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Sample records for arachnidism

  1. Arachnid lipoproteins: comparative aspects.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Mónica; Garcia, Fernando; Pollero, Ricardo J

    2007-01-01

    Findings on hemolymph lipoproteins in the class Arachnida are reviewed in relation to their lipid and protein compositions, hydrated densities, the capacity of apoproteins to bind lipids, and the influence of xenobiotics on their structures and functionality. The occurrence of hemolymphatic lipoproteins in arachnids has been reported in species belonging to the orders Araneida, Scorpionida, Solpugida and Acarina. However, lipoproteins were properly characterized in only three species, Eurypelma californicum, Polybetes pythagoricus and Latrodectus mirabilis. Like insect and crustaceans the arachnids examined contain high density lipoproteins (HDLs) as predominant circulating lipoproteins. Although in most arachnids these particles resemble those of insect HDLs called "lipophorins", in two arachnid species they differ from lipophorins in their apoproteins, total mass and lipid composition. The hemolymph of P. pythagoricus and L. mirabilis contains another HDL of higher density, while P. pythagoricus and E. californicum hemolymph contain a third lipoprotein of very high density (VHDL). Composition of arachnid lipoproteins regarding apoprotein classes as well as lipid classes differ among species. Hemocyanin, in addition to the classical role of this protein as respiratory pigment, is presented here performing the function of apolipoprotein in some arachnid species. Reports on experiments demonstrating the capacity of hemocyanin to bind neutral and polar lipid classes, including ecdysteroids, are commented. Recent works about the changes evoked by a phosphorous pesticide on the structures and functionality of spider lipoproteins are also reviewed.

  2. Loxoscelism and necrotic arachnidism.

    PubMed

    Wasserman, G S; Anderson, P C

    The Brown recluse spider has emerged into a potent venomous creature. Loxoscelism and necrotic arachnidism is not an infrequent medical problem. Spiders other than L. reclusa are capable of inflicting painful and persisting necrotic wounds, however, management of the local cutaneous lesions are similar. Systemic complications of loxoscelism appear to be characteristic for spiders of the genus loxosceles. The authors review an indepth discussion of the spider, venom, diagnosis, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, treatment, and prevention. The literature on loxoscelism is contradictory because of the individuality of the reaction. Experience with many patients is the only guide to management of these cases.

  3. The health problem of arachnidism

    PubMed Central

    Maretić, Z.; Stanić, M.

    1954-01-01

    The authors give data on arachnidism (the systemic poisoning caused by the bite of the spider Latrodectus) in general, on its distribution in the world and in Yugoslavia in particular, on the Latrodectus spider, and on the characteristic clinical syndrome of arachnidism. The bite of the Latrodectus causes great pain, disables the bitten person for a certain time, and may even cause death in a few instances. The results of the authors' own observations in the clinic and on experimental animals are given. Of all forms of therapy tried by them, the simultaneous application of calcium, antivenom, and sometimes procaine infiltration for the relief of local pains gave the best results. In view of the apparently increasing importance of arachnidism, the authors recommend the international exchange of experience on the problem. ImagesFIG. 1 PMID:14364184

  4. Theory of Arachnid Prey Localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stürzl, W.; Kempter, R.; van Hemmen, J. L.

    2000-06-01

    Sand scorpions and many other arachnids locate their prey through highly sensitive slit sensilla at the tips (tarsi) of their eight legs. This sensor array responds to vibrations with stimulus-locked action potentials encoding the target direction. We present a neuronal model to account for stimulus angle determination using a population of second-order neurons, each receiving excitatory input from one tarsus and inhibition from a triad opposite to it. The input opens a time window whose width determines a neuron's firing probability. Stochastic optimization is realized through tuning the balance between excitation and inhibition. The agreement with experiments on the sand scorpion is excellent.

  5. Dangerous arachnids-Fake news or reality?

    PubMed

    Hauke, Tobias J; Herzig, Volker

    2017-09-01

    The public perception of spiders and scorpions is skewed towards the potential harm they can inflict in humans, despite recent scientific evidence that arachnid venom components might be useful as bioinsecticides or even human therapeutics. Nevertheless, arachnids are becoming more popular as pets in Europe, America and Asia, raising the question for regulatory agencies in these regions as to whether they need to take measurements to protect their citizens. In order to decide upon the necessary regulatory steps, they first need to determine which arachnids are actually dangerous to humans. This review therefore provides an overview of the current literature on verified bites and stings from spiders and scorpions with the aim of assessing their potential danger for human health. As a guideline, we also provide a list of those arachnid genera that we consider as potentially dangerous, which includes 10 spider and 11 scorpion genera. The arachnid genera classified as dangerous comprise less than a quarter of all extant scorpion species and only 0.5% of all spiders species, with the actual number most likely being much lower than that, as not all species in those genera might turn out to pose an actual threat for humans. In conclusion, we found that only a small percentage of scorpions and a minute percentage of all spiders can be considered as potentially dangerous to humans. While in some countries of origin the high incidence of envenomations by dangerous arachnids can result in a serious problem to the health system, we assessed the risk that the same species pose when kept as pets under controlled maintenance conditions as significantly lower. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. An extensive case of dermonecrotic arachnidism.

    PubMed

    Divito, Sherrie J; Haught, Justin M; English, Joseph C; Ferris, Laura K

    2009-09-01

    Dermonecrotic arachnidism is the potential cutaneous reaction to spider bite venom. The yellow sac spider, genus Cheiracanthium, is historically considered capable of inducing dermonecrotic lesions. However, recently this belief has been hotly debated. In this article, the authors provide a brief review of dermonecrotic arachnidism and describe a case of a 20-year-old man who developed severe necrosis and edema of the left thigh, buttock, penis, and scrotum following the bite of a yellow sac spider. Notably, the patient wore a tight-fitting garment for multiple hours following the spider bite, thus compressing the envenomated tissue. This is the first case reporting such severe dermonecrosis resulting from a yellow sac spider bite and highlights the potential effects of tissue compression following spider envenomation.

  7. An Extensive Case of Dermonecrotic Arachnidism

    PubMed Central

    Divito, Sherrie J.; Haught, Justin M.; English, Joseph C.

    2009-01-01

    Dermonecrotic arachnidism is the potential cutaneous reaction to spider bite venom. The yellow sac spider, genus Cheiracanthium, is historically considered capable of inducing dermonecrotic lesions. However, recently this belief has been hotly debated. In this article, the authors provide a brief review of dermonecrotic arachnidism and describe a case of a 20-year-old man who developed severe necrosis and edema of the left thigh, buttock, penis, and scrotum following the bite of a yellow sac spider. Notably, the patient wore a tight-fitting garment for multiple hours following the spider bite, thus compressing the envenomated tissue. This is the first case reporting such severe dermonecrosis resulting from a yellow sac spider bite and highlights the potential effects of tissue compression following spider envenomation. PMID:20729958

  8. Arachnid toxinology in Australia: from clinical toxicology to potential applications.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Graham M; Graudins, Andis; Wilson, Harry I; Little, Michelle; Broady, Kevin W

    2006-12-01

    The unique geographic isolation of Australia has resulted in the evolution of a distinctive range of Australian arachnid fauna. Through the pioneering work of a number of Australian arachnologists, toxinologists, and clinicians, the taxonomy and distribution of new species, the effective clinical treatment of envenomation, and the isolation and characterisation of the many distinctive neurotoxins, has been achieved. In particular, work has focussed on several Australian arachnids, including red-back and funnel-web spiders, paralysis ticks, and buthid scorpions that contain neurotoxins capable of causing death or serious systemic envenomation. In the case of spiders, species-specific antivenoms have been developed to treat envenomed patients that show considerable cross-reactivity. Both in vitro and clinical case studies have shown they are particularly efficacious in the treatment of envenomation by spiders even from unrelated families. Despite their notorious reputation, the high selectivity and potency of a unique range of toxins from the venom of Australian arachnids will make them invaluable molecular tools for studies of neurotransmitter release and vesicle exocytosis as well as ion channel structure and function. The venoms of funnel-web spiders, and more recently Australian scorpions, have also provided a previously untapped rich source of insect-selective neurotoxins for the future development of biopesticides and the characterisation of previously unvalidated insecticide targets. This review provides a historical viewpoint of the work of many toxinologists to isolate and characterise just some of the toxins produced by such a unique group of arachnids and examines the potential applications of these novel peptides.

  9. Understanding How Preservice Teachers' Fear, Perceived Danger and Disgust Affects the Incorporation of Arachnid Information into the Elementary Science Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy

    2017-01-01

    Arachnids are predatory arthropods that are beneficial to humans in many ways, with common examples including spiders and scorpions. Despite the importance of arachnids to global ecosystems, the fear of spiders in specific human groups is well documented. Arachnids are a very diverse class (i.e., Arachnida) encompassing eleven extant orders with…

  10. Were arachnids the first to use combinatorial peptide libraries?

    PubMed

    Sollod, Brianna L; Wilson, David; Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Gogarten, J Peter; Drinkwater, Roger; King, Glenn F

    2005-01-01

    Spiders, scorpions, and cone snails are remarkable for the extent and diversity of gene-encoded peptide neurotoxins that are expressed in their venom glands. These toxins are produced in the form of structurally constrained combinatorial peptide libraries in which there is hypermutation of essentially all residues in the mature-toxin sequence with the exception of a handful of strictly conserved cysteines that direct the three-dimensional fold of the toxin. This gene-based combinatorial peptide library strategy appears to have been first implemented by arachnids almost 400 million years ago, long before cone snails evolved a similar mechanism for generating peptide diversity.

  11. Arachnids Secrete a Fluid over Their Adhesive Pads

    PubMed Central

    Peattie, Anne M.; Dirks, Jan-Henning; Henriques, Sérgio; Federle, Walter

    2011-01-01

    Background Many arachnids possess adhesive pads on their feet that help them climb smooth surfaces and capture prey. Spider and gecko adhesives have converged on a branched, hairy structure, which theoretically allows them to adhere solely by dry (solid-solid) intermolecular interactions. Indeed, the consensus in the literature is that spiders and their smooth-padded relatives, the solifugids, adhere without the aid of a secretion. Methodology and Principal Findings We investigated the adhesive contact zone of living spiders, solifugids and mites using interference reflection microscopy, which allows the detection of thin liquid films. Like insects, all the arachnids we studied left behind hydrophobic fluid footprints on glass (mean refractive index: 1.48–1.50; contact angle: 3.7–11.2°). Fluid was not always secreted continuously, suggesting that pads can function in both wet and dry modes. We measured the attachment forces of single adhesive setae from tarantulas (Grammostola rosea) by attaching them to a bending beam with a known spring constant and filming the resulting deflection. Individual spider setae showed a lower static friction at rest (26%±2.8 SE of the peak friction) than single gecko setae (Thecadactylus rapicauda; 96%±1.7 SE). This may be explained by the fact that spider setae continued to release fluid after isolation from the animal, lubricating the contact zone. Significance This finding implies that tarsal secretions occur within all major groups of terrestrial arthropods with adhesive pads. The presence of liquid in an adhesive contact zone has important consequences for attachment performance, improving adhesion to rough surfaces and introducing rate-dependent effects. Our results leave geckos and anoles as the only known representatives of truly dry adhesive pads in nature. Engineers seeking biological inspiration for synthetic adhesives should consider whether model species with fluid secretions are appropriate to their design goals

  12. Peptides of arachnid venoms with insecticidal activity targeting sodium channels.

    PubMed

    De Lima, M E; Figueiredo, S G; Pimenta, A M C; Santos, D M; Borges, M H; Cordeiro, M N; Richardson, M; Oliveira, L C; Stankiewicz, M; Pelhate, M

    2007-01-01

    Arachnids have a venom apparatus and secrete a complex chemical mixture of low molecular mass organic molecules, enzymes and polypeptide neurotoxins designed to paralyze or kill their prey. Most of these toxins are specific for membrane voltage-gated sodium channels, although some may also target calcium or potassium channels and other membrane receptors. Scorpions and spiders have provided the greatest number of the neurotoxins studied so far, for which, a good number of primary and 3D structures have been obtained. Structural features, comprising a folding that determines a similar spatial distribution of charged and hydrophobic side chains of specific amino acids, are strikingly common among the toxins from spider and scorpion venoms. Such similarities are, in turn, the key feature to target and bind these proteins to ionic channels. The search for new insecticidal compounds, as well as the study of their modes of action, constitutes a current approach to rationally design novel insecticides. This goal tends to be more relevant if the resistance to the conventional chemical products is considered. A promising alternative seems to be the biotechnological approach using toxin-expressing recombinant baculovirus. Spider and scorpion toxins having insecticidal activity are reviewed here considering their structures, toxicities and action mechanisms in sodium channels of excitable membranes.

  13. ARACHNID: A prototype object-oriented database tool for distributed systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Younger, Herbert; Oreilly, John; Frogner, Bjorn

    1994-01-01

    This paper discusses the results of a Phase 2 SBIR project sponsored by NASA and performed by MIMD Systems, Inc. A major objective of this project was to develop specific concepts for improved performance in accessing large databases. An object-oriented and distributed approach was used for the general design, while a geographical decomposition was used as a specific solution. The resulting software framework is called ARACHNID. The Faint Source Catalog developed by NASA was the initial database testbed. This is a database of many giga-bytes, where an order of magnitude improvement in query speed is being sought. This database contains faint infrared point sources obtained from telescope measurements of the sky. A geographical decomposition of this database is an attractive approach to dividing it into pieces. Each piece can then be searched on individual processors with only a weak data linkage between the processors being required. As a further demonstration of the concepts implemented in ARACHNID, a tourist information system is discussed. This version of ARACHNID is the commercial result of the project. It is a distributed, networked, database application where speed, maintenance, and reliability are important considerations. This paper focuses on the design concepts and technologies that form the basis for ARACHNID.

  14. Land animals in the silurian: arachnids and myriapods from shropshire, England.

    PubMed

    Jeram, A J; Selden, P A; Edwards, D

    1990-11-02

    A new assemblage of arthropod cuticles from Upper Silurian rocks in Shropshire, England, includes at least two centipedes and a trigonotarbid arachnid. This unequivocal terrestrial fauna from the Silurian constitutes the earliest direct record of land animals. The presence of predatory arthropods suggests that complex terrestrial ecosystems were in place by the late Silurian (414 x 10(6) years before present) and that the animal invasion of the land occurred earlier than was previously thought.

  15. Arachnid relationships based on mitochondrial genomes: asymmetric nucleotide and amino acid bias affects phylogenetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Masta, Susan E; Longhorn, Stuart J; Boore, Jeffrey L

    2009-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA have yielded widely differing relationships among members of the arthropod lineage Arachnida, depending on the nucleotide coding schemes and models of evolution used. We enhanced taxonomic coverage within the Arachnida greatly by sequencing seven new arachnid mitochondrial genomes from five orders. We then used all 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes from these genomes to evaluate patterns of nucleotide and amino acid biases. Our data show that two of the six orders of arachnids (spiders and scorpions) have experienced shifts in both nucleotide and amino acid usage in all their protein-coding genes, and that these biases mislead phylogeny reconstruction. These biases are most striking for the hydrophobic amino acids isoleucine and valine, which appear to have evolved asymmetrical exchanges in response to shifts in nucleotide composition. To improve phylogenetic accuracy based on amino acid differences, we tested two recoding methods: (1) removing all isoleucine and valine sites and (2) recoding amino acids based on their physiochemical properties. We find that these methods yield phylogenetic trees that are consistent in their support of ancient intraordinal divergences within the major arachnid lineages. Further refinement of amino acid recoding methods may help us better delineate interordinal relationships among these diverse organisms.

  16. Unnoticed in the tropics: phylogenomic resolution of the poorly known arachnid order Ricinulei (Arachnida)

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, Rosa; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    Ricinulei are among the most obscure and cryptic arachnid orders, constituting a micro-diverse group with extreme endemism. The 76 extant species described to date are grouped in three genera: Ricinoides, from tropical Western and Central Africa, and the two Neotropical genera Cryptocellus and Pseudocellus. Until now, a single molecular phylogeny of Ricinulei has been published, recovering the African Ricinoides as the sister group of the American Pseudocellus and providing evidence for the diversification of the order pre-dating the fragmentation of Gondwana. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first phylogenomic study of this neglected arachnid order based on data from five transcriptomes obtained from the five major mitochondrial lineages of Ricinulei. Our results, based on up to more than 2000 genes, strongly support a clade containing Pseudocellus and Cryptocellus, constituting the American group of Ricinulei, with the African Ricinoides nesting outside. Our dating of the diversification of the African and American clades using a 76 gene data matrix with 90% gene occupancy indicates that this arachnid lineage was distributed in the South American, North American and African plates of Gondwana and that its diversification is concordant with a biogeographic scenario (both for pattern and tempo) of Gondwanan vicariance. PMID:26543583

  17. Comparative genomic study of arachnid immune systems indicates loss of βGRPs and the IMD pathway

    PubMed Central

    Bechsgaard, Jesper; Vanthournout, Bram; Funch, Peter; Vestbo, Stine; Gibbs, Richard A; Richards, Stephen; Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Enghild, Jan J.; Bilde, Trine

    2015-01-01

    Analyses of arthropod genomes have shown that the genes in the different innate humoral immune responses are conserved. These genes encode proteins that are involved in immune signalling pathways that recognize pathogens and activate immune responses. These immune responses include phagocytosis, encapsulation of the pathogen, and production of effector molecules for pathogen elimination. So far, most studies have focused on insects leaving other major arthropod groups largely unexplored. Here we annotate the immune related genes of six arachnid genomes and present evidence for a conserved pattern of some immune genes, but also evolutionary changes in the arachnid immune system. Specifically, our results suggest that the family of recognition molecules of Beta-1,3-glucanase-related proteins (βGRPs) and the genes from the immune deficiency (IMD) signalling pathway have been lost in a common ancestor of arachnids. These findings are consistent with previous work suggesting that the humoral immune effector proteins are constitutively produced in arachnids in contrast to insects, where these have to be induced. Further functional studies are needed to verify this. We further show that the full hemolymph clotting cascade found in the horseshoe crab is retrieved in most arachnid genomes. Tetranychus lacks at least one major component, although it is possible that this cascade could still function through recruitment of a different protein. The gel-forming protein in horseshoe crabs, coagulogen, was not recovered in any of the arachnid genomes, however, it is possible that the arachnid clot consists of a related protein, spätzle, that is present in all of the genomes. PMID:26528622

  18. Comparative performance of double-digest RAD sequencing across divergent arachnid lineages.

    PubMed

    Burns, Mercedes; Starrett, James; Derkarabetian, Shahan; Richart, Casey H; Cabrero, Allan; Hedin, Marshal

    2016-07-25

    Next-generation sequencing technologies now allow researchers of non-model systems to perform genome-based studies without the requirement of a (often unavailable) closely related genomic reference. We evaluated the role of restriction endonuclease (RE) selection in double-digest restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) by generating reduced representation genome-wide data using four different RE combinations. Our expectation was that RE selections targeting longer, more complex restriction sites would recover fewer loci than RE with shorter, less complex sites. We sequenced a diverse sample of non-model arachnids, including five congeneric pairs of harvestmen (Opiliones) and four pairs of spiders (Araneae). Sample pairs consisted of either conspecifics or closely related congeneric taxa, and in total 26 sample pair analyses were tested. Sequence demultiplexing, read clustering and variant calling were performed in the pyRAD program. The 6-base pair cutter EcoRI combined with methylated site-specific 4-base pair cutter MspI produced, on average, the greatest numbers of intra-individual loci and shared loci per sample pair. As expected, the number of shared loci recovered for a sample pair covaried with the degree of genetic divergence, estimated with cytochrome oxidase I sequences, although this relationship was non-linear. Our comparative results will prove useful in guiding protocol selection for ddRADseq experiments on many arachnid taxa where reference genomes, even from closely related species, are unavailable.

  19. Artificial spider: eight-legged arachnid and autonomous learning of locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alshurafa, Nabil I.; Harmon, Justin T.

    2006-05-01

    Evolution has produced organisms whose locomotive agility and adaptivity mock the difficulty faced by robotic scientists. The problem of locomotion, which nature has solved so well, is surprisingly complex and difficult. We explore the ability of an artificial eight-legged arachnid, or animat, to autonomously learn a locomotive gait in a three-dimensional environment. We take a physics-based approach at modeling the world and the virtual body of the animat. The arachnid-like animat learns muscular control functions using simulated annealing techniques, which attempts to maximize forward velocity and minimize energy expenditure. We experiment with varying the weight of these parameters and the resulting locomotive gaits. We perform two experiments in which the first is a naive physics model of the body and world which uses point-masses and idealized joints and muscles. The second experiment is a more realistic simulation using rigid body elements with distributed mass, friction, motors, and mechanical joints. By emphasizing physical aspects we wish to minimize, a number of interesting gaits emerge.

  20. Necrotic arachnidism of the eyelid due to Loxosceles rufescens spider bite.

    PubMed

    Bajin, Meltem Soylev; Arikan, Gul; Parlak, Melih; Tuncok, Yesim; Yigit, Nazife; Durak, Ismet; Saatci, Ali Osman

    2011-12-01

    A 69-year-old woman was awakened with redness and swelling of the left upper eyelid a few days before her presentation. She also noticed a dead spider on her bed. Ophthalmic examination revealed severe left periorbital hyperemia, edema and a wide necrotic area on the upper eyelid. Systemic condition of the patient was well. She was hospitalized with the diagnosis of necrotic arachnidism of the left upper eyelid. Systemic corticosteroid and antibiotic treatment was commenced. No surgical intervention was carried out. A week later, whole upper eyelid was covered with a black eschar. This black eschar shrank with time, and it detached completely within 8 weeks and the lesion healed without a disfiguring scar. Meanwhile, the offending spider was identified as Loxosceles rufescens. Although rare, eyelid may be a biting site for Loxosceles spiders and a favorable result may be obtained with conservative management.

  1. From the stretcher to the pharmacy's shelf: drug leads from medically important brazilian venomous arachnid species.

    PubMed

    Rates, Breno; Verano-Braga, Thiago; Santos, Daniel Moreira; Nunes, Kênia Pedrosa; Pimenta, Adriano M C; De Lima, Maria Elena

    2011-10-01

    Accidents involving venomous animals have always caught the attention of mankind due to their lethality and other clinical implications. However, since the molecules obtained from animal venoms have been the product of millions of years of evolutionary process, toxins could be used to probe physiological mechanisms and could serve as leads for drug development. The present work reviews the state of the art pertaining to venom molecules from Brazilian medically important arachnid species bearing potential biotechnological applications. Special focus is given to toxins isolated from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus and the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Lycosa erythrognatha, whose venoms possess molecules acting as erectile function modulators and as antihypertensive, analgesic, neuroprotective and antimicrobial agents.

  2. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins.

    PubMed

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-03-30

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. © 2016 The Authors.

  3. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins

    PubMed Central

    Garwood, Russell J.; Dunlop, Jason A.; Selden, Paul A.; Spencer, Alan R. T.; Atwood, Robert C.; Vo, Nghia T.; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasieri gen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian, ca 305–299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian–Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri. While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. PMID:27030415

  4. Structure of purotoxin-2 from wolf spider: modular design and membrane-assisted mode of action in arachnid toxins.

    PubMed

    Oparin, Peter B; Nadezhdin, Kirill D; Berkut, Antonina A; Arseniev, Alexander S; Grishin, Eugene V; Vassilevski, Alexander A

    2016-10-01

    Traditionally, arachnid venoms are known to contain two particularly important groups of peptide toxins. One is disulfide-rich neurotoxins with a predominance of β-structure that specifically target protein receptors in neurons or muscle cells. The other is linear cationic cytotoxins that form amphiphilic α-helices and exhibit rather non-specific membrane-damaging activity. In the present paper, we describe the first 3D structure of a modular arachnid toxin, purotoxin-2 (PT2) from the wolf spider Alopecosa marikovskyi (Lycosidae), studied by NMR spectroscopy. PT2 is composed of an N-terminal inhibitor cystine knot (ICK, or knottin) β-structural domain and a C-terminal linear cationic domain. In aqueous solution, the C-terminal fragment is hyper-flexible, whereas the knottin domain is very rigid. In membrane-mimicking environment, the C-terminal domain assumes a stable amphipathic α-helix. This helix effectively tethers the toxin to membranes and serves as a membrane-access and membrane-anchoring device. Sequence analysis reveals that the knottin + α-helix architecture is quite widespread among arachnid toxins, and PT2 is therefore the founding member of a large family of polypeptides with similar structure motifs. Toxins from this family target different membrane receptors such as P2X in the case of PT2 and calcium channels, but their mechanism of action through membrane access may be strikingly similar.

  5. Streamlining DNA Barcoding Protocols: Automated DNA Extraction and a New cox1 Primer in Arachnid Systematics

    PubMed Central

    Vidergar, Nina; Toplak, Nataša; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2014-01-01

    Background DNA barcoding is a popular tool in taxonomic and phylogenetic studies, but for most animal lineages protocols for obtaining the barcoding sequences—mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (cox1 AKA CO1)—are not standardized. Our aim was to explore an optimal strategy for arachnids, focusing on the species-richest lineage, spiders by (1) improving an automated DNA extraction protocol, (2) testing the performance of commonly used primer combinations, and (3) developing a new cox1 primer suitable for more efficient alignment and phylogenetic analyses. Methodology We used exemplars of 15 species from all major spider clades, processed a range of spider tissues of varying size and quality, optimized genomic DNA extraction using the MagMAX Express magnetic particle processor—an automated high throughput DNA extraction system—and tested cox1 amplification protocols emphasizing the standard barcoding region using ten routinely employed primer pairs. Results The best results were obtained with the commonly used Folmer primers (LCO1490/HCO2198) that capture the standard barcode region, and with the C1-J-2183/C1-N-2776 primer pair that amplifies its extension. However, C1-J-2183 is designed too close to HCO2198 for well-interpreted, continuous sequence data, and in practice the resulting sequences from the two primer pairs rarely overlap. We therefore designed a new forward primer C1-J-2123 60 base pairs upstream of the C1-J-2183 binding site. The success rate of this new primer (93%) matched that of C1-J-2183. Conclusions The use of C1-J-2123 allows full, indel-free overlap of sequences obtained with the standard Folmer primers and with C1-J-2123 primer pair. Our preliminary tests suggest that in addition to spiders, C1-J-2123 will also perform in other arachnids and several other invertebrates. We provide optimal PCR protocols for these primer sets, and recommend using them for systematic efforts beyond DNA barcoding. PMID:25415202

  6. Comparative genomic study of arachnid immune systems indicates loss of beta-1,3-glucanase-related proteins and the immune deficiency pathway.

    PubMed

    Bechsgaard, J; Vanthournout, B; Funch, P; Vestbo, S; Gibbs, R A; Richards, S; Sanggaard, K W; Enghild, J J; Bilde, T

    2016-02-01

    Analyses of arthropod genomes have shown that the genes in the different innate humoral immune responses are conserved. These genes encode proteins that are involved in immune signalling pathways that recognize pathogens and activate immune responses. These immune responses include phagocytosis, encapsulation of the pathogen and production of effector molecules for pathogen elimination. So far, most studies have focused on insects leaving other major arthropod groups largely unexplored. Here, we annotate the immune-related genes of six arachnid genomes and present evidence for a conserved pattern of some immune genes, but also evolutionary changes in the arachnid immune system. Specifically, our results suggest that the family of recognition molecules of beta-1,3-glucanase-related proteins (βGRPs) and the genes from the immune deficiency (IMD) signalling pathway have been lost in a common ancestor of arachnids. These findings are consistent with previous work suggesting that the humoral immune effector proteins are constitutively produced in arachnids in contrast to insects, where these have to be induced. Further functional studies are needed to verify this. We further show that the full haemolymph clotting cascade found in the horseshoe crab is retrieved in most arachnid genomes. Tetranychus lacks at least one major component, although it is possible that this cascade could still function through recruitment of a different protein. The gel-forming protein in horseshoe crabs, coagulogen, was not recovered in any of the arachnid genomes; however, it is possible that the arachnid clot consists of a related protein, spätzle, that is present in all of the genomes. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Numerical simulation of colloidal self-assembly of super-hydrophobic arachnid cerotegument structures.

    PubMed

    Filippov, Alexander É; Wolff, Jonas O; Seiter, Michael; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2017-10-07

    Certain arachnids exhibit complex coatings of their exoskeleton, consisting of globular structures with complex surface features. This, so-called, cerotegument is formed by a multi-component colloidal secretion that self-assembles and cures on the body surface, and leads to high water repellency. Previous ultrastructural studies revealed the involvement of different glandular cells that contribute different components to the secretion mixture, but the overall process of self-assembly into the complex regular structures observed remained highly unclear. Here we study this process from a theoretical point of view, starting from the so-called Tammes-problem. We show that slight changes of simple parameters lead to a variety of morphologies that are highly similar to the ones observed in the species specific cerotegument structures of whip-spiders. These results are not only important for our understanding of the formation of globular hierarchical structures in nature, but also for the fabrication of novel surface coatings by colloidal lithography. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Insects, arachnids and centipedes venom: A powerful weapon against bacteria. A literature review.

    PubMed

    Fratini, Filippo; Cilia, Giovanni; Turchi, Barbara; Felicioli, Antonio

    2017-05-01

    Currently, new antimicrobial molecules extracted or obtained by natural sources, could be a valide alternative to traditional antibiotics. Most of these molecules are represented by antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are essential compounds of insect, arachnids and centipedes venom. AMPs, due to their strong effectiveness, low resistance rates and peculiar mode of action, seem to have all the suitable features to be a powerful weapon against several bacteria, especially considering the increasing antibiotic-resistance phenomena. The present literature review focuses on the antibacterial activity of bee, wasp, ant, scorpion, spider and scolopendra crude venom and of their main biological active compounds. After a brief overview of each animal and venom use in folkloristic medicine, this review reports, in a comprehensive table, the results obtained by the most relevant and recent researches carried out on the antibacterial activity of different venom and their AMPs. For each considered study, the table summarizes data concerning minimal inhibitory concentration values, minimal bactericidal concentration values, the methods employed, scientific name and common names and provenience of animal species from which the crude venom and its respective compounds were obtained. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Evidence against the involvement of Mycobacterium ulcerans in most cases of necrotic arachnidism.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, R K; Farrell, D J; Leis, A P

    1995-01-01

    Cutaneous lesions caused by M. ulcerans were shown to bear only a superficial resemblance to those produced by certain spider species. M. ulcerans was not found in either the venoms or the midguts of several Australian spiders, and deliberate contamination by inoculation of the fangs and digestive system of the wolf spider, Lycosa godeffroyi, did not result in permanent colonization. M. ulcerans was successfully introduced into the skin of mice through a small trauma site similar to that caused by a spider bite. However, because M. ulcerans was shown to survive on exposed surfaces for only a short period, a successful inoculation is likely only if the skin is contaminated with this organism after, or at the same time as, the skin suffers damage. The claim by other workers that M. ulcerans produces cutaneous ulcers by release of an exotoxin could not be confirmed. The authors conclude that M. ulcerans is not involved in most cases of necrotic arachnidism and hence there is no justification for prescribing anti-mycobacterial antibiotics to resolve alleged spider bite lesions unless the presence of M. ulcerans has been demonstrated by appropriate laboratory tests.

  10. Effects of reconstruction of a pre-European vertebrate assemblage on ground-dwelling arachnids in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Silvey, Colin J; Hayward, Matthew W; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-06-01

    Species loss can result in changes in assemblage structure and ecosystem function through ecological cascades. Australian vertebrate assemblages changed significantly following European colonisation, which resulted in the establishment of invasive vertebrates and the loss of native marsupials, many of which consume invertebrates. Conservation focusses on the removal of invasive carnivores and the reintroduction of regionally extinct species to fenced sites, resulting in what could be considered a reconstruction of pre-European vertebrate assemblages. In semi-arid Australian spinifex mallee ecosystems, we asked: (1) what is the effect of reconstructed pre-European vertebrate assemblages on native arachnid assemblages? and (2) what direct or indirect mechanisms (predation, disturbance and/or competition) could plausibly be responsible for these effects? We compared sites with reconstructed vertebrate assemblages with paired control sites. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall trapping and direct searching. Hypotheses regarding mechanisms were tested using scat analysis (predation) and by comparing burrow depth (disturbance) and scorpion mass (competition) between control and reconstructed sites. The dominant dune scorpion, Urodacus yaschenkoi, was less abundant and a wolf spider (Lycosa gibsoni species group) more abundant in reconstructed sites. Differences in spider assemblage composition were marginally non-significant. Scat analysis confirmed native vertebrate predation on scorpions and we found no evidence that competition or disturbance affected scorpions. We, thus, suggest that changes in spider assemblages may have resulted from ecological cascades via decreases in dune scorpions. The loss of omnivorous mammals and other changes associated with the invasion of carnivores may, therefore, have had broad-reaching consequences for native arachnid assemblages in Australian ecosystems.

  11. Catalogue of type materials of springtails (Hexapoda, Collembola) in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids & Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Stebaeva, Sophya; Lonsdale, Owen; Babenko, Anatoly

    2016-03-09

    The catalogue assembles and updates all data concerning the type material of Collembola kept in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids & Nematodes in Ottawa (CNC). Information is provided for type material of 69 species. Included are holotypes of 31 species (together with 5 ones from Cretaceous amber), syntypes of 26 species (four of them are presently considered to be junior synonyms) and paratypes of 32 species (one of which is considered a junior synonym). Essential label data, references to original descriptions, and modern status including synonyms are given.

  12. Arachnids of medical importance in Brazil: main active compounds present in scorpion and spider venoms and tick saliva.

    PubMed

    Cordeiro, Francielle A; Amorim, Fernanda G; Anjolette, Fernando A P; Arantes, Eliane C

    2015-01-01

    Arachnida is the largest class among the arthropods, constituting over 60,000 described species (spiders, mites, ticks, scorpions, palpigrades, pseudoscorpions, solpugids and harvestmen). Many accidents are caused by arachnids, especially spiders and scorpions, while some diseases can be transmitted by mites and ticks. These animals are widely dispersed in urban centers due to the large availability of shelter and food, increasing the incidence of accidents. Several protein and non-protein compounds present in the venom and saliva of these animals are responsible for symptoms observed in envenoming, exhibiting neurotoxic, dermonecrotic and hemorrhagic activities. The phylogenomic analysis from the complementary DNA of single-copy nuclear protein-coding genes shows that these animals share some common protein families known as neurotoxins, defensins, hyaluronidase, antimicrobial peptides, phospholipases and proteinases. This indicates that the venoms from these animals may present components with functional and structural similarities. Therefore, we described in this review the main components present in spider and scorpion venom as well as in tick saliva, since they have similar components. These three arachnids are responsible for many accidents of medical relevance in Brazil. Additionally, this study shows potential biotechnological applications of some components with important biological activities, which may motivate the conducting of further research studies on their action mechanisms.

  13. Modification of Insect and Arachnid Behaviours by Vertically Transmitted Endosymbionts: Infections as Drivers of Behavioural Change and Evolutionary Novelty.

    PubMed

    Goodacre, Sara L; Martin, Oliver Y

    2012-02-29

    Vertically acquired, endosymbiotic bacteria such as those belonging to the Rickettsiales and the Mollicutes are known to influence the biology of their arthropod hosts in order to favour their own transmission. In this study we investigate the influence of such reproductive parasites on the behavior of their insects and arachnid hosts. We find that changes in host behavior that are associated with endosymbiont infections are not restricted to characteristics that are directly associated with reproduction. Other behavioural traits, such as those involved in intraspecific competition or in dispersal may also be affected. Such behavioural shifts are expected to influence the level of intraspecific variation and the rate at which adaptation can occur through their effects on effective population size and gene flow amongst populations. Symbionts may thus influence both levels of polymorphism within species and the rate at which diversification can occur.

  14. Necrotic arachnidism and intractable pain from recluse spider bites treated with lumbar sympathetic block: a case report and review of literature.

    PubMed

    Yi, Xiaobin; AuBuchon, Jacob; Zeltwanger, Shawn; Kirby, John P

    2011-06-01

    Brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) spider bites mainly occur in the southern and Midwestern United States. The clinical manifestation of brown recluse spider bites varies from skin irritation, a small area of tissue damage to neuropathic pain, necrotic arachnidism and severe systemic reactions such as acute renal failure and even death. Treatment is controversial and nonspecific. We describe a case of extensive right lower extremity tissue necrosis and intractable neuropathic pain treated with lumbar sympathetic block in a patient with a documented brown recluse spider bite. Both his pain and tissue necrosis improved significantly with lumbar sympathetic block with local anesthetic. After a series of lumbar sympathetic blocks, his symptoms resolved and lower extremity wound healed rapidly. We discuss the benefit of sympathetic blockade not only for neuropathic pain but also possibly as a treatment for necrotic arachnidism from a brown recluse spider bite.

  15. First insight into the lipid uptake, storage and mobilization in arachnids: role of midgut diverticula and lipoproteins.

    PubMed

    Laino, Aldana; Cunningham, Mónica L; García, Fernando; Heras, Horacio

    2009-12-01

    The importance of midgut diverticula (M-diverticula) and hemolymph lipoproteins in the lipid homeostasis of Polybetes phythagoricus was studied. Radioactivity distribution in tissues and hemolymph was analyzed either after feeding or injecting [1-(14)C]-palmitate. In both experiments, radioactivity was mostly taken up by M-diverticula that synthesized diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols and phospholipids in a ratio close to its lipid class composition. M-diverticula total lipids represent 8.08% (by wt), mostly triacylglycerols (74%) and phosphatidylcholine (13%). Major fatty acids were (in decreasing order of abundance) 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6, 16:0, 16:1n-7, 18:0, 18:3n-3. Spider hemocyanin-containing lipoprotein (VHDL) transported 83% of the circulating label at short incubation times. After 24h, VHDL and HDL-1 (comparable to insect lipophorin) were found to be involved in the lipid uptake and release from M-diverticula, HDL-2 playing a negligible role. Lipoprotein's labelled lipid changed with time, phospholipids becoming the main circulating lipid after 24h. These results indicate that arachnid M-diverticula play a central role in lipid synthesis, storage and movilization, analogous to insect fat body or crustacean midgut gland. The relative contribution of HDL-1 and VHDL to lipid dynamics indicated that, unlike insects, spider VHDL significantly contributes to the lipid exchange between M-diverticula and hemolymph.

  16. Insect and arachnid hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Bevier, D E

    1999-11-01

    Insect hypersensitivity reactions can have a large number of clinical presentations. The majority of reactions are pruritic and involve the short- or sparsely haired areas of the body. Most are associated with eosinophilic infiltration into the skin, often in a perivascular pattern. The diagnosis may be based on compatible clinical signs and improvement with aggressive insect control and, in some cases, confirmation via provocative exposure. Intradermal, prick, or serum testing for allergen-specific IgE can be used to document the presence of reaginic antibodies against insect allergens. Treatments include avoidance, aggressive insect control, and symptomatic support; in some cases, immunotherapy may be useful in decreasing the severity of clinical reactions to insects.

  17. New records of two endemic troglobitic and threatened arachnids (Amblypygi and Opiliones) from limestone caves of Minas Gerais state, southeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Gallão, Jonas Eduardo; von Schimonsky, Diego M; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background The endemic and threatened troglobites (organisms restricted to caves) Charinus eleonorae (Amblypygi) and Iandumoema uai (Opiliones), both from Olhos d’Água cave, located at Peruaçu Caves National Park (southeast Brazil), have their distribution expanded for a new locality inside of the National Park (Lapa do Cipó cave), extending their distribution at least in 9.5km2. New information This new data suggest that these arachnids can be in a differentiation process and/or there are several possibilities of dispersion in the karst of Peruaçu. Indeed, a revision of their categorical status at IUCN Red List is necessary. We herein report a new distribution range (Lapa do Cipó cave) of the troglobitic species I. uai and C. eleonorae, which are, to date, known to occur in the Olhos d’Água cave, located at the Peruaçu Caves National Park (PCNP). PMID:26696758

  18. Egg Production Constrains Chemical Defenses in a Neotropical Arachnid

    PubMed Central

    Nazareth, Taís M.; Machado, Glauco

    2015-01-01

    Female investment in large eggs increases the demand for fatty acids, which are allocated for yolk production. Since the biosynthetic pathway leading to fatty acids uses the same precursors used in the formation of polyketides, allocation trade-offs are expected to emerge. Therefore, egg production should constrain the investment in chemical defenses based on polyketides, such as benzoquinones. We tested this hypothesis using the harvestman Acutiosoma longipes, which produces large eggs and releases benzoquinones as chemical defense. We predicted that the amount of secretion released by ovigerous females (OFs) would be smaller than that of non-ovigerous females (NOF). We also conducted a series of bioassays in the field and in the laboratory to test whether egg production renders OFs more vulnerable to predation. OFs produce less secretion than NOFs, which is congruent with the hypothesis that egg production constrains the investment in chemical defenses. Results of the bioassays show that the secretion released by OFs is less effective in deterring potential predators (ants and spiders) than the secretion released by NOFs. In conclusion, females allocate resources to chemical defenses in a way that preserves a primary biological function related to reproduction. However, the trade-off between egg and secretion production makes OFs vulnerable to predators. We suggest that egg production is a critical moment in the life of harvestman females, representing perhaps the highest cost of reproduction in the group. PMID:26331946

  19. The Concept Attainment Strategy: Inductive Lessons on Arachnids and Isomers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    The concept attainment lesson, recommended by Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun (2004), is designed to give students practice in analyzing data and developing critical-thinking skills--without a complicated lab setup. The inductive lesson structure leads students step by step to an in-depth understanding of a new idea and scaffolds their thinking as they…

  20. Fine structure of olfactory sensilla in myriapods and arachnids.

    PubMed

    Tichy, H; Barth, F G

    1992-09-01

    Structural features of various types of olfactory sensilla are reviewed. 1) Sensilla basiconica which differ in form and size are found on the antennae of centipedes and millipedes. Their walls show longitudinal slits or grooves that either open into the sensillum lumen or do not penetrate the cuticle. In other such sensilla the outer surface is pierced by pores and the inner surface grooved and pocketed. These sensilla are innervated by one to six sensory cells. Their unbranched outer dendritic segments extend to the tip of the sensillum. The sensory cells are surrounded by two or three sheath cells which terminate at the sensillum base or form a continuous tube around the entire length of the outer dendritic segments. 2) Temporal organs of centipedes are located between the insertion of the antenna and the ocelli. These sensilla consist of a shallow cuticular ring with a central sensory plate made up by a layer of unperforated cuticle or a capsule with a mushroom-shaped structure inside formed by fibrous-looking cuticle. A dozen sensory cells with unbranched outer dendritic segments innervate each sensillum. They extend toward the sensory cuticle and pass just below it. Numerous sheath cell processes run parallel to the outer dendritic segments up to the sensory cuticle. 3) Thread-like flagella of Pauropoda are found on the antennae. They possess a flexible unperforated cuticular wall. These sensilla contain nine sensory cells surrounded by several sheath cells which form a continuous cytoplasmic tube around the outer dendritic segments. 4) Single-walled sensilla with numerous plugged pores penetrating the cuticular wall occur on the tarsus of the first leg in ticks. Each sensillum is innervated by 4-15 sensory cells. Three sheath cells terminate in the base of the sensillum. 5) Double-walled sensilla with spoke canals are found on the first tarsus of ticks. Their shaft is longitudinally grooved. Pore canals lead inward from the bottom of the grooves and open into vase-shaped chambers. From its base these canals extend into the lumen of the sensillum which contains unbranched outer dendritic segments of 1-2 sensory cells. 6) Single-walled sensilla with pore openings occur on the distal tarsal segments of the first leg of whip spiders. These sensilla are innervated by 40-45 sensory cells. Their unbranched outer dendritic segments fill the shaft lumen and extend partly into the wall pores. Microvillus-shaped sheath cell processes line the inner surface of the cuticular wall.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

  1. Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders

    PubMed Central

    Yanoviak, Stephen P.; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The behaviour of directed aerial descent has been described for numerous taxa of wingless hexapods as they fall from the tropical rainforest canopy, but is not known in other terrestrial arthropods. Here, we describe similar controlled aerial behaviours for large arboreal spiders in the genus Selenops (Selenopidae). We dropped 59 such spiders from either canopy platforms or tree crowns in Panama and Peru; the majority (93%) directed their aerial trajectories towards and then landed upon nearby tree trunks. Following initial dorsoventral righting when necessary, falling spiders oriented themselves and then translated head-first towards targets; directional changes were correlated with bilaterally asymmetric motions of the anterolaterally extended forelegs. Aerial performance (i.e. the glide index) decreased with increasing body mass and wing loading, but not with projected surface area of the spider. Along with the occurrence of directed aerial descent in ants, jumping bristletails, and other wingless hexapods, this discovery of targeted gliding in selenopid spiders further indicates strong selective pressures against uncontrolled falls into the understory for arboreal taxa. PMID:26289654

  2. A revised dated phylogeny of the arachnid order Opiliones

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2014-01-01

    Dating the Opiliones tree of life has become an important enterprise for this group of arthropods, due to their ancient origins and important biogeographic implications. To incorporate both methodological innovations in molecular dating as well as new systematic discoveries of harvestman diversity, we conducted total evidence dating on a data set uniting morphological and/or molecular sequence data for 47 Opiliones species, including all four well-known Palaeozoic fossils, to test the placement of both fossils and newly discovered lineages in a single analysis. Furthermore, we investigated node dating with a phylogenomic data set of 24,202 amino acid sites for 14 species of Opiliones, sampling all extant suborders. In this way, we approached molecular dating of basal harvestman phylogeny using different data sets and approaches to assess congruence of divergence time estimates. In spite of the markedly different composition of data sets, our results show congruence across all analyses for age estimates of basal nodes that are well constrained with respect to fossil calibrations (e.g., Opiliones, Palpatores). By contrast, derived nodes that lack fossil calibrations (e.g., the suborders Cyphophthalmi, and Laniatores) have large uncertainty intervals in diversification times, particularly in the total evidence dating analysis, reflecting the dearth of calibration points and undersampling of derived lineages. Total evidence dating consistently produced older median ages than node dating for ingroup nodes, due to the nested placement of multiple Palaeozoic fossils. Our analyses support basal diversification of Opiliones in the Ordovician-Devonian period, corroborating the inferred ancient origins of this arthropod order, and underscore the importance of diversity discovery—both paleontological and neontological—in evolutionary inference. PMID:25120562

  3. Arachnid aloft: directed aerial descent in neotropical canopy spiders.

    PubMed

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2015-09-06

    The behaviour of directed aerial descent has been described for numerous taxa of wingless hexapods as they fall from the tropical rainforest canopy, but is not known in other terrestrial arthropods. Here, we describe similar controlled aerial behaviours for large arboreal spiders in the genus Selenops (Selenopidae). We dropped 59 such spiders from either canopy platforms or tree crowns in Panama and Peru; the majority (93%) directed their aerial trajectories towards and then landed upon nearby tree trunks. Following initial dorsoventral righting when necessary, falling spiders oriented themselves and then translated head-first towards targets; directional changes were correlated with bilaterally asymmetric motions of the anterolaterally extended forelegs. Aerial performance (i.e. the glide index) decreased with increasing body mass and wing loading, but not with projected surface area of the spider. Along with the occurrence of directed aerial descent in ants, jumping bristletails, and other wingless hexapods, this discovery of targeted gliding in selenopid spiders further indicates strong selective pressures against uncontrolled falls into the understory for arboreal taxa. © 2015 The Author(s).

  4. The Concept Attainment Strategy: Inductive Lessons on Arachnids and Isomers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    The concept attainment lesson, recommended by Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun (2004), is designed to give students practice in analyzing data and developing critical-thinking skills--without a complicated lab setup. The inductive lesson structure leads students step by step to an in-depth understanding of a new idea and scaffolds their thinking as they…

  5. A revised dated phylogeny of the arachnid order Opiliones.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2014-01-01

    Dating the Opiliones tree of life has become an important enterprise for this group of arthropods, due to their ancient origins and important biogeographic implications. To incorporate both methodological innovations in molecular dating as well as new systematic discoveries of harvestman diversity, we conducted total evidence dating on a data set uniting morphological and/or molecular sequence data for 47 Opiliones species, including all four well-known Palaeozoic fossils, to test the placement of both fossils and newly discovered lineages in a single analysis. Furthermore, we investigated node dating with a phylogenomic data set of 24,202 amino acid sites for 14 species of Opiliones, sampling all extant suborders. In this way, we approached molecular dating of basal harvestman phylogeny using different data sets and approaches to assess congruence of divergence time estimates. In spite of the markedly different composition of data sets, our results show congruence across all analyses for age estimates of basal nodes that are well constrained with respect to fossil calibrations (e.g., Opiliones, Palpatores). By contrast, derived nodes that lack fossil calibrations (e.g., the suborders Cyphophthalmi, and Laniatores) have large uncertainty intervals in diversification times, particularly in the total evidence dating analysis, reflecting the dearth of calibration points and undersampling of derived lineages. Total evidence dating consistently produced older median ages than node dating for ingroup nodes, due to the nested placement of multiple Palaeozoic fossils. Our analyses support basal diversification of Opiliones in the Ordovician-Devonian period, corroborating the inferred ancient origins of this arthropod order, and underscore the importance of diversity discovery-both paleontological and neontological-in evolutionary inference.

  6. Predation among armored arachnids: Bothriurus bonariensis (Scorpions, Bothriuridae) versus four species of harvestmen (Harvestmen, Gonyleptidae).

    PubMed

    Albín, Andrea; Toscano-Gadea, Carlos A

    2015-12-01

    Natural selection shapes prey-predator relationships and their behavioral adaptations, which seek to maximize capture success in the predator and avoidance in the prey. We tested the ability of adults of the scorpion Bothriurus bonariensis (Bothriuridae) to prey on synchronous and sympatric adults harvestmen of Acanthopachylus aculeatus, Discocyrtus prospicuus, Parampheres bimaculatus and Pachyloides thorellii (Gonyleptidae). In 72.5% of the cases B. bonariensis tried to prey on the harvestmen. The most successful captures occurred in the trials against A. aculeatus and D. prospicuus. In all the successful attacks the scorpions stung the prey between the chelicerae and consumed them, starting by the anterior portion of their bodies. The harvestmen used different defensive strategies such as fleeing before or after contact with the predator, exudating of chemical substances or staying still at the scorpion's touch. When scorpions contacted the chemical substances secreted by the harvestmen, they immediately rubbed the affected appendix against the substrate. However, exudating of chemical substances did not prevent, in any case, predation on the harvestmen. This is the first study showing the ability of scorpions to prey on different species of harvestmen, as well as the capture and defensive behaviors used by the predator and the prey.

  7. The house spider genome reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication during arachnid evolution.

    PubMed

    Schwager, Evelyn E; Sharma, Prashant P; Clarke, Thomas; Leite, Daniel J; Wierschin, Torsten; Pechmann, Matthias; Akiyama-Oda, Yasuko; Esposito, Lauren; Bechsgaard, Jesper; Bilde, Trine; Buffry, Alexandra D; Chao, Hsu; Dinh, Huyen; Doddapaneni, HarshaVardhan; Dugan, Shannon; Eibner, Cornelius; Extavour, Cassandra G; Funch, Peter; Garb, Jessica; Gonzalez, Luis B; Gonzalez, Vanessa L; Griffiths-Jones, Sam; Han, Yi; Hayashi, Cheryl; Hilbrant, Maarten; Hughes, Daniel S T; Janssen, Ralf; Lee, Sandra L; Maeso, Ignacio; Murali, Shwetha C; Muzny, Donna M; Nunes da Fonseca, Rodrigo; Paese, Christian L B; Qu, Jiaxin; Ronshaugen, Matthew; Schomburg, Christoph; Schönauer, Anna; Stollewerk, Angelika; Torres-Oliva, Montserrat; Turetzek, Natascha; Vanthournout, Bram; Werren, John H; Wolff, Carsten; Worley, Kim C; Bucher, Gregor; Gibbs, Richard A; Coddington, Jonathan; Oda, Hiroki; Stanke, Mario; Ayoub, Nadia A; Prpic, Nikola-Michael; Flot, Jean-François; Posnien, Nico; Richards, Stephen; McGregor, Alistair P

    2017-07-31

    The duplication of genes can occur through various mechanisms and is thought to make a major contribution to the evolutionary diversification of organisms. There is increasing evidence for a large-scale duplication of genes in some chelicerate lineages including two rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD) in horseshoe crabs. To investigate this further, we sequenced and analyzed the genome of the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. We found pervasive duplication of both coding and non-coding genes in this spider, including two clusters of Hox genes. Analysis of synteny conservation across the P. tepidariorum genome suggests that there has been an ancient WGD in spiders. Comparison with the genomes of other chelicerates, including that of the newly sequenced bark scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus, suggests that this event occurred in the common ancestor of spiders and scorpions, and is probably independent of the WGDs in horseshoe crabs. Furthermore, characterization of the sequence and expression of the Hox paralogs in P. tepidariorum suggests that many have been subject to neo-functionalization and/or sub-functionalization since their duplication. Our results reveal that spiders and scorpions are likely the descendants of a polyploid ancestor that lived more than 450 MYA. Given the extensive morphological diversity and ecological adaptations found among these animals, rivaling those of vertebrates, our study of the ancient WGD event in Arachnopulmonata provides a new comparative platform to explore common and divergent evolutionary outcomes of polyploidization events across eukaryotes.

  8. A conserved genetic mechanism specifies deutocerebral appendage identity in insects and arachnids

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Tarazona, Oscar A.; Lopez, Davys H.; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Cohn, Martin J.; Wheeler, Ward C.; Extavour, Cassandra G.

    2015-01-01

    The segmental architecture of the arthropod head is one of the most controversial topics in the evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods. The deutocerebral (second) segment of the head is putatively homologous across Arthropoda, as inferred from the segmental distribution of the tripartite brain and the absence of Hox gene expression of this anterior-most, appendage-bearing segment. While this homology statement implies a putative common mechanism for differentiation of deutocerebral appendages across arthropods, experimental data for deutocerebral appendage fate specification are limited to winged insects. Mandibulates (hexapods, crustaceans and myriapods) bear a characteristic pair of antennae on the deutocerebral segment, whereas chelicerates (e.g. spiders, scorpions, harvestmen) bear the eponymous chelicerae. In such hexapods as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, cephalic appendages are differentiated from the thoracic appendages (legs) by the activity of the appendage patterning gene homothorax (hth). Here we show that embryonic RNA interference against hth in the harvestman Phalangium opilio results in homeonotic chelicera-to-leg transformations, and also in some cases pedipalp-to-leg transformations. In more strongly affected embryos, adjacent appendages undergo fusion and/or truncation, and legs display proximal defects, suggesting conservation of additional functions of hth in patterning the antero-posterior and proximo-distal appendage axes. Expression signal of anterior Hox genes labial, proboscipedia and Deformed is diminished, but not absent, in hth RNAi embryos, consistent with results previously obtained with the insect G. bimaculatus. Our results substantiate a deep homology across arthropods of the mechanism whereby cephalic appendages are differentiated from locomotory appendages. PMID:25948691

  9. High-fidelity X-ray micro-tomography reconstruction of siderite-hosted Carboniferous arachnids

    PubMed Central

    Garwood, Russell; Dunlop, Jason A.; Sutton, Mark D.

    2009-01-01

    A new approach to maximize data recovery from siderite-hosted fossils is presented. Late Carboniferous trigonotarbids (Arachnida: Trigonotarbida) from Coseley, UK, were chosen to assess the potential of high-resolution X-ray micro-tomography (XMT). Three-dimensional computer reconstruction visualizes the animals at 20 µm or better resolution, resolving subtle and previously unseen details. Novel data recovered includes (possibly plesiomorphic) retention of endites on leg coxae of Cryptomartus hindi (Anthracomartidae) and highlights further similarities between this family and the Devonian Palaeocharinidae. Also revealed is a flattened body with robust anterior limbs, implying a hunting stance similar to modern crab spiders (Thomisidae). Eophrynus prestvicii (Eophrynidae) had more gracile limbs but a heavily ornamented body, with newly identified upward-pointing marginal spines on the opisthosoma. Its habitus is comparable with certain modern laniatorid harvestmen (Opiliones). These findings demonstrate the potential of XMT to revolutionize the study of siderite-hosted Coal Measures fossils. PMID:19656861

  10. High-fidelity X-ray micro-tomography reconstruction of siderite-hosted Carboniferous arachnids.

    PubMed

    Garwood, Russell; Dunlop, Jason A; Sutton, Mark D

    2009-12-23

    A new approach to maximize data recovery from siderite-hosted fossils is presented. Late Carboniferous trigonotarbids (Arachnida: Trigonotarbida) from Coseley, UK, were chosen to assess the potential of high-resolution X-ray micro-tomography (XMT). Three-dimensional computer reconstruction visualizes the animals at 20 microm or better resolution, resolving subtle and previously unseen details. Novel data recovered includes (possibly plesiomorphic) retention of endites on leg coxae of Cryptomartus hindi (Anthracomartidae) and highlights further similarities between this family and the Devonian Palaeocharinidae. Also revealed is a flattened body with robust anterior limbs, implying a hunting stance similar to modern crab spiders (Thomisidae). Eophrynus prestvicii (Eophrynidae) had more gracile limbs but a heavily ornamented body, with newly identified upward-pointing marginal spines on the opisthosoma. Its habitus is comparable with certain modern laniatorid harvestmen (Opiliones). These findings demonstrate the potential of XMT to revolutionize the study of siderite-hosted Coal Measures fossils.

  11. A conserved genetic mechanism specifies deutocerebral appendage identity in insects and arachnids.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Tarazona, Oscar A; Lopez, Davys H; Schwager, Evelyn E; Cohn, Martin J; Wheeler, Ward C; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2015-06-07

    The segmental architecture of the arthropod head is one of the most controversial topics in the evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods. The deutocerebral (second) segment of the head is putatively homologous across Arthropoda, as inferred from the segmental distribution of the tripartite brain and the absence of Hox gene expression of this anterior-most, appendage-bearing segment. While this homology statement implies a putative common mechanism for differentiation of deutocerebral appendages across arthropods, experimental data for deutocerebral appendage fate specification are limited to winged insects. Mandibulates (hexapods, crustaceans and myriapods) bear a characteristic pair of antennae on the deutocerebral segment, whereas chelicerates (e.g. spiders, scorpions, harvestmen) bear the eponymous chelicerae. In such hexapods as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, cephalic appendages are differentiated from the thoracic appendages (legs) by the activity of the appendage patterning gene homothorax (hth). Here we show that embryonic RNA interference against hth in the harvestman Phalangium opilio results in homeonotic chelicera-to-leg transformations, and also in some cases pedipalp-to-leg transformations. In more strongly affected embryos, adjacent appendages undergo fusion and/or truncation, and legs display proximal defects, suggesting conservation of additional functions of hth in patterning the antero-posterior and proximo-distal appendage axes. Expression signal of anterior Hox genes labial, proboscipedia and Deformed is diminished, but not absent, in hth RNAi embryos, consistent with results previously obtained with the insect G. bimaculatus. Our results substantiate a deep homology across arthropods of the mechanism whereby cephalic appendages are differentiated from locomotory appendages.

  12. THE DISTRIBUTION OF RICKETTSIA IN THE TISSUES OF INSECTS AND ARACHNIDS

    PubMed Central

    Cowdry, E. V.

    1923-01-01

    In the absence of a satisfactory definition of Rickettsia the observations herein recorded were arbitrarily limited to bacterium-like organisms which are intracellular and Gram-negative. Rickettsia of this type were found in the following species: Amblyomma americana, Amblyomma hebræum, Boophilus decoloratus, Atomus sp., Casinaria infesta, Chrysopa oculata, Ctenocephalus canis, Dermacentor variabilis, Lepisma saccharina, Lucoppia curviseta, Margaropus annulatus, Margaropus annulatus australis, Ornithodoros turicata, Pulex irritans, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rhipicephalus evertsi, and Salticus scenicus. Since intracellular, Gram-negative Rickettsia have been recorded in the literature as existing in Cimex lectularius, Dermacentor venustus, Melophagus ovinus, and Pediculus humanus, the occasional occurrence of such bodies must be conceded in the following groups not closely related phylogenetically: Attidæ, Trombidiidæ, Argasidæ, lxodidæ, Cinura, Acanthiidæ, Pediculidæ, Hippoboscidæ, Chrysopidæ, Pulicidæ, and Ichneumonidæ. The species which harbor Rickettsia differ widely in diet and habitat. One such species is insectivorous throughout life, two are insectivorous in larval stages, becoming vegetarian in the adult condition, one is chiefly vegetarian but partakes of some animal products, and two are usually entirely vegetarian; while the remainder subsist wholly upon a diet of mammalian blood. Rickettsia are associated, in only a few cases, with diseases in mammals. The evidence at hand does not lead beyond the conclusion that the Rickettsia mentioned above are true Gram-negative microorganisms, easily distinguishable from mitochondria and all other cytoplasmic and nuclear granulations, rather completely adapted to an intracellular existence, exhibiting in some cases a remarkable degree of host specificity, and often inherited through the eggs. PMID:19868737

  13. Intrinsic resistance to the lethal effects of x-irradiation in insect and arachnid cells

    PubMed Central

    Koval, Thomas M.

    1983-01-01

    Twelve cell lines representing 10 genera of three orders (Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Orthoptera) of the class Insecta and one cell line (Acarina) from the class Arachnida were examined to discern their sensitivity to the lethal effects of x-irradiation. Radiosensitivity was measured by a combination of colony formation and population growth curve techniques. Each of these arthropod cell lines is significantly more radioresistant than mammalian cells, though the degree of resistance varies greatly with order. Dipteran cells are 3 to 9 times and lepidopteran cells 52 to 104 times more radioresistant than mammalian cells. Orthopteran and acarine cells are intermediate in radiosensitivity between dipteran and lepidopteran cells. These cells, especially the lepidopteran, should be valuable in determining the molecular nature of repair mechanisms that result in resistance to ionizing radiation. PMID:16593348

  14. Antimicrobial peptides from arachnid venoms and their microbicidal activity in the presence of commercial antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Francia; Villegas, Elba; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel; Rodriguez, Alexis; Paniagua-Solis, Jorge F; Sandoval-Lopez, Gabriel; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named La47 and Css54, were isolated from the venom of the spider Lachesana sp. and from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, respectively. The primary structures of both La47 and Css54 were determined using N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. La47 is identical to the AMP latarcin 3a obtained previously from the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi, but the primary structure of Css54 is unique having 60% identities to the AMP ponericin-W2 from the venom of the ant Pachycondyla goeldii. Both La47 and Css54 have typical α-helix secondary structures in hydrophobic mimicking environments. The biological activities of both La47 and Css54 were compared with the AMP Pin2 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator. La47 has lower antimicrobial and hemolytic activities compared with Css54 and Pin2. In addition, La47 and Pin2 were evaluated in the presence of the commercial antibiotics, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, novobiocin, streptomycin and kanamycin. Interestingly, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with mixtures of La47 and Pin2 with the antibiotics chloramphenicol, streptomycin and kanamycin, respectively. Furthermore, the novel peptide Css54 was evaluated in the presence of antibiotics used for the treatment of tuberculosis, isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. Although the mixtures of Css54 with isoniazid, pyrazinamide or ethambutol inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the best effect was found with rifampicin. Overall, these data show a motivating outlook for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections using AMPs and commercial antibiotics.

  15. Index to the known fossil insects of the world, including myriapods and arachnids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scudder, Samuel Hubbard

    1891-01-01

    With the view of furthering study in the too neglected field of fossil insects, I transmit herewith for publication the card catalogue of described fossil insects which I have used for twenty years and kept constantly up to date, and which has greatly facilitated my own researches. It is believed to be practically complete. At least where insects are figured, and in many other cases where they are the first or only references from a given locality, entries are given where only the genus, the family, or even the order is mentioned. This has been done because the early literature of fossil insects is essentially vague and general, but it should not for that reason be wholly overlooked ; and to-day our knowledge of the occurrence of insects of a particular locality, even when of recent discovery, is not infrequently confined to statements of a general nature, which, if not brought to view or mind in a list like this, would be lost sight of, while their recognition may lead to further local investigation, to the earlier benefit of science.It is in no sense a systematic catalogue, and except occasionally in the notes contains no immediate results of investigation. No questions of synonymy are settled. The entries are made as the authors quoted gave them, with only the corrections of spelling required; it follows that the same insect appears at several points, to which the student is referred by full cross-references, and that more than one insect may (though probably rarely does) figure under one name. In one or two such instances, where the same name has been given by inadvertence to two totally different creatures, the later one is separated from the earlier.For convenience' sake, the entries are grouped into large sections, nearly identical with those I have employed in my systematic review of fossil insects (Bulletin 31, U. S. Geological Survey), by which method the insects from the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary rocks are kept distinct; but otherwise the entries are purely alphabetical under the orders. It should be noticed, however, that the vague references to groups higher than genera are brought together at the beginning of each alphabet, first the most vague, and then those which permit some alphabetization. In these cases the primary or secondary alphabetization is first by authors, second by dates, and in all cases where under one entry there is more than one date the order therein is chronological.In a previous bulletin (Bulletin 69, U. S. Geological Survey) is given a complete bibliography of the literature from which these entries are taken, and the two works are thus complementary to each other.

  16. [Necrotic arachnidism in the south of France: two clinical cases of loxoscelism].

    PubMed

    Pernet, C; Dandurand, M; Meunier, L; Stoebner, P-E

    2010-12-01

    loxosceles spiders are found throughout the world and are responsible for numerous cases of envenomation in America and Southern Europe. We describe, to our knowledge for the first time in France, two clinical cases of cutaneous loxoscelism. two cases of skin necrosis arising after supposed spider bites were grouped together because of their similar clinical presentation: an initial painless bite and rapid development of an inflammatory and painful cutaneous lesion with a central hemorrhagic bulla surrounded by a perimeter of blanched skin (the "red, white, and blue" sign). The outcome in both cases was deep skin necrosis and chronic ulceration requiring surgical treatment. loxoscelism can result in dermonecrosis. Although our cases were not documented by capture of the spider, the diagnosis of cutaneous loxoscelism was supported by the characteristic appearance of the lesion, a typical clinical course, elimination of differential diagnoses, and the confirmed presence of Loxosceles rufescens in the region. loxoscelism can occur in the south of France and although rare, must be considered in this region as a possible cause of skin necrosis. 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Spider Bite: A Rare Case of Acute Necrotic Arachnidism with Rapid and Fatal Evolution.

    PubMed

    Pezzi, Mario; Giglio, Anna Maria; Scozzafava, Annamaria; Filippelli, Orazio; Serafino, Giuseppe; Verre, Mario

    2016-01-01

    The spider bites are quite frequent and often resolve quickly without leaving outcomes; only some species are capable of causing necrotic and systematic lesions in humans. Among them, we should mention the genus Loxosceles. The venom released from the spider bite of Loxosceles species is composed of proteins, enzymes, and nonenzymatic polypeptides. The phospholipase D family was identified as the active component of the venom. This family of enzymes is responsible for the local and systemic effects observed in loxoscelism. Phospholipases D interact with cell membranes triggering alterations which involve the complement system and activation of neutrophils and they cause the dermonecrotic skin lesions and systemic effects. We describe a fatal case of acute intoxication caused by a spider bite probably belonging to the species Loxosceles. The initial lesion was localized to a finger of a hand. Clinical course was worsening with deep necrotic lesions on limb, shock, hemolysis, acute kidney failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. All therapies were ineffective. This is the first fatal case described in Europe.

  18. Spider Bite: A Rare Case of Acute Necrotic Arachnidism with Rapid and Fatal Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Giglio, Anna Maria; Scozzafava, Annamaria; Filippelli, Orazio; Serafino, Giuseppe; Verre, Mario

    2016-01-01

    The spider bites are quite frequent and often resolve quickly without leaving outcomes; only some species are capable of causing necrotic and systematic lesions in humans. Among them, we should mention the genus Loxosceles. The venom released from the spider bite of Loxosceles species is composed of proteins, enzymes, and nonenzymatic polypeptides. The phospholipase D family was identified as the active component of the venom. This family of enzymes is responsible for the local and systemic effects observed in loxoscelism. Phospholipases D interact with cell membranes triggering alterations which involve the complement system and activation of neutrophils and they cause the dermonecrotic skin lesions and systemic effects. We describe a fatal case of acute intoxication caused by a spider bite probably belonging to the species Loxosceles. The initial lesion was localized to a finger of a hand. Clinical course was worsening with deep necrotic lesions on limb, shock, hemolysis, acute kidney failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. All therapies were ineffective. This is the first fatal case described in Europe. PMID:27651958

  19. Detection of Loxosceles venom in lesional hair shafts and skin: application of a specific immunoassay to identify dermonecrotic arachnidism.

    PubMed

    Miller, M J; Gomez, H F; Snider, R J; Stephens, E L; Czop, R M; Warren, J S

    2000-09-01

    Loxosceles spiders, of which the brown recluse is the best known, are indigenous to southcentral and southwestern regions of the United States. Loxosceles spider envenomation frequently results in painful, centrally necrotic, erythematous skin lesions that evolve over 24 to 48 hours and may take several weeks to completely heal. The diagnosis of loxoscelism is typically is based on the presence of the characteristic dermal lesion, because no definitive clinical diagnostic assay exists, and the spider is generally not available for identification. We used a rapid Loxosceles-specific enzyme immunoassay to detect spider venom in a dermal biopsy and hairs plucked from a suspicious skin lesion on the lower extremity of a 52-year-old man. This report indicates that in using a novel Loxosceles-specific immunoassay, venom can be detected in dermonecrotic skin and hair specimens for up to 4 days after envenomation.

  20. Antimicrobial Activity and Stability of Short and Long Based Arachnid Synthetic Peptides in the Presence of Commercial Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Ivan; Villegas, Elba; Walls, Oliver; Barrios, Humberto; Rodríguez, Ramon; Corzo, Gerardo

    2016-02-17

    Four antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) named Pin2[G], Pin2[14], P18K and FA1 were chemically synthesized and purified. The four peptides were evaluated in the presence of eight commercial antibiotics against four microorganisms of medical importance: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The commercial antibiotics used were amoxicillin, azithromycin, ceftriaxone, gentamicin, levofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and vancomycin. The best AMP against P. aeruginosa was the peptide FA1, and the best AMP against S. aureus was Pin2[G]. Both FA1 and Pin2[G] were efficient against E. coli, but they were not effective against K. pneumoniae. As K. pneumoniae was resistant to most of the commercial antibiotics, combinations of the AMPs FA1 and Pin2[G] were prepared with these antibiotics. According to the fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with concomitant applications of mixtures of FA1 with levofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole. However, combinations of FA1 or Pin2[G] with other antibiotics showed that total inhibitory effect of the combinations were greater than the sum of the individual effects of either the antimicrobial peptide or the antibiotic. We also evaluated the stability of the AMPs. The AMP Pin2[G] manifested the best performance in saline buffer, in supernatants of bacterial growth and in human blood plasma. Nevertheless, all AMPs were cleaved using endoproteolytic enzymes. These data show advantages and disadvantages of AMPs for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections, using them in conjunction with commercial antibiotics.

  1. Paternal care decreases foraging activity and body condition, but does not impose survival costs to caring males in a Neotropical arachnid.

    PubMed

    Requena, Gustavo S; Buzatto, Bruno A; Martins, Eduardo G; Machado, Glauco

    2012-01-01

    Exclusive paternal care is the rarest form of parental investment in nature and theory predicts that the maintenance of this behavior depends on the balance between costs and benefits to males. Our goal was to assess costs of paternal care in the harvestman Iporangaia pustulosa, for which the benefits of this behavior in terms of egg survival have already been demonstrated. We evaluated energetic costs and mortality risks associated to paternal egg-guarding in the field. We quantified foraging activity of males and estimated how their body condition is influenced by the duration of the caring period. Additionally, we conducted a one-year capture-mark-recapture study and estimated apparent survival probabilities of caring and non-caring males to assess potential survival costs of paternal care. Our results indicate that caring males forage less frequently than non-caring individuals (males and females) and that their body condition deteriorates over the course of the caring period. Thus, males willing to guard eggs may provide to females a fitness-enhancing gift of cost-free care of their offspring. Caring males, however, did not show lower survival probabilities when compared to both non-caring males and females. Reduction in mortality risks as a result of remaining stationary, combined with the benefits of improving egg survival, may have played an important and previously unsuspected role favoring the evolution of paternal care. Moreover, males exhibiting paternal care could also provide an honest signal of their quality as offspring defenders, and thus female preference for caring males could be responsible for maintaining the trait.

  2. Paternal Care Decreases Foraging Activity and Body Condition, but Does Not Impose Survival Costs to Caring Males in a Neotropical Arachnid

    PubMed Central

    Requena, Gustavo S.; Buzatto, Bruno A.; Martins, Eduardo G.; Machado, Glauco

    2012-01-01

    Exclusive paternal care is the rarest form of parental investment in nature and theory predicts that the maintenance of this behavior depends on the balance between costs and benefits to males. Our goal was to assess costs of paternal care in the harvestman Iporangaia pustulosa, for which the benefits of this behavior in terms of egg survival have already been demonstrated. We evaluated energetic costs and mortality risks associated to paternal egg-guarding in the field. We quantified foraging activity of males and estimated how their body condition is influenced by the duration of the caring period. Additionally, we conducted a one-year capture-mark-recapture study and estimated apparent survival probabilities of caring and non-caring males to assess potential survival costs of paternal care. Our results indicate that caring males forage less frequently than non-caring individuals (males and females) and that their body condition deteriorates over the course of the caring period. Thus, males willing to guard eggs may provide to females a fitness-enhancing gift of cost-free care of their offspring. Caring males, however, did not show lower survival probabilities when compared to both non-caring males and females. Reduction in mortality risks as a result of remaining stationary, combined with the benefits of improving egg survival, may have played an important and previously unsuspected role favoring the evolution of paternal care. Moreover, males exhibiting paternal care could also provide an honest signal of their quality as offspring defenders, and thus female preference for caring males could be responsible for maintaining the trait. PMID:23071616

  3. Hey! A Scorpion Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... arachnid family, which also includes mites, ticks , and spiders. Scorpions are about 3 inches long (about the ... A Bee Stung Me! Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me! Hey! A Mosquito Bit Me! Hey! ...

  4. Hey! A Tick Bit Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... of the arachnid family, which also includes mites, spiders, and scorpions . A tick attaches itself to the ... MORE ON THIS TOPIC Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me! Hey! A Bedbug Bit Me! Going ...

  5. Funnel-web spider bite

    MedlinePlus

    ... may last for several days to weeks. Images Arthropods, basic features Arachnids, basic features References Boyer LV, ... Mosby; 2011:chap 52. Nogar JN, Clark RF. Arthropod bites and stings. In: Adams JG, ed. Emergency ...

  6. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of cypermethrin, amitraz, and piperonyl butoxide mixtures for the control of resistant Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Mexican tropics

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini), is a haematophagous arachnid (Acari: Ixodidae) recognized globally as an economically important ectoparasite of cattle in tropical and subtropical agroecosystems. Populations of this invasive tick species around the wo...

  7. Ectoparasites and classification.

    PubMed

    Hopla, C E; Durden, L A; Keirans, J E

    1994-12-01

    The authors present an introductory overview of the principal groups of ectoparasites (flukes, leeches, crustaceans, insects, arachnids, lampreys and vampire bats) associated with domestic animals. Currently-accepted higher-level classifications are outlined for these parasites. Almost all significant ectoparasites of domestic animals are invertebrates, the majority being arthropods (crustaceans, insects and arachnids). Some of these ectoparasites are of particular importance as vectors of pathogens. Many ectoparasite species are host-specific, and vector species typically transmit characteristic pathogens.

  8. Amber from western Amazonia reveals Neotropical diversity during the middle Miocene

    PubMed Central

    Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; De Franceschi, Dario; Flynn, John J.; Nel, André; Baby, Patrice; Benammi, Mouloud; Calderón, Ysabel; Espurt, Nicolas; Goswami, Anjali; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo

    2006-01-01

    Tertiary insects and arachnids have been virtually unknown from the vast western Amazonian basin. We report here the discovery of amber from this region containing a diverse fossil arthropod fauna (13 hexapod families and 3 arachnid species) and abundant microfossil inclusions (pollen, spores, algae, and cyanophyceae). This unique fossil assemblage, recovered from middle Miocene deposits of northeastern Peru, greatly increases the known diversity of Cenozoic tropical–equatorial arthropods and microorganisms and provides insights into the biogeography and evolutionary history of modern Neotropical biota. It also strengthens evidence for the presence of more modern, high-diversity tropical rainforest ecosystems during the middle Miocene in western Amazonia. PMID:16950875

  9. Amber from western Amazonia reveals Neotropical diversity during the middle Miocene.

    PubMed

    Antoine, Pierre-Olivier; De Franceschi, Dario; Flynn, John J; Nel, André; Baby, Patrice; Benammi, Mouloud; Calderón, Ysabel; Espurt, Nicolas; Goswami, Anjali; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo

    2006-09-12

    Tertiary insects and arachnids have been virtually unknown from the vast western Amazonian basin. We report here the discovery of amber from this region containing a diverse fossil arthropod fauna (13 hexapod families and 3 arachnid species) and abundant microfossil inclusions (pollen, spores, algae, and cyanophyceae). This unique fossil assemblage, recovered from middle Miocene deposits of northeastern Peru, greatly increases the known diversity of Cenozoic tropical-equatorial arthropods and microorganisms and provides insights into the biogeography and evolutionary history of modern Neotropical biota. It also strengthens evidence for the presence of more modern, high-diversity tropical rainforest ecosystems during the middle Miocene in western Amazonia.

  10. 75 FR 61513 - Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species Permits

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-05

    ... bird species, four (4) listed reptile species, two (2) listed insect species, one (1) listed arachnid..., banding, translocating and installing artificial nesting cavities for red-cockaded woodpeckers on the...-33469. The applicant requests renewal of authorization for trapping, banding, translocating and...

  11. Molecular phylogeny of Entomophthoromycota

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Entomophthoromycota is a ubiquitous group of fungi best known as pathogens of a wide variety of economically important insect pests, arachnids, and other soil invertebrates, a smaller number of parasites of reptiles, vertebrates (including humans), macromycetes, fern gametophytes, and desmid alg...

  12. Sulfakinin is an important regulator of digestive processes in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sulfakinin (SK) is a sulfated insect neuropeptide that is best known for its function as a satiety factor. It displays structural and functional similarities with the vertebrate peptides gastrin and cholecystokinin. Peptidomic studies in multiple insects, crustaceans and arachnids have revealed th...

  13. Sperm carriers in Silurian sea scorpions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamenz, Carsten; Staude, Andreas; Dunlop, Jason A.

    2011-10-01

    Invasion of the land by arachnids required adaptations of numerous organs, such as gills evolving into lungs, as well as mechanisms facilitating sperm transfer in a terrestrial environment. Many modern arachnids use spermatophores for this purpose, i.e. sperm transmitters detached from the body. Exceptionally preserved Silurian (423 Ma) fossils of Eurypterus tetragonophthalmus Fischer, 1839 (Chelicerata: Eurypterida) preserve so-called `horn organs' which we here demonstrate as being equivalent to the spermatophore-producing parts of the genital tract in certain modern arachnids. This clarifies a long-running debate about sexing eurypterids based on the shape of the median abdominal (or genital) appendage. To our knowledge this is also the oldest direct evidence for spermatophore-mediated sperm transfer in the fossil record and suggests that eurypterids had evolved mating techniques using spermatophores as early as the Silurian, a valuable prerequisite for life on land. Spermatophores are absent in sea spiders (Pycnogonida) and horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura); thus the shared presence of sclerotized sperm-transfer devices in eurypterids and arachnids is a novel character, newly elucidated here, which offers explicit support for (Eurypterida + Arachnida). For this clade the name Sclerophorata n. nov. is proposed. Arachnida can be further defined by fusion of the originally paired genital opening.

  14. Report on Lyme disease Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Personnel

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-01

    5-Avoidance Techniques. .. .. .. .. .. ... ... ... .. ... .. 17 Surveying Ticks on Managed Lands. .. .. .. .. ... ... .... 17 Avoiding Tick Bite ...field, especially in wooded areas. The disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. The primary ticks involved...as important as the insects as vectors of human disease. Arachnids include, among others, the spiders , mites, and ticks. Mites and ticks are members

  15. Comparative morphology of the hemolymph vascular system in Uropygi and Amblypygi (Arachnida): Complex correspondences support Arachnopulmonata.

    PubMed

    Klußmann-Fricke, B-J; Wirkner, C S

    2016-08-01

    Although the circulatory system of arthropods has long been considered as rather simple, recent studies have demonstrated that in certain arthropod taxa, such as Malacostraca, some Chilopoda and also many Chelicerata, the vascular systems in particular are rather complex. Furthermore, a recent study has revealed that the prosomal ganglion of scorpions and spiders is supplied by an intricate network of arteries, the complexity of which bears a close resemblance to that of vertebrate capillary systems. In this study, we analyzed the hemolymph vascular systems of various species of Pedipalpi (i.e., Amblypygi and Uropygi). By combining modern techniques, such as MicroCT and cLSM, with computer-based 3D-reconstruction, we were able to produce comprehensive visualizations and descriptions of the vascular systems. Despite the lack of well-corroborated phylogenetic hypotheses on arachnid relationships and the controversial assertion of relationships between the pulmonate arachnids, we aim to elucidate the evolution of complex vascular systems in Arachnida. By comparing these highly complex vascular systems not only with each other, but also with other pulmonate arachnids, we found numerous detailed correspondences in the general branching pattern as well as in the supply patterns of the prosomal ganglion. We argue that these numerous and detailed correspondences by their absence in other arachnids i.e. aplumonates, support Arachnopulmonata. J. Morphol. 277:1084-1103, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. All about Bugs. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    Bugs fascinate children, and each kind of bug plays a special role in the circle of life. Some bugs pollinate plants, while others help to decompose plant and animal waste. In this videotape, students learn about the similar characteristics that all bugs share and compare them to their close cousins, the arachnids. This videotape correlates to the…

  17. Patterns of Protein Evolution in Cytochrome c Oxidase 1 (COI) from the Class Arachnida

    PubMed Central

    Young, Monica R; Hebert, Paul D. N.

    2015-01-01

    Because sequence information is now available for the 648bp barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) from more than 400,000 animal species, this gene segment can be used to probe patterns of mitochondrial evolution. The present study examines levels of amino acid substitution and the frequency of indels in COI from 4177 species of arachnids, including representatives from all 16 orders and 43% of its families (267/625). It examines divergences at three taxonomic levels—among members of each order to an outgroup, among families in each order and among BINs, a species proxy, in each family. Order Distances vary fourfold (0.10–0.39), while the mean of the Family Distances for the ten orders ranges fivefold (0.07–0.35). BIN Distances show great variation, ranging from 0.01 or less in 12 families to more than 0.25 in eight families. Patterns of amino acid substitution in COI are generally congruent with previously reported variation in nucleotide substitution rates in arachnids, but provide some new insights, such as clear rate acceleration in the Opiliones. By revealing a strong association between elevated rates of nucleotide and amino acid substitution, this study builds evidence for the selective importance of the rate variation among arachnid lineages. Moreover, it establishes that groups whose COI genes have elevated levels of amino acid substitution also regularly possess indels, a dramatic form of protein reconfiguration. Overall, this study suggests that the mitochondrial genome of some arachnid groups is dynamic with high rates of amino acid substitution and frequent indels, while it is ‘locked down’ in others. Dynamic genomes are most prevalent in arachnids with short generation times, but the possible impact of breeding system deserves investigation since many of the rapidly evolving lineages reproduce by haplodiploidy, a mode of reproduction absent in ‘locked down’ taxa. PMID:26308206

  18. Amplitude distributions of the spider heartpulse in response to gravitational stimuli

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1984-01-01

    The arachnid Nuctenea sclopetaria (Clerck) which possesses a neurogenic heart, measuring the heartbeat is under efferent control through a dorsal nerve arising from a brain center is discussed. It was shown that the heartrate of this spider is also modulated by an afferent input associated with small increments of gravity. A compressive force on the order of 40 micron is sufficient to elicit a threshold change in heart rate for a typical (100mg) spider. This obtains in a hyper-Gz field less than 1.001. The functional relationship between gravity and heartrate is logarithmic between the absolute threshold and at least 1.5 Gz. A model was proposed in which equilibrium and movement are maintained by changes in blood pressure. It is concluded that the arachnid equilibrium system is like a weight detector which employs a hydraulic compensatory mechanism.

  19. Amplitude distributions of the spider heartpulse in response to gravitational stimuli

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1984-01-01

    The arachnid Nuctenea sclopetaria (Clerck) which possesses a neurogenic heart, measuring the heartbeat is under efferent control through a dorsal nerve arising from a brain center is discussed. It was shown that the heartrate of this spider is also modulated by an afferent input associated with small increments of gravity. A compressive force on the order of 40 micron is sufficient to elicit a threshold change in heart rate for a typical (100mg) spider. This obtains in a hyper-Gz field less than 1.001. The functional relationship between gravity and heartrate is logarithmic between the absolute threshold and at least 1.5 Gz. A model was proposed in which equilibrium and movement are maintained by changes in blood pressure. It is concluded that the arachnid equilibrium system is like a weight detector which employs a hydraulic compensatory mechanism.

  20. Fifty years of entomological publications in the Revista de Biología Tropical.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Paul

    2002-01-01

    Over its fifty year history nearly twenty percent of the papers published in the Revista de Biología Tropical have been about insects and arachnids. In the 1950's papers on arthropods of medical importance were dominant, in the 1960's there was a poliferation of papers on bees, and in more recent years the subjects have become increasingly diverse. In terms of nationality of contributing authors, the journal appears to have become increasingly international in later years.

  1. Three-dimensional reconstruction and the phylogeny of extinct chelicerate orders

    PubMed Central

    Dunlop, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Arachnids are an important group of arthropods. They are: diverse and abundant; a major constituent of many terrestrial ecosystems; and possess a deep and extensive fossil record. In recent years a number of exceptionally preserved arachnid fossils have been investigated using tomography and associated techniques, providing valuable insights into their morphology. Here we use X-ray microtomography to reconstruct members of two extinct arachnid orders. In the Haptopoda, we demonstrate the presence of ‘clasp-knife’ chelicerae, and our novel redescription of a member of the Phalangiotarbida highlights leg details, but fails to resolve chelicerae in the group due to their small size. As a result of these reconstructions, tomographic studies of three-dimensionally preserved fossils now exist for three of the four extinct orders, and for fossil representatives of several extant ones. Such studies constitute a valuable source of high fidelity data for constructing phylogenies. To illustrate this, here we present a cladistic analysis of the chelicerates to accompany these reconstructions. This is based on a previously published matrix, expanded to include fossil taxa and relevant characters, and allows us to: cladistically place the extinct arachnid orders; explicitly test some earlier hypotheses from the literature; and demonstrate that the addition of fossils to phylogenetic analyses can have broad implications. Phylogenies based on chelicerate morphology—in contrast to molecular studies—have achieved elements of consensus in recent years. Our work suggests that these results are not robust to the addition of novel characters or fossil taxa. Hypotheses surrounding chelicerate phylogeny remain in a state of flux. PMID:25405073

  2. Loxoscelism in the Transvaal, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Newlands, G; Isaacson, C; Martindale, C

    1982-01-01

    Bites by spiders of the genus Loxosceles have been implicated as a cause of necrotic arachnidism in the Transvaal. The identification and natural history of three species of Loxosceles common in the Transvaal, L. spinulosa, L. speluncarum and L. parrami, are discussed, the clinical symptoms of envenomation as observed both in human patients and in experimental animals are presented, and the histopathological appearance of the lesion, at different stages of its development, is described.

  3. A comparison of the mitochondrial genomes from two families of Solifugae (Arthropoda: Chelicerata): Eremobatidae and Ammotrechidae.

    PubMed

    Masta, Susan E; Klann, Anja E; Podsiadlowski, Lars

    2008-07-01

    Arachnids are an ancient and diverse group of arthropods, yet few representative mitochondrial genomes have been published for most of the 11 orders. Here, we present and compare sequence and genomic data from two complete mitochondrial genomes from the arachnid order Solifugae (the camel spiders or wind scorpions), representing two families, Ammotrechidae and Eremobatidae. We also make genome-level and sequence comparisons between these taxa and the horseshoe crab, a chelicerate from the sister group to arachnids. In their organization, the two solifuge mitochondrial genomes are similar to that of the horseshoe crab, although both of the solifuges possess a region of repeated sequence. All 13 protein-coding genes and the two ribosomal RNA genes are of similar sizes to those found in the horseshoe crab. The ammotrechid and the eremobatid each have one tRNA gene that differs in location from those of other chelicerates, suggesting that these translocations occurred after the divergence of Solifugae from other arachnid lineages. All 22 tRNA genes in both solifuges are inferred to form secondary structures that are typical of those found in other metazoan mt genomes. However, in the eremobatid, the tRNA(Ser(UCN)) gene in the repeat region appears to have undergone partial duplication and loss of function, and a new tRNA(Ser(UCN)) gene has been created de novo. Our divergence data, in conjunction with the fossil record, indicate that these two solifuge families diverged more than 230 million years ago. Thus, despite several gene rearrangements and duplications, these data indicate a remarkable degree of evolutionary stasis.

  4. Brown recluse spider bites.

    PubMed

    Forks, T P

    2000-01-01

    Brown recluse spider bites are a serious medical problem in the southeastern United States. Although most bites are asymptomatic, envenomation can result in a constellation of systemic symptoms referred to as loxoscelism. Patients can also develop necrotic skin ulcers (necrotic arachnidism). These ulcers are often difficult to heal and can require skin grafting or amputation of the bitten appendage. A search of the literature was performed using the search words "spider envenomation," "brown recluse spider bites," and "arachnid envenomation." Most brown recluse spider bites are asymptomatic. All bites should be thoroughly cleansed and tetanus status updated as needed. Patients who develop systemic symptoms require hospitalization. Surgical excision of skin lesions is indicated only for lesions that have stabilized and are no longer enlarging. Steroids are indicated in bites that are associated with severe skin lesions, loxoscelism, and in small children. Dapsone should be used only in adult patients who experience necrotic arachnidism and who have been screened for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Topical nitroglycerin can be of value in decreasing the enlargement of necrotic skin ulcers.

  5. Distinct Surface Features of Ignimbrites Related to Post-depositional Degassing - Criteria for their Identification on Other Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Silva, S. L.; Bailey, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Developing criteria to differentiate between different lithologies is crucial to unraveling the history of planetary surfaces. The presence of ignimbrites on Mars has been debated for over three decades. If correct, this interpretation has implications for the style of volcanism, the evolution of magmas and volatiles in the mantle and crust, the presence of water, and the evolution of the atmosphere. Ongoing work on the surface patterns of terrestrial ignimbrites in the Central Andes reveal a class of features related to post-depositional degassing that maybe unique to ignimbrites. We focus on interconnected broadly concentric zones of polygonally-fractured intense alteration that form the cores to an extensive radiating fracture network. These are informally called 'arachnids' or 'matrix bugs'. Field investigation reveals abundant sulphur and hydrothermal alteration of the cores with a clear thermal zonation. Resulting induration manifests as elevated core regions and indurated ridges that control the development of yardangs. The character and spacing of the arachnids suggests their formation is related to the presence of external water. The manifestation of these features varies with the degree of induration of the ignimbrites, which is a rough proxy for the volume of the deposit. Arachnids and bugs maybe part of a genre of post-depositional thermal and volatile release features in ignimbrites that include phreatic explosion craters, columnar jointing and fumarolic mounds. These features maybe unique to ignimbrites and may provide a distinct criterion for their identification with high resolution remotely sensed data in regions with little dust cover. Recognising such features in higher resolution data such as HiRiSe on Mars may be limited by the extensive dust cover.

  6. Assessing and managing spider and scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    McGhee, Stephen; Weiner, Aaron; Finnegan, Alan; Visovsky, Constance; Clochesy, John M; Graves, Brian

    2015-11-01

    Envenomation by spiders or scorpions is a public health problem in many parts of the world and is not isolated to the tropics and subtropics. Spiders and scorpions can be unintentionally transported globally, and keeping them as pets is becoming more popular, so envenomation can occur anywhere. Emergency nurses should be prepared to assess and treat patients who present with a bite or sting. This article gives an overview of the signs, symptoms and treatment of envenomation by species of arachnids that are clinically significant to humans.

  7. Tick paralysis in Australia caused by Ixodes holocyclus Neumann

    PubMed Central

    Hall-Mendelin, S; Craig, S B; Hall, R A; O’Donoghue, P; Atwell, R B; Tulsiani, S M; Graham, G C

    2011-01-01

    Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites of various animals, including humans, and are abundant in temperate and tropical zones around the world. They are the most important vectors for the pathogens causing disease in livestock and second only to mosquitoes as vectors of pathogens causing human disease. Ticks are formidable arachnids, capable of not only transmitting the pathogens involved in some infectious diseases but also of inducing allergies and causing toxicoses and paralysis, with possible fatal outcomes for the host. This review focuses on tick paralysis, the role of the Australian paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus, and the role of toxin molecules from this species in causing paralysis in the host. PMID:21396246

  8. North American poisonous bites and stings.

    PubMed

    Quan, Dan

    2012-10-01

    Critters and creatures can strike fear into anyone who thinks about dangerous animals. This article focuses on the management of the most common North American scorpion, arachnid, hymenoptera, and snake envenomations that cause clinically significant problems. Water creatures and less common animal envenomations are not covered in this article. Critical care management of envenomed patients can be challenging for unfamiliar clinicians. Although the animals are located in specific geographic areas, patients envenomed on passenger airliners and those who travel to endemic areas may present to health care facilities distant from the exposure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. A new scorpion species of genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Diplocentridae) endemic to Islas de la Bahia, Honduras.

    PubMed

    Sagastume-Espinoza, Kevin O; Longhorn, Stuart J; Santibáñez-López, Carlos E

    2015-07-01

    Three species of genus Diplocentrus are found in north-northwestern Honduras. These species represent the southern east limits of Diplocentrus' distribution. In recent years, a broad survey of arachnids in Honduras has yielded a collection of several specimens of an undescribed species from two islands in northern Honduras. This new species represents the second species of the genus inhabiting an island. The present contribution describes this new species, and compares it against its most similar relatives. A dichotomous key for the identification of the species of Diplocentrus in Honduras is also included.

  10. Gravito-inertial sensitivity of the spider - Araneus sericatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1982-01-01

    The gravito-inertial transfer function of the orb-weaving spider was evaluated by changes in the cardiac reflex. A non-intrusive method, using a laser system recorded the cardiac pulse. Between 1.001 and 1.5 Gz the data are 'best-fit' by a log function (r-squared 0.92). The response of the neurogenic heart is seen to be a good dependent variable for invetebrate research. The arachnid lyriform organ has those qualities which complement the obtained gravity function. It is hypothesized that the cardiac pump maintains the spiders equilibrium in the gravito-inertial field.

  11. Spiders in dermatology.

    PubMed

    Kang, Jun K; Bhate, Chinmoy; Schwartz, Robert A

    2014-09-01

    Spider bites represent an unusual and potentially over-represented clinical diagnosis. Despite a common fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia, current knowledge suggests that only a small number of families within the order Araneae are medically relevant. Moreover, most cutaneous spider reactions, including both evenomations and physical trauma, produce mild, local symptoms which may be managed with supportive care alone. The differential diagnosis for spider bites may be broad, especially if the offending arachnid is not seen or found. We describe a series of spiders relevant to the dermatologist in the United States.

  12. Sound Source Localization through 8 MEMS Microphones Array Using a Sand-Scorpion-Inspired Spiking Neural Network

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Christoph; Garreau, Guillaume; Georgiou, Julius

    2016-01-01

    Sand-scorpions and many other arachnids perceive their environment by using their feet to sense ground waves. They are able to determine amplitudes the size of an atom and locate the acoustic stimuli with an accuracy of within 13° based on their neuronal anatomy. We present here a prototype sound source localization system, inspired from this impressive performance. The system presented utilizes custom-built hardware with eight MEMS microphones, one for each foot, to acquire the acoustic scene, and a spiking neural model to localize the sound source. The current implementation shows smaller localization error than those observed in nature. PMID:27833526

  13. Gravito-inertial sensitivity of the spider - Araneus sericatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1982-01-01

    The gravito-inertial transfer function of the orb-weaving spider was evaluated by changes in the cardiac reflex. A non-intrusive method, using a laser system recorded the cardiac pulse. Between 1.001 and 1.5 Gz the data are 'best-fit' by a log function (r-squared 0.92). The response of the neurogenic heart is seen to be a good dependent variable for invetebrate research. The arachnid lyriform organ has those qualities which complement the obtained gravity function. It is hypothesized that the cardiac pump maintains the spiders equilibrium in the gravito-inertial field.

  14. Forest refugia in Western and Central Africa as ‘museums’ of Mesozoic biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Murienne, Jérôme; Benavides, Ligia R.; Prendini, Lorenzo; Hormiga, Gustavo; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2013-01-01

    The refugial speciation model, or ‘species pump’, is widely accepted in the context of tropical biogeography and has been advocated as an explanation for present species distributions in tropical Western and Central Africa. In order to test this hypothesis, a phylogeny of the cryptic arachnid order Ricinulei, based on four nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, was inferred. This ancient clade of litter-dwelling arthropods, endemic to the primary forests of Western and Central Africa and the Neotropics, might provide insights into the mode and tempo of evolution in Africa. Twenty-six African ricinuleid specimens were sampled from eight countries spanning the distribution of Ricinulei on the continent, and analysed together with Neotropical samples plus other arachnid outgroups. The phylogenetic and molecular dating results suggest that Ricinulei diversified in association with the fragmentation of Gondwana. The early diversification of Ricinoides in Western and Central Africa around 88 (±33) Ma fits old palaeogeographical events better than recent climatic fluctuations. Unlike most recent molecular studies, these results agree with fossil evidence, suggesting that refugia may have acted as ‘museums’ conserving ancient diversity rather than as engines generating diversity during successive episodes of climatic fluctuation in Africa. PMID:23193047

  15. Hox genes in sea spiders (Pycnogonida) and the homology of arthropod head segments.

    PubMed

    Manuel, Michaël; Jager, Muriel; Murienne, Jérôme; Clabaut, Céline; Le Guyader, Hervé

    2006-01-01

    The pycnogonids (or sea spiders) are an enigmatic group of arthropods, classified in recent phylogenies as a sister-group of either euchelicerates (horseshoe crabs and arachnids), or all other extant arthropods. Because of their bizarre morpho-anatomy, homologies with other arthropod taxa have been difficult to assess. We review the main morphology-based hypotheses of correspondence between anterior segments of pycnogonids, arachnids and mandibulates. In an attempt to provide new relevant data to these controversial issues, we performed a PCR survey of Hox genes in two pycnogonid species, Endeis spinosa and Nymphon gracile, from which we could recover nine and six Hox genes, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses allowed to identify their orthology relationships. The Deformed gene from E. spinosa and the abdominal-A gene from N. gracile exhibit unusual sequence divergence in their homeodomains, which, in the latter case, may be correlated with the extreme reduction of the posterior region in pycnogonids. Expression patterns of two Hox genes (labial and Deformed) in the E. spinosa protonymphon larva are discussed. The anterior boundaries of their expression domains favour homology between sea spider chelifores, euchelicerates chelicerae and mandibulate (first) antennae, in contradistinction with previously proposed alternative schemes such as the protocerebral identity of sea spider chelifores or the absence of a deutocerebrum in chelicerates. In addition, while anatomical and embryological evidences suggest the possibility that the ovigers of sea spiders could be a duplicated pair of pedipalps, the Hox data support them as modified anterior walking legs, consistent with the classical views.

  16. Geological history and phylogeny of Chelicerata.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Jason A

    2010-01-01

    Chelicerata probably appeared during the Cambrian period. Their precise origins remain unclear, but may lie among the so-called great appendage arthropods. By the late Cambrian there is evidence for both Pycnogonida and Euchelicerata. Relationships between the principal euchelicerate lineages are unresolved, but Xiphosura, Eurypterida and Chasmataspidida (the last two extinct), are all known as body fossils from the Ordovician. The fourth group, Arachnida, was found monophyletic in most recent studies. Arachnids are known unequivocally from the Silurian (a putative Ordovician mite remains controversial), and the balance of evidence favours a common, terrestrial ancestor. Recent work recognises four principal arachnid clades: Stethostomata, Haplocnemata, Acaromorpha and Pantetrapulmonata, of which the pantetrapulmonates (spiders and their relatives) are probably the most robust grouping. Stethostomata includes Scorpiones (Silurian-Recent) and Opiliones (Devonian-Recent), while Haplocnemata includes Pseudoscorpiones (Devonian-Recent) and Solifugae (Carboniferous-Recent). Recent works increasingly favour diphyletic mite origins, whereby Acaromorpha comprises Actinotrichida (Devonian-Recent), Anactinotrichida (Cretaceous-Recent) and Ricinulei (Carboniferous-Recent). The positions of the Phalangiotarbida (Devonian-Permian) and Palpigradi (Neogene-Recent) are poorly resolved. Finally, Pantetrapulmonata includes the following groups (listed here in their most widely recovered phylogenetic sequence): Trigonotarbida (Silurian-Permian), Uraraneida (Devonian-Permian), Araneae (Carboniferous-Recent), Haptopoda (Carboniferous), Amblypygi (?Devonian-Recent), Thelyphonida (Carboniferous-Recent) and Schizomida (Paleogene-Recent). Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Epidemiological and clinical manifestations of patients hospitalized with brown recluse spider bite.

    PubMed

    Dyachenko, P; Ziv, M; Rozenman, D

    2006-10-01

    Necrotic arachnidism represents a common health problem and standard treatments are usually safe and effective. The aim of this study was to review documented Loxosceles species spider envenomations and identify the natural history of affected patients. A retrospective single-centre study included 52 patients with necrotic arachnidism hospitalized in the dermatology department between 1997 and 2004. We examined the relationship between the epidemiological, clinical and laboratory parameters and degree of lesion severity, length of hospitalization and time to complete healing. The bites occurred predominantly in rural areas, 67% between April and August. Only 35% of the patients sought medical care within 24 h post bite. Most bites were of the extremities (67%). Time to complete healing ranged from 14 days to more than 8 weeks (mean, 4.8 weeks). A marked relationship was found between age, comorbidities, lesion severity and time to complete healing (P < 0.01). Duration of hospitalization was significantly longer in patients with severe thigh lesions (P < 0.02). Loxosceles species spider bites frequently induce necrotic, slowly healing ulcers on the fatty areas of the body. Early, appropriate systemic therapy may provide clinical benefit.

  18. Towards a DNA Barcode Reference Database for Spiders and Harvestmen of Germany

    PubMed Central

    Astrin, Jonas J.; Höfer, Hubert; Spelda, Jörg; Holstein, Joachim; Bayer, Steffen; Hendrich, Lars; Huber, Bernhard A.; Kielhorn, Karl-Hinrich; Krammer, Hans-Joachim; Lemke, Martin; Monje, Juan Carlos; Morinière, Jérôme; Rulik, Björn; Petersen, Malte; Janssen, Hannah; Muster, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    As part of the German Barcode of Life campaign, over 3500 arachnid specimens have been collected and analyzed: ca. 3300 Araneae and 200 Opiliones, belonging to almost 600 species (median: 4 individuals/species). This covers about 60% of the spider fauna and more than 70% of the harvestmen fauna recorded for Germany. The overwhelming majority of species could be readily identified through DNA barcoding: median distances between closest species lay around 9% in spiders and 13% in harvestmen, while in 95% of the cases, intraspecific distances were below 2.5% and 8% respectively, with intraspecific medians at 0.3% and 0.2%. However, almost 20 spider species, most notably in the family Lycosidae, could not be separated through DNA barcoding (although many of them present discrete morphological differences). Conspicuously high interspecific distances were found in even more cases, hinting at cryptic species in some instances. A new program is presented: DiStats calculates the statistics needed to meet DNA barcode release criteria. Furthermore, new generic COI primers useful for a wide range of taxa (also other than arachnids) are introduced. PMID:27681175

  19. Arthropods and Multispecies Habitat Conservation Plans: Are We Missing Something?

    PubMed

    REDAK

    2000-07-01

    Arthropods constitute well over one-half of the species of higher life on the planet and are the dominant terrestrial life form on the planet. Unfortunately, very little is known about most arthropod species. There are an estimated 163,487 species of insects in North America, of which only 66% are taxonomically known. Similarly, there are an estimated 35,514 species of North American arachnids, of which only 9316 are described; over 73% have yet to be discovered and described. Without the basic taxonomic and life history knowledge for most of the terrestrial species (i.e., arthropods) of North American ecosystems, land managers are faced with the challenge of developing, selecting, and managing biotic reserves and habitat conservation plans for which they know very little about the majority of organisms found within such reserves or covered by such plans. With respect to arthropods, this challenge includes taking into account poorly described species being used as political tools to stop development (as opposed to actually protecting a truly endangered species), thus confounding the habitat conservation planning process and ensuring that "surprises" in the form of new listings will occur within any multispecies habitat plan. Finally, using various scenarios and assumptions, estimates of the true number of endangered insects and arachnids are provided to illustrate the fact that the suspected number of threatened, endangered, and extinct species is probably low by at least an order of magnitude.

  20. Vertical T-maze choice assay for arthropod response to odorants.

    PubMed

    Stelinski, Lukasz; Tiwari, Siddharth

    2013-02-14

    Given the economic importance of insects and arachnids as pests of agricultural crops, urban environments or as vectors of plant and human diseases, various technologies are being developed as control tools. A subset of these tools focuses on modifying the behavior of arthropods by attraction or repulsion. Therefore, arthropods are often the focus of behavioral investigations. Various tools have been developed to measure arthropod behavior, including wind tunnels, flight mills, servospheres, and various types of olfactometers. The purpose of these tools is to measure insect or arachnid response to visual or more often olfactory cues. The vertical T-maze olfactometer described here measures choices performed by insects in response to attractants or repellents. It is a high throughput assay device that takes advantage of the positive phototaxis (attraction to light) and negative geotaxis (tendency to walk or fly upward) exhibited by many arthropods. The olfactometer consists of a 30 cm glass tube that is divided in half with a Teflon strip forming a T-maze. Each half serves as an arm of the olfactometer enabling the test subjects to make a choice between two potential odor fields in assays involving attractants. In assays involving repellents, lack of normal response to known attractants can also be measured as a third variable.

  1. Forest refugia in Western and Central Africa as 'museums' of Mesozoic biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Murienne, Jérôme; Benavides, Ligia R; Prendini, Lorenzo; Hormiga, Gustavo; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2013-02-23

    The refugial speciation model, or 'species pump', is widely accepted in the context of tropical biogeography and has been advocated as an explanation for present species distributions in tropical Western and Central Africa. In order to test this hypothesis, a phylogeny of the cryptic arachnid order Ricinulei, based on four nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, was inferred. This ancient clade of litter-dwelling arthropods, endemic to the primary forests of Western and Central Africa and the Neotropics, might provide insights into the mode and tempo of evolution in Africa. Twenty-six African ricinuleid specimens were sampled from eight countries spanning the distribution of Ricinulei on the continent, and analysed together with Neotropical samples plus other arachnid outgroups. The phylogenetic and molecular dating results suggest that Ricinulei diversified in association with the fragmentation of Gondwana. The early diversification of Ricinoides in Western and Central Africa around 88 (±33) Ma fits old palaeogeographical events better than recent climatic fluctuations. Unlike most recent molecular studies, these results agree with fossil evidence, suggesting that refugia may have acted as 'museums' conserving ancient diversity rather than as engines generating diversity during successive episodes of climatic fluctuation in Africa.

  2. [Cutaneous necrotic loxoscelism. A case report].

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Olivas, Manuel Anastacio; Valencia-Zavala, Martha Patricia; Sánchez-Olivas, Jesús Alberto; Sepulveda-Velázquez, Guadalupe; Vega-Robledo, Gloria

    2011-01-01

    Brown recluse (Loxosceles spp.) spiders are arachnid species known to cause necrotic arachnidism. The envenomation, described as loxoscelism, is associated with localized pain, erythema, and edema followed by the development of necrosis. However, the specific pathophysiological mechanisms by which Loxosceles venom exerts these noxious symptoms are multifactorial and not fully understood. The causative factor for production of necrotic lesions is generally considered to be the enzyme sphingomyelinase D (SMD), which cleaves sphingomyelin to form choline and ceramide 1-phosphate. Four active forms of SMD with molecular weight of 32 000 are found in L recluse. Sphingomyelinases of comparable size are also described in the venoms of Loxosceles intermedia, gaucho and laeta. Here we describe the case of a young male adult who suffered a spider bite on his left forearm which evolved into a necrotic lesion, and after a few days the injury healed completely. One week later the patient developed two similar lesions on his left leg. The diagnosis was established by clinical data and by biopsy findings. The patient did not developed systemic complications.

  3. Human Permanent Ectoparasites; Recent Advances on Biology and Clinical Significance of Demodex Mites: Narrative Review Article.

    PubMed

    Litwin, Dorota; Chen, WenChieh; Dzika, Ewa; Korycińska, Joanna

    2017-01-01

    Demodex is a genus of mites living predominantly in mammalian pilosebaceous units. They are commonly detected in the skin of face, with increasing numbers in inflammatory lesions. Causation between Demodex mites and inflammatory diseases, such as rosacea, blepharitis, perioral and seborrhoeic dermatitis or chalazion, is controversially discussed. Clinical observations indicate a primary form of human Demodex infection. The aim of this review was to highlight the biological aspects of Demodex infestation and point out directions for the future research. We conducted a broad review based on the electronic database sources such as MEDLINE, PubMed and Scopus with regard to the characteristics of the Demodex species, methods of examination and worldwide epidemiology, molecular studies and its role in the complex human ecosystem. Demodex mites are organisms with a worldwide importance as they act in indicating several dermatoses, under certain conditions. However, correlations between Demodex and other parasites or microorganisms occupying one host, as well as interactions between these arachnids and its symbiotic bacteria should be considered. There are few methods of human mites' examination depending on purpose of the study. Nevertheless, paying attention must be needed as polymorphism of Demodex species has been reported. Overall, the present review will focus on different aspects of Demodex mites' biology and significance of these arachnids in human's health.

  4. Endecous peruassuensis n. sp. (Orthoptera: Grylloidea: Phalangopsidae) from caves of Eastern Brazil: evidence of isolation in the subterranean realm and discussion about troglomorphisms.

    PubMed

    Bolfarini, Marcio P; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2015-10-16

    We describe a new species of the genus Endecous Saussure (1878), recorded at the Lapa do Cipó and Olhos d'Água caves, which are located in the Itacarambi municipality, Minas Gerais state, Eastern Brazil. Another species, E. aguassay Mews, 2008 was recordedin the surroundings of the caves. The genus Endecous corresponds to the most common cricket in Brazilian hypogean environments. In general, these crickets inhabit the areas around cave entrances up to the aphotic zones of caves. The genus Endecous is the only cave cricket to present troglobiomorphosis, i.e., an apterous condition. The distribution of the new species is limited to these two caves, which suggests an endemism in this karst system similar to the distribution of other endemic animals, such as harvestmen and amblypygid arachnids. This species is the sixth troglobitic one described for Olhos d'Água cave, which sets this cave as a spot of subterranean fauna in Brazil.

  5. Southwest Caves Reveal New Forms of Life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wynne, J. Judson; Drost, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Caves in northern Arizona and western New Mexico are being researched and inventoried by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and cooperating agencies. Southwestern caves have been little studied, and scientists are now finding that these lightless and nutrient-poor natural systems are home to life forms found nowhere else on Earth. This research has identified unique communities of arthropods (insects, arachnids, and crustaceans) that include 3 new genera, or groups of species, and at least 15 new species - some only known to exist in a single cave. This exciting research is yielding information that will be used by resource managers to better understand and protect fragile and important Southwestern cave ecosystems.

  6. Food of nestling green-backed herons in West Central Mississippi

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ensor, K.L.; Dusi, J.L.; White, D.H.

    1986-01-01

    Food habits of the green-backed heron have received much attention recently, though little data exists in the literature on food items fed to nestlings. Analysis of 74 nestling boluses collected between 5 May and 10 July 1985 included four categories: a) number of prey items, b) % of total individuals by number, c) % frequency of herons with that particular prey item, d) % of total diet by weight. By class, fish dominated the diet, followed by insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and arachnids in descending order. Amphibians, however, had a higher % of total diet by weight than insects. The mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) made up the largest part of the diet by # of prey items and % of total individuals by #. Bowfin (Amia calva) was the major prey item by weight. Back-swimmers (F. Notonectidae) occurred in more boluses than any other prey item. Lengths of prey items by class will also be discussed.

  7. Potential costs of heterospecific sexual interactions in golden orbweb spiders (Nephila spp.).

    PubMed

    Quiñones-Lebrón, Shakira G; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Gregorič, Matjaž; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Čandek, Klemen; Haddad, Charles R; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-11-15

    Though not uncommon in other animals, heterospecific mating is rarely reported in arachnids. We investigated sexual interactions among four closely related and syntopical African golden orbweb spiders, Nephila inaurata, N. fenestrata, N. komaci, and N. senegalensis. In two South African localities, female webs were often inhabited by heterospecific males that sometimes outnumbered conspecifics. Species association of males with females was random in nature. In subsequent laboratory choice experiments, N. inaurata males chose heterospecific females in 30% of trials. We also observed natural mating interactions between N. inaurata males and N. komaci females, and between N. komaci males and N. inaurata females in laboratory experiments. While heterospecific mating in the laboratory never produced offspring, conspecific mating did. We discuss potential ecological and evolutionary consequences of heterospecific mating interactions in Nephila that may be particularly costly to the rarer species.

  8. The Chilean Recluse Spider (Araneae: Sicariidae) Displays Behavioral Responses to Conspecific Odors, but Not to Several General Odorants.

    PubMed

    Calbiague, Victor Manuel; Olivares, Jesus; Olivares, Erick; Schmachtenberg, Oliver

    2017-09-01

    Spiders of the family Sicariidae pose a serious threat to affected populations, and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) is considered the most venomous species. Development of nontoxic olfaction-based spider repellents or traps is hindered by a current lack of knowledge regarding olfactory system function in arachnids. In the present study, general plant odorants and conspecific odors were tested for behavioral responses in L. laeta. Although general odorants triggered neither attraction nor aversion, conspecific odor of the opposite sex caused aversion in females, and attraction in males. These results support the presence of a specific olfactory system for the detection of conspecifics in L. laeta, but suggest the absence of a broadly tuned system for general odorant detection in this species. © 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.

  9. Harvestmen (arachnida: opiliones) from the middle Jurassic of China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Diying; Selden, Paul A; Dunlop, Jason A

    2009-08-01

    Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) are familiar animals in most terrestrial habitats but are rare as fossils, with only a handful of species known from each of the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras. Fossil harvestmen from Middle Jurassic (ca. 165 Ma) strata of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China, are described as Mesobunus martensi gen. et sp. nov. and Daohugopilio sheari gen. et sp. nov.; the two genera differ primarily in the relative length of their legs and details of the pedipalps. Jurassic arachnids are extremely rare and these fossils represent the first Jurassic, and only the fourth Mesozoic, record of Opiliones. These remarkably well-preserved and modern-looking fossils are assigned to the Eupnoi, whereby M. martensi demonstrably belongs in Sclerosomatidae. It thus represents the oldest record of a modern harvestman family and implies a high degree of evolutionary stasis among one of the most widespread and abundant groups of long-legged, round-bodied harvestmen.

  10. Swiss prospective study on spider bites.

    PubMed

    Gnädinger, Markus; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Fuchs, Joan; Ceschi, Alessandro

    2013-09-04

    Knowledge of spider bites in Central Europe derives mainly from anecdotal case presentations; therefore we aimed to collect cases systematically. From June 2011 to November 2012 we prospectively collected 17 cases of alleged spider bites, and together with two spontaneous notifications later on, our database totaled 19 cases. Among them, eight cases could be verified. The causative species were: Cheiracanthium punctorium (3), Zoropsis spinimana (2), Amaurobius ferox, Tegenaria atrica and Malthonica ferruginea (1 each). Clinical presentation was generally mild, with the exception of Cheiracanthium punctorium, and patients recovered fully without sequelae. In Switzerland, spider bites generally have a benign clinical course, which is characterised by minor effects, with rapid and complete recovery. Since only verified spider bites can be regarded as spider bites, in the case of clinically important arachnidism, the spider should be sent to an expert for identification. Our study may help to diminish spider fear and reassure people who have experienced a bite.

  11. A phoenix of clinical toxinology: white-tailed spider (Lampona spp.) bites. A case report and review of medical significance.

    PubMed

    White, Julian; Weinstein, Scott A

    2014-09-01

    The Australian white-tailed spiders ("WTS"; Lamponidae: notably Lampona cylindrata &Lampona murina) have a continuing reputation on Internet sites as a cause of skin ulceration, labelled "necrotic arachnidism", despite an increasing number of peer-reviewed publications debunking this reputation, with >135 confirmed cases now reported without any evidence of necrosis. We present here a case of confirmed WTS bite in a 42-year old male, followed for over a month, with photos of bite site signs and no development of skin ulceration/necrosis. The patient was initially alarmed by information on the Internet suggesting local necrosis would result from the bite. We discuss the evolution of knowledge about bites by the WTS, and the persistence of misconceptions about their factually mild medical significance.

  12. A 520 million-year-old chelicerate larva.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yu; Haug, Joachim T; Haug, Carolin; Briggs, Derek E G; Hou, Xianguang

    2014-07-15

    An important survival strategy for animal species is the so-called niche differentiation between larva and adult. Different developmental stages of the same animal occupy different ecological niches to avoid competing for food or other essential resources. Here, we describe an exceptionally preserved larval stage of the short great appendage (SGA) arthropod (megacheiran) Leanchoilia illecebrosa from the early Cambrian Chengjiang biota of China. The larval specimen preserves fine details of the main feeding limb, the SGA, which are unknown in the adult of the same species. This discovery demonstrates that niche differentiation during ontogeny was developed in this species of megacheiran--a group of fossil arthropods that has been considered to be early representatives of Chelicerata, which includes horseshoe crabs and arachnids. Hence, this type of niche differentiation, which is common today, originated from the early Cambrian.

  13. Gravity Reception and Cardiac Function in the Spider

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1985-01-01

    The following features of the arachnid gravity system were studied. (1) the absolute threshold to hyper-gz is quite low indicating fine proprioreceptive properties of the lyriform organ, the Gz/vibration detector; (2) the neurogenic heart of the spider is a good dependent variable for assessing its behavior to Gz and other stimuli which produce mechanical effects on the exoskeleton; (3) Not only is the cardiac response useful but it is now understood to be an integral part of the system which compensates for the consequences of gravity in the spider (an hydraulic leg extension); and (4) a theoretical model was proposed in which a mechanical amplifier, the leg lever, converts a weak force (at the tarsus) to a strong force (at the patella), capable of compressing the exoskeleton and consequently the lyriform receptor.

  14. A theory of vibrational prey localization in two dimensions: the sand scorpion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2000-03-01

    Sand scorpions, and many other arachnids, find their prey at night by localizing the source of mechanical waves produced by prey movements. Substrate vibrations propagating through sand evoke stimulus-locked action potentials from slit sensilla on the scorpion's eight `feet' (tarsi). We present a neuronal model to account for stimulus angle determination in a two-dimensional plane using a population of second-order neurons, each receiving excitatory input from one tarsus and inhibition from a triad opposite to it. This input opens a time window whose width determines the firing probability of each of the second-order neurons. The population then `votes' for the direction. Stochastic resonance is realized through tuning the balance between excitation and inhibition. The agreement with behavioral experiments on sand scorpions is excellent.

  15. Arthropod Envenomation in North America.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Timothy B; Cheema, Navneet

    2017-05-01

    Arthropods (phylum Arthopoda) account for a higher percentage of morbidity and mortality to humans than do mammalian bites, snake bites, or marine envenomation. They are ubiquitous in domestic dwellings, caves, and campsites and in wilderness settings such as deserts, forests, and lakes. Although arthropods are most intrusive during warmer months, many are active throughout the winter, particularly indoors. Arthropods are also nocturnal and often bite unsuspecting victims while they are sleeping. Encounters with humans are generally defensive, accidental, or reactive. An individual stung by an insect or bitten by an arachnid may experience pain and local swelling, an anaphylactic reaction, or life-threatening toxicity. This review discusses the clinical presentation and latest treatment recommendations for bites and stings from spiders, scorpions, bees, ants, ticks and centipedes of North America. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Surgical treatment of a brown recluse spider bite: a case study and literature review.

    PubMed

    Delasotta, Lawrence A; Orozco, Fabio; Ong, Alvin; Sheikh, Emran

    2014-01-01

    Spider bite envenomation can cause local, constitutional, and/or systemic symptoms. The present case study reports on 5 years of follow-up for a "probable" brown recluse spider bite of the foot and ankle that was refractory to conservative treatment and was subsequently treated with surgery. The present case study reports the atypical occurrence of long-term peripheral neuropathy after necrotic arachnidism induced by "probable" brown recluse (Loxosceles recluse) envenomation, in a 46-year-old male. The state of published data suggests to minimize inflammation and tissue necrosis, prevent bacterial superinfection, and control pain levels. For patients with long-term peripheral neuropathy refractory to conservative therapy, surgical intervention may further improve their symptoms. Copyright © 2014 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Epidemiology of the brown recluse spider bite.

    PubMed

    Rhoads, Jacqueline

    2007-02-01

    The purpose of this article was to provide a comprehensive epidemiological and clinical description of the brown recluse spider bite. Review of evidenced-based scientific literature and practice guidelines. A specific descriptive case study is interwoven through the article to tie in the clinical presenting figure associated with this bite. The brown recluse lives in a circumscribed area of the United States (the south central Midwest) with a few less common recluse species living in the more sparsely populated southwest United States. In these areas, where spider populations may be dense, recluse spiders may be a cause of significant morbidity. Most spider bites are asymptomatic but what makes this bite so devastating is the toxin injected by the brown recluse spider, which can cause considerable systemic symptoms as well as necrotic skin ulcers (necrotic arachnidism). The article presents process for diagnosis and stresses the importance of identifying the spider if at all possible.

  18. Females are the brighter sex: Differences in external fluorescence across sexes and life stages of a crab spider

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Erin E.

    2017-01-01

    Fluorescence is increasingly recognized to be widespread in nature. In particular, some arachnids fluoresce externally, and in spiders the hemolymph fluoresces. In this study, we examined the external fluorescence and the fluorophores of different sexes and life stages of the crab spider Misumena vatia (Clerk 1757), a sit-and-wait predator that feeds on insects as they visit flowers. We designed novel instrumentation to measure external fluorescence in whole specimens. We found that although males and females possess internal fluorophores with similar properties, the external expression of fluorescence varies across sexes and life stages. Spiders fluoresce brightly as immatures. Females maintain their brightness to adulthood, whereas males become increasingly dim as they mature. We suggest that external fluorescence likely contributes to visual signaling in these animals, and that it differs between the sexes as a result of differences in foraging ecology and behavior. PMID:28467416

  19. Pole to Pole Intraocular Transit of Tarantula Hairs—An Intriguing Cause of Red Eye

    PubMed Central

    Sheth, Hiten G.; Pacheco, Patricio; Sallam, Ahmed; Lightman, Sue

    2009-01-01

    This intriguing case report provides novel images and a description of the anterior and rarer posterior segment findings seen in ocular inflammation associated with tarantula spider hair exposure. We present an interventional case report of a 9-year-old boy who presented with a red, sore eye. Slit lamp examination revealed right eye injection, multiple small hairs at differing levels of the cornea with associated opacities and inflammation within the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. Only after detailed and repeated questioning did the aetiology become apparent. Conservative management in the form of topical steroid and antibiotics was commenced and he did well with no obvious sequelae in the medium term. Healthcare personnel (and indeed pet shop owners, arachnid enthusiasts and even parents) should be aware of the potential ocular complications of tarantula hair exposure and clinicians should perhaps specifically ask about pet-keeping when presented with an unusual red eye. PMID:20029643

  20. Pole to pole intraocular transit of tarantula hairs-an intriguing cause of red eye.

    PubMed

    Sheth, Hiten G; Pacheco, Patricio; Sallam, Ahmed; Lightman, Sue

    2009-01-01

    This intriguing case report provides novel images and a description of the anterior and rarer posterior segment findings seen in ocular inflammation associated with tarantula spider hair exposure. We present an interventional case report of a 9-year-old boy who presented with a red, sore eye. Slit lamp examination revealed right eye injection, multiple small hairs at differing levels of the cornea with associated opacities and inflammation within the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. Only after detailed and repeated questioning did the aetiology become apparent. Conservative management in the form of topical steroid and antibiotics was commenced and he did well with no obvious sequelae in the medium term. Healthcare personnel (and indeed pet shop owners, arachnid enthusiasts and even parents) should be aware of the potential ocular complications of tarantula hair exposure and clinicians should perhaps specifically ask about pet-keeping when presented with an unusual red eye.

  1. Antimicrobial activity of defensins and defensin-like peptides with special emphasis on those from fungi and invertebrate animals.

    PubMed

    Ng, Tzi Bun; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Wong, Jack Ho; Ye, Xiu Juan

    2013-09-01

    Living organisms are in perpetual contact with pathogenic microbes, and in encounter with parasites and predators. In order to protect themselves, they produce a variety of antimicrobial proteins and peptides. One family of such protective or defensive proteins is known as defensins, characterized by a cationic character, a low molecular mass, and an abundance of cysteine residues. Defensins from mammals and plants have been succinctly reviewed by a number of experts in this ever-growing field. This review encompasses the defensin plectasin from the saprophytic fungus Pseudoplectania nigrella as well as defensins and defensin-like peptides from invertebrate animals such as jellyfish, sponges, nematodes, crustaceans, arachnids, insects, bivalves, snails, and sea urchins. Big defensins from mollusks are mentioned together with amphioxus big defensin. The structures and activities of these defense proteins are discussed.

  2. New species of Austropurcellia, cryptic short-range endemic mite harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi) from Australia’s Wet Tropics biodiversity hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Jay, Katya R.; Popkin-Hall, Zachary R.; Coblens, Michelle J.; Oberski, Jill T.; Sharma, Prashant P.; Boyer, Sarah L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The genus Austropurcellia is a lineage of tiny leaf-litter arachnids that inhabit tropical rainforests throughout the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. The majority of their diversity is found within the Wet Tropics rainforests of northeast Queensland, an area known for its exceptionally high levels of biodiversity and endemism. Studying the biogeographic history of limited-dispersal invertebrates in the Wet Tropics can provide insight into the role of climatic changes such as rainforest contraction in shaping rainforest biodiversity patterns. Here we describe six new species of mite harvestmen from the Wet Tropics rainforests, identified using morphological data, and discuss the biogeography of Austropurcellia with distributions of all known species. With this taxonomic contribution, the majority of the known diversity of the genus has been documented. PMID:27199608

  3. Updating knowledge on new medically important scorpion species in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Everardo R; Santibañez-López, Carlos E; Güereca, Leopoldo; Uribe-Romero, Selene J; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse V; Cárcamo-Noriega, Edson N; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar

    2017-11-01

    The increment in the number of scorpion envenoming cases in Mexico is mainly associated to the rapid growth of the urban areas, and consequently, to the invasion of natural habitats of these arachnids. On the other hand, there is a great diversity of scorpion species, so it is indispensable to identify those of medical importance, which we now know are many more than the 7-8 previously reported as dangerous to humans. Because different LD50 values have been reported for the venom of the same species, probably due to variations in the experimental conditions used, in this work we determined the LD50 values for the venoms of 13 different species of scorpions using simple but systematic procedures. This information constitutes a referent on the level of toxicity of medically important scorpion species from Mexico and establishes the bases for a more comprehensive assessment of the neutralizing capacity of current and developing antivenoms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Scorpion and spider venom peptides: gene cloning and peptide expression.

    PubMed

    Quintero-Hernández, V; Ortiz, E; Rendón-Anaya, M; Schwartz, E F; Becerril, B; Corzo, G; Possani, L D

    2011-12-01

    This communication reviews most of the important findings related to venom components isolated from scorpions and spiders, mainly by means of gene cloning and expression. Rather than revising results obtained by classical biochemical studies that report structure and function of venom components, here the emphasis is placed on cloning and identification of genes present in the venomous glands of these arachnids. Aspects related to cDNA library construction, specific or random ESTs cloning, transcriptome analysis, high-throughput screening, heterologous expression and folding are briefly discussed, showing some numbers of species and components already identified, but also shortly mentioning limitations and perspectives of research for the future in this field. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Associative learning in a harvestman (Arachnida, Opiliones).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Gilson Costa; Hogan, Jerry A; Willemart, Rodrigo Hirata

    2013-11-01

    Associative learning has been demonstrated in many species of invertebrates, but has not been studied in arachnids, except for some spiders and a whip-spider. Herein, we tested the ability of a Neotropical harvestman, Discocyrtus invalidus (Arachnida, Opiliones) to associate a shelter with a chemical stimulus. We used an arena with a white light at the top and two openings on the floor, one giving access to a dark shelter and the other one closed with a mesh. Filter paper with different chemicals (mate or green tea) surrounded both openings. A harvestman (n=37) was released in the arena and its behavior recorded. The procedure was repeated for 14 consecutive days with each individual. We found that harvestmen got faster at finding the refuge, became less exploratory and tended to move toward the open shelter as the days passed. We conclude that the animals learned to associate the chemical stimulus with the shelter.

  6. New species of Austropurcellia, cryptic short-range endemic mite harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi) from Australia's Wet Tropics biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Jay, Katya R; Popkin-Hall, Zachary R; Coblens, Michelle J; Oberski, Jill T; Sharma, Prashant P; Boyer, Sarah L

    2016-01-01

    The genus Austropurcellia is a lineage of tiny leaf-litter arachnids that inhabit tropical rainforests throughout the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. The majority of their diversity is found within the Wet Tropics rainforests of northeast Queensland, an area known for its exceptionally high levels of biodiversity and endemism. Studying the biogeographic history of limited-dispersal invertebrates in the Wet Tropics can provide insight into the role of climatic changes such as rainforest contraction in shaping rainforest biodiversity patterns. Here we describe six new species of mite harvestmen from the Wet Tropics rainforests, identified using morphological data, and discuss the biogeography of Austropurcellia with distributions of all known species. With this taxonomic contribution, the majority of the known diversity of the genus has been documented.

  7. Gravity Reception and Cardiac Function in the Spider

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finck, A.

    1985-01-01

    The following features of the arachnid gravity system were studied. (1) the absolute threshold to hyper-gz is quite low indicating fine proprioreceptive properties of the lyriform organ, the Gz/vibration detector; (2) the neurogenic heart of the spider is a good dependent variable for assessing its behavior to Gz and other stimuli which produce mechanical effects on the exoskeleton; (3) Not only is the cardiac response useful but it is now understood to be an integral part of the system which compensates for the consequences of gravity in the spider (an hydraulic leg extension); and (4) a theoretical model was proposed in which a mechanical amplifier, the leg lever, converts a weak force (at the tarsus) to a strong force (at the patella), capable of compressing the exoskeleton and consequently the lyriform receptor.

  8. Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones).

    PubMed

    Giribet, Gonzalo; Sharma, Prashant P

    2015-01-07

    Opiliones are one of the largest arachnid orders, with more than 6,500 species in 50 families. Many of these families have been erected or reorganized in the last few years since the publication of The Biology of Opiliones. Recent years have also seen an explosion in phylogenetic work on Opiliones, as well as in studies using Opiliones as test cases to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions more broadly. Accelerated activity in the study of Opiliones evolution has been facilitated by the discovery of several key fossils, including the oldest known Opiliones fossil, which represents a new, extinct suborder. Study of the group's biology has also benefited from rapid accrual of genomic resources, particularly with respect to transcriptomes and functional genetic tools. The rapid emergence and utility of Phalangium opilio as a model for evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods serve as demonstrative evidence of a new area of study in Opiliones biology, made possible through transcriptomic data.

  9. Coombs-positive hemolytic anemia secondary to brown recluse spider bite: a review of the literature and discussion of treatment.

    PubMed

    Lane, David R; Youse, Jeremy S

    2004-12-01

    The bite of the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) typically results in local, dermonecrotic skin lesions. Rarely, these bites may precipitate systemic disturbances of varying severity collectively known as systemic loxoscelism. The more severe systemic alterations attributed to the venom of this arachnid include hemolytic anemia, multiorgan failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, or even death. Coombs-positive hemolysis associated with brown recluse spider bites has rarely been documented in the literature. We report 2 cases of systemic loxoscelism in young women associated with severe Coombs-positive hemolytic anemia and systemic symptoms requiring hospitalization. Both patients were treated with aggressive wound care, hematologic monitoring with blood transfusion, and intravenous fluid replacement. Recovery was excellent in both cases. We review the literature and discuss the controversies surrounding the treatment of more severe brown recluse bite reactions.

  10. Clinical consequences of spider bites: recent advances in our understanding.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; White, Julian

    2004-04-01

    Spider bite continues to be a controversial subject worldwide and attribution of clinical effects to different spiders is problematic because of poor case definition and paucity of clinical evidence. The effects of medically important spiders are sometimes underestimated and simultaneously there is misattribution of effects to harmless spider groups. The majority of suspected spider bites present as skin lesions or necrotic ulcers where the history of a spider bite must be confirmed. To be a definite spider bite, the patient must immediately observe the spider and there be evidence of the bite, such as pain. Important groups of spiders worldwide include the widow spiders (latrodectism), recluse spiders (loxoscelism) and some mygalomorph spiders including the Australian Funnel web spider. Most spiders only cause minor effects, including a large number of groups that have been implicated in necrotic arachnidism.

  11. Biology of the CAPA peptides in insects.

    PubMed

    Predel, R; Wegener, C

    2006-11-01

    CAPA peptides have been isolated from a broad range of insect species as well as an arachnid, and can be grouped into the periviscerokinin and pyrokinin peptide families. In insects, CAPA peptides are the characteristic and most abundant neuropeptides in the abdominal neurohemal system. In many species, CAPA peptides exert potent myotropic effects on different muscles such as the heart. In others, including blood-sucking insects able to transmit serious diseases, CAPA peptides have strong diuretic or anti-diuretic effects and thus are potentially of medical importance. CAPA peptides undergo cell-type-specific sorting and packaging, and are the first insect neuropeptides shown to be differentially processed. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the structure, distribution, receptors and physiological actions of the CAPA peptides.

  12. Arthropod venoms: a vast arsenal of insecticidal neuropeptides.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Elisabeth F; Mourão, Caroline B F; Moreira, Karla G; Camargos, Thalita S; Mortari, Márcia R

    2012-01-01

    Arthropods are the most diverse animal group on the planet, and occupy almost all ecological niches. Venomous arthropods are a rich source of bioactive compounds evolved for prey capture and defense against predators and/or microorganisms. These highly potent chemical arsenals represent an available source for new insecticidal compounds as they act selectively on their molecular targets. These toxins affect the invertebrate nervous system and, until the moment, several insecticidal compounds belonging to the class of peptides or polyamine-like compounds have been purified and characterized from the venom of arachnids and hymenopterans. This review focuses on invertebrate-specific peptide neurotoxins that have been isolated from the venom ofspiders, scorpions, centipedes, ants, and wasps, discussing their potential in pest control and as invaluable tools in neuropharmacology.

  13. Chemosystematics in the Opiliones (Arachnida): a comment on the evolutionary history of alkylphenols and benzoquinones in the scent gland secretions of Laniatores.

    PubMed

    Raspotnig, Günther; Bodner, Michaela; Schäffer, Sylvia; Koblmüller, Stephan; Schönhofer, Axel; Karaman, Ivo

    2015-04-01

    Large prosomal scent glands constitute a major synapomorphic character of the arachnid order Opiliones. These glands produce a variety of chemicals very specific to opilionid taxa of different taxonomic levels, and thus represent a model system to investigate the evolutionary traits in exocrine secretion chemistry across a phylogenetically old group of animals. The chemically best-studied opilionid group is certainly Laniatores, and currently available chemical data allow first hypotheses linking the phylogeny of this group to the evolution of major chemical classes of secretion chemistry. Such hypotheses are essential to decide upon a best-fitting explanation of the distribution of scent-gland secretion compounds across extant laniatorean taxa, and hence represent a key toward a well-founded opilionid chemosystematics.

  14. Wolf spider envenomation.

    PubMed

    Livshits, Zhanna; Bernstein, Benjamin; Sorkin, Louis N; Smith, Silas W; Hoffman, Robert S

    2012-03-01

    Although wolf spider venom has been implicated in necrotic arachnidism without acceptably documented verification, limited, prospectively collected data demonstrate a lack of cutaneous necrosis. The infrequent nature of exposure and inherent difficulty in confirming wolf spider bites in humans makes it challenging to study such envenomations. We present the case of a 20 year-old man with confirmed exposure to the wolf spider who developed cutaneous erythema with ulceration following the bite. There was no evidence of skin necrosis. He was treated with aggressive wound care and systemic antibiotics for wound infection, with subsequent resolution of symptoms. This case adds to the limited knowledge regarding wolf spider envenomations and describes the clinical effects and management of wolf spider envenomation.

  15. Potential costs of heterospecific sexual interactions in golden orbweb spiders (Nephila spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Quiñones-Lebrón, Shakira G.; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Gregorič, Matjaž; Lokovšek, Tjaša; Čandek, Klemen; Haddad, Charles R.; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

    Though not uncommon in other animals, heterospecific mating is rarely reported in arachnids. We investigated sexual interactions among four closely related and syntopical African golden orbweb spiders, Nephila inaurata, N. fenestrata, N. komaci, and N. senegalensis. In two South African localities, female webs were often inhabited by heterospecific males that sometimes outnumbered conspecifics. Species association of males with females was random in nature. In subsequent laboratory choice experiments, N. inaurata males chose heterospecific females in 30% of trials. We also observed natural mating interactions between N. inaurata males and N. komaci females, and between N. komaci males and N. inaurata females in laboratory experiments. While heterospecific mating in the laboratory never produced offspring, conspecific mating did. We discuss potential ecological and evolutionary consequences of heterospecific mating interactions in Nephila that may be particularly costly to the rarer species. PMID:27845369

  16. Physical ecology of fluid flow sensing in arthropods.

    PubMed

    Casas, Jérôme; Dangles, Olivier

    2010-01-01

    Terrestrial and aquatic arthropods sense fluid flow in many behavioral and ecological contexts, using dedicated, highly sensitive mechanosensory hairs, which are often abundant. Strong similarities exist in the biomechanics of flow sensors and in the sensory ecology of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans in their respective fluid environments. We extend these considerations to flow in sand and its implications for flow sensing by arthropods inhabiting this granular medium. Finally, we highlight the need to merge the various findings of studies that have focused on different arthropods in different fluids. This could be achieved using the unique combination, for sensory ecology, of both a workable and well-accepted mathematical model for hair-based flow sensing, both in air and water, and microelectronic mechanical systems microtechnology to tinker with physical models.

  17. Two New Cave-Dwelling Species of the Short-Tailed Whipscorpion Genus Rowlandius (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae) from Northeastern Brazil, with Comments on Male Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Adalberto J.; Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes; Buzatto, Bruno A.

    2013-01-01

    Two new species of the arachnid order Schizomida, Rowlandius ubajara sp.nov. and Rowlandius potiguar sp.nov., are described based on both male and female specimens collected in caves from northeastern Brazil. Rowlandius ubajara is known only from the Ubajara Cave, in the state of Ceará; R. potiguar is recorded from 20 caves of the Apodi Limestone Group, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. A remarkable dimorphism in male pedipalp length is described and analyzed in R. potiguar. The distribution of male pedipalp length is clearly bimodal in the species, but the two male morphs (homeomorphic and heteromorphic) present some overlap in the sizes of this structure. Moreover, males show a steeper allometry in pedipalp length than females, indicating that this trait is under a different selective regime in males and in females. PMID:23723989

  18. The phylogeny of fossil whip spiders.

    PubMed

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Knecht, Brian J; Hegna, Thomas A

    2017-04-21

    Arachnids are a highly successful group of land-dwelling arthropods. They are major contributors to modern terrestrial ecosystems, and have a deep evolutionary history. Whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi), are one of the smaller arachnid orders with ca. 190 living species. Here we restudy one of the oldest fossil representatives of the group, Graeophonus anglicus Pocock, 1911 from the Late Carboniferous (Duckmantian, ca. 315 Ma) British Middle Coal Measures of the West Midlands, UK. Using X-ray microtomography, our principal aim was to resolve details of the limbs and mouthparts which would allow us to test whether this fossil belongs in the extant, relict family Paracharontidae; represented today by a single, blind species Paracharon caecus Hansen, 1921. Tomography reveals several novel and significant character states for G. anglicus; most notably in the chelicerae, pedipalps and walking legs. These allowed it to be scored into a phylogenetic analysis together with the recently described Paracharonopsis cambayensis Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from the Eocene (ca. 52 Ma) Cambay amber, and Kronocharon prendinii Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber. We recovered relationships of the form ((Graeophonus (Paracharonopsis + Paracharon)) + (Charinus (Stygophrynus (Kronocharon (Charon (Musicodamon + Paraphrynus)))))). This tree largely reflects Peter Weygoldt's 1996 classification with its basic split into Paleoamblypygi and Euamblypygi lineages; we were able to score several of his characters for the first time in fossils. Our analysis draws into question the monophyly of the family Charontidae. Our data suggest that Graeophonus is a crown group amblypygid, and falls within a monophyletic Paleoamblypgi clade, but outside the family Paracharontidae (= Paracharonopsis + Paracharon). Our results also suggest a new placement for the Burmese amber genus Kronocharon, a node further down from its original position. Overall, we offer a

  19. A New Assay for the Detection of Loxosceles Species (Brown Recluse) Spider Venom

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Hernan F.; Krywko, Diann M.; Stoecker, William V.

    2011-01-01

    Study objective Dermal lesions from unrelated arthropod species and medical causes appear similar to Loxosceles species (brown recluse spider) bites. This may result in delayed diagnosis and treatment. We developed a sensitive Loxosceles species venom enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and characterized the specificity of the assay by evaluating antigenic cross-reactivity from a variety of North American arthropod venoms. Methods North American arthropod (14 spiders, 2 scorpions, and 1 bee) venoms were studied. Three venom amounts (diluted in 100 μL of ELISA buffer) were assayed: 16,000 ng, 2,000 ng, and 40 ng. The latter quantity was selected because this is the observed maximum amount of venom we detect when inoculating dermis with amounts likely to be deposited by a spider bite. The larger venom amounts are overwhelming quantities designed to test the limits of the assay for arthropod venom cross-reactivity. Similar amounts of Loxosceles species venom and bovine albumin served as positive and negative controls, respectively. Results At the lowest amount of venom tested (40 ng), the ELISA detected only the Loxosceles species positive control. When 2,000 ng was assayed, only Scytodes fusca and Kukulcania hibernalis arachnid venoms (in addition to Loxosceles species) cross-reacted to the assay. Finally, at 16,000 ng, the ELISA assay modestly detected Diguetia canities, Heteropoda venatoria, Tegenaria agrestis, Plectreurys tristes, Dolomedes tenebrosus, and Hadrurus arizonensis arachnid venoms. Conclusion Cross-reactivity was observed in 8 of 17 North American arthropod venoms when large venom amounts were assayed with a Loxosceles species ELISA. By using a relevant quantity of venom, 40 ng, the assay was specific for Loxosceles species venom. The venom specificity of the ELISA may allow clinical application in Loxosceles species endemic regions of North America. PMID:11973553

  20. [Morphology of Parasitengona mites (Acariformes: Parasitengona) and their possible evolutionary scenario].

    PubMed

    Shatrov, A B

    2006-01-01

    On the basis of the analysis of morphology and biology of representatives of the Parasitengona, mostly trombiculids, trombidiids and water mites, a new attempt is made to clarify probable evolutionary scenario in this group of the higher trombidiform mites (Actinedida). It is supposed that the very old ancestral group of terrestrial arachnids, having bite-sucking mouth-parts, poorly differentiated sac-like midgut and capability to extra-oral digestion, fed predatory on different small soil arthropods at all phases of the life cycle. They were small segmented orthotrichous homeomorphic arachnids at the rank of genus or family. The favorable feeding conditions of the adult phase have led to the small eggs rich in yolk and the small larva. The latter have led in turn to the necessity of intensive feeding at the larval stage to complete the ontogenesis. Further in evolution, this group gave rise at once to two or even more large paraphyletic branches. Most of them retained feeding on arthropods with transition of larvae to much more effective parasitic feeding provided with the additional specialization of the larval stage. This branch comprise divergently radiated paraphyletic terrestrial and secondary-water water mites each having long course of evolution resulted in the recent groups of Calyptostomatoidea, Erythraeoidea, Trombidioidea and several superfamilies of water mites. Another branch of the ancestral Parasitengona has followed the way of adaptation of larvae to feeding on vertebrates, which were being attacked by the larvae in the environment of pasture. The parasitism on vertebrates has lead to several radical specializations of these mites and their significant evolutionary progress. At the same time, the similar ontogenetic dynamics, as well as synchronous reduction of particular developmental stages in all parasitengones, inevitably indicate the monophyletic origin of the whole branch of Parasitengona with Pterygosomatidae as the most probable sister

  1. The complete mitochondrial genome of the sea spider Achelia bituberculata (Pycnogonida, Ammotheidae): arthropod ground pattern of gene arrangement

    PubMed Central

    Park, Shin-Ju; Lee, Yong-Seok; Hwang, Ui Wook

    2007-01-01

    Background The phylogenetic position of pycnogonids is a long-standing and controversial issue in arthropod phylogeny. This controversy has recently been rekindled by differences in the conclusions based on neuroanatomical data concerning the chelifore and the patterns of Hox expression. The mitochondrial genome of a sea spider, Nymphon gracile (Pycnogonida, Nymphonidae), was recently reported in an attempt to address this issue. However, N. gracile appears to be a long-branch taxon on the phylogenetic tree and exhibits a number of peculiar features, such as 10 tRNA translocations and even an inversion of several protein-coding genes. Sequences of other pycnogonid mitochondrial genomes are needed if the position of pycnogonids is to be elucidated on this basis. Results The complete mitochondrial genome (15,474 bp) of a sea spider (Achelia bituberculata) belonging to the family Ammotheidae, which combines a number of anatomical features considered plesiomorphic with respect to other pycnogonids, was sequenced and characterized. The genome organization shows the features typical of most metazoan animal genomes (37 tightly-packed genes). The overall gene arrangement is completely identical to the arthropod ground pattern, with one exception: the position of the trnQ gene between the rrnS gene and the control region. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference trees inferred from the amino acid sequences of mitochondrial protein-coding genes consistently indicate that the pycnogonids (A. bituberculata and N. gracile) may be closely related to the clade of Acari and Araneae. Conclusion The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of A. bituberculata (Family Ammotheidae) and the previously-reported partial sequence of Endeis spinosa show the gene arrangement patterns typical of arthropods (Limulus-like), but they differ markedly from that of N. gracile. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial protein-coding genes showed that Pycnogonida may be authentic arachnids

  2. The Opiliones tree of life: shedding light on harvestmen relationships through transcriptomics

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Tourinho, Ana Lúcia

    2017-01-01

    Opiliones are iconic arachnids with a Palaeozoic origin and a diversity that reflects ancient biogeographic patterns dating back at least to the times of Pangea. Owing to interest in harvestman diversity, evolution and biogeography, their relationships have been thoroughly studied using morphology and PCR-based Sanger approaches to infer their systematic relationships. More recently, two studies utilized transcriptomics-based phylogenomics to explore their basal relationships and diversification, but sampling was limiting for understanding deep evolutionary patterns, as they lacked good taxon representation at the family level. Here, we analysed a set of the 14 existing transcriptomes with 40 additional ones generated for this study, representing approximately 80% of the extant familial diversity in Opiliones. Our phylogenetic analyses, including a set of data matrices with different gene occupancy and evolutionary rates, and using a multitude of methods correcting for a diversity of factors affecting phylogenomic data matrices, provide a robust and stable Opiliones tree of life, where most families and higher taxa are precisely placed. Our dating analyses using alternative calibration points, methods and analytical parameters provide well-resolved old divergences, consistent with ancient regionalization in Pangea in some groups, and Pangean vicariance in others. The integration of state-of-the-art molecular techniques and analyses, together with the broadest taxonomic sampling to date presented in a phylogenomic study of harvestmen, provide new insights into harvestmen interrelationships, as well as an overview of the general biogeographic patterns of this ancient arthropod group. PMID:28228511

  3. Hox gene duplications correlate with posterior heteronomy in scorpions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Schwager, Evelyn E; Extavour, Cassandra G; Wheeler, Ward C

    2014-10-07

    The evolutionary success of the largest animal phylum, Arthropoda, has been attributed to tagmatization, the coordinated evolution of adjacent metameres to form morphologically and functionally distinct segmental regions called tagmata. Specification of regional identity is regulated by the Hox genes, of which 10 are inferred to be present in the ancestor of arthropods. With six different posterior segmental identities divided into two tagmata, the bauplan of scorpions is the most heteronomous within Chelicerata. Expression domains of the anterior eight Hox genes are conserved in previously surveyed chelicerates, but it is unknown how Hox genes regionalize the three tagmata of scorpions. Here, we show that the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus has two paralogues of all Hox genes except Hox3, suggesting cluster and/or whole genome duplication in this arachnid order. Embryonic anterior expression domain boundaries of each of the last four pairs of Hox genes (two paralogues each of Antp, Ubx, abd-A and Abd-B) are unique and distinguish segmental groups, such as pectines, book lungs and the characteristic tail, while maintaining spatial collinearity. These distinct expression domains suggest neofunctionalization of Hox gene paralogues subsequent to duplication. Our data reconcile previous understanding of Hox gene function across arthropods with the extreme heteronomy of scorpions.

  4. Genome-wide analysis of homeobox genes from Mesobuthus martensii reveals Hox gene duplication in scorpions.

    PubMed

    Di, Zhiyong; Yu, Yao; Wu, Yingliang; Hao, Pei; He, Yawen; Zhao, Huabin; Li, Yixue; Zhao, Guoping; Li, Xuan; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2015-06-01

    Homeobox genes belong to a large gene group, which encodes the famous DNA-binding homeodomain that plays a key role in development and cellular differentiation during embryogenesis in animals. Here, one hundred forty-nine homeobox genes were identified from the Asian scorpion, Mesobuthus martensii (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Scorpiones: Buthidae) based on our newly assembled genome sequence with approximately 248 × coverage. The identified homeobox genes were categorized into eight classes including 82 families: 67 ANTP class genes, 33 PRD genes, 11 LIM genes, five POU genes, six SINE genes, 14 TALE genes, five CUT genes, two ZF genes and six unclassified genes. Transcriptome data confirmed that more than half of the genes were expressed in adults. The homeobox gene diversity of the eight classes is similar to the previously analyzed Mandibulata arthropods. Interestingly, it is hypothesized that the scorpion M. martensii may have two Hox clusters. The first complete genome-wide analysis of homeobox genes in Chelicerata not only reveals the repertoire of scorpion, arachnid and chelicerate homeobox genes, but also shows some insights into the evolution of arthropod homeobox genes.

  5. Molecular characterization and evolutionary insights into potential sex-determination genes in the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    PubMed

    Pomerantz, Aaron F; Hoy, Marjorie A; Kawahara, Akito Y

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the process of sex determination at the molecular level in species belonging to the subclass Acari, a taxon of arachnids that contains mites and ticks. The recent sequencing of the transcriptome and genome of the western orchard predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis allows investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying the biological processes of sex determination in this predator of phytophagous pest mites. We identified four doublesex-and-mab-3-related transcription factor (dmrt) genes, one transformer-2 gene, one intersex gene, and two fruitless-like genes in M. occidentalis. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted to infer the molecular relationships to sequences from species of arthropods, including insects, crustaceans, acarines, and a centipede, using available genomic data. Comparative analyses revealed high sequence identity within functional domains and confirmed that the architecture for certain sex-determination genes is conserved in arthropods. This study provides a framework for identifying potential target genes that could be implicated in the process of sex determination in M. occidentalis and provides insight into the conservation and change of the molecular components of sex determination in arthropods.

  6. Artificial light pollution: are shifting spectral signatures changing the balance of species interactions?

    PubMed

    Davies, Thomas W; Bennie, Jonathan; Inger, Richard; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-05-01

    Technological developments in municipal lighting are altering the spectral characteristics of artificially lit habitats. Little is yet known of the biological consequences of such changes, although a variety of animal behaviours are dependent on detecting the spectral signature of light reflected from objects. Using previously published wavelengths of peak visual pigment absorbance, we compared how four alternative street lamp technologies affect the visual abilities of 213 species of arachnid, insect, bird, reptile and mammal by producing different wavelength ranges of light to which they are visually sensitive. The proportion of the visually detectable region of the light spectrum emitted by each lamp was compared to provide an indication of how different technologies are likely to facilitate visually guided behaviours such as detecting objects in the environment. Compared to narrow spectrum lamps, broad spectrum technologies enable animals to detect objects that reflect light over more of the spectrum to which they are sensitive and, importantly, create greater disparities in this ability between major taxonomic groups. The introduction of broad spectrum street lamps could therefore alter the balance of species interactions in the artificially lit environment.

  7. Hemocyanin gene family evolution in spiders (Araneae), with implications for phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in the infraorder Mygalomorphae.

    PubMed

    Starrett, James; Hedin, Marshal; Ayoub, Nadia; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2013-07-25

    Hemocyanins are multimeric copper-containing hemolymph proteins involved in oxygen binding and transport in all major arthropod lineages. Most arachnids have seven primary subunits (encoded by paralogous genes a-g), which combine to form a 24-mer (4×6) quaternary structure. Within some spider lineages, however, hemocyanin evolution has been a dynamic process with extensive paralog duplication and loss. We have obtained hemocyanin gene sequences from numerous representatives of the spider infraorders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae in order to infer the evolution of the hemocyanin gene family and estimate spider relationships using these conserved loci. Our hemocyanin gene tree is largely consistent with the previous hypotheses of paralog relationships based on immunological studies, but reveals some discrepancies in which paralog types have been lost or duplicated in specific spider lineages. Analyses of concatenated hemocyanin sequences resolved deep nodes in the spider phylogeny and recovered a number of clades that are supported by other molecular studies, particularly for mygalomorph taxa. The concatenated data set is also used to estimate dates of higher-level spider divergences and suggests that the diversification of extant mygalomorphs preceded that of extant araneomorphs. Spiders are diverse in behavior and respiratory morphology, and our results are beneficial for comparative analyses of spider respiration. Lastly, the conserved hemocyanin sequences allow for the inference of spider relationships and ancient divergence dates. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Conservation status of Chinese species: (2) Invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yan; Wang, Sung

    2007-06-01

    A total of 2441 invertebrate species were evaluated using the IUCN Red List Criteria and Regional Guidelines. Approximately 30 experts were involved in this project, which covered a wide range of species, including jellyfish, corals, planarians, snails, mollusks, bivalves, decapods, benthic crustaceans, arachnids (spiders, scorpions), butterflies, moths, beetles, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea stars, acorn worms and lancelets. In general, invertebrate species in China were found to be severely threatened, with 0.9% being critically endangered, 13.44% endangered and 20.63% vulnerable. All species of hermatypic corals and planarians are threatened. More than 80% of evaluated species face serious threat due to habitat destruction by coral collection, logging, non-woody vegetation collection, timber plantations, non-timber plantations, extraction and/or livestock. Other threats are intrinsic factors, harvesting by humans, alien invasive species and pollution. The main intrinsic factors contributing to the high levels of threat are limited dispersal and restricted range. No conservation measures have been taken for 70% of the threatened invertebrates evaluated. Existing conservation measures include: strengthening of national and international legislation (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), increasing public awareness, studying population trends/monitoring, and establishment of protected areas. The major conservation measure employed is strengthening of policies. Relative to the situation worldwide (2006 IUCN Red List), there is little information available about invertebrate extinctions in China.

  9. [Public production as a key factor for access to antivenoms in the Region of the Americas].

    PubMed

    Temprano, Guillermo; Aprea, Patricia; Dokmetjian, José Christian

    2017-08-21

    Injuries caused by venomous animals affect vast areas of Latin America, Southern Asia, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Oceania, and pose a serious problem for global public health. Based on an analysis of the current panorama of global production of ophidian and arachnid antivenoms, it is concluded that they are semi-orphaned products. This is a favorable scenario in which to strengthen public laboratory production. Governments should make a political decision in this regard in the interest of equity in population health. In the Region of the Americas, these actions could be part of a program led by the Pan American Health Organization to ensure the availability of these biologicals in strategically located health centers. Twelve public facilities producing antivenoms have been identified in the Region, including Brazil and Mexico, which are the biggest public producers. These laboratories should be managed like industrial operations that produce tangible goods without ignoring strategic planning. National regulatory authorities should help the public laboratories that produce them by providing necessary technical assistance and consultancy without any loss of impartiality or rigor in the evaluation of their quality management systems. New superior production technologies using hyperimmune mammalian plasma are in the experimental phase; no information on its production has been found in the literature.

  10. Cockroach, tick, storage mite and other arthropod allergies: Where do we stand with molecular allergy diagnostics?: Part 15 of the Series Molecular Allergology.

    PubMed

    Hilger, Christiane; Kuehn, Annette; Raulf, Monika; Jakob, Thilo

    Arthropods form a broad phylum within the animal kingdom, comprising widely varying members such as insects, arachnids, crabs and centipedes. In addition to common allergies to house dust mites or hymenoptera venom, there are also rarer allergies that can be attributed to three major sources of allergens: cockroaches, ticks and storage mites. Other less known allergen sources include spiders, mosquitos, horseflies, red chironomid larvae, silverfish and ladybugs, as well as a variety of storage pests. At present, only extract-based test systems are available for the majority of allergens in IgE-based diagnostics. Molecular characterisation of numerous individual allergens has already been carried out. However, these individual allergens are only available for a small number of allergen sources (e. g. cockroaches and storage mites) in routine diagnostics. Particularly in the case of allergen sources with known high cross-reactivity, the use of marker allergens is believed to improve diagnostics. The currently known individual allergens of the above-mentioned allergy triggers from the arthropod realm are summarized and their potential use in allergy diagnostics discussed.

  11. Innovative immunization protocols using chimeric recombinant protein for the production of polyspecific loxoscelic antivenom in horses.

    PubMed

    Figueiredo, Luís F M; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Alvarenga, Larissa M; Mendes, Thais M; Machado-de-Ávila, Ricardo A; McCormack, Jessica; Minozzo, João C; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2014-08-01

    A chimeric protein (rCpLi) was constructed expressing three epitopes of rLiD1, a dermonecrotic toxin from the venom of Loxosceles intermedia spider. We have analyzed the neutralization potential of sera obtained by immunization of horses with rCpLi and rCpLi combined with initial doses of venoms and compared these with antivenom traditionally produced in horses using crude Loxosceles gaucho, Loxosceles laeta and L. intermedia venoms as antigens. We have demonstrated by ELISA that horses immunized with three initial doses of crude venom containing mixtures of L. intermedia, L. gaucho and L. laeta followed by nine doses of rCpLi generate antibodies with the same reactivity as those produced following immunization with traditional antivenom, towards the venoms of the three Loxosceles sp. species. Results from in vivo and in vitro neutralization assays showed that the new horse sera are able to neutralize the dermonecrotic activity of Loxosceles venoms, which are of medical importance in Brazil and some of these sera are capable of meeting the necessary potency requirements that could allow for their therapeutic use in humans. This immunization strategy combining both antigens used approximately 67% less crude Loxosceles venoms compared to traditional immunization protocol and can mean the development of Loxosceles antivenoms with the consequent reduction of devastation of arachnid fauna. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Arthropod-borne diseases in Italy: from a neglected matter to an emerging health problem.

    PubMed

    Romi, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    In medical entomology, "Arthropod Borne Diseases", or "Vector Borne Diseases" (VBD) are intended as a group of human and animal infections caused by different pathogen organisms (protozoa, helminths, bacteria and viruses) transmitted by the bite of a bloodsucking insect or arachnid. It is commonly known that the infectious diseases transmitted by Arthropods are mainly affecting tropical and subtropical countries, nevertheless some of them were or are still common also in the northern hemisphere, where they are usually maintained under control. VBD still represent some of the most important public health problems in the endemic areas but are becoming source of concern for developed countries too. Since the last decades of the past century, a number of VBD has been spreading geographically, being recorded for the first time in areas outside their original range. This phenomenon is strictly related to the peculiar epidemiological characteristics of these diseases, that are considered the most susceptible to climatic, environmental and socioeconomic changes. This article is a short overview of the VBD endemic and emerging in Italy. The possibility that some exotic vectors and/or pathogens could be introduced and become established in Italy is also discussed.

  13. Artificial light pollution: are shifting spectral signatures changing the balance of species interactions?

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Thomas W; Bennie, Jonathan; Inger, Richard; Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-01-01

    Technological developments in municipal lighting are altering the spectral characteristics of artificially lit habitats. Little is yet known of the biological consequences of such changes, although a variety of animal behaviours are dependent on detecting the spectral signature of light reflected from objects. Using previously published wavelengths of peak visual pigment absorbance, we compared how four alternative street lamp technologies affect the visual abilities of 213 species of arachnid, insect, bird, reptile and mammal by producing different wavelength ranges of light to which they are visually sensitive. The proportion of the visually detectable region of the light spectrum emitted by each lamp was compared to provide an indication of how different technologies are likely to facilitate visually guided behaviours such as detecting objects in the environment. Compared to narrow spectrum lamps, broad spectrum technologies enable animals to detect objects that reflect light over more of the spectrum to which they are sensitive and, importantly, create greater disparities in this ability between major taxonomic groups. The introduction of broad spectrum street lamps could therefore alter the balance of species interactions in the artificially lit environment. PMID:23505141

  14. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I.; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

  15. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Thomas H.; Garb, Jessica E.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A.

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). PMID:26058392

  16. Subunit sequences of the 4 x 6-mer hemocyanin from the golden orb-web spider, Nephila inaurata.

    PubMed

    Averdam, Anne; Markl, Jürgen; Burmester, Thorsten

    2003-08-01

    The transport of oxygen in the hemolymph of many arthropod and mollusc species is mediated by large copper-proteins that are referred to as hemocyanins. Arthropod hemocyanins are composed of hexamers and oligomers of hexamers. Arachnid hemocyanins usually form 4 x 6-mers consisting of seven distinct subunit types (termed a-g), although in some spider taxa deviations from this standard scheme have been observed. Applying immunological and electrophoretic methods, six distinct hemocyanin subunits were identified in the red-legged golden orb-web spider Nephila inaurata madagascariensis (Araneae: Tetragnathidae). The complete cDNA sequences of six subunits were obtained that corresponded to a-, b-, d-, e-, f- and g-type subunits. No evidence for a c-type subunit was found in this species. The inclusion of the N. inaurata hemocyanins in a multiple alignment of the arthropod hemocyanins and the application of the Bayesian method of phylogenetic inference allow, for the first time, a solid reconstruction of the intramolecular evolution of the chelicerate hemocyanin subunits. The branch leading to subunit a diverged first, followed by the common branch of the dimer-forming b and c subunits, while subunits d and f, as well as subunits e and g form common branches. Assuming a clock-like evolution of the chelicerate hemocyanins, a timescale for the evolution of the Chelicerata was obtained that agrees with the fossil record.

  17. Babes in the wood – a unique window into sea scorpion ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Few studies on eurypterids have taken into account morphological changes that occur throughout postembryonic development. Here two species of eurypterid are described from the Pragian Beartooth Butte Formation of Cottonwood Canyon in Wyoming and included in a phylogenetic analysis. Both species comprise individuals from a number of instars, and this allows for changes that occur throughout their ontogeny to be documented, and how ontogenetically variable characters can influence phylogenetic analysis to be tested. Results The two species of eurypterid are described as Jaekelopterus howelli (Kjellesvig-Waering and Størmer, 1952) and Strobilopterus proteus sp. nov. Phylogenetic analysis places them within the Pterygotidae and Strobilopteridae respectively, both families within the Eurypterina. Jaekelopterus howelli shows positive allometry of the cheliceral denticles throughout ontogeny, while a number of characteristics including prosomal appendage length, carapace shape, lateral eye position, and relative breadth all vary during the growth of Strobilopterus proteus. Conclusions The ontogeny of Strobilopterus proteus shares much in common with that of modern xiphosurans, however certain characteristics including apparent true direct development suggest a closer affinity to arachnids. The ontogenetic development of the genital appendage also supports the hypothesis that the structure is homologous to the endopods of the trunk limbs of other arthropods. Including earlier instars in the phylogenetic analysis is shown to destabilise the retrieved topology. Therefore, coding juveniles as individual taxa in an analysis is shown to be actively detrimental and alternative ways of coding ontogenetic data into phylogenetic analyses should be explored. PMID:23663507

  18. Extant primitively segmented spiders have recently diversified from an ancient lineage.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xin; Liu, Fengxiang; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Chen, Jian; Xu, Xiang; Zhang, Zhisheng; Ono, Hirotsugu; Pham, Dinh Sac; Norma-Rashid, Y; Arnedo, Miquel A; Kuntner, Matjaž; Li, Daiqin

    2015-06-07

    Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we tested the patterns of the origin and diversification of liphistiid spiders, a clade of spiders considered to be living fossils due to their retention of arachnid plesiomorphies and their exclusive grouping in Mesothelae, an ancient clade sister to all modern spiders. Facilitated by original sampling throughout their Asian range, we here provide the phylogenetic framework necessary for reconstructing liphistiid biogeographic history. All phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Liphistiidae and of eight genera. As the fossil evidence supports a Carboniferous Euramerican origin of Mesothelae, our dating analyses postulate a long eastward over-land dispersal towards the Asian origin of Liphistiidae during the Palaeogene (39-58 Ma). Contrary to expectations, diversification within extant liphistiid genera is relatively recent, in the Neogene and Late Palaeogene (4-24 Ma). While no over-water dispersal events are needed to explain their evolutionary history, the history of liphistiid spiders has the potential to play prominently in vicariant biogeographic studies.

  19. Mass spectrometric characterisation and quantitation of selected low molecular mass compounds from the venom of Haplopelma lividum (Theraphosidae).

    PubMed

    Moore, Sara; Smyth, W Franklin; Gault, Victor A; O'Kane, Edmund; McClean, Stephen

    2009-06-01

    Arachnid venoms present a diverse and complex matrix for investigation, with their latent potential for innovative drug and pesticide design largely unrealised. The characterisation and quantification of selected low molecular mass compounds isolated from the crude venom of the Cobalt blue tarantula (Haplopelma lividum) were the objectives of this study. Fractionation of the crude venom was performed using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, with compound identification using both electrospray ionisation ion trap mass spectrometry and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Four compounds were identified, and quantification on a percentage dry weight basis was achieved by liquid chromatography/electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry based on the formation of their corresponding product ions. Of these the most abundant component was glutamic acid, present at a level of 0.97%. Histamine and adenosine were detected at 0.14% and 0.10% dry weight, respectively, with the polyamine spermine noted in trace amounts at 0.002%. The limits of detection and quantification were established for each of the identified components. The fragmentation profile for histamine has also been proposed.

  20. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-06-08

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. The embryonic origin of the ampullate silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei.

    PubMed

    Hilbrant, Maarten; Damen, Wim G M

    2015-05-01

    Silk production in spiders is considered a key innovation, and to have been vital for the diversification of the clade. The evolutionary origin of the organs involved in spider silk production, however, and in particular of the silk glands, is poorly understood. Homologies have been proposed between these and other glands found in arachnids, but lacking knowledge of the embryonic development of spider silk glands hampers an evaluation of hypotheses. This study focuses on the embryonic origin of the largest silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei, the major and minor ampullate glands. We show how the ampullate glands originate from ectodermal invaginations on the embryonic spinneret limb buds, in relation to morphogenesis of these buds. Moreover, we visualize the subsequent growth of the ampullate glands in sections of the early postembryonic stages. The invaginations are shown to correlate with expression of the proneural gene CsASH2, which is remarkable since it has been proposed that spider silk glands and their nozzles originate from sensory bristles. Hence, by confirming the ectodermal origin of spider silk glands, and by describing the (post-)embryonic morphogenesis of the ampullate glands, this work provides a starting point for further investigating into the genetic program that underlies their development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Evidence of an Antimicrobial Peptide Signature Encrypted in HECT E3 Ubiquitin Ligases

    PubMed Central

    Candido-Ferreira, Ivan Lavander; Kronenberger, Thales; Sayegh, Raphael Santa Rosa; Batista, Isabel de Fátima Correia; da Silva Junior, Pedro Ismael

    2017-01-01

    The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) is a hallmark of the eukaryotic cell. In jawed vertebrates, it has been co-opted by the adaptive immune system, where proteasomal degradation produces endogenous peptides for major histocompatibility complex class I antigen presentation. However, proteolytic products are also necessary for the phylogenetically widespread innate immune system, as they often play a role as host defense peptides (HDPs), pivotal effectors against pathogens. Here, we report the identification of the arachnid HDP oligoventin, which shares homology to a core member of the UPP, E3 ubiquitin ligases. Oligoventin has broad antimicrobial activity and shows strong synergy with lysozymes. Using computational and phylogenetic approaches, we show high conservation of the oligoventin signature in HECT E3s. In silico simulation of HECT E3s self-proteolysis provides evidence that HDPs can be generated by fine-tuned 26S proteasomal degradation, and therefore are consistent with the hypothesis that oligoventin is a cryptic peptide released by the proteolytic processing of an Nedd4 E3 precursor protein. Finally, we compare the production of HDPs and endogenous antigens from orthologous HECT E3s by proteasomal degradation as a means of analyzing the UPP coupling to metazoan immunity. Our results highlight the functional plasticity of the UPP in innate and adaptive immune systems as a possibly recurrent mechanism to generate functionally diverse peptides. PMID:28119686

  3. Ecological importance of sedges: a survey of the Australasian Cyperaceae genus Lepidosperma

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Russell L.

    2013-01-01

    Background Sedges (Cyperaceae) form an important ecological component of many ecosystems around the world. Sword and rapier sedges (genus Lepidosperma) are common and widespread components of the southern Australian and New Zealand floras, also occurring in New Caledonia, West Papua, Borneo, Malaysia and southern China. Sedge ecology is seldom studied and no comprehensive review of sedge ecology exists. Lepidosperma is unusual in the Cyperaceae with the majority of species occurring in dryland habitats. Scope Extensive review of ecological literature and field observations shows Lepidosperma species to be important components of many ecosystems, often dominating understorey and sedge-rich communities. For the first time, a detailed ecological review of a Cyperaceae genus is presented. Conclusions Lepidosperma species are long-lived perennials with significant abundance and persistence in the landscape. Speciation patterns in the genus are of considerable interest due to complex biogeographical patterns and a high degree of habitat specificity. Potential benefits exist for medicinal products identified from several Lepidosperma species. Over 178 organisms, including 26 mammals, 42 birds, six reptiles, five amphibians, eight arachnids, 75 insects, three crustaceans and 13 fungi, are found to be dependent on, or making use of, Lepidosperma species. A significant relationship exists between Lepidosperma species and the moth genus Elachista. Implications for the conservation and ecology of both sedges and associated species are discussed. PMID:23378523

  4. A new Ordovician arthropod from the Winneshiek Lagerstätte of Iowa (USA) reveals the ground plan of eurypterids and chasmataspidids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamsdell, James C.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Liu, Huaibao P.; Witzke, Brian J.; McKay, Robert M.

    2015-10-01

    Euchelicerates were a major component of Palaeozoic faunas, but their basal relationships are uncertain: it has been suggested that Xiphosura—xiphosurids (horseshoe crabs) and similar Palaeozoic forms, the synziphosurines—may not represent a natural group. Basal euchelicerates are rare in the fossil record, however, particularly during the initial Ordovician radiation of the group. Here, we describe Winneshiekia youngae gen. et sp. nov., a euchelicerate from the Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian) Winneshiek Lagerstätte of Iowa, USA. Winneshiekia shares features with both xiphosurans (a large, semicircular carapace and ophthalmic ridges) and dekatriatan euchelicerates such as chasmataspidids and eurypterids (an opisthosoma of 13 tergites). Phylogenetic analysis resolves Winneshiekia at the base of Dekatriata, as sister taxon to a clade comprising chasmataspidids, eurypterids, arachnids, and Houia. Winneshiekia provides further support for the polyphyly of synziphosurines, traditionally considered the stem lineage to xiphosurid horseshoe crabs, and by extension the paraphyly of Xiphosura. The new taxon reveals the ground pattern of Dekatriata and provides evidence of character polarity in chasmataspidids and eurypterids. The Winneshiek Lagerstätte thus represents an important palaeontological window into early chelicerate evolution.

  5. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiler, Edward; Markow, Therese A.

    2011-01-01

    Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera) and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones). For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal “stepping stones”. Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation. PMID:26467624

  6. CDM analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Robert E.; Mcentire, Paul L.; Oreilly, John G.

    1993-01-01

    The C Data Manager (CDM) is an advanced tool for creating an object-oriented database and for processing queries related to objects stored in that database. The CDM source code was purchased and will be modified over the course of the Arachnid project. In this report, the modified CDM is referred to as MCDM. Using MCDM, a detailed series of experiments was designed and conducted on a Sun Sparcstation. The primary results and analysis of the CDM experiment are provided in this report. The experiments involved creating the Long-form Faint Source Catalog (LFSC) database and then analyzing it with respect to following: (1) the relationships between the volume of data and the time required to create a database; (2) the storage requirements of the database files; and (3) the properties of query algorithms. The effort focused on defining, implementing, and analyzing seven experimental scenarios: (1) find all sources by right ascension--RA; (2) find all sources by declination--DEC; (3) find all sources in the right ascension interval--RA1, RA2; (4) find all sources in the declination interval--DEC1, DEC2; (5) find all sources in the rectangle defined by--RA1, RA2, DEC1, DEC2; (6) find all sources that meet certain compound conditions; and (7) analyze a variety of query algorithms. Throughout this document, the numerical results obtained from these scenarios are reported; conclusions are presented at the end of the document.

  7. Karyotype Evolution in Harvestmen of the Suborder Cyphophthalmi (Opiliones).

    PubMed

    Svojanovská, Hana; Nguyen, Petr; Hiřman, Matyáš; Tuf, Ivan H; Wahab, Rodzay Abdul; Haddad, Charles R; Šťáhlavský, František

    2016-01-01

    The morphologically uniform suborder Cyphophthalmi represents a basal group of harvestmen (Opiliones). As such, it plays an important role in the reconstruction of the karyotype evolution within this arachnid order. The cytogenetic analysis of 6 representatives of the suborder Cyphophthalmi, namely Miopsalis sp. (2n = 30; Stylocellidae), Austropurcellia arcticosa (Cantrell, 1980) (2n = 30; Pettalidae), Parapurcellia amatola de Bivort & Giribet, 2010 (2n = 32; Pettalidae), Paramiopsalis aff. ramulosus Juberthie, 1962 (2n = 28; Sironidae), Cyphophthalmus duricorius Joseph, 1868 (2n = 24; Sironidae), and Siro carpaticus Rafalski, 1956 (2n = 52; Sironidae) was performed. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA probe was used to analyze the distribution of major ribosomal RNA genes in harvestmen. We confront the obtained cytogenetic data with current hypotheses on cyphophthalmid phylogeny to reconstruct their karyotype evolution. We conclude that the ancestral karyotype of harvestmen consisted of 2n = 30 elements with 1 chromosome pair bearing terminal rDNA clusters. The rDNA locus was multiplicated in the evolution of Cyphophthalmi. However, decreases as well as increases in the number of chromosomes have been detected in the karyotype evolution of Cyphophthalmi. Our data thus reveal unexpected diversity in cyphophthalmid karyotypes.

  8. Activity of selected neonicotinoids and dicrotophos on nontarget arthropods in cotton: implications in insect management.

    PubMed

    Kilpatrick, A L; Hagerty, A M; Turnipseed, S G; Sullivan, M J; Bridges, W C

    2005-06-01

    Certain neonicotinoids are used in cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.), to control various piercing-sucking pests. We conducted field studies using three neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid) and an organophosphate (dicrotophos) to assess the activity of these insecticides against nontarget arthropods, particularly predators, and to determine the potential economic consequences of such activity. Mortality among populations of the big-eyed bug, Geocoris punctipes (Say), and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was highest after thiamethoxam and dicrotophos treatments. Numbers of arachnids were consistently lower after dicrotophos treatments, whereas none of the neonicotinoids caused appreciable mortality. Total predators in pooled data from five separate studies revealed that numbers, compared with untreated plots, were reduced by -75% in dicrotophos, 55-60% in thiamethoxam, and only 30% in both acetamiprid and imidacloprid plots. Acetamiprid and thiamethoxam exhibited significant mortality against field-deposited eggs of bollworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). Both thiamethoxam and dicrotophos plots exhibited bollworm numbers that were approximately three times higher than treatment thresholds (three per 100 plants), whereas numbers in untreated plots were below threshold levels. In one study on Bt cotton, a significant negative correlation was observed between numbers of predators and bollworm larvae. Results demonstrated that neonicotinoids differ in activity against predaceous arthropods and bollworm eggs and that high predator mortality can result in resurgence of bollworm larvae and additional insecticide costs.

  9. Insect repellents: historical perspectives and new developments.

    PubMed

    Katz, Tracy M; Miller, Jason H; Hebert, Adelaide A

    2008-05-01

    Arthropod bites remain a major cause of patient morbidity. These bites can cause local or systemic effects that may be infectious or inflammatory in nature. Arthropods, notably insects and arachnids, are vectors of potentially serious ailments including malaria, West Nile virus, dengue, and Lyme disease. Measures to curtail the impact of insect bites are important in the worldwide public health effort to safely protect patients and prevent the spread of disease. The history of insect repellent (IR) lends insight into some of the current scientific strategies behind newer products. Active ingredients of currently available IRs include N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET), botanicals, citronella, and, the newest agent, picaridin. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency's registered IR ingredients approved for application to the skin include DEET, picaridin, MGK-326, MGK-264, IR3535, oil of citronella, and oil of lemon eucalyptus. DEET has reigned as the most efficacious and broadly used IR for the last 6 decades, with a strong safety record and excellent protection against ticks, mosquitoes, and other arthropods. Newer agents, like picaridin and natural products such as oil of lemon eucalyptus are becoming increasingly popular because of their low toxicity, comparable efficacy, and customer approval. Various characteristics and individual product advantages may lead physicians to recommend one agent over another.

  10. Adaptations and Predispositions of Different Middle European Arthropod Taxa (Collembola, Araneae, Chilopoda, Diplopoda) to Flooding and Drought Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Marx, Michael Thomas; Guhmann, Patrick; Decker, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Simple Summary This review summarizes adaptations and predispositions of different arthropod taxa (springtails, web spiders, millipedes and centipedes) to flood and drought conditions. The main focus sis directed to arthropod species, which are living in Middle European floodplain forests and wetlands, because of the fast change of flood and drought conditions in these habitats. Furthermore the effects of the predicted regional climate change like increasing aperiodic summer flooding and decreasing winter and spring floods are also discussed. Abstract Floodplain forests and wetlands are amongst the most diverse and species rich habitats on earth. Arthropods are a key group for the high diversity pattern of these landscapes, due to the fact that the change between flooding and drought causes in different life cycles and in a variety of adaptations in the different taxa. The floodplain forests and wetlands of Central Amazonia are well investigated and over the last 50 years many adaptations of several hexapod, myriapod and arachnid orders were described. In contrast to Amazonia the Middle European floodplains were less investigated concerning the adaptations of arthropods to flood and drought conditions. This review summarizes the adaptations and predispositions of springtails, web spiders, millipedes and centipedes to the changeable flood and drought conditions of Middle European floodplain forests and wetlands. Furthermore the impact of regional climate change predictions like increasing aperiodic summer floods and the decrease of typical winter and spring floods are discussed in this article. PMID:26487164

  11. A new Ordovician arthropod from the Winneshiek Lagerstätte of Iowa (USA) reveals the ground plan of eurypterids and chasmataspidids.

    PubMed

    Lamsdell, James C; Briggs, Derek E G; Liu, Huaibao P; Witzke, Brian J; McKay, Robert M

    2015-10-01

    Euchelicerates were a major component of Palaeozoic faunas, but their basal relationships are uncertain: it has been suggested that Xiphosura-xiphosurids (horseshoe crabs) and similar Palaeozoic forms, the synziphosurines-may not represent a natural group. Basal euchelicerates are rare in the fossil record, however, particularly during the initial Ordovician radiation of the group. Here, we describe Winneshiekia youngae gen. et sp. nov., a euchelicerate from the Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian) Winneshiek Lagerstätte of Iowa, USA. Winneshiekia shares features with both xiphosurans (a large, semicircular carapace and ophthalmic ridges) and dekatriatan euchelicerates such as chasmataspidids and eurypterids (an opisthosoma of 13 tergites). Phylogenetic analysis resolves Winneshiekia at the base of Dekatriata, as sister taxon to a clade comprising chasmataspidids, eurypterids, arachnids, and Houia. Winneshiekia provides further support for the polyphyly of synziphosurines, traditionally considered the stem lineage to xiphosurid horseshoe crabs, and by extension the paraphyly of Xiphosura. The new taxon reveals the ground pattern of Dekatriata and provides evidence of character polarity in chasmataspidids and eurypterids. The Winneshiek Lagerstätte thus represents an important palaeontological window into early chelicerate evolution.

  12. Opsin Repertoire and Expression Patterns in Horseshoe Crabs: Evidence from the Genome of Limulus polyphemus (Arthropoda: Chelicerata)

    PubMed Central

    Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Ryan, Joseph F.; Kempler, Karen E.; Saraf, Spencer R.; Marten, Catherine E.; Warren, Wesley C.; Minx, Patrick J.; Montague, Michael J.; Green, Pamela J.; Schmidt, Skye A.; Fulton, Lucinda; Patel, Nipam H.; Protas, Meredith E.; Wilson, Richard K.; Porter, Megan L.

    2016-01-01

    Horseshoe crabs are xiphosuran chelicerates, the sister group to arachnids. As such, they are important for understanding the most recent common ancestor of Euchelicerata and the evolution and diversification of Arthropoda. Limulus polyphemus is the most investigated of the four extant species of horseshoe crabs, and the structure and function of its visual system have long been a major focus of studies critical for understanding the evolution of visual systems in arthropods. Likewise, studies of genes encoding Limulus opsins, the protein component of the visual pigments, are critical for understanding opsin evolution and diversification among chelicerates, where knowledge of opsins is limited, and more broadly among arthropods. In the present study, we sequenced and assembled a high quality nuclear genomic sequence of L. polyphemus and used these data to annotate the full repertoire of Limulus opsins. We conducted a detailed phylogenetic analysis of Limulus opsins, including using gene structure and synteny information to identify relationships among different opsin classes. We used our phylogeny to identify significant genomic events that shaped opsin evolution and therefore the visual system of Limulus. We also describe the tissue expression patterns of the 18 opsins identified and show that transcripts encoding a number, including a peropsin, are present throughout the central nervous system. In addition to significantly extending our understanding of photosensitivity in Limulus and providing critical insight into the genomic evolution of horseshoe crab opsins, this work provides a valuable genomic resource for addressing myriad questions related to xiphosuran physiology and arthropod evolution. PMID:27189985

  13. Cambrian bivalved arthropod reveals origin of arthrodization

    PubMed Central

    Legg, David A.; Sutton, Mark D.; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Caron, Jean-Bernard

    2012-01-01

    Extant arthropods are diverse and ubiquitous, forming a major constituent of most modern ecosystems. Evidence from early Palaeozoic Konservat Lagerstätten indicates that this has been the case since the Cambrian. Despite this, the details of arthropod origins remain obscure, although most hypotheses regard the first arthropods as benthic predators or scavengers such as the fuxianhuiids or megacheirans (‘great-appendage’ arthropods). Here, we describe a new arthropod from the Tulip Beds locality of the Burgess Shale Formation (Cambrian, series 3, stage 5) that possesses a weakly sclerotized thorax with filamentous appendages, encased in a bivalved carapace, and a strongly sclerotized, elongate abdomen and telson. A cladistic analysis resolved this taxon as the basal-most member of a paraphyletic grade of nekto-benthic forms with bivalved carapaces. This grade occurs at the base of Arthropoda (panarthropods with arthropodized trunk limbs) and suggests that arthrodization (sclerotization and jointing of the exoskeleton) evolved to facilitate swimming. Predatory and fully benthic habits evolved later in the euarthropod stem-lineage and are plesiomorphically retained in pycnogonids (sea spiders) and euchelicerates (horseshoe crabs and arachnids). PMID:23055069

  14. Interactions Between the Chilean Recluse Spider (Araneae: Sicariidae) and an Araneophagic Spitting Spider (Araneae: Scytodidae).

    PubMed

    Canals, Mauricio; Arriagada, Nicolás; Solís, Rigoberto

    2015-03-01

    In Chile, all necrotic arachnidism is attributed to the Chilean recluse spider, Loxosceles laeta Nicolet, a species that shares the microenvironmental habitats with the spitting spider Scytodes globula Nicolet. The latter species has been proposed as a potential predator of L. laeta. For this research, we studied the interaction between both species during individual encounters to assess the possibility of population regulation of L. laeta cohorts exposed to this potential predator. We found that in most encounters S. globula prevailed. Also, S. globula preys on spiderlings of L. laeta, with a population effect on cohorts of this species. These findings suggest that S. globula may be influencing L. laeta populations in central Chile. The population regulation of L. laeta by predation would be important because this species, in the absence of predators, has a high reproductive rate, and it can maintain populations of large size. However according to our results, although S. globula may aid in the reduction of both spiderling and adult L. laeta populations, and perhaps other Loxosceles species, it is insufficient for biological control of Loxosceles species. Its presence together with other control measures such as hygiene of the rooms can help to decrease loxoscelism incidence.

  15. Ultrastructural characterization and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) of 'Candidatus Rickettsiella isopodorum', a new lineage of intracellular bacteria infecting woodlice (Crustacea: Isopoda).

    PubMed

    Kleespies, Regina G; Federici, Brian A; Leclerque, Andreas

    2014-07-01

    The taxonomic genus Rickettsiella (Gammaproteobacteria; Legionellales) comprises intracellular bacteria associated with a wide range of arthropods including insects, arachnids and crustaceans. The present study provides ultrastructural together with genetic evidence for a Rickettsiella bacterium in the common rough woodlouse, Porcellio scaber (Isopoda, Porcellionidae), occurring in Germany, and shows that this bacterium is very closely related to one of the same genus occurring in California that infects the pill bug, Armadillidium vulgare (Isopoda, Armadillidiidae). Both bacterial isolates displayed the ultrastructural features described previously for crustacean-associated bacteria of the genus Rickettsiella, including the absence of well-defined associated protein crystals; occurrence of the latter is a typical characteristic of infection by this type of bacteria in insects, but has not been reported in crustaceans. A molecular systematic approach combining multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) with likelihood-based significance testing demonstrated that despite their distant geographic origins, both bacteria form a tight sub-clade within the genus Rickettsiella. In the 16S rRNA gene trees, this sub-clade includes other bacterial sequences from woodlice. Moreover, the bacterial specimens from P. scaber and A. vulgare are found genetically or morphologically different from each of the four currently recognized Rickettsiella species. Therefore, the designation 'Candidatus Rickettsiella isopodorum' is introduced for this new lineage of isopod-associated Rickettsiella bacteria.

  16. Microwhip scorpions (Palpigradi) feed on heterotrophic cyanobacteria in Slovak caves--a curiosity among Arachnida.

    PubMed

    Smrž, Jaroslav; Kováč, Ĺubomír; Mikeš, Jaromír; Lukešová, Alena

    2013-01-01

    To date, only morphological and anatomical descriptions of microwhip scorpions (Arachnida: Palpigradi) have been published. This very rare group is enigmatic not only in its relationships to other arachnids, but especially due to the fact that these animals dwell only underground (in caves, soil, and interstitial spaces). We observed the curious feeding habit of the microwhip scorpion Eukoenenia spelaea over the course of one year in Ardovská Cave, located in Slovakia's Karst region. We chose histology as our methodology in studying 17 specimens and based it upon Masson's triple staining, fluorescent light and confocal microscopy. Single-celled cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were conspicuously predominant in the gut of all studied palpigrades. Digestibility of the consumed cyanobacteria was supported by the presence of guanine crystals, glycogen deposits and haemocytes inside the palpigrade body. Cyanobacteria, the oldest cellular organisms on Earth, are very resistant to severe conditions in caves, including even darkness. Therefore, the cyanobacteria are able to survive in dark caves as nearly heterotrophic organisms and are consumed by cave palpigrades. Such feeding habit is extraordinary within the almost wholly predacious orders of the class Arachnida, and particularly so due to the type of food observed.

  17. Wolbachia are present in southern african scorpions and cluster with supergroup F.

    PubMed

    Baldo, Laura; Prendini, Lorenzo; Corthals, Angelique; Werren, John H

    2007-11-01

    The presence and distribution of the intracellular bacteria Wolbachia in the arthropod subphylum Chelicerata (including class Arachnida) has not been extensively explored. Here we report the discovery of Wolbachia in scorpions. Five strains found in host species of the genus Opistophthalmus (Southern African burrowing scorpions) have been characterized by Multilocus Sequence Typing and by Wolbachia Surface Protein. Phylogenetic analyses indicate clustering in the supergroup F and a high genetic relatedness among all scorpion strains as a result of a potential transmission within the host genus. The F-group is an uncommon lineage compared to the A and B supergroups, although it is present in a broad range of hosts (including insects, filarial nematodes, and now arachnids) and across a large geographical area (e.g., North America, Africa, Europe, and Australia). It also shows no evidence of recombination and has a significantly higher genetic diversity than supergroup A and B. Overall, this pattern suggests an older radiation of F-strains with respect to A and B-strains, followed by limited horizontal transmission across host genera and reduced genetic flux among strains. A more extensive sampling of supergroup F-strains is required to confirm this scenario.

  18. Effectiveness of two insect growth regulators against Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) and Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and their impact on population densities of arthropod predators in cotton in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Gogi, Muhammad D; Sarfraz, Rana M; Dosdall, Lloyd M; Arif, Muhammad J; Keddie, Andrew B; Ashfaq, Muhammad

    2006-10-01

    Field efficacies of two insect growth regulators (IGRs) at two recommended application rates, buprofezin at 370 and 555 g AI ha(-1) and lufenuron at 37 and 49 g AI ha(-1), were determined against the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), and the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), in experimental plots of cotton at the Directorate of Cotton Research, Faisalabad, Pakistan. Adverse effects of the IGRs on populations of associated arthropod predators, namely geocorids, chrysopids, coccinellids, formicids and arachnids, were also assessed. Both IGRs significantly reduced populations of B. tabaci at each application rate 24, 48 and 72 h after treatment, and higher doses were more effective than lower doses. Buprofezin was not effective against H. armigera at any tested dose for any time of treatment in any spray. Lufenuron applied at 37 and 49 g AI ha(-1) effectively suppressed H. armigera populations, resulting in significant reductions in crop damage. At lower doses, both IGRs appeared safe to predator populations, which did not differ significantly in IGR-treated versus untreated control plots. Population densities of formicids and coccinellids were significantly lower at high concentrations of both IGRs in treatment plots, possibly as a result of reduced prey availability. The potential role of buprofezin and lufenuron for control of B. tabaci and H. armigera in a spray programme and the likelihood of direct toxic effects of IGRs on predatory fauna of cotton are discussed.

  19. Generation of Full-Length cDNAs for Eight Putative GPCnR from the Cattle Tick, R. microplus Using a Targeted Degenerate PCR and Sequencing Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Corley, Sean W.; Piper, Emily K.; Jonsson, Nicholas N.

    2012-01-01

    We describe here a rapid and efficient method for the targeted isolation of specific members of gene families without the need for cloning. Using this strategy we isolated full length cDNAs for eight putative G-protein coupled neurotransmitter receptors (GPCnR) from the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Gene specific degenerate primers were designed using aligned amino acid sequences of similar receptor types from several insect and arachnid species. These primers were used to amplify and sequence a section of the target gene. Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) PCR was used to generate full length cDNA sequences. Phylogenetic analysis placed 7 of these sequences into Class A G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) (Rm_α2AOR, Rm_β2AOR, Rm_Dop1R, Rm_Dop2R, Rm_INDR, Rm_5-HT7R and Rm_mAchR), and one into Class C GPCR (Rm_GABABR). Of the 7 Class A sequences, only Rm_mAchR is not a member of the biogenic amine receptor family. The isolation of these putative receptor sequences provides an opportunity to gain an understanding of acaricide resistance mechanisms such as amitraz resistance and might suggest possibilities for the development of new acaricides. PMID:22403662

  20. An "ancient" complexity? Evolutionary morphology of the circulatory system in Xiphosura.

    PubMed

    Göpel, Torben; Wirkner, Christian S

    2015-08-01

    Horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura) have been an object of zoological research for almost 200 years. Although some morphological work on the circulatory system has been done, the three-dimensional structure of this complex organ system has never been shown satisfactorily and some crucial questions remain unanswered. Here, the circulatory systems of juveniles of the horseshoe crab taxa Limulus polyphemus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda were investigated using a combination of an injection method and micro-computed tomography. Data were processed and 3D-visualized using reconstruction software. Furthermore, the heart was examined using scanning electron microscopy. Additionally, the histology of some structures was investigated via light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The results show the high degree of complexity of the arterial and lacunar systems of Xiphosura and provide insights into their three-dimensional structure and relationship to other organ systems such as the central nervous system. We show that the major lacunae, previously described as vessel-like - though indeed highly ramified - can clearly be distinguished from arteries in histological sections because they have no distinct walls. Similarities and differences between the xiphosuran species and arachnids are highlighted and possible phylogenetic implications and evolutionary scenarios discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Niche modelling of the Chilean recluse spider Loxosceles laeta and araneophagic spitting spider Scytodes globula and risk for loxoscelism in Chile.

    PubMed

    Canals, M; Taucare-Rios, A; Brescovit, A D; Peña-Gomez, F; Bizama, G; Canals, A; Moreno, L; Bustamante, R

    2016-12-01

    In Chile, all necrotic arachnidism is attributed to the Chilean recluse spider Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae). It is predated by the spitting spider Scytodes globula (Nicolet) (Araneae: Scytodidae). The biology of each of these species is not well known and it is important to clarify their distributions. The aims of this study are to elucidate the variables involved in the niches of both species based on environmental and human footprint variables, and to construct geographic maps that will be useful in estimating potential distributions and in defining a map of estimated risk for loxoscelism in Chile. Loxosceles laeta was found to be associated with high temperatures and low rates of precipitation, whereas although S. globula was also associated with high temperatures, its distribution was associated with a higher level of precipitation. The main variable associated with the distribution of L. laeta was the human footprint (48.6%), which suggests that this is a highly invasive species. Similarly to other species, the distribution of L. laeta reaches its southern limit at the Los Lagos region in Chile, which coincides with high levels of precipitation and low temperatures. The potential distribution of L. laeta in Chile corresponds to the distribution of cases of loxoscelism. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  2. Functional morphology and bite performance of raptorial chelicerae of camel spiders (Solifugae).

    PubMed

    van der Meijden, Arie; Langer, Franz; Boistel, Renaud; Vagovic, Patrik; Heethoff, Michael

    2012-10-01

    Solifugae are an understudied group of relatively large arachnids with well over 1000 species distributed on almost all major continents. These highly active predators utilize their large chelicerae for feeding, defense, burrowing and mating. We investigated the differences in cheliceral morphology and performance of two ecologically divergent species from North Africa; the cursorial Galeodes sp. and the burrowing Rhagodes melanus. Morphological data show differences in aspect ratio between the two species. Bite force measurements show Rhagodes (N=11) to be a much stronger biter than Galeodes (N=8), in terms of both absolute maximum force (Rhagodes 5.63 N, Galeodes 2.12 N) and force relative to cheliceral size. Synchrotron microtomographs of one specimen for each species reveal large differences in physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) and estimated muscle stress, resulting in a much higher muscle stress in Rhagodes. This species also showed a longer muscle fiber length. Muscle volume and PCSA were found to differ between the two chelicerae in the two scanned specimens. Whereas Rhagodes reflects this morphological asymmetry in having a higher bite force in the right chelicera, Galeodes shows no such bias.

  3. Idiopathic necrotizing dermatitis: current management.

    PubMed

    Lui, P C; Petersen, D; Kimble, R M; Raven, R J; Pearn, J H

    2005-01-01

    To identify and demonstrate necrotizing dermatitis in infancy; an uncommon, puzzling syndrome, in which anecdotal reporting and personal experience indicates that one third of cases may require skin grafting. Much informed discussion about the pathogenesis of this distressing syndrome centres on the role of spider envenomation; and in particular on the speculative role of the Australian White-tailed spider, Lampona cylindrata. We present here six cases of necrotizing dermatitis treated surgically at the Royal Children's Hospital and Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane over the period from 1991 to 1999. Clinical history, surgical details and pathological investigations were reviewed in each case. Microbiological investigation of necrotic ulcers included standard aerobic and anaerobic culture. Nocardia and Staphylococcus were cultured in two cases, but no positive bites were witnessed and no spiders were identified by either the children or their parents. All cases were treated with silver sulphadiazine creme. Two of the infants required general anaesthesia, excision debridement and split skin grafting. The White-tailed spider, Lampona cylindrata, does not occur in Queensland, but Lampona murina does; neither species has necrotizing components in its venom. Circumstantial evidence is consistent with this syndrome being due to invertebrate envenomation, possibly following arachnid bites. In our experience there is insufficient evidence to impute a specific genus as the cause, at this stage of scientific knowledge. If the offending creature is a spider, we calculate that the syndrome of necrotizing dermatitis occurs in less than 1 in 5000 spider bites.

  4. Arthropod bites.

    PubMed

    Juckett, Gregory

    2013-12-15

    The phylum Arthropoda includes arachnids and insects. Although their bites typically cause only local reactions, some species are venomous or transmit disease. The two medically important spiders in the United States are widow spiders (Latrodectus), the bite of which causes intense muscle spasms, and the brown recluse (Loxosceles), which may cause skin necrosis. Widow bites usually respond to narcotics, benzodiazepines, or, when necessary, antivenom. Most recluse bites resolve uneventfully without aggressive therapy and require only wound care and minor debridement. Tick bites can transmit diseases only after prolonged attachment to the host. Treatment of clothing with permethrin and proper tick removal greatly reduce the risk of infection. Ticks of medical importance in the United States include the black-legged tick, the Lone Star tick, and the American dog tick. The prophylactic use of a single dose of doxycycline for Lyme disease may be justified in high-risk areas of the country when an attached, engorged black-legged tick is removed. Bites from fleas, bedbugs, biting flies, and mosquitoes present as nonspecific pruritic pink papules, but the history and location of the bite can assist with diagnosis. Flea bites are usually on ankles, whereas mosquito bites are on exposed skin, and chigger bites tend to be along the sock and belt lines. Antihistamines are usually the only treatment required for insect bites; however, severe mosquito reactions (skeeter syndrome) may require prednisone. Applying insect repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) 10% to 35% or picaridin 20% is the best method for preventing bites.

  5. Spider bites - Assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Braitberg, George; Segal, Leslie

    2009-11-01

    Spider bite is common, but most species cause minimal or no effects. Patients may be misinformed regarding the nature and consequences of a bite. Understanding the current literature can assist the physician in the management of spider bite patients. This article reviews the current literature on spider bites and describes the clinical assessment and management of the medically important spider bites. Most spider bite is minor and causes nothing more than local irritation. Some spiders can cause significant morbidity and rarely, mortality. Lay identification of the spider has not been shown to be reliable. Latrodectism (red back spider envenomation) is characterised by pain (local, radiating, and regional); systemic symptoms occur less commonly. Funnel web spider bite is a medical emergency; a pressure immobilisation bandage should be applied and the patient transferred to a hospital with available antivenom and resuscitation facilities. Clinicians must consider spider bite in the differential diagnosis of unexplained autonomic and neurological dysfunction, particularly in children. In Australia, skin ulceration is more likely to be an infective, inflammatory or traumatic cause than a case of necrotising arachnidism.

  6. Spider bite.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Fan, Hui Wen

    2011-12-10

    Spiders are a source of intrigue and fear, and several myths exist about their medical effects. Many people believe that bites from various spider species cause necrotic ulceration, despite evidence that most suspected cases of necrotic arachnidism are caused by something other than a spider bite. Latrodectism and loxoscelism are the most important clinical syndromes resulting from spider bite. Latrodectism results from bites by widow spiders (Latrodectus spp) and causes local, regional, or generalised pain associated with non-specific symptoms and autonomic effects. Loxoscelism is caused by Loxosceles spp, and the cutaneous form manifests as pain and erythema that can develop into a necrotic ulcer. Systemic loxoscelism is characterised by intravascular haemolysis and renal failure on occasion. Other important spiders include the Australian funnel-web spider (Atrax spp and Hadronyche spp) and the armed spider (Phoneutria spp) from Brazil. Antivenoms are an important treatment for spider envenomation but have been less successful than have those for snake envenomation, with concerns about their effectiveness for both latrodectism and loxoscelism. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Microwhip Scorpions (Palpigradi) Feed on Heterotrophic Cyanobacteria in Slovak Caves – A Curiosity among Arachnida

    PubMed Central

    Smrž, Jaroslav; Kováč, Ĺubomír; Mikeš, Jaromír; Lukešová, Alena

    2013-01-01

    To date, only morphological and anatomical descriptions of microwhip scorpions (Arachnida: Palpigradi) have been published. This very rare group is enigmatic not only in its relationships to other arachnids, but especially due to the fact that these animals dwell only underground (in caves, soil, and interstitial spaces). We observed the curious feeding habit of the microwhip scorpion Eukoenenia spelaea over the course of one year in Ardovská Cave, located in Slovakia's Karst region. We chose histology as our methodology in studying 17 specimens and based it upon Masson's triple staining, fluorescent light and confocal microscopy. Single-celled cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were conspicuously predominant in the gut of all studied palpigrades. Digestibility of the consumed cyanobacteria was supported by the presence of guanine crystals, glycogen deposits and haemocytes inside the palpigrade body. Cyanobacteria, the oldest cellular organisms on Earth, are very resistant to severe conditions in caves, including even darkness. Therefore, the cyanobacteria are able to survive in dark caves as nearly heterotrophic organisms and are consumed by cave palpigrades. Such feeding habit is extraordinary within the almost wholly predacious orders of the class Arachnida, and particularly so due to the type of food observed. PMID:24146804

  8. A classed and annotated bibliography of fossil insects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scudder, Samuel Hubbard

    1890-01-01

    The present work is an extension to date of a bibliography published in 1882.  It has, however, been altered in a few details, and, besides being fuller, differs from that in being a classed list, the works and essays which cover the entire field (which embraces not only insects proper, but also myriapods and arachnids) being placed first, followed by the more special memoirs grouped first by times, next by classes orders, etc., the classification employed in my Systematic Review of Fossil Insects, being used as a convenient basis.  This will also form the basis of the Index to Known Fossil Insects, forming a later complementary bulletin.  The occasion for the publication of both of these at this time is the completion of the first extended account of the American Tertiary insects given in Vol XIII of the Hayden series of geological reports, by which the numbers of the European and American insects bear for the first time some sort of proper relation to each other, at least in the lower groups.  This makes an immediate "account of stock," to employ a commercial term, desirable.

  9. Microspectrophotometry of Arthropod Visual Screening Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Strother, G. K.; Casella, A. J.

    1972-01-01

    Absorption spectra of visual screening pigments obtained in vitro with a microspectrophotometer using frozen sections are given for the insects Musca domestica, Phormia regina, Libellula luctuosa, Apis mellifera (worker honeybee only), Drosophila melanogaster (wild type only) and the arachnids Lycosa baltimoriana and Lycosa miami. The spectral range covered is 260–700 nm for Lycosa and Drosophila and 310–700 nm for the remainder of the arthropods. A complete description of the instrumentation is given. For the flies, Phormia and Musca, light absorption by the yellow and red pigments is high from 310 to about 610 nm. This implies that for these insects there should be no wavelength shift in electroretinogram (ERG) results due to light leakage among neighboring ommatidia for this wavelength range. The same comment applies to Calliphora erythrocephala, which is known to have similar screening pigments. For some of the insects studied a close correspondence is noted between screening pigment absorption spectra and spectral sensitivity curves for individual photoreceptors, available in the literature. In some cases the screening pigment absorption spectra can be related to chemical extraction results, with the general observation that some of the in vitro absorption peaks are shifted to the red. The Lycosa, Apis, and Libellula dark red pigments absorb strongly over a wide spectral range and therefore prevent chemical identification. PMID:4623852

  10. Estimates of dietary overlap for six species of Amazonian manakin birds using stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Fair, Jeanne M; Ryder, Thomas B; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G; Larson, Toti E; Davis, Paul; Syme, James; Perkins, George B; Heikoop, Jeffrey M

    2013-01-01

    We used stable isotope ratios to determine the metabolic routing fraction of carbon and nitrogen in feathers in addition to faecal analysis to estimate diet overlap of six sympatric species of manakins in the eastern lowland forest of Ecuador. Collectively, all species varied from-23.7 to-32.7 ‰ for δ(13)C, and from 6.0 to 9.9‰ for δ(15)N, with Machaeropterus regulus showing isotopic differences from the other species. We developed a mixing model that explicitly addresses the routing of carbon and nitrogen to feathers. Interestingly, these results suggest a higher proportion of nitrogen and carbon derived from insects than anticipated based on feeding observations and faecal analysis. A concentration-dependent mixing isotopic model was also used to look at dietary proportions. While larvae and arachnids had higher δ(15)N values, these two groups may also be preferred prey of manakins and may be more assimilated into tissues, leading to a potential overestimation of the contribution to diet. This study supports the finding that manakin species, previously thought be primarily frugivorous, contain a significant amount of arthropods in their diet.

  11. [Exotic invertebrates--a health problem?].

    PubMed

    Rein, Jan Ove

    2002-12-10

    Tropical insects and arachnids are becoming popular pets in Norway. Most animals kept are harmless, but some species might cause the need for assistance from the health service. This paper presents tropical arthropods common in captivity and some challenges they might pose to health services. This article is mainly based on articles collected with the help of Biological Abstracts, Science Citation Index and PubMed. Also, some of the findings are based on the author's experience gained through keeping tropical arthropods for 15 years and participating in international networks. There is no evidence in the literature that the bite of tarantulas is dangerous. However, the large amounts of urticating hairs in many species can cause skin irritations and serious eye inflammations that can be difficult to treat. The scorpion species imported into the Norwegian pet trade today have no medical significance, but the increasing private import of potential dangerous species via the Internet might change this situation. Walking sticks and mantis are harmless insects that have no medical significance. Most giant millipedes are also harmless, but some species have defence fluids that can cause pathological reactions if exposed to skin, mouth/throat or eyes.

  12. Characterization of a Gene Coding for the Complement System Component FB from Loxosceles laeta Spider Venom Glands

    PubMed Central

    Myamoto, Daniela Tiemi; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Pedroso, Aurélio; van den Berg, Carmen W.; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2016-01-01

    The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB), the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP), a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA), and a serine protease domain (SP). The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43%) and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3) from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae. PMID:26771533

  13. An optimized high quality male DNA extraction from spermatophores in open thelycum shrimp species.

    PubMed

    Planella, Laia; Heras, Sandra; Vera, Manuel; García-Marín, José Luís; Roldán, María Inés

    2016-12-19

    The crucial step of most of the current genetic studies is the extraction of DNA with sufficient quantity and quality. Several genomic DNA isolation methods have been described to successfully obtain male DNA from shrimp species. However, all current protocols require invasive handling methods on males for DNA isolation. Using Aristeus antennatus as a model we tested a reliable non-invasive differential DNA extraction method to male DNA isolation from spermatophores attached to female thelycum. The present protocol provides high quality and quantity DNA for PCR amplification and male genotyping. This new approach could be useful to experimental shrimp culture to select sires with relevant genetic patterns for selective breeding programs. More important, it can be applied to identify the mating pairs and male structure in wild populations of species as A. antennatus where males are often difficult to capture. Our method could be also valuable to biological studies on other spermatophore-using species, such as myriapods, arachnids and insects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Pax3/7 genes reveal conservation and divergence in the arthropod segmentation hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Davis, Gregory K; D'Alessio, Joseph A; Patel, Nipam H

    2005-09-01

    Several features of Pax3/7 gene expression are shared among distantly related insects, including pair-rule, segment polarity, and neural patterns. Recent data from arachnids imply that roles in segmentation and neurogenesis are likely to be played by Pax3/7 genes in all arthropods. To further investigate Pax3/7 genes in non-insect arthropods, we isolated two monoclonal antibodies that recognize the products of Pax3/7 genes in a wide range of taxa, allowing us to quickly survey Pax3/7 expression in all four major arthropod groups. Epitope analysis reveals that these antibodies react to a small subset of Paired-class homeodomains, which includes the products of all known Pax3/7 genes. Using these antibodies, we find that Pax3/7 genes in crustaceans are expressed in an early broad and, in one case, dynamic domain followed by segmental stripes, while myriapods and chelicerates exhibit segmental stripes that form early in the posterior-most part of the germ band. This suggests that Pax3/7 genes acquired their role in segmentation deep within, or perhaps prior to, the arthropod lineage. However, we do not detect evidence of pair-rule patterning in either myriapods or chelicerates, suggesting that the early pair-rule expression pattern of Pax3/7 genes in insects may have been acquired within the crustacean-hexapod lineage.

  15. The expression of limb gap genes in the mite Archegozetes longisetosus reveals differential patterning mechanisms in chelicerates.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Austen A; Thomas, Richard H

    2013-01-01

    The modular organization of arthropod limbs has lead to the evolution of a diversity of appendages within this phylum. A conserved trait within the arthropods is the utilization of a conserved set of regulatory genes that specify the appendage podomeres along the proximo-distal axis, termed the limb gap genes. These include extradenticle, homothorax, dachshund, and Distal-less. The deployment of these genes in the most basally branching arthropod group, the chelicerates, has only been studied in detail in two chelicerate groups, the harvestmen and spiders. Given the broad range of appendage diversity within the chelicerates, comparative studies of gap gene deployment in other chelicerates groups is needed. We therefore followed limb gap gene expression in a member of the largest chelicerate group, Acari, the oribatid mite Archegozetes longisetosus. We show that in contrast to many arthropod species, A. longisetosus expresses homothorax and extradenticle exclusively in the proximal portion of the appendages, which refutes the hypothesis of a sister-group relationship between chelicerates and myriapods. We also provide evidence that mites posses the ancestral chelicerate condition of possessing three-segmented chelicerae, which also express the gene dachshund. This adds support to the hypothesis that a cheliceral dachshund domain is ancestral to arachnids. Lastly, we provide evidence that the suppression of the fourth pair of walking legs, a putative synapomorphy for Acari, is accomplished by repressing the development of the medial and distal regions of the limb.

  16. Extant primitively segmented spiders have recently diversified from an ancient lineage

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xin; Liu, Fengxiang; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Chen, Jian; Xu, Xiang; Zhang, Zhisheng; Ono, Hirotsugu; Pham, Dinh Sac; Norma-Rashid, Y.; Arnedo, Miquel A.; Kuntner, Matjaž; Li, Daiqin

    2015-01-01

    Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we tested the patterns of the origin and diversification of liphistiid spiders, a clade of spiders considered to be living fossils due to their retention of arachnid plesiomorphies and their exclusive grouping in Mesothelae, an ancient clade sister to all modern spiders. Facilitated by original sampling throughout their Asian range, we here provide the phylogenetic framework necessary for reconstructing liphistiid biogeographic history. All phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Liphistiidae and of eight genera. As the fossil evidence supports a Carboniferous Euramerican origin of Mesothelae, our dating analyses postulate a long eastward over-land dispersal towards the Asian origin of Liphistiidae during the Palaeogene (39–58 Ma). Contrary to expectations, diversification within extant liphistiid genera is relatively recent, in the Neogene and Late Palaeogene (4–24 Ma). While no over-water dispersal events are needed to explain their evolutionary history, the history of liphistiid spiders has the potential to play prominently in vicariant biogeographic studies. PMID:25948684

  17. Molecular characterization of DSC1 orthologs in invertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Cui, Ying-Jun; Yu, Lin-Lin; Xu, Hai-Jun; Dong, Ke; Zhang, Chuan-Xi

    2012-05-01

    DSC1 and BSC1 are two founding members of a novel family of invertebrate voltage-gated cation channels with close structural and evolutionary relationships to voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels. In this study, we searched the published genome sequences for DSC1 orthologs. DSC1 orthologs were found in all 48 insect species, and in other invertebrate species belonging to phyla Mollusca, Cnidaria, Hemichordata and Echinodermata. However, DSC1 orthologs were not found in four arachnid species, Ixodes scapularis, Rhipicephalus microplus, Tetranychus urticae and Varroa destructor, two species in Annelida or any vertebrate species. We then cloned and sequenced NlSC1 and BmSC1 full-length cDNAs from the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) and the silkworm (Bombyx mori), respectively. NlSC1 and BmSC1 share about 50% identity with DSC1, and the expression of NlSC1 and BmSC1 transcripts was most abundant in the head and antenna in adults. All DSC1 orthologs contain a unique and conserved DEEA motif, instead of the EEEE or EEDD motif in classical calcium channels or the DEKA motif in sodium channels. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that DSC1 and its orthologs form a separate group distinct from the classical voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels and constitute a unique family of cation channels. The DSC1/BSC1-family channels could be potential targets of new and safe insecticides for pest control.

  18. Hox gene duplications correlate with posterior heteronomy in scorpions

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Extavour, Cassandra G.; Wheeler, Ward C.

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary success of the largest animal phylum, Arthropoda, has been attributed to tagmatization, the coordinated evolution of adjacent metameres to form morphologically and functionally distinct segmental regions called tagmata. Specification of regional identity is regulated by the Hox genes, of which 10 are inferred to be present in the ancestor of arthropods. With six different posterior segmental identities divided into two tagmata, the bauplan of scorpions is the most heteronomous within Chelicerata. Expression domains of the anterior eight Hox genes are conserved in previously surveyed chelicerates, but it is unknown how Hox genes regionalize the three tagmata of scorpions. Here, we show that the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus has two paralogues of all Hox genes except Hox3, suggesting cluster and/or whole genome duplication in this arachnid order. Embryonic anterior expression domain boundaries of each of the last four pairs of Hox genes (two paralogues each of Antp, Ubx, abd-A and Abd-B) are unique and distinguish segmental groups, such as pectines, book lungs and the characteristic tail, while maintaining spatial collinearity. These distinct expression domains suggest neofunctionalization of Hox gene paralogues subsequent to duplication. Our data reconcile previous understanding of Hox gene function across arthropods with the extreme heteronomy of scorpions. PMID:25122224

  19. Interaction of the tick immune system with transmitted pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Hajdušek, Ondřej; Šíma, Radek; Ayllón, Nieves; Jalovecká, Marie; Perner, Jan; de la Fuente, José; Kopáček, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Ticks are hematophagous arachnids transmitting a wide variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and protozoans to their vertebrate hosts. The tick vector competence has to be intimately linked to the ability of transmitted pathogens to evade tick defense mechanisms encountered on their route through the tick body comprising midgut, hemolymph, salivary glands or ovaries. Tick innate immunity is, like in other invertebrates, based on an orchestrated action of humoral and cellular immune responses. The direct antimicrobial defense in ticks is accomplished by a variety of small molecules such as defensins, lysozymes or by tick-specific antimicrobial compounds such as microplusin/hebraein or 5.3-kDa family proteins. Phagocytosis of the invading microbes by tick hemocytes is likely mediated by the primordial complement-like system composed of thioester-containing proteins, fibrinogen-related lectins and convertase-like factors. Moreover, an important role in survival of the ingested microbes seems to be played by host proteins and redox balance maintenance in the tick midgut. Here, we summarize recent knowledge about the major components of tick immune system and focus on their interaction with the relevant tick-transmitted pathogens, represented by spirochetes (Borrelia), rickettsiae (Anaplasma), and protozoans (Babesia). Availability of the tick genomic database and feasibility of functional genomics based on RNA interference greatly contribute to the understanding of molecular and cellular interplay at the tick-pathogen interface and may provide new targets for blocking the transmission of tick pathogens. PMID:23875177

  20. Function, diversity, and application of insect juvenile hormone epoxidases (CYP15).

    PubMed

    Daimon, Takaaki; Shinoda, Tetsuro

    2013-01-01

    Juvenile hormones (JHs) represent a family of sesquiterpenoid hormones in insects, and they play a key role in regulating development, metamorphosis, and reproduction. The last two steps of the JH biosynthetic pathway, epoxidation and methyl esterification of farnesoic acid to JH, are insect specific, and thus have long been considered a promising target for biorational insecticides. Recently, the enzymes involved in the last two steps have been molecularly identified: JH acid methyltransferase catalyzes the esterification step and the cytochrome P450 CYP15 enzyme catalyzes the epoxidation step. In this review, we describe the recent progress on the characterization of JH biosynthetic enzymes, with special focus on the function and diversity of the CYP15 family. CYP15 genes have evolved lineage-specific substrate specificity and regulatory mechanisms in insects, which appear to be associated with the lineage-specific acquisition of unique JH structure and function. In addition, the lack of CYP15 genes in crustacean (Daphnia pulex) and arachnid (Tetranychus urticae) species, whose genomes have been fully sequenced, may imply that CYP15 enzymes are an evolutionary innovation in insects to use the epoxide forms of methylated farnesoid molecules as their principal JHs. Molecular identification and characterization of CYP15 genes from broad taxa of insects have paved the way to the design of target-specific, biorational anti-JH agents. © 2013 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Impact of pest control strategies on the arthropodofauna living in bird nests built in nestboxes in pear and apple orchards.

    PubMed

    Roy, Lise; Bouvier, Jean-Charles; Lavigne, Claire; Galès, Mathieu; Buronfosse, Thierry

    2013-08-01

    Pesticide applications have a strong impact on biodiversity in agroecosystems. The present study aimed to assess the impact of pest control strategies on the arthropodofauna of Parus major nests built within nestboxes installed in orchards. Unlike many studied groups, these arthropod communities are not in direct contact with pesticide sprays (on account of their being sheltered by nestboxes) and are also unable to move away from the treated area. In this pilot study, we estimated the prevalence and the taxonomic and ecological diversities of arthropodofauna sampled in the nests and assessed the extent to which the whole and nest-specific arthropodofauna were affected by pest control strategies. Sixteen different insect and arachnid Primary Taxonomic Groups (PTGs, order level or below) were found in nests. The best represented PTGs (≥10% occurrence in years 2007 and 2008) were Psocoptera (Insecta, detritivorous/saprophagous), detritivorous/saprophagous Astigmata (Acari) and hematophagous Mesostigmata (Acari). Pest control strategies had a large impact on the prevalence of arthropods in nests, with higher proportions of nests hosting arthropods in organic orchards than in conventional orchards and with intermediate proportions in nests in Integrated Pest Management orchards. In contrast, pest control strategies had no significant effect on the composition of the arthropod communities when only nests hosting nidicolous arthropods were considered.

  2. The effects of carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on the arthropod fauna of wheat fields in Chile.

    PubMed

    Carrillo, R; Alarcón, R; Neira, M

    2007-03-01

    The role of carabid beetles in reducing populations of phytophagous insects has been an elusive subject. A field experiment was established on a commercial wheat crop (cv. Otto) with an area of 4.5 ha in Valdivia, Chile, during the spring and summer of 1996-1997. The field had been under a prairie system for two years, before wheat sowing (fertilization and a pesticide had been applied during crop development). Samples were taken at approximately monthly intervals. Carabid beetles were sampled with a grid of pitfall traps and other insects were sampled with a vacuum insect net and soil cores. The genera of the carabids found are of neotropical origin. Exclusion by polythene barriers, together with removal of carabid beetles using traps, was an effective technique for controlling carabid populations in a commercial wheat crop. A reduction in the number of carabid beetles was associated with an increase in the number of springtails and arachnids, and a decrease of agromyzid adults. Phytophagous insects, such as homopterans and lepidopterous larvae, were not affected by carabid exclusion and removal. The action of carabid beetles on the arthropod fauna can be extremely complex, due to its predatory activity at multitrophic levels.

  3. Age and size at maturity: a quantitative review of diet-induced reaction norms in insects.

    PubMed

    Teder, Tiit; Vellau, Helen; Tammaru, Toomas

    2014-11-01

    Optimality models predict that diet-induced bivariate reaction norms for age and size at maturity can have diverse shapes, with the slope varying from negative to positive. To evaluate these predictions, we perform a quantitative review of relevant data, using a literature-derived database of body sizes and development times for over 200 insect species. We show that bivariate reaction norms with a negative slope prevail in nearly all taxonomic and ecological categories of insects as well as in some other ectotherm taxa with comparable life histories (arachnids and amphibians). In insects, positive slopes are largely limited to species, which feed on discrete resource items, parasitoids in particular. By contrast, with virtually no meaningful exceptions, herbivorous and predatory insects display reaction norms with a negative slope. This is consistent with the idea that predictable resource depletion, a scenario selecting for positively sloped reaction norms, is not frequent for these insects. Another source of such selection-a positive correlation between resource levels and juvenile mortality rates-should similarly be rare among insects. Positive slopes can also be predicted by models which integrate life-history evolution and population dynamics. As bottom-up regulation is not common in most insect groups, such models may not be most appropriate for insects.

  4. Male dimorphism and alternative reproductive tactics in harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones).

    PubMed

    Buzatto, Bruno A; Machado, Glauco

    2014-11-01

    Strong sexual selection may lead small males or males in poor condition to adopt alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) as a way to avoid the risk of being completely excluded from the mating pool. ARTs, sometimes accompanying morphological dimorphism among males, are taxonomically widespread, especially common in arthropods. Here we review the current knowledge on ARTs and male dimorphism in a diverse but relatively overlooked group of arachnids, the order Opiliones, popularly known as harvestmen or daddy long-legs. We begin with a summary of harvestman mating systems, followed by a review of the two lines of evidence for the presence of ARTs in the group: (1) morphological data from natural populations and museum collections; and (2) behavioral information from field studies. Despite receiving less attention than spiders, scorpions and insects, our review shows that harvestmen are an exciting group of organisms that are potentially great models for sexual selection studies focused on ARTs. We also suggest that investigating the proximate mechanisms underlying male dimorphism in the order would be especially important. New research on ARTs and male dimorphism will have implications for our understanding of the evolution of mating systems, sperm competition, and polyandry. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neotropical Behaviour.

  5. Amblypygids: Model Organisms for the Study of Arthropod Navigation Mechanisms in Complex Environments?

    PubMed Central

    Wiegmann, Daniel D.; Hebets, Eileen A.; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Graving, Jacob M.; Bingman, Verner P.

    2016-01-01

    Navigation is an ideal behavioral model for the study of sensory system integration and the neural substrates associated with complex behavior. For this broader purpose, however, it may be profitable to develop new model systems that are both tractable and sufficiently complex to ensure that information derived from a single sensory modality and path integration are inadequate to locate a goal. Here, we discuss some recent discoveries related to navigation by amblypygids, nocturnal arachnids that inhabit the tropics and sub-tropics. Nocturnal displacement experiments under the cover of a tropical rainforest reveal that these animals possess navigational abilities that are reminiscent, albeit on a smaller spatial scale, of true-navigating vertebrates. Specialized legs, called antenniform legs, which possess hundreds of olfactory and tactile sensory hairs, and vision appear to be involved. These animals also have enormous mushroom bodies, higher-order brain regions that, in insects, integrate contextual cues and may be involved in spatial memory. In amblypygids, the complexity of a nocturnal rainforest may impose navigational challenges that favor the integration of information derived from multimodal cues. Moreover, the movement of these animals is easily studied in the laboratory and putative neural integration sites of sensory information can be manipulated. Thus, amblypygids could serve as model organisms for the discovery of neural substrates associated with a unique and potentially sophisticated navigational capability. The diversity of habitats in which amblypygids are found also offers an opportunity for comparative studies of sensory integration and ecological selection pressures on navigation mechanisms. PMID:27014008

  6. Comparing the sensitivity of soil invertebrates to pesticides with that of Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Daam, Michiel A; Leitão, Sara; Cerejeira, Maria José; Paulo Sousa, J

    2011-10-01

    The sole routine testing of the standard earthworm Eisenia fetida for the terrestrial risk assessment of pesticides has been under much debate since other soil invertebrates may be more sensitive than this standard test species. However, the very low availability of laboratory toxicity data for taxa other than E. fetida has greatly hampered sensitivity comparisons. In the present study, the relative tolerance (T(rel)) approach was used to enable comparing toxicity thresholds obtained from the US-EPA ECOTOX database, for main terrestrial taxonomic groups and pesticidal types of action (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other) separately. Analyses confirmed previously reported lower and higher sensitivity of collembolans to fungicides and insecticides, respectively. However, various other discrepancies in susceptibility relative to E. fetida were encountered as indicated by species sensitivity distributions and/or calculated 95% confidence intervals of T(rel) values. Arachnids and isopods were found to be more sensitive to insecticides, and nematodes to fungicides, as compared to E. fetida. Implications of study findings for the terrestrial risk assessment of pesticides are discussed.

  7. Limbform: a functional ontology-based database of limb regeneration experiments

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Feldman, Erica B.; Shah, Michelle; Malone, Taylor J.; Levin, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Summary: The ability of certain organisms to completely regenerate lost limbs is a fascinating process, far from solved. Despite the extraordinary published efforts during the past centuries of scientists performing amputations, transplantations and molecular experiments, no mechanistic model exists yet that can completely explain patterning during the limb regeneration process. The lack of a centralized repository to enable the efficient mining of this huge dataset is hindering the discovery of comprehensive models of limb regeneration. Here, we introduce Limbform (Limb formalization), a centralized database of published limb regeneration experiments. In contrast to natural language or text-based ontologies, Limbform is based on a functional ontology using mathematical graphs to represent unambiguously limb phenotypes and manipulation procedures. The centralized database currently contains >800 published limb regeneration experiments comprising many model organisms, including salamanders, frogs, insects, crustaceans and arachnids. The database represents an extraordinary resource for mining the existing knowledge of functional data in this field; furthermore, its mathematical nature based on a functional ontology will pave the way for artificial intelligence tools applied to the discovery of the sought-after comprehensive limb regeneration models. Availability and implementaion: The Limbform database is freely available at http://limbform.daniel-lobo.com. Contact: michael.levin@tufts.edu PMID:25170026

  8. Cambrian bivalved arthropod reveals origin of arthrodization.

    PubMed

    Legg, David A; Sutton, Mark D; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Caron, Jean-Bernard

    2012-12-07

    Extant arthropods are diverse and ubiquitous, forming a major constituent of most modern ecosystems. Evidence from early Palaeozoic Konservat Lagerstätten indicates that this has been the case since the Cambrian. Despite this, the details of arthropod origins remain obscure, although most hypotheses regard the first arthropods as benthic predators or scavengers such as the fuxianhuiids or megacheirans ('great-appendage' arthropods). Here, we describe a new arthropod from the Tulip Beds locality of the Burgess Shale Formation (Cambrian, series 3, stage 5) that possesses a weakly sclerotized thorax with filamentous appendages, encased in a bivalved carapace, and a strongly sclerotized, elongate abdomen and telson. A cladistic analysis resolved this taxon as the basal-most member of a paraphyletic grade of nekto-benthic forms with bivalved carapaces. This grade occurs at the base of Arthropoda (panarthropods with arthropodized trunk limbs) and suggests that arthrodization (sclerotization and jointing of the exoskeleton) evolved to facilitate swimming. Predatory and fully benthic habits evolved later in the euarthropod stem-lineage and are plesiomorphically retained in pycnogonids (sea spiders) and euchelicerates (horseshoe crabs and arachnids).

  9. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Family of Cysteine-Rich Peptides (MgCRP-I) from Mytilus galloprovincialis.

    PubMed

    Gerdol, Marco; Puillandre, Nicolas; De Moro, Gianluca; Guarnaccia, Corrado; Lucafò, Marianna; Benincasa, Monica; Zlatev, Ventislav; Manfrin, Chiara; Torboli, Valentina; Giulianini, Piero Giulio; Sava, Gianni; Venier, Paola; Pallavicini, Alberto

    2015-07-21

    We report the identification of a novel gene family (named MgCRP-I) encoding short secreted cysteine-rich peptides in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. These peptides display a highly conserved pre-pro region and a hypervariable mature peptide comprising six invariant cysteine residues arranged in three intramolecular disulfide bridges. Although their cysteine pattern is similar to cysteines-rich neurotoxic peptides of distantly related protostomes such as cone snails and arachnids, the different organization of the disulfide bridges observed in synthetic peptides and phylogenetic analyses revealed MgCRP-I as a novel protein family. Genome- and transcriptome-wide searches for orthologous sequences in other bivalve species indicated the unique presence of this gene family in Mytilus spp. Like many antimicrobial peptides and neurotoxins, MgCRP-I peptides are produced as pre-propeptides, usually have a net positive charge and likely derive from similar evolutionary mechanisms, that is, gene duplication and positive selection within the mature peptide region; however, synthetic MgCRP-I peptides did not display significant toxicity in cultured mammalian cells, insecticidal, antimicrobial, or antifungal activities. The functional role of MgCRP-I peptides in mussel physiology still remains puzzling.

  10. Evolution of alpha 2-macroglobulin. The demonstration in a variety of vertebrate species of a protein resembling human alpha 2-macroglobulin.

    PubMed Central

    Starkey, P M; Barrett, A J

    1982-01-01

    Plasma or serum samples from a large number of vertebrate species were screened for the presence of a papain-binding protein resembling human alph a 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M). The screening method depended on the unique property of alpha 2M of binding proteinases in such a way that the enzyme retains partial activity against low-molecular-weight substrates. A papain-binding protein was detected in serum from members of all the major vertebrate taxa. In mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians the protein had an Mr similar to that of human alpha 2M (725 000), but in fish, including dipnoans, actinopterygians, elasmobranchs and cyclostomes, the papain-binding protein was of Mr about 360 000. Of the invertebrate species tested, all of which were arthropods, two were negative, but the horseshoe crab, an arachnid, did possess a papain-binding protein, although this was heterogeneous in electrophoresis and differed from alpha 2M in resisting inactivation by methylamine. From the results, and a detailed study of the properties of the fish papain-binding protein described in an accompanying paper [Starkey, Fletcher & Barrett (1982) Biochem. J. 205, 97-104], it seems that alpha 2M first appeared in an ancestor of all modern vertebrates as a protein of Mr 360 000 and that the larger macroglobulin (Mr 725 000) first appeared in an ancestor of the tetrapods. Images Fig. 1. PMID:6181778

  11. Fatal and non-fatal animal-related injuries and illnesses to workers, United States, 2011-2014.

    PubMed

    Barros, Nirmalla; Langley, Ricky

    2017-09-01

    Study provides update of national estimates for work-related fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries and illnesses by animals in US. Between 2011 and 2014, injuries and illnesses were retrieved from US Department of Labor and were translated to economic losses using National Safety Council estimates. Total of 222 fatalities (36% by cattle and other bovines) and 71 460 non-fatal injuries and illnesses (38% by insects, arachnids, mites) were identified from animal sources. For non-fatal injuries and illnesses from primary animal sources, annual incidence rates were 1.5-1.6/10 000 full-time workers and annual median days lost from work were 3-4 days. Work-related costs were $222M for fatalities and $2.8B for non-fatal injuries and illnesses that resulted in at least 1 day lost from work. Study provides evidence of specific animals contributing to more severe injuries and potential for more severe injuries when there is more than one source of injury. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. The other prey-capture silk: Fibres made by glow-worms (Diptera: Keroplatidae) comprise cross-β-sheet crystallites in an abundant amorphous fraction.

    PubMed

    Walker, Andrew A; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Merritt, David J; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-09-01

    Glow-worms (larvae of dipteran genus Arachnocampa) are restricted to moist habitats where they capture flying prey using snares composed of highly extensible silk fibres and sticky mucus droplets. Little is known about the composition or structure of glow-worm snares, or the extent of possible convergence between glow-worm and arachnid capture silks. We characterised Arachnocampa richardsae silk and mucus using X-ray scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis. Silk but not mucus contained crystallites of the cross-β-sheet type, which occur in unrelated insect silks but have not been reported previously in fibres used for prey capture. Mucus proteins were rich in Gly (28.5%) and existed in predominantly a random coil structure, typical of many adhesive proteins. In contrast, the silk fibres were unusually rich in charged and polar residues, particularly Lys (18.1%), which we propose is related to their use in a highly hydrated state. Comparison of X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis data suggests that silk fibres contain a high fraction of disordered protein. We suggest that in the native hydrated state, silk fibres are capable of extension via deformation of both disordered regions and cross-β-sheet crystallites, and that high extensibility is an adaptation promoting successful prey capture. This study illustrates the rich variety of protein motifs that are available for recruitment into biopolymers, and how convergently evolved materials can nevertheless be based on fundamentally different protein structures.

  13. Quo vadis venomics? A roadmap to neglected venomous invertebrates.

    PubMed

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-12-19

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.

  14. Agonistic signals received by an arthropod filiform hair allude to the prevalence of near-field sound communication.

    PubMed

    Santer, Roger D; Hebets, Eileen A

    2008-02-22

    Arthropod filiform hairs respond to air particle movements and are among the most sensitive animal sensory organs. In many species, they are tuned to detect predators or prey and trigger escape or prey capture behaviours. Here we show for the first time that these hairs also receive intraspecific near-field sound signals in an arachnid. During agonistic encounters, whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi) perform antenniform leg vibration (ALV) displays that have significantly longer duration in contest winners than losers. During an ALV display: (i) the vibrating antenniform leg of the displaying whip spider is positioned close to the trichobothria (filiform hairs) on its opponent's walking legs, (ii) the vibrating antenniform leg can excite these trichobothria via air movements and without direct contact, (iii) the antenniform leg of the displaying whip spider vibrates at a frequency that causes particularly strong, sustained excitation and little adaptation in the trichobothria, and (iv) the duration of an ALV display can be extracted from the response of a trichobothrium. Since filiform hairs are widespread among arthropods, communication via such hairs could be extremely prevalent.

  15. Predictive Genomic Analyses Inform the Basis for Vitamin Metabolism and Provisioning in Bacteria-Arthropod Endosymbioses

    PubMed Central

    Serbus, Laura R.; Rodriguez, Brian Garcia; Sharmin, Zinat; Momtaz, A. J. M. Zehadee; Christensen, Steen

    2017-01-01

    The requirement of vitamins for core metabolic processes creates a unique set of pressures for arthropods subsisting on nutrient-limited diets. While endosymbiotic bacteria carried by arthropods have been widely implicated in vitamin provisioning, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. To address this issue, standardized predictive assessment of vitamin metabolism was performed in 50 endosymbionts of insects and arachnids. The results predicted that arthropod endosymbionts overall have little capacity for complete de novo biosynthesis of conventional or active vitamin forms. Partial biosynthesis pathways were commonly predicted, suggesting a substantial role in vitamin provisioning. Neither taxonomic relationships between host and symbiont, nor the mode of host-symbiont interaction were clear predictors of endosymbiont vitamin pathway capacity. Endosymbiont genome size and the synthetic capacity of nonsymbiont taxonomic relatives were more reliable predictors. We developed a new software application that also predicted that last-step conversion of intermediates into active vitamin forms may contribute further to vitamin biosynthesis by endosymbionts. Most instances of predicted vitamin conversion were paralleled by predictions of vitamin use. This is consistent with achievement of provisioning in some cases through upregulation of pathways that were retained for endosymbiont benefit. The predicted absence of other enzyme classes further suggests a baseline of vitamin requirement by the majority of endosymbionts, as well as some instances of putative mutualism. Adaptation of this workflow to analysis of other organisms and metabolic pathways will provide new routes for considering the molecular basis for symbiosis on a comprehensive scale. PMID:28455417

  16. Cutaneous loxoscelism caused by Loxosceles anomala.

    PubMed

    Bucaretchi, Fábio; De Capitani, Eduardo Mello; Hyslop, Stephen; Sutti, Rafael; Rocha-e-Silva, Thomaz A A; Bertani, Rogerio

    2010-08-01

    A previously healthy 35-year-old female was bitten on the anterior right thigh by a brown spider while dressing her trousers; the spider was stored and later identified as an adult female Loxosceles anomala. Clinical evolution involved a relatively painless bite with mild itching, followed by local, indurated swelling and a transient, generalized erythrodermic rash at 24 h post-bite. The local discomfort was progressive, and involved changes in the lesion pattern, with pain of increasing intensity. The patient was admitted 60 h post-bite, showing an irregular blue plaque surrounded by an erythematous halo lesion, located over an area of indurated swelling. Considering the presumptive diagnosis of cutaneous loxoscelism, she was treated with five vials of anti-arachnidic antivenom i.v. without adverse effects. There was progressive improvement, with no dermonecrosis or hemolysis; complete lesion healing was observed by Day 55. The clinical features and outcome were compatible with cutaneous loxoscelism and similar to those reported for other Loxosceles species.

  17. Spiroplasma - an emerging arthropod-borne pathogen?

    PubMed

    Cisak, Ewa; Wójcik-Fatla, Angelina; Zając, Violetta; Sawczyn, Anna; Sroka, Jacek; Dutkiewicz, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Spiroplasma is a genus of wall-less, low-GC, small Gram-positive bacteria of the internal contractile cytoskeleton, with helical morphology and motility. The genus is classified within the class Mollicutes. Spiroplasma / host interactions can be classified as commensal, pathogenic or mutualist. The majority of spiroplasmas are found to be commensals of insects, arachnids, crustaceans or plants, whereas a small number of species are pathogens of plants, insects, and crustaceans. Insects are particularly rich sources of spiroplasmas. The bacteria are common in haematophagous arthropods: deerflies, horseflies, mosquitoes, and in ticks, where they may occur abundantly in salivary glands. The ability of spiroplasmas to propagate in rodents was experimentally proven, and Spiroplasma infections have been reported recently in humans. Some authors have purported an etiological role of Spiroplasma in causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), but convincing proof is lacking. The possibility for humans and other vertebrates to be infected with Spiroplasma spp. in natural conditions is largely unknown, as well as the possibility of the transmission of these bacteria by ticks and haematophagous insects. Nevertheless, in the light of new data, such possibilities cannot be excluded.

  18. A sodium channel inhibitor ISTX-I with a novel structure provides a new hint at the evolutionary link between two toxin folds

    PubMed Central

    Rong, Mingqiang; Liu, Jiangxin; Zhang, Meilin; Wang, Gan; Zhao, Gang; Wang, Guodong; Zhang, Yaping; Hu, Kaifeng; Lai, Ren

    2016-01-01

    Members of arachnida, such as spiders and scorpions, commonly produce venom with specialized venom glands, paralyzing their prey with neurotoxins that specifically target ion channels. Two well-studied motifs, the disulfide-directed hairpin (DDH) and the inhibitor cystine knot motif (ICK), are both found in scorpion and spider toxins. As arachnids, ticks inject a neurotoxin-containing cocktail from their salivary glands into the host to acquire a blood meal, but peptide toxins acting on ion channels have not been observed in ticks. Here, a new neurotoxin (ISTX-I) that acts on sodium channels was identified from the hard tick Ixodes scapularis and characterized. ISTX-I exhibits a potent inhibitory function with an IC50 of 1.6 μM for sodium channel Nav1.7 but not other sodium channel subtypes. ISTX-I adopts a novel structural fold and is distinct from the canonical ICK motif. Analysis of the ISTX-I, DDH and ICK motifs reveals that the new ISTX-I motif might be an intermediate scaffold between DDH and ICK, and ISTX-I is a clue to the evolutionary link between the DDH and ICK motifs. These results provide a glimpse into the convergent evolution of neurotoxins from predatory and blood-sucking arthropods. PMID:27407029

  19. Insights into the Hypertensive Effects of Tityus serrulatus Scorpion Venom: Purification of an Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-Like Peptidase

    PubMed Central

    Cajado-Carvalho, Daniela; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre Kazuo; Duzzi, Bruno; Iwai, Leo Kei; de Oliveira, Úrsula Castro; Junqueira de Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles; Kodama, Roberto Tadashi; Portaro, Fernanda Vieira

    2016-01-01

    The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed to neurotoxins. Omics analyses have detected plentiful amounts of metalloproteases in T. serrulatus venom. However, the roles played by these enzymes in envenomation are still unclear. Endeavoring to investigate the functions of scorpion venom proteases, we describe here for the first time an Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme-like peptidase (ACE-like) purified from T. serrulatus venom. The crude venom cleaved natural and fluorescent substrates and these activities were inhibited by captopril. Regarding the serum neutralization, the scorpion antivenom was more effective at blocking the ACE-like activity than arachnid antivenom, although neither completely inhibited the venom cleavage action, even at higher doses. ACE-like was purified from the venom after three chromatographic steps and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometric and transcriptomic analyses. Bioinformatics analysis showed homology between the ACE-like transcript sequences from Tityus spp. and human testis ACE. These findings advance our understanding of T. serrulatus venom components and may improve treatment of envenomation victims, as ACE-like may contribute to envenomation symptoms, especially the resulting hypertension. PMID:27886129

  20. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Family of Cysteine-Rich Peptides (MgCRP-I) from Mytilus galloprovincialis

    PubMed Central

    Gerdol, Marco; Puillandre, Nicolas; Moro, Gianluca De; Guarnaccia, Corrado; Lucafò, Marianna; Benincasa, Monica; Zlatev, Ventislav; Manfrin, Chiara; Torboli, Valentina; Giulianini, Piero Giulio; Sava, Gianni; Venier, Paola; Pallavicini, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    We report the identification of a novel gene family (named MgCRP-I) encoding short secreted cysteine-rich peptides in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. These peptides display a highly conserved pre-pro region and a hypervariable mature peptide comprising six invariant cysteine residues arranged in three intramolecular disulfide bridges. Although their cysteine pattern is similar to cysteines-rich neurotoxic peptides of distantly related protostomes such as cone snails and arachnids, the different organization of the disulfide bridges observed in synthetic peptides and phylogenetic analyses revealed MgCRP-I as a novel protein family. Genome- and transcriptome-wide searches for orthologous sequences in other bivalve species indicated the unique presence of this gene family in Mytilus spp. Like many antimicrobial peptides and neurotoxins, MgCRP-I peptides are produced as pre-propeptides, usually have a net positive charge and likely derive from similar evolutionary mechanisms, that is, gene duplication and positive selection within the mature peptide region; however, synthetic MgCRP-I peptides did not display significant toxicity in cultured mammalian cells, insecticidal, antimicrobial, or antifungal activities. The functional role of MgCRP-I peptides in mussel physiology still remains puzzling. PMID:26201648

  1. The genome of Mesobuthus martensii reveals a unique adaptation model of arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Zhijian; Yu, Yao; Wu, Yingliang; Hao, Pei; Di, Zhiyong; He, Yawen; Chen, Zongyun; Yang, Weishan; Shen, Zhiyong; He, Xiaohua; Sheng, Jia; Xu, Xiaobo; Pan, Bohu; Feng, Jing; Yang, Xiaojuan; Hong, Wei; Zhao, Wenjuan; Li, Zhongjie; Huang, Kai; Li, Tian; Kong, Yimeng; Liu, Hui; Jiang, Dahe; Zhang, Binyan; Hu, Jun; Hu, Youtian; Wang, Bin; Dai, Jianliang; Yuan, Bifeng; Feng, Yuqi; Huang, Wei; Xing, Xiaojing; Zhao, Guoping; Li, Xuan; Li, Yixue; Li, Wenxin

    2013-01-01

    Representing a basal branch of arachnids, scorpions are known as ‘living fossils’ that maintain an ancient anatomy and are adapted to have survived extreme climate changes. Here we report the genome sequence of Mesobuthus martensii, containing 32,016 protein-coding genes, the most among sequenced arthropods. Although M. martensii appears to evolve conservatively, it has a greater gene family turnover than the insects that have undergone diverse morphological and physiological changes, suggesting the decoupling of the molecular and morphological evolution in scorpions. Underlying the long-term adaptation of scorpions is the expansion of the gene families enriched in basic metabolic pathways, signalling pathways, neurotoxins and cytochrome P450, and the different dynamics of expansion between the shared and the scorpion lineage-specific gene families. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses further illustrate the important genetic features associated with prey, nocturnal behaviour, feeding and detoxification. The M. martensii genome reveals a unique adaptation model of arthropods, offering new insights into the genetic bases of the living fossils. PMID:24129506

  2. Opsin Repertoire and Expression Patterns in Horseshoe Crabs: Evidence from the Genome of Limulus polyphemus (Arthropoda: Chelicerata).

    PubMed

    Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Ryan, Joseph F; Kempler, Karen E; Saraf, Spencer R; Marten, Catherine E; Warren, Wesley C; Minx, Patrick J; Montague, Michael J; Green, Pamela J; Schmidt, Skye A; Fulton, Lucinda; Patel, Nipam H; Protas, Meredith E; Wilson, Richard K; Porter, Megan L

    2016-06-03

    Horseshoe crabs are xiphosuran chelicerates, the sister group to arachnids. As such, they are important for understanding the most recent common ancestor of Euchelicerata and the evolution and diversification of Arthropoda. Limulus polyphemus is the most investigated of the four extant species of horseshoe crabs, and the structure and function of its visual system have long been a major focus of studies critical for understanding the evolution of visual systems in arthropods. Likewise, studies of genes encoding Limulus opsins, the protein component of the visual pigments, are critical for understanding opsin evolution and diversification among chelicerates, where knowledge of opsins is limited, and more broadly among arthropods. In the present study, we sequenced and assembled a high quality nuclear genomic sequence of L. polyphemus and used these data to annotate the full repertoire of Limulus opsins. We conducted a detailed phylogenetic analysis of Limulus opsins, including using gene structure and synteny information to identify relationships among different opsin classes. We used our phylogeny to identify significant genomic events that shaped opsin evolution and therefore the visual system of Limulus We also describe the tissue expression patterns of the 18 opsins identified and show that transcripts encoding a number, including a peropsin, are present throughout the central nervous system. In addition to significantly extending our understanding of photosensitivity in Limulus and providing critical insight into the genomic evolution of horseshoe crab opsins, this work provides a valuable genomic resource for addressing myriad questions related to xiphosuran physiology and arthropod evolution.

  3. Sanctacaris uncata: the oldest chelicerate (Arthropoda)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legg, David A.

    2014-12-01

    The morphology of the arthropod Sanctacaris uncata, from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of Canada, is reinterpreted based on a restudy of previously described material. Although originally considered a chelicerate-like arthropod, these affinities were dismissed based primarily on interpretations of the anterior appendages and hypotheses which considered the megacheirans (`great-appendage' arthropods) as putative ancestors of chelicerates. The similarities between megacheirans and chelicerates appear to be overstated however, and this study instead reaffirms the identity of putative chelicerate feature in S. uncata and similar arthropods such as Sidneyia and Emeraldella, both also from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. Newly interpreted features, including the presence of pediform exites, multi-partite trunk exopods, and a trunk differentiated into an anterior limb-bearing area and a differentiated posterior limbless abdomen, were coded into an extensive phylogenetic data set of fossil and recent arthropods. In all analyses, Sanctacaris resolved as the basal-most member of total-group Euchelicerata (the least inclusive group including horseshoe crabs and arachnids but not pycnogonids), thus making it the oldest chelicerate in the fossil record. The vicissicaudates (including Sidneyia, Emeraldella, aglaspidids, and cheloniellids—all of which have previously been allied to chelicerates) resolved as sister-taxon to crown-group Chelicerata. This topology indicates that many purported chelicerate features, such as lamellar gills, and a differentiated posterior abdomen evolved sequentially in the chelicerate stem-lineage.

  4. Sanctacaris uncata: the oldest chelicerate (Arthropoda).

    PubMed

    Legg, David A

    2014-12-01

    The morphology of the arthropod Sanctacaris uncata, from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of Canada, is reinterpreted based on a restudy of previously described material. Although originally considered a chelicerate-like arthropod, these affinities were dismissed based primarily on interpretations of the anterior appendages and hypotheses which considered the megacheirans ('great-appendage' arthropods) as putative ancestors of chelicerates. The similarities between megacheirans and chelicerates appear to be overstated however, and this study instead reaffirms the identity of putative chelicerate feature in S. uncata and similar arthropods such as Sidneyia and Emeraldella, both also from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. Newly interpreted features, including the presence of pediform exites, multi-partite trunk exopods, and a trunk differentiated into an anterior limb-bearing area and a differentiated posterior limbless abdomen, were coded into an extensive phylogenetic data set of fossil and recent arthropods. In all analyses, Sanctacaris resolved as the basal-most member of total-group Euchelicerata (the least inclusive group including horseshoe crabs and arachnids but not pycnogonids), thus making it the oldest chelicerate in the fossil record. The vicissicaudates (including Sidneyia, Emeraldella, aglaspidids, and cheloniellids--all of which have previously been allied to chelicerates) resolved as sister-taxon to crown-group Chelicerata. This topology indicates that many purported chelicerate features, such as lamellar gills, and a differentiated posterior abdomen evolved sequentially in the chelicerate stem-lineage.

  5. A multilocus molecular phylogeny of the endemic North American camel spider family Eremobatidae (Arachnida: Solifugae).

    PubMed

    Cushing, Paula E; Graham, Matthew R; Prendini, Lorenzo; Brookhart, Jack O

    2015-11-01

    Camel spiders (Solifugae) are a diverse but poorly studied order of arachnids. No robust phylogenetic analysis has ever been carried out for the order or for any family within the Solifugae. We present a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the endemic North American family Eremobatidae Kraepelin, 1899, the first such analysis of a family of Solifugae. We use a multi-locus exemplar approach using DNA sequences from partial nuclear (28S rDNA and Histone H3) and mitochondrial (16S rRNA and Cytochrome c Oxidase I) gene loci for 81 ingroup exemplars representing all genera of Eremobatidae and most species groups within the genera Eremobates Banks, 1900, Eremochelis Roewer, 1934, and Hemerotrecha Banks, 1903. Maximum Likelihood and two Bayesian analyses consistently recovered the monophyly of Eremobatidae, Eremorhax Roewer, 1934 and Eremothera Muma, 1951 along with a group comprising all subfamily Eremobatinae Kraepelin, 1901 exemplars except Horribates bantai Muma, 1989 and a group comprising all Eremocosta Roewer, 1934 exemplars except Eremocosta acuitalpanensis (Vasquez and Gavin, 2000). The subfamily Therobatinae Muma, 1951 and the genera Chanbria Muma, 1951, Hemerotrecha, Eremochelis, and Eremobates were polyphyletic or paraphyletic. Only the banksi group of Hemerotrecha was monophyletic; the other species groups recognized within Eremobates, Eremochelis, and Hemerotrecha were paraphyletic or polyphyletic. We found no support for the monophyly of the subfamily Therobatinae. A time-calibrated phylogeny dated the most recent common ancestor of extant eremobatids to the late Eocene to early Miocene, with a mean estimate in the late Oligocene (32.2 Ma).

  6. A novel marine silk.

    PubMed

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Dicko, Cedric; Vollrath, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of a novel silk production system in a marine amphipod provides insights into the wider potential of natural silks. The tube-building corophioid amphipod Crassicorophium bonellii produces from its legs fibrous, adhesive underwater threads that combine barnacle cement biology with aspects of spider silk thread extrusion spinning. We characterised the filamentous silk as a mixture of mucopolysaccharides and protein deriving from glands representing two distinct types. The carbohydrate and protein silk secretion is dominated by complex β-sheet structures and a high content of charged amino acid residues. The filamentous secretion product exits the gland through a pore near the tip of the secretory leg after having moved through a duct, which subdivides into several small ductules all terminating in a spindle-shaped chamber. This chamber communicates with the exterior and may be considered the silk reservoir and processing/mixing space, in which the silk is mechanically and potentially chemically altered and becomes fibrous. We assert that further study of this probably independently evolved, marine arthropod silk processing and secretion system can provide not only important insights into the more complex arachnid and insect silks but also into crustacean adhesion cements.

  7. The role of viral persistence in flavivirus biology

    PubMed Central

    Mlera, Luwanika; Melik, Wessam; Bloom, Marshall E.

    2014-01-01

    In nature, vector-borne flaviviruses are persistently cycled between either the tick or mosquito vector and small mammals such as rodents, skunks, and swine. These viruses account for considerable human morbidity and mortality worldwide. Increasing and substantial evidence of viral persistence in humans, which includes the isolation of RNA by RT-PCR and infectious virus by culture, continues to be reported. Viral persistence can also be established in vitro in various human, animal, arachnid and insect cell lines in culture. Although some research has focused on the potential roles of defective virus particles, evasion of the immune response through the manipulation of autophagy and/or apoptosis, the precise mechanism of flavivirus persistence is still not well understood. We propose additional research for further understanding of how viral persistence is established in different systems. Avenues for additional studies include determining if the multifunctional flavivirus protein NS5 has a role in viral persistence, the development of relevant animal models of viral persistence as well as investigating the host responses that allow vector borne flavivirus replication without detrimental effects on infected cells. Such studies might shed more light on the viral-host relationships, and could be used to unravel the mechanisms for establishment of persistence. PMID:24737600

  8. A double role of sperm in scorpions: the mating plug of Euscorpius italicus (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) consists of sperm.

    PubMed

    Althaus, Sarah; Jacob, Alain; Graber, Werner; Hofer, Deborah; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Kropf, Christian

    2010-04-01

    Mating plugs occluding the female gonopore after mating are a widespread phenomenon. In scorpions, two main types of mating plugs are found: sclerotized mating plugs being parts of the spermatophore that break off during mating, and gel-like mating plugs being gelatinous fluids that harden in the female genital tract. In this study, the gel-like mating plug of Euscorpius italicus was investigated with respect to its composition, fine structure, and changes over time. Sperm forms the major component of the mating plug, a phenomenon previously unknown in arachnids. Three parts of the mating plug can be distinguished. The part facing the outside of the female (outer part) contains sperm packages containing inactive spermatozoa. In this state, sperm is transferred. In the median part, the sperm packages get uncoiled to single spermatozoa. In the inner part, free sperm is embedded in a large amount of secretions. Fresh mating plugs are soft gelatinous, later they harden from outside toward inside. This process is completed after 3-5 days. Sperm from artificially triggered spermatophores could be activated by immersion in insect Ringer's solution indicating that the fluid condition in the females' genital tract or females' secretions causes sperm activation. Because of the male origin of the mating plug, it has likely evolved under sperm competition or sexual conflict. As females refused to remate irrespective of the presence or absence of a mating plug, females may have changed their mating behavior in the course of evolution from polyandry to monandry. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Ultrastructure of chemoreceptive tarsal sensilla in an armored harvestman and evidence of olfaction across Laniatores (Arachnida, Opiliones).

    PubMed

    Gainett, Guilherme; Michalik, Peter; Müller, Carsten H G; Giribet, Gonzalo; Talarico, Giovanni; Willemart, Rodrigo H

    2017-01-10

    Harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones) are especially dependent on chemical cues and are often regarded as animals that rely mainly on contact chemoreception. Information on harvestman sensilla is scarce when compared to other arachnid orders, especially concerning internal morphology. Using scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy, we investigated tarsal sensilla on the distal tarsomeres (DT) of all leg pairs in Heteromitobates discolor (Laniatores, Gonyleptidae). Furthermore, we explored the typological diversity of sensilla present on the DT I and II in members of the suborder Laniatores, which include two thirds of the formally described opilionid fauna, using species from 17 families representing all main laniatorian lineages. Our data revealed that DT I and II of H. discolor are equipped with wall-pored falciform hairs (two types), wall-pored sensilla chaetica (two types) and tip-pored sensilla chaetica, while DT III and IV are mainly covered with trichomes (non-sensory) and tip-pored sensilla chaetica. The ultrastructural characteristics support an olfactory function for all wall-pored sensilla and a dual gustatory/mechanoreceptive function for tip-pored sensilla chaetica. Based on our comparative SEM survey, we show that wall-pored sensilla occur in all investigated Laniatores, demonstrating their widespread occurrence in the suborder and highlighting the importance of both legs I and II as the sensory appendages of laniatorean harvestmen. Our results provide the first morphological evidence for olfactory receptors in Laniatores and suggest that olfaction is more important for harvestmen than previously thought.

  10. Physiological costs during the first maternal care in the wolf spider Pardosa saltans (Araneae, Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Ruhland, Fanny; Pétillon, Julien; Trabalon, Marie

    2016-12-01

    Many arachnids like other terrestrial arthropods, provide extensive maternal care. Few studies have quantified the underlying physiological costs of maternal care. We investigated how maternal care affects the free-moving wolf spider's (Pardosa saltans) energy requirements. We described in detail their basic reproduction biology (i.e. carrying cocoon and young) and we evaluated the variation in the females' energy reserves during maternal care. Our results show that mothers guard eggs until hatching and then guard their spiderlings for 27-30 more days. Laboratory observations indicated that spiderlings start leaving the maternal abdomen gradually 5-7days after hatching. Females carry an egg sac (cocoon) that can weigh up to 77% of their post-reproduction weight and carry young that weigh 87-100% of their body mass. Females lost weight over time despite regular food intake, while carrying cocoon and young; but their weights increased gradually during the dispersal of young. The contributions of proteins, glucose and triglycerides to maintain females' energy were calculated. Their energetic state varied during maternal care, in particular lipid levels declined, during the care of spiderlings when the females' predatory behaviour was inhibited. Our results show that the maternal care provided by P. saltans females is particularly costly physiologically, during the 30days following egg sac formation and development of spiderlings, even when food is available.

  11. Summary statistics for fossil spider species taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Penney, David; Dunlop, Jason A; Marusik, Yuri M

    2012-01-01

    Spiders (Araneae) are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant). Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa) were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids) through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field.

  12. From the mountains to the coast and back again: Ancient biogeography in a radiation of short-range endemic harvestmen from California.

    PubMed

    Emata, K N; Hedin, M

    2016-05-01

    The harvestmen genus Calicina is represented by 25 short-range endemic species occurring in the western Sierra Nevada, Transverse and Coast Ranges of California. Our principal aim was to reconstruct the temporal and spatial biogeographic history of this arachnid lineage. We inferred a time-calibrated species tree for 21 of 25 described Calicina species using multiple genes and multilocus coalescent-based methods. This species tree was used as a framework for algorithmic biogeographic and divergence time analyses, and a phylogenetic canonical correlation analysis (CCA) was used to examine the relationship between morphological evolution and environmental variables. Species tree and biogeographic analyses indicate that high-elevation Sierran taxa are early-diverging in Calicina, with subsequent biogeographic "criss-crossing" of lineages from the Sierra Nevada to the Coast Ranges, back to the Sierra Nevada, then back to Coast Ranges. In both the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges, distantly-related parapatric lineages essentially never occur in sympatry. CCA reveals that in both the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada, distant phylogenetic relatives evolve convergent morphologies. Our evidence shows that Calicina is clearly dispersal-limited, with an ancient biogeographic history that provides unique insight into the complex geologic evolution of California since the mid-Paleogene. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Ivermectin: a long-acting microfilaricidal agent.

    PubMed

    Ette, E I; Thomas, W O; Achumba, J I

    1990-04-01

    Ivermectin is a macrocyclic lactone (fermentation) product and actinomycete (Streptomyces avermitilis) that possesses an unusually broad spectrum of potent activity against several species of nematodes, arachnids, and insects that parasitize domestic animals. From clinical trials in humans it has been found to be microfilaricidal, killing microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus (the parasite causing onchocerciasis), and interrupting its transmission by the black fly vector. Dermal microfilariae density in patients are reduced to near zero levels for 6-12 months after a single oral dose of ivermectin 0.15-0.2 mg/kg. Its precise mechanism of action is unknown. It has a time to maximum concentration of 2.7-4.3 h, and an elimination half-life of 28 +/- 10 h. When compared with an oral solution the tablet dosage form has a relative bioavailability of approximately 60 percent. Not much is known about its metabolism in humans, and the unchanged drug is not detected in the urine. Controlled clinical trials have shown ivermectin to be associated with milder side effects than diethylcarbamazine, the current drug of choice for onchocerciasis therapy. It does not cause the severe Mazzoti-type (anaphylactoid) reactions that are associated with diethylcarbamazine use. Ivermectin is effective, safer, and more tolerable than diethylcarbamazine. It should, therefore, replace diethylcarbamazine as the drug of choice for onchocerciasis therapy.

  14. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

  15. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited. This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003-2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station-Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas. To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December-February) during the winters of 2003-2008 in transects (100 meter ? 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured during 2003

  16. Bacillus thuringiensis Is an Environmental Pathogen and Host-Specificity Has Developed as an Adaptation to Human-Generated Ecological Niches

    PubMed Central

    Argôlo-Filho, Ronaldo Costa; Loguercio, Leandro Lopes

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been used successfully as a biopesticide for more than 60 years. More recently, genes encoding their toxins have been used to transform plants and other organisms. Despite the large amount of research on this bacterium, its true ecology is still a matter of debate, with two major viewpoints dominating: while some understand Bt as an insect pathogen, others see it as a saprophytic bacteria from soil. In this context, Bt’s pathogenicity to other taxa and the possibility that insects may not be the primary targets of Bt are also ideas that further complicate this scenario. The existence of conflicting research results, the difficulty in developing broader ecological and genetics studies, and the great genetic plasticity of this species has cluttered a definitive concept. In this review, we gathered information on the aspects of Bt ecology that are often ignored, in the attempt to clarify the lifestyle, mechanisms of transmission and target host range of this bacterial species. As a result, we propose an integrated view to account for Bt ecology. Although Bt is indeed a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a broad arsenal for virulence and defense mechanisms, as well as a wide range of target hosts, this seems to be an adaptation to specific ecological changes acting on a versatile and cosmopolitan environmental bacterium. Bt pathogenicity and host-specificity was favored evolutionarily by increased populations of certain insect species (or other host animals), whose availability for colonization were mostly caused by anthropogenic activities. These have generated the conditions for ecological imbalances that favored dominance of specific populations of insects, arachnids, nematodes, etc., in certain areas, with narrower genetic backgrounds. These conditions provided the selective pressure for development of new hosts for pathogenic interactions, and so, host specificity of certain strains. PMID:26462580

  17. Traps of carnivorous pitcher plants as a habitat: composition of the fluid, biodiversity and mutualistic activities

    PubMed Central

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Peroutka, Marianne; Lendl, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background Carnivorous pitcher plants (CPPs) use cone-shaped leaves to trap animals for nutrient supply but are not able to kill all intruders of their traps. Numerous species, ranging from bacteria to vertrebrates, survive and propagate in the otherwise deadly traps. This paper reviews the literature on phytotelmata of CPPs. Pitcher Fluid as a Habitat The volumes of pitchers range from 0·2 mL to 1·5 L. In Nepenthes and Cephalotus, the fluid is secreted by the trap; the other genera collect rain water. The fluid is usually acidic, rich in O2 and contains digestive enzymes. In some taxa, toxins or detergents are found, or the fluid is extremely viscous. In Heliamphora or Sarracenia, the fluid differs little from pure water. Inquiline Diversity Pitcher inquilines comprise bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, rotifers, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and amphibia. The dominant groups are protists and Dipteran larvae. The various species of CPPs host different sets of inquilines. Sarracenia purpurea hosts up to 165 species of inquilines, followed by Nepenthes ampullaria with 59 species, compared with only three species from Brocchinia reducta. Reasons for these differences include size, the life span of the pitcher as well as its fluid. Mutualistic Activities Inquilines closely interact with their host. Some live as parasites, but the vast majority are mutualists. Beneficial activities include secretion of enzymes, feeding on the plant's prey and successive excretion of inorganic nutrients, mechanical break up of the prey, removal of excessive prey and assimilation of atmospheric N2. Conclusions There is strong evidence that CPPs influence their phytotelm. Two strategies can be distinguished: (1) Nepenthes and Cephalotus produce acidic, toxic or digestive fluids and host a limited diversity of inquilines. (2) Genera without efficient enzymes such as Sarracenia or Heliamphora host diverse organisms and depend to a large extent on their symbionts for prey utilization

  18. Sulfakinin is an important regulator of digestive processes in the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.

    PubMed

    Zels, Sven; Dillen, Senne; Crabbé, Katleen; Spit, Jornt; Nachman, Ronald J; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2015-06-01

    Sulfakinin (SK) is a sulfated insect neuropeptide that is best known for its function as a satiety factor. It displays structural and functional similarities with the vertebrate peptides gastrin and cholecystokinin. Peptidomic studies in multiple insects, crustaceans and arachnids have revealed the widespread occurrence of SK in the arthropod phylum. Multiple studies in hemi- and holometabolous insects revealed the pleiotropic nature of this neuropeptide: in addition to its activity as a satiety factor, SK was also reported to affect muscle contraction, digestive enzyme release, odor preference, aggression and metabolism. However, the main site of action seems to be the digestive system of insects. In this study, we have investigated whether SK can intervene in the control of nutrient uptake and digestion in the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria). We provide evidence that sulfakinin reduces food uptake in this species. Furthermore, we discovered that SK has very pronounced effects on the main digestive enzyme secreting parts of the locust gut. It effectively reduced digestive enzyme secretion from both the midgut and gastric caeca. SK injection also elicited a reduction in absorbance and proteolytic activity of the gastric caeca contents. The characteristic sulfation of the tyrosine residue is crucial for the observed effects on digestive enzyme secretion. In an attempt to provide potential leads for the development of peptidomimetic compounds based on SK, we also tested two mimetic analogs of the natural peptide ligand in the digestive enzyme secretion assay. These analogs were able to mimic the effect of the natural SK, but their effects were milder. The results of this study provide new insights into the action of SK on the digestive system in (hemimetabolous) insects.

  19. Scorpion sheds 'tail' to escape: consequences and implications of autotomy in scorpions (Buthidae: Ananteris).

    PubMed

    Mattoni, Camilo I; García-Hernández, Solimary; Botero-Trujillo, Ricardo; Ochoa, José A; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés A; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo; Prendini, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Autotomy, the voluntary shedding or detachment of a body part at a determined cleavage plane, is a common anti-predation defense mechanism in several animal taxa, including arthropods. Among arachnids, autotomy has been observed in harvestmen, mites, and spiders, always involving the loss of legs. Autotomy of the opisthosoma (abdomen) was recently reported in a single species of the Neotropical buthid scorpion genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891, but few details were revealed. Based on observations in the field and laboratory, examination of material in museum collections, and scanning electron microscopy, we document autotomy of the metasoma (the hind part of the opisthosoma, or 'tail') in fourteen species of Ananteris. Autotomy is more common in males than females, and has not been observed in juveniles. When the scorpion is held by the metasoma, it is voluntarily severed at the joints between metasomal segments I and II, II and III, or III and IV, allowing the scorpion to escape. After detachment, the severed metasoma moves (twitches) automatically, much like the severed tail of a lizard or the severed leg of a spider, and reacts to contact, even attempting to sting. The severed surface heals rapidly, scar tissue forming in five days. The lost metasomal segments and telson cannot be regenerated. Autotomy of the metasoma and telson results in permanent loss of the posterior part of the scorpion's digestive system (the anus is situated posteriorly on metasomal segment V) and the ability to inject venom by stinging. After autotomy, scorpions do not defecate and can only capture small prey items. However, males can survive and mate successfully for up to eight months in the laboratory. In spite of diminished predation ability after autotomy, survival allows males to reproduce. Autotomy in Ananteris therefore appears to be an effective, adaptive, anti-predation escape mechanism.

  20. Scorpion Sheds ‘Tail’ to Escape: Consequences and Implications of Autotomy in Scorpions (Buthidae: Ananteris)

    PubMed Central

    Mattoni, Camilo I.; García-Hernández, Solimary; Botero-Trujillo, Ricardo; Ochoa, José A.; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés A.; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo; Prendini, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Autotomy, the voluntary shedding or detachment of a body part at a determined cleavage plane, is a common anti-predation defense mechanism in several animal taxa, including arthropods. Among arachnids, autotomy has been observed in harvestmen, mites, and spiders, always involving the loss of legs. Autotomy of the opisthosoma (abdomen) was recently reported in a single species of the Neotropical buthid scorpion genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891, but few details were revealed. Based on observations in the field and laboratory, examination of material in museum collections, and scanning electron microscopy, we document autotomy of the metasoma (the hind part of the opisthosoma, or ‘tail’) in fourteen species of Ananteris. Autotomy is more common in males than females, and has not been observed in juveniles. When the scorpion is held by the metasoma, it is voluntarily severed at the joints between metasomal segments I and II, II and III, or III and IV, allowing the scorpion to escape. After detachment, the severed metasoma moves (twitches) automatically, much like the severed tail of a lizard or the severed leg of a spider, and reacts to contact, even attempting to sting. The severed surface heals rapidly, scar tissue forming in five days. The lost metasomal segments and telson cannot be regenerated. Autotomy of the metasoma and telson results in permanent loss of the posterior part of the scorpion’s digestive system (the anus is situated posteriorly on metasomal segment V) and the ability to inject venom by stinging. After autotomy, scorpions do not defecate and can only capture small prey items. However, males can survive and mate successfully for up to eight months in the laboratory. In spite of diminished predation ability after autotomy, survival allows males to reproduce. Autotomy in Ananteris therefore appears to be an effective, adaptive, anti-predation escape mechanism. PMID:25629529

  1. A critical review of the use and performance of different function types for modeling temperature-dependent development of arthropod larvae.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Brady K

    2017-01-01

    Temperature-dependent development influences production rates of arthropods, including crustaceans important to fisheries and agricultural pests. Numerous candidate equation types (development functions) exist to describe the effect of temperature on development time, yet most studies use only a single type of equation and there is no consensus as to which, if any model predicts development rates better than the others, nor what the consequences of selecting a potentially incorrect model equation are on predicted development times. In this study, a literature search was performed of studies fitting development functions to development data of arthropod larvae (99 species). The published data of most (79) of these species were then fit with 33 commonly-used development functions. Overall performance of each function type and consequences of using a function other than the best one to model data were assessed. Performance was also related to taxonomy and the range of temperatures examined. The majority (91.1%) of studies were found to not use the best function out of those tested. Using the incorrect model lead to significantly less accurate (e.g., mean difference±SE 85.9±27.4%, range: -1.7 to 1725.5%) predictions of development times than the best function. Overall, more complex functions performed poorly relative to simpler ones. However, performance of some complex functions improved when wide temperature ranges were tested, which tended to be confined to studies of insects or arachnids compared with those of crustaceans. Results indicate the biological significance of choosing the best-fitting model to describe temperature-dependent development time data. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Arthropod-Borne Diseases: The Camper's Uninvited Guests.

    PubMed

    Juckett, Gregory

    2015-08-01

    Arthropod-borne diseases are a major problem whenever outdoor activities bring arthropods and people into contact. The arthropods discussed here include arachnids (ticks) and insects. Most arthropod bites and stings are minor, with the notable exception being bee-sting anaphylaxis. Ticks cause the most disease transmission. Key hard tick vectors include black-legged (Ixodes), dog (Dermacentor), and lone star (Amblyomma) ticks, which transmit Lyme and various rickettsial diseases. Insect repellents, permethrin sprays, and proper tick inspection reduce this risk significantly. Lyme disease and the milder southern-tick-associated rash illness (STARI) are characterized by the erythema migrans rash followed, in the case of Lyme disease, by early, disseminated, and late systemic symptoms. Treatment is with doxycycline or ceftriaxone. Indefinite treatment of "chronic Lyme disease" based on subjective symptoms is not beneficial. Rickettsial diseases include ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which are characterized by fever, headache, and possible rash and should be empirically treated with doxycycline while awaiting laboratory confirmation. Tularemia is a bacterial disease (Francisella) spread by ticks and rabbits and characterized by fever and adenopathy. Treatment is with gentamicin or streptomycin. Babesiosis is a protozoal disease, mimicking malaria, that causes a self-limited flu-like disease in healthy hosts but can be life threatening with immune compromise. Treatment is with atovaquone and azithromycin. Other tick-related conditions include viral diseases (Powassan, Colorado tick fever, heartland virus), tick-borne relapsing fever (Borrelia), and tick paralysis (toxin). Mosquitoes, lice, fleas, and mites are notable for their annoying bites but are increasingly significant disease vectors even in the United States.

  3. Circus Venomous: an interactive tool for toxinology education.

    PubMed

    Vohra, Rais; Spano, Susanne

    2013-07-01

    Clinical education about envenomations and their treatment may convey clinical and zoological details inadequately or flatly. In recent years, the widespread availability of models and videos of venomous species have created unique opportunities for toxinology education. We share our experiences using a new toolkit for educating a diverse array of clinicians, students, and wilderness medicine enthusiasts. We examined the cost, number of participants, and satisfaction data since the initiation of a portable workshop featuring high-fidelity exhibits of venomous species. Termed the "Circus Venomous," this educational toolkit consists of several boxes of props, such as plastic models, photos, and preserved specimens of injurious species. The workshop consists of three phases: 1.) participants view all exhibits and answer clinical questions regarding venomous injuries; 2.) short video clips from television, internet, and cinema are viewed together, and myths about envenomation injuries are debunked; 3.) debriefing session and wrap-up. We have utilized the Circus Venomous to teach medical students, residents, practicing community clinicians, nurses, PAs, national and regional parkmedics, and wilderness enthusiasts. The major cost (about $800) was spent on the purchase of highly durable, lifelike models and well preserved real reptile and arachnid specimens. When formal feedback was solicited, the participants expressed high levels of satisfaction, scoring an average of 4.3, 4.4, and 4.3 out of 5 points in the respective areas of content, presentation, and practical value of the activity. Since we have used this exhibit with approximately 250 participants over 2 years, we estimate the materials cost per participant is approximately $3. The Circus Venomous is a novel, interactive, flexible, and cost-effective teaching tool about envenomation emergencies. We hope that this concept will encourage other clinical educators toward further innovation. Future directions for our

  4. A case of zootherapy with the tarantula Brachypelma vagans Ausserer, 1875 in traditional medicine of the Chol Mayan ethnic group in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In practically every human culture, the use of arthropods as medicinal resources has been reported. In Mexico, the Mayan people mainly use plants but occasionally also animals and minerals in their medicine. This article is the first to report the traditional use of the tarantula Brachypelma vagans by medicine men in the Chol community, an ancient indigenous group that inhabits the southeastern part of Mexico. We also describe the utility of such arachnids in traditional medicine. Methods This study was carried out in different Chol communities in the states of Chiapas and Campeche (southeastern Mexico) from 2003 until 2007. We interviewed the local medicine men, patients and non-Chol people in each village visited to collect information about the rituals involved and the effectiveness of this traditional medicine and also their opinion of this traditional medicine. Results In all independent villages, the people who present an illness called 'aire de tarantula' or tarantula wind with symptoms including chest pain, coughing and asthma, were treated by the medicine man (called 'hierbatero') with a tarantula-based beverage. From village to village, the beverage has a similar base composition but some variations occur in additional ingredients depending on the individual medicine man. Like in all traditional Mayan medicine, the ritual of the ceremony consists of drinking the tarantula-based beverage and this is principally accompanied by chants and burning of incense. Conclusions The recipe of the tarantula-based beverage and the procedure of this ritual ceremony were fairly constant in all the villages visited. Our work shows that despite the tarantula's bad image in several cultures, in others positive use is made of these spiders, as in modern medicine. PMID:21450096

  5. Transcriptome Analysis of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Spider Cupiennius salei Reveals Multiple Putative Cys-Loop Ligand Gated Ion Channel Subunits and an Acetylcholine Binding Protein.

    PubMed

    Torkkeli, Päivi H; Liu, Hongxia; French, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    Invertebrates possess a diverse collection of pentameric Cys-loop ligand gated ion channel (LGIC) receptors whose molecular structures, evolution and relationships to mammalian counterparts have been intensely investigated in several clinically and agriculturally important species. These receptors are targets for a variety of control agents that may also harm beneficial species. However, little is known about Cys-loop receptors in spiders, which are important natural predators of insects. We assembled de novo transcriptomes from the central and peripheral nervous systems of the Central American wandering spider Cupiennius salei, a model species for neurophysiological, behavioral and developmental studies. We found 15 Cys-loop receptor subunits that are expected to form anion or cation permeable channels, plus a putative acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) that has only previously been reported in molluscs and one annelid. We used phylogenetic and sequence analysis to compare the spider subunits to homologous receptors in other species and predicted the 3D structures of each protein using the I-Tasser server. The quality of homology models improved with increasing sequence identity to the available high-resolution templates. We found that C. salei has orthologous γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), GluCl, pHCl, HisCl and nAChα LGIC subunits to other arthropods, but some subgroups are specific to arachnids, or only to spiders. C. salei sequences were phylogenetically closest to gene fragments from the social spider, Stegodyphus mimosarum, indicating high conservation within the Araneomorphae suborder of spiders. C. salei sequences had similar ligand binding and transmembrane regions to other invertebrate and vertebrate LGICs. They also had motifs associated with high sensitivity to insecticides and antiparasitic agents such as fipronil, dieldrin and ivermectin. Development of truly selective control agents for pest species will require information about the molecular

  6. Diet composition and terrestrial prey selection of the Laysan teal on Laysan Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, M.H.; Slotterback, J.W.; Walters, J.R.

    2006-01-01

    The Laysan teal (Anas laysanensis) is an endangered dabbling duck endemic to the Hawaiian Archipelago but currently restricted to a single breeding population on Laysan Island. We studied its diet using fecal analysis and behavioral observations. Laysan teal fecal samples (N=118) contained prey items in 15 primary prey categories with a mean of 2.9 (range 0-7) taxa per sample. Sixty-two of these fecal samples were quantified with 2,270 prey items identified (mean items per sample 37; range 0-205). Based on fecal analysis and behavioral observations, we learned that the Laysan teal is not strictly a macroinsectivore as previously reported, but consumed seeds, succulent leaves, and algae, in addition to adult and larval diptera, ants, lepidoptera, coleoptera, and Artemia. We compared abundance of invertebrates from two terrestrial foraging substrates, soil and standing vegetation, to the abundance of invertebrate prey items counted in fecal samples collected from these habitats for the same period. In the soil substrate, Laysan teal selected two of the most abundant invertebrates, lepidoptera larvae and coleoptera. In the standing vegetation, Laysan teal selected the most abundant taxa: coleoptera. Amphipods were consumed in proportion to their abundance, and small gastropods (Tornatellides sp.), isopods, and arachnids were avoided or were identified in fecal matter in disproportion to their abundance in the foraging habitat. We compared fecal composition of samples collected in aquatic and terrestrial habitats and detected significant differences in samples' species compositions. The conservation implications of the adult Laysan teal's diet are positive, since results indicate that the Laysan teal are opportunistic insectivores, and exhibit dietary flexibility that includes seeds and other food. Dietary flexibility improves the possibility of successfully reestablishing populations on other predator-free islands.

  7. Resistance of Cultivated Tomato to Cell Content-Feeding Herbivores Is Regulated by the Octadecanoid-Signaling Pathway1

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chuanyou; Williams, Mark M.; Loh, Ying-Tsu; Lee, Gyu In; Howe, Gregg A.

    2002-01-01

    The octadecanoid signaling pathway has been shown to play an important role in plant defense against various chewing insects and some pathogenic fungi. Here, we examined the interaction of a cell-content feeding arachnid herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch), with cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and an isogenic mutant line (defenseless-1 [def-1]) that is deficient in the biosynthesis of the octadecanoid pathway-derived signal, jasmonic acid (JA). Spider mite feeding and fecundity on def-1 plants was significantly greater than on wild-type plants. Decreased resistance of def-1 plants was correlated with reduced JA accumulation and expression of defensive proteinase inhibitor (PI) genes, which were induced in mite-damaged wild-type leaves. Treatment of def-1 plants with methyl-JA restored resistance to spider mite feeding and reduced the fecundity of female mites. Plants expressing a 35S::prosystemin transgene that constitutively activates the octadecanoid pathway in a Def-1-dependent manner were highly resistant to attack by spider mites and western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), another cell-content feeder of economic importance. These findings indicate that activation of the octadecanoid signaling pathway promotes resistance of tomato to a broad spectrum of herbivores. The techniques of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and bulk segregant analysis were used to map the Def-1 gene to a region on the long arm of chromosome 3 that is genetically separable from the map position of known JA biosynthetic genes. Tight linkage of Def-1 to a T-DNA insertion harboring the maize (Zea mays) Dissociation transposable element suggests a strategy for directed transposon tagging of the gene. PMID:12226528

  8. Predatory Ground Beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae) of the Gaoligong Mountain Region of Western Yunnan Province, China: the Tribe Cyclosomini

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cueva-Dabkoski, M.; Kavanaugh, D.

    2013-12-01

    Between 1998 and 2007, the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) was the lead institution in a multi-national, multi-disciplinary biodiversity inventory project in the Gaoligong Shan region (GLGS) in the Yunnan province of China. The project surveyed the species diversity of both higher plants and bryophytes, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and selected groups of arachnids and insects. The GLGS of China is one of the most biodiverse areas in all of Asia, yet it is also very poorly sampled and in great threat from increasing human activities in the region. CAS's biodiversity inventory project there has increased the number of carabid species known from just 50 to more than 550 species, an eleven-fold increase. The task that remains is to identify all of those 500 additional species and describe any that are new to science. This project is part of that larger biodiversity survey. Our objective was to identify and/or describe carabid beetles of the tribe Cyclosomini represented by nearly a hundred specimens collected in the GLSG. Among those specimens, six morphospecies were identified - one belonging to the genus Cyclosomus Latreille 1829, and the other five belonging to the genus Tetragonoderus Dejean 1829. Following this initial identification process, a list of known distributions of taxa in both genera was assembled to determine which described species to consider for comparative work. Original descriptions were then located for candidate species with known distributions in or near the GLGS; and these are being used now in morphological comparison of specimens. Type specimens for each of the candidate species have been requested from various academic institutions, and morphological comparisons with these types are underway. Morphological characteristics being examined include body proportions and overall shape, color of appendages, color and shape of pronotum, elytral color patterns, and shape and internal structure of male genitalia.

  9. Characterization of the immune response of domestic fowl following immunization with proteins extracted from Dermanyssus gallinae.

    PubMed

    Harrington, David; Din, Hatem Mohi El; Guy, Jonathan; Robinson, Karen; Sparagano, Olivier

    2009-03-23

    Dermanyssus gallinae is the most significant ectoparasite of European poultry egg laying production systems due to high costs of control and associated production losses as well as adverse effects on bird welfare. In this study, soluble proteins were extracted from unfed D. gallinae (DGE) using a urea-based detergent and ultra-filtration, passed through a 0.22 microm filter and blended aseptically with adjuvant. One group of laying hens was immunized with DGE and adjuvant (Montanide ISA 50 V) whilst another group (Control) received physiological saline and adjuvant. All birds were immunized on two occasions, 21 days apart. Antibody response to immunization was determined by ELISA and western blotting using immunoglobulins (Igs) extracted from egg yolk. DGE immunization of hens resulted in a significant (P<0.05) IgY response compared to controls, although there was no significant difference in IgM response between treatments. A number of proteins were identified by western blotting using IgY antibodies from DGE immunized birds, most prominently at 40 and 230kDa. Analysis of proteins from approximately corresponding bands on SDS-PAGE confirmed the identity of tropomyosin, whilst other proteins showed high sequence homology with myosin and actin from other arachnid and insect species. Immunization of hens with DGE resulted in a 50.6% increase in mite mortality (P<0.001) 17h after feeding when tested by an in vitro mite feeding model. Data in this study demonstrate that somatic antigens from D. gallinae can be used to stimulate a protective immune response in laying hens. Further work is needed to identify other proteins of interest that could confer higher protection against D. gallinae, as well as optimization of the vaccination and in vitro testing protocol.

  10. Biochemical, Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of Digestion in the Scorpion Tityus serrulatus: Insights into Function and Evolution of Digestion in an Ancient Arthropod

    PubMed Central

    Fuzita, Felipe J.; Pinkse, Martijn W. H.; Patane, José S. L.; Juliano, Maria A.; Verhaert, Peter D. E. M.; Lopes, Adriana R.

    2015-01-01

    , a large gene duplication of cathepsin L occurred in Arachnida with the sequences from ticks being completely divergent from other arachnids probably due to the particular selective pressures over this group. PMID:25875018

  11. Functional characterisation of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α subunit from the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus☆

    PubMed Central

    Lees, Kristin; Jones, Andrew K.; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B.; Woods, Debra J.; Bowman, Alan S.

    2014-01-01

    Ticks and tick-borne diseases have a major impact on human and animal health worldwide. Current control strategies rely heavily on the use of chemical acaricides, most of which target the CNS and with increasing resistance, new drugs are urgently needed. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are targets of highly successful insecticides. We isolated a full-length nAChR α subunit from a normalised cDNA library from the synganglion (brain) of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Phylogenetic analysis has shown this R. sanguineus nAChR to be most similar to the insect α1 nAChR group and has been named Rsanα1. Rsanα1 is distributed in multiple tick tissues and is present across all life-stages. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes Rsanα1 failed to function as a homomer, with and without the addition of either Caenorhabditis elegans resistance-to-cholinesterase (RIC)-3 or X. laevis RIC-3. When co-expressed with chicken β2 nAChR, Rsanα1 evoked concentration-dependent, inward currents in response to acetylcholine (ACh) and showed sensitivity to nicotine (100 μM) and choline (100 μM). Rsanα1/β2 was insensitive to both imidacloprid (100 μM) and spinosad (100 μM). The unreliable expression of Rsanα1 in vitro suggests that additional subunits or chaperone proteins may be required for more robust expression. This study enhances our understanding of nAChRs in arachnids and may provide a basis for further studies on the interaction of compounds with the tick nAChR as part of a discovery process for novel acaricides. PMID:24291321

  12. Identification and Structural-Functional Analysis of Cyclin-Dependent Kinases of the Cattle Tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Helga; Romeiro, Nelilma C.; Braz, Gloria R. C.; de Oliveira, Eduardo Alves Gamosa; Rodrigues, Camilla; da Fonseca, Rodrigo Nunes; Githaka, Naftaly; Isezaki, Masayoshi; Konnai, Satoru; Ohashi, Kazuhiko; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara; Logullo, Carlos; Moraes, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases essential for cell cycle progression. Herein, we describe the participation of CDKs in the physiology of Rhipicephalus microplus, the southern cattle tick and an important disease vector. Firstly, amino acid sequences homologous with CDKs of other organisms were identified from a R. microplus transcriptome database in silico. The analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of CDK1 and CDK10 from R. microplus showed that both have caspase-3/7 cleavage motifs despite their differences in motif position and length of encoded proteins. CDK1 has two motifs (DKRGD and SAKDA) located opposite to the ATP binding site while CDK10 has only one motif (SLLDN) for caspase 3–7 near the ATP binding site. Roscovitine (Rosco), a purine derivative that inhibits CDK/cyclin complexes by binding to the catalytic domain of the CDK molecule at the ATP binding site, which prevents the transfer of ATP's γphosphoryl group to the substrate. To determine the effect of Rosco on tick CDKs, BME26 cells derived from R. microplus embryo cells were utilized in vitro inhibition assays. Cell viability decreased in the Rosco-treated groups after 24 hours of incubation in a concentration-dependent manner and this was observed up to 48 hours following incubation. To our knowledge, this is the first report on characterization of a cell cycle protein in arachnids, and the sensitivity of BME26 tick cell line to Rosco treatment suggests that CDKs are potential targets for novel drug design to control tick infestation. PMID:24146826

  13. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the spider habronattus oregonensis reveals rearranged and extremely truncated tRNAs

    SciTech Connect

    Masta, Susan E.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-31

    We sequenced the entire mitochondrial genome of the jumping spider Habronattus oregonensis of the arachnid order Araneae (Arthropoda: Chelicerata). A number of unusual features distinguish this genome from other chelicerate and arthropod mitochondrial genomes. Most of the transfer RNA gene sequences are greatly reduced in size and cannot be folded into typical cloverleaf-shaped secondary structures. At least nine of the tRNA sequences lack the potential to form TYC arm stem pairings, and instead are inferred to have TV-replacement loops. Furthermore, sequences that could encode the 3' aminoacyl acceptor stems in at least 10 tRNAs appear to be lacking, because fully paired acceptor stems are not possible and because the downstream sequences instead encode adjacent genes. Hence, these appear to be among the smallest known tRNA genes. We postulate that an RNA editing mechanism must exist to restore the 3' aminoacyl acceptor stems in order to allow the tRNAs to function. At least seven tRN As are rearranged with respect to the chelicerate Limulus polyphemus, although the arrangement of the protein-coding genes is identical. Most mitochondrial protein-coding genes of H. oregonensis have ATN as initiation codons, as commonly found in arthropod mtDNAs, but cytochrome oxidase subunit 2 and 3 genes apparently use UUG as an initiation codon. Finally, many of the gene sequences overlap one another and are truncated. This 14,381 bp genome, the first mitochondrial genome of a spider yet sequenced, is one of the smallest arthropod mitochondrial genomes known. We suggest that post transcriptional RNA editing can likely maintain function of the tRNAs while permitting the accumulation of mutations that would otherwise be deleterious. Such mechanisms may have allowed for the minimization of the spider mitochondrial genome.

  14. Genome Sequencing of the Phytoseiid Predatory Mite Metaseiulus occidentalis Reveals Completely Atomized Hox Genes and Superdynamic Intron Evolution.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Marjorie A; Waterhouse, Robert M; Wu, Ke; Estep, Alden S; Ioannidis, Panagiotis; Palmer, William J; Pomerantz, Aaron F; Simão, Felipe A; Thomas, Jainy; Jiggins, Francis M; Murphy, Terence D; Pritham, Ellen J; Robertson, Hugh M; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Gibbs, Richard A; Richards, Stephen

    2016-06-27

    Metaseiulus occidentalis is an eyeless phytoseiid predatory mite employed for the biological control of agricultural pests including spider mites. Despite appearances, these predator and prey mites are separated by some 400 Myr of evolution and radically different lifestyles. We present a 152-Mb draft assembly of the M. occidentalis genome: Larger than that of its favored prey, Tetranychus urticae, but considerably smaller than those of many other chelicerates, enabling an extremely contiguous and complete assembly to be built-the best arachnid to date. Aided by transcriptome data, genome annotation cataloged 18,338 protein-coding genes and identified large numbers of Helitron transposable elements. Comparisons with other arthropods revealed a particularly dynamic and turbulent genomic evolutionary history. Its genes exhibit elevated molecular evolution, with strikingly high numbers of intron gains and losses, in stark contrast to the deer tick Ixodes scapularis Uniquely among examined arthropods, this predatory mite's Hox genes are completely atomized, dispersed across the genome, and it encodes five copies of the normally single-copy RNA processing Dicer-2 gene. Examining gene families linked to characteristic biological traits of this tiny predator provides initial insights into processes of sex determination, development, immune defense, and how it detects, disables, and digests its prey. As the first reference genome for the Phytoseiidae, and for any species with the rare sex determination system of parahaploidy, the genome of the western orchard predatory mite improves genomic sampling of chelicerates and provides invaluable new resources for functional genomic analyses of this family of agriculturally important mites. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  15. Biochemical, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of digestion in the scorpion Tityus serrulatus: insights into function and evolution of digestion in an ancient arthropod.

    PubMed

    Fuzita, Felipe J; Pinkse, Martijn W H; Patane, José S L; Juliano, Maria A; Verhaert, Peter D E M; Lopes, Adriana R

    2015-01-01

    , a large gene duplication of cathepsin L occurred in Arachnida with the sequences from ticks being completely divergent from other arachnids probably due to the particular selective pressures over this group.

  16. The Unique Morgue Ubiquitination Protein Is Conserved in a Diverse but Restricted Set of Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ying; Carpenter, Zachary W.; Brennan, Gregory

    2009-01-01

    Drosophila Morgue is a unique ubiquitination protein that facilitates programmed cell death and associates with DIAP1, a critical cell death inhibitor with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Morgue possesses a unique combination of functional domains typically associated with distinct types of ubiquitination enzymes. This includes an F box characteristic of the substrate-binding subunit in Skp, Cullin, and F box (SCF)-type ubiquitin E3 ligase complexes and a variant ubiquitin E2 conjugase domain where the active site cysteine is replaced by a glycine. Morgue also contains a single C4-type zinc finger motif. This architecture suggests potentially novel ubiquitination activities for Morgue. In this study, we address the evolutionary origins of this distinctive protein utilizing a combination of bioinformatics and molecular biology approaches. We find that Morgue exhibits widespread but restricted phylogenetic distribution among metazoans. Morgue proteins were identified in a wide range of Protostome phyla, including Arthropoda, Annelida, Mollusca, Nematoda, and Platyhelminthes. However, with one potential exception, Morgue was not detected in Deuterostomes, including Chordates, Hemichordates, or Echinoderms. Morgue was also not found in Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Placozoa, or Porifera. Characterization of Morgue sequences within specific animal lineages suggests that gene deletion or acquisition has occurred during divergence of nematodes and that at least one arachnid expresses an atypical form of Morgue consisting only of the variant E2 conjugase domain. Analysis of the organization of several morgue genes suggests that exon-shuffling events have contributed to the evolution of the Morgue protein. These results suggest that Morgue mediates conserved and distinctive ubiquitination functions in specific cell death pathways. PMID:19602541

  17. The effect of model choice on phylogenetic inference using mitochondrial sequence data: lessons from the scorpions.

    PubMed

    Jones, Martin; Gantenbein, Benjamin; Fet, Victor; Blaxter, Mark

    2007-05-01

    Chelicerates are a diverse group of arthropods, with around 65,000 described species occupying a wide range of habitats. Many phylogenies describing the relationships between the various chelicerate orders have been proposed. While some relationships are widely accepted, others remain contentious. To increase the taxonomic sampling of species available for phylogenetic study based on mitochondrial genomes we produced the nearly complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the scorpion Mesobuthus gibbosus. Mitochondrial gene order in M. gibbosus largely mirrors that in Limulus polyphemus but tRNA secondary structures are truncated. A recent analysis argued that independent reversal of mitochondrial genome strand-bias in several groups of arthropods, including spiders and scorpions, could compromise phylogenetic reconstruction and proposed an evolutionary model that excludes mutational events caused by strand-bias (Neutral Transitions Excluded, NTE). An arthropod dataset of six mitochondrial genes, when analyzed under NTE, yields strong support for scorpions as sister taxon to the rest of Chelicerata. We investigated the robustness of this result by exploring the effect of adding additional chelicerate genes and taxa and comparing the phylogenies obtained under different models. We find evidence that (1) placement of scorpions arising at the base of the Chelicerata is an artifact of model mis-specification and scorpions are strongly supported as basal arachnids and (2) an expanded chelicerate dataset finds support for several proposed interordinal relationships (ticks plus mites [Acari] and spiders plus whip spiders plus whip scorpions [Araneae+Pedipalpi]). Mitochondrial sequence data are subject to systematic bias that is positively misleading for evolutionary inference and thus extreme methodological care must be taken when using them to infer phylogenies.

  18. Australian wolf spider bites (Lycosidae): clinical effects and influence of species on bite circumstances.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Framenau, Volker W

    2004-01-01

    Necrotic arachnidism continues to be attributed to wolf spider bites. This study investigates the clinical effects of bites by wolf spiders in Australia (family Lycosidae). Subjects were recruited prospectively from February 1999 to April 2001 from participating emergency departments or state poison information centers. Subjects were included if they had a definite bite by a wolf spider and had collected the spider, which was later identified by an arachnologist. Spiders were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible and cephalothorax width was measured to correlate bite effects and spider size. There were 45 definite wolf spider bites (23 male and 22 female patients; age range 1 to 69 years, median age 28 years). Species level identifications (14 species) were possible for 31 of 43 spiders belonging to seven different generic groupings. Most bites were by spiders from four generic groupings, Tasmanicosa (including 'Lycosa') (15), Venatrix (8), Venator (10), and Hogna (7). Bites occurred more commonly in south-eastern Australia and occurred throughout the year, with 7 bites (16%) in late autumn or winter. In 7 cases (16%) the person was swimming in or cleaning a pool. Seventy-two percent of bites occurred on distal parts of limbs. Pain occurred in all bites and was severe in 11 cases (24%), with a median duration of 10 min (IQR: 2-60 min). Other effects included puncture marks/bleeding (33%), swelling (20%), redness (67%), and itchiness (13%). Minor systemic effects occurred in three patients (7%): nausea (two), headache (one) and malaise (one). There were no cases of necrotic ulcers [0%; 97.5% CI 0-8%]. Tasmanicosa spider bites caused significantly more itchiness and redness, and large spiders (>5 mm) more often caused severe pain and left fang marks. Wolf spider bites cause minor effects, no more severe than most other spiders, and do not appear to cause necrotic ulcers. The effects are likely to be due to mechanical injury, although minor local

  19. National Estimates of Noncanine Bite and Sting Injuries Treated in US Hospital Emergency Departments, 2001–2010

    PubMed Central

    Langley, Ricky; Mack, Karin; Haileyesus, Tadesse; Proescholdbell, Scott; Annest, Joseph L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Injuries resulting from contact with animals and insects are a significant public health concern. This study quantifies nonfatal bite and sting injuries by noncanine sources using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP). Methods The NEISS-AIP is an ongoing nationally representative surveillance system used to monitor all types and causes of injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments (EDs). Cases were coded by trained hospital coders using information from medical records on animal and insect sources of bite and sting injuries being treated. Data were weighted to produce national annualized estimates, percentages, and rates based on the US population. Results From 2001 to 2010 an estimated 10.1 million people visited EDs for noncanine bite and sting injuries, based on an unweighted case count of 169,010. This translates to a rate of 340.1 per 100,000 people (95% CI, 232.9–447.3). Insects accounted for 67.5% (95% CI, 45.8–89.2) of bite and sting injuries, followed by arachnids 20.8% (95% CI, 13.8–27.9). The estimated number of ED visits for bedbug bite injuries increased more than 7-fold—from 2156 visits in 2007 to 15,945 visits in 2010. Conclusions This study provides an update of national estimates of noncanine bite and sting injuries and describes the diversity of animal exposures based on a national sample of EDs. Treatment of nonfatal bite and sting injuries are costly to society. Direct medical and work time lost translates to an estimated $7.5 billion annually. PMID:24433776

  20. Lyriform slit sense organs on the pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders.

    PubMed

    Patil, Bhavani; Prabhu, Suphala; Rajashekhar, K P

    2006-03-01

    Lyriform slits sense organs (LSSO) are a precise assembly of stress detecting cuticular slit sensilla found on the appendages of arachnids. While these structures on the legs of the wandering spider Cupennius salei are well studied in terms of morphology, function and contribution to behaviour, their distribution on pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders is not well explored. A study was therefore carried out to observe the distribution of LSSO on pedipalps and spinnerets of some spider species. Haplogyne spiders belonging to family Pholcidae have a simple complement of LSSOs represented by one or two LSSOs on their femur. The entelegyne spiders possess a complex assembly of LSSOs on the distal segments of their pedipalps. Various types of LSSOs are found on the pedipalps indicating a capacity for analysis of complex cuticular stress. It is suggested that the complexity of LSSOs on pedipalps of entel-egyne spiders relates to courtship and spermatophore transfer and may help in reproductive isolation. Lack of LSSOs on the distal segments of pedipalps leads us to infer that unlike legs, pedipalps are less likely to receive vibratory input through their distal segments. Spinnerets have a relatively simple complement of LSSOs. One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneid Argiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms of LSSOs on the spinnerets and LSSOs are simple in nature (type A), it is likely that spinning and weaving are not largely regulated by sensory input from LSSOs on the spinnerets.

  1. Transcriptome Analysis of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Spider Cupiennius salei Reveals Multiple Putative Cys-Loop Ligand Gated Ion Channel Subunits and an Acetylcholine Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Torkkeli, Päivi H.; Liu, Hongxia; French, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Invertebrates possess a diverse collection of pentameric Cys-loop ligand gated ion channel (LGIC) receptors whose molecular structures, evolution and relationships to mammalian counterparts have been intensely investigated in several clinically and agriculturally important species. These receptors are targets for a variety of control agents that may also harm beneficial species. However, little is known about Cys-loop receptors in spiders, which are important natural predators of insects. We assembled de novo transcriptomes from the central and peripheral nervous systems of the Central American wandering spider Cupiennius salei, a model species for neurophysiological, behavioral and developmental studies. We found 15 Cys-loop receptor subunits that are expected to form anion or cation permeable channels, plus a putative acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) that has only previously been reported in molluscs and one annelid. We used phylogenetic and sequence analysis to compare the spider subunits to homologous receptors in other species and predicted the 3D structures of each protein using the I-Tasser server. The quality of homology models improved with increasing sequence identity to the available high-resolution templates. We found that C. salei has orthologous γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), GluCl, pHCl, HisCl and nAChα LGIC subunits to other arthropods, but some subgroups are specific to arachnids, or only to spiders. C. salei sequences were phylogenetically closest to gene fragments from the social spider, Stegodyphus mimosarum, indicating high conservation within the Araneomorphae suborder of spiders. C. salei sequences had similar ligand binding and transmembrane regions to other invertebrate and vertebrate LGICs. They also had motifs associated with high sensitivity to insecticides and antiparasitic agents such as fipronil, dieldrin and ivermectin. Development of truly selective control agents for pest species will require information about the molecular

  2. A case of zootherapy with the tarantula Brachypelma vagans Ausserer, 1875 in traditional medicine of the Chol Mayan ethnic group in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Machkour-M'Rabet, Salima; Hénaut, Yann; Winterton, Peter; Rojo, Roberto

    2011-03-30

    In practically every human culture, the use of arthropods as medicinal resources has been reported. In Mexico, the Mayan people mainly use plants but occasionally also animals and minerals in their medicine. This article is the first to report the traditional use of the tarantula Brachypelma vagans by medicine men in the Chol community, an ancient indigenous group that inhabits the southeastern part of Mexico. We also describe the utility of such arachnids in traditional medicine. This study was carried out in different Chol communities in the states of Chiapas and Campeche (southeastern Mexico) from 2003 until 2007. We interviewed the local medicine men, patients and non-Chol people in each village visited to collect information about the rituals involved and the effectiveness of this traditional medicine and also their opinion of this traditional medicine. In all independent villages, the people who present an illness called 'aire de tarantula' or tarantula wind with symptoms including chest pain, coughing and asthma, were treated by the medicine man (called 'hierbatero') with a tarantula-based beverage. From village to village, the beverage has a similar base composition but some variations occur in additional ingredients depending on the individual medicine man. Like in all traditional Mayan medicine, the ritual of the ceremony consists of drinking the tarantula-based beverage and this is principally accompanied by chants and burning of incense. The recipe of the tarantula-based beverage and the procedure of this ritual ceremony were fairly constant in all the villages visited. Our work shows that despite the tarantula's bad image in several cultures, in others positive use is made of these spiders, as in modern medicine.

  3. Genome Sequencing of the Phytoseiid Predatory Mite Metaseiulus occidentalis Reveals Completely Atomized Hox Genes and Superdynamic Intron Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hoy, Marjorie A.; Waterhouse, Robert M.; Wu, Ke; Estep, Alden S.; Ioannidis, Panagiotis; Palmer, William J.; Pomerantz, Aaron F.; Simão, Felipe A.; Thomas, Jainy; Jiggins, Francis M.; Murphy, Terence D.; Pritham, Ellen J.; Robertson, Hugh M.; Zdobnov, Evgeny M.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Richards, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Metaseiulus occidentalis is an eyeless phytoseiid predatory mite employed for the biological control of agricultural pests including spider mites. Despite appearances, these predator and prey mites are separated by some 400 Myr of evolution and radically different lifestyles. We present a 152-Mb draft assembly of the M. occidentalis genome: Larger than that of its favored prey, Tetranychus urticae, but considerably smaller than those of many other chelicerates, enabling an extremely contiguous and complete assembly to be built—the best arachnid to date. Aided by transcriptome data, genome annotation cataloged 18,338 protein-coding genes and identified large numbers of Helitron transposable elements. Comparisons with other arthropods revealed a particularly dynamic and turbulent genomic evolutionary history. Its genes exhibit elevated molecular evolution, with strikingly high numbers of intron gains and losses, in stark contrast to the deer tick Ixodes scapularis. Uniquely among examined arthropods, this predatory mite’s Hox genes are completely atomized, dispersed across the genome, and it encodes five copies of the normally single-copy RNA processing Dicer-2 gene. Examining gene families linked to characteristic biological traits of this tiny predator provides initial insights into processes of sex determination, development, immune defense, and how it detects, disables, and digests its prey. As the first reference genome for the Phytoseiidae, and for any species with the rare sex determination system of parahaploidy, the genome of the western orchard predatory mite improves genomic sampling of chelicerates and provides invaluable new resources for functional genomic analyses of this family of agriculturally important mites. PMID:26951779

  4. The mitochondrial genome of the house centipede scutigera and the monophyly versus paraphyly of myriapods.

    PubMed

    Negrisolo, Enrico; Minelli, Alessandro; Valle, Giorgio

    2004-04-01

    Recent advances in molecular phylogenetics are continuously changing our perception of the phylogenetic relationships among the main arthropod lineages: crustaceans, hexapods, chelicerates, and myriapods. Besides the intrinsic interest in unraveling the evolution of the largest animal phylum, these studies are basic to an understanding of one of the major transitions in animal evolution-i.e., the conquest of land with all its associated structural and functional adaptations. Myriapods have been traditionally considered the closest relatives of hexapods, thus implying only one origin of terrestriality for the tracheate lineage, but this view is now challenged by molecular evidence. Sequence data available to date for centipedes and millipedes are very limited, and the taxon sampling is strongly biased. The most critical gap was the scutigeromorph centipedes, which are the sister group to all remaining Chilopoda from which they probably diverged in the Silurian if not earlier. We obtained the first complete mitochondrial sequence for a representative of this clade, the house centipede. In our phylogenetic analyses of the protein-coding genes in this mitochondrial genome, along with 16 further ones representing the other major arthropod clades plus two outgroups, the myriapods formed a clade with the chelicerates. This implies that water-to-land transition occurred at least three times (hexapods, myriapods, arachnids) during the evolution of the Arthropoda. In addition, in contrast to all previous studies, our best supported topologies favor paraphyly of the myriapods with respect to the chelicerates. This would increase to four the main events of land colonization in arthropods (once for centipedes, once for millipedes).

  5. Characterization of soil microarthropod communities in Italian beech forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, F. D.; Menta, C.; Piovesan, G.

    2009-04-01

    The contribution of soil organisms to ecosystem functions such as decomposition, nutrient recycling and the maintenance of physico-chemical properties is well recognised, as is the fact that soil fauna plays an important role in the formation and stabilisation of soil structure. The diversity of soil fauna includes a quarter of described living species, the majority of which are insects and arachnids. Soil fauna plays an essential role in forests and agro-ecosystems by maintaining their functionality and productivity. The aim of this study is to evaluate the biodiversity of soil microarthropods communities in different Italian beech forest. Particular attention is paid to the role of fossorial microarthropods in the maintenance of soil structure and in the organic matter movements. Three beech forests are studied, two located in the North and one in the Centre of Italy. Microarthropods are extracted from litter and soil with a Berlese-Tullgren funnel, identified to order level (class level for myriapods) and counted using a microscope. Relative order abundance and biodiversity are expressed using the Shannon-Weaver diversity index (H) and evenness index (J). Soil biological quality is expressed using the QBS-ar index and Acari/Collembola ratio. The results show a richness of microarthropods: several orders, till 19 different groups, are determined and identified. Acari and collembola are the main represented taxa and, especially in litter samples, pseudoscorpions, different specimens of diplopods (or millipedes) and chilopods (centipedes) are found. Thus the presence in particular of diplopods offers the possibility of studying fossorial microarthropods functions in detail. Furthermore, both in soil and in litter samples, adapted groups are recognized, such as pauropods, symphyla, proturans and diplurans, with specific morphological characteristics that these species suited to soil habitat. Therefore they attest a good level of soil quality and high natural value

  6. Homology of head sclerites in Burgess Shale euarthropods.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Hernández, Javier

    2015-06-15

    The Cambrian fossil record of euarthropods (extant arachnids, myriapods, crustaceans, hexapods) has played a major role in understanding the origins of these successful animals and indicates that early ancestors underwent an evolutionary transition from soft-bodied taxa (lobopodians) to more familiar sclerotized forms with jointed appendages [1-3]. Recent advances in paleoneurology and developmental biology show that this major transformation is reflected by substantial changes in the head region of early euarthropods, as informed by the segmental affinity of the cephalic appendages [1, 4-6]. However, data on the implications of this reorganization for non-appendicular exoskeletal structures are lacking, given the difficulty of inferring the precise segmental affinities of these features. Here, I report neurological remains associated with the stalked eyes and "anterior sclerite" in the (middle Cambrian) Burgess Shale euarthropods Helmetia expansa and Odaraia alata and provide evidence that these features are associated with nerve traces originating from the anterior brain region, the protocerebrum. The position of the protocerebral ganglia in exceptionally preserved Cambrian euarthropods indicates the homology of the anterior sclerite in extinct groups (e.g., fuxianhuiids, bivalved forms, artiopodans [7, 8]) and allows new comparisons with the dorsal cephalic plate of radiodontans, large nektonic predators whose anterior segmental organization bears fundamental similarities to that of Paleozoic lobopodians [1, 6, 9, 10]. These observations allow reconstruction of the segmental architecture of the head region in the earliest sclerotized euarthropods and demonstrate the deep homology between exoskeletal features in an evolutionary continuum of taxa with distinct types of body organization.

  7. Spintharus flavidus in the Caribbean—a 30 million year biogeographical history and radiation of a ‘widespread species’

    PubMed Central

    Dziki, Austin; Binford, Greta J.; Coddington, Jonathan A.

    2015-01-01

    The Caribbean island biota is characterized by high levels of endemism, the result of an interplay between colonization opportunities on islands and effective oceanic barriers among them. A relatively small percentage of the biota is represented by ‘widespread species,’ presumably taxa for which oceanic barriers are ineffective. Few studies have explored in detail the genetic structure of widespread Caribbean taxa. The cobweb spider Spintharus flavidus Hentz, 1850 (Theridiidae) is one of two described Spintharus species and is unique in being widely distributed from northern N. America to Brazil and throughout the Caribbean. As a taxonomic hypothesis, Spintharus “flavidus” predicts maintenance of gene flow among Caribbean islands, a prediction that seems contradicted by known S. flavidus biology, which suggests limited dispersal ability. As part of an extensive survey of Caribbean arachnids (project CarBio), we conducted the first molecular phylogenetic analysis of S. flavidus with the primary goal of testing the ‘widespread species’ hypothesis. Our results, while limited to three molecular loci, reject the hypothesis of a single widespread species. Instead this lineage seems to represent a radiation with at least 16 species in the Caribbean region. Nearly all are short range endemics with several distinct mainland groups and others are single island endemics. While limited taxon sampling, with a single specimen from S. America, constrains what we can infer about the biogeographical history of the lineage, clear patterns still emerge. Consistent with limited overwater dispersal, we find evidence for a single colonization of the Caribbean about 30 million years ago, coinciding with the timing of the GAARLandia landbridge hypothesis. In sum, S. “flavidus” is not a single species capable of frequent overwater dispersal, but rather a 30 my old radiation of single island endemics that provides preliminary support for a complex and contested geological

  8. Origin and evolution of the panarthropod head - A palaeobiological and developmental perspective.

    PubMed

    Ortega-Hernández, Javier; Janssen, Ralf; Budd, Graham E

    2016-12-18

    The panarthropod head represents a complex body region that has evolved through the integration and functional specialization of the anterior appendage-bearing segments. Advances in the developmental biology of diverse extant organisms have led to a substantial clarity regarding the relationships of segmental homology between Onychophora (velvet worms), Tardigrada (water bears), and Euarthropoda (e.g. arachnids, myriapods, crustaceans, hexapods). The improved understanding of the segmental organization in panarthropods offers a novel perspective for interpreting the ubiquitous Cambrian fossil record of these successful animals. A combined palaeobiological and developmental approach to the study of the panarthropod head through deep time leads us to propose a consensus hypothesis for the intricate evolutionary history of this important tagma. The contribution of exceptionally preserved brains in Cambrian fossils - together with the recognition of segmentally informative morphological characters - illuminate the polarity for major anatomical features. The euarthropod stem-lineage provides a detailed view of the step-wise acquisition of critical characters, including the origin of a multiappendicular head formed by the fusion of several segments, and the transformation of the ancestral protocerebral limb pair into the labrum, following the postero-ventral migration of the mouth opening. Stem-group onychophorans demonstrate an independent ventral migration of the mouth and development of a multisegmented head, as well as the differentiation of the deutocerebral limbs as expressed in extant representatives. The anterior organization of crown-group Tardigrada retains several ancestral features, such as an anterior-facing mouth and one-segmented head. The proposed model aims to clarify contentious issues on the evolution of the panarthropod head, and lays the foundation from which to further address this complex subject in the future.

  9. Environmental metabarcodes for insects: in silico PCR reveals potential for taxonomic bias.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Laurence J; Soubrier, Julien; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2014-11-01

    Studies of insect assemblages are suited to the simultaneous DNA-based identification of multiple taxa known as metabarcoding. To obtain accurate estimates of diversity, metabarcoding markers ideally possess appropriate taxonomic coverage to avoid PCR-amplification bias, as well as sufficient sequence divergence to resolve species. We used in silico PCR to compare the taxonomic coverage and resolution of newly designed insect metabarcodes (targeting 16S) with that of existing markers [16S and cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI)] and then compared their efficiency in vitro. Existing metabarcoding primers amplified in silico <75% of insect species with complete mitochondrial genomes available, whereas new primers targeting 16S provided >90% coverage. Furthermore, metabarcodes targeting COI appeared to introduce taxonomic PCR-amplification bias, typically amplifying a greater percentage of Lepidoptera and Diptera species, while failing to amplify certain orders in silico. To test whether bias predicted in silico was observed in vitro, we created an artificial DNA blend containing equal amounts of DNA from 14 species, representing 11 insect orders and one arachnid. We PCR-amplified the blend using five primer sets, targeting either COI or 16S, with high-throughput amplicon sequencing yielding more than 6 million reads. In vitro results typically corresponded to in silico PCR predictions, with newly designed 16S primers detecting 11 insect taxa present, thus providing equivalent or better taxonomic coverage than COI metabarcodes. Our results demonstrate that in silico PCR is a useful tool for predicting taxonomic bias in mixed template PCR and that researchers should be wary of potential bias when selecting metabarcoding markers. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The form of sexual selection on male genitalia cannot be inferred from within-population variance and allometry - a case study in Aquarius remigis.

    PubMed

    Bertin, Angéline; Fairbairn, Daphne J

    2007-04-01

    Male genital morphology in insects and arachnids is characterized by static hypoallometry and low intrapopulational levels of phenotypic variation relative to other male traits. The one-size-fits-all model of genital evolution attributes these patterns to stabilizing sexual selection. This model relies on the assumption that the observed patterns of variation and allometry reflect the form of sexual selection acting these traits. We test this by examining the patterns of scaling and trait variation for a set of genitalic and somatic morphological traits in male water striders (Aquarius remigis). This suite of traits is of particular interest because previous work has shown that the genitalic traits are under strong directional selection whereas the somatic traits are under either weak directional or stabilizing selection. Because the selection regime for these traits is known, we can, for the first time, test the purported relationship between trait variation, scaling, and the form of sexual selection. We show that the patterns of variation and scaling of these traits differ sharply from those predicted for traits experiencing strong directional sexual selection. Specifically, the male genital structures show static hypoallometry and low intrapopulational levels of phenotypic variation relative to other male traits, in spite of consistent, strong, directional sexual selection. These scaling relationships and levels of variation are typical of genital traits in other insect species, where they have been presumed to reflect stabilizing sexual selection. Our data clearly refute the assumption of the one-size-fits-all hypothesis that hypoallometric scaling of genitalic traits implies stabilizing selection. We discuss the implications of this finding and propose future directions for improving our current understanding of genital evolution in arthropods.

  11. Insects and allies associated with bromeliads: a review

    PubMed Central

    Frank, J. H.; Lounibos, L. P.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Bromeliads are a Neotropical plant family (Bromeliaceae) with about 2,900 described species. They vary considerably in architecture. Many impound water in their inner leaf axils to form phytotelmata (plant pools), providing habitat for terrestrial arthropods with aquatic larvae, while their outer axils provide terraria for an assemblage of fully terrestrial arthropods. Many bromeliads are epiphytic. Dominant terrestrial arthropods with aquatic larvae inhabiting bromeliad phytotelmata are typically larvae of Diptera, of which at least 16 families have been reported, but in some circumstances are Coleoptera, of which only three families have been reported. Other groups include crabs and the insect orders Odonata, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, plus Hemiptera with adults active on the water surface. The hundreds of arthropod species are detritivores or predators and do not harm their host plants. Many of them are specialists to this habitat. Terrestrial arthropods with terrestrial larvae inhabiting bromeliad terraria include many more arachnid and insect orders, but relatively few specialists to this habitat. They, too, are detritivores or predators. Arthropod herbivores, especially Curculionidae (Coleoptera) and Lepidoptera, consume leaves, stems, flowers, pollen, and roots of bromeliads. Some herbivores consume nectar, and some of these and other arthropods provide pollination and even seed-dispersal. Ants have complex relationships with bromeliads, a few being herbivores, some guarding the plants from herbivory, and some merely nesting in bromeliad terraria. A few serve as food for carnivorous bromeliads, which also consume other terrestrial insects. Bromeliads are visited by far more species of arthropods than breed in them. This is especially notable during dry seasons, when bromeliads provide moist refugia. PMID:20209047

  12. Phenoptosis in arthropods and immortality of social insects.

    PubMed

    Kartsev, V M

    2014-10-01

    In general, there are no drastic differences in phenoptosis patterns in plant and animal organisms. However, there are some specific features characteristic for insects and other arthropods: 1) their development includes metamorphosis with different biochemical laws at consecutive developmental stages; 2) arthropods can reduce or stop development and aging when in a state of diapause or temporal cold immobility; 3) their life cycle often correlates with seasonal changes of surroundings; 4) polymorphism is widespread - conspecifics differ by their lifespans and phenoptosis features; 5) lifespan-related sexual dimorphism is common; 6) significant situational plasticity of life cycle organization is an important feature; for example, the German wasp (Paravespula germanica) is obligatorily univoltine in the temperate zone, while in tropical regions its lifespan increases and leads to repeated reproduction; 7) life cycles of closely related species may differ significantly, for example, in contrast to German wasp, some tropical hornets (Vespa) have only one reproduction period. Surprisingly, many insect species have been shown to be subjected to gradual aging and phenoptosis, like the highest mammals. However, queens of social insects and some long-lived arachnids can apparently be considered non-aging organisms. In some species, lifespan is limited to one season, while others live much longer or shorter. Cases of one-time reproduction are rather rare. Aphagia is common in insects (over 10,000 species). Cannibalism is an important mortality factor in insects as well as in spiders. In social insects, which exist only in colonies (families), the lifetime of a colony can be virtually unlimited. However, in case of some species the developmental cycle and death of a colony after its completion are predetermined. Most likely, natural selection in insects does not lengthen individual lifespan, but favors increase in reproduction efficiency based on fast succession of

  13. Characterizing the biological and biochemical profile of six different scorpion venoms from the Buthidae and Scorpionidae family.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Gómez, Sebastian; Gomez-Rave, Lyz; Vargas-Muñoz, Leidy Johana; van der Meijden, Arie

    2017-05-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize six different scorpion venoms using biological and biochemical methods, including a preliminary MS/MS and a post-translational modifications analysis. Despite the diversity of scorpion species of medical importance in Africa and Colombia, the venoms of these arachnids have been poorly studied in these two regions. We report the biochemical, electrophoretic, chromatographic profile, internal peptide sequences with a post-translational modification report, and a preliminary antitumor activity of five different scorpions of the Buthidae family, Androctonus amoreuxi, Babycurus jacksoni, Grosphus grandidieri, Hottentotta gentili and Tityus fuhrmanni, and one of the Scorpionidae family Pandinus imperator. No L-amino oxidase activity was detected in the evaluated venoms. Proteolytic activity using azocasein was detected only in G. grandidieri and P. imperator, indicating the possible presence of metalloproteinases in these two venoms. Proteolytic activity using NOBA was detected in all venoms indicating the possible presence of serine-proteinases. Phospholipase A2 activity was detected in the venoms of P. imperator, G. grandidieri, H. gentili and A. amoreuxi, with P. imperator venom being the most active. All venoms analyzed contained defensin-like proteins, alpha toxins, metalloproteinases, neuropeptides, DBP affecting ion channels, DBP with antimicrobial activity, among others. Venoms from P. imperator, G. grandidieri and T. fuhrmanni showed a dose-dependent cytotoxic activity over MCF-7 cells. Only two isolated RP-HPLC fractions from P. imperator and T. fuhrmanni showed cytotoxic activity over MCF-7. No cytotoxic activity was found in the venoms from A. amoreuxi, B. jacksoni, and H. gentili.

  14. Recognition and management of common ectoparasitic diseases in travelers.

    PubMed

    Davis, Rosie F; Johnston, Graham A; Sladden, Michael J

    2009-01-01

    This review article summarizes the ectoparasitic diseases likely to be seen by a Western dermatologist. The article aims to cover both endemic diseases and those likely to present in the returning traveler. Tungiasis is due to the gravid sand flea (Tunga penetrans) embedding into the stratum corneum of a human host. As the flea is a ground dweller, lesions are usually present on the feet and are classically periungual. The sand flea is eventually shed spontaneously but to reduce the infection risk, early surgical removal is recommended. Infestation by the Diptera species of fly causes myiasis, which may be primary, secondary, or accidental. The botfly (Dermatobia hominis) is one of the causes of primary myiasis covered in this article. Traditionally, botfly larvae are forced to partially emerge by occluding the breathing apparatus, following which manual extraction can occur. Alternatively, the larvae can be surgically removed. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has experienced a resurgence over the past 10 years. Bites are typically arranged in clusters or a linear fashion and vary from urticated wheals to hemorrhagic blisters. Treatment is symptomatic with antihistamines and topical corticosteroids. In addition, bed bugs need to be eradicated from furniture and soft furnishings. Ticks are part of the Arachnid class of joint-legged animals and can transmit a variety of infections. This article briefly discusses Mediterranean spotted fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease as well as describing tick avoidance measures. Scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei var hominis) is highly contagious and widely distributed around the world. It is common in the returning traveler and can require a high index of suspicion to diagnose. The treatment of choice in the US, UK, and Australia is permethrin 5% dermal cream, applied on two occasions, 1 week apart.

  15. The spider hemolymph clot proteome reveals high concentrations of hemocyanin and von Willebrand factor-like proteins.

    PubMed

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Scavenius, Carsten; Wang, Tobias; Bilde, Trine; Enghild, Jan J

    2016-02-01

    Arthropods include chelicerates, crustaceans, and insects that all have open circulation systems and thus require different properties of their coagulation system than vertebrates. Although the clotting reaction in the chelicerate horseshoe crab (Family: Limulidae) has been described in details, the overall protein composition of the resulting clot has not been analyzed for any of the chelicerates. The largest class among the chelicerates is the arachnids, which includes spiders, ticks, mites, and scorpions. Here, we use a mass spectrometry-based approach to characterize the spider hemolymph clot proteome from the Brazilian whiteknee tarantula, Acanthoscurria geniculata. We focused on the insoluble part of the clot and demonstrated high concentrations of proteins homologous to the hemostasis-related and multimerization-prone von Willebrand factor. These proteins, which include hemolectins and vitellogenin homologous, were previously identified as essential components of the hemolymph clot in crustaceans and insects. Their presence in the spider hemolymph clot suggests that the origin of these proteins' function in coagulation predates the split between chelicerates and mandibulata. The clot proteome reveals that the major proteinaceous component is the oxygen-transporting and phenoloxidase-displaying abundant hemolymph protein hemocyanin, suggesting that this protein also plays a role in clot biology. Furthermore, quantification of the peptidome after coagulation revealed the simultaneous activation of both the innate immune system and the coagulation system. In general, many of the identified clot-proteins are related to the innate immune system, and our results support the previously suggested crosstalk between immunity and coagulation in arthropods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. National estimates of noncanine bite and sting injuries treated in US Hospital Emergency Departments, 2001-2010.

    PubMed

    Langley, Ricky; Mack, Karin; Haileyesus, Tadesse; Proescholdbell, Scott; Annest, Joseph L

    2014-03-01

    Injuries resulting from contact with animals and insects are a significant public health concern. This study quantifies nonfatal bite and sting injuries by noncanine sources using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP). The NEISS-AIP is an ongoing nationally representative surveillance system used to monitor all types and causes of injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments (EDs). Cases were coded by trained hospital coders using information from medical records on animal and insect sources of bite and sting injuries being treated. Data were weighted to produce national annualized estimates, percentages, and rates based on the US population. From 2001 to 2010 an estimated 10.1 million people visited EDs for noncanine bite and sting injuries, based on an unweighted case count of 169,010. This translates to a rate of 340.1 per 100,000 people (95% CI, 232.9-447.3). Insects accounted for 67.5% (95% CI, 45.8-89.2) of bite and sting injuries, followed by arachnids 20.8% (95% CI, 13.8-27.9). The estimated number of ED visits for bedbug bite injuries increased more than 7-fold-from 2156 visits in 2007 to 15,945 visits in 2010. This study provides an update of national estimates of noncanine bite and sting injuries and describes the diversity of animal exposures based on a national sample of EDs. Treatment of nonfatal bite and sting injuries are costly to society. Direct medical and work time lost translates to an estimated $7.5 billion annually. © 2013 Wilderness Medical Society Published by Wilderness Medical Society All rights reserved.

  17. Mangrove macrobenthos: Assemblages, services, and linkages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. Y.

    2008-02-01

    Macrobenthic assemblages are relatively poorly known compared to other components of the mangrove ecosystem. Tropical mangroves support macrobenthic biodiversity resources yet to be properly documented and interpreted. Some methodological challenges, such as the generally high spatial heterogeneity and complexity of the habitat, evidently reduce sampling efficiency and accuracy, while also leaving some microhabitats under-sampled. Macrobenthic assemblage structure seems to be influenced by local environmental conditions, such as hydroperiod, organic matter availability and sediment characteristics. Brachyurans, gastropods and oligochaetes dominate in the sediment, with the former two groups also common on hard surfaces provided by tree trunks, while insects and arachnids inhabit the canopy. Traditionally, studies of mangrove macrobenthos have focused on assemblage structure or the biology of individual species, but more complex inter-specific interactions and the inter-relationship between habitat and the biota are recently being addressed. Brachyuran crabs are the best-studied macrobenthos group, but many issues about their role in mangrove ecosystem dynamics are still controversial. Despite many species of mangrove macrobenthos being referred to as 'trophic dead ends', most serve as important links between recalcitrant mangrove organic matter and estuarine secondary production, through feeding excursion by mobile nekton during the high tide, and macrobenthos-mediated processing and exportation of organic matter. A significant difference in the standing crop biomass of forests between the Indo-west-Pacific (IWP)' and Atlantic-east-Pacific (AEP) mangroves may be related to the difference in species richness of mangrove as well as macrobenthos diversity in the two bioregions. Such differences in assemblage structure may also result in different ecosystem functioning, but the nature of the links is, however, yet to be explored. There is also a strong need for

  18. Identification and structural-functional analysis of cyclin-dependent kinases of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Helga; Romeiro, Nelilma C; Braz, Gloria R C; de Oliveira, Eduardo Alves Gamosa; Rodrigues, Camilla; da Fonseca, Rodrigo Nunes; Githaka, Naftaly; Isezaki, Masayoshi; Konnai, Satoru; Ohashi, Kazuhiko; da Silva Vaz, Itabajara; Logullo, Carlos; Moraes, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases essential for cell cycle progression. Herein, we describe the participation of CDKs in the physiology of Rhipicephalus microplus, the southern cattle tick and an important disease vector. Firstly, amino acid sequences homologous with CDKs of other organisms were identified from a R. microplus transcriptome database in silico. The analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of CDK1 and CDK10 from R. microplus showed that both have caspase-3/7 cleavage motifs despite their differences in motif position and length of encoded proteins. CDK1 has two motifs (DKRGD and SAKDA) located opposite to the ATP binding site while CDK10 has only one motif (SLLDN) for caspase 3-7 near the ATP binding site. Roscovitine (Rosco), a purine derivative that inhibits CDK/cyclin complexes by binding to the catalytic domain of the CDK molecule at the ATP binding site, which prevents the transfer of ATP's γphosphoryl group to the substrate. To determine the effect of Rosco on tick CDKs, BME26 cells derived from R. microplus embryo cells were utilized in vitro inhibition assays. Cell viability decreased in the Rosco-treated groups after 24 hours of incubation in a concentration-dependent manner and this was observed up to 48 hours following incubation. To our knowledge, this is the first report on characterization of a cell cycle protein in arachnids, and the sensitivity of BME26 tick cell line to Rosco treatment suggests that CDKs are potential targets for novel drug design to control tick infestation.

  19. Effect of brown spider venom on basement membrane structures.

    PubMed

    Veiga, S S; Feitosa, L; dos Santos, V L; de Souza, G A; Ribeiro, A S; Mangili, O C; Porcionatto, M A; Nader, H B; Dietrich, C P; Brentani, R R; Gremski, W

    2000-07-01

    Loxoscelism or necrotic arachnidism are terms used to describe lesions and reactions induced by bites (envenomation) from spiders of the genus Loxosceles. Envenomation has been reported to provoke dermonecrosis and haemorrhage at the bite site and haemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation and renal failure. The purpose of this work was to study the effect of the venom of the brown spider Loxosceles intermedia on basement membrane structures and on its major constituent molecules. Light microscopy observations showed that L. intermedia venom obtained through electric shock, which reproduces two major signals of Loxoscelism in the laboratory, exhibits activity toward basement membrane structures in mouse Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) sarcoma. Basement degradation was seen by a reduced periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and alcian blue staining as well as by a reduced immunostaining for laminin when compared to control experiments. Electron microscopy studies confirmed the above results, showing the action of the venom on EHS-basement membranes and demonstrating that these tissue structures are susceptible to the venom. Using purified components of the basement membrane, we determined through SDS-PAGE and agarose gel that the venom is not active toward laminin or type IV collagen, but is capable of cleaving entactin and endothelial heparan sulphate proteoglycan. In addition, when EHS tissue was incubated with venom we detected a release of laminin into the supernatant, corroborating the occurrence of some basement membrane disruption. The venom-degrading effect on entactin was blocked by 1, 10-phenanthroline, but not by other protease inhibitors such as PMSF, NEM or pepstatin-A. By using light microscopy associated with PAS staining we were able to identify that 1,10-phenanthroline also inhibits EHS-basement membrane disruption evoked by venom, corroborating that a metalloprotease of venom is involved in these effects. Degradation of these extracellular matrix

  20. Cloning, expression and characterization of a phospholipase D from Loxosceles gaucho venom gland.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Geraldo S; Caporrino, Maria C; Della-Casa, Maisa S; Kimura, Louise F; Prezotto-Neto, José P; Fukuda, Daniel A; Portes-Junior, José A; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Santoro, Marcelo L; Barbaro, Katia C

    2013-09-01

    Loxosceles venom comprises a mixture of diverse toxins that induces intense local inflammatory reaction, dermonecrotic injury, platelet aggregation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. Among several toxins in the venom, phospholipases D (PLDs), also called dermonecrotic toxins, are the most important and best studied, since they account for the main effects observed in loxoscelism. Despite their importance, biological analysis of PLDs is hampered by the minute amounts normally purified from the venom, and therefore many efforts have been made to clone those toxins. However, to date, no PLD from Loxosceles gaucho has been obtained in a heterologous system. Thus, in this work we show the cloning of a PLD from L. gaucho venom gland, named LgRec1, which was successfully expressed in a bacterial system. LgRec1 evoked local reaction (edema, erythema, ecchymosis, and paleness), dermonecrosis and hemolysis. It was also able to hydrolyze sphingomyelin and promote platelet aggregation. ELISA and Western blot analysis showed that LgRec1 was recognized by an anti-L. gaucho venom serum, a commercial arachnidic antivenom as well as a monoclonal antibody raised against the dermonecrotic fraction of L. gaucho venom. In addition, LgRec1 demonstrated to be highly immunogenic and antibodies raised against this recombinant toxin inhibited local reaction (~65%) and dermonecrosis (~100%) elicited by L. gaucho whole venom. Since PLDs are considered the major components accounting for the local and systemic envenomation effects caused by spiders from genus Loxosceles, the information provided here may help to understand the mechanisms behind clinical symptomatology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. A Return to Linnaeus's Focus on Diagnosis, Not Description: The Use of DNA Characters in the Formal Naming of Species.

    PubMed

    Renner, Susanne S

    2016-11-01

    Descriptions and diagnoses are alternative choices in all Codes of Nomenclature because Linnaeus relied on diagnoses, not descriptions, to name ca. 13,400 animals, plants, and fungi. A diagnosis names characters in which a new taxon differs from the most similar known taxon; a description mixes taxonomically informative and uninformative features, usually without indicating which is which. The first formal diagnoses of new taxa that included DNA-based characters came out in 2001, and by November 2015, at least 98 names of species of acoels, lichens, angiosperms, annelids, alveolates, arachnids, centipedes, turtles, fishes, butterflies, mollusks, nematodes, and pathogenic fungi have been published based on diagnostic mitochondrial, plastid, or nuclear DNA substitutions, indels, or rarely genetic distances, with or without additional morphological features. Authors have found diverse ways to specify the diagnostic traits (all published studies are here tabulated). While descriptions try to "cover" within-species variation, a goal rarely accomplished because of (i) the stochastic nature of specimen availability (thousands of species are known from single collections) and (ii) the subjective circumscription of species, the purpose of diagnoses was and is speedy identification. Linnaeus tried to achieve this by citing images, geographic occurrence, and previous literature. The renewed attention to sharp diagnosis now coincides with worldwide barcoding efforts, may speed up formal naming, and matches the increasing reliance on DNA for both classification and identification. I argue for DNA-based diagnoses of new species becoming a recommendation in all Codes, not just the bacterial code. [Codes of Nomenclature; description; diagnosis; DNA-based diagnosis; naming new species; nomenclature.

  2. The unique Morgue ubiquitination protein is conserved in a diverse but restricted set of invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ying; Carpenter, Zachary W; Brennan, Gregory; Nambu, John R

    2009-10-01

    Drosophila Morgue is a unique ubiquitination protein that facilitates programmed cell death and associates with DIAP1, a critical cell death inhibitor with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Morgue possesses a unique combination of functional domains typically associated with distinct types of ubiquitination enzymes. This includes an F box characteristic of the substrate-binding subunit in Skp, Cullin, and F box (SCF)-type ubiquitin E3 ligase complexes and a variant ubiquitin E2 conjugase domain where the active site cysteine is replaced by a glycine. Morgue also contains a single C4-type zinc finger motif. This architecture suggests potentially novel ubiquitination activities for Morgue. In this study, we address the evolutionary origins of this distinctive protein utilizing a combination of bioinformatics and molecular biology approaches. We find that Morgue exhibits widespread but restricted phylogenetic distribution among metazoans. Morgue proteins were identified in a wide range of Protostome phyla, including Arthropoda, Annelida, Mollusca, Nematoda, and Platyhelminthes. However, with one potential exception, Morgue was not detected in Deuterostomes, including Chordates, Hemichordates, or Echinoderms. Morgue was also not found in Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Placozoa, or Porifera. Characterization of Morgue sequences within specific animal lineages suggests that gene deletion or acquisition has occurred during divergence of nematodes and that at least one arachnid expresses an atypical form of Morgue consisting only of the variant E2 conjugase domain. Analysis of the organization of several morgue genes suggests that exon-shuffling events have contributed to the evolution of the Morgue protein. These results suggest that Morgue mediates conserved and distinctive ubiquitination functions in specific cell death pathways.

  3. Neuropeptide Y family-degrading metallopeptidases in the Tityus serrulatus venom partially blocked by commercial antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Cajado Carvalho, Daniela; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre K; Kodama, Roberto T; Oliveira, Ana K; Serrano, Solange M T; Tambourgi, Denise V; Portaro, Fernanda V

    2014-12-01

    Accidents caused by scorpions represent a relevant public health issue in Brazil, being more recurring than incidents with snakes and spiders. The main species responsible for this situation is the yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus, due especially to the great frequency with which accidents occur and the potential of its venom to induce severe clinical manifestations, even death, mainly among children. Although neurotoxins are well characterized, little information is known about other components of scorpion venoms, such as peptidases, and their effect on envenomation. Previous results from our group showed that the metallopeptidases present in this venom are capable of hydrolyzing the neuropeptide dynorphin 1-13 in vitro, releasing Leu-enkephalin, which may interact with ion channels and promote indirect neurotoxicity. Thus, this study aims to get more information about the effect of toxic peptidase activity present in the venom on biologically active peptides, and to evaluate the in vitro neutralizing potential of commercial antivenoms produced by the Butantan Institute. A set of human bioactive peptides were studied as substrates for the peptidases, and the members of the neuropeptide Y family were found to be the most susceptible ones. All new substrate hydrolyses were totally inhibited by ethylenediaminetetracetic and not blocked by phenylmethanesulfonylfluoride, indicating that metallopeptidases were responsible for the peptidase activity. Also, peptidase activities were only partially inhibited by therapeutic Brazilian scorpion antivenom (SAV) and arachnid antivenom (AAV). The dose-response inhibition by both antivenoms indicates that AAV neutralizes better than SAV at the used doses. These characterizations, unpublished until now, can contribute to the improvement of our knowledge about the venom and envenomation processes by T. serrulatus. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology.All rights reserved

  4. Characterization of Leiurus abdullahbayrami (Scorpiones: Buthidae) venom: peptide profile, cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Erdeş, Efe; Doğan, Tuğba Somay; Coşar, Ilhan; Danışman, Tarık; Kunt, Kadir Boğaç; Seker, Tamay; Yücel, Meral; Ozen, Can

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich bioactive peptide libraries that offer promising molecules that may lead to the discovery and development of new drugs. Leiurus abdullahbayrami produces one of the most potent venoms among Turkish scorpions that provokes severe symptoms in envenomated victims. In the present study, the peptide profile of the venom was investigated by electrophoretic methods, size-exclusion and reversed-phase chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects were evaluated on a breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and various bacterial and fungal species. Proteins make up approximately half of the dry weight of L. abdullahbayrami crude venom. Microfluidic capillary electrophoresis indicated the presence of 6 to 7 kDa peptides and proved to be a highly practical peptidomics tool with better resolution when compared to conventional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Mass spectroscopy analysis helped us to identify 45 unique peptide masses between 1 to 7 kDa with a bimodal mass distribution peaking between molecular weights of 1 to 2 kDa (29%) and 3 to 4 kDa (31%). L. abdullahbayrami crude venom had a proliferative effect on MCF-7 cells, which may be explained by the high concentration of polyamines as well as potassium and calcium ions in the arachnid venoms. Antimicrobial effect was stronger on gram-negative bacteria. This work represents the first peptidomic characterization of L. abdullahbayrami venom. Considering the molecular weight-function relationship of previously identified venom peptides, future bioactivity studies may lead to the discovery of novel potassium and chloride ion channel inhibitors as well as new antimicrobial peptides from L. abdullahbayrami venom.

  5. Enzymatic properties of venoms from Brazilian scorpions of Tityus genus and the neutralisation potential of therapeutical antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Venancio, Emerson J; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre K; Carvalho, Daniela Cajado; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2013-07-01

    Tityus scorpion stings are an important public health problem in Brazil, where the incidence of such stings exceeds the incidence of the health problems caused by other venomous animals, including snakes. In this study, we have analysed specific enzymatic activities of the venom from the Brazilian scorpions of Tityus genus, i.e., Tityus serrulatus, Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus. The data presented here revealed that Tityus spp. venoms exhibited significant hyaluronidase activity but no phospholipase activity. All the venom samples exhibited the ability to hydrolyse Abz-FLRRV-EDDnp and dynorphin 1-13 substrates. These activities were inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline but not by PMSF, indicating the presence of metalloproteinases in the Tityus spp. venoms. The venom peptidase activity on Abz-FLRRV-EDDnp and on dynorphin 1-13 was partially inhibited by therapeutic Brazilian anti-scorpion and anti-arachnidic antivenoms. Dynorphin 1-13 (YGGFLRRIRPKLK) contains two scissile bonds between the residues Leu-Arg and Arg-Arg that are susceptible to cleavage by the Tityus venom metallopeptidase(s). Their cleavage releases leu-enkephalin, an important bioactive peptide. The detection of metalloproteinase(s) with specificity for both dynorphin 1-13 degradation and leu-enkephalin releasing can be important for the mechanistic understanding of hypotension and bradycardia induction in cases of scorpion stings, whereas hyaluronidases might contribute to the diffusion of the toxins present in these venoms. Furthermore, the limited inhibition of the toxic enzymatic activities by commercial antivenoms illustrates the necessity of improvements in current antivenom preparation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Reliable Refuge: Two Sky Island Scorpion Species Select Larger, Thermally Stable Retreat Sites.

    PubMed

    Becker, Jamie E; Brown, Christopher A

    2016-01-01

    selection in other arachnids.

  7. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the spider habronattus oregonensis reveals rearranged and extremely truncated tRNAs

    SciTech Connect

    Masta, Susan E.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-31

    We sequenced the entire mitochondrial genome of the jumping spider Habronattus oregonensis of the arachnid order Araneae (Arthropoda: Chelicerata). A number of unusual features distinguish this genome from other chelicerate and arthropod mitochondrial genomes. Most of the transfer RNA gene sequences are greatly reduced in size and cannot be folded into typical cloverleaf-shaped secondary structures. At least nine of the tRNA sequences lack the potential to form TYC arm stem pairings, and instead are inferred to have TV-replacement loops. Furthermore, sequences that could encode the 3' aminoacyl acceptor stems in at least 10 tRNAs appear to be lacking, because fully paired acceptor stems are not possible and because the downstream sequences instead encode adjacent genes. Hence, these appear to be among the smallest known tRNA genes. We postulate that an RNA editing mechanism must exist to restore the 3' aminoacyl acceptor stems in order to allow the tRNAs to function. At least seven tRN As are rearranged with respect to the chelicerate Limulus polyphemus, although the arrangement of the protein-coding genes is identical. Most mitochondrial protein-coding genes of H. oregonensis have ATN as initiation codons, as commonly found in arthropod mtDNAs, but cytochrome oxidase subunit 2 and 3 genes apparently use UUG as an initiation codon. Finally, many of the gene sequences overlap one another and are truncated. This 14,381 bp genome, the first mitochondrial genome of a spider yet sequenced, is one of the smallest arthropod mitochondrial genomes known. We suggest that post transcriptional RNA editing can likely maintain function of the tRNAs while permitting the accumulation of mutations that would otherwise be deleterious. Such mechanisms may have allowed for the minimization of the spider mitochondrial genome.

  8. Fossil moss mites (Arthropoda: Oribatida): an introduction to their morphology and potential for Quaternary paleoecological interpretation

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, J.M.

    1985-01-01

    Although attention has been called to their presence as fossils in Quaternary lake and bog deposits a number of times, the moss mites (Arthropoda; Oribatida) have never been given serious attention during paleoecological work. This study is the first to demonstrate the quality and quantity of oribatid fossil material preserved in post-glacial lacustrine sediments. Oribatids have been identified from Jurassic rocks and from Tertiary ambers in Mexico and the Baltic Region. They are sclerotized, chelicerate, arachnids (Acari) which possess many features that make them readily identifiable from fossil material. Setae, tarsi, genital and anal plates, sensilla, notogastral pits and pores, and a wide variety of ornamentation are particularly useful. More than 5000 species in 700 genera occur worldwide. Most are less than 500..mu..m in size. Oribatids are often ecologically specific and may be assigned to restricted habitats. They do not fly and are thus unlikely to be found in sediments beyond their local ranges. Some species are lacustrine; many favor bog habitats. A large literature describes ecological preferences of extant species. More than 10,000 specimens of larval and adult mites have been taken from 72 samples of lake sediment, ranging from <14,700 to <2000 years in age. This report focuses on a dozen 10-gram samples which yielded more than 1300 specimens from 7 genera. Species of Hydrozetes and Limnozetes are abundant in lake sediments; these become rarer and are replaced in peats by a diverse fauna including species of Oripoda, Scapheremaeus, Sphaerozetes, Scheloribates, Magnobates(.), and unidentified taxa. Preservation of delicate setal hairs, genital plates and sensilla allows ready generic identification. SEM photomicrographs serve to illustrate the quality of preservation and the morphologically important features by way of introduction to this under-utilized group.

  9. A New theraphosid Spider Toxin Causes Early Insect Cell Death by Necrosis When Expressed In Vitro during Recombinant Baculovirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Ardisson-Araújo, Daniel Mendes Pereira; Morgado, Fabrício Da Silva; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni; Corzo, Gerardo; Ribeiro, Bergmann Morais

    2013-01-01

    Baculoviruses are the most studied insect viruses in the world and are used for biological control of agricultural and forest insect pests. They are also used as versatile vectors for expression of heterologous proteins. One of the major problems of their use as biopesticides is their slow speed to kill insects. Thus, to address this shortcoming, insect-specific neurotoxins from arachnids have been introduced into the baculovirus genome solely aiming to improve its virulence. In this work, an insecticide-like toxin gene was obtained from a cDNA derived from the venom glands of the theraphosid spider Brachypelma albiceps. The mature form of the peptide toxin (called Ba3) has a high content of basic amino acid residues, potential for three possible disulfide bonds, and a predicted three-stranded β-sheetDifferent constructions of the gene were engineered for recombinant baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nuclepolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) expression. Five different forms of Ba3 were assessed; (1) the full-length sequence, (2) the pro-peptide and mature region, (3) only the mature region, and the mature region fused to an (4) insect or a (5) virus-derived signal peptide were inserted separately into the genome of the baculovirus. All the recombinant viruses induced cell death by necrosis earlier in infection relative to a control virus lacking the toxin gene. However, the recombinant virus containing the mature portion of the toxin gene induced a faster cell death than the other recombinants. We found that the toxin construct with the signal peptide and/or pro-peptide regions delayed the necrosis phenotype. When infected cells were subjected to ultrastructural analysis, the cells showed loss of plasma membrane integrity and structural changes in mitochondria before death. Our results suggest this use of baculovirus is a potential tool to help understand or to identify the effect of insect-specific toxic peptides when produced during infection of insect cells. PMID

  10. Does toxic defence in Nycticebus spp. relate to ectoparasites? The lethal effects of slow loris venom on arthropods.

    PubMed

    Grow, Nanda B; Wirdateti; Nekaris, K A I

    2015-03-01

    The venom produced by slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) is toxic both intra- and inter-specifically. In this study we assessed the ecoparasite repellent properties of their venom. We tested venom from two Indonesian slow loris species: Nycticebus javanicus and Nycticebus coucang. Arthropods directly exposed to brachial gland secretions mixed with saliva from both species were immediately impaired or exhibited reduced activity (76%), and often died as a result (61%). We found no significant difference in the result of 60-min trials between N. coucang and N. javanicus [X(2)(1, n = 140) = 2.110, p = 0.3482]. We found evidence that the degree of lethality of the venom varies according to the arthropod taxa to which it is exposed. While most maggots (84%) were initially impaired from the venom after 10 min, maggots died after a 1 h trial 42% of the time. In contrast, at the end of 1 h trial, spiders died 78% of the time. For all arthropods, the average time to death from exposure was less than 25 min (M = 24.40, SD = 22.60). Ectoparasites including ticks, members of the arachnid order, are known to transmit pathogens to hosts and may be an intended target of the toxic secretions. Our results suggest that one function of slow loris venom is to repel parasites that affect their fitness, and that their topical anointing behaviour may be an adaptive response to ectoparasites. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Reliable Refuge: Two Sky Island Scorpion Species Select Larger, Thermally Stable Retreat Sites

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Jamie E.; Brown, Christopher A.

    2016-01-01

    selection in other arachnids. PMID:28030603

  12. Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Contrast the Diet and Explore Pest-Reduction Services of Sympatric Bird Species in Macadamia Orchards in Australia.

    PubMed

    Crisol-Martínez, Eduardo; Moreno-Moyano, Laura T; Wormington, Kevin R; Brown, Philip H; Stanley, Dragana

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug), considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems.

  13. Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Contrast the Diet and Explore Pest-Reduction Services of Sympatric Bird Species in Macadamia Orchards in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Crisol-Martínez, Eduardo; Moreno-Moyano, Laura T.; Wormington, Kevin R.; Brown, Philip H.; Stanley, Dragana

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug), considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems. PMID:26930484

  14. Gluing the 'unwettable': soil-dwelling harvestmen use viscoelastic fluids for capturing springtails.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Jonas O; Schönhofer, Axel L; Schaber, Clemens F; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2014-10-01

    Gluing can be a highly efficient mechanism of prey capture, as it should require less complex sensory-muscular feedback. Whereas it is well known in insects, this mechanism is much less studied in arachnids, except spiders. Soil-dwelling harvestmen (Opiliones, Nemastomatidae) bear drumstick-like glandular hairs (clavate setae) at their pedipalps, which were previously hypothesized to be sticky and used in prey capture. However, clear evidence for this was lacking to date. Using high-speed videography, we found that the harvestman Mitostoma chrysomelas was able to capture fast-moving springtails (Collembola) just by a slight touch of the pedipalp. Adhesion of single clavate setae increased proportionally with pull-off velocity, from 1 μN at 1 μm s(-1) up to 7 μN at 1 mm s(-1), which corresponds to the typical weight of springtails. Stretched glue droplets exhibited characteristics of a viscoelastic fluid forming beads-on-a-string morphology over time, similar to spider capture threads and the sticky tentacles of carnivorous plants. These analogies indicate that viscoelasticity is a highly efficient mechanism for prey capture, as it holds stronger the faster the struggling prey moves. Cryo-scanning electron microscopy of snap-frozen harvestmen with glued springtails revealed that the gluey secretions have a high affinity to wet the microstructured cuticle of collembolans, which was previously reported to be barely wettable for both polar and non-polar liquids. Glue droplets can be contaminated with the detached scaly setae of collembolans, which may represent a counter-adaptation against entrapment by the glue, similar to the scaly surfaces of Lepidoptera and Trichoptera (Insecta) facilitating escape from spider webs.

  15. Parasite diversity of European Myotis species with special emphasis on Myotis myotis (Microchiroptera, Vespertilionidae) from a typical nursery roost.

    PubMed

    Frank, Raphael; Kuhn, Thomas; Werblow, Antje; Liston, Andrew; Kochmann, Judith; Klimpel, Sven

    2015-02-15

    Bats belong to one of the most species-rich orders within the Mammalia. They show a worldwide distribution, a high degree of ecological diversification as well as a high diversity of associated parasites and pathogens. Despite their prominent and unique role, the knowledge of their parasite-host-relationships as well as the mechanisms of co-evolutionary processes are, partly due to strict conservation regulations, scarce. Juvenile specimens of the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) from a roosting colony in Gladenbach (Hesse, Germany) were examined for their metazoan endo-and ectoparasite infections and pathogens. Morphometric data were recorded and the individuals were checked for Lyssavirus-specific antigen using a direct immunofluorescence test. For unambiguous species identification, the bats were analysed by cyt-b sequence comparison. Myotis myotis were parasitized by the six insect and arachnid ectoparasite species, i.e. Ixodes ricinus, Ischnopsyllus octactenus, Ichoronyssus scutatus, Steatonyssus periblepharus, Spinturnix myoti and Cimex dissimilis. Additionally, the nematode Molinostrongylus alatus and the cestode Vampirolepis balsaci were recorded. Each bat was parasitized by at least four species. The parasites showed partially extreme rates of infection, never recorded before, with more than 1,440 parasites per single host. Ichoronyssus scutatus, Steatonyssus periblepharus, Vampirolepis balsaci and Molinostrongylus alatus are recorded for the first time in Germany. A checklist for Europe is presented containing records of 98 parasite species of 14 Myotis species. The Myotis myotis from Gladenbach (Hesse, Germany) were parasitized by a diverse parasite fauna with high infestation rates. We assume that in juvenile Myotis the number of parasites is generally higher than in adults due to only later acquired immune competence and behavioural adaptations. Our results revealed new insights into parasite fauna of M. myotis and European bats in general. The

  16. Refuges, flower strips, biodiversity and agronomic interest.

    PubMed

    Roy, Grégory; Wateau, Karine; Legrand, Mickaël; Oste, Sandrine

    2008-01-01

    Several arthropods are natural predators of pests, and they are able to reduce and control their population development. FREDON Nord Pas-de-Calais (Federation Regionate de Defense contre les Organismes Nuisibles = Regional Federation for Pest Control) has begun for a long time to form farmers to the recognition of beneficial arthropods and to show them their usefulness. These beneficial insects or arachnids are present everywhere, in orchards and even in fields which are areas relatively poor in biodiversity. Adults feed in the flower strips instead larvae and some adults feed on preys such as aphids or caterpillars. Most of the time, beneficial insects can regulate pest but sometimes, in agricultural area, they can't make it early enough and efficiently. Their action begin too late and there biodiversity and number are too low. It's possible to enhance their action by manipulating the ecological infrastructures, like sewing flower strips or installing refuges. Flower strips increase the density of natural enemies and make them be present earlier in the field in order to control pests. Refuges permit beneficial's to spend winter on the spot. So they're able to be active and to grow in number earlier. From 2004 to 2007, on the one hand, FREDON Nord Pas-de-Calais has developed a research program. Its purpose was to inventory practices and also tools and means available and to judge the advisability of using such or such beneficial refuge in orchards. On the second hand, it studied the impact in orchard of refuges on population of beneficial's and the difference there were between manufactured refuges and homemade refuges. Interesting prospects were obtained with some of them. Otherwise, since 2003, FREDON has studied flower strips influence on beneficial population and their impact on pest control. In cabbage fields, results of trials have shown that flower strips lead to a reduction of aphid number under acceptable economic level, up to 50 meters from flower strips

  17. Reconstructing the diet of a 505-million-year-old arthropod: Sidneyia inexpectans from the Burgess Shale fauna.

    PubMed

    Zacaï, Axelle; Vannier, Jean; Lerosey-Aubril, Rudy

    2016-03-01

    The feeding ecology of the 505-million-year-old arthropod Sidneyia inexpectans from the middle Cambrian (Series 3, Stage 5) Burgess Shale fauna (British Columbia, Canada) is revealed by three lines of evidence: the structure of its digestive system, the fossilized contents of its gut and the functional anatomy of its appendages. The digestive tract of Sidneyia is straight, tubular and relatively narrow in the trunk region. It is enlarged into a pear-shaped area in the cephalic region and stretches notably to form a large pocket in the abdomen. The mouth is ventral, posteriorly directed and leads to the midgut via a short tubular structure interpreted as the oesophagus. Anteriorly, three pairs of glands with internal, branching tubular structures open into the digestive tract. These glands have equivalents in various Cambrian arthropod taxa (e.g. naraoiids) and modern arthropods. Their primary function was most likely to digest and assimilate food. The abdominal pocket of Sidneyia concentrates undigested skeletal elements and various residues. It is interpreted here as the functional analogue of the stercoral pocket of some extant terrestrial arachnids (e.g. Araneae, Solifugae), whose primary function is to store food residuals and excretory material until defecation. Analysis of the gut contents indicates that Sidneyia fed largely on small ptychopariid trilobites, brachiopods, possibly agnostids, worms and other undetermined animals. Sidneyia was primarily a durophagous carnivore with predatory and/or scavenging habits, feeding on small invertebrates that lived at the water-sediment interface. There is no evidence for selective feeding. Its food items (e.g. living prey or dead material) were grasped and manipulated ventrally by its anterior appendages, then macerated into ingestible fragments and conveyed to the mouth via the converging action of strong molar-like gnathobases. Digestion probably took place within the anterior midgut via enzymes secreted in the

  18. Insect fauna of the Rhode Island coal field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scudder, Samuel Hubbard

    1893-01-01

    Some years ago Rev. Edgar F. Clark, then of Providence, Rhode Island, discovered in the Coal-measures of the neighborhood of that city the wing of a cockroach. This stimulated further search by others as well as himself, with the result of finding a fair number and variety of insect types, some of special interest. Most of the discoveries have been made by Mr. Clark (part of them while in the service of the U. S. Geological Survey) and by two young inen of Providence, Messrs. Frederick P. Gorham and Herbert Scholfield, who have been particularly encouraged in their work by Prof. A. S. Packard, of Brown University.All of the specimens have passed under my eye and are herewith described and figured. They consist of Anthracomartus, the first discovered Arachnid in the Carboniferous deposits of the eastern United States; a new genus of Neuropteroidea and one of Protophasmida, each very different from any forms hitherto found in this country, but rather allied to some from the rich Carboniferous beds of Commentry, in France, presenting new features of alliance between the Carboniferous faunas of Europe and America; and a number of cockroaches, all represented by their wings alone. These last show considerable variety of form, both known subfamilies of Paloblattarioe being present, including three genera and nearly a dozen species, the genus Etoblattina, which is the prevalent Carboniferous type the world over, being represented by at least eight species, which again show unusual diversity in size, form, and distribution of the nervules that form the framework of the wing.All the species without exception are new to science and unknown elsewhere.A few additional stones have been submitted to me containing what are apparently parts of the wings of cockroaches, but they are too fragmentary to be of the least value. Nothing more can be said than that they are or may be portions of such wings.It is hoped that the publication of this bulletin will excite further exploration

  19. Characteristics and origin of organic matter and basal respiration of soils from Majella massif (Central Apennines, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basili, M.; Cioci, C.; Cocco, S.; Agnelli, A.; di Peco, D.; Ferraris, P.; Corti, G.

    2009-04-01

    The effects of the global climate change on the soil organic matter (SOM) are still open to debate. Many studies hypothesize an increase of the CO2 fluxes from the soil following the rise of air temperature, especially for the high latitude soils where the low temperatures have a protective effect on the SOM, holding the mineralization reactions back. We studied the feedback between soil and climate change in the Mediterranean environments, on patterned ground soils and soils developed from glacial lacustrine sediments found in the high-elevated areas (2500 m a.s.l.) of Majella massif (Central Apennines, Italy). Here, several profiles were opened and the soil described and sampled according to the recognized horizons. The samples were characterised according to the routine analyses and the SOM extracted according to the International Humic Substances Society protocol. The obtained humic and fulvic acids were characterised for elemental composition and by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Further, the basal respiration at 5°C, 20°C and 30°C for 20 days was determined on the samples collected from the superficial horizon of each soil. The extracted humic substances showed a particular composition, being mostly comprised of proteinaceous residues (amides II and III), polysaccarides, and esters and aliphatic compounds. This unusual chemical structure and the paucity of vegetation in the study area could support the hypothesis of a mainly soil animal origin of the SOM, probably due to residues of insects, arachnids and arthropods. In fact, the species belonging to these Orders are abundant in these ecosystems and, further, are often characterised by the presence of compounds, such as glycerine and glycoproteins, in their organic fluids that act as antifreezing systems. The basal respiration experiments indicated that the soil microbial community was active at 5°C, while at 20°C or 30°C rather no respiration occurred; further, after 20 days at both

  20. Arthropod eyes: The early Cambrian fossil record and divergent evolution of visual systems.

    PubMed

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Fortey, Richard A; Land, Michael F; Liu, Yu; Cong, Peiyun; Hou, Xianguang

    2016-03-01

    evolution of sessile eyes equipped with optics typical of extant xiphosurans. Observations of fossil material, including that of trilobites and eurypterids, support the proposition that the ancestral compound eye was the apposition type. Cambrian arthropods include possible precursors of mandibulate eyes. The latter are the modified compound eyes, now sessile, and their underlying optic lobes exemplified by scutigeromorph chilopods, and the mobile stalked compound eyes and more elaborate optic lobes typifying Pancrustacea. Radical divergence from an ancestral apposition type is demonstrated by the evolution of chelicerate eyes, from doublet sessile-eyed stem-group taxa to special apposition eyes of xiphosurans, the compound eyes of eurypterids, and single-lens eyes of arachnids. Different eye types are discussed with respect to possible modes of life of the extinct species that possessed them, comparing these to extant counterparts and the types of visual centers the eyes might have served. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The diversity and evolution of chelicerate hemocyanins

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Oxygen transport in the hemolymph of many arthropod species is facilitated by large copper-proteins referred to as hemocyanins. Arthropod hemocyanins are hexamers or oligomers of hexamers, which are characterized by a high O2 transport capacity and a high cooperativity, thereby enhancing O2 supply. Hemocyanin subunit sequences had been available from horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura) and various spiders (Araneae), but not from any other chelicerate taxon. To trace the evolution of hemocyanins and the emergence of the large hemocyanin oligomers, hemocyanin cDNA sequences were obtained from representatives of selected chelicerate classes. Results Hemocyanin subunits from a sea spider, a scorpion, a whip scorpion and a whip spider were sequenced. Hemocyanin has been lost in Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones, Solifugae and Acari, which may be explained by the evolution of trachea (i.e., taxon Apulmonata). Bayesian phylogenetic analysis was used to reconstruct the evolution of hemocyanin subunits and a relaxed molecular clock approach was applied to date the major events. While the sea spider has a simple hexameric hemocyanin, four distinct subunit types evolved before Xiphosura and Arachnida diverged around 470 Ma ago, suggesting the existence of a 4 × 6mer at that time. Subsequently, independent gene duplication events gave rise to the other distinct subunits in each of the 8 × 6mer hemocyanin of Xiphosura and the 4 × 6mer of Arachnida. The hemocyanin sequences were used to infer the evolutionary history of chelicerates. The phylogenetic trees support a basal position of Pycnogonida, a sister group relationship of Xiphosura and Arachnida, and a sister group relationship of the whip scorpions and the whip spiders. Conclusion Formation of a complex hemocyanin oligomer commenced early in the evolution of euchelicerates. A 4 × 6mer hemocyanin consisting of seven subunit types is conserved in most arachnids since more than 400 Ma, although some entelegyne spiders

  2. Ultrastructure of book gill development in embryos and first instars of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus L. (Chelicerata, Xiphosura)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The transmission electron microscope (TEM) is used for the first time to study the development of book gills in the horseshoe crab. Near the end of the nineteenth century the hypothesis was presented for homology and a common ancestry for horseshoe crab book gills and arachnid book lungs. The present developmental study and the author's recent ones of book gills (SEM) and scorpion book lungs (TEM) are intended to clarify early histological work and provide new ultrastructural details for further research and for hypotheses about evolutionary history and relationships. Results The observations herein are in agreement with earlier reports that the book gill lamellae are formed by proliferation and evagination of epithelial cells posterior to opisthosomal branchial appendages. A cartilage-like endoskeleton is produced in the base of the opisthosomal appendages. The lamellar precursor cells in the appendage base proliferate, migrate outward and secrete the lamellar cuticle from their apical surface. A series of external, posteriorly-directed lamellae is formed, with each lamella having a central channel for hemolymph and pillar-type space holders formed from cells of the opposed walls. This repeated, page-like pattern results also in water channels (without space holders) between the sac-like hemolymph lamellae. Conclusions The developmental observations herein and in an earlier study (TEM) of scorpion book lungs show that the lamellae in book gills and book lungs result from some similar activities and features of the precursor epithelial cells: proliferation, migration, alignment and apical/basal polarity with secretion of cuticle from the apical surface and the basal surface in contact with hemolymph. These cellular similarities and the resulting book-like structure suggest a common ancestry, but there are also substantial developmental differences in producing these organs for gas exchange in the different environments, aqueous and terrestrial. For

  3. Mechanisms Involved in the Nociception Triggered by the Venom of the Armed Spider Phoneutria nigriventer

    PubMed Central

    Gewehr, Camila; Oliveira, Sara Marchesan; Rossato, Mateus Fortes; Trevisan, Gabriela; Dalmolin, Gerusa Duarte; Rigo, Flávia Karine; de Castro Júnior, Célio José; Cordeiro, Marta Nascimento; Ferreira, Juliano; Gomez, Marcus V.

    2013-01-01

    Background The frequency of accidental spider bites in Brazil is growing, and poisoning due to bites from the spider genus Phoneutria nigriventer is the second most frequent source of such accidents. Intense local pain is the major symptom reported after bites of P. nigriventer, although the mechanisms involved are still poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the mechanisms involved in nociception triggered by the venom of Phoneutria nigriventer (PNV). Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty microliters of PNV or PBS was injected into the mouse paw (intraplantar, i.pl.). The time spent licking the injected paw was considered indicative of the level of nociception. I.pl. injection of PNV produced spontaneous nociception, which was reduced by arachnid antivenin (ArAv), local anaesthetics, opioids, acetaminophen and dipyrone, but not indomethacin. Boiling or dialysing the venom reduced the nociception induced by the venom. PNV-induced nociception is not dependent on glutamate or histamine receptors or on mast cell degranulation, but it is mediated by the stimulation of sensory fibres that contain serotonin 4 (5-HT4) and vanilloid receptors (TRPV1). We detected a kallikrein-like kinin-generating enzyme activity in tissue treated with PNV, which also contributes to nociception. Inhibition of enzymatic activity or administration of a receptor antagonist for kinin B2 was able to inhibit the nociception induced by PNV. PNV nociception was also reduced by the blockade of tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels, acid-sensitive ion channels (ASIC) and TRPV1 receptors. Conclusion/Significance Results suggest that both low- and high-molecular-weight toxins of PNV produce spontaneous nociception through direct or indirect action of kinin B2, TRPV1, 5-HT4 or ASIC receptors and voltage-dependent sodium channels present in sensory neurons but not in mast cells. Understanding the mechanisms involved in nociception caused by PNV are of interest not only for

  4. Effects of chemical elements in the trophic levels of natural salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Kamiński, Piotr; Barczak, Tadeusz; Bennewicz, Janina; Jerzak, Leszek; Bogdzińska, Maria; Aleksandrowicz, Oleg; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Szady-Grad, Małgorzata; Klawe, Jacek J; Woźniak, Alina

    2016-06-01

    The relationships between the bioaccumulation of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, Cd, and Pb, acidity (pH), salinity (Ec), and organic matter content within trophic levels (water-soil-plants-invertebrates) were studied in saline environments in Poland. Environments included sodium manufactures, wastes utilization areas, dumping grounds, and agriculture cultivation, where disturbed Ca, Mg, and Fe exist and the impact of Cd and Pb is high. We found Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, and Cd accumulation in the leaves of plants and in invertebrates. Our aim was to determine the selectivity exhibited by soil for nutrients and heavy metals and to estimate whether it is important in elucidating how these metals are available for plant/animal uptake in addition to their mobility and stability within soils. We examined four ecological plant groups: trees, shrubs, minor green plants, and water macrophytes. Among invertebrates, we sampled breastplates Malacostraca, small arachnids Arachnida, diplopods Diplopoda, small insects Insecta, and snails Gastropoda. A higher level of chemical elements was found in saline polluted areas (sodium manufactures and anthropogenic sites). Soil acidity and salinity determined the bioaccumulation of free radicals in the trophic levels measured. A pH decrease caused Zn and Cd to increase in sodium manufactures and an increase in Ca, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb in the anthropogenic sites. pH increase also caused Na, Mg, and Fe to increase in sodium manufactures and an increase in Na, Fe, Mn, and Co in the anthropogenic sites. There was a significant correlation between these chemical elements and Ec in soils. We found significant relationships between pH and Ec, which were positive in saline areas of sodium manufactures and negative in the anthropogenic and control sites. These dependencies testify that the measurement of the selectivity of cations and their fluctuation in soils provide essential information on the affinity and binding strength in these environments. The

  5. Effects of agricultural practices of three crops on the soil communities under Mediterranean conditions: field evaluation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo

    2014-05-01

    Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil

  6. Post-Eocene climate change across continental Australia and the diversification of Australasian spiny trapdoor spiders (Idiopidae: Arbanitinae).

    PubMed

    Rix, Michael G; Cooper, Steven J B; Meusemann, Karen; Klopfstein, Seraina; Harrison, Sophie E; Harvey, Mark S; Austin, Andrew D

    2017-04-01

    -plugging in transitional arid zone taxa have evolved twice independently in Western Australia, while in Misgolas and Cataxia, burrow door-building behaviours have likely been independently lost at least three times in the eastern Australian mesic zone. We also show that the presence of idiopids in New Zealand (Cantuaria) is likely to be the result of recent dispersal from Australia, rather than ancient continental vicariance. By providing the first comprehensive, continental synopsis of arid zone biogeography in an Australian arachnid lineage, we show that the diversification of arbanitine Idiopidae was intimately associated with climate shifts during the Neogene, resulting in multiple Mio-Pliocene radiations.

  7. Submicron-Chemical Speciation of Late Albian, Well-Preserved Fossil Samples from Tlayúa, the Mexican Solenhofen.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcus, M.; