350 compounds were identified, including substances of known biological activity. The potential agents affecting wound healing have been indicated. A set of compounds characteristic for all the studied Chorthippus spp., have been identified. Data analysis revealed different lipidomic profiles of grasshoppers depending on the insects origin and collection area. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of short-term fasting on stress physiology, body condition, and locomotor activity in wintering male white-crowned sparrows.

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    Krause, Jesse S; Pérez, Jonathan H; Meddle, Simone L; Wingfield, John C

    2017-08-01

    For wild free-living animals the availability of food resources can be greatly affected by environmental perturbations such as weather events. In response to environmental perturbations, animals activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to adjust physiology and behavior. The literature asserts that during weather events food intake declines leading to changes in HPA axis activity, as measured by both baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid concentrations. Here we investigated how body condition, locomotor activity, and stress physiology were affected by varying lengths of a fast (1, 2, 6, and 24h; similar to that experienced by free-living birds) compared to when food was provided ad libitum in captive wintering male white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, exposed to a short day photoperiod. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were increased for all fasting durations but were highest in 6 and 24h fasted birds. Stress-induced corticosterone was elevated in 1h fasted birds with a trend for the 2h of fast; no other differences were found. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were negatively related to both total fat scores and body mass. All birds lost body mass regardless of fast length but birds fasted for 24h lost the most. Fat scores declined in the 6 and 24h groups, and no measureable changes were detected in pectoralis muscle profile. Locomotor activity was increased over the entire period in which food was removed regardless of fasting duration. Together this suggests that reduced food availability is responsible, at least in part, for the rapid elevation both baseline corticosterone under any duration of fast and stress-induced concentrations during short-term fasts. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The role of the host-specific grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Orthoptera: Acrididae as consumer of native Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae floating meadows

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    María Celeste Franceschini

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Cornops aquaticum is a widely distributed semiaquatic grasshopper in the Neotropics. The development, feeding and oviposition of C. aquaticum take place on Pontederiaceae, especially on species of Eichhornia. Several aspects of the feeding of C. aquaticum are studied because is one of the most important herbivores of the highly invasive floating Eichhornia crassipes in native areas. The aims of this paper were: (1 to quantify the amount of E. crassipes consumed by C. aquaticum, (2 to determine the growth rate and the conversion efficiency of food ingested by this grasshopper, and (3 to determine the possible effect of consumption on E. crassipes productivity. Thirty individuals from each specific age class were used in the experiment: nymphs A, nymphs B, adult males and adult females. Insects were individually confined in plastic pots with a leaf of E. crassipes. We estimated feeding by individual, consumption index (CI, relative growth rate (GR and efficiency of conversion of ingested food to body substance (ECI. The impact of C. aquaticum consumption on E. crassipes floating meadows was assessed with the abundance of the grasshopper, and the available data on primary production of the host plant at the study site. Food intake of C. aquaticum was 11.23% of plant productivity. Food consumption, growth rate and food conversion efficiency of this grasshopper varied according to the specific age classes. Damage caused by C. aquaticum is high in comparison with the damage caused by other semiaquatic and grassland grasshoppers, however it is not enough to prevent the growth and coverage of native E. crassipes floating meadows because abundance of grasshoppers are realtively low and the growth rate and productivity of the host plant is high. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (3: 1407-1418. Epub 2011 September 01.

  5. The role of the host-specific grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Orthoptera: Acrididae) as consumer of native Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae) floating meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, María Celeste; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Poi de Neiff, Alicia; Galassi, María Eugenia; Martínez Fedra, Solange

    2011-09-01

    Cornops aquaticum is a widely distributed semiaquatic grasshopper in the Neotropics. The development, feeding and oviposition of C. aquaticum take place on Pontederiaceae, especially on species of Eichhornia. Several aspects of the feeding of C. aquaticum are studied because is one of the most important herbivores of the highly invasive floating Eichhornia crassipes in native areas. The aims of this paper were: (1) to quantify the amount of E. crassipes consumed by C. aquaticum, (2) to determine the growth rate and the conversion efficiency of food ingested by this grasshopper, and (3) to determine the possible effect of consumption on E. crassipes productivity. Thirty individuals from each specific age class were used in the experiment: nymphs A, nymphs B, adult males and adult females. Insects were individually confined in plastic pots with a leaf of E. crassipes. We estimated feeding by individual, consumption index (CI), relative growth rate (GR) and efficiency of conversion of ingested food to body substance (ECI). The impact of C. aquaticum consumption on E. crassipes floating meadows was assessed with the abundance of the grasshopper, and the available data on primary production of the host plant at the study site. Food intake of C. aquaticum was 11.23% of plant productivity. Food consumption, growth rate and food conversion efficiency of this grasshopper varied according to the specific age classes. Damage caused by C. aquaticum is high in comparison with the damage caused by other semiaquatic and grassland grasshoppers, however it is not enough to prevent the growth and coverage of native E. crassipes floating meadows because abundance of grasshoppers are realtively low and the growth rate and productivity of the host plant is high.

  6. Nematodes (Mermithidae parasitizing grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae in the Pampean region, Argentina

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    J. M. Rusconi

    Full Text Available Abstract This work provides the results of a survey of entomonematodes parasites of grasshoppers in grasslands of the Pampean Region, Argentina. Nymphs of Staurorhectus longicornis Giglio-Tos, Laplatacris dispar Rhen, 1939, Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos, 1894 and Metaleptea brevicornis (L. (Orthoptera: Acrididae were collected. Mermithidae was the only family registered with seven species: Agamermis decaudata Cobb, Steiner and Christie, 1923, Amphimermis bonaerensis Miralles and Camino, 1983, Amphimermis dichroplusi Camino and Lange, 1997, Amphimermis ronderosi Camino and Lange, 1997, Hexamermis coclhearius Stock and Camino, 1992, Hexamermis ovistriata Stock and Camino, 1992, and Longimermis acridophila Camino and Stock, 1989. The values of parasitism ranged between 1-12%, and intensity not overcome the number of 5.0 nematodes per larva. The nematodes observed showed specificity, not registering the same species of parasite in more than one host species. The Pampean region constituted an area with high diversity of mermithids where new species could be consider as bioregulator agents of this troublesome insect pests in agricultural areas of Argentina.

  7. Direct visualization of hemolymph flow in the heart of a grasshopper (Schistocerca americana

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    Socha John J

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hemolymph flow patterns in opaque insects have never been directly visualized due to the lack of an appropriate imaging technique. The required spatial and temporal resolutions, together with the lack of contrast between the hemolymph and the surrounding soft tissue, are major challenges. Previously, indirect techniques have been used to infer insect heart motion and hemolymph flow, but such methods fail to reveal fine-scale kinematics of heartbeat and details of intra-heart flow patterns. Results With the use of microbubbles as high contrast tracer particles, we directly visualized hemolymph flow in a grasshopper (Schistocerca americana using synchrotron x-ray phase-contrast imaging. In-vivo intra-heart flow patterns and the relationship between respiratory (tracheae and air sacs and circulatory (heart systems were directly observed for the first time. Conclusion Synchrotron x-ray phase contrast imaging is the only generally applicable technique that has the necessary spatial, temporal resolutions and sensitivity to directly visualize heart dynamics and flow patterns inside opaque animals. This technique has the potential to illuminate many long-standing questions regarding small animal circulation, encompassing topics such as retrograde heart flow in some insects and the development of flow in embryonic vertebrates.

  8. Metaphase I orientation of Robertsonian trivalents in the water-hyacinth grasshopper, Cornops aquaticum (Acrididae, Orthoptera

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    Pablo César Colombo

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Trivalents resulting from polymorphic Robertsonian rearrangements must have a regular orientation in metaphase I if the polymorphisms are to be maintained. It has been argued that redistribution of proximal and interstitial chiasmata to more distal positions is necessary for a convergent orientation, the only one that produces viable gametes. Cornops aquaticum is a South-American grasshopper that lives and feeds on water-hyacinths, and has three polymorphic Robertsonian rearrangements in its southernmost distribution area in Central Argentina and Uruguay. The orientation of trivalents in metaphase I, the formation of abnormal spermatids and the frequency and position of chiasmata in the trivalents, was analysed in a polymorphic population of C. aquaticus. In this study we observed a correlation between the number of trivalents with the frequency of abnormal spermatids; additionally, the number of chiasmata, especially proximal and interstitial ones, was strongly correlated with the frequency of the linear orientation. Therefore we confirmed our previous assumption, based on other evidence, that the chiasmata redistribution in fusion carriers is essential to the maintenance of the polymorphisms.

  9. Differentiations of Chitin Content and Surface Morphologies of Chitins Extracted from Male and Female Grasshopper Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaya, Murat; Lelešius, Evaldas; Nagrockaitė, Radvilė; Sargin, Idris; Arslan, Gulsin; Mol, Abbas; Baran, Talat; Can, Esra; Bitim, Betul

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), elemental analysis (EA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to investigate chitin structure isolated from both sexes of four grasshopper species. FT-IR, EA, XRD, and TGA showed that the chitin was in the alpha form. With respect to gender, two main differences were observed. First, we observed that the quantity of chitin was greater in males than in females and the dry weight of chitin between species ranged from 4.71% to 11.84%. Second, using SEM, we observed that the male chitin surface structure contained 25 – 90nm wide nanofibers and 90 – 250 nm nanopores, while no pores or nanofibers were observed in the chitin surface structure of the majority of females (nanofibers were observed only in M. desertus females). In contrast, the elemental analysis, thermal properties, and crystalline index values for chitin were similar in males and females. Also, we carried out enzymatic digestion of the isolated chitins using commercial chitinase from Streptomyces griseus. We observed that there were no big differences in digestion rate of the chitins from both sexes and commercial chitin. The digestion rates were for grasshoppers’ chitins; 88.45–95.48% and for commercial chitin; 94.95%. PMID:25635814

  10. Quantitative analysis of NOR expression in a B chromosome of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teruel, María; Cabrero, Josefa; Perfectti, Francisco; Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2009-06-01

    The B24 chromosome in the Torrox population of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans is recurrently attached to a nucleolus in diplotene cells, indicating the activity of its distally located ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The frequency of males expressing the B chromosome nucleolus organizer region (B-NOR) almost doubled in 4 years. The likelihood of expressing the B-NOR increased with the B number and, in males expressing it, about 20% of their cells showed a nucleolus attached to the B. When active, the B-NOR contributed more than 25% of total cell nucleolar area (NA). Within males expressing the B-NOR, total cell NA did not differ between cells showing the active or inactive B-NOR, suggesting that total cell NA is tightly regulated in this species. However, this parameter tended to increase in this population from 1999 to 2004, in parallel to the neutralization process which is taking place in this population. Finally, an analysis of A chromosome NOR interdependence for activity revealed a positive correlation among autosomes but a negative correlation between autosomes and the X chromosome, the manifestation of which depends on B-NOR activity. These results are discussed in the context of the nucleolus as a sensor of the stress caused by parasitic B chromosomes.

  11. Ribosomal DNA in the grasshopper Podisma pedestris: escape from concerted evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Irene; Chintauan-Marquier, Ioana C; Veltsos, Paris; Nichols, Richard A

    2006-10-01

    Eukaryote nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) typically exhibits strong concerted evolution: a pattern in which several hundred rDNA sequences within any one species show little or no genetic diversity, whereas the sequences of different species diverge. We report a markedly different pattern in the genome of the grasshopper Podisma pedestris. Single individuals contain several highly divergent ribosomal DNA groups. Analysis of the magnitude of divergence indicates that these groups have coexisted in the Podisma lineage for at least 11 million years. There are two putatively functional groups, each estimated to be at least 4 million years old, and several pseudogene groups, many of which are transcribed. Southern hybridization and real-time PCR experiments show that only one of the putatively functional types occurs at high copy number. However, this group is scarcely amplified under standard PCR conditions, which means that phylogenetic inference on the basis of standard PCR would be severely distorted. The analysis suggests that concerted evolution has been remarkably ineffective in P. pedestris. We propose that this outcome may be related to the species' exceptionally large genome and the associated low rate of deletion per base pair, which may allow pseudogenes to persist.

  12. The 5S rDNA in two Abracris grasshoppers (Ommatolampidinae: Acrididae): molecular and chromosomal organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Danilo; Palacios-Gimenez, Octavio Manuel; Martí, Dardo Andrea; Mariguela, Tatiane Casagrande; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo Cavalcanti

    2016-08-01

    The 5S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences are subject of dynamic evolution at chromosomal and molecular levels, evolving through concerted and/or birth-and-death fashion. Among grasshoppers, the chromosomal location for this sequence was established for some species, but little molecular information was obtained to infer evolutionary patterns. Here, we integrated data from chromosomal and nucleotide sequence analysis for 5S rDNA in two Abracris species aiming to identify evolutionary dynamics. For both species, two arrays were identified, a larger sequence (named type-I) that consisted of the entire 5S rDNA gene plus NTS (non-transcribed spacer) and a smaller (named type-II) with truncated 5S rDNA gene plus short NTS that was considered a pseudogene. For type-I sequences, the gene corresponding region contained the internal control region and poly-T motif and the NTS presented partial transposable elements. Between the species, nucleotide differences for type-I were noticed, while type-II was identical, suggesting pseudogenization in a common ancestor. At chromosomal point to view, the type-II was placed in one bivalent, while type-I occurred in multiple copies in distinct chromosomes. In Abracris, the evolution of 5S rDNA was apparently influenced by the chromosomal distribution of clusters (single or multiple location), resulting in a mixed mechanism integrating concerted and birth-and-death evolution depending on the unit.

