Thrips cause considerable economic loss to mango, Mangifera indica L., in Penang, Malaysia. Three nondestructive sampling techniques--shaking mango panicles over a moist plastic tray, washing the panicles with ethanol, and immobilization of thrips by using CO2--were evaluated for their precision to determine the most effective technique to capture mango flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in an orchard located at Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia, during two flowering seasons from December 2008 to February 2009 and from August to September 2009. The efficiency of each of the three sampling techniques was compared with absolute population counts on whole panicles as a reference. Diurnal flight activity of thrips species was assessed using yellow sticky traps. All three sampling methods and sticky traps were used at two hourly intervals from 0800 to 1800 hours to get insight into diurnal periodicity of thrips abundance in the orchard. Based on pooled data for the two seasons, the CO2 method was the most efficient procedure extracting 80.7% adults and 74.5% larvae. The CO2 method had the lowest relative variation and was the most accurate procedure compared with the absolute method as shown by regression analysis. All collection techniques showed that the numbers of all thrips species in mango panicles increased after 0800 hours, reaching a peak between 1200 and 1400 hours. Adults thrips captured on the sticky traps were the most abundant between 0800-1000 and 1400-1600 hours. According to results of this study, the CO2 method is recommended for sampling of thrips in the field. It is a nondestructive sampling procedure that neither damages flowers nor diminishes fruit production. Management of thrips populations in mango orchards with insecticides would be more effectively carried out during their peak population abundance on the flower panicles at midday to 1400 hours.
A field study was conducted at two localities on Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, during two consecutive mango flowering seasons in 2009 to identify variations in the species composition of thrips infesting treated and untreated mango (Mangifera indica L.) orchards. The CO2 immobilisation technique and the cutting method were used to recover different thrips species from mango panicles and weed host plants, respectively. The mango panicles and various weed species within the treated orchard were found to harbour four thrips species from the family Thripidae. These species were identified as Thrips hawaiiensis (Morgan), Scirtothrips dorsalis (Hood), Frankliniella schultzei (Trybom) and Megalurothrips usitatus (Bagnall). The weed species Mimosa pudica, Cleome rutidosperma, Echinochloa colonum, Borreria laevicaulis, Veronia cinerea and Asystasia coromandeliana served as additional hosts to these thrips. Six thrips species were found in the untreated orchard. These species included Thrips palmi (Karny), Haplothrips sp. (Amyot and Serville) and the four thrips species found in the treated orchard. A brief description of the larvae for each genus is provided.
Populations of several thrips species were estimated using yellow sticky traps in an orchard planted with mango, Mangifera indica L. during the dry and wet seasons beginning in late 2008-2009 on Penang Island, Malaysia. To determine the efficacy of using sticky traps to monitor thrips populations, we compared weekly population estimates on yellow sticky traps with thrips population sizes that were determined (using a CO(2) method) directly from mango panicles. Dispersal distance and direction of thrips movement out of the orchard also were studied using yellow sticky traps placed at three distances from the edge of the orchard in four cardinal directions facing into the orchard. The number of thrips associated with the mango panicles was found to be correlated with the number of thrips collected using the sticky trap method. The number of thrips captured by the traps decreased with increasing distance from the mango orchard in all directions. Density of thrips leaving the orchard was related to the surrounding vegetation. Our results demonstrate that sticky traps have the potential to satisfactorily estimate thrips populations in mango orchards and thus they can be effectively employed as a useful tactic for sampling thrips.
A field study was performed to describe the functional feeding groups (FFGs) of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) in the Tupah, Batu Hampar and Teroi Rivers in the Gunung Jerai Forest Reserve (GJFR), Kedah, Malaysia. Twenty-nine genera belonging to 19 families were identified. The EPTs were classified into five FFGs: collector-gatherers (CG), collector-filterers (CF), shredders (SH), scrapers (SC) and predators (P). In this study, CG and CF were the dominant groups inhabiting all three rivers. Ephemeroptera dominated these rivers due to their high abundance, and they were also the CG (90.6%). SC were the lowest in abundance among all groups. Based on the FFGs, the Teroi River was suitable for CG, whereas the Tupah and Batu Hampar Rivers were suitable for CG and CF. The distribution of FFGs differed among the rivers (CG, χ(2) = 23.6, p = 0.00; SH, χ(2) = 10.02, p = 0.007; P, χ(2) = 25.54, p = 0.00; CF, χ(2) = 21.95, p = 0.00; SC, χ(2) = 9.31, p = 0.01). These findings indicated that the FFGs found in rivers of the GJFR represent high river quality.
Leaf litter decomposition in a tropical stream was examined in two types of leaf packs; single species leaf packs of Pometia pinnata and two species leaf packs of equal combination of Pometia pinnata and Dolichandrone spathacea leaves. Both leaf packs were immersed in a river and weekly examined for remains of decomposed leaves and presence of EPT. In the control leaf packs, leaves in the two species leaf packs treatments decomposed within 35 days, faster than in single species leaf packs which decomposed after 42 days. In the presence of EPT, the leaf breakdown took 28 days in two species and 35 days for single species leaf packs. Higher abundance of EPT was observed in single species leaf packs but its diversity was higher in two species leaf packs. Litter breakdown in the stream was faster in the presence of EPT and softer leaves of D. spathacea with higher nitrogen content underwent faster decomposition and sustained higher numbers of EPT.
The Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) community structure and the specific sensitivity of certain EPT genera were found to be influenced by water parameters in the rivers of Gunung Jerai Forest Reserve (GJFR) in the north of peninsular Malaysia. The scores of EPT taxa richness of >10 in all rivers indicated all rivers' habitats were non-impacted, having good water quality coinciding with Class I and Class II of Malaysian water quality index (WQI) classification of potable water. The abundance of EPT was very high in Teroi River (9,661 individuals) but diversity was lower (22 genera) than Tupah River which was highly diverse (28 genera) but lower in abundance (4,263 individuals). The lowest abundance and moderate diversity was recorded from Batu Hampar River (25 genera). Baetis spp. and Thalerosphyrus spp., Neoperla spp. and Cheumatopsyche spp. were the most common genera found. Classification for all rivers using EPT taxa Richness Index and WQI gave different category of water quality, respectively. The WQI classified Tupah and Batu Hampar rivers into Class II and Teroi River (Class I) was two classes above the classification of the EPT taxa Richness Index.
The hemipteran (Insecta) diversity in the upper part of the Kerian River Basin was low with only 8 families and 16 genera recorded at 4 study sites from 3 rivers. Water bug composition varied among sampling sites (Kruskal-Wallis χ (2) = 0.00, p<0.05) but was not affected by wet-dry seasons (Z = 0.00, p>0.05). All recorded water parameters were weakly associated with generic abundance but the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), Water Quality Index (WQI) and heavy metals (zinc and manganese) showed relatively strong positive or negative relations with hemipteran diversity and richness (H' and R2). Within the ranges of measured water parameters, the WQI was negatively associated with hemipteran diversity and richness, implying the tolerance of the water bugs to the level of pollution encountered in the river basin. Based on its highest abundance and occurrence (ISI), Rhagovelia was the most important genus and along with Rheumatogonus and Paraplea, these genera were common at all study sites. In conclusion, habitat availability and suitability together with some environmental parameters influenced the abundance and composition of hemipterans in this river basin.
In estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) using maggots obtained during autopsy, the forensic entomologist makes decisions regarding the effects of low-temperature storage of the body on the insects. In this case report, a corpse was found in an abandoned house in the residential area of Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia. The maggots were found to be alive inside the mouth of the deceased although the corpse had been in the morgue cooler for 12 days. The maggots were reared and identified as Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius). The emerged adult flies were kept as a stock colony, and the duration of development under the indoor fluctuating temperature regime was studied. The total duration of developmental process of this species was 9.5 ± 0.5 days, and the PMI estimated was 3.2 ± 0.6 days. This case report demonstrates the survival of Ch. megacephala maggots for 12 days and their growth inside the morgue cooler.
The influence of physical and chemical parameters on the abundance and diversity of chironomids was studied in six rivers with moderate to highly polluted water in the Juru River Basin. The rivers: Ceruk Tok Kun (CTKR) as reference site, and polluted rivers of Pasir (PR), Juru (JR), Permatang Rawa (PRR), Ara (AR) and Kilang Ubi (KUR) were sampled over a period of five months (November 2007-March 2008). Nine chirnomid species: Chironimus kiiensis, C. javanus, Polypedilum trigonus, Microchironomus sp., Dicrotendipes sp., Tanytarsus formosanus, Clinotanypus sp., Tanypus punctipennis and Fittkauimyia sp. were identified. Assessment of their relationships with several environmental parameters was performed using the canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Tanytarsus formosanus was the most dominant in the relatively clean CTKR and moderately polluted JR with mean densities of 19.66 and 25.32 m(-2), respectively while C. kiiensis was abundant in more polluted rivers. Tanytarsus formosanus, Dicrotendipes sp. and Microchironomus sp. were grouped under moderate to high water temperature, total organic matter (TOM), total suspended solids (TSS), velocity, pH, phosphates and sulphates. However, Tanypus punctipennis, Fittkauimyia sp., and Clinotanypus sp. were associated with high contents of river sediment such as TOM, Zn and Mn and water ammonium-N and nitrate-N and they were associated with higher dissolved oxygen (DO) content in the water. Chironomus kiiensis, C. javanus and P. trigonus showed positive relationships with TOM, ammonium-N and nitrate-N as well as trace metals of Zn, Cu and Mn. These three species could be considered as tolerant species since they have the ability to survive in extreme environmental conditions with low DO and high concentrations of pollutants. Based on the water parameter scores in all rivers, the highest diversity of chironomid larvae was reported in CTKR. With higher concentrations of organic and/or inorganic pollutants as reported in PPR, KUR and AR, the chironomid larval diversity decreased, and the abundance of tolerant species, mainly Chironomus spp., increased.
The life history and the influence of environmental parameters on Thalerosphyrus were investigated in two first-order rivers-the Batu Hampar River and the Teroi River of Gunung Jerai, Kedah-in northern peninsular Malaysia. Based on nymphal body length, Thalerosphyrus was found to be trivoltine in both rivers, regardless of the altitudinal difference, but its population abundance was four times higher in the Teroi River, presumably related to its better survival in the lower water temperature. At least nine instars of Thalerosphyrus were detected in the field-collected nymphs. Its life cycle was completed within 2.5-3.0 months, with overlapping cohorts and continual emergence of up to 3 months. The main driving factors of the high abundance of Thalerosphyrus were the water temperature and habitat quality.
The effectiveness of the synthetic insecticides trichlorfon, lambda-cyhalothrin, cypermethrin emulsion concentrated (EC) and cypermethrin emulsion water based (EW) and a bio-insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk), was evaluated at 3, 7, 14 and 30 days after treatment (DAT) for the control of Metisa plana larvae in an oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) plantation in Malaysia. Although all synthetic insecticides effectively reduced the larval population of M. plana, trichlorfon, lambda-cyhalothrin and cypermethrin EC were the fastest-acting. The larval population dropped below the economic threshold level (ETL) 30 days after a single application of the synthetic insecticides. Application of Btk, however, gave poor results, with the larval population remaining above the ETL post treatment. In terms of operational productivity, ground spraying using power spray equipment was time-consuming and resulted in poor coverage. Power spraying may not be appropriate for controlling M. plana infestations in large fields. Using a power sprayer, one man could cover 2-3 ha per day. Hence, power spraying is recommended during outbreaks of infestation in areas smaller than 50 ha.
Currently, dengue fever is considered as the main health problem in several parts (Mekkah, Jeddah, Jazan and Najran) of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with dramatically increase in the number of cases reported every year. This is associated with obvious ineffectiveness in the recent control and management programs for the mosquito vector (Aedes aegypti). Here, we suggested promoting the health education and public awareness among Saudi people to improve the control of dengue mosquito vector. Several suggestions and recommendations were highlighted here to ensure effectiveness in the future control and management programs of dengue mosquito vector in KSA.
Chironomus javanus (Kieffer) and Chironomus kiiensis Tokunaga were redescribed from materials collected from a rice field in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. The larvae can only be distinguished after careful preparation and examination using a compound microscope, but the pupae were not useful to differentiate C. javanus from C. kiiensis. The adult specimens showed clear body and wing characteristics for rapid and accurate identification.
The genotoxic effects of increasing concentrations (below lethal concentration [LC₅₀]) of cadmium ([Cd] 0.1, 1 and 10 mg/L), copper ([Cu] 0.2, 2 and 20 mg/L) and zinc ([Zn] 0.5, 5 and 50 mg/L) on Chironomus kiiensis were evaluated using alkaline comet assay after exposure for 24 h. Both the tail moment and the olive tail moment showed significant differences between the control and different concentrations of Cd, Cu and Zn (Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.05). The highest concentration of Cd was associated with higher DNA damage to C. kiiensis larvae compared with Cu and Zn. The potential genotoxicity of these metals to C. kiiensis was Cd > Cu > Zn.
Abundance and diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates as well as physico-chemical parameters were investigated in five rivers of the Juru River Basin in northern Peninsula Malaysia: Ceruk Tok Kun River (CTKR), Pasir River (PR), Permatang Rawa River (PRR), Kilang Ubi River (KUR), and Juru River (JR). The physico-chemical parameters and calculated water quality index (WQI) were significantly different among the investigated rivers (ANOVA, P<0.05). The WQI classified CTKR, PR, and JR into class III (slightly polluted). However, PRR and KUR fell into class IV (polluted). High diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates, especially the intolerant taxa, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, were observed in the least polluted river, CTKR. Decreasing abundance of macroinvertebrates followed the deterioration of river water quality with the least number of the most tolerant taxa collected from PR. On the basis of composition and sensitivity of macroinvertebrates to pollutants in each river, the highest Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP) index score of 93 was reported in CTKR (good water quality). BMWP scores in PRR and JR were 38.7 and 20.1, respectively, classifying both of them into "moderate water quality" category. Poor water quality was reported in PR and KUR. The outcome of the multivariate analysis (CCA) was highly satisfactory, explaining 43.32% of the variance for the assemblages of macroinvertebrates as influenced by 19 physical and chemical variables. According to the CCA model, we assert that there were three levels of stresses on macroinvertebrate communities in the investigated rivers: Level 1, characterized of undisturbed or slightly polluted as in the case of CTKR; Level 2, characterized by a lower habitat quality (the JR) compared to the CTKR; and Level 3 showed severe environmental stresses (PRR, PR, and KUR) primarily contributed by agricultural, industrial, and municipal discharges.
Life tables were constructed for twelve cohorts of immature stages of the dengue vector Ae. albopictus in a wooded area of Penang, Malaysia. The development time of Ae. albopictus ranged from 6 to 10 days depending on the mean environmental temperature (r = - 0.639, p < 0.05). Total cohort mortality was correlated with total development time (r = 0.713, p < 0.05) but not temperature (r = -0.477, p > 0.05). Rainfall was correlated with neither development time (r = 0.554, p > 0.05) nor mortality (r = 0.322, p > 0.05). There was a significant difference among the total mortality that occurred in the twelve cohorts (H = 119.783, df = 11, p < 0.05). There was also a significant difference in mortality among the different stages (H = 274.00, df = 4, p < 0.05).
Morphological deformities in parts of the head capsule of Chironomus spp. larvae inhabiting three polluted rivers (Permatang Rawa [PRR], Pasir [PR], and Kilang Ubi [KUR]) in the Juru River Basin, northeastern peninsular Malaysia, were studied. Samples of the fourth-instar larvae at one location in each river were collected monthly from November 2007 to March 2008 and examined for deformities of the mentum, antenna, mandible, and epipharyngis. At each sample location, in situ measurements of water depth, river width, water pH, dissolved oxygen, and water temperature were made. Samples of river water and benthic sediments were also collected monthly from each larval sample location in each river and taken to the laboratory for appropriate analysis. Total suspended solids (TSSs), ammonium-N, nitrate-N, phosphate-P, chloride, sulfate, and aluminum content in water were analyzed. Total organic matter and nonresidual metals in the sediment samples were also analyzed. Among the three rivers, the highest mean deformity (47.17%) was recorded in larvae collected from KUR that received industrial discharges from surrounding garment and rubber factories, followed by PRR (33.71%) receiving primarily residues of fertilizers and pesticides from adjacent rice fields, and PR (30.34%) contaminated primarily by anthropogenic wastes from the surrounding residential areas. Among the various head capsule structures, deformity of the mentum was strongly reflective of environmental stress and amounted to 27.9, 20.87, and 30.19% in the PRR, PR, and KUR, respectively. Calculated Lenat's toxic score index satisfactorily explained the influence of prevailing environmental variables on the severity of mentum deformities. Redundancy analysis and forward selection selected TSSs, sediment Zn, Mn, Cu, and Ni, and water pH, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, total organic matter, nitrate-N, chloride, phosphate-P, ammonium-N, sulfate, and aluminum as parameters that significantly affected some proportion of deformities. The total deformities correlated closely with deformities of mentum but only weakly with deformities in other parts of head. The total deformity incidence was strongly correlated with high contents of sediment Mn and Ni. The mentum and epipharyngis deformities incidence was highly correlated with an increase of TSSs, total aluminum, and ammonium-N and a decrease in pH and dissolved oxygen.
Discarded cigarette butts (DCB) waste occurs worldwide, pollutes landscapes, is unsightly, and results in added debris removal costs. There is, therefore, a great deal of current interest in making use of DCBs in beneficial ways. Despite evidence that DCBs are harmful to water fleas (Daphnia magna), which breed in aquatic environments as do mosquito larvae, their impact on dengue vectors is unknown. We examined whether Aedes albopictus alters its ovipositional responses, larval eclosion, and development in response to presence of DCBs in its habitats. We found oviposition activity in DCB-treated water similar to that of control water and that ovipositional activity in DCB solutions steadily increased over time as those solutions aged to 10 days. Larval eclosion was initially suppressed on day 1 in DCB solution, but increased thereafter to levels similar to control larval eclosion rates. The DCB-water solutions produced significantly higher mortality in both 1st and 2nd instars over control larvae for several days after initial exposure. Mortality rates decreased sharply 3 to 5 days postexposure as DCBs continued to decompose. We found increased survival rates during late development, but daily input of fresh DCBs prevented most young larvae from completing development. Taken together, these observations suggest that decomposing did not deter gravid Ae. albopictus females from ovipositing in treated containers and that DCB solutions had larvicidal effects on early instars. Our results are discussed in the context of DCB use to control container-breeding Ae. albopictus, a competent dengue vector in Asia and other parts of the world.
Annually, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts (CBs) are flicked into our environment. Evidence exists that CB waste is deadly to aquatic life, but their lethality to the aquatic life of the main dengue vector is unknown. CBs are full of toxicants that occur naturally, during planting and manufacturing, which may act as larvicidal agents. We assessed Aedes aegypti vulnerability to Marlboro butts during its development. Overall, CBs showed insecticidal activities against larvae. At early phases of development, mortality rates were much higher in two CBs solution (2CBSol) and 3CBSol microcosms (MICRs). Larval survival gradually decreased with development in 1CBSol-MICRs. However, in great presence of CBs, mortality was high even for the late developmental stages. These results suggest that A. aegypti larvae are vulnerable to CB presence in their habitats, but this effect was seen most during the early developmental phases and in the presence of increased amounts of cigarette remnants. CB filters are being used as raw material in many sectors, i.e., brick, art, fashion, plastic industries, as a practical solution to the pollution problem, the observed butt waste toxicity to mosquito larvae open new avenues for the identification of novel insecticide products.