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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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, habitat and behavior of grasshopper sparrows, Ammodramus savannarum(Passeriformes: Emberizidae in northeastern Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidia Arguedas-Negrini

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available During March and April of 1996, I made field observations of the sedentary subspecies of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum cracens, in 600 points of the pine savannas of northeastern Nicaragua. Isolated individuals were found in the humid depressions, but breeding populations were located exclusively in areas that had suffered a recent fire. Territorial behavior varied in intensity apparently as a function of territory size: the most aggressive males were those trying to defend smaller territories in populations close to Miskito villages, where most of the fires occur. In contrast to what is happening in other parts of Central America, the Nicaraguan grasshopper sparrow may be indirectly protected from extinction by the Miskito’s traditional fire practices.En marzo y abril de 1996, llevé a cabo observaciones del semillero colicorto (Ammodramus savannarum cracens en las sabanas de pino del noreste de Nicaragua. Encontré individuos aislados en las depresiones más húmedas, pero las poblaciones en estado reproductivo ocupaban solamente áreas que hubieran sido quemadas recientemente. El comportamiento territorial de las aves parecía estar relacionado al tamaño del territorio: las aves más agresivas defendían territorios relativamente pequeños, cercanos a los poblados miskitos, que es adonde los fuegos se producen con mayor frequencia. Fue notable la ausencia de posibles depredadores en las áreas más abiertas de la savanna. Contrario a lo que sucede en otras partes de Centroamérica, la persistencia de esta ave en las savannas de pino de Nicaragua podría estar asegurada por las tradiciones miskitas en el uso del fuego.

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The radioactive grasshopper

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1966-06-15

    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)

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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 dcogs, where the integer n is close to π (arcsin⁡(√{π }d / 2 )) -1. We find transitions to other shapes for d ≳π-1 / 2.

  2. 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)

  3. sparrow-weavers, PJocepasser mahali

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-01-27

    Jan 27, 1987 ... Sparrow-weavers often perched in a tree near fellow group members. .... (1981) showed that Zambian sparrow-weavers avoid tall, densely-matted ... of 3 in intermediate habitat in New Mexico (Stacey. 1979). Population ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Growth, development, and nutritional physiology of grasshoppers from subarctic and temperate regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fielding, Dennis J; Defoliart, Linda S

    2007-01-01

    Despite the importance of developmental rate, growth rate, and size at maturity in the life history of poikliotherms, the trade-offs among these traits and selection pressures involved in the evolution of these traits are not well understood. This study compared these traits in a grasshopper, Melanoplus sanguinipes F. (Orthoptera: Acrididae), from two contrasting geographical regions, subarctic Alaska and temperate Idaho. The growing season in the interior of Alaska is about 80 d shorter than at low-elevation sites in Idaho. We hypothesized that the Alaskan grasshoppers would show more rapid growth and development than grasshoppers from Idaho, at the cost of greater sensitivity to food quality. On a diet of lettuce and wheat bran, grasshoppers from Alaska developed from egg hatch to adult more rapidly than those from Idaho at each of three different temperature regimes. Averaged over all temperature treatments, the weight of the Alaskan grasshoppers was about 5% less than that of the Idaho grasshoppers at the adult molt. Feeding and digestive efficiencies were determined for the final two instars using two meridic diets: one with a high concentration of nutrients and the other with the same formulation but diluted with cellulose. Alaskan grasshoppers again developed more rapidly, weighed less, and had faster growth rates than those from Idaho. Alaskan grasshoppers supported their more rapid growth by increasing postingestive efficiencies; that is, they had higher conversion rates of digested matter to biomass on the high-quality diet, greater assimilation of food on the low-quality diet, and greater efficiency of nitrogen assimilation or retention on both diets. There was no evidence that performance of Alaskan grasshoppers suffered any more than that of the Idaho grasshoppers on the low-quality diet.

  8. Pallid bands in feathers and associated stable isotope signatures reveal effects of severe weather stressors on fledgling sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Jeremy D; Kelly, Jeffrey F; Bridge, Eli S; Engel, Michael H; Reinking, Dan L; Boyle, W Alice

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, we observed a high incidence (44%) of synchronous bands of reduced melanin (a type of fault bar we have termed "pallid bands") across the rectrices of juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodrammus savannarum) captured near El Reno, Oklahoma. Earlier that year, on May 31, the site was struck by a severe storm which rained hailstones exceeding 5.5 cm diameter and spawned an historic 4.2 km-wide tornado stressor had induced the pallid bands. An assessment of Grasshopper Sparrow nesting phenology indicated that a large number of nestlings were likely growing tail feathers when the storm hit. The pallid bands were restricted to the distal half of feathers and their widths significantly increased as a function of distance from the tip (i.e., age at formation). We predicted that if stress had caused these pallid bands, then a spike in circulating δ (15)N originating from tissue catabolism during the stress response would have been incorporated into the developing feather. From 18 juveniles captured at the site in August we measured δ (15)N and δ (13)C stable isotope ratios within four to five 0.25-0.40 mg feather sections taken from the distal end of a tail feather; the pallid band, if present, was contained within only one section. After accounting for individual and across-section variation, we found support for our prediction that feather sections containing or located immediately proximal to pallid bands (i.e., the pallid band region) would show significantly higher δ (15)N than sections outside this region. In contrast, the feathers of juveniles with pallid bands compared to normal appearing juveniles showed significantly lower δ (15)N. A likely explanation is that the latter individuals hatched after the May 31 storm and had consumed a trophically-shifted diet relative to juveniles with pallid bands. Considering this, the juveniles of normal appearance were significantly less abundant within our sample relative to expectations from past cohorts (z

  9. Pallid bands in feathers and associated stable isotope signatures reveal effects of severe weather stressors on fledgling sparrows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy D. Ross

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In August 2013, we observed a high incidence (44% of synchronous bands of reduced melanin (a type of fault bar we have termed “pallid bands” across the rectrices of juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodrammus savannarum captured near El Reno, Oklahoma. Earlier that year, on May 31, the site was struck by a severe storm which rained hailstones exceeding 5.5 cm diameter and spawned an historic 4.2 km-wide tornado <8 km to the south of the site. We hypothesized that this stressor had induced the pallid bands. An assessment of Grasshopper Sparrow nesting phenology indicated that a large number of nestlings were likely growing tail feathers when the storm hit. The pallid bands were restricted to the distal half of feathers and their widths significantly increased as a function of distance from the tip (i.e., age at formation. We predicted that if stress had caused these pallid bands, then a spike in circulating δ15N originating from tissue catabolism during the stress response would have been incorporated into the developing feather. From 18 juveniles captured at the site in August we measured δ15N and δ13C stable isotope ratios within four to five 0.25–0.40 mg feather sections taken from the distal end of a tail feather; the pallid band, if present, was contained within only one section. After accounting for individual and across-section variation, we found support for our prediction that feather sections containing or located immediately proximal to pallid bands (i.e., the pallid band region would show significantly higher δ15N than sections outside this region. In contrast, the feathers of juveniles with pallid bands compared to normal appearing juveniles showed significantly lower δ15N. A likely explanation is that the latter individuals hatched after the May 31 storm and had consumed a trophically-shifted diet relative to juveniles with pallid bands. Considering this, the juveniles of normal appearance were significantly less abundant

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Tolerating Toxins: Grasshoppers that Feast on Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids §.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Housecroft, Catherine E

    2018-03-30

    The elegant grasshopper (Zonocerus elegans) and the variegated grasshopper (Z. variegatus) are among insects that deliberately consume and store pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are subsequently used in defence mechanisms.

  14. 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.

  15. House Sparrows Do Not Constitute a Significant Salmonella Typhimurium Reservoir across Urban Gradients in Flanders, Belgium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Lens, Luc; Haesendonck, Roel; Teyssier, Aimeric; Hudin, Noraine Salleh; Strubbe, Diederik; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades major declines in urban house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have been observed in north-western European cities, whereas suburban and rural house sparrow populations have remained relatively stable or are recovering from previous declines. Differential exposure to avian pathogens known to cause epidemics in house sparrows may in part explain this spatial pattern of declines. Here we investigate the potential effect of urbanization on the development of a bacterial pathogen reservoir in free-ranging house sparrows. This was achieved by comparing the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium in 364 apparently healthy house sparrows captured in urban, suburban and rural regions across Flanders, Belgium between September 2013 and March 2014. In addition 12 dead birds, received from bird rescue centers, were necropsied. The apparent absence of Salmonella Typhimurium in fecal samples of healthy birds, and the identification of only one house sparrow seropositive for Salmonella spp., suggests that during the winter of 2013-2014 these birds did not represent any considerable Salmonella Typhimurium reservoir in Belgium and thus may be considered naïve hosts, susceptible to clinical infection. This susceptibility is demonstrated by the isolation of two different Salmonella Typhimurium strains from two of the deceased house sparrows: one DT99, typically associated with disease in pigeons, and one DT195, previously associated with a passerine decline. The apparent absence (prevalence: house sparrows and the association of infection with clinical disease suggests that the impact of Salmonella Typhimurium on house sparrows is largely driven by the risk of exogenous exposure to pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains. However, no inference could be made on a causal relationship between Salmonella infection and the observed house sparrow population declines.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The lightly grazed area, characterised by tall vegetation and high aerial cover, low greenness of grass, and low frequency of forbs, was inhabited by grasshopper species associated with long and/or thick grass, that were mixed feeders or tough grass feeders. The mowed area, characterised by short vegetation and low ...

  3. 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

  4. Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism of the Black-throated Sparrow in central Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M.J.; van Riper, Charles

    2004-01-01

    From 1994-1996 we investigated effects of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism on Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) nesting success in the Verde Valley of central Arizona. Of 56 Black-throated Sparrow nests, 52% were parasitized. Black-throated Sparrows appear to respond to natural parasitism by accepting the cowbird egg, deserting the nest, or burying the cowbird egg. Removal and damage of host eggs by female cowbirds effectively reduced clutch size from an average of 3.4 to 1.9 eggs. Because of this reduced clutch size, Black-throated Sparrow reproductive success was significantly lower in parasitized nests (0.2 young fledged/ nest) as compared to nonparasitized nests (1.6 young fledged/nest). When comparing cowbird parasitism between two habitat types, we found significantly higher parasitism frequencies in crucifixion-thorn (Canotia holacantha) versus creosote-bush (Larrea divaricata) habitat. We argue that this difference in parasitism is due to the greater number of tall perches (e.g., shrubs >4 m) available in crucifixion-thorn habitat, providing vantage points for female cowbirds to better find Black-throated Sparrow nests.

  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. Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    . 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......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......-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...

  7. 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.

  8. Patterns of vegetation and grasshopper community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, W P; Harvey, S J; O'Neill, K M

    1990-06-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate differences in rangeland grasshopper communities over environmental gradients in Gallatin Valley, Montana, USA. The concept of habitat type (Daubenmire 1966) was used as a basis for discriminating between groupings of patches based on vegetation. A total of 39 patches were selected that represented five recognized grassland habitat types (Mueggler and Stewart 1980), as well as two disturbed types (replanting within a known habitat type). Repeated sampling in 1988 of both the insect and plant communities yielded a total of 40 grasshopper (19 664 individuals) and 97 plant species. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) indicated that patch classifications based on presence and percent cover of plants were appropriate and showed good between-group (habitat type) separation for patches along gradients of precipitation/elevation and plant community complexity. Results from undisturbed habitats showed that plant and grasshopper species composition changed over observed environmental gradients and suggested that habitat type influenced not only species presence, but also relative abundance. Discussion is presented that relates results with patch-use and core and satellite species paradigms.

  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 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

  12. Developmental plasticity of cutaneous water loss and lipid composition in stratum corneum of desert and mesic nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-10-07

    Intercellular lipids of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, form a barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. Previously, we measured cutaneous water loss (CWL) and lipid composition of the SC of adult house sparrows from two populations, one living in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and another living in mesic Ohio. Adult desert house sparrows had a lower CWL, a lower proportion of free fatty acids, and a higher proportion of ceramides and cerebrosides in the SC compared with mesic sparrows. In this study, we investigated developmental plasticity of CWL and lipid composition of the SC in desert and mesic nestling house sparrows reared in low and high humidity and compared our results with previous work on adults. We measured CWL of nestlings and analyzed the lipid composition of the SC using thin-layer chromatography. We showed that nestling house sparrows from both localities had higher CWL than adults in their natural environment, a result of major modifications of the lipid composition of the SC. The expression of plasticity in CWL seems to be a response to opposed selection pressures, thermoregulation and water conservation, at different life stages, on which regulation of CWL plays a crucial role. Desert nestlings showed a greater degree of plasticity in CWL and lipid composition of the SC than did mesic nestlings, a finding consistent with the idea that organisms exposed to more environmental stress ought to be more plastic than individuals living in more benign environments.

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of zinc and female aging on nymphal life history in a grasshopper from polluted sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustyniak, Maria; Babczyńska, Agnieszka; Kozłowski, Michał; Sawczyn, Tomasz; Augustyniak, Michał

    2008-01-01

    Insect reproduction is influenced by various factors, including food quality and quantity, temperature, population density and female age. Contamination, including heavy metals, may disturb reproductive processes. The aim of this work was to assess interactions between effects of aging in female Chorthippus brunneus and environmental pollution on their reproduction measured in number of laid eggs. We also compared basic developmental parameters (number of hatchlings, body mass, embryonic developmental rate) in grasshopper nymphs additionally exposed to zinc during diapause. Aging grasshoppers from heavily polluted areas (Olkusz and Szopienice) lay significantly fewer eggs than insects from the reference site (Pilica). Zinc application caused the decrease in hatching success and duration of embryogenesis in insects from each site. This suggests a cumulative effect of female age, pollutants and additional stressing factors. The intensity of this process differed between populations. In insects from the reference site, it was shown in a moderate degree. In insects from Szopienice, an additional stressor exerted a weaker effect than in insects from Pilica. In grasshoppers from Olkusz, we found the strongest decrease of hatching percentage and increase in duration of embryogenesis after zinc intoxication. This may indicate that the population from Olkusz exists at the limit of its energetic abilities.

  15. 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.

  16. 78 FR 8588 - Rg Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

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    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...

  17. 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

  18. 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. ...

  19. 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.

  20. The case of the Disappearing House Sparrow (Passer domesticus indicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjan Dandapat

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The fluffy brown sparrows are 15cm in length and distributed all over India up to 4000m in the Himalayas. The disappearance of sparrows has been widely reported in India. The sparrow population in Andhra Pradesh alone had dropped by 80 per cent, and in other states like Kerala, Gujarat and Rajasthan, it had dipped by 20 per cent, while the decline in coastal areas was as sharp as 70 to 80 per cent. But reliable information on sparrow populations is not available. No one is actually counting and keeping a record of the sparrows. The spread of diseases due to decline in sparrow population is an alarming danger. Introduction of unleaded petrol, use of chemically treated seeds, flow of electromagnetic waves from cellphone towers, reducing areas of free growing weeds or reducing numbers of badly maintained buildings, competition for food by other species etc. are possible reasons for this disappearance. The BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, a UK-based organisation and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS have taken plan for the protection of sparrow population. [Vet. World 2010; 3(2.000: 97-100

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of winter marsh burning on abundance and nesting activity of Louisiana seaside sparrows in the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrey, S.W.; Afton, A.D.

    2000-01-01

    Louisiana Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus fisheri) breed and winter exclusively in brackish and saline marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Many Gulf Coast marshes, particularly in the Chenier Plain of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, are burned intentionally in fall or winter as part of waterfowl management programs. Fire reportedly has negatively affected two Seaside Sparrow subspecies (A. m. nigrescens and A. m. mirabilis) in Florida, but there is no published information regarding effects of fire on A. m. fisheri. We compared abundance of territorial male Louisiana Seaside Sparrows, number of nesting activity indicators, and vegetation structure in paired burned and unburned plots in Chenier Plain marshes in southwestern Louisiana during the 1996 breeding season (April-July) before experimental winter burns (January 1997) and again during two breeding seasons post-burn (1997-1998). We found that abundance of male sparrows decreased in burned plots during the first breeding season post-burn, but was higher than that of unburned plots during the second breeding season post-burn. Indicators of nesting activity showed a similar but non-significant pattern in response to burning. Sparrow abundance and nesting activity seemingly are linked to dead vegetation cover, which was lower in burned plots during the first breeding season post-burn, but did not differ from that in unburned plots during the second breeding season post-burn. We recommend that marsh management plans in the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain integrate waterfowl and Seaside Sparrow management by maintaining a mosaic of burned and unburned marshes and allowing vegetation to recover for at least two growing seasons before reburning a marsh.

  3. Nest predation, clutch size, and physiological costs of egg production in the song sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    OpenAIRE

    Travers, Marc Simon

    2009-01-01

    We examined the effects of nest predation on both clutch size and the physiological cost of egg production using a clutch removal experiment in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), inducing “high nest predation” (HNP) females to produce many replacement clutches compared to “low nest predation” (LNP) females. In a preliminary analysis we investigated the utility of multiple measures to assess “physiological condition”, including inter-correlations between physiological traits, sex d...

  4. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. House sparrows benefit from the conservation of white storks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosicki, Jakub Z.; Sparks, Tim H.; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2007-05-01

    As with many farmland bird species, the house sparrow Passer domesticus is declining in Europe, mainly due to intensification of agriculture reducing nest sites and food supplies. During 2002-2005, we studied the population size and nest site characteristics of house sparrows breeding within white stork Ciconia ciconia nests in a large area of agricultural landscape within western Poland. To explain sparrow density within stork nests, we examined characteristics of white stork nests (position, age, productivity) and the farm type around the nest. House sparrow density was greatest in the longest established (and hence larger) white stork nests located on traditionally managed farms. Two recent changes appear to have adverse effects on house sparrows. The first is the intensification of farming and the second is active management of white stork nests on electric poles to reduce nest size and thus avoid both disruption to the electrical supply and electrocution of white storks. Because the white stork has such a high profile in Poland, there are numerous schemes to conserve and enhance this species. In conclusion, we clearly show that protecting one species can have valuable, although unplanned, benefits to another species of conservation interest, the house sparrow.

  10. [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.

  11. 78 FR 40511 - RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

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    2013-07-05

    ... Leased Workers From Echelon Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants Llc... Services LLC, Recycling & Treatment Technologies of Baltimore, Llc, and Lafarge North America, Sparrows... leased workers from Echelon Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants LLC...

  12. 78 FR 19530 - RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    ... Leased Workers From Echelon Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants LLC... Services LLC, and Recycling & Treatment Technologies of Baltimore, LLC Sparrows Point, Maryland; Amended... Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants LLC, Alliance Engineering, Inc...

  13. Assessing habitat quality of farm-dwelling house sparrows in different agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Post, Maria; Borgström, Pernilla; Smith, Henrik G; Olsson, Ola

    2012-04-01

    Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal husbandry. At the patch level, feeding patches with a higher predation risk (caused by fitting a wall to the patch to obstruct vigilance) had higher GUDs. In addition, GUDs were positively related to population size, which strongly implies that GUDs reflect habitat quality. However, the increase followed different patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes, indicating differing population limiting mechanisms in these two environments. We found no effect of the interaction between patch type and landscape type, suggesting that predation risk was similar in both landscape types. Thus, our study suggests that simplified landscapes constitute a poorer feeding environment for house sparrows during breeding, that the population-regulating mechanisms in the landscapes differ, but that predation risk is the same across the landscape types.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. chromosome study of some grasshopper species from different

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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    College of Natural Sciences, Addis Ababa University, 2012 ... ABSTRACT: Around 200 grasshopper species have been identified in ... degree of karyotypic conservatism. ... This leaves a gap in further molecular studies of .... various minor differences observed are briefly ... chromosome are of about equal size with only.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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

  4. Genomic gigantism: DNA loss is slow in mountain grasshoppers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensasson, D; Petrov, D A; Zhang, D X; Hartl, D L; Hewitt, G M

    2001-02-01

    Several studies have shown DNA loss to be inversely correlated with genome size in animals. These studies include a comparison between Drosophila and the cricket, Laupala, but there has been no assessment of DNA loss in insects with very large genomes. Podisma pedestris, the brown mountain grasshopper, has a genome over 100 times as large as that of Drosophila and 10 times as large as that of Laupala. We used 58 paralogous nuclear pseudogenes of mitochondrial origin to study the characteristics of insertion, deletion, and point substitution in P. pedestris and Italopodisma. In animals, these pseudogenes are "dead on arrival"; they are abundant in many different eukaryotes, and their mitochondrial origin simplifies the identification of point substitutions accumulated in nuclear pseudogene lineages. There appears to be a mononucleotide repeat within the 643-bp pseudogene sequence studied that acts as a strong hot spot for insertions or deletions (indels). Because the data for other insect species did not contain such an unusual region, hot spots were excluded from species comparisons. The rate of DNA loss relative to point substitution appears to be considerably and significantly lower in the grasshoppers studied than in Drosophila or Laupala. This suggests that the inverse correlation between genome size and the rate of DNA loss can be extended to comparisons between insects with large or gigantic genomes (i.e., Laupala and Podisma). The low rate of DNA loss implies that in grasshoppers, the accumulation of point mutations is a more potent force for obscuring ancient pseudogenes than their loss through indel accumulation, whereas the reverse is true for Drosophila. The main factor contributing to the difference in the rates of DNA loss estimated for grasshoppers, crickets, and Drosophila appears to be deletion size. Large deletions are relatively rare in Podisma and Italopodisma.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.)

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Application of SPARROW modeling to understanding contaminant fate and transport from uplands to streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ator, Scott; Garcia, Ana Maria.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding spatial variability in contaminant fate and transport is critical to efficient regional water-quality restoration. An approach to capitalize on previously calibrated spatially referenced regression (SPARROW) models to improve the understanding of contaminant fate and transport was developed and applied to the case of nitrogen in the 166,000 km2 Chesapeake Bay watershed. A continuous function of four hydrogeologic, soil, and other landscape properties significant (α = 0.10) to nitrogen transport from uplands to streams was evaluated and compared among each of the more than 80,000 individual catchments (mean area, 2.1 km2) in the watershed. Budgets (including inputs, losses or net change in storage in uplands and stream corridors, and delivery to tidal waters) were also estimated for nitrogen applied to these catchments from selected upland sources. Most (81%) of such inputs are removed, retained, or otherwise processed in uplands rather than transported to surface waters. Combining SPARROW results with previous budget estimates suggests 55% of this processing is attributable to denitrification, 23% to crop or timber harvest, and 6% to volatilization. Remaining upland inputs represent a net annual increase in landscape storage in soils or biomass exceeding 10 kg per hectare in some areas. Such insights are important for planning watershed restoration and for improving future watershed models.

  3. Growth and reproduction of the alpine grasshopper Miramella alpina feeding on CO2-enriched dwarf shrubs at treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asshoff, Roman; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    The consequences for plant-insect interactions of atmospheric changes in alpine ecosystems are not well understood. Here, we tested the effects of elevated CO(2) on leaf quality in two dwarf shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus and V. uliginosum) and the response of the alpine grasshopper (Miramella alpina) feeding on these plants in a field experiment at the alpine treeline (2,180 m a.s.l.) in Davos, Switzerland. Relative growth rates (RGR) of M. alpina nymphs were lower when they were feeding on V. myrtillus compared to V. uliginosum, and were affected by elevated CO(2) depending on plant species and nymph developmental stage. Changes in RGR correlated with CO(2)-induced changes in leaf water, nitrogen, and starch concentrations. Elevated CO(2) resulted in reduced female adult weight irrespective of plant species, and prolonged development time on V. uliginosum only, but there were no significant differences in nymphal mortality. Newly molted adults of M. alpina produced lighter eggs and less secretion (serving as egg protection) under elevated CO(2). When grasshoppers had a choice among four different plant species grown either under ambient or elevated CO(2), V. myrtillus and V. uliginosum consumption increased under elevated CO(2) in females while it decreased in males compared to ambient CO(2)-grown leaves. Our findings suggest that rising atmospheric CO(2) distinctly affects leaf chemistry in two important dwarf shrub species at the alpine treeline, leading to changes in feeding behavior, growth, and reproduction of the most important insect herbivore in this system. Changes in plant-grasshopper interactions might have significant long-term impacts on herbivore pressure, community dynamics and ecosystem stability in the alpine treeline ecotone.