  13. A single, recent origin of the accessory B chromosome of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Pajares, A Jesús; Martínez-Rodríguez, Laura; Teruel, María; Cabrero, Josefa; Camacho, Juan Pedro M; Perfectti, Francisco

    2011-03-01

    B chromosomes are dispensable chromosomes found in >2000 eukaryotic species, usually behaving as genomic parasites. Most B chromosomes seem to be made up of the same kind of DNA sequences present in the A chromosomes. This sequence similarity makes it difficult to obtain specific molecular probes that may permit B-presence diagnosis without cytogenetic analysis. We have developed a sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) marker for B chromosomes in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans, which specifically amplifies a 1510-bp DNA fragment exclusively in B-carrying individuals. Fluorescent in situ hybridization and fiber FISH analyses showed that this marker is a tandemly repeated DNA sequence closely intermingled with 45S rDNA. PCR reactions showed the presence of SCAR-like sequences in the A chromosomes, but in two separate fragments, supporting the intraspecific origin of B chromosomes in this species. SCAR marker DNA sequence showed to be identical in B chromosome variants from several localities from Spain and Morocco, and it was very similar to those found in B chromosome variants from Greece and Armenia. This strongly suggests that this sequence was already present in the ancestral B chromosome of this species. In addition, the scarce sequence variation observed among several B variants from very distant populations suggests either a functional constraint or, more likely, a recent and unique origin for B chromosomes in this species. © 2011 by the Genetics Society of America

  14. Histone H2AX phosphorylation is associated with most meiotic events in grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrero, J; Teruel, M; Carmona, F D; Camacho, J P M

    2007-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the H2AX histone in its phosphorylated form (gamma-H2AX) is related to the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In several organisms, gamma-H2AX presence has been demonstrated in meiotic processes such as recombination and sex chromosome inactivation during prophase I (from leptotene to pachytene). To test whether gamma-H2AX is present beyond pachytene, we have analysed the complete sequence of changes in H2AX phosphorylation during meiosis in grasshopper, a model organism for meiotic studies at the cytological level. We show the presence of phosphorylated H2AX during most of meiosis, with the exception only of diplotene and the end of each meiotic division. During the first meiotic division, gamma-H2AX is associated with i) recombination, as deduced from its presence in leptotene-zygotene over all chromosome length, ii) X chromosome inactivation, since at pachytene gamma-H2AX is present in the X chromosome only, and iii) chromosome segregation, as deduced from gamma-H2AX presence in centromere regions at first metaphase-anaphase. During second meiotic division, gamma-H2AX was very abundant at most chromosome lengths from metaphase to telophase, suggesting its possible association with the maintenance of chromosome condensation and segregation. Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Microdissection and chromosome painting of X and B chromosomes in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teruel, M; Cabrero, J; Perfectti, F; Acosta, M J; Sánchez, A; Camacho, J P M

    2009-01-01

    The relative location of 2 repetitive DNAs, i.e. ribosomal (rDNA) and a tandemly repeated satellite DNA (satDNA), with respect to the centromere, suggested that B chromosomes in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans derived intraspecifically from the X chromosome. To test this hypothesis, we microdissected X and B chromosomes and amplified the obtained DNA by 2 different procedures, the conventional DOP-PCR method and the single-cell whole-genome amplification GenomePlex method. We then generated DNA probes to perform chromosome painting. Our results have confirmed that X and B chromosomes share many DNA sequences between them and with most of the autosomes, especially at locations where the satDNA and rDNA reside, in consistency with previous information. This supports the hypothesis of an intraspecific origin of B chromosomes in E. plorans. Nevertheless, the present results did not help to clarify whether Bs were derived from the X chromosome or else from 1 or more autosomes. (c) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Transition-transversion bias is not universal: a counter example from grasshopper pseudogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Irene; Bensasson, Douda; Nichols, Richard A

    2007-02-02

    Comparisons of the DNA sequences of metazoa show an excess of transitional over transversional substitutions. Part of this bias is due to the relatively high rate of mutation of methylated cytosines to thymine. Postmutation processes also introduce a bias, particularly selection for codon-usage bias in coding regions. It is generally assumed, however, that there is a universal bias in favour of transitions over transversions, possibly as a result of the underlying chemistry of mutation. Surprisingly, this underlying trend has been evaluated only in two types of metazoan, namely Drosophila and the Mammalia. Here, we investigate a third group, and find no such bias. We characterize the point substitution spectrum in Podisma pedestris, a grasshopper species with a very large genome. The accumulation of mutations was surveyed in two pseudogene families, nuclear mitochondrial and ribosomal DNA sequences. The cytosine-guanine (CpG) dinucleotides exhibit the high transition frequencies expected of methylated sites. The transition rate at other cytosine residues is significantly lower. After accounting for this methylation effect, there is no significant difference between transition and transversion rates. These results contrast with reports from other taxa and lead us to reject the hypothesis of a universal transition/transversion bias. Instead we suggest fundamental interspecific differences in point substitution processes.

  17. Next generation sequencing and FISH reveal uneven and nonrandom microsatellite distribution in two grasshopper genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Ruano, Francisco J; Cuadrado, Ángeles; Montiel, Eugenia E; Camacho, Juan Pedro M; López-León, María Dolores

    2015-06-01

    Simple sequence repeats (SSRs), also known as microsatellites, are one of the prominent DNA sequences shaping the repeated fraction of eukaryotic genomes. In spite of their profuse use as molecular markers for a variety of genetic and evolutionary studies, their genomic location, distribution, and function are not yet well understood. Here we report the first thorough joint analysis of microsatellite motifs at both genomic and chromosomal levels in animal species, by a combination of 454 sequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques performed on two grasshopper species. The in silico analysis of the 454 reads suggested that microsatellite expansion is not driving size increase of these genomes, as SSR abundance was higher in the species showing the smallest genome. However, the two species showed the same uneven and nonrandom location of SSRs, with clear predominance of dinucleotide motifs and association with several types of repetitive elements, mostly histone gene spacers, ribosomal DNA intergenic spacers (IGS), and transposable elements (TEs). The FISH analysis showed a dispersed chromosome distribution of microsatellite motifs in euchromatic regions, in coincidence with chromosome location patterns previously observed for many mobile elements in these species. However, some SSR motifs were clustered, especially those located in the histone gene cluster.

  18. Faster Development Covaries with Higher DNA Damage in Grasshoppers (Chorthippus albomarginatus) from Chernobyl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Ostermiller, Shanna; Beasley, De Anna E; Welch, Shane M; Møller, Anders P; Mousseau, Timothy A

    In Chernobyl, chronic exposure to radioactive contaminants has a variety of deleterious effects on exposed organisms, including genetic damage and mutation accumulation. However, the potential for such effects to be transmitted to the next generation is poorly understood. We captured lesser marsh grasshoppers (Chorthippus albomarginatus) in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from sites varying in levels of environmental radiation by more than three orders of magnitude. We then raised their offspring in a common garden experiment in order to assess the effects of parental exposure to radiation on offspring development and DNA damage. Offspring that reached maturity at a younger age had higher levels of DNA damage. Contrary to our hypothesis, parental exposure to radioactive contamination did not affect DNA damage in their offspring possibly because of intervening adaptation or parental compensatory mechanisms. Our results suggest a trade-off between developmental rate and resistance to DNA damage, whereby offspring developing at faster rates do so at the cost of damaging their DNA. This result is consistent with and extends findings in other species, suggesting that faster growth rates cause increased oxidative damage and stress. We propose that growth rates are subject to stabilizing selection balancing the benefits of fast development and the competing need of buffering its damaging effects to macromolecules and tissues.

  19. Transition-transversion bias is not universal: a counter example from grasshopper pseudogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Keller

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Comparisons of the DNA sequences of metazoa show an excess of transitional over transversional substitutions. Part of this bias is due to the relatively high rate of mutation of methylated cytosines to thymine. Postmutation processes also introduce a bias, particularly selection for codon-usage bias in coding regions. It is generally assumed, however, that there is a universal bias in favour of transitions over transversions, possibly as a result of the underlying chemistry of mutation. Surprisingly, this underlying trend has been evaluated only in two types of metazoan, namely Drosophila and the Mammalia. Here, we investigate a third group, and find no such bias. We characterize the point substitution spectrum in Podisma pedestris, a grasshopper species with a very large genome. The accumulation of mutations was surveyed in two pseudogene families, nuclear mitochondrial and ribosomal DNA sequences. The cytosine-guanine (CpG dinucleotides exhibit the high transition frequencies expected of methylated sites. The transition rate at other cytosine residues is significantly lower. After accounting for this methylation effect, there is no significant difference between transition and transversion rates. These results contrast with reports from other taxa and lead us to reject the hypothesis of a universal transition/transversion bias. Instead we suggest fundamental interspecific differences in point substitution processes.

  20. Transcriptome Profiling and In Silico Analysis of the Antimicrobial Peptides of the Grasshopper Oxya chinensis sinuosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, In-Woo; Markkandan, Kesavan; Lee, Joon Ha; Subramaniyam, Sathiyamoorthy; Yoo, Seungil; Park, Junhyung; Hwang, Jae Sam

    2016-11-28

    Antimicrobial peptides/proteins (AMPs) are present in all types of organisms, from microbes and plants to vertebrates and invertebrates such as insects. The grasshopper Oxya chinensis sinuosa is an insect species that is widely consumed around the world for its broad medicinal value. However, the lack of available genetic information for this species is an obstacle to understanding the full potential of its AMPs. Analysis of the O. chinensis sinuosa transcriptome and expression profile is essential for extending the available genetic information resources. In this study, we determined the whole-body transcriptome of O. chinensis sinuosa and analyzed the potential AMPs induced by bacterial immunization. A high-throughput RNA-Seq approach generated 94,348 contigs and 66,555 unigenes. Of these unigenes, 36,032 (54.14%) matched known proteins in the NCBI database in a BLAST search. Functional analysis demonstrated that 38,219 unigenes were clustered into 5,499 gene ontology terms. In addition, 26 cDNAs encoding novel AMPs were identified by an in silico approach using public databases. Our transcriptome dataset and AMP profile greatly improve our understanding of O. chinensis sinuosa genetics and provide a huge number of gene sequences for further study, including genes of known importance and genes of unknown function.

  1. Brain regions for sound processing and song release in a small grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balvantray Bhavsar, Mit; Stumpner, Andreas; Heinrich, Ralf

    2017-05-01

    We investigated brain regions - mostly neuropils - that process auditory information relevant for the initiation of response songs of female grasshoppers Chorthippus biguttulus during bidirectional intraspecific acoustic communication. Male-female acoustic duets in the species Ch. biguttulus require the perception of sounds, their recognition as a species- and gender-specific signal and the initiation of commands that activate thoracic pattern generating circuits to drive the sound-producing stridulatory movements of the hind legs. To study sensory-to-motor processing during acoustic communication we used multielectrodes that allowed simultaneous recordings of acoustically stimulated electrical activity from several ascending auditory interneurons or local brain neurons and subsequent electrical stimulation of the recording site. Auditory activity was detected in the lateral protocerebrum (where most of the described ascending auditory interneurons terminate), in the superior medial protocerebrum and in the central complex, that has previously been implicated in the control of sound production. Neural responses to behaviorally attractive sound stimuli showed no or only poor correlation with behavioral responses. Current injections into the lateral protocerebrum, the central complex and the deuto-/tritocerebrum (close to the cerebro-cervical fascicles), but not into the superior medial protocerebrum, elicited species-typical stridulation with high success rate. Latencies and numbers of phrases produced by electrical stimulation were different between these brain regions. Our results indicate three brain regions (likely neuropils) where auditory activity can be detected with two of these regions being potentially involved in song initiation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Prevalence and Molecular Identification of Nematode and Dipteran Parasites in an Australian Alpine Grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbers, Kate D. L.; Byatt, Lachlan J.; Hill, Nichola J.; Bartolini, Remo J.; Hose, Grant C.; Herberstein, Marie E.; Power, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    In alpine Australia, Orthoptera are abundant, dominant herbivores, important prey species, and hosts for parasites and parasitoids. Despite the central role of orthopterans in alpine ecosystems, the impact of parasites on orthopteran populations is under-explored. In this study we describe the relationship between parasite prevalence and host sex, body size and year of collection. We accessed an existing, preserved collection of 640 Kosciuscola tristis collected from across its range between 2007 and 2011. Upon dissection we collected juvenile parasites and used molecular tools to identify them to three families (Nematoda; Mermithidae, and Arthropoda: Diptera: Tachinidae and Sarcophagidae). The prevalence of nematodes ranged from 3.5% to 25.0% and dipterans from 2.4% to 20.0%. Contrary to predictions, we found no associations between parasite prevalence and grasshopper sex or size. Although there was an association between prevalence of both nematodes and dipterans with year of collection, this is likely driven by a small sample size in the first year. Our results provide a foundation for future studies into parasite prevalence within the alpine environment and the abiotic factors that might influence these associations. PMID:25919745

  3. B Chromosome Variants of the Grasshopper Xyleus discoideus angulatus Are Potentially Derived from Pericentromeric DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardino, Andrezza C S; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C; Machado, Carolina B; Palacios-Gimenez, Octavio M; Santos, Neide; Loreto, Vilma

    2017-01-01

    B chromosomes, extra elements present in the karyotypes of some eukaryote species, have been described in the grasshopper Xyleus discoideus angulatus. Although some studies have proposed an autosomal origin of the B chromosome in X. d. angulatus, little is known about its repetitive DNA composition and evolutionary dynamics. The aim of the present work was to shed light on the B chromosome evolution in X. d. angulatus by cytogenetic analysis of 27 populations from Pernambuco and Ceará states (Brazil). The frequency of B chromosomes in the different populations was determined, and chromosome measurements and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with C0t-DNA and telomeric and B chromosome sequences were performed in cells from B-carrying individuals. The results revealed variations in B chromosome prevalence among the populations and showed that some B chromosomes were smaller in certain populations. FISH produced similar patterns for the C0t-DNA probe in all hybridized individuals, whereas telomeric and B chromosome probes, obtained by microdissection, exhibited variations in their distribution. These results indicate the presence of 3 morphotypes of B chromosomes in X. d. angulatus, with variation in repetitive DNA composition during their evolution. In this species, B chromosomes have an intraspecific origin and probably arose from the pericentromeric region of A chromosomes. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  4. Discordant patterns of genetic and phenotypic differentiation in five grasshopper species codistributed across a microreserve network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortego, Joaquín; García-Navas, Vicente; Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro J

    2015-12-01

    Conservation plans can be greatly improved when information on the evolutionary and demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation is available for several codistributed species. Here, we study spatial patterns of phenotypic and genetic variation among five grasshopper species that are codistributed across a network of microreserves but show remarkable differences in dispersal-related morphology (body size and wing length), degree of habitat specialization and extent of fragmentation of their respective habitats in the study region. In particular, we tested the hypothesis that species with preferences for highly fragmented microhabitats show stronger genetic and phenotypic structure than codistributed generalist taxa inhabiting a continuous matrix of suitable habitat. We also hypothesized a higher resemblance of spatial patterns of genetic and phenotypic variability among species that have experienced a higher degree of habitat fragmentation due to their more similar responses to the parallel large-scale destruction of their natural habitats. In partial agreement with our first hypothesis, we found that genetic structure, but not phenotypic differentiation, was higher in species linked to highly fragmented habitats. We did not find support for congruent patterns of phenotypic and genetic variability among any studied species, indicating that they show idiosyncratic evolutionary trajectories and distinctive demographic responses to habitat fragmentation across a common landscape. This suggests that conservation practices in networks of protected areas require detailed ecological and evolutionary information on target species to focus management efforts on those taxa that are more sensitive to the effects of habitat fragmentation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Fates of identified pioneer cells in the developing antennal nervous system of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrhardt, Erica; Graf, Philip; Kleele, Tatjana; Liu, Yu; Boyan, George

    2016-01-01

    In the early embryonic grasshopper, two pairs of sibling cells near the apex of the antenna pioneer its dorsal and ventral nerve tracts to the brain. En route, the growth cones of these pioneers contact a so-called base pioneer associated with each tract and which acts as a guidepost cell. Both apical and basal pioneers express stereotypic molecular labels allowing them to be uniquely identified. Although their developmental origins are largely understood, the fates of the respective pioneers remain unclear. We therefore employed the established cell death markers acridine orange and TUNEL to determine whether the apical and basal pioneers undergo apoptosis during embryogenesis. Our data reveal that the apical pioneers maintain a consistent molecular profile from their birth up to mid-embryogenesis, at which point the initial antennal nerve tracts to the brain have been established. Shortly after this the apical pioneers undergo apoptosis. Death occurs at a developmental stage similar to that reported elsewhere for pioneers in a leg - an homologous appendage. Base pioneers, by contrast, progressively change their molecular profile and can no longer be unequivocally identified after mid-embryogenesis. At no stage up to then do they exhibit death labels. If they persist, the base pioneers must be assumed to adopt a new role in the developing antennal nervous system. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Chinese endemic grasshopper Fruhstorferiola kulinga (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Podismini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Rui; Guan, De-Long; Xu, Sheng-Quan

    2016-09-01

    The whole-genome Illumina sequence of the Chinese endemic grasshopper Fruhstorferiola kulinga mitogenome was constructed and reported in this study. In all, the circular genome was obtained with 15,655 bp in length and contains 75.4% A + T. It typically consists of 37 genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNAs (tRNAs), 2 ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and 1 D-loop region. All PCGs are initiated with ATN codons. Most of the PCGs use TAA as their stop codons, while the others use TAG as stop codons (COX1 and ND1). The size of the large and small ribosomal RNA genes are 1314 bp and 851 bp. The A + T-rich region (777 bp) showed strong resemblance to the other known Orthoptera insects. Our data would contribute to confirm the close relationship and other evolutionary researches of the F. kulinga.

  7. Novel odorant-binding proteins and their expression patterns in grasshopper, Oedaleus asiaticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuo; Pang, Baoping; Zhang, Long

    2015-05-01

    Insects use olfaction to detect exogenous odors and adapt to environments. In their olfaction systems, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are believed to be a key component. The unique OBP system of each species reflects the evolution of chemosensation of insects with habits. Here, we for the first time identified 15 OBPs, OasiOBP1-15, of a grasshopper, Oedaleus asiaticus, that lives in the grasslands of Northern China and is closely related to the locust, Locusta migratoria. OasiOBP9 and OasiOBP10 are specifically expressed in the antennae. Other OBPs are expressed in the antennae as well as other chemosensory organs, such as the mouthparts and wings. Significantly more OasiOBP7 was detected in male than female antennae, but there are 9 OBPs that were more expressed in female than male antennae by quantitative real-time PCR. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that most of the O. asiaticus OBPs are similar to those of L. migratoria, but some are substantially different. This indicates that the OBPs originally evolved in a common ancestor, but their unique chemosensory systems are adapted to different ecosystems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Axogenesis in the antennal nervous system of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria revisited: the base pioneers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrhardt, Erica; Liu, Yu; Boyan, George

    2015-01-01

    The antennal nervous system of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria comprises two parallel pathways projecting to the brain, each pioneered early in embryogenesis by a pair of sibling cells located at the antennal tip. En route, the growth cones of pioneers from one pathway have been shown to contact a guidepost-like cell called the base pioneer. Its role in axon guidance remains unclear as do the cellular guidance cues regulating axogenesis in the other pathway supposedly without a base pioneer. Further, while the tip pioneers are known to delaminate from the antennal epithelium into the lumen, the origin of this base pioneer is unknown. Here, we use immunolabeling and immunoblocking methods to clarify these issues. Co-labeling against the neuron-specific marker horseradish peroxidase and the pioneer-specific cell surface glycoprotein Lazarillo identifies not only the tip pioneers but also a base pioneer associated with each of the developing antennal pathways. Both base pioneers co-express the mesodermal label Mes3, consistent with a lumenal origin, whereas the tip pioneers proved Mes3-negative confirming their affiliation with the ectodermal epithelium. Lazarillo antigen expression in the antennal pioneers followed a different temporal dynamic: continuous in the tip pioneers, but in the base pioneers, only at the time their filopodia and those of the tip pioneers first recognize one another. Immunoblocking of Lazarillo expression in cultured embryos disrupts this recognition resulting in misguided axogenesis in both antennal pathways.

  9. Montane and coastal species diversification in the economically important Mexican grasshopper genus Sphenarium (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedraza-Lara, Carlos; Barrientos-Lozano, Ludivina; Rocha-Sánchez, Aurora Y; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro

    2015-03-01

    The genus Sphenarium (Pyrgomorphidae) is a small group of grasshoppers endemic to México and Guatemala that are economically and culturally important both as a food source and as agricultural pests. However, its taxonomy has been largely neglected mainly due to its conserved interspecific external morphology and the considerable intraspecific variation in colour pattern of some taxa. Here we examined morphological as well as mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data to assess the species boundaries and evolutionary history in Sphenarium. Our morphological identification and DNA sequence-based species delimitation, carried out with three different approaches (DNA barcoding, general mixed Yule-coalescent model, Bayesian species delimitation), all recovered a higher number of putative species of Sphenarium than previously recognised. We unambiguously delimit seven species, and between five and ten additional species depending on the data/method analysed. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus strongly support two main clades, one exclusively montane, the other coastal. Divergence time estimates suggest late Miocene to Pliocene ages for the origin and most of the early diversification events in the genus, which were probably influenced by the formation of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. A series of Pleistocene events could have led to the current species diversification in both montane and coastal regions. This study not only reveals an overlooked species richness for the most popular edible insect in Mexico, but also highlights the influence of the dynamic geological and climatic history of the region in shaping its current diversity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Secondary Metabolites of the Cuticular Abdominal Glands of Variegated Grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. U. Igwe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemical compounds were extracted with petroleum ether from the cuticular abdominal glands of grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus L. and eleven compounds were characterised using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS technique in combination with Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR. The compounds analysed were 2,7-dimethyloctane (3.21%, decane (5.33%, undecane (3.81%, tridecanoic acid methyl ester (4.76%, hexadecanoic acid (9.37%, 11-octadecenoic acid methyl ester (23.18%, pentadecanoic acid, 14-methyl-methyl ester (4.43%, (Z-13-docosenoic acid (10.71%, dodecyl pentafluoropropionate (9.52%, 2-dodecyl-1,3-propanediol (6.38%, and 1,12-tridecadiene (19.30%. FT-IR analysis of the extract showed peaks at 1270.17 (C–O and C–F, 1641.48 (C=C, 2937.68 (C–H, and 3430.51 (O–H cm−1 indicating the presence of ether, alkene, alkane, alcohol, carboxylic acid, and fluoric compounds. These compounds consisted of 32.37% ester, 31.65% hydrocarbons, 20.08% fatty acid, 9.52% halogenated ester, and 6.38% alcohol. The highest component was 11-octadecenoic acid methyl ester followed by 1,12-tridecadiene. Since behavioural bioassays were not carried out, the consideration of these compounds to be pheromone semiochemicals remains a hypothesis.

  11. Evolutionary history and taxonomy of a short-horned grasshopper subfamily: the Melanoplinae (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintauan-Marquier, Ioana C; Jordan, Steve; Berthier, Pierre; Amédégnato, Christiane; Pompanon, François

    2011-01-01

    The Melanoplinae is one of the largest subfamilies of the Acrididae grasshoppers, with a Holarctic-Neotropical distribution. To investigate its controversial taxonomy and evolutionary history, we studied 19 species representative of its main tribes, and 7 Acridoidea outgroup species. More than 1650 base pairs of three regions of nuclear rDNA (18S, ITS1, 28S) and one mitochondrial rDNA (12S) were combined and used to construct parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenies. Our results correspond with the present geographical distribution of the taxa rather than the existing taxonomy based on morphological characters. The morphologically unclassified and atypical taxa group with the Neotropical Melanoplinae. The currently recognized Melanoplinae appear to be polyphyletic due to inclusion of the Mexican genus Netrosoma. The distribution of the American and Eurasiatic Melanoplinae fauna can be explained by climatic and geological events, such as the Andean uplift, that would have affected the diversification and migration of Neotropical taxa. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Nematodes (Mermithidae) parasitizing grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in the Pampean region, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusconi, J M; Camino, N B; Achinelly, M F

    2017-03-01

    This work provides the results of a survey of entomonematodes parasites of grasshoppers in grasslands of the Pampean Region, Argentina. Nymphs of Staurorhectus longicornis Giglio-Tos, Laplatacris dispar Rhen, 1939, Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos, 1894 and Metaleptea brevicornis (L.) (Orthoptera: Acrididae) were collected. Mermithidae was the only family registered with seven species: Agamermis decaudata Cobb, Steiner and Christie, 1923, Amphimermis bonaerensis Miralles and Camino, 1983, Amphimermis dichroplusi Camino and Lange, 1997, Amphimermis ronderosi Camino and Lange, 1997, Hexamermis coclhearius Stock and Camino, 1992, Hexamermis ovistriata Stock and Camino, 1992, and Longimermis acridophila Camino and Stock, 1989. The values of parasitism ranged between 1-12%, and intensity not overcome the number of 5.0 nematodes per larva. The nematodes observed showed specificity, not registering the same species of parasite in more than one host species. The Pampean region constituted an area with high diversity of mermithids where new species could be consider as bioregulator agents of this troublesome insect pests in agricultural areas of Argentina.

  13. Mercury on national wildlife refuges as a threat to long-term viability of saltmarsh and Nelson’s sparrows in the face of climate induced sea level rise

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Nelson’s and saltmarsh sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni and A. caudacutus) have recently been recognized as separate species, and because of their limited distributions...

  14. Control of annual reproductive cycle in the subtropical house sparrow (Passer domesticus): evidence for conservation of photoperiodic control mechanisms in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, Amit K; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2006-08-22

    In many birds, day length (= photoperiod) regulates reproductive cycle. The photoperiodic environment varies between different seasons and latitudes. As a consequence, species at different latitudes may have evolved separate photoperiodic strategies or modified them as per their adaptive need. We studied this using house sparrow as a model since it is found worldwide and is widely investigated. In particular, we examined whether photoperiodism in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) at 27 degrees N, 81 degrees E shared features with those exhibited by its conspecifics at high latitudes. Initial experiment described in the wild and captive conditions the gonad development and molt (only in captives) cycles over a 12-month period. Both male and female sparrows had similar seasonal cycles, linked with annual variations in day length; this suggested that seasonal reproduction in house sparrows was under the photoperiodic control. However, a slower testis and attenuated follicular growth among captives indicated that other (supplementary) factors are also involved in controlling the reproductive cycle. Next experiment examined if sparrows underwent seasonal variations in their response to stimulatory effects of long day lengths. When birds were transferred every month over a period of 1 year to 16 hours light:8 hours darkness (16L:8D) for 17-26 weeks, there was indeed a time-of-year effect on the growth-regression cycle of gonads. The final experiment investigated response of house sparrows to a variety of light-dark (LD) cycles. In the first set, sparrows were exposed for 31 weeks to photoperiods that were close to what they receive in between the period from sunrise to sunset at this latitude: 9L:15D (close to shortest day length in December), 12L:12D (equinox, in March and September) 15L:9D (close to longest day length in June). They underwent testicular growth and regression and molt in 12L and 15L photoperiods, but not in 9L photoperiod. In the second set, sparrows

  15. Female rock sparrows (Petronia petronia), not males, respond differently to simulations of different courtship interaction outcomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matessi, Giuliano; Peake, Tom M.; McGregor, Peter K.

    2007-01-01

    Animals communicate in networks which spread beyond the classic sender-receiver dyad. Researchers have often concentrated on networks of signalling males, but the network-level effects of male-female signalling interactions are largely unexplored, even though these can contain information when...... individuals of both sexes have access to a range of mating strategies. We tested whether rock sparrows (Petronia petronia) behave differently after hearing playbacks of vocal interactions simulating a successful courtship as opposed to playback of an unsuccessful courtship. We found no support for our...... which heard the unsuccessful courtship simulation. Therefore, females responded to the treatments as if these represented different degrees of competition for either mates or nest sites. This is, to the best of our knowledge, among the first experimental demonstrations that female birds intercept...

  16. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayo Soma

    Full Text Available Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora, a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  17. Seasonal differences of gene expression profiles in song sparrow (Melospiza melodia hypothalamus in relation to territorial aggression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Motoko Mukai

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia are territorial year-round; however, neuroendocrine responses to simulated territorial intrusion (STI differ between breeding (spring and non-breeding seasons (autumn. In spring, exposure to STI leads to increases in luteinizing hormone and testosterone, but not in autumn. These observations suggest that there are fundamental differences in the mechanisms driving neuroendocrine responses to STI between seasons. Microarrays, spotted with EST cDNA clones of zebra finch, were used to explore gene expression profiles in the hypothalamus after territorial aggression in two different seasons.Free-living territorial male song sparrows were exposed to either conspecific or heterospecific (control males in an STI in spring and autumn. Behavioral data were recorded, whole hypothalami were collected, and microarray hybridizations were performed. Quantitative PCR was performed for validation. Our results show 262 cDNAs were differentially expressed between spring and autumn in the control birds. There were 173 cDNAs significantly affected by STI in autumn; however, only 67 were significantly affected by STI in spring. There were 88 cDNAs that showed significant interactions in both season and STI.Results suggest that STI drives differential genomic responses in the hypothalamus in the spring vs. autumn. The number of cDNAs differentially expressed in relation to season was greater than in relation to social interactions, suggesting major underlying seasonal effects in the hypothalamus which may determine the differential response upon social interaction. Functional pathway analyses implicated genes that regulate thyroid hormone action and neuroplasticity as targets of this neuroendocrine regulation.

  18. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soma, Masayo; Mori, Chihiro

    2015-01-01

    Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora), a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  19. Heterozygosity predicts clutch and egg size but not plasticity in a house sparrow population with no evidence of inbreeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetzel, Daniel P; Stewart, Ian R K; Westneat, David F

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the link between heterozygosity and the reaction norm attributes of reproductive performance in female house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We collected data on clutch size, egg size, hatching success and nestling survival in 2816 nesting attempts made by 791 marked individuals over a 16-year period. Pedigree analysis revealed no evidence of inbreeding. Neither parent-offspring regression nor an animal model revealed significant heritability in clutch or egg size. We selected 42 females that laid at least seven clutches at our study site and used a survey of 21 autosomal microsatellite loci to estimate heterozygosity for each female. We controlled for phenotypic plasticity and found that both clutch and egg size showed significant positive correlations with heterozygosity. We found no evidence that heterozygosity influenced the slope of individual reaction norms. Further analysis suggested that clutch size was affected by heterozygosity across the genome, but egg size had more complex relationships, with evidence favouring the influence of multiple loci. Given the apparent lack of inbreeding and large population size, our results suggest associative overdominance as the likely mechanism for the impact of heterozygosity, but also created a puzzle about the process producing associations between neutral markers and the genes affecting clutch size or egg size. One possible explanation is a long-term residual effect of the historical bottleneck that occurred when house sparrows were introduced into North America. The existence of heterozygosity-fitness correlations in a population with considerable phenotypic plasticity and little inbreeding implies that the effects of heterozygosity may be more significant than previously thought. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Land Clearing Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-02-01

    tneibmAlanoitaN ytilauQriA sdradnatS dna )SQAAN( tneibmAadirolF ytilauQriA sdradnatS )SQAAF( riatneibmA ytilauq ecnanetniam otserusaemtnemelpmI dnahtlaehtcetorp...Passerina ciris Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis Bobolink...erythrophthalmus Grasshopper sparrow Ammodrammus savannarum APPENDIX C SECTION 7 CONSULTATION WITH USFWS Page Intentionally Left Blank

  1. Tracking the evolution of sex chromosome systems in Melanoplinae grasshoppers through chromosomal mapping of repetitive DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Gimenez, Octavio M; Castillo, Elio R; Martí, Dardo A; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C

    2013-08-09

    The accumulation of repetitive DNA during sex chromosome differentiation is a common feature of many eukaryotes and becomes more evident after recombination has been restricted or abolished. The accumulated repetitive sequences include multigene families, microsatellites, satellite DNAs and mobile elements, all of which are important for the structural remodeling of heterochromatin. In grasshoppers, derived sex chromosome systems, such as neo-XY♂/XX♀ and neo-X1X2Y♂/X1X1X2X2♀, are frequently observed in the Melanoplinae subfamily. However, no studies concerning the evolution of sex chromosomes in Melanoplinae have addressed the role of the repetitive DNA sequences. To further investigate the evolution of sex chromosomes in grasshoppers, we used classical cytogenetic and FISH analyses to examine the repetitive DNA sequences in six phylogenetically related Melanoplinae species with X0♂/XX♀, neo-XY♂/XX♀ and neo-X1X2Y♂/X1X1X2X2♀ sex chromosome systems. Our data indicate a non-spreading of heterochromatic blocks and pool of repetitive DNAs (C0t-1 DNA) in the sex chromosomes; however, the spreading of multigene families among the neo-sex chromosomes of Eurotettix and Dichromatos was remarkable, particularly for 5S rDNA. In autosomes, FISH mapping of multigene families revealed distinct patterns of chromosomal organization at the intra- and intergenomic levels. These results suggest a common origin and subsequent differential accumulation of repetitive DNAs in the sex chromosomes of Dichromatos and an independent origin of the sex chromosomes of the neo-XY and neo-X1X2Y systems. Our data indicate a possible role for repetitive DNAs in the diversification of sex chromosome systems in grasshoppers.

  2. Haematology, Blood Chemistry and Carcass Characteristics of Growing Rabbits Fed Grasshopper Meal as a Substitute for Fish Meal

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    A. A. Njidda* and C. E. Isidahomen1

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of replacing fish meal with grasshopper meal on haematology, blood chemistry and carcass characteristics of growing rabbits. Forty rabbits of mixed breeds, aged 6-10 weeks, were randomly assigned to the dietary treatments in a complete randomized design with eight rabbits per treatment. The rabbits were fed with diets containing 0, 1.25, 2.50, 3.75 and 5% grasshopper meal in diets designated as T1 (control, T2, T3, T4 and T5, respectively. The experimental diets and clean drinking water were supplied ad libitum throughout the experimental period of nine weeks. At the end of the feeding trial, three rabbits per treatment were slaughtered for carcass evaluation, while blood samples were collected for analysis. The result of the experiment showed significant differences (P0.05 on haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC. The results also revealed significant differences (P0.05 on serum albumin and total protein. The results of carcass characteristics showed significant differences among treatments (P<0.05 for slaughter weight, carcass weight, dressing percentage, skin pelt, tail, feet and abdominal fat. The slaughter weight and carcass weight were better in groups receiving 2.5% grass hopper meal (50% fish meal replacement. From the results, it can be concluded that inclusion of 2.50% grasshopper meal as a replacement for fish meal (50% replacement has no adverse effects on the haematological parameters, serum biochemistry and carcass characteristics of rabbits.

  3. Independent recruitment of a flavin-dependent monooxygenase for safe accumulation of sequestered pyrrolizidine alkaloids in grasshoppers and moths.

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    Linzhu Wang

    Full Text Available Several insect lineages have developed diverse strategies to sequester toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids from food-plants for their own defense. Here, we show that in two highly divergent insect taxa, the hemimetabolous grasshoppers and the holometabolous butterflies, an almost identical strategy evolved independently for safe accumulation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This strategy involves a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase that transfers the pyrrolizidine alkaloids to their respective N-oxide, enabling the insects to avoid high concentrations of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the hemolymph. We have identified a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase, which is a flavin-dependent monooxygenase, of the grasshopper Zonocerus variegatus. After heterologous expression in E. coli, this enzyme shows high specificity for pyrrolizidine alkaloids of various structural types and for the tropane alkaloid atropine as substrates, a property that has been described previously for a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase of the arctiid moth Grammia geneura. Phylogenetic analyses of insect flavin-dependent monooxygenase sequences suggest that independent gene duplication events preceded the establishment of this specific enzyme in the lineages of the grasshoppers and of arctiid moths. Two further flavin-dependent monooxygenase sequences have been identified from Z. variegatus sharing amino acid identities of approximately 78% to the pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase. After heterologous expression, both enzymes are also able to catalyze the N-oxygenation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, albeit with a 400-fold lower specific activity. With respect to the high sequence identity between the three Z. variegatus sequences this ability to N-oxygenize pyrrolizidine alkaloids is interpreted as a relict of a former bifunctional ancestor gene of which one of the gene copies optimized this activity for the specific adaptation to pyrrolizidine alkaloid containing food plants.

  4. Grasshopper Lazarillo, a GPI-anchored Lipocalin, increases Drosophila longevity and stress resistance, and functionally replaces its secreted homolog NLaz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Mario; Wicker-Thomas, Claude; Sanchez, Diego; Ganfornina, Maria D

    2012-10-01

    Lazarillo (Laz) is a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked glycoprotein first characterized in the developing nervous system of the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. It belongs to the Lipocalins, a functionally diverse family of mostly secreted proteins. In this work we test whether the protective capacity known for Laz homologs in flies and vertebrates (NLaz, GLaz and ApoD) is evolutionarily conserved in grasshopper Laz, and can be exerted from the plasma membrane in a cell-autonomous manner. First we demonstrate that extracellular forms of Laz have autocrine and paracrine protecting effects for oxidative stress-challenged Drosophila S2 cells. Then we assay the effects of overexpressing GPI-linked Laz in adult Drosophila and whether it rescues both known and novel phenotypes of NLaz null mutants. Local effects of GPI-linked Laz inside and outside the nervous system promote survival upon different stress forms, and extend lifespan and healthspan of the flies in a cell-type dependent manner. Outside the nervous system, expression in fat body cells but not in hemocytes results in protection. Within the nervous system, glial cell expression is more effective than neuronal expression. Laz actions are sexually dimorphic in some expression domains. Fat storage promotion and not modifications in hydrocarbon profiles or quantities explain the starvation-desiccation resistance caused by Laz overexpression. This effect is exerted when Laz is expressed ubiquitously or in dopaminergic cells, but not in hemocytes. Grasshopper Laz functionally restores the loss of NLaz, rescuing stress-sensitivity as well as premature accumulation of aging-related damage, monitored by advanced glycation end products (AGEs). However Laz does not rescue NLaz courtship behavioral defects. Finally, the presence of two new Lipocalins with predicted GPI-anchors in mosquitoes shows that the functional advantages of GPI-linkage have been commonly exploited by Lipocalins in the arthropodan lineage

  5. Independent recruitment of a flavin-dependent monooxygenase for safe accumulation of sequestered pyrrolizidine alkaloids in grasshoppers and moths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Linzhu; Beuerle, Till; Timbilla, James; Ober, Dietrich

    2012-01-01

    Several insect lineages have developed diverse strategies to sequester toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids from food-plants for their own defense. Here, we show that in two highly divergent insect taxa, the hemimetabolous grasshoppers and the holometabolous butterflies, an almost identical strategy evolved independently for safe accumulation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This strategy involves a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase that transfers the pyrrolizidine alkaloids to their respective N-oxide, enabling the insects to avoid high concentrations of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the hemolymph. We have identified a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase, which is a flavin-dependent monooxygenase, of the grasshopper Zonocerus variegatus. After heterologous expression in E. coli, this enzyme shows high specificity for pyrrolizidine alkaloids of various structural types and for the tropane alkaloid atropine as substrates, a property that has been described previously for a pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase of the arctiid moth Grammia geneura. Phylogenetic analyses of insect flavin-dependent monooxygenase sequences suggest that independent gene duplication events preceded the establishment of this specific enzyme in the lineages of the grasshoppers and of arctiid moths. Two further flavin-dependent monooxygenase sequences have been identified from Z. variegatus sharing amino acid identities of approximately 78% to the pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxygenase. After heterologous expression, both enzymes are also able to catalyze the N-oxygenation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, albeit with a 400-fold lower specific activity. With respect to the high sequence identity between the three Z. variegatus sequences this ability to N-oxygenize pyrrolizidine alkaloids is interpreted as a relict of a former bifunctional ancestor gene of which one of the gene copies optimized this activity for the specific adaptation to pyrrolizidine alkaloid containing food plants.

  6. Angular distribution measurement of fragment ions from a molecule using a new beamline consisting of a Grasshopper monochromator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Norio; Suzuki, Isao H.; Onuki, Hideo; Nishi, Morotake

    1989-07-01

    Optical characteristics of a new beamline consisting of a premirror, a Grasshopper monochromator, and a refocusing mirror have been investigated. The intensity of the monochromatic soft x-ray was estimated to be about 108 photons/(s 100 mA) at 500 eV with the storage electron energy of 600 MeV and the minimum slit width. This slit width provides a resolution of about 500. Angular distributions of fragment ions from an inner-shell excited nitrogen molecule have been measured with a rotatable time-of-flight mass spectrometer by using this beamline.

  7. Angular distribution measurement of fragment ions from a molecule using a new beamline consisting of a Grasshopper monochromator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, N.; Suzuki, I.H.; Onuki, H.; Nishi, M.

    1989-01-01

    Optical characteristics of a new beamline consisting of a premirror, a Grasshopper monochromator, and a refocusing mirror have been investigated. The intensity of the monochromatic soft x-ray was estimated to be about 10 8 photons/(s 100 mA) at 500 eV with the storage electron energy of 600 MeV and the minimum slit width. This slit width provides a resolution of about 500. Angular distributions of fragment ions from an inner-shell excited nitrogen molecule have been measured with a rotatable time-of-flight mass spectrometer by using this beamline

  8. B-chromosome ribosomal DNA is functional in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Estévez, Mercedes; López-León, Ma Dolores; Cabrero, Josefa; Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2012-01-01

    B-chromosomes are frequently argued to be genetically inert elements, but activity for some particular genes has been reported, especially for ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes whose expression can easily be detected at the cytological level by the visualization of their phenotypic expression, i.e., the nucleolus. The B(24) chromosome in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans frequently shows a nucleolus attached to it during meiotic prophase I. Here we show the presence of rRNA transcripts that unequivocally came from the B(24) chromosome. To detect these transcripts, we designed primers specifically anchoring at the ITS-2 region, so that the reverse primer was complementary to the B chromosome DNA sequence including a differential adenine insertion being absent in the ITS2 of A chromosomes. PCR analysis carried out on genomic DNA showed amplification in B-carrying males but not in B-lacking ones. PCR analyses performed on complementary DNA showed amplification in about half of B-carrying males. Joint cytological and molecular analysis performed on 34 B-carrying males showed a close correspondence between the presence of B-specific transcripts and of nucleoli attached to the B chromosome. In addition, the molecular analysis revealed activity of the B chromosome rDNA in 10 out of the 13 B-carrying females analysed. Our results suggest that the nucleoli attached to B chromosomes are actively formed by expression of the rDNA carried by them, and not by recruitment of nucleolar materials formed in A chromosome nucleolar organizing regions. Therefore, B-chromosome rDNA in E. plorans is functional since it is actively transcribed to form the nucleolus attached to the B chromosome. This demonstrates that some heterochromatic B chromosomes can harbour functional genes.

