A single link to the first track to allow the export script to build the search page
  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Zoology/Entomology

    FRI-843 EFFECTS OF DOUBLE INFECTIONS ON PARASITIC FLATWORM REPRODUCTIVE CASTES

    • Maribel Lopez ;
    • Ana Elisa Garcia Vedrenne ;

    FRI-843

    EFFECTS OF DOUBLE INFECTIONS ON PARASITIC FLATWORM REPRODUCTIVE CASTES

    Maribel Lopez, Ana Elisa Garcia Vedrenne.

    University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA.

    Recent findings show that several species of parasitic flatworms that infect the marine snail, Cerithidea californica, have a division of labor in which individuals are specialized for either reproduction (reproductives) or defense of the colony (soldiers). Until now, research has focused on understanding the morphology, distribution, and behavior of the parasites in the more common, single infections. Many studies show that these parasites will kill each other when a snail is simultaneously infected with 2 species, but little is known about the details of these interactions. Here, we provide insight into these interactions by examining the morphology and distribution of these organisms in snails with double infections. These double infections are a snapshot of a transition that is occurring, since 2 different parasite species do not share their snail host for an extended period of time. Consistent with our predictions, the subordinate species is displaced; fewer soldiers are present and the reproductives look unhealthy. The incoming, dominant species has many immature parasites because it is beginning to establish an infection. These small and seemingly insignificant creatures are important when it comes to the makeup of an ecosystem; they take up resources and affect the health and survival of hosts in estuarine ecosystems. In order to evaluate how they affect a community, we need more studies about the division of labor and interactions among the different parasite species.

    THU-839 URBAN WILDLIFE TRACKING AT CALIFORNIA STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS AND NATURE PRESERVES IN URBAN CITIES

    • Angel Pinedo ;
    • Judy King ;

    THU-839

    URBAN WILDLIFE TRACKING AT CALIFORNIA STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS AND NATURE PRESERVES IN URBAN CITIES

    Angel Pinedo, Judy King.

    California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA.

    Urbanization has removed much of Southern California’s natural habitat, fragmenting it into remnant patches or corridors. Despite loss of critical habitat, several species of wildlife have been able to adapt to life in highly urbanized areas. Understanding what species of animals occur in an area is important for wildlife management and for comprehending the new and complex ecology urbanization has created. Wildlife tracks provide an affordable and convenient method of studying local fauna that are elusive and active during nocturnal hours. We utilized scent stations, consisting of 3, 1-m plots outlined or filled with gypsum baited with an animal lure. We identified and measured mammal tracks of raccoon, coyote, brush rabbit, and domestic cat. Scent stations were placed in restored natural areas throughout the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills. In addition, scent stations were also placed within the Dominguez Hills Nature Preserve and the nearby Gardena Willow’s Wetland Preserve. In particular, coyote (Canis latrans) tracks were identified and plotted on a map with estimated home ranges. We hypothesized generalist species would be identified from scent stations and coyote home ranges would use the nature preserves and restored areas of the university campus. Our results thus far suggest mesopredators such as raccoons, domestic cats, coyotes, and smaller mammals such as brush rabbits thrive as expected in nature reserves and in urbanized settings such as our university. Therefore, despite urbanization, natural areas and natures preserves may help support mesopredator populations.

    THU-844 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS TO PRODUCE PEST RISK MAPS FOR SOUTH TEXAS COTTON AND SORGHUM LAND MANAGERS

    • Leonel DeLeon ;
    • Michael Brewer ;
    • Isaac Esquivel ;
    • Jonda Halcomb ;

    THU-844

    GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS TO PRODUCE PEST RISK MAPS FOR SOUTH TEXAS COTTON AND SORGHUM LAND MANAGERS

    Leonel DeLeon1, Michael Brewer2, Isaac Esquivel2, Jonda Halcomb1.

    1Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX, 2Texas A&M, AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Corpus Christi, TX.

    South Texas is home to many crops. Insect pests are one factor that affect crop yield. Geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to collect, store, and display geospatial data. We applied GIS to monitor insect pests of cotton and sorghum. The goal of creating pest-risk maps is to hel land managers use insecticides only where needed to obtain good pest control and secure good yields. In a case study, working collaboratively with a land manager, commercially available GPS devices were used to store data from sampling areas within individual cotton and sorghum fields. The devices were preloaded with shapefiles of the acreage and additional insect and plant data entry fields such as number of pest insects and plants damaged. Results were used to produce pest risk maps using GIS software. To make the maps most useful to managers, we used symbology to map the insect data with different colors reflecting differences in severity of the potential damage. Maps were created and sent electronically to the land manager within 1 day of data collection. These pest risk maps helped our collaborating land manager decide where to control insect populations to secure good yields without overuse of insecticides. In this case study, land manager decisions included reduced insecticide use at low pest severity and increased spraying of field areas with high pest severity. An important impact of our project is that this technology allows land managers to better target insecticide applications and reduce overall insecticide use.

    FRI-839 FIRST ANALYSIS OF THE UNIQUE BREATHING PATTERNS IN THE PRAYING MANTIS (INSECTA: MANTODEA)

    • Veronica Skital ;
    • Salim Patel ;
    • Christina Carrion ;
    • Gregory Prete ;
    • Emily Fioramonti ;
    • Bart van Alphen ;
    • Aaron Schirmer ;
    • Frederick Prete ;

    FRI-839

    FIRST ANALYSIS OF THE UNIQUE BREATHING PATTERNS IN THE PRAYING MANTIS (INSECTA: MANTODEA)

    Veronica Skital1, Salim Patel1, Christina Carrion1, Gregory Prete1, Emily Fioramonti1, Bart van Alphen2, Aaron Schirmer1, Frederick Prete1.