  4. Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow's sparrows in Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific song playbacks and we found no Henslow’s sparrows in control plots. The addition of social cues using playback systems in restored grassland habitats may aid conservation efforts of Henslow’s sparrows to available habitat.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Transferable Antibiotic Resistances in Marketed Edible Grasshoppers (Locusta migratoria migratorioides).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osimani, Andrea; Garofalo, Cristiana; Aquilanti, Lucia; Milanović, Vesna; Cardinali, Federica; Taccari, Manuela; Pasquini, Marina; Tavoletti, Stefano; Clementi, Francesca

    2017-05-01

    Grasshoppers are the most commonly eaten insects by humans worldwide, as they are rich in proteins and micronutrients. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of transferable antibiotic resistance genes in commercialized edible grasshoppers. To this end, the prevalence of 12 selected genes [aac(6')-Ie aph(2″)-Ia, blaZ, erm(A), erm(B), erm(C), mecA, tet(M), tet(O), tet(S), tet(K), vanA, vanB] coding for resistance to antibiotics conventionally used in clinical practice was determined. The majority of samples were positive for tet(M) (70.0%), tet(K) (83.3%) and blaZ (83.3%). A low percentage of samples were positive for erm(B) (16.7%), erm(C) (26.7%), and aac(6')-Ie aph(2″)-Ia (13.3%), whereas no samples were positive for erm(A), vanA, vanB, tet(O), and mecA. Cluster analysis identified 4 main clusters, allowing a separation of samples on the basis of their country of origin. © 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  14. Section 3. The SPARROW Surface Water-Quality Model: Theory, Application and User Documentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, G.E.; Hoos, A.B.; Alexander, R.B.; Smith, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) is a watershed modeling technique for relating water-quality measurements made at a network of monitoring stations to attributes of the watersheds containing the stations. The core of the model consists of a nonlinear regression equation describing the non-conservative transport of contaminants from point and diffuse sources on land to rivers and through the stream and river network. The model predicts contaminant flux, concentration, and yield in streams and has been used to evaluate alternative hypotheses about the important contaminant sources and watershed properties that control transport over large spatial scales. This report provides documentation for the SPARROW modeling technique and computer software to guide users in constructing and applying basic SPARROW models. The documentation gives details of the SPARROW software, including the input data and installation requirements, and guidance in the specification, calibration, and application of basic SPARROW models, as well as descriptions of the model output and its interpretation. The documentation is intended for both researchers and water-resource managers with interest in using the results of existing models and developing and applying new SPARROW models. The documentation of the model is presented in two parts. Part 1 provides a theoretical and practical introduction to SPARROW modeling techniques, which includes a discussion of the objectives, conceptual attributes, and model infrastructure of SPARROW. Part 1 also includes background on the commonly used model specifications and the methods for estimating and evaluating parameters, evaluating model fit, and generating water-quality predictions and measures of uncertainty. Part 2 provides a user's guide to SPARROW, which includes a discussion of the software architecture and details of the model input requirements and output files, graphs, and maps. The text documentation and computer

  15. 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...... allocation and are in agreement with previous tests of male differential allocation in rock sparrows....

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. Response of barley to grasshopper defoliation in interior Alaska: dry matter and grain yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begna, Sultan H; Fielding, Dennis J

    2005-12-01

    Barley, Hordeum vulgare L., is well adapted to subarctic Alaska growing conditions, but little is known about its response to grasshopper defoliation. A field experiment was conducted to study dry matter and grain yield in response to a combination of grasshopper defoliation and weeds in 2002 and 2003 near Delta Junction, AK (63 degrees 55' N, 145 degrees 20' W). Barley plants at third to fourth leaf stage were exposed to a combination of two levels of weeds (present or absent) and four densities of grasshoppers (equivalent to 0, 25, 50, and 75 grasshoppers per m2) of third to fourth instars of Melanoplus sanguinipes (F). Dry matter accumulation by the barley plants was determined at three times during the growing seasons: approximately 10 d after introduction of the grasshoppers, shortly after anthesis, and at maturity. Dry matter accumulation and grain yield were much lower in 2003 than in 2002, probably due to very low levels of soil moisture early in the growing season of 2003. Head clipping accounted for a greater portion of yield loss in 2003 than in 2002. The percentage of reduction in harvestable yield due to grasshoppers remained fairly constant between years (1.9 and 1.4 g per grasshopper per m2 in 2002 and 2003, respectively) despite a large difference in overall yield. Examination of the yield components suggest that yields were reduced by the early season drought in 2003 primarily through fewer seeds per head, whereas grasshoppers in both years reduced average seed weight, but not numbers of seeds.

  20. 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 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1995-01-18

    Jan 18, 1995 ... April, 1994, we compared the abundance and guild structure .... was placed in a functional group on the basis of taxonomic ... hypothesis that they would be unaffected by changes in the ..... spatial separation from the heavily grazed area. the lightly ..... found to increase (Morris 1967, 1969, 1979; Morris &.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mercury in Nelson's Sparrow subspecies at breeding sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia L Winder

    Full Text Available 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 (P<0.01. Breast feather mercury 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus): Effects of POPs and male quality signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nossen, Ida; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Dimmen, Malene V; Jensen, Henrik; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Polder, Anuschka; Rønning, Bernt; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2016-03-15

    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 androgens and 3 estrogens) in male and female adult house sparrows from a population on the island Leka, Norway. Plasma samples were analysed for steroid hormones by GC-MS and liver samples were analysed for environmental contaminants by GC-ECD and GC-MS. In males, we also quantified ornament traits. It was hypothesised that POPs may have endocrine disrupting effects on the local house sparrow population and can thus interfere with the steroid hormone homeostasis. Among female house sparrows, bivariate correlations revealed negative relationships between POPs and estrogens. Among male sparrows, positive relationships between dihydrotestosterone levels and PCBs were observed. In males, positive relationships were also found between steroids and beak length, and between steroids and ornamental traits such as total badge size. This was confirmed by a significant OPLS model between beak length and steroids. Although sparrows are in the mid-range trophic levels, the present study indicates that POPs may affect steroid homeostasis in house sparrows, in particular for females. For

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. Th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spor, Aymé; Wang, Shaoxiao; Dillmann, Christine; de Vienne, Dominique; Sicard, Delphine

    2008-02-13

    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-history strategies are discussed

  18. Sex chromosome diversity in Armenian toad grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea, Pamphagidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugrov, Alexander G.; Jetybayev, Ilyas E.; Karagyan, Gayane H.; Rubtsov, Nicolay B.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Although previous cytogenetic analysis of Pamphagidae grasshoppers pointed to considerable karyotype uniformity among most of the species in the family, our study of species from Armenia has discovered other, previously unknown karyotypes, differing from the standard for Pamphagidae mainly in having unusual sets of sex chromosomes. Asiotmethis turritus (Fischer von Waldheim, 1833), Paranocaracris rubripes (Fischer von Waldheim, 1846), and Nocaracris cyanipes (Fischer von Waldheim, 1846) were found to have the karyotype 2n♂=16+neo-XY and 2n♀=16+neo-XX, the neo-X chromosome being the result of centromeric fusion of an ancient acrocentric X chromosome and a large acrocentric autosome. The karyotype of Paranothrotes opacus (Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1882) was found to be 2n♂=14+X1X2Y and 2n♀=14+X1X1X2X2., the result of an additional chromosome rearrangement involving translocation of the neo-Y and another large autosome. Furthermore, evolution of the sex chromosomes in these species has involved different variants of heterochromatinization and miniaturization of the neo-Y. The karyotype of Eremopeza festiva (Saussure, 1884), in turn, appeared to have the standard sex determination system described earlier for Pamphagidae grasshoppers, 2n♂=18+X0 and 2n♀=18+XX, but all the chromosomes of this species were found to have small second C-positive arms. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with 18S rDNA and telomeric (TTAGG)n DNA repeats to yield new data on the structural organization of chromosomes in the species studied, we found that for most of them, clusters of repeats homologous to 18S rDNA localize on two, three or four pairs of autosomes and on the X. In Eremopeza festiva, however, FISH with labelled 18S rDNA painted C-positive regions of all autosomes and the X chromosome; clusters of telomeric repeats localized primarily on the ends of the chromosome arms. Overall, we conclude that the different stages of neo-Y degradation revealed in

  19. "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

  20. 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...... 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...... 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Mass-dependent predation risk as a mechanism for house sparrow declines?

    OpenAIRE

    MacLeod, Ross; Barnett, Phil; Clark, Jacquie; Cresswell, Will

    2005-01-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) numbers have declined rapidly in both rural and urban habitats across Western Europe over the last 30 years, leading to their inclusion on the UK conservation red list. The decline in farmland has been linked to a reduction in winter survival caused by reduced food supply. This reduction in food supply is associated with agricultural intensification that has led to the loss of seed-rich winter stubble and access to spilt grain. However, urban house sparrows h...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. The effect of a diet containing grasshoppers and access to free-range on carcase and meat physicochemical and sensory characteristics in broilers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, T; Long, R J; Liu, Z Y

    2013-01-01

    1. Research was conducted to evaluate the impact of a diet containing grasshoppers on the carcase, physicochemical and sensory characteristics in a free-range, grassland-based broiler production system. 2. A total of 80, 28-d-old male broilers were reared on grassland containing a large population of grasshoppers (treatment PB). Control birds were reared intensively on a maize-soybean diet (treatment CB). At 91 d of age, 24 birds from each treatment were slaughtered to evaluate carcase, meat and sensory characteristics. 3. Treatment PB produced birds with significantly lower live weights, breast, wing, thigh and drum weights, and higher dressing percentage and breast percentage of carcase, compared with CB. Treatment PB produced breast meat with significantly higher redness values, shear force and protein content, and lower pH values, cooking loss, moisture and fat content compared with CB. Sensory panel results for breast and thigh meats showed no treatment effect on colour and juiciness, but significantly higher scores for chewiness, flavour, aroma and overall appreciation, and lower scores for tenderness from treatment PB compared with CB. 4. Rearing chickens on rangeland may provide an alternative way to produce poultry meat which is considered superior by modern consumers.

  11. [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.

  12. Developmental adjustments of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings to diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzek, Paweł; Kohl, Kevin; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H

    2009-05-01

    House sparrow nestlings are fed primarily on insects during the first 3 days of their life, and seeds become gradually more important afterwards. We tested whether developmental changes in size and functional capacity of the digestive tract in young house sparrows are genetically hard-wired and independent of diet, or can be modified by food type. Under laboratory conditions, we hand-fed young house sparrows with either a starch-free insect-like diet, based mainly on protein and fat, or a starch-containing diet with a mix of substrates similar to that offered to older nestlings in natural nests when they are gradually weaned from an insect to a seed diet. Patterns of overall development in body size and thermoregulatory ability, and in alimentary organ size increase, were relatively similar in house sparrow nestlings developing on both diets. However, total intestinal maltase activity, important in carbohydrate breakdown, was at least twice as high in house sparrow nestlings fed the starch-containing diet (PFuture studies must test whether the diet-dependent increase in maltase activity during development is irreversible or reversible, reflecting, respectively, a developmental plasticity or a phenotypic flexibility.

  13. Henslow's sparrow winter-survival estimates and response to prescribed burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, B.S.; Krementz, D.G.; Woodrey, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    Wintering Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) populations rely on lands managed with prescribed burning, but the effects of various burn regimes on their overwinter survival are unknown. We studied wintering Henslow's sparrows in coastal pine savannas at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson County, Mississippi, USA, during January and February 2001 and 2002. We used the known-fate modeling procedure in program MARK to evaluate the effects of burn age (1 or 2 growing seasons elapsed), burn season (growing, dormant), and calendar year on the survival rates of 83 radiomarked Henslow's sparrows. We found strong evidence that Henslow's sparrow survival rates differed by burn age (with higher survival in recently burned sites) and by year (with lower survival rates in 2001 likely because of drought conditions). We found some evidence that survival rates also differed by bum season (with higher survival in growing-season sites), although the effects of burn season were only apparent in recently burned sites. Avian predation was the suspected major cause of mortality (causing 6 of 14 deaths) with 1 confirmed loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) depredation. Our results indicated that recently burned savannas provide high-quality wintering habitats and suggested that managers can improve conditions for wintering Henslow's sparrows by burning a large percentage of savannas each year.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Body Size Adaptations to Altitudinal Climatic Variation in Neotropical Grasshoppers of the Genus Sphenarium (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Altitudinal clines in body size can result from the effects of natural and sexual selection on growth rates and developing times in seasonal environments. Short growing and reproductive seasons constrain the body size that adults can attain and their reproductive success. Little is known about the effects of altitudinal climatic variation on the diversification of Neotropical insects. In central Mexico, in addition to altitude, highly heterogeneous topography generates diverse climates that can occur even at the same latitude. Altitudinal variation and heterogeneous topography open an opportunity to test the relative impact of climatic variation on body size adaptations. In this study, we investigated the relationship between altitudinal climatic variation and body size, and the divergence rates of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in Neotropical grasshoppers of the genus Sphenarium using a phylogenetic comparative approach. In order to distinguish the relative impact of natural and sexual selection on the diversification of the group, we also tracked the altitudinal distribution of the species and trends of both body size and SSD on the phylogeny of Sphenarium. The correlative evidence suggests no relationship between altitude and body size. However, larger species were associated with places having a warmer winter season in which the temporal window for development and reproduction can be longer. Nonetheless, the largest species were also associated with highly seasonal environments. Moreover, large body size and high levels of SSD have evolved independently several times throughout the history of the group and male body size has experienced a greater evolutionary divergence than females. These lines of evidence suggest that natural selection, associated with seasonality and sexual selection, on maturation time and body size could have enhanced the diversification of this insect group. PMID:26684616

  17. 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......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...... 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....

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of mercury and its risk in Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia L Winder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively depend on marsh and wetland habitats--ecosystems in which mercury (Hg bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006-2010. Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1 Threshold Component--examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2 Hg Dynamics Component--examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3 Capture Frequency and Survival Component--tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42-77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663 were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson's (n = 9 and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23. Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson's Sparrows (n = 315. However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform future population

  1. Characterization of mercury and its risk in Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Virginia L

    2012-01-01

    Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively) depend on marsh and wetland habitats--ecosystems in which mercury (Hg) bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006-2010). Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1) Threshold Component--examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2) Hg Dynamics Component--examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3) Capture Frequency and Survival Component--tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42-77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663) were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson's (n = 9) and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23). Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson's Sparrows (n = 315). However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform future population assessments and management for these species.

  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. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.)

  6. 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.

  7. Neuroblast of the grasshopper embryo as a new mutagen test system. Pt. 1. In vitro radiosensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liang, J C; Gaulden, M E [Texas Univ., Dallas (USA). Dept. of Radiology

    1982-04-01

    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 vitro. 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/sup 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.

  8. Chronic stress alters concentrations of corticosterone receptors in a tissue-specific manner in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Romero, L Michael

    2014-07-15

    The physiological stress response results in release of glucocorticoid hormones such as corticosterone (CORT). Whereas short-term activation of this response helps animals cope with environmental stressors, chronic activation can result in negative effects including metabolic dysregulation and reproductive failure. However, there is no consensus hormonal profile of a chronically stressed animal, suggesting that researchers may need to look beyond hormone titers to interpret the impacts of chronic stress. In this study, we brought wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus) into captivity. We then compared glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor concentrations in sparrows exposed either to a standardized chronic stress protocol (n=26) or to standard husbandry conditions (controls; n=20). We used radioligand binding assays to quantify receptors in whole brain, liver, kidneys, spleen, gonads, gastrocnemius and pectoralis muscle, omental and subcutaneous fat, and bib and back skin. In most tissues, CORT receptors did not differ between controls and stressed animals, although we found marginal increases in receptor density in kidney and testes in stressed birds at some time points. Only in pectoralis muscle was there a robust effect of chronic stress, with both receptor types higher in stressed animals. Increased pectoralis sensitivity to CORT with chronic stress may be part of the underlying mechanism for muscle wasting in animals administered exogenous CORT. Furthermore, the change in pectoralis was not paralleled by gastrocnemius receptors. This difference may help explain previous reports of a greater effect of CORT on pectoralis than on other muscle types, and indicate that birds use this muscle as a protein reserve. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Reproduction-related sound production of grasshoppers regulated by internal state and actual sensory environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf eHeinrich

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The interplay of neural and hormonal mechanisms activated by entero- and exteroreceptors biases the selection of actions by decision making neuronal circuits. The reproductive behaviour 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 behaviours. 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 behaviour 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Nitrogen limitation and life history adaptation in the grasshopper "Omocestus viridulus"

    OpenAIRE

    Berner, Daniel

    2005-01-01

    The role of plant-mediated constraints to herbivore populations in terrestrial ecosystems remains relatively poorly understood. One aim of this study was therefore to explore the effects of low host plant nitrogen (N) content on herbivore performance and feeding behaviour, and thereby to evaluate the utility of the N limitation and nutrient balance concepts. The grass-feeding grasshopper Omocestus viridulus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) provided a well-suited model system as the species exhibits hi...

  14. 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

    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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Prevalence of filarioid nematodes and trypanosomes in American robins and house sparrows, Chicago USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamer, Gabriel L; Anderson, Tavis K; Berry, Garrett E; Makohon-Moore, Alvin P; Crafton, Jeffrey C; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Dolinski, Amanda C; Krebs, Bethany L; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Muzzall, Patrick M; Goldberg, Tony L; Walker, Edward D

    2013-12-01

    Hosts are commonly infected with a suite of parasites, and interactions among these parasites can affect the size, structure, and behavior of host-parasite communities. As an important step to understanding the significance of co-circulating parasites, we describe prevalence of co-circulating hemoparasites in two important avian amplification hosts for West Nile virus (WNV), the American robin (Turdus migratorius) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus), during the 2010-2011 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Rates of nematode microfilariemia were 1.5% of the robins (n = 70) and 4.2% of the house sparrows (n = 72) collected during the day and 11.1% of the roosting robins (n = 63) and 0% of the house sparrows (n = 11) collected at night. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes from these parasites resolved two clades of filarioid nematodes. Microscopy revealed that 18.0% of American robins (n = 133) and 16.9% of house sparrows (n = 83) hosted trypanosomes in the blood. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the 18s rRNA gene revealed that the trypanosomes fall within previously described avian trypanosome clades. These results document hemoparasites in the blood of WNV hosts in a center of endemic WNV transmission, suggesting a potential for direct or indirect interactions with the virus.

  20. Prevalence of filarioid nematodes and trypanosomes in American robins and house sparrows, Chicago USA☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamer, Gabriel L.; Anderson, Tavis K.; Berry, Garrett E.; Makohon-Moore, Alvin P.; Crafton, Jeffrey C.; Brawn, Jeffrey D.; Dolinski, Amanda C.; Krebs, Bethany L.; Ruiz, Marilyn O.; Muzzall, Patrick M.; Goldberg, Tony L.; Walker, Edward D.

    2012-01-01

    Hosts are commonly infected with a suite of parasites, and interactions among these parasites can affect the size, structure, and behavior of host–parasite communities. As an important step to understanding the significance of co-circulating parasites, we describe prevalence of co-circulating hemoparasites in two important avian amplification hosts for West Nile virus (WNV), the American robin (Turdus migratorius) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus), during the 2010–2011 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Rates of nematode microfilariemia were 1.5% of the robins (n = 70) and 4.2% of the house sparrows (n = 72) collected during the day and 11.1% of the roosting robins (n = 63) and 0% of the house sparrows (n = 11) collected at night. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes from these parasites resolved two clades of filarioid nematodes. Microscopy revealed that 18.0% of American robins (n = 133) and 16.9% of house sparrows (n = 83) hosted trypanosomes in the blood. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the 18s rRNA gene revealed that the trypanosomes fall within previously described avian trypanosome clades. These results document hemoparasites in the blood of WNV hosts in a center of endemic WNV transmission, suggesting a potential for direct or indirect interactions with the virus. PMID:24533314

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kolros, Antonin; Huml, Ondrej; Kos, Josef

    2008-01-01

    Full text: The VR-1 Sparrow training reactor is the experimental nuclear facility especially employed for education and teaching of students from different technical universities in the Czech Republic and other countries. Since 2005 the uniform all-purpose devices EMK310 have been used for measurement at reactor laboratory with different type of gas filled neutron detectors. The neutron detection system are employed for reactivity measurement, control rod calibration, critical experiment, study of delayed neutrons, study of nuclear reactor dynamics and study of detection systems dead time. The small dimension isotropic detectors are especially used for measurement of thermal neutron flux distribution inside the reactor core. The EMK-310 is a high performance, portable, three-channel fast amplitude analyzer designed for counting applications. It was developed for nuclear applications and made in close co-operation with firm TEMA Ltd. The precise rack eliminates electromagnetic disturbance and contains the control unit and four modules. The modules of high voltage supply and amplifier for gas filled detectors or scintillation probes are used in basic configuration. Software is tailored specifically to the reactor measurement and allows full online control. For applications involving the study of signals that may vary with the time, example study of delayed neutrons or nuclear reactor dynamics, the EMK-310 provides a Multichannel Scaling (MCS) acquisition mode. MCS dwell time can be set from 2 ms. Now, the new generation of digital multichannel analyzers DA310 is introduced. They have similarly attributes as EMK310 but the output information of unipolar signals from detector is more complete. The pipeline A/D converter with field programmable gate array (FPGA) is the hearth of the DA310 device. The resolution is 12 bits (4096 channels); the sample frequency is 80 MHz. The application for the neutron noise analysis is supposed. The correction method for non linearity

  7. 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.

  8. Risk from cattle trampling to nests of an endangered passerine evaluated using artificial nest experiments and simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian W. Rolek

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are often grazed by cattle and many grassland birds nest on the ground, potentially exposing nests to trampling. We tested for trampling risk introduced by cattle to nests of endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus using experimentally paired grids of artificial nests (i.e., clay targets similar in size to nests of Florida Grasshopper Sparrows and counted the number of clay targets that were broken in paired grazed and ungrazed enclosures. Clay targets in grazed grids were trampled 3.9% more often than their respective ungrazed grids, and measurements of cattle presence or density were correlated with the number of broken clay targets, suggesting that excluding cattle during breeding is an important management recommendation for the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. Trampling rates within grazed enclosures were spatially homogeneous with respect to cattle infrastructure such as supplemental feeding troughs and fences, and forests and stocking density were poor predictors of trampling rates when excluding ungrazed grids. We used population viability analysis to compare quasi-extinction rates, intrinsic growth rates, and median abundance in grazed and ungrazed Florida Grasshopper Sparrow aggregations to further understand the biological significance of management aimed at reducing trampling rates during the breeding season. Simulations indicated that trampling from grazing increased quasi-extinction rates by 41% while reducing intrinsic growth rates by 0.048, and reducing median abundance by an average of 214 singing males after 50 years. Management should avoid grazing enclosures occupied by Florida Grasshopper Sparrows during the nesting season to minimize trampling rates. Our methods that combine trampling experiments with population viability analysis provide a framework for testing effects from trampling on other grassland ground-nesting birds, and can directly inform conservation and management of the

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, J; Dawson, D A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-09-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierarchical way among different urbanization classes. Principal coordinate analyses did not support the hypothesis that urban/suburban and rural populations comprise two distinct genetic clusters. Comparison of FST values at different hierarchical scales revealed drift as an important force of population differentiation. Redundancy analyses revealed that genetic structure was strongly affected by both spatial variation and level of urbanization. The results shown here can be used as baseline information for future genetic monitoring programmes and provide additional insights into contemporary house sparrow dynamics along urbanization gradients.

  18. Parasite prevalence in Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni: Mexican endemic and endangered species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Canales-del-Castillo

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Worthen’s sparrow is an endemic bird of the Mexican Plateau that due to its limited distribution and population size is considered to be endangered, both nationally and globally. In general, species at risk have been, at least historically, under population size and genetic diversity reductions, which are factors that can act together to increase infections risk and susceptibility. Therefore, with the purpose to determine such propensity in this species, we analyzed the intestinal parasitic infection through fecal samples from 11 individuals, and hemoparasites, hematocrit and differential leukocyte quantification from one sample. Results indicated that 91% of the samples had one parasite taxon, with genus Cryptosporidium showing the highest prevalence (64%, followed by Eimeria (55%, and Ascaridia (9%. However, mean values of oocysts/eggs per gram indicated a low parasitic infection. We found no blood parasites, and the white blood cell counts were among reference values for other sparrow species.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, Joachim; Dawson, D. A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-01-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierar...

  3. 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.

  4. Distribution of 14C- labelled methyl parathion in the house sparrow, Passer domesticus L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatia, P.; Garg, A.K.; Kochhar, V.

    1994-01-01

    The activity of an insecticide when evaluated on dynamic basis is largely explained by differences in the rate of penetration, distribution and excretion. These mechanisms determine the fate of insecticides in the living system. The distribution of an organophosphorus insecticide i.e. 14 C-methyl parathion, based studies conducted on various aspects of it in relation to house sparrow, is presented. 9 refs., 1 fig

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A longitudinal genetic survey identifies temporal shifts in the population structure of Dutch house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousseau, L; Husemann, M; Foppen, R; Vangestel, C; Lens, L

    2016-01-01

    Dutch house sparrow (Passer domesticus) densities dropped by nearly 50% since the early 1980s, and similar collapses in population sizes have been reported across Europe. Whether, and to what extent, such relatively recent demographic changes are accompanied by concomitant shifts in the genetic population structure of this species needs further investigation. Therefore, we here explore temporal shifts in genetic diversity, genetic structure and effective sizes of seven Dutch house sparrow populations. To allow the most powerful statistical inference, historical populations were resampled at identical locations and each individual bird was genotyped using nine polymorphic microsatellites. Although the demographic history was not reflected by a reduction in genetic diversity, levels of genetic differentiation increased over time, and the original, panmictic population (inferred from the museum samples) diverged into two distinct genetic clusters. Reductions in census size were supported by a substantial reduction in effective population size, although to a smaller extent. As most studies of contemporary house sparrow populations have been unable to identify genetic signatures of recent population declines, results of this study underpin the importance of longitudinal genetic surveys to unravel cryptic genetic patterns. PMID:27273323

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 grasshoppers * Tetrigidae Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.535, year: 2015 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196978115000339

  15. 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%.

  16. 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.

  17. 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%.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Ruiz-Martínez

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Cross-fostering alters advertisement vocalizations of grasshopper mice (Onychomys): Evidence for the developmental stress hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasch, Bret; Abbasi, Mustafa Z; Wilson, Macey; Zhao, Daniel; Searle, Jeremy B; Webster, Michael S; Rice, Aaron N

    2016-04-01

    Nutritional stress can have lasting impacts on the development of traits involved in vocal production. Cross-fostering experiments are often used to examine the propensity for vocal learning in a variety of taxa, but few studies assess the influence of malnourishment that can occur as a byproduct of this technique. In this study, we reciprocally cross-fostered sister taxa of voluble grasshopper mice (genus Onychomys) to explore their propensity for vocal learning. Vocalizations of Onychomys leucogaster did not differ between control and cross-fostered animals, but cross-fostered Onychomys arenicola produced vocalizations that were higher in frequency in a direction away from tutors. These same animals exhibited a transient reduction in body mass early in development, indicative of malnutrition. Our findings simultaneously refute vocal learning and support the developmental stress hypothesis to highlight the importance of early ontogeny on the production of vocalizations later in life. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The Ontology of Biological Groups: Do Grasshoppers Form Assemblages, Communities, Guilds, Populations, or Something Else?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A. Lockwood

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Acridologists have used a variety of terms to describe groups of grasshoppers, including assemblage, community, guild, and population. This terminological diversity has raised the question of whether one of these descriptors is the correct one. I take the position that these terms pick out different features of the natural world such that there is no unconditionally or uniquely correct term. By adopting the framework of constrained perspectivism—a form of philosophical pragmatism—it is argued that a term is correct if it accurately reflects the conceptual framework of the investigator and effectively communicates this perspective to others. Such an approach gives rise to terminological pluralism that avoids the problems of relativism (the subjectivist's view that any term can be used and absolutism (the objectivist's view that there is a single correct term. I describe the contexts in which the most common terms are appropriate.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Development of skin structure and cutaneous water loss in nestling desert house sparrows from Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Brandon; Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Yamaguchi, Mamoru; Williams, Joseph B

    2007-06-01

    The outer layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum (SC), contains lipids and corneocytes, which together form layers that limit cutaneous water loss (CWL). We examined the development of structure of the SC and CWL in nestling House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) from Saudi Arabia. We measured CWL of nestlings, and characterized development of their epidermis using electron microscopy. We tested two antagonistic hypotheses, that CWL decreases as nestlings age, a response to increased thickness of SC, and an opposite idea that CWL increases as nestlings age even though the number of layers of the SC remains constant. CWL of nestling House Sparrows varied with developmental stages, in a non-linear fashion, but not significantly so. CWL of nestlings averaged 7.31+/-1.5 g H(2)O/(m(2) h), whereas for adults it was 4.95 g/(m(2) h); adult CWL was 67.7% that of nestlings. We found that morphology of the SC did not change linearly with age, but seemed to vary with developmental stage. CWL decreased as the SC thickness increased and as the total thickness of the corneocytes increased. Further, we found that CWL decreased as the thickness of the extracellular space increased, number of corneocytes increased, and proportion of the SC that is extracellular space increased.

  19. Song sparrows Melospiza melodia have a home-field advantage in defending against sympatric malarial parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina

    2016-01-01

    Hosts and parasites interact on both evolutionary and ecological timescales. The outcome of these interactions, specifically whether hosts are more resistant to their local parasites (sympatric) than to parasites from another location (allopatric), is likely to affect the spread of infectious disease and the fitness consequences of host dispersal. We conducted a cross-infection experiment to determine whether song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) have an advantage in dealing with sympatric parasites. We captured birds from two breeding sites 437 km apart, and inoculated them with avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) cultured either from their capture site or from the other site. Infection risk was lower for birds exposed to sympatric than to allopatric Plasmodium lineages, suggesting that song sparrows may have a home-field advantage in defending against local parasite strains. This pattern was more pronounced at one capture site than at the other, consistent with mosaic models of host–parasite interactions. Home-field advantage may arise from evolutionary processes, whereby host populations become adapted to their local parasites, and/or from ecological interactions, whereby host individuals develop resistance to the local parasites through previous immune exposure. Our findings suggest that greater susceptibility to novel parasites may represent a fitness consequence of natal dispersal. PMID:27853596

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abumandour, Mohamed M A

    2018-06-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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,...

  3. 78 FR 17996 - MCM Rail Services LLC-Petition for Retroactive Exemption-In Sparrows Point, Md.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. FD 35707] MCM Rail Services... regarding a petition for an operation exemption submitted by MCM Rail Services LLC (MCM) regarding 12 miles of rail line in Sparrows Point, Md. (the Line). DATES: MCM's supplemental information is due by April...

  4. Analysing population numbers of the house sparrow in the Netherlands with a matrix model and suggestions for conservation measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, C.; Holtkamp, R.; Apeldoorn, van R.C.; Visser, M.E.; Hemerik, L.

    2006-01-01

    The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), formerly a common bird species, has shown a rapid decline in Western Europe over recent decades. In The Netherlands, its decline is apparent from 1990 onwards. Many causes for this decline have been suggested that all decrease the vital rates, i.e. survival and

  5. 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...

  6. The grasshopper

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, Olga; Hansen, Steen Honore; Hellman, Karin

    2013-01-01

    drug discovery phase, does not yet exist. A new refined ex vivo insect based BBB screening model that uses an intact, viable whole brain under controlled 'in vitro' like exposure conditions is presented. This model uses intact brains from dessert locusts, which are placed in a well containing...

  7. 76 FR 65527 - Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan for Yolo County, CA: Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-21

    ... virens), grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor), and... personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Sequential loading of cohesin subunits during the first meiotic prophase of grasshoppers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  11. 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

  12. Cultural variation in savannah sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis, songs: an analysis using the meme concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnell

    1998-10-01

    I used the meme concept to investigate patterns of cultural variation among the songs of eight, geographically distinct populations of savannah sparrows. Memes composed of only one syllable were geographically widespread and randomly distributed among populations, but memes of two-, three- and four-syllables became progressively more restricted in their geographical distribution. Thus, the populations were memetically more similar with respect to one-syllable memes and more divergent with respect to larger memes. These results suggest that differences in memetic mutation rates and susceptibility to loss by memetic drift could be sufficient to create the observed pattern of greater divergence among populations for large memes. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  13. Personality Traits and Behavioral Syndromes in Differently Urbanized Populations of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bókony, Veronika; Kulcsár, Anna; Tóth, Zoltán; Liker, András

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization creates novel environments for wild animals where selection pressures may differ drastically from those in natural habitats. Adaptation to urban life involves changes in various traits, including behavior. Behavioral traits often vary consistently among individuals, and these so-called personality traits can be correlated with each other, forming behavioral syndromes. Despite their adaptive significance and potential to act as constraints, little is known about the role of animal personality and behavioral syndromes in animals' adaptation to urban habitats. In this study we tested whether differently urbanized habitats select for different personalities and behavioral syndromes by altering the population mean, inter-individual variability, and correlations of personality traits. We captured house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from four different populations along the gradient of urbanization and assessed their behavior in standardized test situations. We found individual consistency in neophobia, risk taking, and activity, constituting three personality axes. On the one hand, urbanization did not consistently affect the mean and variance of these traits, although there were significant differences between some of the populations in food neophobia and risk taking (both in means and variances). On the other hand, both urban and rural birds exhibited a behavioral syndrome including object neophobia, risk taking and activity, whereas food neophobia was part of the syndrome only in rural birds. These results indicate that there are population differences in certain aspects of personality in house sparrows, some of which may be related to habitat urbanization. Our findings suggest that urbanization and/or other population-level habitat differences may not only influence the expression of personality traits but also alter their inter-individual variability and the relationships among them, changing the structure of behavioral syndromes. PMID:22574204

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. The U2 snDNA Is a Useful Marker for B Chromosome Detection and Frequency Estimation in the Grasshopper Abracris flavolineata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Generation of complex motor patterns in american grasshopper via current-controlled thoracic electrical interfacing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giampalmo, Susan L; Absher, Benjamin F; Bourne, W Tucker; Steves, Lida E; Vodenski, Vassil V; O'Donnell, Peter M; Erickson, Jonathan C

    2011-01-01

    Micro-air vehicles (MAVs) have attracted attention for their potential application to military applications, environmental sensing, and search and rescue missions. While progress is being made toward fabrication of a completely human-engineered MAV, another promising approach seeks to interface to, and take control of, an insect's nervous system. Cyborg insects take advantage of their innate exquisite loco-motor, navigation, and sensing abilities. Recently, several groups have demonstrated the feasibility of radio-controlled flight in the hawkmoth and beetle via electrical neural interfaces. Here, we report a method for eliciting the "jump" response in the American grasshopper (S. Americana). We found that stimulating the metathoracic T3 ganglion with constant-current square wave pulses with amplitude 186 ± 40 μA and frequency 190 ± 13 Hz reproducibly evoked (≥95% success rate) the desired motor activity in N=3 test subjects. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of an insect cyborg with a synchronous neuromuscular system.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. Nematodes (Mermithidae parasitizing grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae in the Pampean region, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Multiple independent colonization of the Canary Islands by the winged grasshopper genus Sphingonotus Fieber, 1852.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husemann, Martin; Deppermann, Jana; Hochkirch, Axel

    2014-12-01

    Volcanic archipelagos represent ideal systems to study processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation. The Canary Islands are one of the best studied archipelagos, being composed of seven main islands with a well-known geological history. Most taxa have colonized these islands stepwise from the African or Iberian mainland from east to west, following their geological origin as well as the predominating wind direction and ocean currents. Furthermore, within-island radiations have been reported for several taxa. The grasshopper genus Sphingonotus is species-rich and occurs with nine fully winged species on the Canary Islands, seven of which are endemic to single or few islands. We inferred a phylogeny of these species and their North African and Iberian relatives based upon sequences of three mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene of 136 specimens. Surprisingly, our results suggest that almost all Sphingonotus species colonized the archipelago independently from the mainland and nearly no inter-island colonization occurred. Despite their strong flight capabilities, only one pair of endemic species are closely related (S. sublaevis from Gran Canary and S. pachecoi from Lanzarote). Moreover, no within-island speciation events were detected. We hypothesize that passive wind dispersal from the African mainland was the main driver of the colonization process and that most Sphingonotus species are not able to cover inter-island distances by active flight. This, together with strong intrageneric niche overlap might explain the lack of within-island speciation in this taxon. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. How will climate change affect the potential distribution of Eurasian Tree Sparrows Passer montanus in North America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jim; Jarnevich, Catherine; Young, Nick; Newman, Greg; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Habitat suitability models have been used to predict the present and future potential distribution of a variety of species. Eurasian tree sparrows Passer montanus, native to Eurasia, have established populations in other parts of the world. In North America, their current distribution is limited to a relatively small region around its original introduction to St. Louis, Missouri. We combined data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility with current and future climate data to create habitat suitability models using Maxent for this species. Under projected climate change scenarios, our models show that the distribution and range of the Eurasian tree sparrow could increase as far as the Pacific Northwest and Newfoundland. This is potentially important information for prioritizing the management and control of this non-native species.

  15. 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.

  16. Independent recruitment of a flavin-dependent monooxygenase for safe accumulation of sequestered pyrrolizidine alkaloids in grasshoppers and moths.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Haematology, Blood Chemistry and Carcass Characteristics of Growing Rabbits Fed Grasshopper Meal as a Substitute for Fish Meal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: a critique of Sparrow's inclusive definition of the term 'in vitro eugenics'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Misao; Yashiro, Yoshimi; Suzuki, Mika

    2014-11-01

    Sparrow highlights three potential applications of in vitro eugenics, that is, (a) research into the heredity of genetic disorders, (b) production of cell lines with specific genotypes, and (c) breeding better babies, and points to the need for researchers to discuss in advance the potential ethical problems that may emerge if the realization of this technology occurs in the near future. In this commentary, we pose a question for the sake of discussion. Is it, in fact, appropriate to label all three applications raised by Sparrow as eugenics? By doing so, an unnecessary level of concern might be borne among the public, and as a result, the sound development of this specialized technology would be affected. If the label of eugenics is to be applied to all three of these applications, then Sparrow must justify how he perceives (a) and (b) as not inherently different from (c). Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...... harbouring a neutralized (non-driving) B-chromosome (B2) and the latter a parasitic (driving) B-chromosome (B24). The analysis was performed by Western blotting, immunostaining and densitometric measuring expression level of the Hsp70 family in adult individuals. The results showed that Hsp70 levels...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. De Novo Assembly and Characterization of the Transcriptome of Grasshopper Shirakiacris shirakii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Cutaneous water loss and covalently bound lipids of the stratum corneum in nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus L.) from desert and mesic habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Michelle E; Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2012-04-01

    Lipids of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis of birds and mammals, provide a barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. The SC of birds consists of flat dead cells, called corneocytes, and two lipid compartments: an intercellular matrix and a monolayer of covalently bound lipids (CBLs) attached to the outer surface of the corneocytes. We previously found two classes of sphingolipids, ceramides and cerebrosides, covalently bound to corneocytes in the SC of house sparrows (Passer domesticus L.); these lipids were associated with cutaneous water loss (CWL). In this study, we collected adult and nestling house sparrows from Ohio and nestlings from Saudi Arabia, acclimated them to either high or low humidity, and measured their rates of CWL. We also measured CWL for natural populations of nestlings from Ohio and Saudi Arabia, beginning when chicks were 2 days old until they fledged. We then evaluated the composition of the CBLs of the SC of sparrows using thin layer chromatography. We found that adult house sparrows had a greater diversity of CBLs in their SC than previously described. During ontogeny, nestling sparrows increased the amount of CBLs and developed their CBLs differently, depending on their habitat. Acclimating nestlings to different humidity regimes did not alter the ontogeny of the CBLs, suggesting that these lipids represent a fundamental component of SC organization that does not respond to short-term environmental change.

  3. Differential regulation of adipokines may influence migratory behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Erica F; Verpeut, Jessica; Horvat-Gordon, Maria; Ramachandran, Ramesh; Bartell, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Variation in MHC genotypes in two populations of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) with different population histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Asa Alexandra; Pedersen, Sindre Andre; Jensen, Henrik; Westerdahl, Helena

    2011-10-01

    Small populations are likely to have a low genetic ability for disease resistance due to loss of genetic variation through inbreeding and genetic drift. In vertebrates, the highest genetic diversity of the immune system is located at genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Interestingly, parasite-mediated selection is thought to potentially maintain variation at MHC loci even in populations that are monomorphic at other loci. Therefore, general loss of genetic variation in the genome may not necessarily be associated with low variation at MHC loci. We evaluated inter- and intrapopulation variation in MHC genotypes between an inbred (Aldra) and a relatively outbred population (Hestmannøy) of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in a metapopulation at Helgeland, Norway. Genomic (gDNA) and transcribed (cDNA) alleles of functional MHC class I and IIB loci, along with neutral noncoding microsatellite markers, were analyzed to obtain relevant estimates of genetic variation. We found lower allelic richness in microsatellites in the inbred population, but high genetic variation in MHC class I and IIB loci in both populations. This suggests that also the inbred population could be under balancing selection to maintain genetic variation for pathogen resistance.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Regulation of vernal migration in Gambel's white-crowned sparrows: Role of thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Jonathan H; Furlow, J David; Wingfield, John C; Ramenofsky, Marilyn

    2016-08-01

    Appropriate timing of migratory behavior is critical for migrant species. For many temperate zone birds in the spring, lengthening photoperiod is the initial cue leading to morphological, physiological and behavior changes that are necessary for vernal migration and breeding. Strong evidence has emerged in recent years linking thyroid hormone signaling to the photoinduction of breeding in birds while more limited information suggest a potential role in the regulation of vernal migration in photoperiodic songbirds. Here we investigate the development and expression of the vernal migratory life history stage in captive Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) in a hypothyroidic state, induced by chemical inhibition of thyroid hormone production. To explore possible variations in the effects of the two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, we subsequently performed a thyroid inhibition coupled with replacement therapy. We found that chemical inhibition of thyroid hormones resulted in complete abolishment of mass gain, fattening, and muscle hypertrophy associated with migratory preparation as well as resulting in failure to display nocturnal restlessness behavior. Replacement of thyroxine rescued all of these elements to near control levels while triiodothyronine replacement displayed partial or delayed rescue. Our findings support thyroid hormones as being necessary for the expression of changes in morphology and physiology associated with migration as well as migratory behavior itself. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The determination of neutron energy spectrum in reactor core C1 of reactor VR-1 Sparrow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vins, M. [Department of Nuclear Reactors, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Prague 8 (Czech Republic)], E-mail: vinsmiro@seznam.cz

    2008-07-15

    This contribution overviews neutron spectrum measurement, which was done on training reactor VR-1 Sparrow with a new nuclear fuel. Former nuclear fuel IRT-3M was changed for current nuclear fuel IRT-4M with lower enrichment of 235U (enrichment was reduced from former 36% to 20%) in terms of Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program. Neutron spectrum measurement was obtained by irradiation of activation foils at the end of pipe of rabit system and consecutive deconvolution of obtained saturated activities. Deconvolution was performed by computer iterative code SAND-II with 620 groups' structure. All gamma measurements were performed on Canberra HPGe. Activation foils were chosen according physical and nuclear parameters from the set of certificated foils. The Resulting differential flux at the end of pipe of rabit system agreed well with typical spectrum of light water reactor. Measurement of neutron spectrum has brought better knowledge about new reactor core C1 and improved methodology of activation measurement. (author)

  12. 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,...

  13. Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Reassortant Avian Influenza H1N2 Virus Isolated from a Domestic Sparrow in 2012

    OpenAIRE

    Xie, Zhixun; Guo, Jie; Xie, Liji; Liu, Jiabo; Pang, Yaoshan; Deng, Xianwen; Xie, Zhiqin; Fan, Qing; Luo, Sisi

    2013-01-01

    We report here the complete genome sequence of a novel H1N2 avian influenza virus strain, A/Sparrow /Guangxi/GXs-1/2012 (H1N2), isolated from a sparrow in the Guangxi Province of southern China in 2012. All of the 8 gene segments (hemagglutinin [HA], nucleoprotein [NP], matrix [M], polymerase basic 2 [PB2], neuraminidase [NA], polymerase acidic [PA], polymerase basic 1 [PB1], and nonstructural [NS] genes) of this natural recombinant virus are attributed to the Eurasian lineage, and phylogenet...

  14. 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

  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. PMID:23342022

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2010-07-06

    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 understanding of

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 acentric fragment frequency fits a linear model between 0 and 128 R. Thus another cell type is added to those previously demonstrated to have no threshold dose for the induction of chromosome or gene mutations

  11. Contrasting seasonal and aseasonal environments across stages of the annual cycle in the Rufous-collared Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis: differences in endocrine function, proteome, and body condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Gómez, Paulina L; Echeverria, Valentina; Estades, Cristian F; Perez, Jonathan H; Krause, Jesse S; Sabat, Pablo; Li, Jonathon; Kültz, Dietmar; Wingfield, John C

    2018-05-09

    1.The timing and duration of life history stages (LHS) within the annual cycle can be affected by local environmental cues which are integrated through endocrine signaling mechanisms and changes in protein function. Most animals express a single LHS within a given period of the year because synchronous expression of LHSs is thought to be too costly energetically. However, in very rare and extremely stable conditions, breeding and molt have been observed to overlap extensively in Rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) living in valleys of the Atacama Desert - one of the most stable and aseasonal environments on Earth. 2.To examine how LHS traits at different levels of organization are affected by environmental variability we compared the temporal organization and duration of LHSs in populations in the Atacama Desert with those in the semiarid Fray Jorge National Park in the north of Chile - an extremely seasonal climate but with unpredictable droughts and heavy rainy seasons. 3.We studied the effects of environmental variability on morphological variables related to body condition, endocrine traits, and proteome. Birds living in the seasonal environment had a strict temporal division LHSs while birds living in the aseasonal environment failed to maintain a temporal division of LHSs resulting in direct overlap of breeding and molt. Further, higher circulating glucocorticoids and androgen concentrations were found in birds from seasonal compared to aseasonal populations. Despite these differences, body condition variables and protein expression were not related to the degree of seasonality but rather showed a strong relationship with hormone levels. 4.These results suggest that animals adjust to their environment through changes in behavioral and endocrine traits and may be limited by less labile traits such as morphological variables or expression of specific proteins under certain circumstances. These data on free-living birds shed light on how different

  12. New England SPARROW Water-Quality Modeling to Assist with the Development of Total Maximum Daily Loads in the Connecticut River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R. B.; Robinson, K. W.; Simcox, A. C.; Johnston, C. M.

    2002-05-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEWIPCC), is currently preparing a water-quality model, called SPARROW, to assist in the regional total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies in New England. A model is required to provide estimates of nutrient loads and confidence intervals at unmonitored stream reaches. SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes) is a spatially detailed, statistical model that uses regression equations to relate total phosphorus and nitrogen (nutrient) stream loads to pollution sources and watershed characteristics. These statistical relations are then used to predict nutrient loads in unmonitored streams. The New England SPARROW model is based on a hydrologic network of 42,000 stream reaches and associated watersheds. Point source data are derived from USEPA's Permit Compliance System (PCS). Information about nonpoint sources is derived from data such as fertilizer use, livestock wastes, and atmospheric deposition. Watershed characteristics include land use, streamflow, time-of-travel, stream density, percent wetlands, slope of the land surface, and soil permeability. Preliminary SPARROW results are expected in Spring 2002. The New England SPARROW model is proposed for use in the TMDL determination for nutrients in the Connecticut River Basin, upstream of Connecticut. The model will be used to estimate nitrogen loads from each of the upstream states to Long Island Sound. It will provide estimates and confidence intervals of phosphorus and nitrogen loads, area-weighted yields of nutrients by watershed, sources of nutrients, and the downstream movement of nutrients. This information will be used to (1) understand ranges in nutrient levels in surface waters, (2) identify the environmental factors that affect nutrient levels in streams, (3) evaluate monitoring efforts for better determination of

  13. Effects of short-term fasting on stress physiology, body condition, and locomotor activity in wintering male white-crowned sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Life-history dependent relationships between body condition and immunity, between immunity indices in male Eurasian tree sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yuliang; Li, Mo; Sun, Yanfeng; Wu, Wei; Kou, Guanqun; Guo, Lingling; Xing, Danning; Wu, Yuefeng; Li, Dongming; Zhao, Baohua

    2017-08-01

    In free-living animals, recent evidence indicates that innate, and acquired, immunity varies with annual variation in the demand for, and availability of, food resources. However, little is known about how animals adjust the relationships between immunity and body condition, and between innate and acquired immunity to optimize survival over winter and reproductive success during the breeding stage. Here, we measured indices of body condition (size-corrected mass [SCM], and hematocrit [Hct]), constitutive innate immunity (plasma total complement hemolysis activity [CH 50 ]) and acquired immunity (plasma immunoglobulin A [IgA]), plus heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratios, in male Eurasian tree sparrows (Passer montanus) during the wintering and the breeding stages. We found that birds during the wintering stage had higher IgA levels than those from the breeding stage. Two indices of body condition were both negatively correlated with plasma CH 50 activities, and positively with IgA levels in wintering birds, but this was not the case in the breeding birds. However, there was no correlation between CH 50 activities and IgA levels in both stages. These results suggest that the relationships between body condition and immunity can vary across life-history stage, and there are no correlations between innate and acquired immunity independent of life-history stage, in male Eurasian tree sparrows. Therefore, body condition indices predict immunological state, especially during the non-breeding stage, which can be useful indicators of individual immunocompetences for understanding the variations in innate and acquired immunity in free-living animals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Proximity to a high traffic road: glucocorticoid and life history consequences for nestling white-crowned sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, O L; Van Oorschot, B Klaassen; Johnson, E E; Malisch, J L; Breuner, C W

    2011-09-01

    Roads have been associated with decreased reproductive success and biodiversity in avian communities and increased physiological stress in adult birds. Alternatively, roads may also increase food availability and reduce predator pressure. Previous studies have focused on adult birds, but nestlings may also be susceptible to the detrimental impacts of roads. We examined the effects of proximity to a road on nestling glucocorticoid activity and growth in the mountain white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha). Additionally, we examined several possible indirect factors that may influence nestling corticosterone (CORT) activity secretion in relation to roads. These indirect effects include parental CORT activity, nest-site characteristics, and parental provisioning. And finally, we assessed possible fitness consequences of roads through measures of fledging success. Nestlings near roads had increased CORT activity, elevated at both baseline and stress-induced levels. Surprisingly, these nestlings were also bigger. Generally, greater corticosterone activity is associated with reduced growth. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis matures through the nestling period (as nestlings get larger, HPA-activation is greater). Although much of the variance in CORT responses was explained by body size, nestling CORT responses were higher close to roads after controlling for developmental differences. Indirect effects of roads may be mediated through paternal care. Nestling CORT responses were correlated with paternal CORT responses and paternal provisioning increased near roads. Hence, nestlings near roads may be larger due to increased paternal attentiveness. And finally, nest predation was higher for nests close to the road. Roads have apparent costs for white-crowned sparrow nestlings--increased predation, and apparent benefits--increased size. The elevation in CORT activity seems to reflect both increased size (benefit) and elevation due to road

  18. Discrimination of acoustic communication signals by grasshoppers (Chorthippus biguttulus): temporal resolution, temporal integration, and the impact of intrinsic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronacher, Bernhard; Wohlgemuth, Sandra; Vogel, Astrid; Krahe, Rüdiger

    2008-08-01

    A characteristic feature of hearing systems is their ability to resolve both fast and subtle amplitude modulations of acoustic signals. This applies also to grasshoppers, which for mate identification rely mainly on the characteristic temporal patterns of their communication signals. Usually the signals arriving at a receiver are contaminated by various kinds of noise. In addition to extrinsic noise, intrinsic noise caused by stochastic processes within the nervous system contributes to making signal recognition a difficult task. The authors asked to what degree intrinsic noise affects temporal resolution and, particularly, the discrimination of similar acoustic signals. This study aims at exploring the neuronal basis for sexual selection, which depends on exploiting subtle differences between basically similar signals. Applying a metric, by which the similarities of spike trains can be assessed, the authors investigated how well the communication signals of different individuals of the same species could be discriminated and correctly classified based on the responses of auditory neurons. This spike train metric yields clues to the optimal temporal resolution with which spike trains should be evaluated. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

  19. FOOD CONSUMPTION AND UTILISATION OF THE GRASSHOPPER CHROTOGONUS LUGUBRIS BLANCHARD (ORTHOPTERA, ACRIDOIDEA, PYRGOMORPHIDAE AND ITS EFFECT ON THE EGG DEPOSITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K RAHMAN

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available The grasshopper is found all the year round. It is considered as a pest for seedlings. The consumption index differed significantly between groups fed on different diets. Mated females consume more food than virgin females or virgin males. The highest values were recorded for the bean seedlings fed groups indicating some inadequacy in the nutritional value of bean. The growth rate was the highest in clover fed groups. Insects were able to digest bean and clover more efficiently than either wheat seedlings or cotton leaves. The growth rate was accompanied with a higher C.I. in bean, wheat, and cotton indicating that most of these food was excreted. The ECD and ECI were significantly higher in clover fed groups. This indicated that clover was utilised efficiently than the other groups. The different food stuff affected the egg production which could be attributed to the nutritional efficiencies of these diets. The preovipositional period and number of egg-pods were also affected. The number of abnormal egg-pods was the highest in the bean seedlings fed groups.

  20. Do Exogenous DNA Double-Strand Breaks Change Incomplete Synapsis and Chiasma Localization in the Grasshopper Stethophyma grossum?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adela Calvente

    Full Text Available Meiotic recombination occurs as a programmed event that initiates by the formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs that give rise to the formation of crossovers that are observed as chiasmata. Chiasmata are essential for the accurate chromosome segregation and the generation of new combinations of parental alleles. Some treatments that provoke exogenous DSBs also lead to alterations in the recombination pattern of some species in which full homologous synapsis is achieved at pachytene. We have carried out a similar approach in males of the grasshopper Stethophyma grossum, whose homologues show incomplete synapsis and proximal chiasma localization. After irradiating males with γ rays we have studied the distribution of both the histone variant γ-H2AX and the recombinase RAD51. These proteins are cytological markers of DSBs at early prophase I. We have inferred synaptonemal complex (SC formation via identification of SMC3 and RAD 21 cohesin subunits. Whereas thick and thin SMC3 filaments would correspond to synapsed and unsynapsed regions, the presence of RAD21 is only restricted to synapsed regions. Results show that irradiated spermatocytes maintain restricted synapsis between homologues. However, the frequency and distribution of chiasmata in metaphase I bivalents is slightly changed and quadrivalents were also observed. These results could be related to the singular nuclear polarization displayed by the spermatocytes of this species.

  1. Do Exogenous DNA Double-Strand Breaks Change Incomplete Synapsis and Chiasma Localization in the Grasshopper Stethophyma grossum?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvente, Adela; Santos, Juan Luis; Rufas, Julio S

    2016-01-01

    Meiotic recombination occurs as a programmed event that initiates by the formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that give rise to the formation of crossovers that are observed as chiasmata. Chiasmata are essential for the accurate chromosome segregation and the generation of new combinations of parental alleles. Some treatments that provoke exogenous DSBs also lead to alterations in the recombination pattern of some species in which full homologous synapsis is achieved at pachytene. We have carried out a similar approach in males of the grasshopper Stethophyma grossum, whose homologues show incomplete synapsis and proximal chiasma localization. After irradiating males with γ rays we have studied the distribution of both the histone variant γ-H2AX and the recombinase RAD51. These proteins are cytological markers of DSBs at early prophase I. We have inferred synaptonemal complex (SC) formation via identification of SMC3 and RAD 21 cohesin subunits. Whereas thick and thin SMC3 filaments would correspond to synapsed and unsynapsed regions, the presence of RAD21 is only restricted to synapsed regions. Results show that irradiated spermatocytes maintain restricted synapsis between homologues. However, the frequency and distribution of chiasmata in metaphase I bivalents is slightly changed and quadrivalents were also observed. These results could be related to the singular nuclear polarization displayed by the spermatocytes of this species.

  2. Population genetic structure of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans in the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Inmaculada Manrique-Poyato

    Full Text Available The grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans subsp. plorans harbors a very widespread polymorphism for supernumerary (B chromosomes which appear to have arisen recently. These chromosomes behave as genomic parasites because they are harmful for the individuals carrying them and show meiotic drive in the initial stages of population invasion. The rapid increase in B chromosome frequency at intrapopulation level is thus granted by meiotic drive, but its spread among populations most likely depends on interpopulation gene flow. We analyze here the population genetic structure in 10 natural populations from two regions (in the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula. The southern populations were coastal whereas the eastern ones were inland populations located at 260-655 m altitude. The analysis of 97 ISSR markers revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations (average G(ST = 0.129, and the Structure software and AMOVA indicated a significant genetic differentiation between southern and eastern populations. There was also significant isolation by distance (IBD between populations. Remarkably, these results were roughly similar to those found when only the markers showing low or no dropout were included, suggesting that allelic dropout had negligible effects on population genetic analysis. We conclude that high gene flow helped this parasitic B chromosome to spread through most of the geographical range of the subspecies E. plorans plorans.

  3. Faunistic analyses of grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea in a florest fragment near the Uruguay River, Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Kátia Matiotti da Costa

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the work was to describe the grasshopper community (Orthoptera and Acridoidea through the analysis of the fauna, in the Lajeado Monte Alegre region, on the bank of the Uruguay River, in the town of Chapecó, Santa Catarina. The collections were carried out on weekly basis, from October 2001 to September 2002, with the use of ground traps, buttnets, insect umbrellas and collections from leaves. The rates of abundance, frequency, constancy, dominance and diversity were measured. In total, 713 acridoids were collected, corresponding to 18 species, 17 genera, and 3 families. From the Acrididae family 13 species were sampled: Abracris flavolienata, Allotruxalis strigata, Amblytropidia sola, Amblytropidia sp., Cylindrotettix chacoensis, Dichroplus misionensis, Eurotettix lilloanus, Metaleptea brevicornis adspersa, Orphulella punctata, Parorphula graminea, Rhammatocerus brunneri, Ronderosia bergi and Schistocerca flavofasciata. From the Romaleidae family, 4 species: Staleochlora viridicata, Chromacris speciosa, Zoniopoda tarsata and Xyleus discoideus. From the Tridactylidae family, 2 unidentified nymphs were collected. The dominant species was A. strigata.

  4. B-chromosome effects on Hsp70 gene expression does not occur at transcriptional level in the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Domínguez, Beatriz; Cabrero, Josefa; Camacho, Juan Pedro M; López-León, María Dolores

    2016-10-01

    As intragenomic parasites, B chromosomes can elicit stress in the host genome, thus inducing a response for host adaptation to this kind of continuous parasitism. In the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans, B-chromosome presence has been previously associated with a decrease in the amount of the heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70). To investigate whether this effect is already apparent at transcriptional level, we analyze the expression levels of the Hsp70 gene in gonads and somatic tissues of males and females with and without B chromosomes from two populations, where the predominant B chromosome variants (B2 and B24) exhibit different levels of parasitism, by means of quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) on complementary DNA (cDNA). The results revealed the absence of significant differences for Hsp70 transcripts associated with B-chromosome presence in virtually all samples. This indicates that the decrease in HSP70 protein levels, formerly reported in this species, may not be a consequence of transcriptional down-regulation of Hsp70 genes, but the result of post-transcriptional regulation. These results will help to design future studies oriented to identifying factors modulating Hsp70 expression, and will also contribute to uncover the biological role of B chromosomes in eukaryotic genomes.

  5. Presencia de Malameba locustae (Protozoa: Rhizopoda en acridios (Orthoptera: Acrididae de la provincia de Misiones, Argentina Presence of Malameba locustae (Protozoa: Rhizopoda in grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae of Misiones province, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos E. Lange

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available La ameba patógena Malameba locustae King y Taylor fue detectada parasitando ejemplares del acridio Ronderosia bergi (Stal recolectados en las cercanías del Parque Nacional Iguazú, Misiones. El hallazgo constituye el segundo registro de M. locustae para acridios sudamericanos.Individuals of the grasshopper Ronderosia bergi (Stal collected in the surroundings of Iguazú National Park, Misiones, were found to be parasitized by the pathogenic amoeba Malameba locustae King & Taylor. The finding constitutes the second record of M. locustae for southamerican grasshoppers.

  6. The role of the host-specific grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Orthoptera: Acrididae as consumer of native Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae floating meadows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.Cornops aquaticum es una tucura semiacuática Neotropical que vive asociada a las Pontederiaceae y constituye uno de los más importantes herbívoros de

  7. House sparrows' (Passer domesticus) behaviour in a novel environment is modulated by social context and familiarity in a sex-specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuliozi, Beniamino; Fracasso, Gerardo; Hoi, Herbert; Griggio, Matteo

    2018-01-01

    Exploratory behaviour is one of the best-investigated behavioural traits. However, little is known about how differences in familiarity, i.e. in the knowledge and previous experience with a companion can influence the exploration of a novel environment. However, to our knowledge, such a critical feature of the social environment has never been the target of a study relating it to exploratory behaviour in birds. Here we examined if familiarity with a conspecific could affect behavioural responses of individuals confronted with a novel environment. We recorded the latency to land on the ground, latency to feed, time spent feeding and number of sectors visited of 48 female and 48 male house sparrows ( Passer domesticus ) in an indoor aviary in three contexts: alone (individual context), with an unfamiliar and with a familiar same-sex companion. House sparrows landed sooner on the ground when in the familiar context than when in the individual context. Birds in unfamiliar pairs followed each other less than familiar birds, but this difference diminished with time spent exploring. Moreover, males and females differed in their behavioural responses in the unfamiliar context. Females with a familiar companion landed sooner than when they were paired with an unfamiliar conspecific, whereas only the presence of a companion but not familiarity reduced males latency to land on the ground. Finally, when considering the unfamiliar context males had shorter latencies to forage and thus spent more time eating than females. The presence or absence of a companion and its familiarity with the focal individual influenced differently the behavioural responses of male and female house sparrows in a novel environment. As house sparrows are strongly sociable, the influence of the social environment is likely to be of paramount importance to understand the selective pressures acting on them, particularly in recently colonized areas with ephemeral food sources. Our results shed light on

  8. 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

  9. The role of environment and core-margin effects on range-wide phenotypic variation in a montane grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    The integration of genetic information with ecological and phenotypic data constitutes an effective approach to gain insight into the mechanisms determining interpopulation variability and the evolutionary processes underlying local adaptation and incipient speciation. Here, we use the Pyrenean Morales grasshopper (Chorthippus saulcyi moralesi) as study system to (i) analyse the relative role of genetic drift and selection in range-wide patterns of phenotypic differentiation and (ii) identify the potential selective agents (environment, elevation) responsible for variation. We also test the hypothesis that (iii) the development of dispersal-related traits is associated with different parameters related to population persistence/turnover, including habitat suitability stability over the last 120 000 years, distance to the species distribution core and population genetic variability. Our results indicate that selection shaped phenotypic differentiation across all the studied morphological traits (body size, forewing length and shape). Subsequent analyses revealed that among-population differentiation in forewing length was significantly explained by a temperature gradient, suggesting an adaptive response to thermoregulation or flight performance under contrasting temperature regimes. We found support for our hypothesis predicting a positive association between the distance to the species distribution core and the development of dispersal-related morphology, which suggests an increased dispersal capability in populations located at range edges that, in turn, exhibit lower levels of genetic variability. Overall, our results indicate that range-wide patterns of phenotypic variation are partially explained by adaptation in response to local environmental conditions and differences in habitat persistence between core and peripheral populations. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary

  10. Combining RNA-seq and proteomic profiling to identify seminal fluid proteins in the migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes (F).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonilla, Martha L; Todd, Christopher; Erlandson, Martin; Andres, Jose

    2015-12-22

    Seminal fluid proteins control many aspects of fertilization and in turn, they play a key role in post-mating sexual selection and possibly reproductive isolation. Because effective proteome profiling relies on the availability of high-quality DNA reference databases, our knowledge of these proteins is still largely limited to model organisms with ample genetic resources. New advances in sequencing technology allow for the rapid characterization of transcriptomes at low cost. By combining high throughput RNA-seq and shotgun proteomic profiling, we have characterized the seminal fluid proteins secreted by the primary male accessory gland of the migratory grasshopper (Melanoplus sanguinipes), one of the main agricultural pests in central North America. Using RNA sequencing, we characterized the transcripts of ~ 8,100 genes expressed in the long hyaline tubules (LHT) of the accessory glands. Proteomic profiling identified 353 proteins expressed in the long hyaline tubules (LHT). Of special interest are seminal fluid proteins (SFPs), such as EJAC-SP, ACE and prostaglandin synthetases, which are known to regulate female oviposition in insects. Our study provides new insights into the proteomic components of male ejaculate in Orthopterans, and highlights several important patterns. First, the presence of proteins that lack predicted classical secretory tags in accessory gland proteomes is common in male accessory glands. Second, the products of a few highly expressed genes dominate the accessory gland secretions. Third, accessory gland transcriptomes are enriched for novel transcripts. Fourth, there is conservation of SFPs' functional classes across distantly related taxonomic groups with very different life histories, mating systems and sperm transferring mechanisms. The identified SFPs may serve as targets of future efforts to develop species- specific genetic control strategies.

  11. The B chromosome polymorphism of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans in North Africa. IV. Transmission of rare B chromosome variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakkali, M; Camacho, J P M

    2004-01-01

    In addition to the principal B chromosome (B(1)) in Moroccan populations of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans, nine B chromosome variants appeared at low frequency. The transmission of five of these rare B chromosome variants through females was analysed in three natural populations. Sixteen controlled crosses provided useful information on the transmission of B(M2), B(M6) and B(M7) in Smir, B(M3) and B(M6) in SO.DE.A. (Société de Développement Agricole lands near Ksar-el-Kebir city), and B(M2) and B(M10) in Mechra, all located in Morocco. Since six female parents carried two different B variants, a total of 22 progeny analyses could be studied. Intraindividual variation in B transmission rate (k(B)) was observed among the successive egg pods in 26.7 % of the females, but this variation did not show a consistent temporal pattern. Only the B(M2) and B(M6) variants in Smir showed net drive, although variation was high among crosses, especially for B(M2). These two variants are thus good candidates for future regenerations (the replacement of a neutralized B, B(1) in this case, by a new driving variant, B(M2) or B(M6)) in Smir, the northern population where the B polymorphism is presumably older. The analysis of all crosses performed in the three populations, including those reported previously for the analysis of B(1) transmission, showed that the largest variance in k(B) among crosses stands at the individual level, and not at population or type of B levels. The implications of these findings for the occurrence of possible regeneration processes in Moroccan populations are discussed. Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

  12. Characteristics of MHC class I genes in house sparrows Passer domesticus as revealed by long cDNA transcripts and amplicon sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Maria; Westerdahl, Helena

    2013-08-01

    In birds the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) organization differs both among and within orders; chickens Gallus gallus of the order Galliformes have a simple arrangement, while many songbirds of the order Passeriformes have a more complex arrangement with larger numbers of MHC class I and II genes. Chicken MHC genes are found at two independent loci, classical MHC-B and non-classical MHC-Y, whereas non-classical MHC genes are yet to be verified in passerines. Here we characterize MHC class I transcripts (α1 to α3 domain) and perform amplicon sequencing using a next-generation sequencing technique on exon 3 from house sparrow Passer domesticus (a passerine) families. Then we use phylogenetic, selection, and segregation analyses to gain a better understanding of the MHC class I organization. Trees based on the α1 and α2 domain revealed a distinct cluster with short terminal branches for transcripts with a 6-bp deletion. Interestingly, this cluster was not seen in the tree based on the α3 domain. 21 exon 3 sequences were verified in a single individual and the average numbers within an individual were nine and five for sequences with and without a 6-bp deletion, respectively. All individuals had exon 3 sequences with and without a 6-bp deletion. The sequences with a 6-bp deletion have many characteristics in common with non-classical MHC, e.g., highly conserved amino acid positions were substituted compared with the other alleles, low nucleotide diversity and just a single site was subject to positive selection. However, these alleles also have characteristics that suggest they could be classical, e.g., complete linkage and absence of a distinct cluster in a tree based on the α3 domain. Thus, we cannot determine for certain whether or not the alleles with a 6-bp deletion are non-classical based on our present data. Further analyses on segregation patterns of these alleles in combination with dating the 6-bp deletion through MHC characterization across the

  13. Chromosomal Mapping of Repetitive DNAs in the Grasshopper Abracris flavolineata Reveal Possible Ancestry of the B Chromosome and H3 Histone Spreading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Danilo; Palacios-Gimenez, Octavio Manuel; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo Cavalcanti

    2013-01-01

    Supernumerary chromosomes (B chromosomes) occur in approximately 15% of eukaryote species. Although these chromosomes have been extensively studied, knowledge concerning their specific molecular composition is lacking in most cases. The accumulation of repetitive DNAs is one remarkable characteristic of B chromosomes, and the occurrence of distinct types of multigene families, satellite DNAs and some transposable elements have been reported. Here, we describe the organization of repetitive DNAs in the A complement and B chromosome system in the grasshopper species Abracris flavolineata using classical cytogenetic techniques and FISH analysis using probes for five multigene families, telomeric repeats and repetitive C0t-1 DNA fractions. The 18S rRNA and H3 histone multigene families are highly variable and well distributed in A. flavolineata chromosomes, which contrasts with the conservation of U snRNA genes and less variable distribution of 5S rDNA sequences. The H3 histone gene was an extensively distributed with clusters occurring in all chromosomes. Repetitive DNAs were concentrated in C-positive regions, including the pericentromeric region and small chromosomal arms, with some occurrence in C-negative regions, but abundance was low in the B chromosome. Finally, the first demonstration of the U2 snRNA gene in B chromosomes in A. flavolineata may shed light on its possible origin. These results provide new information regarding chromosomal variability for repetitive DNAs in grasshoppers and the specific molecular composition of B chromosomes. PMID:23826099

  14. Microsatellite organization in the grasshopper Abracris flavolineata (Orthoptera: Acrididae revealed by FISH mapping: remarkable spreading in the A and B chromosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diogo Milani

    Full Text Available With the aim of acquiring deeper knowledge about repetitive DNAs chromosomal organization in grasshoppers, we used fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH to map the distribution of 16 microsatellite repeats, including mono-, di-, tri- and tetra-nucleotides, in the chromosomes of the species Abracris flavolineata (Acrididae, which harbors B chromosome. FISH revealed two main patterns: (i exclusively scattered signals, and (ii scattered and specific signals, forming evident blocks. The enrichment was observed in both euchromatic and heterochromatic areas and only the motif (C30 was absent in heterochromatin. The A and B chromosomes were enriched with all the elements that were mapped, being observed in the B chromosome more distinctive blocks for (GA15 and (GAG10. For A complement distinctive blocks were noticed for (A30, (CA15, (CG15, (GA15, (CAC10, (CAA10, (CGG10, (GAA10, (GAC10 and (GATA8. These results revealed an intense spreading of microsatellites in the A. flavolineata genome that was independent of the A+T or G+C enrichment in the repeats. The data indicate that the microsatellites compose the B chromosome and could be involved in the evolution of this element in this species, although no specific relationship with any A chromosome was observed to discuss about its origin. The systematic analysis presented here contributes to the knowledge of repetitive DNA chromosomal organization among grasshoppers including the B chromosomes.

  15. Cutaneous water loss and sphingolipids in the stratum corneum of house sparrows, Passer domesticus L., from desert and mesic environments as determined by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Ro, Jennifer; Brown, Johnie C; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-02-01

    Because cutaneous water loss (CWL) represents half of total water loss in birds, selection to reduce CWL may be strong in desert birds. We previously found that CWL of house sparrows from a desert population was about 25% lower than that of individuals from a mesic environment. The stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, serves as the primary barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. The avian SC is formed by layers of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix consisting of cholesterol, free fatty acids and two classes of sphingolipids, ceramides and cerebrosides. The SC of birds also serves a thermoregulatory function; high rates of CWL keep body temperatures under lethal limits in episodes of heat stress. In this study, we used high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photoionization-mass spectrometry (HPLC/APPI-MS) to identify and quantify over 200 sphingolipids in the SC of house sparrows from desert and mesic populations. Principal components analysis (PCA) led to the hypotheses that sphingolipids in the SC of desert sparrows have longer carbon chains in the fatty acid moiety and are more polar than those found in mesic sparrows. We also tested the association between principal components and CWL in both populations. Our study suggested that a reduction in CWL found in desert sparrows was, in part, the result of modifications in chain length and polarity of the sphingolipids, changes that apparently determine the interactions of the lipid molecules within the SC.

  16. Regional cholinesterase activity in white-throated sparrow brain is differentially affected by acephate (Orthene®)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, N.B.; Kuenzel, W.J.; Hill, E.F.; Romo, G.A.; Komaragiri, M.V.S.

    1996-01-01

    Effects of a 14-day dietary exposure to an organophosphorus pesticide, acephate (acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester), were determined on cholinesterase activity in three regions (basal ganglia, hippocampus, and hypothalamus) of the white-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, brain. All three regions experienced depressed cholinesterase activity between 0.5–2 ppm acephate. The regions exhibited cholinesterase recovery at 2–16 ppm acephate; however, cholinesterase activity dropped and showed no recovery at higher dietary levels (>16 ppm acephate). Evidence indicates that the recovery is initiated by the magnitude of depression, not the duration. In general, as acephate concentration increased, differences in ChE activity among brain regions decreased. Three terms are introduced to describe ChE response to acephate exposure: 1) ChE resistance threshold, 2) ChE compensation threshold, and 3) ChE depression threshold. It is hypothesized that adverse effects to birds in the field may occur at pesticide exposure levels customarily considered negligible.

  17. White-throated Sparrow Response to Forest Harvesting in North-Central Alberta: Results Not So Clear-Cut?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Hannah

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The use of density to measure a species' responses to habitat change remains prevalent despite warnings that relying on such parameters can be misleading. We evaluated whether density was a useful surrogate of habitat quality for the White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, an apparent habitat generalist, in a recently logged landscape near Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada. We detected significant differences in the territory density of birds among three distinct habitat types: interior forest, forest edges, and recent (4- to 6-yr-old clear-cuts. However, the observed patterns in territory density were not consistent with several indices of habitat quality. We found a consistent and marked gradient for indices such as nesting success (based on a reproductive index, pairing success, and the proportion of territories that successfully fledged young between interior forest sites and clear-cuts. Edge habitats, in which high relative density offset lower reproductive success, represented moderate-quality habitat for this species. Our results suggest that the continued use of density alone, without some measure of habitat quality, is insufficient if not misleading when evaluating response to habitat change. Our results have important implications for understanding the population dynamics of this species, which is often overlooked in population-level studies yet continues to experience long-term population declines over large portions of its breeding range.

  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. Sex-specific differential survival of extra-pair and within-pair offspring in song sparrows, Melospiza melodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardell, Rebecca J; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Reid, Jane M

    2011-11-07

    It is widely hypothesized that the evolution of female extra-pair reproduction in socially monogamous species reflects indirect genetic benefits to females. However, a critical prediction of this hypothesis, that extra-pair young (EPY) are fitter than within-pair young (WPY), has rarely been rigorously tested. We used 18 years of data from free-living song sparrows, Melospiza melodia, to test whether survival through major life-history stages differed between EPY and WPY maternal half-siblings. On average, survival of hatched chicks to independence from parental care and recruitment, and their total lifespan, did not differ significantly between EPY and WPY. However, EPY consistently tended to be less likely to survive, and recruited EPY survived for significantly fewer years than recruited WPY. Furthermore, the survival difference between EPY and WPY was sex-specific; female EPY were less likely to survive to independence and recruitment and lived fewer years than female WPY, whereas male EPY were similarly or slightly more likely to survive and to live more years than male WPY. These data indicate that extra-pair paternity may impose an indirect cost on females via their female offspring and that sex-specific genetic, environmental or maternal effects may shape extra-pair reproduction.

  20. Estimates of long-term mean-annual nutrient loads considered for use in SPARROW models of the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States, 2002 base year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saad, David A.; Benoy, Glenn A.; Robertson, Dale M.

    2018-05-11

    Streamflow and nutrient concentration data needed to compute nitrogen and phosphorus loads were compiled from Federal, State, Provincial, and local agency databases and also from selected university databases. The nitrogen and phosphorus loads are necessary inputs to Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) models. SPARROW models are a way to estimate the distribution, sources, and transport of nutrients in streams throughout the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States. After screening the data, approximately 1,500 sites sampled by 34 agencies were identified as having suitable data for calculating the long-term mean-annual nutrient loads required for SPARROW model calibration. These final sites represent a wide range in watershed sizes, types of nutrient sources, and land-use and watershed characteristics in the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States.

  1. Shedding and serologic responses following primary and secondary inoculation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with low-pathogenicity avian influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Thomas, Nicholas O; Orahood, Darcy S; Anderson, Theodore D; Oesterle, Paul T

    2010-10-01

    Waterfowl and shorebirds are well-recognized natural reservoirs of low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIV); however, little is known about the role of passerines in avian influenza virus ecology. Passerines are abundant, widespread, and commonly come into contact with free-ranging birds as well as captive game birds and poultry. We inoculated and subsequently challenged house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with wild-bird origin LPAIV H3N8 to evaluate their potential role in transmission. Oropharyngeal shedding was short lived, and was detected in more starlings (97.2%) than sparrows (47.2%; n=36 of each). Cloacal shedding was rare in both species (8.3%; n=36 of each) and no cage-mate transmission occurred. Infectious LPAIV was cultured from oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs and gastrointestinal and respiratory tissues from both species. Seroconversion was detected as early as 3 days post inoculation (d.p.i.) (16.7% of sparrows and 0% of starlings; n=6 each); 50% of these individuals seroconverted by 5 d.p.i., and nearly all birds (97%; n=35) seroconverted by 28 d.p.i. In general, pre-existing homologous immunity led to reduced shedding and increased antibody levels within 7 days of challenge. Limited shedding and lack of cage-mate transmission suggest that passerines are not significant reservoirs of LPAIV, although species differences apparently exist. Passerines readily and consistently seroconverted to LPAIV, and therefore inclusion of passerines in epidemiological studies of influenza outbreaks in wildlife and domestic animals may provide further insight into the potential involvement of passerines in avian influenza virus transmission ecology.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A case of leucism in House Sparrow, Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758 in an island of São Francisco river, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Barros Ribeiro

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Leucism in birds is a genetic disorder characterized by the total absence of melanin in some or all feathers, but unlike albinism, the other body parts, such as eyes, beak, and tarsi remain with the typical color of the species. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus is a bird native from Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It has been introduced in North America, South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Currently, it is the bird species with the largest geographical range. Here, we report the record of a leucistic specimen of Passer domesticus from Rodeadouro island, São Francisco river, northeastern Brazil.

  5. Production, Characterization and Use of Monoclonal Antibodies Recognizing IgY Epitopes Shared by Chicken, Turkey, Pheasant, Peafowl and Sparrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajda Biček

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Chicken antibodies are not only a part of immune defense but are more and more popular commercial products in form of chicken polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies. We produced and characterized mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs that recognize epitopes located on heavy or light chain of chicken immunoglobulin Y (chIgY shared also by some other Phasianidae birds. The use of mAbs 1F5 and 2F10 that recognize heavy chain on chIgY common epitopes was demonstrated on immunoglobulins of turkey, pheasant and peafowl. Chicken IgY light chain specific mAb 3E10 revealed the presence of common epitopes on immunoglobulins of turkey, pheasant and sparrow. Monoclonal antibody clone 1F5/3G2 was used to prepare horseradish peroxidase (HRP conjugate and immunoadsorbent column. Conjugated mAbs were demonstrated to be excellent secondary antibodies for diagnostics of certain infections in different avian species. Since they do not react with mammalian immunoglobulins using our mAbs as secondary antibodies in human serodiagnostics would minimize background staining that appears when using mouse detection system. In dot immunobinding assay (DIBA and immunoblot assay they recognized specific IgY antibodies against Mycoplasma synoviae, Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Newcastle disease virus in sera of infected or vaccinated birds. Immunoadsorption as a method for removal of IgY from samples in which Mycoplasma synoviae specific IgY was predominant immunoglobulin class enabled more exact demonstration of specific IgA and IgM antibodies. Herein we are presenting effective mAbs useful in diagnostics of avian and mammalian infections as well as in final steps of detection and purification of chicken antibodies and their subunits produced in vivo or in vitro as polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies.

  6. A spatially referenced regression model (SPARROW) for suspended sediment in streams of the conterminous U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Gregory E.; Smith, Richard A.; Alexander, Richard B.; Gray, John R.

    2001-01-01

    little direct evidence is available concerning the fate of sediment. The common practice of quantifying sediment fate with a sediment delivery ratio, estimated from a simple empirical relation with upstream basin area, does not articulate the relative importance of individual storage sites within a basin (Wolman, 1977). Rates of sediment deposition in reservoirs and flood plains can be determined from empirical measurements, but only a limited number of sites have been monitored, and net rates of deposition or loss from other potential sinks and sources is largely unknown (Stallard, 1998). In particular, little is known about how much sediment loss from fields ultimately makes its way to stream channels, and how much sediment is subsequently stored in or lost from the streambed (Meade and Parker, 1985, Trimble and Crosson, 2000).This paper reports on recent progress made to address empirically the question of sediment fate and transport on a national scale. The model presented here is based on the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) methodology, first used to estimate the distribution of nutrients in streams and rivers of the United States, and subsequently shown to describe land and stream processes affecting the delivery of nutrients (Smith and others, 1997, Alexander and others, 2000, Preston and Brakebill, 1999). The model makes use of numerous spatial datasets, available at the national level, to explain long-term sediment water-quality conditions in major streams and rivers throughout the United States. Sediment sources are identified using sediment erosion rates from the National Resources Inventory (NRI) (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2000) and apportioned over the landscape according to 30- meter resolution land-use information from the National Land Cover Data set (NLCD) (U.S. Geological Survey, 2000a). More than 76,000 reservoirs from the National Inventory of Dams (NID) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1996) are

  7. Gut Transcriptome Analysis Shows Different Food Utilization Efficiency by the Grasshopper Oedaleous asiaticus (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    Oedaleus asiaticus B. Bienko is a persistent pest occurring in north Asian grasslands. We found that O. asiaticus feeding on Stipa krylovii Roshev. had higher approximate digestibility (AD), efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI), and efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD), compared with cohorts feeding on Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel, Artemisia frigida Willd., or Cleistogenes squarrosa (Trin.) Keng. Although this indicated high food utilization efficiency for S. krylovii, the physiological processes and molecular mechanisms underlying these biological observations are not well understood. Transcriptome analysis was used to examine how gene expression levels in O. asiaticus gut are altered by feeding on the four plant species. Nymphs (fifth-instar female) that fed on S. krylovii had the largest variation in gene expression profiles, with a total of 88 genes significantly upregulated compared with those feeding on the other three plants, mainly including nutrition digestive genes of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid digestion. GO and KEGG enrichment also showed that feeding S. krylovii could upregulate the nutrition digestion-related molecular function, biological process, and pathways. These changes in transcripts levels indicate that the physiological processes of activating nutrition digestive enzymes and metabolism pathways can well explain the high food utilization of S. krylovii by O. asiaticus. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Variation in the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-1 and the song control system in the tropical breeding rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) is dependent on sex and reproductive state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Tyler J; Small, Thomas W; Ball, Gregory F; Moore, Ignacio T

    2012-08-01

    Seasonal breeding in temperate zone vertebrates is characterised by pronounced variation in both central and peripheral reproductive physiology as well as behaviour. In contrast, many tropical species have a comparatively longer and less of a seasonal pattern of breeding than their temperate zone counterparts. These extended, more "flexible" reproductive periods may be associate with a lesser degree of annual variation in reproductive physiology. Here we investigated variation in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction in relation to the changes in the neural song control system in a tropical breeding songbird the rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis). Using in situ hybridization, we show that the optical density of GnRH1 mRNA expression is relatively constant across pre-breeding and breeding states. However, males were found to have significantly greater expression compared to females regardless of breeding state. Both males and females showed marked variation in measures of peripheral reproductive physiology with greater gonadal volumes and concentrations of sex steroids in the blood (i.e. testosterone in males; estrogen in females) during the breeding season as compared to the pre-breeding season. These findings suggest that the environmental cues regulating breeding in a tropical breeding bird ultimately exert their effects on physiology at the level of the median eminence and regulate the release of GnRH1. In addition, histological analysis of the song control system HVC, RA and Area X revealed that breeding males had significantly larger volumes of these brain nuclei as compared to non-breeding males, breeding females, and non-breeding females. Females did not exhibit a significant difference in the size of song control regions across breeding states. Together, these data show a marked sex difference in the extent to which there is breeding-associated variation in reproductive physiology and brain plasticity that is dependent on the reproductive

  9. Uncovering the evolutionary history of neo-XY sex chromosomes in the grasshopper Ronderosia bergii (Orthoptera, Melanoplinae) through satellite DNA analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Gimenez, Octavio M; Milani, Diogo; Lemos, Bernardo; Castillo, Elio R; Martí, Dardo A; Ramos, Erica; Martins, Cesar; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C

    2018-01-08

    Neo-sex chromosome systems arose independently multiple times in evolution, presenting the remarkable characteristic of repetitive DNAs accumulation. Among grasshoppers, occurrence of neo-XY was repeatedly noticed in Melanoplinae. Here we analyzed the most abundant tandem repeats of R. bergii (2n = 22, neo-XY♂) using deep Illumina sequencing and graph-based clustering in order to address the neo-sex chromosomes evolution. The analyses revealed ten families of satDNAs comprising about ~1% of the male genome, which occupied mainly C-positive regions of autosomes. Regarding the sex chromosomes, satDNAs were recorded within centromeric or interstitial regions of the neo-X chromosome and four satDNAs occurred in the neo-Y, two of them being exclusive (Rber248 and Rber299). Using a combination of probes we uncovered five well-defined cytological variants for neo-Y, originated by multiple paracentric inversions and satDNA amplification, besides fragmented neo-Y. These neo-Y variants were distinct in frequency between embryos and adult males. The genomic data together with cytogenetic mapping enabled us to better understand the neo-sex chromosome dynamics in grasshoppers, reinforcing differentiation of neo-X and neo-Y and revealing the occurrence of multiple additional rearrangements involved in the neo-Y evolution of R. bergii. We discussed the possible causes that led to differences in frequency for the neo-Y variants between embryos and adults. Finally we hypothesize about the role of DNA satellites in R. bergii as well as putative historical events involved in the evolution of the R. bergii neo-XY.

  10. Bioaccumulation of some natural radionuclides in short-antenna grasshoppers (Acrididae family, class Ortoptera)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dimitrova, M.; Markova, E.; Bogdanova, V.

    1996-01-01

    The seasonal accumulation of radioactive elements of the uranium-radium order in representatives of larva stages of different species of of Acrididae family has been examined. The monitoring sites are typical of the region and gave a relevant information about the natural background radiation. The process begins in the end of spring when Acrididae enter on the most intensive phase of their functional development and accumulate lots of radioisotopes not only by food but also through respiratory system and whole-body surface. Among the radioisotopes radium has an average biological absorbability, uranium - a very slight one. This fact explains the high values of radium in the ecosystems examined. Despite its low absorbability coefficient 238 U is found to a considerable extent in the investigated organisms. Because of it high mobility in soil compared to Ra 226, uranium 238 accumulates in plants by water and through trophic chain passes into the living organisms. It is found also that Acrididae accumulate later, during autumn and Bi 214. So they are a reliable bio-indicator for the radionuclides U 238, Ra 226, Pb 214 and Bi 214. It has been found that the ionizing radiation at the natural biocenoses is not only an individual irritant but also has an effect of a radioecological factor of the environment. The examinations show redistribution of the natural radionuclides as a result of economic activities

  11. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's sparrow (Ammodrammus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Hofmeister, Erik K; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W

    2014-10-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n=346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2-6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4-10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4-9% and 9-20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n=165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  12. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n = 346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2–6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4–10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4–9% and 9–20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n = 165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  13. Epigenetic Variation May Compensate for Decreased Genetic Variation with Introductions: A Case Study Using House Sparrows (Passer domesticus on Two Continents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron W. Schrey

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms impact several phenotypic traits and may be important for ecology and evolution. The introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus exhibits extensive phenotypic variation among and within populations. We screened methylation in populations from Kenya and Florida to determine if methylation varied among populations, varied with introduction history (Kenyan invasion <50 years old, Florida invasion ~150 years old, and could potentially compensate for decrease genetic variation with introductions. While recent literature has speculated on the importance of epigenetic effects for biological invasions, this is the first such study among wild vertebrates. Methylation was more frequent in Nairobi, and outlier loci suggest that populations may be differentiated. Methylation diversity was similar between populations, in spite of known lower genetic diversity in Nairobi, which suggests that epigenetic variation may compensate for decreased genetic diversity as a source of phenotypic variation during introduction. Our results suggest that methylation differences may be common among house sparrows, but research is needed to discern whether methylation impacts phenotypic variation.

  14. Monograph of the Afrotropical species of Scelio Latreille (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae), egg parasitoids of acridid grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acrididae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Matthew J; Valerio, Alejandro A; Polaszek, Andrew; van Noort, Simon; Masner, Lubomír; Johnson, Norman F

    2014-01-01

    The genus Scelio is a cosmopolitan and speciose group of solitary parasitoids of the eggs of short-horned grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae). A number of these hosts are important pests, including plague locusts of the genus Schistocerca. Species of Scelio are recognized as potentially important biological control agents, but this possibility has yet to be fully realized, in part because the species-level taxonomy is still incompletely developed. The species of the pulchripennis group have been recently revised. As a continuation of this effort, here we revise the Afrotropical species of Scelio, excluding the pulchripennis species group. Sixty two (62) species are treated, 48 of which are new. Species are classified into the following species groups: ernstii (12 species, 9 new), howardi (23 species, 19 new), ipomeae (6 species, 5 new), irwini (4 species, 3 new), simoni (3 new species) and walkeri (12 species, 9 new). Keys to species groups and to the species within each group are provided. New species described are: S. albatus Yoder, sp. n., S. aphares Yoder, sp. n., S. apospastos Yoder, sp. n., S. ardelio Yoder, sp. n., S. aurantium Yoder, sp. n., S. balo Valerio & Yoder, sp. n., S. bayanga Yoder, sp. n., S. bubulo Yoder, sp. n., S. cano Yoder, sp. n., S. clypeatus Yoder, sp. n., S. concavus Yoder, sp. n., S. copelandi Yoder, sp. n., S. crepo Yoder, sp. n., S. destico Yoder, sp. n., S. dupondi Yoder, sp. n., S. effervesco Yoder, sp. n., S. erugatus Yoder, sp. n., S. exophthalmus Yoder, sp. n., S. fremo Valerio & Yoder, sp. n., S. gemo Yoder, sp. n., S. grunnio Yoder, sp. n., S. harinhalai Yoder, sp. n., S. igland Yoder, sp. n., S. impostor Yoder, sp. n., S. irwini Yoder, sp. n., S. janseni Yoder, sp. n., S. latro Yoder, sp. n., S. memorabilis Yoder, sp. n., S. modulus Yoder, sp. n., S. mutio Yoder, sp. n., S. ntchisii Yoder, sp. n., S. parkeri Yoder, sp. n., S. phaeoprora Yoder, sp. n., S. pilosilatus Yoder, sp. n., S. pipilo Yoder, sp. n., S. quasiclypeatus

  15. Molecular phylogenetics of finches and sparrows: consequences of character state removal in cytochrome b sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, J G

    1998-12-01

    The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  16. A spatially referenced regression model (SPARROW) for suspended sediment in streams of the Conterminous U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Gregory E.; Smith, Richard A.; Alexander, Richard B.; Gray, John R.

    2001-01-01

    ). Conversely, relatively little direct evidence is available concerning the fate of sediment. The common practice of quantifying sediment fate with a sediment deliv ery ratio, estimated from a simple empirical relation with upstream basin area, does not artic ulate the relative importance of individual storage sites within a basin (Wolman, 1977). Rates of sediment deposition in reservoirs and flood plains can be determined from empirical measurement s , but only a limited number of sites have been monitored, and net rates of deposition or loss from other potential sinks and sources is largely unknown (Stallard, 1998). In particular, little is known about how much sediment loss from fields ultimately makes its way to stream channels, and how much sediment is subsequently stored in or lost from th e streambed (Meade and Parker, 1985, Trimble and Crosson, 2000). This paper reports on recent progress made to a ddress empirically the question of sediment fate and transport on a national scale. The model pres ented here is based on the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attr ibutes (SPARROW) methodology, fi rst used to estimate the distribution of nutrients in str eams and rivers of the United Stat es, and subsequently shown to describe land and stream processes affecting the delivery of nutrients (Smith and others, 1997, Alexander and others, 2000, Preston and Brakeb ill, 1999). The model makes use of numerous spatial datasets, available at the national level, to explain long-term sediment water-quality conditions in major streams and rivers throughou t the United States. Sediment sources are identified using sediment erosion rates from the National Resources I nventory (NRI) (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2000) and apportioned over the landscape according to 30- meter resolution land-use information from th e National Land Cover Data set (NLCD) (U.S. Geological Survey, 2000a). More than 76,000 reservoirs from the National Inventory of Dams (NID) (U.S. Army

  17. Spatial analysis of instream nitrogen loads and factors controlling nitrogen delivery to streams in the southeastern United States using spatially referenced regression on watershed attributes (SPARROW) and regional classification frameworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoos, Anne B.; McMahon, Gerard

    2009-01-01

    Understanding how nitrogen transport across the landscape varies with landscape characteristics is important for developing sound nitrogen management policies. We used a spatially referenced regression analysis (SPARROW) to examine landscape characteristics influencing delivery of nitrogen from sources in a watershed to stream channels. Modelled landscape delivery ratio varies widely (by a factor of 4) among watersheds in the southeastern United States—higher in the western part (Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) than in the eastern part, and the average value for the region is lower compared to other parts of the nation. When we model landscape delivery ratio as a continuous function of local-scale landscape characteristics, we estimate a spatial pattern that varies as a function of soil and climate characteristics but exhibits spatial structure in residuals (observed load minus predicted load). The spatial pattern of modelled landscape delivery ratio and the spatial pattern of residuals coincide spatially with Level III ecoregions and also with hydrologic landscape regions. Subsequent incorporation into the model of these frameworks as regional scale variables improves estimation of landscape delivery ratio, evidenced by reduced spatial bias in residuals, and suggests that cross-scale processes affect nitrogen attenuation on the landscape. The model-fitted coefficient values are logically consistent with the hypothesis that broad-scale classifications of hydrologic response help to explain differential rates of nitrogen attenuation, controlling for local-scale landscape characteristics. Negative model coefficients for hydrologic landscape regions where the primary flow path is shallow ground water suggest that a lower fraction of nitrogen mass will be delivered to streams; this relation is reversed for regions where the primary flow path is overland flow.

  18. Diversidad y distribución de acridios (Orthoptera: Acridoidea en pastizales del sur de la región pampeana, Argentina Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanina Mariottini

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Los acridios son componentes nativos de los pastizales, dichos sistemas han sido modificados debido a la intensificación de las actividades agrícola-ganaderas y por lo tanto se considera importante estudiar las comunidades de acridios asociadas. Se estudió la diversidad y distribución de acridios en el Sur de la región pampeana a través de muestreos realizados en las comunidades vegetales más representativas del partido de Laprida, provincia de Buenos Aires, durante cinco temporadas (2005-2010. Se recolectaron 22 especies. La subfamilia Melanoplinae fue la más diversa (ocho especies. La mayor cantidad de especies se observó en los pastizales nativos (18. La diversidad en los pastizales alterados (1.75±0.096 fue superior (pIn 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

  19. Kress indirect dry cooling system, Bethlehem Steel's Coke Plant demonstration at Sparrows Point, Maryland. Volume 2. Appendices G-N. Final report, February 1990-February 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ossman, A.G.

    1993-05-01

    The report provides an evaluation of the Kress Indirect Dry Cooling (KIDC) process. The KIDC process is an innovative system for the handling and cooling of coke produced from a slot type by-product coke oven battery. The report is based on the test work and demonstration of the system at Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point facility in 1991. The report covers both environmental and operational impacts of the KIDC process. The report, Volume 2, contains appendices G-N. Volume 1, PB93-191302, contains the technical report as well as appendices A-F. Volume 2 contains appendixes on coke quality data, blast furnace balwax model report, KIDC operating cost and maintenance requirements, Kress box thickness readings, KIDC coke discharge temperature, QA/QC program, door leak data, and coal data

  20. Radioactive contamination of nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus due to the Fukushima nuclear accident: The significance in the first year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Shin; Kasahara, Satoe; Morimoto, Gen; Mikami, Osamu K; Watanabe, Mamoru; Ueda, Keisuke

    2015-11-01

    The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, releasing vast amounts of radiation. Here we investigated radioactive contamination of the nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus from the breeding season of 2011 directly after the accident to the next breeding season of 2012 at two sites. In Tokyo (222 km southwest of the plant), ambient dose rates in the nestboxes were lower than those in Ibaraki (175 km southwest of the plant), where the levels of 2011 were higher than those of 2012. Further, the amount of radioactive Cs in each nest increased with the increase in nest weight, with a higher increment at Ibaraki than at Tokyo. These data suggested higher nest contamination levels in the breeding season directly after a nuclear accident than in later seasons, and an increment of nest contamination levels via nest materials of birds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Molecular Cloning and mRNA Expression of Heat Shock Protein Genes and Their Response to Cadmium Stress in the Grasshopper Oxya chinensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuping Zhang

    Full Text Available Heat shock proteins (Hsps are highly conserved molecular chaperones that are synthesized in response to stress. In this study, we cloned the full-length sequences of the Grp78 (glucose-regulated protein 78, Hsp70, Hsp90, and Hsp40 genes from the Chinese rice grasshopper Oxya chinensis. The full-length cDNA sequences of OcGrp78, OcHsp70, OcHsp90, and OcHsp40 contain open reading frames of 1947, 1920, 2172, and 1042 bp that encode proteins of 649, 640, 724, and 347 amino acids, respectively. Fluorescent real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR was performed to quantify the relative transcript levels of these Hsp genes in different tissues and developmental stages. The mRNAs encoding these four Hsp genes were present at all developmental stages and in all tissues examined but were expressed at varying levels. Additionally, we investigated the mRNA expression profiles of these four Hsps in O. chinensis subjected to Cadmium (Cd stress. OcGrp78, OcHsp70, OcHsp90, and OcHsp40 mRNA expression was induced under acute Cd stress; the levels reached a maximum within a short time (6 h, were reduced significantly at 12 h, and were lowered to or below control levels by 48 h. Regarding induction efficiency, OcHsp70 was the most sensitive gene to acute Cd stress. Chronic Cd exposure showed that dietary Cd treatment induced increased OcGrp78, OcHsp90, and OcHsp40 expression. However, dietary Cd induced a significant reduction of OcHsp70 expression. In the period tested, no significant difference in the mortality of the grasshoppers was observed. Our results suggest that these four Hsps genes, especially OcHsp70, are sensitive to acute Cd stress and could be used as molecular markers for toxicology studies. However, our results also indicate that OcHsp70 is not suitable for use as a molecular marker of chronic Cd contamination.

  2. Molecular Cloning and mRNA Expression of Heat Shock Protein Genes and Their Response to Cadmium Stress in the Grasshopper Oxya chinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuping; Liu, Yaoming; Zhang, Jianzhen; Guo, Yaping; Ma, Enbo

    2015-01-01

    Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are highly conserved molecular chaperones that are synthesized in response to stress. In this study, we cloned the full-length sequences of the Grp78 (glucose-regulated protein 78), Hsp70, Hsp90, and Hsp40 genes from the Chinese rice grasshopper Oxya chinensis. The full-length cDNA sequences of OcGrp78, OcHsp70, OcHsp90, and OcHsp40 contain open reading frames of 1947, 1920, 2172, and 1042 bp that encode proteins of 649, 640, 724, and 347 amino acids, respectively. Fluorescent real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was performed to quantify the relative transcript levels of these Hsp genes in different tissues and developmental stages. The mRNAs encoding these four Hsp genes were present at all developmental stages and in all tissues examined but were expressed at varying levels. Additionally, we investigated the mRNA expression profiles of these four Hsps in O. chinensis subjected to Cadmium (Cd) stress. OcGrp78, OcHsp70, OcHsp90, and OcHsp40 mRNA expression was induced under acute Cd stress; the levels reached a maximum within a short time (6 h), were reduced significantly at 12 h, and were lowered to or below control levels by 48 h. Regarding induction efficiency, OcHsp70 was the most sensitive gene to acute Cd stress. Chronic Cd exposure showed that dietary Cd treatment induced increased OcGrp78, OcHsp90, and OcHsp40 expression. However, dietary Cd induced a significant reduction of OcHsp70 expression. In the period tested, no significant difference in the mortality of the grasshoppers was observed. Our results suggest that these four Hsps genes, especially OcHsp70, are sensitive to acute Cd stress and could be used as molecular markers for toxicology studies. However, our results also indicate that OcHsp70 is not suitable for use as a molecular marker of chronic Cd contamination.

  3. Circadian variation in metabolite and enzyme activities in the femoral and thoracic muscles of adult variegated grasshoppers, Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758 (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ademolu Kehinde Olutoyin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The African variegated grasshopper, Zonocerus variegatus, exhibits daily variations in its feeding and destructive activities. A study to investigate circadian variation in metabolites (lipids, protein, glucose, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl− concentrations and enzymes (lipase, amylase, proteinase, α-glucosidase activities in the femoral and thoracic muscles of adult Z. variegatus was carried out by collecting samples at 06:00, 12:00, 18:00 and 24:00 hrs GMT. The four enzymes were present throughout the day in both thoracic and femoral muscles but at varying levels. Significantly (p<0.05 higher enzymes activities were measured during the day (between 06:00 and 18:00 hours GMT (except proteinase than at night (24:00 hrs. Organic substances in the two tissues were present in significantly higher concentrations during the day than at night. Similarly, significantly more inorganic substances were recorded in the afternoon (12:00-18:00 hrs than at night in both femoral and thoracic muscles. It can thus be concluded that locomotor activities in Z. variegatus reach a peak during the day.

  4. Biomonitoring of the genotoxic effects and oxidative potentials of commercial edible dung beetles (Onitis sp.), grasshopper (Caelifera sp.) and mole crickets (Gryllotalpa sp.) in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koc, Kubra; Incekara, Umit; Turkez, Hasan

    2014-09-01

    In this investigation, the genotoxic and oxidative effects of water soluble extracts of dung beetles, flying grasshopper and mole crickets have been assessed on cultured human blood cells. The extracts were added to the culture tubes at 12 different concentrations (0-2000 ppm). Micronucleus test was used to monitor the DNA and the chromosomal damage produced by aqueous extracts in vitro. In addition, to assess the oxidative effects, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and total oxidant status (TOS) levels were also measured. Our results indicated that these extracts did not show genotoxic effects at the tested concentrations. However, the extracts caused dose-dependent alterations in both TAC and TOS levels. Based on the findings, it was concluded that the studied insects can be consumed safely, but it is necessary to consider the cellular damages which are likely to appear depending on oxidative stress at higher concentrations. It has also been suggested that this in vitro approach for oxidative and genotoxicity assessments may be useful to evaluate the potential health risks of edible insects. © The Author(s) 2014.

  5. Flutuação populacional de gafanhotos na Floresta Nacional de Chapecó, Santa Catarina Grasshopper Population fluctuation in the National Forest of Chapeco, Santa Catarina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cladis Juliana Lutinski

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Com o objetivo de verificar a flutuação populacional de gafanhotos na Floresta Nacional de Chapecó (FLONA, em Santa Catarina, foram realizadas coletas semanais durante o período de dezembro de 2003 a dezembro de 2004 com armadilhas do tipo pit-fall, rede de varredura, guarda-chuva entomológico e malaise. Os picos populacionais para a maioria das espécies ocorreram durante os meses de dezembro, janeiro e fevereiro. A análise de regressão (5% apontou relação significativa entre os fatores climáticos e os níveis populacionais de Allotruxalis gracilis (Giglio-Tos, 1897, Parorphula graminea Bruner, 1900, Rhammatocerus brunneri (Giglio – Tos, 1895 e Xyleus discoideus discoideus (Serville, 1831.In order to verify the grasshopper population dynamics in the National Forest of Chapecó, SC., weekly collections were made between December 2003 and December 2004, using pit-fall traps, sweep nets, entomological umbrellas and malaises traps. The population peaks for most of the species was reached in December, January and February. The regression analysis (5% showed significant relation between the climatic factors and the population levels of Allotruxalis gracilis (Giglio-Tos, 1897, Parorphula graminea Bruner, 1900, Rhammatocerus brunneri (Giglio – Tos, 1895 and Xyleus discoideus discoideus (Serville, 1831.

  6. Unraveling the diversification history of grasshoppers belonging to the “Trimerotropis pallidipennis” (Oedipodinae: Acrididae species group: a hotspot of biodiversity in the Central Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noelia Verónica Guzmán

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Andean Mountain range has been recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world. The proposed mechanisms for such species diversification, among others, are due to the elevation processes occurring during the Miocene and the intensive glacial action during the Pleistocene. In this study we investigated the diversification history of the grasshopper Trimerotropis pallidipennis species complex which shows a particularly wide latitudinal and altitudinal distribution range across the northern, central and southern Andes in South America. Many genetic lineages of this complex have been so far discovered, making it an excellent model to investigate the role of the central Andes Mountains together with climatic fluctuations as drivers of speciation. Phylogenetics, biogeographic and molecular clock analyses using a multi-locus dataset revealed that in Peru there are at least two, and possibly four genetic lineages. Two different stocks originated from a common ancestor from North/Central America—would have dispersed toward southern latitudes favored by the closure of the Panama Isthmus giving rise to two lineages, the coastal and mountain lineages, which still coexist in Peru (i.e., T. pallidipennis and T. andeana. Subsequent vicariant and dispersal events continued the differentiation process, giving rise to three to six genetic lineages (i.e., clades detected in this study, which were geographically restricted to locations dispersed over the central Andes Mountains in South America. Our results provide another interesting example of “island diversification” motored by the topography plus unstable climatic conditions during the Pleistocene, pointing out the presence of a hotspot of diversification in the Andean region of Peru.

  7. Cutaneous water loss and the development of the stratum corneum of nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from desert and mesic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2011-01-01

    Evaporation through the skin contributes to more than half of the total water loss in birds. Therefore, we expect the regulation of cutaneous water loss (CWL) to be crucial for birds, especially those that live in deserts, to maintain a normal state of hydration. Previous studies in adult birds showed that modifications of the lipid composition of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, were associated with changes in rates of CWL. However, few studies have examined the ontogeny of CWL and the lipids of the SC in nestling birds. In this study, we measured CWL and the lipid composition of the SC during development of nestlings from two populations of house sparrows, one from the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the other from mesic Ohio. We found that desert and mesic nestlings followed different developmental trajectories for CWL. Desert nestlings seemed to make a more frugal use of water than did mesic nestlings. To regulate CWL, nestlings appeared to modify the lipid composition of the SC during ontogeny. Our results also suggest a tighter regulation of CWL in desert nestlings, presumably as a result of the stronger selection pressures to which nestlings are exposed in deserts.

  8. Cross-training in birds: cold and exercise training produce similar changes in maximal metabolic output, muscle masses and myostatin expression in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yufeng; Eyster, Kathleen; Liu, Jin-Song; Swanson, David L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Maximal metabolic outputs for exercise and thermogenesis in birds presumably influence fitness through effects on flight and shivering performance. Because both summit (Msum, maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and maximum (MMR, maximum exercise metabolic rate) metabolic rates are functions of skeletal muscle activity, correlations between these measurements and their mechanistic underpinnings might occur. To examine whether such correlations occur, we measured the effects of experimental cold and exercise training protocols for 3 weeks on body (Mb) and muscle (Mpec) masses, basal metabolic rate (BMR), Msum, MMR, pectoralis mRNA and protein expression for myostatin, and mRNA expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2 (metalloproteinase activators of myostatin) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Both training protocols increased Msum, MMR, Mb and Mpec, but BMR increased with cold training and decreased with exercise training. No significant differences occurred for pectoralis myostatin mRNA expression, but cold and exercise increased the expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2. Pectoralis myostatin protein levels were generally reduced for both training groups. These data clearly demonstrate cross-training effects of cold and exercise in birds, and are consistent with a role for myostatin in increasing pectoralis muscle mass and driving organismal increases in metabolic capacities. PMID:25987736

  9. Individual variation in cone photoreceptor density in house sparrows: implications for between-individual differences in visual resolution and chromatic contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensminger, Amanda L; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    Between-individual variation has been documented in a wide variety of taxa, especially for behavioral characteristics; however, intra-population variation in sensory systems has not received similar attention in wild animals. We measured a key trait of the visual system, the density of retinal cone photoreceptors, in a wild population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We tested whether individuals differed from each other in cone densities given within-individual variation across the retina and across eyes. We further tested whether the existing variation could lead to individual differences in two aspects of perception: visual resolution and chromatic contrast. We found consistent between-individual variation in the densities of all five types of avian cones, involved in chromatic and achromatic vision. Using perceptual modeling, we found that this degree of variation translated into significant between-individual differences in visual resolution and the chromatic contrast of a plumage signal that has been associated with mate choice and agonistic interactions. However, there was no evidence for a relationship between individual visual resolution and chromatic contrast. The implication is that some birds may have the sensory potential to perform "better" in certain visual tasks, but not necessarily in both resolution and contrast simultaneously. Overall, our findings (a) highlight the need to consider multiple individuals when characterizing sensory traits of a species, and (b) provide some mechanistic basis for between-individual variation in different behaviors (i.e., animal personalities) and for testing the predictions of several widely accepted hypotheses (e.g., honest signaling).

  10. Radioactive contamination of nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus due to the Fukushima nuclear accident: The significance in the first year

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsui, Shin; Kasahara, Satoe; Morimoto, Gen; Mikami, Osamu K.; Watanabe, Mamoru; Ueda, Keisuke

    2015-01-01

    The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, releasing vast amounts of radiation. Here we investigated radioactive contamination of the nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus from the breeding season of 2011 directly after the accident to the next breeding season of 2012 at two sites. In Tokyo (222 km southwest of the plant), ambient dose rates in the nestboxes were lower than those in Ibaraki (175 km southwest of the plant), where the levels of 2011 were higher than those of 2012. Further, the amount of radioactive Cs in each nest increased with the increase in nest weight, with a higher increment at Ibaraki than at Tokyo. These data suggested higher nest contamination levels in the breeding season directly after a nuclear accident than in later seasons, and an increment of nest contamination levels via nest materials of birds. - Highlights: • We describe radioactive contamination of bird nests after the Fukushima accident. • The amount of radioactive Cs inside the nestboxes increased with the nest weight. • Nest contamination has the potential to amplify effects of radiation on birds. - Radioactive Cs included in the nest materials of birds increased nest contamination levels.

  11. Cross-training in birds: cold and exercise training produce similar changes in maximal metabolic output, muscle masses and myostatin expression in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yufeng; Eyster, Kathleen; Liu, Jin-Song; Swanson, David L

    2015-07-01

    Maximal metabolic outputs for exercise and thermogenesis in birds presumably influence fitness through effects on flight and shivering performance. Because both summit (Msum, maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and maximum (MMR, maximum exercise metabolic rate) metabolic rates are functions of skeletal muscle activity, correlations between these measurements and their mechanistic underpinnings might occur. To examine whether such correlations occur, we measured the effects of experimental cold and exercise training protocols for 3 weeks on body (Mb) and muscle (Mpec) masses, basal metabolic rate (BMR), Msum, MMR, pectoralis mRNA and protein expression for myostatin, and mRNA expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2 (metalloproteinase activators of myostatin) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Both training protocols increased Msum, MMR, Mb and Mpec, but BMR increased with cold training and decreased with exercise training. No significant differences occurred for pectoralis myostatin mRNA expression, but cold and exercise increased the expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2. Pectoralis myostatin protein levels were generally reduced for both training groups. These data clearly demonstrate cross-training effects of cold and exercise in birds, and are consistent with a role for myostatin in increasing pectoralis muscle mass and driving organismal increases in metabolic capacities. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Polymorphism of the grasshopper Rhammatocerus schistocercoides populations revealed by RAPD Polimorfismo em populações do gafanhoto Rhammatocerus schistocercoides revelado por marcadores RAPD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Batista Tavares da Silva

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to study the genetic variability of the grasshopper Rhammatocerus schistocercoides (Orthoptera: Acrididae using RAPD analysis among individuals from three populations, one from Colombia and two from Brazil (Goiás and Mato Grosso States. Ninety scorable binary markers were obtained by fingerprinting with 11 oligonucleotide primers. Most of the polymorphism was attributed to 42 markers with variable frequency among the different populations. Although the existence of significant difference among populations (PO objetivo deste trabalho foi estudar a variabilidade genética do gafanhoto Rhammatocerus schistocercoides (Orthoptera: Acrididae por meio da análise de RAPD entre indivíduos de três populações, uma da Colômbia e duas do Brasil (Goiás e Mato Grosso. Noventa marcadores binários foram selecionados através de análise de polimorfismo com o uso de 11 oligonucleotídeos. A maior parte do polimorfismo observado foi atribuída a 42 marcadores com freqüência variável entre as diferentes populações. Apesar da existência de diferença significativa interpopulacional (P<0,0001, grande proporção da variabilidade genética foi detectada dentro das populações (87,7% da variação total. As distâncias entre as populações colombianas e brasileiras foram 0,12 (P<0,0001 e 0,18 (P<0,0001 para Goiás e Mato Grosso, respectivamente. A distância obtida entre Goiás e Mato Grosso foi 0,06 (P<0,0001. Estes dados indicam que as diferenças fenotípicas entre populações estão associadas principalmente às distâncias geográficas entre as populações do Brasil e a da Colômbia.

  13. Integrating evolutionary and functional tests of adaptive hypotheses: a case study of altitudinal differentiation in hemoglobin function in an Andean Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheviron, Zachary A; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Projecto-Garcia, Joana; Eddy, Douglas K; Jones, Jennifer; Carling, Matthew D; Witt, Christopher C; Moriyama, Hideaki; Weber, Roy E; Fago, Angela; Storz, Jay F

    2014-11-01

    In air-breathing vertebrates, the physiologically optimal blood-O2 affinity is jointly determined by the prevailing partial pressure of atmospheric O2, the efficacy of pulmonary O2 transfer, and internal metabolic demands. Consequently, genetic variation in the oxygenation properties of hemoglobin (Hb) may be subject to spatially varying selection in species with broad elevational distributions. Here we report the results of a combined functional and evolutionary analysis of Hb polymorphism in the rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), a species that is continuously distributed across a steep elevational gradient on the Pacific slope of the Peruvian Andes. We integrated a population genomic analysis that included all postnatally expressed Hb genes with functional studies of naturally occurring Hb variants, as well as recombinant Hb (rHb) mutants that were engineered through site-directed mutagenesis. We identified three clinally varying amino acid polymorphisms: Two in the α(A)-globin gene, which encodes the α-chain subunits of the major HbA isoform, and one in the α(D)-globin gene, which encodes the α-chain subunits of the minor HbD isoform. We then constructed and experimentally tested single- and double-mutant rHbs representing each of the alternative α(A)-globin genotypes that predominate at different elevations. Although the locus-specific patterns of altitudinal differentiation suggested a history of spatially varying selection acting on Hb polymorphism, the experimental tests demonstrated that the observed amino acid mutations have no discernible effect on respiratory properties of the HbA or HbD isoforms. These results highlight the importance of experimentally validating the hypothesized effects of genetic changes in protein function to avoid the pitfalls of adaptive storytelling. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please

  14. White-crowned sparrow males show immediate flexibility in song amplitude but not in song minimum frequency in response to changes in noise levels in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derryberry, Elizabeth P; Gentry, Katherine; Derryberry, Graham E; Phillips, Jennifer N; Danner, Raymond M; Danner, Julie E; Luther, David A

    2017-07-01

    The soundscape acts as a selective agent on organisms that use acoustic signals to communicate. A number of studies document variation in structure, amplitude, or timing of signal production in correspondence with environmental noise levels thus supporting the hypothesis that organisms are changing their signaling behaviors to avoid masking. The time scale at which organisms respond is of particular interest. Signal structure may evolve across generations through processes such as cultural or genetic transmission. Individuals may also change their behavior during development (ontogenetic change) or in real time (i.e., immediate flexibility). These are not mutually exclusive mechanisms, and all must be investigated to understand how organisms respond to selection pressures from the soundscape. Previous work on white-crowned sparrows ( Zonotrichia leucophrys ) found that males holding territories in louder areas tend to sing higher frequency songs and that both noise levels and song frequency have increased over time (30 years) in urban areas. These previous findings suggest that songs are changing across generations; however, it is not known if this species also exhibits immediate flexibility. Here, we conducted an exploratory, observational study to ask whether males change the minimum frequency of their song in response to immediate changes in noise levels. We also ask whether males sing louder, as increased minimum frequency may be physiologically linked to producing sound at higher amplitudes, in response to immediate changes in environmental noise. We found that territorial males adjust song amplitude but not minimum frequency in response to changes in environmental noise levels. Our results suggest that males do not show immediate flexibility in song minimum frequency, although experimental manipulations are needed to test this hypothesis further. Our work highlights the need to investigate multiple mechanisms of adaptive response to soundscapes.

  15. Apparent dissociation of photoperiodic time measurement between vernal migration and breeding under dim green light conditions in Gambel's white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang WANG, Marilyn RAMENOFSKY, John C. WINGFIELD

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In seasonally breeding birds, the annual cycle of photoperiod is a principal environmental cue for temporal arrangement of different life-history stages, such as migration and breeding. In the past, most research has focused on the mechanisms of photoperiodic control of breeding with less attention paid to migration. In Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii (GWCS, photoreceptors for induction of breeding are known to reside in the basal hypothalamus. However, it is unknown whether the sites of photoperiodic reception for vernal migration are the same as those for breeding. Therefore, we hypothesized that they may be controlled separately. In this study, we exposed photosensitive GWCSs to low-penetration green light (wavelength at 510 nm under a regime of 1 lux during the day and <0.1 lux at night, and switched the photoperiodic conditions from short day (10 h daytime to long day (18 h daytime. The results showed that the experimental birds developed traits associated with vernal migration including mass increase, fat deposition and migratory restlessness behavior when transferred from short day to long day green light cycles, while control birds maintained continuously on short day green light conditions did not express any migration related characteristics. Neither experimental nor control groups showed gonadal recrudescence under either green light cycles. In support of our hypothesis, we were able to apparently dissociate the photoperiodic responses regulating vernal migration and breeding, which suggests separate mechanisms of photoperiodic time measurement. Such distinct photoperiodic mechanisms may drive the fine-tuned temporal arrangement of the two life history stages [Current Zoology 59 (3: 349–359, 2013].

  16. Gafanhotos (Orthoptera, Acridoidea em áreas de cerrados e lavouras na Chapada dos Parecis, Estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil Grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea in native savanna and crop areas in Chapada dos Parecis, Mato Grosso State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanderlei Dias Guerra

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Gafanhotos (Orthoptera, Acridoidea em áreas de cerrados e lavouras na Chapada dos Parecis, Estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil. Foi determinada a composição e abundância de espécies de gafanhotos usando amostragem com rede entomológica durante 3 anos de estudo na Chapada dos Parecis, estado de Mato Grosso. O levantamento foi feito em áreas de lavouras e com vegetação ainda nativa (cerrados com, respectivamente, 56 e 59 locais inventariados em cada ambiente. Foram coletados 3.031 indivíduos de gafanhotos de 64 espécies distribuídas entre as famílias e subfamílias: Acrididae (49: Gomphocerinae (21, Ommatolampinae (10, Melanoplinae (6, Acridinae (4 Leptysminae (3, Copiocerinae (3, Proctolabinae (1 e Cyrtacanthacridinae (1; Romaleidae (1: Romaleinae (13 e Ommexechidae (1: Ommexechinae (2, além de 1550 ninfas. A diversidade de espécies foi maior no cerrado (61 do que nas lavouras (16, ocorrendo o inverso com relação à abundância onde as espécies Baeacris punctulatus (Thunberg, 1824 e Orphulella punctata (De Geer, 1773 predominaram representando 49,5% do total de indivíduos coletados em toda a Chapada dos Parecis e, juntas, somam 78,8% da abundância registrada nas áreas de lavouras e tem potencial de se tornarem pragas.Grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea in native savanna and crop areas in Chapada dos Parecis, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. We determined the composition and abundance of grasshoppers using sweep net sampling during three years at the Parecis Plateau, State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The survey was done in areas with crops and native vegetation (savanna with, respectively, 56 and 59 sites available in each environment. 3.031 individuals of grasshoppers were collected from 64 species distributed among the following families and subfamilies: Acrididae (49: Gomphocerinae (21, Ommatolampinae (10, Melanoplinae (6, Acridinae (4 Leptysminae (3, Copiocerinae (3, Proctolabinae (1 and Cyrtacanthacridinae (1; Romaleidae (1: Romaleinae

  17. Nuevos registros de hongos entomopatógenos en acridios (Orthoptera: Acridoidea de la República Argentina New records of entomopathogenic fungi from grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea in Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian A. Pelizza

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Los acridios (tucuras y langostas continúan ocasionando pérdidas económicas en la agricultura a nivel mundial. En Argentina, la importancia de estos insectos ha sido reconocida desde mediados del siglo XIX, dependiendo de la región considerada y en relación al progresivo desarrollo agropecuario en el país. Los hongos son los microorganismos parásitos de insectos más frecuentemente encontrados en la naturaleza y la mayoría de las investigaciones con hongos entomopatógenos se ha centrado en su desarrollo como bioplaguicidas. En el presente trabajo se dan a conocer cinco registros nuevos de Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv. Vuill., y dos de Entomophaga grylli (Fresen. A. Batko que se encontraron afectando distintas especies de acridios; se amplía así la distribución geográfica y el espectro hospedador para estas especies fúngicas. Cabe destacar que con el aporte de estos siete registros nuevos, el número total de hongos entomopatógenos de acridios citados para la República Argentina se eleva de 22 a 29.Grasshoppers and locusts continue causing serious economic losses in agriculture worldwide. In Argentina, the importance of these insects has been recognized since the mid-nineteenth century, depending on the region considered and in relation to the progressive development of agriculture. Fungi are the most frequently found microorganisms parasitizing insects in nature, and most of the entomopathogenic fungi investigations have been focused on their development as biopesticides. In this study five new records of Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv. Vuill., and two new records of Entomophaga grylli (Fresen. A. Batko, are presented, extending the geographical distribution and the host range for these fungal species. With these seven new records, the total number of grasshopper entomopathogenic fungi cited for Argentina is raised from 22 to 29.

  18. Patterns of Song across Natural and Anthropogenic Soundscapes Suggest That White-Crowned Sparrows Minimize Acoustic Masking and Maximize Signal Content.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth P Derryberry

    Full Text Available Soundscapes pose both evolutionarily recent and long-standing sources of selection on acoustic communication. We currently know more about the impact of evolutionarily recent human-generated noise on communication than we do about how natural sounds such as pounding surf have shaped communication signals over evolutionary time. Based on signal detection theory, we hypothesized that acoustic phenotypes will vary with both anthropogenic and natural background noise levels and that similar mechanisms of cultural evolution and/or behavioral flexibility may underlie this variation. We studied song characteristics of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli across a noise gradient that includes both anthropogenic and natural sources of noise in San Francisco and Marin counties, California, USA. Both anthropogenic and natural soundscapes contain high amplitude low frequency noise (traffic or surf, respectively, so we predicted that birds would produce songs with higher minimum frequencies in areas with higher amplitude background noise to avoid auditory masking. We also anticipated that song minimum frequencies would be higher than the projected lower frequency limit of hearing based on site-specific masking profiles. Background noise was a strong predictor of song minimum frequency, both within a local noise gradient of three urban sites with the same song dialect and cultural evolutionary history, and across the regional noise gradient, which encompasses 11 urban and rural sites, several dialects, and several anthropogenic and natural sources of noise. Among rural sites alone, background noise tended to predict song minimum frequency, indicating that urban sites were not solely responsible for driving the regional pattern. These findings support the hypothesis that songs vary with local and regional soundscapes regardless of the source of noise. Song minimum frequency from five core study sites was also higher than the lower frequency

  19. Patterns of Song across Natural and Anthropogenic Soundscapes Suggest That White-Crowned Sparrows Minimize Acoustic Masking and Maximize Signal Content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derryberry, Elizabeth P; Danner, Raymond M; Danner, Julie E; Derryberry, Graham E; Phillips, Jennifer N; Lipshutz, Sara E; Gentry, Katherine; Luther, David A

    2016-01-01

    Soundscapes pose both evolutionarily recent and long-standing sources of selection on acoustic communication. We currently know more about the impact of evolutionarily recent human-generated noise on communication than we do about how natural sounds such as pounding surf have shaped communication signals over evolutionary time. Based on signal detection theory, we hypothesized that acoustic phenotypes will vary with both anthropogenic and natural background noise levels and that similar mechanisms of cultural evolution and/or behavioral flexibility may underlie this variation. We studied song characteristics of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli) across a noise gradient that includes both anthropogenic and natural sources of noise in San Francisco and Marin counties, California, USA. Both anthropogenic and natural soundscapes contain high amplitude low frequency noise (traffic or surf, respectively), so we predicted that birds would produce songs with higher minimum frequencies in areas with higher amplitude background noise to avoid auditory masking. We also anticipated that song minimum frequencies would be higher than the projected lower frequency limit of hearing based on site-specific masking profiles. Background noise was a strong predictor of song minimum frequency, both within a local noise gradient of three urban sites with the same song dialect and cultural evolutionary history, and across the regional noise gradient, which encompasses 11 urban and rural sites, several dialects, and several anthropogenic and natural sources of noise. Among rural sites alone, background noise tended to predict song minimum frequency, indicating that urban sites were not solely responsible for driving the regional pattern. These findings support the hypothesis that songs vary with local and regional soundscapes regardless of the source of noise. Song minimum frequency from five core study sites was also higher than the lower frequency limit of hearing

  20. Comparative uptake of uranium, thorium, and plutonium by biota inhabiting a contaminated Tennessee floodplain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garten, C.T. Jr.; Bondietti, E.A.; Walker, R.L.

    1981-01-01

    The uptake of 238 U, 232 Th, and 239 Pu from soil by fescue, grasshoppers, and small mammals was compared at the contaminated White Oak Creek floodplain in East Tennessee. Comparisons of actinide uptake were based on analyses of radionuclide ratios (U/Pu and Th/Pu) in soil and biota. U:Pu ratios in small mammal carcasses (shrews, mice, and rats) and bone samples from larger mammals (rabbit, woodchuck, opossum, and raccoon) were significantly greater (P less than or equal to 0.05) than U/Pu ratios in soil (based on 8M HNO 3 extractable). There was no significant difference between Th/Pu ratios in animals and soil. The order of actinide accumulation by biota from the site relative to contaminated soil was U > Th approx. = Pu

  1. Grasshoppers – Generalists to Specialists?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    preference for a particular food, developed these for plants whose chemical defenses .... sure to the compound and thus can eat NHT-treated food, as readily as normal food ... plants and also using them for their own benefits. A constant tug.

  2. Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Caelifera and crickets (Orthoptera: Ensifera from slopes of Macošská stráň and Vilémovická stráň (Moravský kras Protected landscape area, Czech Republic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Niedobová

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2008 we found 21 species of grasshoppers and crickets on Macošská stráň slope and 18 species on Vilémovická stráň slope. Both slopes are located in the northern part of the Moravský kras Protected landscape area and have xerothermic character. Both slopes are influenced by pasture management. For the most comprehensive picture of Orthoptera we used a standard method (sweeping of vegetation and nonstandard methods (pitfall traps and Möricke yellow cups. Termophilous species of Orthoptera on Macošská stráň (47% were dominating. On Vilémovická stráň mezophilous species (46% were dominating. The most common species were Stenobothrus lineatus (Panzer, 1796 on Macošská stráň slope and Chorthippus parallelus (Zetterstedt, 1821, Stenobothrus lineatus, Chorthippus bigutulus (Linné, 1758 and Chorthippus dorsatus (Zetterstedt, 1821 on Vilémovická stráň slope. Rare species of this assemblage were Stenobothrus nigromaculatus (Herrich-Schaffer, 1840 which was on Macošská stráň slope only and Tetrix bipunctata (Linnaeus, 1758 which has much bigger abundances also on Macošská stráň slope.

  3. Hospital Compare

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Hospital Compare has information about the quality of care at over 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals across the country. You can use Hospital Compare to find...

  4. Sistemas de Información Geográfica y Teledetección en Entomología: Aplicación en tucuras y langostas (Orthoptera: Acridoidea Geographic Information Systems (GIS and remote sensing in Entomology: studies in grasshoppers and locusts (Orthoptera: Acridoidea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Marta Cigliano

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available El desarrollo, relativamente reciente, de dos tecnologías de análisis de patrones espaciales, como son los Sistemas de Información Geográfica (SIG y la teledetección, ha abierto nuevos caminos en estudios sobre entomología aplicada. Los SIG han facilitado a entomólogos y ecólogos el análisis de aquellos patrones espaciales complejos que presentan una variación temporal. Tal vez uno de los principales usos de los SIG dentro de la entomología aplicada está vinculado con el estudio de las relaciones entre las explosiones poblacionales de insectos ("outbreaks" y las variables ambientales. Las explosiones poblacionales de acridios, tanto de especies de langostas como de tucuras, son ejemplos típicos de la dinámica espacial de insectos que ocurre a gran escala y que se ve afectada por condiciones locales que varían en el tiempo. Debido a estas características este grupo de insectos plaga ha sido objeto de análisis y aplicación de estas nuevas herramientas. En este trabajo se brindan los conceptos básicos de los SIG y la teledetección y se lleva a cabo una revisión de su utilidad en entomología aplicada, utilizando los estudios de su aplicación en acridios como ejemplo.The advent of Geographic Information Systems (GIS and remote sensing has made the analysis of complex spatial patterns an attainable reality for entomologists and ecologists. Within the general area of applied insect entomology, perhaps one of the major uses of GIS is the one that relates insect outbreaks to environmental features of the landscape. Outbreaks of grasshoppers and locusts are typical examples of large-scale spatial dynamics that are affected by local conditions that fluctuate with time. Factors affecting the numerical fluctuations in grasshopper and locust populations are usually variables that have both spatial and temporal characteristics and thus can be mapped and incorporated into a GIS. Following a brief introduction to GIS and remote sensing, a

  5. ¿La práctica de la siembra directa en cultivos de soja favorece las poblaciones de acridios (Orthoptera: Acrididae en el partido de Benito Juárez? Does the direct tillage practice in soybean crops favour grasshopper populations (Orthoptera: Acrididae, in Benito Juárez county?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Scuffi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Considerando el desarrollo del cultivo de soja en siembra directa en el partido de Benito Juárez, y que algunos autores sostienen que esta práctica favorece los acridios, se evaluó la riqueza de especies y la abundancia en soja con siembra directa y convencional. Se registraron siete especies (Aleuas lineatus Stål, Covasacris pallidinota (Bruner, Baeacris pseudopunctulatus (Ronderos, Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos, Dichroplus maculipennis (Blanchard, Dichroplus pratensis Bruner y Scotussa lemniscata (Stål. La riqueza de especies acumulada en los diferentes cultivos fue similar (p> 0,05. En soja de primera con siembra directa, se registraron 2,3 ± 0,19 especies, en soja de primera con siembra convencional 1,45 ± 0,15 especies y en soja de segunda con siembra directa 2,25 ± 0,28 especies. Dichroplus elongatus fue la especie más abundante en todos los cultivos y en todos los momentos. Las restantes presentaron baja abundancia y se registraron en algunos momentos. No existió diferencia (p> 0,05 en la abundancia de tucuras entre los cultivos y en las diferentes fechas de muestreo. La baja riqueza de especies registrada estaría relacionada con la baja diversidad vegetal de los cultivos. Este estudio no mostró diferencias en la abundancia y riqueza de especies de acuerdo a la labranza utilizada.Considering the development of the soybean crops using direct tillage in Benito Juárez county, and taking into account that for some authors this practice favours the grasshopper populations, the abundance and species richness in soybean with direct and conventional tillage were evaluated. Seven species were registered (Aleuas lineatus Stål, Covasacris pallidinota (Bruner, Baeacris pseudopunctulatus (Ronderos, Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos, Dichroplus maculipennis (Blanchard, Dichroplus pratensis Bruner and Scotussa lemniscata (Stål. The accumulated richness was similar (p> 0.05, along the different crops; 2.3 ± 0.19 species were registered in

  6. Physician Compare

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Physician Compare, which meets Affordable Care Act of 2010 requirements, helps you search for and select physicians and other healthcare professionals enrolled in...

  7. Comparative Genomics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 11; Issue 8. Comparative Genomics - A Powerful New Tool in Biology. Anand K Bachhawat. General Article Volume 11 Issue 8 August 2006 pp 22-40. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  8. Comparative Advantage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jie; Jensen, Camilla

    2007-01-01

    that are typically explained from the supply-side variables, the comparative advantage of the exporting countries. A simple model is proposed and tested. The results render strong support for the relevance of supply-side factors such as natural endowments, technology, and infrastructure in explaining international...

  9. Comparative perspectives

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    IT

    Ideology, policy and implementation: Comparative perspectives from two ... how both political as well as particular language ideologies play a major role in influencing and ..... attitudes as a field of research, many scholars still draw on the concept of .... The data for this study were collected through the use of questionnaires ...

  10. Why Does the Grasshopper Not Eat Spinach

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    way through Inner Mongolia just in time for the start of the games. .... (Reprinted with permission from Canadian Journal Of Chemistry, Vol.73, p.591, ... predatory mites, wasps, spiders, and beetles and effective for Integrated Pest Management.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development ... A study was, therefore, conducted to document consumers' perceptions about eating these R. nitidula; marketing chain, market locations, and the people trading ... men and characterized by wholesalers who buy R. nitidula from collectors and sell to retailers.

  12. Bug City: Crickets, Grasshoppers & Friends [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998

    "Bug City" is a video series created to help children (grades 1-6) learn about insects and other small critters. All aspects of bug life are touched upon, including body structure, food, habitat, life cycle, mating habits, camouflage, mutualism (symbiosis), adaptations, social behavior, and more. Each program features dramatic…

  13. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  14. Video Comparator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rose, R.P.

    1978-01-01

    The Video Comparator is a comparative gage that uses electronic images from two sources, a standard and an unknown. Two matched video cameras are used to obtain the electronic images. The video signals are mixed and displayed on a single video receiver (CRT). The video system is manufactured by ITP of Chatsworth, CA and is a Tele-Microscope II, Model 148. One of the cameras is mounted on a toolmaker's microscope stand and produces a 250X image of a cast. The other camera is mounted on a stand and produces an image of a 250X template. The two video images are mixed in a control box provided by ITP and displayed on a CRT. The template or the cast can be moved to align the desired features. Vertical reference lines are provided on the CRT, and a feature on the cast can be aligned with a line on the CRT screen. The stage containing the casts can be moved using a Boeckleler micrometer equipped with a digital readout, and a second feature aligned with the reference line and the distance moved obtained from the digital display

  15. Experimental toxoplasmosis in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Literák, I.; Sedlák, K.; Juřicová, Zina; Pavlásek, I.

    1999-01-01

    Roč. 28, c. 4 (1999), s. 363-368 ISSN 0307-9457 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/98/0111 Subject RIV: FN - Epidemiology, Contagious Diseases ; Clinical Immunology Impact factor: 0.845, year: 1999 http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/cavp/1999/00000028/00000004/art00007

  16. Jack Sparrow on tagasi! / Timo Diener

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Diener, Timo

    2006-01-01

    Gore Verbinski lavastatud piraadi-triloogia teine film "Kariibi mere piraadid : Surnud mehe aardekirst" ("Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest"), peaosas Johnny Depp : Ameerika Ühendriigid 2006

  17. Análise faunística de gafanhotos na Floresta Nacional de Chapecó, Santa Catarina Faunistic analyses of grasshoppers in the National Forest of Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cladis Juliana Lutinski

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available

    Realizou-se a análise faunística de gafanhotos coletados em três constituições vegetais da Flona de Chapecó. Coletas semanais foram realizadas em áreas de eucalipto, mata nativa e pinus durante o período de dezembro de 2003 a dezembro de 2004. Utilizaram-se armadilhas do tipo “pitfall”, rede de varredura, guarda-chuva entomológico e “malaise”. A fauna encontrada nas diferentes áreas foi caracterizada por meio dos índices de abundância, constância, dominância e frequência. Dezoito espécies foram comuns para as três áreas. As espécies Staurorhectus logicornis logicornis, Cylindrotettix sp. e Ommexecha virens ocorreram apenas em eucaliptos e pínus, enquanto, Scotussa lemniscata e Zoniopoda tarsata ocorreram para eucaliptos e mata nativa enquanto Amblytropidia sp. ocorreu somente em mata nativa e pínus. Tridactylus politus ocorreu somente em pínus. As espécies Allotruxalis gracilis, Dichroplus elongatus, Dichroplus misionensis e Ronderosia bergi foram muito frequentes, dominantes e muito abundantes na área de eucaliptos. A. gracilis, Metaleptea adspersa e D. misionensis foram muito frequentes, dominantes e muito abundantes na área de mata nativa. Metaleptea adspersa e R. bergi foram muito frequentes, dominantes e muito abundantes na área de pínus. Observou-se uma semelhança na diversidade de espécies entre as áreas, com maior abundância para a área de eucaliptos.

    doi: 10.4336/2011.pfb.31.65.43

    A study of the grasshopper fauna was performed through samples collected in three vegetal types in the National Forest of Chapecó. Weekly collections were carried out from December 2003 to December 2004. Pitfall traps, sweep nets, entomological umbrellas and malaise traps were used. Collections were repeated in areas with eucalyptus trees, native

  18. Birds of a Great Basin Sagebrush Habitat in East-Central Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Breeding bird populations ranged from 3.35 to 3.48 individuals/ha over a 3-year study conducted from 1981 to 1983. Brewer's sparrows, sage sparrows, sage thrashers, and black-throated sparrows were numerically dominant. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common. Results are compared with bird populations in Great Basin sagebrush habitats elsewhere in the United States.

  19. Bird-habitat relationships in interior Columbia Basin shrubsteppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, S.L.; Holmes, A.L.

    2012-01-01

    Vegetation structure is considered an important habitat feature structuring avian communities. In the sagebrush biome, both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) cover have proven valuable in understanding avian abundance. Differences in structure between the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native bunchgrasses are also expected to be important. We used avian abundance data from 318 point count stations, coupled with field vegetation measurements and a detailed vegetation map, to model abundance for four shrub- and four grassland-associated avian species in southeastern Washington shrubsteppe. Specifically, we ask whether species distinguish between bunchgrass and cheatgrass, and whether mapped, categorical cover types adequately explain species' abundance or whether fine-grained, field-measured differences in vegetation cover are also important. Results indicate that mapped cover types alone can be useful for predicting patterns of distribution and abundance within the sagebrush biome for several avian species (five of eight studied here). However, field-measured sagebrush cover was a strong positive predictor for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), the only sagebrush obligate in this study, and a strong negative predictor for two grassland associates, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Likewise, shrub associates did not differ in abundance in sagebrush with a cheatgrass vs. bunchgrass understory, but grassland associates were more common in either bunchgrass (Horned Lark and Grasshopper Sparrow) or cheatgrass grasslands (Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus), or tended to use sagebrush-cheatgrass less than sagebrush-bunchgrass (Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis).

  20. Mitotic effects of monochromatic ultraviolet radiation at 225, 265, and 280 nm on eleven stages of the cell cycle of the grasshopper neuroblast in culture. II. Changes in progression rate and cell sequence between the stage irradiated and nuclear membrane breakdown

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, J.G.

    1976-01-01

    Portions of embryos of the grasshopper, Chortophaga viridifasciata (DeGeer), were cultured in hanging drops under quartz cover slips. Immediately after exposure to 225, 265, or 280 nm radiation, microscope observations at 38 0 C were begun. The morphologically identified stage and the time after treatment of selected neuroblasts were recorded at short-time intervals until prometaphase was reached. Mitotic retardation induced by irradiation of prereplication stages (metaphase, anaphase, or early telophase) or S phase (middle or late telophase, interphase, or very early prophase) is greatest in postreplication stages (early, middle, and late prophase) and absent or minimal in stages morphologically identified as parts of S phase. Ultraviolet irradiation superimposes on the normal diversity of progression rates an additional variation factor, so that cells do not necessarily reach prometaphase in the order of their sequence at the time of treatment. This suggests the need for caution in ascribing particular radiosensitivities to substages of limited duration on the basis of the order in which they attain a subsequent stage

  1. Caracterización de las comunidades de acridios (Orthoptera: Acridoidea del partido de Benito Juárez, sudeste de la provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acridoidea community structure in Benito Juárez county, in outhern Buenos Aires province, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Laura de Wysiecki

    2004-12-01

    que motivaron este cambio en la dominancia ya que no se cuenta con datos históricos, no pueden descartarse entre otros factores, eventuales cambios climáticos, campañas acridianas y contra otras plagas y el cambio en los patrones del uso de la tierra ocurridos en las últimas décadas en el área de estudio.The structure of grasshopper communities was studied at different sites in Benito Juárez county, Buenos Aires province, Argentina, over a six-year period (1997-2002. The sites were classified into five categories of disturbance: native grasslands, halophilous communities, pastures, moderately and highly disturbed pastures. A total of 23 grasshopper species was collected. Melanoplinae was the most abundant subfamily in all sites, except for halophilous communities that were characterized by the presence of one Acridinae species, Covasacris pallidinota (Bruner. Average species richness per site and per year, ranged from 2.10 ± 0.60 species in moderately disturbed pastures to 6.20 ± 0.58 species in halophilous communities. Cumulative species richness was: 17 in native grasslands, 14 in halophilous communities, 19 in undisturbed pastures, 18 in moderately disturbed pastures and 14 in highly disturbed pastures. Mean density was significantly higher in 2001 and 2002 than in the remaining years. The most abundant species were Dichroplus pratensis Bruner and Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos in native grasslands and highly disturbed pastures; C. pallidinota in halophilous communities and D. elongatus - Scotussa lemniscata (Stål in undisturbed and moderately disturbed pastures. Along the study, the taxonomic structure of the grasshopper assemblages was significantly constant in native grasslands, halophilous communities and undisturbed pastures. The pattern of species distribution showed few species widely or intermediately distributed, whereas numerous species were rare. Among the 23 species collected, D. elongatus was the most broadly distributed of all. Historically

  2. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

  3. Species at risk setback distances : the effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds was discussed in this presentation. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of minimal disturbance gas wells and associated activity on species richness; effects on species abundance; and effects on the occurrence of species. The presentation provided several hypotheses, including that species richness would increase with increasing distance from gas wells and trails; that abundance and occurrence of sensitive species would increase with distance from gas wells and trails; and that abundance and occurrence of brood parasites and predators would decrease with increasing distance from gas wells and trails. The presentation illustrated the study area and study design. Several graphs representing the study results were also presented. Bird species that were examined included the abundance and occurrence of western meadowlark; horned lark; chestnut-collared longspur; clay-coloured sparrow; vesper sparrow; sprague pipit; savannah sparrow; grasshopper sparrow; baird sparrow; and brown-headed cowbird. A summary slide was also presented that concluded that species richness did not vary with distance from gas development and that brown-headed cowbirds tended to favour areas with gas development and interior habitats. tabs., figs

  4. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey to assess broad-scale response of the continent's most imperiled avian community, grassland birds, to weather variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzo, Jessica; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Allstadt, Andrew J.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Avian populations can respond dramatically to extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves, yet patterns of response to weather at broad scales remain largely unknown. Our goal was to evaluate annual variation in abundance of 14 grassland bird species breeding in the northern mixed-grass prairie in relation to annual variation in precipitation and temperature. We modeled avian abundance during the breeding season using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the U.S. Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17) from 1980 to 2012. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to fit models and estimate the candidate weather parameters standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized temperature index (STI) for the same year and the previous year. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) responded positively to within-year STI (β = 0.101), and Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) responded negatively to within-year STI (β = −0.161) and positively to within-year SPI (β = 0.195). The parameter estimates were superficially similar (STI β = −0.075, SPI β = 0.11) for Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), but the best-selected model included an interaction between SPI and STI. The best model for both Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) included the additive effects of within-year SPI (β = −0.032 and β = −0.054, respectively) and the previous-year's SPI (β = −0.057 and −0.02, respectively), although for Vesper Sparrow the lag effect was insignificant. With projected warmer, drier weather during summer in the Badlands and Prairies BCR, Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows may be especially threatened by future climate change.

  5. AirCompare

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — AirCompare contains air quality information that allows a user to compare conditions in different localities over time and compare conditions in the same location at...

  6. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  7. Nutritional evaluation of the giant grassropper (Zonocerus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biological value of giant grasshopper protein (Zonocerus variegatus) was evaluated by comparing the weight gained, food efficiency ratio (FER), protein efficiency ratio (PER) of rats fed standard laboratory chow with that of rats fed giant grasshopper, Soyabean(Glycine max) and crayfish. The effect of high fibre content ...

  8. Comparative Test Case Specification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kalyanova, Olena; Heiselberg, Per

    This document includes the specification on the IEA task of evaluation building energy simulation computer programs for the Double Skin Facades (DSF) constructions. There are two approaches involved into this procedure, one is the comparative approach and another is the empirical one. In the comp....... In the comparative approach the outcomes of different software tools are compared, while in the empirical approach the modelling results are compared with the results of experimental test cases. The comparative test cases include: ventilation, shading and geometry....

  9. Dialysis Facility Compare

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Dialysis Facility Compare helps you find detailed information about Medicare-certified dialysis facilities. You can compare the services and the quality of care that...

  10. Approaching comparative company law

    OpenAIRE

    Donald, David C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper identifies some common errors that occur in comparative law, offers some guidelines to help avoid such errors, and provides a framework for entering into studies of the company laws of three major jurisdictions. The first section illustrates why a conscious approach to comparative company law is useful. Part I discusses some of the problems that can arise in comparative law and offers a few points of caution that can be useful for practical, theoretical and legislative comparative ...

  11. Comparative Test Case Specification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kalyanova, Olena; Heiselberg, Per

     This document includes a definition of the comparative test cases DSF200_3 and DSF200_4, which previously described in the comparative test case specification for the test cases DSF100_3 and DSF200_3 [Ref.1]....... This document includes a definition of the comparative test cases DSF200_3 and DSF200_4, which previously described in the comparative test case specification for the test cases DSF100_3 and DSF200_3 [Ref.1]....

  12. Text File Comparator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotler, R. S.

    1983-01-01

    File Comparator program IFCOMP, is text file comparator for IBM OS/VScompatable systems. IFCOMP accepts as input two text files and produces listing of differences in pseudo-update form. IFCOMP is very useful in monitoring changes made to software at the source code level.

  13. A new pygmy grasshopper species (Tetrigidae: Tetriginae) from Central India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Sunil Kumar

    2016-03-30

    Ergatettix subtruncatus sp. nov. is described from Durg district of Chhattisgarh, India. The new species is similar to Ergatettix callosus (Hancock, 1915), but differs from the latter by frontal cost bifurcation starts at the level of upper margin of compound eyes; median carina of vertex indistinct; posterior angle of lateral lobes of pronotum not broad, apex subtruncate, narrow; mid femur slender with small white hairs and 3indistinct lobes; dorsal valve of ovipositor less flattened. A distribution map of Ergatettix subtruncatus sp. nov. and a key to known species of the genus Ergatettix Kirby, 1914 from the Indian subcontinent is provided. The type specimens are deposited in the Central Entomological Laboratory (CEL), Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.

  14. Breeding biology and nestling development of the Grasshopper ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Growth rate of body mass, tarsus, wing and primary feathers were similar between sexes, which showed significant but moderate body mass dimorphism at fledging (♂85–90% of ♀). Second hatchlings were smaller ... Keywords: ageing, Butastur rufipennis, hatch order, reproduction, siblicide. OSTRICH 2012, 83(3): 137– ...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    number of antennal sensillae varied among different sexes, subfamilies, ... Males showed significantly more sensillae than females, due to presence of more short basiconic and ..... were conducted to the primary olfactory center of the brain,.

  16. Hospital Compare Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — These are the official datasets used on the Medicare.gov Hospital Compare Website provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These data allow you to...

  17. Towards Comparative Leadership

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Merete Storgaard

    Globalization is the imitation and adaptation of knowledgesolutions or innovations, as they are diffused from one country to another” (Peter Jarvis 2007) Conducting comparative, educational research of school leadership that effects student achievement in an international perspective is of scient......Globalization is the imitation and adaptation of knowledgesolutions or innovations, as they are diffused from one country to another” (Peter Jarvis 2007) Conducting comparative, educational research of school leadership that effects student achievement in an international perspective...... is of scientific value in qualifying the international and national knowledgebase on effective school leadership. In a methodological perspective comparative analysis in an international setting creates specifically a scientific demand of comparability and a theory based leadership - framework to guide...... the empirical, qualitative research of effective leadership....

  18. Comparing Demonstratives in Kwa

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper is a comparative study of demonstrative forms in three K wa languages, ... relative distance from the deictic centre, such as English this and that, here and there. ... Mostly, the referents of demonstratives are 'activated' or at least.

  19. Home Health Compare

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Home Health Compare has information about the quality of care provided by Medicare-certified home health agencies throughout the nation. Medicare-certified means the...

  20. Nursing Home Compare Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — These are the official datasets used on the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare Website provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These data allow...

  1. Hospital Compare - Archived Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Hospital Compare is a consumer-oriented website that provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients. This information can help...

  2. Home Health Compare Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — These are the official datasets used on the Medicare.gov Home Health Compare Website provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These data allow you...

  3. Nursing Home Compare

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The data that is used by the Nursing Home Compare tool can be downloaded for public use. This functionality is primarily used by health policy researchers and the...

  4. Comparative Climatic Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Comparative Climatic Data is a publication containing data tables of meteorological elements; the publication outlines the climatic conditions at major weather...

  5. Dialysis Facility Compare Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — These are the official datasets used on the Medicare.gov Dialysis Facility Compare Website provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These data...

  6. Comparing Political Communication

    OpenAIRE

    Pfetsch, Barbara; Esser, Frank

    2012-01-01

    This chapter describes the maturation of comparative political communications as a sub-discipline and defines its conceptual core. It then lays out the concept of “political communication system”. At the macro-level, this model captures the patterns of interaction between media and politics as social systems; at the micro-level it captures the interactions between media and political actors as individuals or organizations. Comparative research in this tradition focuses on the structure of pol...

  7. Comparing chess strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Kacz, Kristián

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this work is to provide an overview of approaches in computer chess. It designs and implements a chess engine for multiplayer network chess program ChessNet. Within the engine implements several search algorithms like Negamax, Alpha-beta, Negascout and points to their weaknesses. Adds a possibility to the ChessNet environment to compare chess engines. Compares implemented algorithms in terms of time complexity. Shows several factors wich we have to take into consideration during th...

  8. Competitive versus comparative advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Neary, J. Peter

    2002-01-01

    I explore the interactions between comparative, competitive and absolute advantage in a two-country model of oligopoly in general equilibrium. Comparative advantage always determines the direction of trade, but both competitive and absolute advantage affect resource allocation, trade patterns and trade volumes. Competitive advantage in the sense of more home firms drives foreign firms out of marginal sectors but also makes some marginal home sectors uncompetitive. Absolute advantage in the se...

  9. Comparative approaches to gentrification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Martin; Smith, Darren P

    2018-01-01

    The epistemologies and politics of comparative research are prominently debated within urban studies, with ‘comparative urbanism’ emerging as a contemporary lexicon of urban studies. The study of urban gentrification has, after some delay, come to engage with these debates, which can be seen to pose a major challenge to the very concept of gentrification. To date, similar debates or developments have not unfolded within the study of rural gentrification. This article seeks to address some of the challenges posed to gentrification studies through an examination of strategies of comparison and how they might be employed within a comparative study of rural gentrification. Drawing on Tilly (Big structures Large Processes Huge Comparisons. New York: Russell Sage), examples of four ‘strategies of comparison’ are identified within studies of urban and rural gentrification, before the paper explores how ‘geographies of the concept’ and ‘geographies of the phenomenon’ of rural gentrification in the United Kingdom, United States and France may be investigated using Latour’s (Pandora’s Hope. London: Harvard University Press) notion of ‘circulatory sociologies of translation’. The aim of our comparative discussion is to open up dialogues on the challenges of comparative studies that employ conceptions of gentrification and also to promote reflections of the metrocentricity of recent discussions of comparative research. PMID:29657708

  10. Comparing Political Journalism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Comparing Political Journalism is a systematic, in-depth study of the factors that shape and influence political news coverage today. Using techniques drawn from the growing field of comparative political communication, an international group of contributors analyse political news content drawn...... Comparing Political Journalism offers an unparalleled scope in assessing the implications for the ongoing transformation of Western media systems, and addresses core concepts of central importance to students and scholars of political communication world-wide....... from newspapers, television news, and news websites from 16 countries, to assess what kinds of media systems are most conducive to producing quality journalism. Underpinned by key conceptual themes, such as the role that the media are expected to play in democracies and quality of coverage...

  11. Contesting Citizenship: Comparative Analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siim, Birte; Squires, Judith

    2007-01-01

    importance of particularized experiences and multiple ineequality agendas). These developments shape the way citizenship is both practiced and analysed. Mapping neat citizenship modles onto distinct nation-states and evaluating these in relation to formal equality is no longer an adequate approach....... Comparative citizenship analyses need to be considered in relation to multipleinequalities and their intersections and to multiple governance and trans-national organisinf. This, in turn, suggests that comparative citizenship analysis needs to consider new spaces in which struggles for equal citizenship occur...

  12. Comparative Nivkh Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fortescue, Michael David

    This dictionary undertakes to reconstruct the lexis and morphology of the Nivkh proto-language by marshaling and organizing all the data available in published form on the contemporary dialects. It builds upon a considerable body of descriptive and comparative work carried out by scholars who have...... World is a subject of continuing interest to both linguists and anthropologists. The dictionary does not address this question directly. Reconstructing the proto-language is an essential step, however, to any further comparative work – in particular to sorting out the relationship between Nivkh...

  13. Comparing chemical reaction networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cardelli, Luca; Tribastone, Mirco; Tschaikowski, Max

    2017-01-01

    We study chemical reaction networks (CRNs) as a kernel model of concurrency provided with semantics based on ordinary differential equations. We investigate the problem of comparing two CRNs, i.e., to decide whether the solutions of a source and of a target CRN can be matched for an appropriate...... choice of initial conditions. Using a categorical framework, we extend and unify model-comparison approaches based on dynamical (semantic) and structural (syntactic) properties of CRNs. Then, we provide an algorithm to compare CRNs, running linearly in time with respect to the cardinality of all possible...... comparisons. Finally, using a prototype implementation, CAGE, we apply our results to biological models from the literature....

  14. Comparative Contract Law & Economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kovac, M.

    2008-01-01

    This work is a search for deeper understanding of established differences and similarities among compared legal systems. The application of economically inspired optimal model rule as a uniform term of comparison provides additional insights into some of the most often discussed legal issues. The

  15. Comparing East and West

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Razeto, Anna

    2014-01-01

    This chapter explores the archaeological and literary evidence for marketplaces and urban forms connected to the manufacturing of bricks and metalworking in the capital cities of the contemporary empires of Rome and Han China (ca. 200 BC-200 AD). The comparative analysis of the physical aspects...... was involved in the social and political processes that characterized the production of space in ancient cities....

  16. Ebolavirus comparative genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jun, Se-Ran; Leuze, Michael R.; Nookaew, Intawat

    2015-01-01

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest documented for this virus. To examine the dynamics of this genome, we compare more than 100 currently available ebolavirus genomes to each other and to other viral genomes. Based on oligomer frequency analysis, the family Filoviridae forms...

  17. Comparing contracting performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindholst, Andrej Christian

    . Hypotheses are suggested for the role of culture, competition, contracts, capabilities and collaboration for contracting performance between and across the countries. Arguments are tested against data from on four comparable national surveys of private delivery of park and road maintenance services in local...

  18. Dermatologia comparativa Comparative Dermatology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiram Larangeira de Almeida Jr

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Demonstra-se o quadro exuberante dos angiofibromas faciais em paciente do sexo masculino, de 32 anos, com esclerose tuberosa, os quais podem ser comparados com amoras.The impressive facial angiofibromas, from a 32 year-old male paciente, with the classical features of tuberous sclerosis, were compared with mulberries.

  19. Comparative cardiac imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brundage, B.H.

    1990-01-01

    This book is designed to compare all major cardiac imaging techniques. All major imaging techniques - including conventional angiography, digital angiography, echocardiography and Doppler imaging, conventional radioisotope techniques, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging - are covered in this text as they apply to the major cardiovascular disorders. There is brief coverage of positron emission tomography and an extensive presentation of ultrafast computed tomography

  20. Comparing Harmonic Similarity Measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haas, W.B.; Robine, M.; Hanna, P.; Veltkamp, R.C.; Wiering, F.

    2010-01-01

    We present an overview of the most recent developments in polyphonic music retrieval and an experiment in which we compare two harmonic similarity measures. In contrast to earlier work, in this paper we specifically focus on the symbolic chord description as the primary musical representation and

  1. Comparative Genomics of Eukaryotes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, V. van

    2007-01-01

    This thesis focuses on developing comparative genomics methods in eukaryotes, with an emphasis on applications for gene function prediction and regulatory element detection. In the past, methods have been developed to predict functional associations between gene pairs in prokaryotes. The challenge

  2. Comparative International Management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sorge, Arndt; Noorderhaven, Niels; Koen, Carla

    2015-01-01

    The use of comparisons to explain, analyze and understand social and economic phenomena is recognized as a valuable social science tool. This textbook deals with the differences in management and organization between nations and their effects on multinational enterprises. In comparing management

  3. Comparative Political Communication Research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vreese, C.H.; Kenski, K.; Jamieson, K.H.

    2017-01-01

    This chapter provides an overview of comparative political communication research (CPCR). CPCR is a growing field since there is wide acknowledgement that many questions are not answered satisfactorily with single case studies. The chapter explains why political communication researchers should care

  4. Range expansion in the Somali Sparrow Passer castanopterus in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Somaliland Plateau back in 1855, is a common and widespread species throughout much of the Horn of Africa ... nominate form occurs in northern Somalia, where it is a common and well established resident in coastal ... assisted passage by ship, rail or truck, it would seem that these factors could have been responsible for ...

  5. Geographic variation in social behaviour of white-browed sparrow ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite these local differences in environment, the social system of the species is surprisingly uniform: group size varies by a factor of less than two, and the presence of helpers within groups has been recorded at all the study sites. This contrasts with the published data for a number of other social vertebrates. The selective ...

  6. Comparative and Translatorly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Rosen Guercio

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available World literature’s natural home is comparative literature, a discipline born from and shaped by, as Vilashini Cooppan elegantly puts it, “scholarly engagements with the categories of migration, exile, diaspora, and globalization” (15. However, world literature has frequently been framed as a problem for the discipline, in large part because of its dependence on the ever-vexing and still mistrusted specter of translation. In light of the long-standing anxiety toward both world literature and translation, I propose here that comparatists do ourselves a terrible disservice if we do not urgently take up the questions raised by this disciplinary tension. Translation – in all of its attendant struggles with ethics, aesthetics, appropriation, authority – is not the problem, but, rather, should be understood as a key critical lens for comparative and world literature.In order to establish academia’s frustration with this subject, one need look no further than the “Three Reports to the America Comparative Literature Association on ‘Professional Standards’” (dating from 1965, 1975, and 1993, which return repeatedly to the problem of reading translated literature, circling around it with intense ambivalence. The moral of their story seems to be that translated texts are integral to comparative literature at the same time that they threaten its existence by undermining disciplinary exclusivity in foreign language expertise and by shining a sort of spotlight on all that literature which comparative literature may sometimes “condone” (as one of the reports puts it but to which it does not often actively attend. Even Goethe had Western European languages and literatures firmly in mind when he coined the term, “Weltliteratur.” Translations can’t help but point up the limits of the “four [likely European] languages” proposed as minimal standards for graduate students by the Green and Bernheimer reports, and on the strength of

  7. Comparing apples and pears?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Waite, Sue; Bølling, Mads; Bentsen, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Using a conceptual model focused on purposes, aims, content, pedagogy, outcomes, and barriers, we review and interpret literature on two forms of outdoor learning: Forest Schools in England and udeskole in Denmark. We examine pedagogical principles within a comparative analytical framework and co...... to pedagogical principles are necessary to ensure better alignment of purpose and practice to elicit specific outcomes and enable comparison between different types.......Using a conceptual model focused on purposes, aims, content, pedagogy, outcomes, and barriers, we review and interpret literature on two forms of outdoor learning: Forest Schools in England and udeskole in Denmark. We examine pedagogical principles within a comparative analytical framework...... and consider how adopted pedagogies reflect and refract the culture in which they are embedded. Despite different national educational and cultural contexts, English Forest Schools and Danish udeskole share several commonalities within a naturalistic/progressive pedagogical tradition; differences appear...

  8. On comparative inquiry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moutsios, Stavros

    of self‐reflexivity and self-questioning in the Greek polis gave also rise to the genuine interest in the institutions of the cultural ‘other’. Impartiality in the study of the others’ institutions started in Greece and it was closely associated with the signification that physis (nature) should......The paper explores the origins of comparative studies, which as it argues are located in Ancient Greece. Greece is not only the place where the school was born, but it is also there where the interest in and inquiry of the institutions of other societies, including education, emerged. The rise...... to know better their own society through comparison. Cross-cultural examination in this regard informed further the Greeks’ self-reflexivity. By going through a set of historical sources and contemporary literature, the paper will elaborate on the emergence of cross-cultural and comparative inquiry...

  9. Banking: shop and compare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Jennifer A; DeJarnette, Sherry

    2014-01-01

    There are many reasons to take a critical look at the practice's banking relationship(s)--technology advancements, security measures, improvements in available services, recent banking enhancements designed specifically for medical practices, the impact of the financial crisis on bank ratings and stability, changing practice needs, opportunities for operational automation at the practice--and it is just simply smart to periodically evaluate and compare the features, pricing, and potential savings offered by vendors.

  10. Josephson comparator switching time

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herr, Quentin P; Miller, Donald L; Przybysz, John X [Northrop Grumman, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    2006-05-15

    Comparator performance can be characterized in terms of both sensitivity and decision time. Delta-sigma analogue-to-digital converters are tolerant of sensitivity errors but require short decision time due to feedback. We have analysed the Josephson comparator using the numerical solution of the Fokker-Planck equation, which describes the time evolution of the ensemble probability distribution. At balance, the result is essentially independent of temperature in the range 5-20 K. There is a very small probability, 1 x 10{sup -14}, that the decision time will be longer than seven single-flux-quantum pulse widths, defined as Phi{sub 0}/(I{sub c}R{sub n}). For junctions with a critical current density of 4.5 kA, this decision time is only 20 ps. Decision time error probability decreases rapidly with lengthening time interval, at a rate of two orders of magnitude per pulse width. We conclude that Josephson comparator performance is quite favourable for analogue-to-digital converter applications.

  11. Comparative risk analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niehaus, F.

    1988-01-01

    In this paper, the risks of various energy systems are discussed considering severe accidents analysis, particularly the probabilistic safety analysis, and probabilistic safety criteria, and the applications of these criteria and analysis. The comparative risk analysis has demonstrated that the largest source of risk in every society is from daily small accidents. Nevertheless, we have to be more concerned about severe accidents. The comparative risk analysis of five different energy systems (coal, oil, gas, LWR and STEC (Solar)) for the public has shown that the main sources of risks are coal and oil. The latest comparative risk study of various energy has been conducted in the USA and has revealed that the number of victims from coal is 42 as many than victims from nuclear. A study for severe accidents from hydro-dams in United States has estimated the probability of dam failures at 1 in 10,000 years and the number of victims between 11,000 and 260,000. The average occupational risk from coal is one fatal accident in 1,000 workers/year. The probabilistic safety analysis is a method that can be used to assess nuclear energy risks, and to analyze the severe accidents, and to model all possible accident sequences and consequences. The 'Fault tree' analysis is used to know the probability of failure of the different systems at each point of accident sequences and to calculate the probability of risks. After calculating the probability of failure, the criteria for judging the numerical results have to be developed, that is the quantitative and qualitative goals. To achieve these goals, several systems have been devised by various countries members of AIEA. The probabilistic safety ana-lysis method has been developed by establishing a computer program permit-ting to know different categories of safety related information. 19 tabs. (author)

  12. Comparative pharmacognosy of Pashanbhed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poonam Verma

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Pashanbhed is a commercially available diuretic and lithotropic drug, used to treat renal problems. It is a controversial name as it is assigned to various plants such as Bergenia ligulata, Kalanchoe pinnata, Coleus aromaticus and Rotula aquatica. Objec