  9. Chromosomal localization of ribosomal and telomeric DNA provides new insights on the evolution of gomphocerinae grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetybayev, I E; Bugrov, A G; Karamysheva, T V; Camacho, J P M; Rubtsov, N B

    2012-01-01

    Chromosome location of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and telomeric repeats was analysed in mitotic chromosomes of 15 species of Gomphocerinae grasshoppers belonging to the tribes Arcypterini, Gomphocerini, Stenobothrini, and Chrysochraontini. Two types of rDNA distribution were found in the Gomphocerini tribe. Type 1, found in 9 species, was characterized by the presence of rDNA in the short arm of the long biarmed chromosomes 2 and 3 and, in some species, also in the X chromosome. Type 2 was found only in Aeropus sibiricus and Stauroderus scalaris and consisted in the presence of pericentromeric rDNA blocks in all chromosomes. A comparison of rDNA distribution in Gomphocerini species with 2n ♂ = 23, 2n ♂ = 21, and 2n ♂ = 17 suggested the possible involvement of chromosome 6 in the ancestral karyotype (2n ♂ = 23) in 1 of the 3 centric fusions that decreased the chromosome number in these species. In the tribe Stenobothrini, Stenobothrus eurasius carried a single rDNA cluster in the X chromosome, likewise 2 Spanish species previously analysed, but Omocestus viridulus unusually showed a single rDNA cluster in the longest autosome. Telomeric repeats were located primarily on the ends of chromosome arms. In 2 species, however, we observed the presence of interstitial clusters outside telomeric regions. The first one, Aeropus sibiricus, exhibited a polymorphic interstitial site of telomeric repeats in chromosome 6 as a consequence of a paracentric inversion. Most remarkably, Chorthippus jacobsoni showed the presence of telomeric repeats in the pericentric regions of the 3 biarmed chromosome pairs originated by centric fusion, thus suggesting that these rearrangements were not of the Robertsonian type but true centric fusion with a probable generation of dicentric chromosomes. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Geographically localised bursts of ribosomal DNA mobility in the grasshopper Podisma pedestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veltsos, P; Keller, I; Nichols, R A

    2009-07-01

    We report extraordinary variation in the number and the chromosomal location of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) arrays within populations of the alpine grasshopper Podisma pedestris; even greater differences were found between populations. The sites were detected by in situ hybridisation of labelled rDNA to chromosomal preparations. The total number of rDNA sites in an individual varied from three to thirteen. In the most extreme case, individuals from populations only 10 km apart had no rDNA loci in common. A survey of the geographical distribution of this variation identified clusters of populations with relatively similar chromosomal distribution of rDNA loci. These clusters correspond to those identified earlier by analysis of rDNA sequences. To explain this geographical clustering, we reconstructed the post-glacial colonisation of the region by assuming that the species' distribution has ascended to its current altitudinal range as the climate warmed. The reconstruction suggests that each cluster is descended from a colonisation route up a different alpine valley. That history would imply rapid establishment of rDNA differences, conceivably during the last 10,000 years since the last glaciation. The proposal for rapid change is consistent with the extensive within-population variation, which indicates that the processes responsible for the change in rDNA's chromosomal location continue to occur at a higher rate. We discuss whether our reconstruction of colonisation routes implies movement of the hybrid zone, which would indicate that a neo-XY sex chromosome system has spread through extant populations.

  11. DNA amount of X and B chromosomes in the grasshoppers Eyprepocnemis plorans and Locusta migratoria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Ruano, F J; Ruiz-Estévez, M; Rodríguez-Pérez, J; López-Pino, J L; Cabrero, J; Camacho, J P M

    2011-01-01

    We analyzed the DNA amount in X and B chromosomes of 2 XX/X0 grasshopper species (Eyprepocnemis plorans and Locusta migratoria), by means of Feulgen image analysis densitometry (FIAD), using previous estimates in L. migratoria as standard (5.89 pg). We first analyzed spermatids of 0B males and found a bimodal distribution of integrated optical densities (IODs), suggesting that one peak corresponded to +X and the other to -X spermatids. The difference between the 2 peaks corresponded to the X chromosome DNA amount, which was 1.28 pg in E. plorans and 0.80 pg in L. migratoria. In addition, the +X peak in E. plorans gave an estimate of the C-value in this species (10.39 pg). We next analyzed diplotene cells from 1B males in E. plorans and +B males in L. migratoria (a species where Bs are mitotically unstable and no integer B number can be defined for an individual) and measured B chromosome IOD relative to X chromosome IOD, within the same cell, taking advantage of the similar degree of condensation for both positively heteropycnotic chromosomes at this meiotic stage. From this proportion, we estimated the DNA amount for 3 different B chromosome variants found in individuals from 3 E. plorans Spanish populations (0.54 pg for B1 from Saladares, 0.51 pg for B2 from Salobreña and 0.64 for B24 from Torrox). Likewise, we estimated the DNA amount of the B chromosome in L. migratoria to be 0.15 pg. To automate measurements, we wrote a GPL3 licensed Python program (pyFIA). We discuss the utility of the present approach for estimating X and B chromosome DNA amount in a variety of situations, and the meaning of the DNA amount estimates for X and B chromosomes in these 2 species. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Population genetic structure and phylogeographical pattern of rice grasshopper, Oxya hyla intricata, across Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tao; Zhang, Min; Qu, Yanhua; Ren, Zhumei; Zhang, Jianzhen; Guo, Yaping; Heong, K L; Villareal, Bong; Zhong, Yang; Ma, Enbo

    2011-04-01

    The rice grasshopper, Oxya hyla intricata, is a rice pest in Southeast Asia. In this study, population genetic diversity and structure of this Oxya species was examined using both DNA sequences and AFLP technology. The samples of 12 populations were collected from four Southeast Asian countries, among which 175 individuals were analysed using mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences, and 232 individuals were examined using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) to test whether the phylogeographical pattern and population genetics of this species are related to past geological events and/or climatic oscillations. No obvious trend of genetic diversity was found along a latitude/longitude gradient among different geographical groups. Phylogenetic analysis indicated three deep monophyletic clades that approximately correspond to three geographical regions separated by high mountains and a deep strait, and TCS analysis also revealed three disconnected networks, suggesting that spatial and temporal separations by vicariance, which were also supported by AMOVA as a source of the molecular variance presented among groups. Gene flow analysis showed that there had been frequent historical gene flow among local populations in different regions, but the networks exhibited no shared haplotype among populations. In conclusion, the past geological events and climatic fluctuations are the most important factor on the phylogeographical structure and genetic patterns of O. hyla intricata in Southeast Asia. Habitat, vegetation, and anthropogenic effect may also contribute to gene flow and introgression of this species. Moreover, temperature, abundant rainfall and a diversity of graminaceous species are beneficial for the migration of O. hyla intricata. High haplotype diversity, deep phylogenetic division, negative Fu's F (s) values and unimodal and multimodal distribution shapes all suggest a complicated demographic expansion pattern of these O. hyla

  13. B-chromosome ribosomal DNA is functional in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Ruiz-Estévez

    Full Text Available B-chromosomes are frequently argued to be genetically inert elements, but activity for some particular genes has been reported, especially for ribosomal RNA (rRNA genes whose expression can easily be detected at the cytological level by the visualization of their phenotypic expression, i.e., the nucleolus. The B(24 chromosome in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans frequently shows a nucleolus attached to it during meiotic prophase I. Here we show the presence of rRNA transcripts that unequivocally came from the B(24 chromosome. To detect these transcripts, we designed primers specifically anchoring at the ITS-2 region, so that the reverse primer was complementary to the B chromosome DNA sequence including a differential adenine insertion being absent in the ITS2 of A chromosomes. PCR analysis carried out on genomic DNA showed amplification in B-carrying males but not in B-lacking ones. PCR analyses performed on complementary DNA showed amplification in about half of B-carrying males. Joint cytological and molecular analysis performed on 34 B-carrying males showed a close correspondence between the presence of B-specific transcripts and of nucleoli attached to the B chromosome. In addition, the molecular analysis revealed activity of the B chromosome rDNA in 10 out of the 13 B-carrying females analysed. Our results suggest that the nucleoli attached to B chromosomes are actively formed by expression of the rDNA carried by them, and not by recruitment of nucleolar materials formed in A chromosome nucleolar organizing regions. Therefore, B-chromosome rDNA in E. plorans is functional since it is actively transcribed to form the nucleolus attached to the B chromosome. This demonstrates that some heterochromatic B chromosomes can harbour functional genes.

  14. De Novo Assembly and Characterization of the Transcriptome of Grasshopper Shirakiacris shirakii

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    Zhongying Qiu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The grasshopper Shirakiacris shirakii is an important agricultural pest and feeds mainly on gramineous plants, thereby causing economic damage to a wide range of crops. However, genomic information on this species is extremely limited thus far, and transcriptome data relevant to insecticide resistance and pest control are also not available. Methods: The transcriptome of S. shirakii was sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq platform, and we de novo assembled the transcriptome. Results: Its sequencing produced a total of 105,408,878 clean reads, and the de novo assembly revealed 74,657 unigenes with an average length of 680 bp and N50 of 1057 bp. A total of 28,173 unigenes were annotated for the NCBI non-redundant protein sequences (Nr, NCBI non-redundant nucleotide sequences (Nt, a manually-annotated and reviewed protein sequence database (Swiss-Prot, Gene Ontology (GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG databases. Based on the Nr annotation results, we manually identified 79 unigenes encoding cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s, 36 unigenes encoding carboxylesterases (CarEs and 36 unigenes encoding glutathione S-transferases (GSTs in S. shirakii. Core RNAi components relevant to miroRNA, siRNA and piRNA pathways, including Pasha, Loquacious, Argonaute-1, Argonaute-2, Argonaute-3, Zucchini, Aubergine, enhanced RNAi-1 and Piwi, were expressed in S. shirakii. We also identified five unigenes that were homologous to the Sid-1 gene. In addition, the analysis of differential gene expressions revealed that a total of 19,764 unigenes were up-regulated and 4185 unigenes were down-regulated in larvae. In total, we predicted 7504 simple sequence repeats (SSRs from 74,657 unigenes. Conclusions: The comprehensive de novo transcriptomic data of S. shirakii will offer a series of valuable molecular resources for better studying insecticide resistance, RNAi and molecular marker discovery in the transcriptome.

  15. Phylogeography of the endemic grasshopper genus Betiscoides (Lentulidae) in the South African Cape Floristic Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matenaar, Daniela; Fingerle, Marcus; Heym, Eva; Wirtz, Sarah; Hochkirch, Axel

    2018-01-01

    Vicariance and dispersal are two important processes shaping biodiversity patterns. The South African Cape Floristic Region (CFR) is known for its high biotic diversity and endemism. However, studies on the phylogeography of endemic invertebrates in this biodiversity hotspot are still scarce. Here, we present a phylogenetic study of the flightless grasshopper genus Betiscoides, which is endemic to the CFR and strongly associated with restio plants (Restionaceae). We hypothesized that the genus originated in the southwestern part of the CFR, that differentiation within the genus is mainly an effect of vicariance and that the three known species only represent a minor fraction of the real genetic diversity of the genus. We inferred the phylogeny based on sequences of three mitochondrial and two nuclear genes from 99 Betiscoides specimens collected across the CFR. Furthermore, we conducted a SDIVA analysis to detect distributions of ancestral nodes and the possible spatial origin of these lineages. Strong differentiation among genetic lineages was shown. The ancestor of this genus was most likely distributed in the southwestern CFR. Five major lineages were detected, three of which were ancestrally distributed in the southwestern CFR. The ancestors of the two other lineages were distributed in the northern and eastern margins of the CFR. A total of 24 divergent evolutionary lineages were found, reflecting the geographical isolation of restio-dominated fynbos habitats. Dispersal played a more prominent role than expected in differentiation of Betiscoides. While the five main lineages were separated during a first phase via dispersal, differentiation occurred later and on smaller spatial scale, predominantly driven by isolation in montane refugia (i.e. vicariance). Our study also suggests that flightless insect taxa likely show high levels of differentiation in biodiversity hotspots with their taxonomy often being incomplete. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  16. Morphological and colour morph clines along an altitudinal gradient in the meadow grasshopper Pseudochorthippus parallelus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, Günter; Samietz, Jörg; Schielzeth, Holger

    2017-01-01

    Many animals show altitudinal clines in size, shape and body colour. Increases in body size and reduction in the length of body appendices in colder habitats are usually attributed to improved heat conservation at lower surface-to-volume ratios (known as Bergmann's and Allen's rule, respectively). However, the patterns are more variable and sometimes reversed in small ectotherms that are affected by shortened growing seasons. Altitude can also affect colouration. The thermal melanism hypothesis predicts darker colours under cooler conditions because of a thermoregulatory advantage. Darker colours may also be favoured at high altitudes for reasons of UV protection or habitat-dependent crypsis. We studied altitudinal variation in morphology and colour in the colour-polymorphic meadow grasshopper Pseudochorthippus parallelus based on 563 individuals from 17 populations sampled between 450 and 2,500 m asl. Pronotum length did not change with altitude, while postfemur length decreased significantly in both sexes. Tegmen (forewing) length decreased in males, but not in females. The results indicate that while body size, as best quantified by pronotum length, was remarkably constant, extended appendices were reduced at high altitudes. The pattern thus follows Allen's rule, but neither Bergmann's nor converse Bergmann's rule. These results indicate that inference of converse Bergmann's rule based on measurements from appendices should be treated with some caution. Colour morph ratios showed significant changes in both sexes from lowland populations dominated by green individuals to high-altitude populations dominated by brown ones. The increase of brown morphs was particularly steep between 1,500 and 2,000 m asl. The results suggest shared control of colour in males and females and local adaptation along the altitudinal gradient following the predictions of the thermal melanism hypothesis. Interestingly, both patterns, the reduction of body appendices and the higher

  17. Ontogeny of pioneer neurons in the antennal nervous system of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyan, George; Ehrhardt, Erica

    2017-01-01

    The nervous system of the antenna of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria consists of two nerve tracts in which sensory cells project their axons to the brain. Each tract is pioneered early in embryogenesis by a pair of identified cells located apically in the antennal lumen. The pioneers are thought to originate in the epithelium of the antenna and then delaminate into the lumen where they commence axogenesis. However, unambiguous molecular identification of these cells in the epithelium, of an identifiable precursor, and of their mode of generation has been lacking. In this study, we have used immunolabeling against neuron-specific horseradish peroxidase and against Lachesin, a marker for differentiating epithelial cells, in combination with the nuclear stain DAPI, to identify the pioneers within the epithelium of the early embryonic antenna. We then track their delamination into the lumen as differentiated neurons. The pioneers are not labeled by the mesodermal/mesectodermal marker Mes3, consistent with an epithelial (ectodermal) origin. Intracellular dye injection, as well as labeling against the mitosis marker phospho-histone 3, identifies precursor cells in the epithelium, each associated with a column of cells. Culturing with the S-phase label 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) shows that both a precursor and its column have incorporated the label, confirming a lineage relationship. Each set of pioneers can be shown to belong to a separate lineage of such epithelial cells, and the precursors remain and are proliferative after generating the pioneers. Analyses of mitotic spindle orientation then enable us to propose a model in which a precursor generates its pioneers asymmetrically via self-renewal.

  18. Preferential occupancy of R2 retroelements on the B chromosomes of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

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    Eugenia E Montiel

    Full Text Available R2 non-LTR retrotransposons exclusively insert into the 28S rRNA genes of their host, and are expressed by co-transcription with the rDNA unit. The grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans contains transcribed rDNA clusters on most of its A chromosomes, as well as non-transcribed rDNA clusters on the parasitic B chromosomes found in many populations. Here the structure of the E. plorans R2 element, its abundance relative to the number of rDNA units and its retrotransposition activity were determined. Animals screened from five populations contained on average over 12,000 rDNA units on their A chromosomes, but surprisingly only about 100 R2 elements. Monitoring the patterns of R2 insertions in individuals from these populations revealed only low levels of retrotransposition. The low rates of R2 insertion observed in E. plorans differ from the high levels of R2 insertion previously observed in insect species that have many fewer rDNA units. It is proposed that high levels of R2 are strongly selected against in E. plorans, because the rDNA transcription machinery in this species is unable to differentiate between R2-inserted and uninserted units. The B chromosomes of E. plorans contain an additional 7,000 to 15,000 rDNA units, but in contrast to the A chromosomes, from 150 to over 1,500 R2 elements. The higher concentration of R2 in the inactive B chromosomes rDNA clusters suggests these chromosomes can act as a sink for R2 insertions thus further reducing the level of insertions on the A chromosomes. These studies suggest an interesting evolutionary relationship between the parasitic B chromosomes and R2 elements.

  19. Neural representation of calling songs and their behavioral relevance in the grasshopper auditory system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gundula eMeckenhäuser

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic communication plays a key role for mate attraction in grasshoppers. Males use songs to advertise themselves to females. Females evaluate the song pattern, a repetitive structure of sound syllables separated by short pauses, to recognize a conspecific male and as proxy to its fitness. In their natural habitat females often receive songs with degraded temporal structure. Perturbations may, for example, result from the overlap with other songs. We studied the response behavior of females to songs that show different signal degradations. A perturbation of an otherwise attractive song at later positions in the syllable diminished the behavioral response, whereas the same perturbation at the onset of a syllable did not affect song attractiveness. We applied naïve Bayes classifiers to the spike trains of identified neurons in the auditory pathway to explore how sensory evidence about the acoustic stimulus and its attractiveness is represented in the neuronal responses. We find that populations of three or more neurons were sufficient to reliably decode the acoustic stimulus and to predict its behavioral relevance from the single-trial integrated firing rate. A simple model of decision making simulates the female response behavior. It computes for each syllable the likelihood for the presence of an attractive song pattern as evidenced by the population firing rate. Integration across syllables allows the likelihood to reach a decision threshold and to elicit the behavioral response. The close match between model performance and animal behavior shows that a spike rate code is sufficient to enable song pattern recognition.

  20. Morphological and colour morph clines along an altitudinal gradient in the meadow grasshopper Pseudochorthippus parallelus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Günter Köhler

    Full Text Available Many animals show altitudinal clines in size, shape and body colour. Increases in body size and reduction in the length of body appendices in colder habitats are usually attributed to improved heat conservation at lower surface-to-volume ratios (known as Bergmann's and Allen's rule, respectively. However, the patterns are more variable and sometimes reversed in small ectotherms that are affected by shortened growing seasons. Altitude can also affect colouration. The thermal melanism hypothesis predicts darker colours under cooler conditions because of a thermoregulatory advantage. Darker colours may also be favoured at high altitudes for reasons of UV protection or habitat-dependent crypsis. We studied altitudinal variation in morphology and colour in the colour-polymorphic meadow grasshopper Pseudochorthippus parallelus based on 563 individuals from 17 populations sampled between 450 and 2,500 m asl. Pronotum length did not change with altitude, while postfemur length decreased significantly in both sexes. Tegmen (forewing length decreased in males, but not in females. The results indicate that while body size, as best quantified by pronotum length, was remarkably constant, extended appendices were reduced at high altitudes. The pattern thus follows Allen's rule, but neither Bergmann's nor converse Bergmann's rule. These results indicate that inference of converse Bergmann's rule based on measurements from appendices should be treated with some caution. Colour morph ratios showed significant changes in both sexes from lowland populations dominated by green individuals to high-altitude populations dominated by brown ones. The increase of brown morphs was particularly steep between 1,500 and 2,000 m asl. The results suggest shared control of colour in males and females and local adaptation along the altitudinal gradient following the predictions of the thermal melanism hypothesis. Interestingly, both patterns, the reduction of body appendices and

  1. Embryonic developmental rates of northern grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae): implications for climate change and habitat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, Dennis J; Defoliart, Linda S

    2010-10-01

    Accurate models of temperature-dependent embryonic developmental rates are important to assess the effects of a changing climate on insect life cycles and to suggest methods of population management by habitat manipulation. Embryonic development determines the life cycle of many species of grasshoppers, which, in cold climates, spend two winters in the egg stage. Increasing temperatures associated with climate change in the subarctic could potentiate a switch to a univoltine life cycle. However, egg hatch could be delayed by maintaining a closed vegetative canopy, which would lower soil temperatures by shading the soil surface. Prediapause and postdiapause embryonic developmental rates were measured in the laboratory over a wide range of temperatures for Melanoplus borealis Fieber and Melanoplus sanguinipes F. (Orthoptera: Acrididae) A model was fit to the data and used to predict dates of egg hatch in the spring and prediapause development in the fall under different temperature regimens. Actual soil temperatures were recorded at several locations over 5 yr. To simulate climate warming, 2, 3, or 4°C was added to each hourly recorded temperature. Results suggest that a 2, 3, or 4°C increase in soil temperatures will result in eggs hatching ≈ 3, 5, or 7 d earlier, respectively. An increase of 3°C would be required to advance prediapause development enough to allow for a portion of the population to be univoltine in warmer years. To simulate shading, 2 and 4°C were subtracted from observed temperatures. A 4°C decrease in temperatures could potentially delay hatch by 8 d.

  2. The Biology and some Population Parameters of the Grasshopper, Ronderosia bergi, Under Laboratory Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; de Wysiecki, Maria Laura; Lange, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    Some biological and population parameters of Ronderosia bergi (Stål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae) were estimated by monitoring five cohorts of the first generation (F1) of individuals born in captivity from grasshoppers collected in the South of Misiones province, northeastern Argentina, and held under controlled conditions (30° C, 14:10 L:D, 40% RH). The mean embryonic development time was 40.6 ± 1.7 days. Five nymphal instars were recorded. Total duration of nymphal development was 30.8 ± 0.54 days. The mean lifespan of cohorts was 22.6 ± 0.7 weeks. The number of egg-pods per female was 7.6 ± 1.44, and the amount of eggs per egg-pod was 16.45 ± 0.85. Mean fecundity was 125 ± 5.83 eggs per female with an oviposition rate of 1.55 ± 0.57 eggs/female/day. Survivorship curves showed that mortality was concentrated in the final weeks of adulthood, and the life expectancy curve decreased accordingly. The population parameters estimated gave the following values: the net rate of reproduction (R0) was 46.75 ± 11.2, generation time (T) was 18.87 ± 1.67 weeks, duplication time (D) was 3.31 ± 0.34, the intrinsic rate of population growth (rm) was 0.21 ± 0.021 and the finite rate of population increase (λ) was 1.24 ± 0.026. The reproductive values (Vx) indicated that the largest contribution of females to the subsequent generation was between weeks 15 and 25. PMID:20673116

  3. Comparative genomic analysis of the microbiome [corrected] of herbivorous insects reveals eco-environmental adaptations: biotechnology applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weibing Shi

    Full Text Available Metagenome analysis of the gut symbionts of three different insects was conducted as a means of comparing taxonomic and metabolic diversity of gut microbiomes to diet and life history of the insect hosts. A second goal was the discovery of novel biocatalysts for biorefinery applications. Grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts were sequenced and compared with the previously identified metagenome of termite gut microbiota. These insect hosts represent three different insect orders and specialize on different food types. The comparative analysis revealed dramatic differences among the three insect species in the abundance and taxonomic composition of the symbiont populations present in the gut. The composition and abundance of symbionts was correlated with their previously identified capacity to degrade and utilize the different types of food consumed by their hosts. The metabolic reconstruction revealed that the gut metabolome of cutworms and grasshoppers was more enriched for genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and transport than wood-feeding termite, whereas the termite gut metabolome was enriched for glycosyl hydrolase (GH enzymes relevant to lignocellulosic biomass degradation. Moreover, termite gut metabolome was more enriched with nitrogen fixation genes than those of grasshopper and cutworm gut, presumably due to the termite's adaptation to the high fiber and less nutritious food types. In order to evaluate and exploit the insect symbionts for biotechnology applications, we cloned and further characterized four biomass-degrading enzymes including one endoglucanase and one xylanase from both the grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts. The results indicated that the grasshopper symbiont enzymes were generally more efficient in biomass degradation than the homologous enzymes from cutworm symbionts. Together, these results demonstrated a correlation between the composition and putative metabolic functionality of the gut microbiome and host

  4. The importance of validated alpha taxonomy for phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies: a comment on species identification of pygmy grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arne Lehmann

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In a recently published paper on colour polymorphism in a Pygmy grasshopper from China (Zhao et al 2016 an unidentified Paratettix sp. was misidentified as Tetrix bolivari. This case highlights the need for correct species identification and provides an opportunity to recommend some aspects of Good Taxonomic Practice (GTP in Tetrigidae to reduce the number of erroneous identifications.

  5. The importance of validated alpha taxonomy for phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies: a comment on species identification of pygmy grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Arne W; Devriese, Hendrik; Tumbrinck, Josef; Skejo, Josip; Lehmann, Gerlind U C; Hochkirch, Axel

    2017-01-01

    In a recently published paper on colour polymorphism in a Pygmy grasshopper from China (Zhao et al 2016) an unidentified Paratettix sp. was misidentified as Tetrix bolivari . This case highlights the need for correct species identification and provides an opportunity to recommend some aspects of Good Taxonomic Practice (GTP) in Tetrigidae to reduce the number of erroneous identifications.

  6. Multilocus sequence typing of Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum isolates as microbial agents for locust and grasshopper control. Genbank Accession numbers FJ787311 to FJ787325

    Science.gov (United States)

    A growing interest in the biological control of locusts and grasshoppers (Acrididae) has led to the development of biopesticides based on naturally occurring pathogens which offers an environmentally safe alternative to chemical pesticides. However, the fungal strains which are being sought for biop...

  7. The Grasshopper and the Taxonomer. Use of Song and Structure in Orthoptera Saltatoria for Teaching the Principles of Taxonomy. Part 1. Field and Laboratory Exercises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broughton, W. B.

    1972-01-01

    Describes the coordinated study of European grasshoppers as living specimens in the field and as permanent laboratory preparations for introducing taxonomic principles. Provides details for the preparation of specimens and sample instructions provided to students. Part I of a three-part series. (AL)

  8. A simple tentative model of the losses caused by the Senegalese grasshopper, Oedaleus senegalensis (Krauss 1877) to millet in the Sahel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bal, Amadou Bocar; Ouambama, Zakaria; Dieng, Ibnou

    2015-01-01

    based on these parameters was developed. The yield was significantly correlated to both the density of O. senegalensis and the defoliation level on 17 September. The best model to foresee millet yield involved grasshopper density and cumulated rainfall and may be regarded a tentative method in O...

  9. Grasshopper populations inhabiting the B-C Cribs and REDOX Pond Sites, 200 Area Plateau, United States Energy Research and Development Administration's Hanford Reservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheldon, J.K.; Rogers, L.E.

    1976-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the taxonomic composition, abundance, and food habits of grasshopper populations inhabiting the 200 Area plateau. Two sites were selected for detailed study, one near the B-C Cribs control zone and the other near the former REDOX Pond. A total of 14 grasshopper species were collected from the B-C Cribs study area and 16 species from the REDOX Pond area. Thirteen of these species occurred at both locations. Population density was low throughout most of the spring, increased in late May, and reached a peak of about 4 grasshoppers per square meter in early July. A dietary analysis showed that 7 of the 28 species of vascular plants recorded from the area were major components in grasshopper diets. These included needle-and-thread grass (Stipa comata), turpentine cymopterus (Cymopterus terebinthinus), Carey's balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana), western tansymustard (Descurainia pinnata), Jim Hill mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and green rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus). The plant most heavily utilized was big sagebrush, followed by turpentine cymopterus, green rabbitbrush, and Carey's balsamroot. Other species were less frequently eaten. Several plants were present in the diet at a much higher frequency than they occurred in the environment, indicating that they were preferred food items.

  10. Plant DNA detection from grasshopper guts: A step-by-step protocol, from tissue preparation to obtaining plant DNA sequences1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avanesyan, Alina

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: A PCR-based method of identifying ingested plant DNA in gut contents of Melanoplus grasshoppers was developed. Although previous investigations have focused on a variety of insects, there are no protocols available for plant DNA detection developed for grasshoppers, agricultural pests that significantly influence plant community composition. • Methods and Results: The developed protocol successfully used the noncoding region of the chloroplast trnL (UAA) gene and was tested in several feeding experiments. Plant DNA was obtained at seven time points post-ingestion from whole guts and separate gut sections, and was detectable up to 12 h post-ingestion in nymphs and 22 h post-ingestion in adult grasshoppers. • Conclusions: The proposed protocol is an effective, relatively quick, and low-cost method of detecting plant DNA from the grasshopper gut and its different sections. This has important applications, from exploring plant “movement” during food consumption, to detecting plant–insect interactions. PMID:25202604

  11. Fully reversible phenotypic plasticity of digestive physiology in young house sparrows: lack of long-term effect of early diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzek, Pawel; Kohl, Kevin D; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H

    2011-08-15

    Feeding conditions during the nestling period may significantly affect whole-life fitness in altricial birds but little is known about the physiological mechanisms responsible for these effects. Permanent changes (irreversible developmental plasticity) in digestive physiology caused by the neonatal diet may form such a mechanism. We previously showed that the lack of starch in the diet of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings between 3 and 12 days post-hatching significantly decreased the activity of intestinal maltase, an enzyme essential for starch digestion. To check whether diet-induced variation in maltase activity in young house sparrows is reversible, we raised them under laboratory conditions from 3 until 30 days of age on diets with either 0% starch or 25% starch, with some individuals experiencing a switch in their assigned diet at 12 days of age. We found evidence for the presence of an internal, presumably genetic, program for changes in the activity of maltase and sucrase, which was, however, significantly affected by diet composition (i.e. environmental factor). Digestive enzyme activity in 30 day old birds was not influenced by diet composition prior to day 12 but instead depended only on diet that was fed between days 12 and 30. We conclude that plasticity in the activity of intestinal disaccharidases in house sparrow nestlings represents completely reversible phenotypic flexibility that can help young sparrows to cope with unpredictable variation in food composition during ontogeny without long-term effects on their digestive system. However, comparison with other species suggests that the magnitude of digestive flexibility in young passerines may be evolutionarily matched to species-specific variation in feeding conditions.

  12. Investigating the functional morphology of genitalia during copulation in the grasshopper Melanoplus rotundipennis (Scudder, 1878) via correlative microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woller, Derek A; Song, Hojun

    2017-03-01

    We investigated probable functions of the interacting genitalic components of a male and a female of the flightless grasshopper species Melanoplus rotundipennis (Scudder, 1878) (frozen rapidly during copulation) via correlative microscopy; in this case, by synergizing micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) with digital single lens reflex camera photography with focal stacking, and scanning electron microscopy. To assign probable functions, we combined imaging results with observations of live and museum specimens, and function hypotheses from previous studies, the majority of which focused on museum specimens with few investigating hypotheses in a physical framework of copulation. For both sexes, detailed descriptions are given for each of the observed genitalic and other reproductive system components, the majority of which are involved in copulation, and we assigned probable functions to these latter components. The correlative microscopy approach is effective for examining functional morphology in grasshoppers, so we suggest its use for other animals as well, especially when investigating body regions or events that are difficult to access and understand otherwise, as shown here with genitalia and copulation. J. Morphol. 278:334-359, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Neurochemical Architecture of the Central Complex Related to Its Function in the Control of Grasshopper Acoustic Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunst, Michael; Pförtner, Ramona; Aschenbrenner, Katja; Heinrich, Ralf

    2011-01-01

    The central complex selects and coordinates the species- and situation-specific song production in acoustically communicating grasshoppers. Control of sound production is mediated by several neurotransmitters and modulators, their receptors and intracellular signaling pathways. It has previously been shown that muscarinic cholinergic excitation in the central complex promotes sound production whereas both GABA and nitric oxide/cyclic GMP signaling suppress its performance. The present immunocytochemical and pharmacological study investigates the question whether GABA and nitric oxide mediate inhibition of sound production independently. Muscarinic ACh receptors are expressed by columnar output neurons of the central complex that innervate the lower division of the central body and terminate in the lateral accessory lobes. GABAergic tangential neurons that innervate the lower division of the central body arborize in close proximity of columnar neurons and thus may directly inhibit these central complex output neurons. A subset of these GABAergic tangential neurons accumulates cyclic GMP following the release of nitric oxide from neurites in the upper division of the central body. While sound production stimulated by muscarine injection into the central complex is suppressed by co-application of sodium nitroprusside, picrotoxin-stimulated singing was not affected by co-application of this nitric oxide donor, indicating that nitric oxide mediated inhibition requires functional GABA signaling. Hence, grasshopper sound production is controlled by processing of information in the lower division of the central body which is subject to modulation by nitric oxide released from neurons in the upper division. PMID:21980504

  14. Turn the temperature to turquoise: cues for colour change in the male chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis) (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbers, Kate D L

    2011-09-01

    Rapid, reversible colour change is unusual in animals, but is a feature of male chameleon grasshoppers (Kosciuscola tristis). Understanding what triggers this colour change is paramount to developing hypotheses explaining its evolutionary significance. In a series of manipulative experiments the author quantified the effects of temperature, and time of day, as well as internal body temperature, on the colour of male K. tristis. The results suggest that male chameleon grasshoppers change colour primarily in response to temperature and that the rate of colour change varies considerably, with the change from black to turquoise occurring up to 10 times faster than the reverse. Body temperature changed quickly (within 10min) in response to changes in ambient temperature, but colour change did not match this speed and thus colour is decoupled from internal temperature. This indicates that male colour change is driven primarily by ambient temperature but that their colour does not necessarily reflect current internal temperature. I propose several functional hypotheses for male colour change in K. tristis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Microbial community assessment of mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor) and grasshoppers (Locusta migratoria migratorioides) sold for human consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoops, J; Crauwels, S; Waud, M; Claes, J; Lievens, B; Van Campenhout, L

    2016-02-01

    In Western countries, the popularity of edible insects as an alternative animal protein source is increasing. Nevertheless, there is a lack of profound insight into the microbial safety and shelf life of living insects sold for human consumption. The purpose of this study was to characterise the microflora of fresh edible mealworm larvae and grasshoppers in a quantitative and qualitative way. Therefore, culture-dependent analyses (the total viable aerobic count, Enterobacteriaceae, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and moulds, and bacterial endospores) and next-generation sequencing (454amplicon pyrosequencing) were performed. High microbial counts were obtained for both insect species. Different insect batches resulted in quite similar microbial numbers, except for bacterial endospores. However, the bacterial community composition differed between both insect species. The most abundant operational taxonomic unit in mealworm larvae was Propionibacterium. Also members of the genera Haemophilus, Staphylococcus and Clostridium were found. Grasshoppers were mainly dominated by Weissella, Lactococcus and Yersinia/Rahnella. Overall, a variety of potential spoilage bacteria and food pathogens were characterised. The results of this study suggest that a processing step with a microbiocidal effect is required to avoid or minimize risks involved with the consumption of edible insects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Science & education: Genetic analysis of winter social structure and social traits in a migratory sparrow & teaching argumentation in STEM education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnberg, Nina N.

    Stable social organization in a wide variety of organisms has been linked to kinship, which can minimize conflict due to the indirect fitness benefits from cooperating with relatives. In birds, kin selection has been mostly studied in the context of reproduction or in species that are social year round. Many birds however are migratory and the role of kinship in the winter societies of these species is virtually unexplored. A previous study detected striking social complexity and stability in wintering populations of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla)---individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. In chapter one I test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. I examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. I found no evidence that social structure was influenced by kinship---relatedness between most pairs of individuals was at most that of first cousins (and mostly far lower) and Mantel tests revealed no relationship between kinship and pairwise interaction frequency. Kinship also failed to predict social structure in more fine-grained analyses, including analyses of each sex separately (in the event that sex-biased migration might limit kin selection to one sex) and separate analyses for each social community. The complex winter societies of golden-crowned sparrows appear to be based on cooperative benefits unrelated to kin selection. Although the complex social structure detected in wintering golden-crowned sparrows is not predicted by kinship, genetic variation may play a role in variation of winter social traits. In chapter two, I investigate the genetic causes of variation in fitness-related traits in a winter population of golden-crowned sparrows. Individuals show great variation in morphological and behavioral traits that may play

  17. Developmental timing of signals affects information content: song complexity but not consistency reflects innate immune strategy in male song sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubli, Shawn P; MacDougall-Shackleton, Elizabeth A

    2014-05-01

    In short-lived animals, innate immunity is an important component of fitness and quality. Although receivers cannot generally assess a signaler's immune function directly, sexually selected displays such as birdsong may reflect past or current condition. We investigated the degree to which song complexity and consistency, thought to reflect condition over different developmental timescales, predict multiple aspects of innate immunity in male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). We also investigated correlations among immune measures. Noncellular components of innate immunity (soluble blood proteins including natural antibody and other protective proteins) were negatively related to cellular (phagocytosis-based) components, suggesting trade-offs within innate immune protection. This pattern underscores the risk of inferring "immunocompetence" from a single metric. Song complexity, a permanent trait in this species, was positively related to noncellular relative to cellular immune components and may thus provide information as to the singer's innate immune strategy (investment in noncellular vs. cellular activity). Such a relationship could arise through shared timing of song learning and antibody repertoire development in early life. Singing consistency, thought to track variation in current condition and measured at both whole-song and syllable scales, did not predict any immune measures. Developmental timing of signals thus appears to influence their information content.

  18. Sources and transport of phosphorus to rivers in California and adjacent states, U.S., as determined by SPARROW modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Saleh, Dina

    2015-01-01

    The SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes) model was used to simulate annual phosphorus loads and concentrations in unmonitored stream reaches in California, U.S., and portions of Nevada and Oregon. The model was calibrated using de-trended streamflow and phosphorus concentration data at 80 locations. The model explained 91% of the variability in loads and 51% of the variability in yields for a base year of 2002. Point sources, geological background, and cultivated land were significant sources. Variables used to explain delivery of phosphorus from land to water were precipitation and soil clay content. Aquatic loss of phosphorus was significant in streams of all sizes, with the greatest decay predicted in small- and intermediate-sized streams. Geological sources, including volcanic rocks and shales, were the principal control on concentrations and loads in many regions. Some localized formations such as the Monterey shale of southern California are important sources of phosphorus and may contribute to elevated stream concentrations. Many of the larger point source facilities were located in downstream areas, near the ocean, and do not affect inland streams except for a few locations. Large areas of cultivated land result in phosphorus load increases, but do not necessarily increase the loads above those of geological background in some cases because of local hydrology, which limits the potential of phosphorus transport from land to streams.

  19. Female house sparrows "count on" male genes: experimental evidence for MHC-dependent mate preference in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biard Clotilde

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Females can potentially assess the quality of potential mates using their secondary sexual traits, and obtain "good genes" that increase offspring fitness. Another potential indirect benefit from mating preferences is genetic compatibility, which does not require extravagant or viability indicator traits. Several studies with mammals and fish indicate that the genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC influence olfactory cues and mating preferences, and such preferences confer genetic benefits to offspring. We investigated whether individual MHC diversity (class I influences mating preferences in house sparrows (Passer domesticus. Results Overall, we found no evidence that females preferred males with high individual MHC diversity. Yet, when we considered individual MHC allelic diversity of the females, we found that females with a low number of alleles were most attracted to males carrying a high number of MHC alleles, which might reflect a mating-up preference by allele counting. Conclusions This is the first experimental evidence for MHC-dependent mating preferences in an avian species to our knowledge. Our findings raise questions about the underlying mechanisms through which birds discriminate individual MHC diversity among conspecifics, and they suggest a novel mechanism through which mating preferences might promote the evolution of MHC polymorphisms and generate positive selection for duplicated MHC loci.

  20. Temporal and spatial variation in prevalence of the parasite Syngamus trachea in a metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holand, Håkon; Jensen, Henrik; Tufto, Jarle; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Ringsby, Thor Harald

    2013-09-01

    When investigating parasite-host dynamics in wild populations, a fundamental parameter to investigate is prevalence. This quantifies the percentage of individuals infected in the population. Investigating how prevalence changes over time and space can reveal interesting aspects in the parasite-host relationship in natural populations. We investigated the dynamic between a common avian parasite (Syngamus trachea) in a host metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) on the coast of Helgeland in northern Norway. We found that parasite prevalence varied in both time and space. In addition, the parasite prevalence was found to be different between demographic groups in the local populations. Our results reveal just how complex the dynamic between a host and its parasite may become in a fragmented landscape. Although temperature may be an important factor, the specific mechanisms causing this complexity are not fully understood, but need to be further examined to understand how parasite-host interactions may affect the ecological and evolutionary dynamics and viability of host populations.

  1. A DNA investigation into the mysterious disappearance of the Rocky Mountain grasshopper, mega-pest of the 1800s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapco, W; Litzenberger, G

    2004-03-01

    The mysterious extinction of the Rocky Mountain Grasshopper, Melanoplus spretus, a major pest species on the prairies and plains of the 1800s, is truly a remarkable event in the history of agriculture. Recently, we obtained specimens of M. spretus from museums and from 400-year-old glacial deposits in Wyoming. We report success in obtaining mitochondrial DNA sequences from both sources. This permitted us to examine two issues surrounding the species' disappearance. First, a long-standing view that M. spretus and the extant species Melanoplus sanguinipes are (if not phase transforms of one another) sister taxa, is disputed, but cannot be rejected with certainty. Interestingly, there is some evidence that suggests there may be a closer affinity with another member of the Mexicanus species-group, Melanoplus bruneri. Second, because M. spretus still possesses considerable nucleotide diversity (1.15+/-0.19%), a depletion of variation cannot be considered a factor contributing to its demise.

  2. A novel adipokinetic peptide from the corpus cardiacum of the primitive caeliferan pygmy grasshopper Tetrix subulata (Caelifera, Tetrigidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gäde, Gerd; Šimek, Petr; Marco, Heather G

    2015-06-01

    The basal caeliferan family Tetrigidae is investigated to identify neuropeptides belonging to the adipokinetic hormone (AKH) family. The pygmy grasshopper Tetrix subulata contains in its corpus cardiacum two octapeptides as revealed by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The less abundant peptide is the well-known Schgr-AKH-II (pELNFSTGW amide) which is suggested to be the ancestral AKH of Caelifera and Ensifera. The second peptide, Tetsu-AKH (pEFNFTPGW amide), is novel and quite unusual with its third aromatic residue at position 2. It is thought to be autapomorphic for Caelifera. Tetsu-AKH has hyperlipemic activity in T. subulata and in Schistocerca gregaria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Sexual differences in destructive capability and midgut enzyme activities in adult variegated grasshoppers Zonocerus variegatus (LINNAEUS, 1758 (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ademolu Kehinde O.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The variegated grasshopper Zonocerus variegatus is a polyphagous insect, feeding on numerous food and cash crops. The present study aimed to investigate the sexual variations in the destructive capability of the adult insects and the composition of leaves damaged by them, as well as in the levels of midgut microbial flora and digestive enzymes (cellulase, amylase and α-glucosidase. The results showed that females consumed and caused more damage to cassava leaves than their male congeners. The leaves damaged by males contained more nutrients than those damaged by females. The gut microbial flora and enzyme assay showed that females had significantly larger colony forming units and a non-significant difference in enzyme activities. It can thus be concluded that adult females are more destructive than males.

  4. Assortative preferences and discrimination by females against hybrid male song in the grasshoppers Chorthippus brunneus and Chorthippus jacobsi (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridle, J R; Saldamando, C I; Koning, W; Butlin, R K

    2006-07-01

    The grasshoppers Chorthippus brunneus and Chorthippus jacobsi are highly differentiated for male mating signals, and form a mosaic hybrid zone in northern Spain. At some sites within this zone, many hybrids are observed. At others, few hybrids are observed. Such bimodal sites may reflect recent contacts between parental genotypes, or local variation in levels of assortative mating or selection against hybrids. Playback of 12 parental and F1 male songs to 296 parental and hybrid females revealed positive assortative preferences in C. brunneus and C. jacobsi females, supporting a direct role of male mating signals in female choice. However, all female genotypic classes showed reduced responsiveness to F1 male songs. Such sexual selection against hybrids is consistent with the narrow cline width observed in the field for song characters relative to morphology. These results have implications for the genetic structure of the hybrid zone and for models of speciation by reinforcement.

  5. Differential gene flow of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers among chromosomal races of Australian morabine grasshoppers (Vandiemenella, viatica species group).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, T; Butlin, R K; Adams, M; Saint, K M; Paull, D J; Cooper, S J B

    2007-12-01

    Recent theoretical developments have led to a renewed interest in the potential role of chromosomal rearrangements in speciation. Australian morabine grasshoppers (genus Vandiemenella, viatica species group) provide an excellent study system to test this potential role of chromosomal rearrangements because they show extensive chromosomal variation and formed the basis of a classic chromosomal speciation model. There are three chromosomal races, viatica19, viatica17, and P24(XY), on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, forming five parapatric populations with four putative contact zones among them. We investigate the extent to which chromosomal variation among these populations may be associated with barriers to gene flow. Population genetic and phylogeographical analyses using 15 variable allozyme loci and the elongation factor-1alpha (EF-1alpha) gene indicate that the three races represent genetically distinct taxa. In contrast, analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene show the presence of three distinctive and geographically localized groups that do not correspond with the distribution of the chromosomal races. These discordant population genetic patterns are likely to result from introgressive hybridization between the chromosomal races and range expansions/contractions. Overall, these results suggest that reduction of nuclear gene flow may be associated with chromosomal variation, or underlying genetic variation linked with chromosomal variation, whereas mitochondrial gene flow appears to be independent of this variation in these morabine grasshoppers. The identification of an intact contact zone between P24(XY) and viatica17 offers considerable potential for further investigation of molecular mechanisms that maintain distinct nuclear genomes among the chromosomal races.

  6. What triggers colour change? Effects of background colour and temperature on the development of an alpine grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valverde, J Pablo; Schielzeth, Holger

    2015-08-21

    Colour polymorphisms are a fascinating facet of many natural populations of plants and animals, and the selective processes that maintain such variation are as relevant as the processes which promote their development. Orthoptera, the insect group that encompasses grasshoppers and bush crickets, includes a particularly large number of species that are colour polymorphic with a marked green-brown polymorphism being particularly widespread. Colour polymorphism has been associated with the need for crypsis and background matching and background-dependent homochromy has been described in a few species. However, when and how different environmental conditions influence variation in colour remains poorly understood. Here we test for effects of background colour and ambient temperature on the occurrence of colour morph switches (green to brown or brown to green) and developmental darkening in the alpine dwelling club-legged grasshopper Gomphocerus sibiricus. We monitored individually housed nymphae across three of their four developmental stages and into the first week after final ecdysis. Our data show an absence of colour morph switches in G. sibiricus, without a single switch observed in our sample. Furthermore, we test for an effect of temperature on colouration by manipulating radiant heat, a limiting factor in alpine habitats. Radiant heat had a significant effect on developmental darkening: individuals under low radiant heat tended to darken, while individuals under high radiant heat tended to lighten within nymphal stages. Young imagoes darkened under either condition. Our results indicate a plastic response to a variable temperature and indicate that melanin, a multipurpose pigment responsible for dark colouration and presumed to be costly, seems to be strategically allocated according to the current environmental conditions. Unlike other orthopterans, the species is apparently unable to switch colour morphs (green/brown) during development, suggesting that

  7. Inferring the demographic history of an oligophagous grasshopper: Effects of climatic niche stability and host-plant distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro J; Ortego, Joaquín

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of past environmental changes on the abiotic and biotic components of the landscape and deciphering their impacts on the demographic trajectories of species is a major issue in evolutionary biogeography. In this study, we combine nuclear and mitochondrial genetic data to study the phylogeographical structure and lineage-specific demographic histories of the scrub-legume grasshopper (Chorthippus binotatus binotatus), a montane taxon distributed in the Iberian Peninsula and France that exclusively feeds on certain scrub-legume species. Genetic data and paleo-distribution modelling indicate the presence of four main lineages that seem to have diverged in allopatry and long-term persisted in Iberian and French refugia since the Mid Pleistocene. Comparisons of different demographic hypotheses in an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) framework supported a population bottleneck in the northwestern French clade and paleo-distribution modelling indicate that the populations of this lineage have experienced more severe environmental fluctuations during the last 21 000 years than those from the Iberian Peninsula. Accordingly, we found that nuclear genetic diversity of the populations of scrub-legume grasshopper is positively associated with local stability of suitable habitats defined by both Pleistocene climate changes and historical distributional shifts of host-plant species. Overall, our study highlights the importance of integrating the potential effects of abiotic (i.e. climate and geography) and biotic components (i.e. inter-specific interactions) into the study of the evolutionary and demographic history of specialist taxa with narrow ecological requirements. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Camouflage Effects of Various Colour-Marking Morphs against Different Microhabitat Backgrounds in a Polymorphic Pygmy Grasshopper Tetrix japonica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurui, Kaori; Honma, Atsushi; Nishida, Takayoshi

    2010-01-01

    Background Colour-marking polymorphism is widely distributed among cryptic species. To account for the adaptive significance of such polymorphisms, several hypotheses have been proposed to date. Although these hypotheses argue over the degree of camouflage effects of marking morphs (and the interactions between morphs and their microhabitat backgrounds), as far as we know, most empirical evidence has been provided under unnatural conditions (i.e., using artificial prey). Methodology/Principal Findings Tetrix japonica, a pygmy grasshopper, is highly polymorphic in colour-markings and occurs in both sand and grass microhabitats. Even within a microhabitat, T. japonica is highly polymorphic. Using humans as dummy predators and printed photographs in which various morphs of grasshoppers were placed against different backgrounds, we addressed three questions to test the neutral, background heterogeneity, and differential crypsis hypotheses in four marking-type morphs: 1) do the morphs differ in the degree of crypsis in each microhabitat, 2) are different morphs most cryptic in specific backgrounds of the microhabitats, and 3) does the morph frequency reflect the degree of crypsis? Conclusions/Significance The degree of camouflage differed among the four morphs; therefore, the neutral hypothesis was rejected. Furthermore, the order of camouflage advantage among morphs differed depending on the two types of backgrounds (sand and grass), although the grass background consistently provided greater camouflage effects. Thus, based on our results, we could not reject the background heterogeneity hypothesis. Under field conditions, the more cryptic morphs comprised a minority of the population. Overall, our results demonstrate that the different morphs were not equivalent in the degree of crypsis, but the degree of camouflage of the morphs was not consistent with the morph frequency. These findings suggest that trade-offs exist between the camouflage benefit of body colouration

  9. Camouflage effects of various colour-marking morphs against different microhabitat backgrounds in a polymorphic pygmy grasshopper Tetrix japonica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaori Tsurui

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Colour-marking polymorphism is widely distributed among cryptic species. To account for the adaptive significance of such polymorphisms, several hypotheses have been proposed to date. Although these hypotheses argue over the degree of camouflage effects of marking morphs (and the interactions between morphs and their microhabitat backgrounds, as far as we know, most empirical evidence has been provided under unnatural conditions (i.e., using artificial prey.Tetrix japonica, a pygmy grasshopper, is highly polymorphic in colour-markings and occurs in both sand and grass microhabitats. Even within a microhabitat, T. japonica is highly polymorphic. Using humans as dummy predators and printed photographs in which various morphs of grasshoppers were placed against different backgrounds, we addressed three questions to test the neutral, background heterogeneity, and differential crypsis hypotheses in four marking-type morphs: 1 do the morphs differ in the degree of crypsis in each microhabitat, 2 are different morphs most cryptic in specific backgrounds of the microhabitats, and 3 does the morph frequency reflect the degree of crypsis?The degree of camouflage differed among the four morphs; therefore, the neutral hypothesis was rejected. Furthermore, the order of camouflage advantage among morphs differed depending on the two types of backgrounds (sand and grass, although the grass background consistently provided greater camouflage effects. Thus, based on our results, we could not reject the background heterogeneity hypothesis. Under field conditions, the more cryptic morphs comprised a minority of the population. Overall, our results demonstrate that the different morphs were not equivalent in the degree of crypsis, but the degree of camouflage of the morphs was not consistent with the morph frequency. These findings suggest that trade-offs exist between the camouflage benefit of body colouration and other fitness components, providing a better

  10. Influence of different envelope maskers on signal recognition and neuronal representation in the auditory system of a grasshopper.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Neuhofer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Animals that communicate by sound face the problem that the signals arriving at the receiver often are degraded and masked by noise. Frequency filters in the receiver's auditory system may improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR by excluding parts of the spectrum which are not occupied by the species-specific signals. This solution, however, is hardly amenable to species that produce broad band signals or have ears with broad frequency tuning. In mammals auditory filters exist that work in the temporal domain of amplitude modulations (AM. Do insects also use this type of filtering? PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Combining behavioural and neurophysiological experiments we investigated whether AM filters may improve the recognition of masked communication signals in grasshoppers. The AM pattern of the sound, its envelope, is crucial for signal recognition in these animals. We degraded the species-specific song by adding random fluctuations to its envelope. Six noise bands were used that differed in their overlap with the spectral content of the song envelope. If AM filters contribute to reduced masking, signal recognition should depend on the degree of overlap between the song envelope spectrum and the noise spectra. Contrary to this prediction, the resistance against signal degradation was the same for five of six masker bands. Most remarkably, the band with the strongest frequency overlap to the natural song envelope (0-100 Hz impaired acceptance of degraded signals the least. To assess the noise filter capacities of single auditory neurons, the changes of spike trains as a function of the masking level were assessed. Increasing levels of signal degradation in different frequency bands led to similar changes in the spike trains in most neurones. CONCLUSIONS: There is no indication that auditory neurones of grasshoppers are specialized to improve the SNR with respect to the pattern of amplitude modulations.

  11. Evaluating the stress response as a bioindicator of sub-lethal effects of crude oil exposure in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Ngai, Heather M; Romero, L Michael

    2014-01-01

    Petroleum can disrupt endocrine function in humans and wildlife, and interacts in particularly complex ways with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, responsible for the release of the stress hormones corticosterone and cortisol (hereafter CORT). Ingested petroleum can act in an additive fashion with other stressors to cause increased mortality, but it is not clear exactly why--does petroleum disrupt feedback mechanisms, stress hormone production, or both? This laboratory study aimed to quantify the effects of ingested Gulf of Mexico crude oil on the physiological stress response of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We examined baseline and stress-induced CORT, negative feedback, and adrenal sensitivity in house sparrows given a 1% oil or control diet (n = 12 in each group). We found that four weeks on a 1% oil diet did not alter baseline CORT titers or efficacy of negative feedback, but significantly reduced sparrows' ability to secrete CORT in response to a standardized stressor and adrenocorticotropin hormone injection, suggesting that oil damages the steroid-synthesizing cells of the adrenal. In another group of animals on the same 1% oil (n = 9) or control diets (n = 8), we examined concentrations of eight different blood chemistry parameters, and CORT in feathers grown before and during the feeding experiments as other potential biomarkers of oil exposure. None of the blood chemistry parameters differed between birds on the oil and control diets after two or four weeks of feeding, nor did feather CORT differ between the two groups. Overall, this study suggests that the response of CORT to stressors, but not baseline HPA function, may be a particularly sensitive bioindicator of sub-lethal chronic effects of crude oil exposure.

  12. Evaluating the Stress Response as a Bioindicator of Sub-Lethal Effects of Crude Oil Exposure in Wild House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R.; Ngai, Heather M.; Romero, L. Michael

    2014-01-01

    Petroleum can disrupt endocrine function in humans and wildlife, and interacts in particularly complex ways with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, responsible for the release of the stress hormones corticosterone and cortisol (hereafter CORT). Ingested petroleum can act in an additive fashion with other stressors to cause increased mortality, but it is not clear exactly why—does petroleum disrupt feedback mechanisms, stress hormone production, or both? This laboratory study aimed to quantify the effects of ingested Gulf of Mexico crude oil on the physiological stress response of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We examined baseline and stress-induced CORT, negative feedback, and adrenal sensitivity in house sparrows given a 1% oil or control diet (n = 12 in each group). We found that four weeks on a 1% oil diet did not alter baseline CORT titers or efficacy of negative feedback, but significantly reduced sparrows' ability to secrete CORT in response to a standardized stressor and adrenocorticotropin hormone injection, suggesting that oil damages the steroid-synthesizing cells of the adrenal. In another group of animals on the same 1% oil (n = 9) or control diets (n = 8), we examined concentrations of eight different blood chemistry parameters, and CORT in feathers grown before and during the feeding experiments as other potential biomarkers of oil exposure. None of the blood chemistry parameters differed between birds on the oil and control diets after two or four weeks of feeding, nor did feather CORT differ between the two groups. Overall, this study suggests that the response of CORT to stressors, but not baseline HPA function, may be a particularly sensitive bioindicator of sub-lethal chronic effects of crude oil exposure. PMID:25029334

  13. Evaluating the stress response as a bioindicator of sub-lethal effects of crude oil exposure in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Lattin

    Full Text Available Petroleum can disrupt endocrine function in humans and wildlife, and interacts in particularly complex ways with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis, responsible for the release of the stress hormones corticosterone and cortisol (hereafter CORT. Ingested petroleum can act in an additive fashion with other stressors to cause increased mortality, but it is not clear exactly why--does petroleum disrupt feedback mechanisms, stress hormone production, or both? This laboratory study aimed to quantify the effects of ingested Gulf of Mexico crude oil on the physiological stress response of house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We examined baseline and stress-induced CORT, negative feedback, and adrenal sensitivity in house sparrows given a 1% oil or control diet (n = 12 in each group. We found that four weeks on a 1% oil diet did not alter baseline CORT titers or efficacy of negative feedback, but significantly reduced sparrows' ability to secrete CORT in response to a standardized stressor and adrenocorticotropin hormone injection, suggesting that oil damages the steroid-synthesizing cells of the adrenal. In another group of animals on the same 1% oil (n = 9 or control diets (n = 8, we examined concentrations of eight different blood chemistry parameters, and CORT in feathers grown before and during the feeding experiments as other potential biomarkers of oil exposure. None of the blood chemistry parameters differed between birds on the oil and control diets after two or four weeks of feeding, nor did feather CORT differ between the two groups. Overall, this study suggests that the response of CORT to stressors, but not baseline HPA function, may be a particularly sensitive bioindicator of sub-lethal chronic effects of crude oil exposure.

  14. Pathotypes in the Entomophaga grylli species complex of grasshopper pathogens differentiated with random amplification of polymorphic DNA and cloned-DNA probes.

    OpenAIRE

    Bidochka, M J; Walsh, S R; Ramos, M E; Leger, R J; Silver, J C; Roberts, D W

    1995-01-01

    The zygomycetous fungus Entomophaga grylli is a pathogen that shows host-specific variance to grasshopper subfamilies. Three pathotypes of the E. grylli species complex were differentiated by three molecular techniques. In the first method, the three pathotypes showed different fragment patterns generated by random amplifica- tion of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). There was little or no interisolate variability in RAPD fragment patterns within each pathotype. Passage of an isolate of pathotype 3, or...

  15. Linear dose-response of acentric chromosome fragments down to 1 R of x-rays in grasshopper neuroblasts, a potential mutagen-test system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaulden, M.E.; Read, C.B.

    1978-01-01

    Grasshopper-embryo neuroblasts have no spontaneous chromosome breakage; therefore they permit easy detection of agents that break chromosomes. An X-ray exposure of 1 R induces in them a detectable number of chromosome fragments. The dose-response of acentri