[Experimental] List of manuscripts available for review volunteers
2 manuscripts available for review volunteers
November 24, 2017
Cycads, an ancient group of gymnosperms, that are almost all threatened or endangered an are now popular landscape plants. The Cycad aulacaspis scale (CAS), Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), has been one of the most serious pests of cycads in recent years; however, the potential distribution range and the management policy of this pest are unclear. A potential risk map of CAS was created by MaxEnt and using occurrence data under changing climatic conditions. Moreover, this research provide a theoretical reference framework for developing policy for the management and control of this invasive pest. The model suggested the current invasive risk was mainly constrained by the annual temperature range (Bio07), mean temperature of coldest quarter (Bio11) and mean temperature of driest quarter (Bio09). Meanwhile, the niche models showed high environmental suitability for the continents of Asia and North America, where the species has already been recorded. The potential expansions or reductions of distribution ranges were also predicted under different climate change conditions. Although biotic factor and spread factors were not considered in the current analysis, using climatic factors to achieve a better understanding of the invasion patterns of this species can help improve the management of this invasive species and develop policies for its control.
November 11, 2017
Studies of mating and reproductive behavior have contributed much to our understanding of various animals' ecological success. The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, is an important agricultural pest. However, knowledge of locust courtship and precopulatory behavior is surprisingly limited. Here we provide a comprehensive study of the precopulatory behavior of both sexes of the desert locust in the gregarious phase, with particular emphasis on the conflict between the sexes. Detailed HD-video monitoring of courtship and mating of 20 locust pairs, in a controlled environment, enabled both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the behavior. A comprehensive list of behavioral elements was used to generate an eight-step ethogram, depicting from first encounter between the sexes to actual copulation. Further analyses included the probability of each element occurring, and a kinematic diagram based on a transitional matrix. Eleven novel behavioral elements are described in this study, and two potential points of conflict between the sexes are identified. Locust sexual interaction was characterized by the dominance of the males during the pre-mounting stage, and an overall stereotypic male courtship behavior. In contrast, females displayed no clear courtship-related behavior and an overall less organized behavioral sequence. Central elements in the sexual behavior of the females were low-amplitude hind-leg vibration, as well as rejecting males by jumping and kicking. Intricate reciprocal interactions between the sexes were evident mostly at the mounting stage. The reported findings contribute important insights to our knowledge of locust mating and reproductive behavior, and may assist in confronting this devastating agricultural pest.


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