Psyche: A Journal of Entomology
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Article of the Year 2020

Nutritional Effects of Three Mulberry Varieties on Silkworms in Torbat Heydarieh

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 Journal profile

Psyche publishes original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of basic entomology. Psyche is the official publication of the Cambridge Entomological Club, which founded the journal in 1874.

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor Dr Ai-Ping Liang is based at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. His research interests center around the taxonomy, morphology, phylogeny, evolution and biogeography of spittlebug superfamily Cercopoidea and planthopper superfamily Fulgoroidea.

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Research Article

Insecticide Resistance in the Disease Vector Culex pipiens in Morocco: Intensity, Mechanisms, and Contribution in Insecticide Resistance Management

West Nile (WN) virus has been detected in Morocco in 1996, 2003, and 2010. One WN human case and 94 equine cases with 42 deaths were reported in the first outbreak. The second and the last epizootics were in Kénitra and Mohammedia regions, respectively. Culex pipiens mosquitoes were strongly suspected as WN vectors during these epizootics in Morocco. To help propose the first insecticide resistance management strategy in Morocco, we provide baseline data on the resistance status of C. pipiens mosquitoes to insecticides most used in public health in Morocco. We investigated the resistance intensity of C. pipiens and the role of monooxygenases in pyrethroids resistance using the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PBO) in three prefectures of central Morocco: Mohammedia, Benslimane, and Skhirate. Bioassays were carried out using WHO (World Health Organization) diagnostic test kits for adult mosquitoes, with DDT 4%; deltamethrin 0.05%, 0.25%, and 0.5%; bendiocarb 0.1%, 0.5%, and 1%; and malathion 5%. The synergist PBO 4% was used to check for the involvement of detoxification enzymes in pyrethroids resistant populations. Mosquito populations tested displayed high resistance intensity to pyrethroids and carbamates in Mohammedia and moderate resistance intensity in Skhirate. In Benslimane, the resistance intensity of C. pipiens was high to carbamate and moderate to pyrethroids. The pre-exposure to PBO restored full or partial susceptibility to pyrethroids in the different regions. According to our finding, Mohammedia and Benslimane are at risk level 3 of control failure, while Skhirate is at risk level 2 of it. The employment of IRM is therefore imperative in all study sites.

Research Article

Larvicidal Activities and Synergistic Effects of Essential Oils against Anopheles funestus and Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) from Kisumu, Kenya

Rapid development of resistance in vector mosquitoes to synthetic insecticides is a major challenge for malaria control. The use of plant-derived essential oils (EOs) is an attractive strategy in controlling mosquito populations because they are environmentally safe and may have a lower chance of developing resistance. This study assessed the larvicidal activities of EOs from Lantana camara, Lippia multiflora, Lippia chevalieri, and Cymbopogon schoenanthus against Anopheles funestus and Culex quinquefasciatus. The 3rd–4th instar larvae were tested using a World Health Organization (WHO)-modified protocol to evaluate larval mortality 24 h after exposure to EOs and their binary combinations. Culex quinquefasciatus larvae were more susceptible to EOs than An. funestus larvae. For Cx. quinquefasciatus, the lethal concentrations at 50% mortality (LC50s) of EOs from C. schoenanthus, L. multiflora, L. camara, and L. chevalieri were 23.32, 27.24, 38.54, and 54.11 ppm, respectively; whereas for An. funestus, the EO LC50s were 120.5, 67.5, 49.21, and 105.74 ppm, respectively. Synergistic effects were observed using EOs from C. schoenanthus + L. multiflora (LC50 = 44.05 ppm) on An. funestus, while L. camara + L. chevalieri (LC50 = 33.16 ppm), L. chevalieri + C. schoenanthus (LC50 = 12.08 ppm), and L. multiflora + L. chevalieri (LC50 = 20.61 ppm) were synergistic for Cx. quinquefasciatus. These results indicate the potential of EOs derived from local plants and their binary combinations as botanical larvicides. The EOs could be used as future ecofriendly agents to control these vectors.

Research Article

The Use of Honeybee Hives May Boost Yields of Some Crops in Nepal

Many pollination-dependent crops worldwide need bees for the highest productivity. If the crops are not pollinated, a pollination deficit will result. Consequently, low yields of fruit set and seed set of cultivated plants may be expected. Here, we evaluated how pollination with honeybee (Apis mellifera) hives may affect the production of the bittergourd (Momordica charantia), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), and mustard (Brassica campestris) in tons or quintal per hectare in Nepal. Our experimental design involved three treatments in blocks within selected areas: (i) the effect of the honeybees alone (caged with beehives), (ii) free insect access under natural field conditions, and (iii) blocks restraining insect access (caged without beehives). We also assessed the flower visiting insects within crops using pan traps and identifying insect orders. We found that the productivity of bittergourd, buckwheat, and mustard significantly increased in the treatments with beehives inside the cage. To a lesser extent, the treatment with free access to the flying insects enhanced the production of the selected crops. Proportionally, Hymenoptera (mainly bees) was the most common taxon within bittergourd, buckwheat, and mustard crops, followed by Diptera and Lepidoptera. Hence, the provision of beehives in cultivated areas such as those evaluated here could be considered as a complementary strategy for supporting the long-term productivity of these crops in Nepal.

Research Article

Butterfly Diversity and Abundance in the Middle Afromontane Area of Northwestern Ethiopia

Butterflies are good indicators of environmental health, and they play a critical role in the food chain. Butterfly diversity and abundance were studied for the first time at three forests and their surrounding habitats in northwestern Ethiopia, a borderline ecosystem between the subtropical savannah and the Ethiopian highlands (Afromontane). Butterfly species richness and abundance were assessed using transects between October 2018 and June 2019. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance, correlation and regression analysis, diversity indices, ordination analysis, cluster analysis, and rarefaction curves. A total of 27,568 butterflies were recorded that belonged to three families, five subfamilies, and eight genera. The forest habitat had more butterfly taxa (abundance and diversity) than other habitats. Belenois spp. and Mylothris agathina were the most abundant in all three study locations. Species common to all study areas include Belenois aurota, Belenois raffrayi, Mylothris agathina, Eronia leda, Junonia terea elgiva, and Phalanta eurytis neuritis. Forest edge and woody forest habitats were the richest in terms of both number of species and number of individuals. Equitability (Pielou's index) showed equal distribution of the species, i.e., 0.8 to 0.9, except at the open grassland at Tara Gedam (0.3). Margalef's index varied between habitats and locations showing differences in species richness (from 0.25 at the woody forest of Mount Bezawit to 0.86 at the forest edge of Tara Gedam). Ordination analyses also showed that associations existed between habitats, locations, and dates of sampling. Rarefaction curves rose quickly at the forest edge and woody forest habitats compared to other forests. The cluster analysis discriminated the different habitats. Populations declined during the dry season (December to April). In conclusion, butterfly species diversity and abundance varied with respect to habitat and sampling date (season), although less diverse than other regions in the country where natural forests still widely exist. Butterfly species must be regularly monitored, and their habitats must be preserved for the health of the entire ecosystem.

Research Article

Efficacy of Aqueous Extracts from Syzygium aromaticum, Tephrosia vogelii, and Croton dichogamus against Myzus persicae on Brassica oleracea in Northern Tanzania

The effectiveness of 1, 5, and 10% w/v of aqueous extracts of Croton dichogamus, Tephrosia vogelii, and Syzygium aromaticum and their mixture (2.5 and 5%) was evaluated against Myzus persicae on Brassica oleracea under field conditions. The synthetic chemical insecticide, chlorpyrifos, was used as positive control, and water and water plus soap were used as negative controls. Aqueous extracts significantly () lowered M. persicae population compared with negative controls. The 5% of the aqueous extract from mixed plants and 10% of each plant used in this study significantly () reduced aphid, M. persicae population comparable to chlorpyrifos in 2019 and 2020. However, the 1 and 5% concentrations of aqueous extracts of C. dichogamus, T. vogelii, and S. aromaticum and 2.5% of aqueous extracts from the mixed plants significantly lowered the population of M. persicae compared with negative controls in 2019 and 2020 wet seasons. The weekly observations revealed that, at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 after application of treatments, the population of M. persicae differed significantly (). Also, the aqueous extracts from the mixed plants at 5% concentrations significantly () reduced M. persicae population as compared with other treatments. It was as effective as synthetic chemical pesticide (chlorpyrifos). Also, 1 and 5% of C. dichogamus, T. vogelii, and S. aromaticum and the 2.5% of aqueous extracts from the mixed plants significantly reduced the population of M. persicae for all 6 weeks of study compared with negative controls. Therefore, these pesticidal plants can be recommended to smallholder farmers for the control of M. persicae in B. oleracea crops.

Research Article

The Effect of Breeding Habitat Characteristics on the Larval Abundance of Aedes Vector Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Three Localities, Galle District, Sri Lanka

Dengue has become a national burden in Sri Lanka, and the understanding of breeding ecology of vectors, Aedes aegypti Linnaeus and Aedes albopictus Skuse, is the most effective way to control the disease. The present study was undertaken to investigate the relative larval abundance of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in different types and characteristics of containers in three selected localities in Galle district, Sri Lanka. Totally, 550 containers were positive for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus larvae. Aedes albopictus showed the high larval abundance in all studied sites. The larval abundance of artificial containers (90.57%) was high than that of natural containers (9.43%) for both Aedes spp. (). The breeding preference for A. aegypti was high in tires (rubber) (17.82%), while plastic cups (28.00%) were the most preferable container type for Ae. albopictus. Dark color containers than light color containers () and containers with leaf litter accumulated as detritus () showed high relative larval abundance for both Aedes species. Containers with 50–100 ml volume of water showed the highest relative abundance of both Ae. aegypti (29.28%) and Ae. albopictus (41.79%) (). The high larval abundance of Aedes recorded in ground level containers (1–5 cm) and their abundance decreased significantly with the increasing of height where containers were found (1–20 cm) (). The significantly high relative abundance was observed with the increase of the shady level for Ae. aegypti (57.34%) and Ae. albopictus (61.32%) (). This knowledge will be helpfull to implement dengue surveillance programs in the area.

Psyche: A Journal of Entomology
 Journal metrics
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Acceptance rate-
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.