    1Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL, 2Northwestern Illinois University, Evanston, IL.

    Unlike vertebrates, insects do not breathe continuously. They breathe in bouts separated by variable intervals. This results in respiratory patterns ranging from phasic to continuous. Transitions between patterns vary within individuals, between species, and in response to physiological conditions. We believe that respiratory pattern switching results from the imposition or withdrawal of cephalic pattern generator control over a phasic, lower-level (abdominal) pattern generator that controls respiratory musculature. We used a custom MatLab video analysis program to analyze respiratory abdominal movements across 4 species of mantis over periods from 24 - 72 consecutive hours. Overall, respiration was similar across species. We also compared breathing in immobilized (restrained) and unrestrained Hierodula patellifera to assess the influence of activity on respiration. Restrained H. patellifera breathed in bouts lasting 109.84 (± 62.53 sd) sec separated by 49.39 (± 33.09 sd) sec intervals. Bouts had 3 phases: phase 1 consisted of 5.68 (± 2.6 sd) shallow, irregularly spaced breaths; phase 2 included 10.66 (± 5.60 sd) rapid, deeper breaths and lasted 33.97 (± 20.22 sd) sec; and phase 3 lasted 37.64 (± 27.41 sd) sec and included only 3 to 5 very deep breaths. In quiescent, unrestrained animals, overall bout length was 200.56 (± 92.26 sd) sec without a discernible phase 1, but was otherwise similar to restrained mantises. Preliminary data suggest continuous breathing is associated with increased activity. We have shown that mantis activity has a circadian rhythm; hence, so may respiratory pattern switching. These results are an initial step in understanding the control of respiration in mantises, and the evolution of respiratory control mechanisms.

    THU-843 NEST SITE DENSITY OF LEAF CUTTER ANTS (ATTA CEPHALOTES) ACROSS LAND-USE TYPES IN COSTA RICAN LOWLAND RAIN FOREST

    • Deo Lachman ;
    • Jane Zelikova ;

    THU-843

    NEST SITE DENSITY OF LEAF CUTTER ANTS (ATTA CEPHALOTES) ACROSS LAND-USE TYPES IN COSTA RICAN LOWLAND RAIN FOREST

    Deo Lachman, Jane Zelikova.

    University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY.

    Leaf cutter ants are the most dominant herbivore in the Neotropics and are ecosystem engineers that alter soil chemistry and composition around their nests. While many studies have investigated the intricacies of their fungi-ant mutualism and the resulting biogeochemical effects, few attempt to make these findings scalable in a meaningful way. We conducted our study at La Selva Biological Research Station in Costa Rica. La Selva is home to a variety of habitats including primary old growth forest, secondary forest, regenerating pastures, and both active and abandoned plantations. We were interested in finding out how nest densities and nest size varied across these different habitat types. We hypothesized that nest densities would be larger in regenerated open pastures, and that nest size would be smaller in areas of higher density. We comprehensively surveyed 65 5,000 m² plots across habitats throughout La Selva. We marked each nest and measured nest surface area, counting nest entrances and vents. We found that nest densities in regenerating pastures were significantly higher than densities for all other habitats. However, a calculation of habitat area covered by nests did not show a statistically significant difference across habitats. This means that areas of higher density do tend to have smaller nests than those found in areas of lower density. These results support the hypotheses that nest size and density vary across habitats. Furthermore, they can be used to quantify the impact of ecosystem engineers at large scales and across other tropical forests.

    FRI-840 CLOSING THE LOOP: BLACK FLIES (FAMILY SIMULIIDAE) ARE VECTORS FOR ONCHOCERCA LUPI (FILARIAL EYE WORM OF CANINES), IN NEW MEXICO

    • Quan Huynh ;
    • Coenraad Adema ;

    FRI-840

    CLOSING THE LOOP: BLACK FLIES (FAMILY SIMULIIDAE) ARE VECTORS FOR ONCHOCERCA LUPI (FILARIAL EYE WORM OF CANINES), IN NEW MEXICO

    Quan Huynh, Coenraad Adema.

    The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

    An emerging infectious disease caused by Onchocerca lupi (parasitic filarial worm) leads to blindness in dogs in regions of New Mexico, including Albuquerque. Resolving the parasite’s life cycle will provide information on epidemiology and preventing infections. Considering the life cycles of related filarial parasites, we hypothesized that some blood-feeding insect is the vector that transmits O. lupi infection. Canopy light/CO2 traps were used for weekly overnight collection of blood feeding insects from 7 Albuquerque parks associated with confirmed cases of O. lupi-infected dogs. Captured insects were identified morphologically and stored in ethanol. Black flies (genus Simulium) were distinguished by coloration (black and golden). DNA was extracted and genetic typing (16S) showed that coloration associates with different genetic lineages. A nested PCR was developed to detect ND5 sequence of O. lupi in pools of black flies. This yielded O. lupi-specific PCR amplicons from golden black flies collected from Sunset Canyon and Oso Grande parks in May 2014. Other samples were negative. This provides a first, strong indication that golden black flies (Simulium bivittatum) are the vector for transmission of O. lupi. Current work aims to better characterize these black flies including analysis of larval stages. Also, we are testing for parasite development throughout the insect’s body to confirm S. bivittatum as a true vector of O. lupi.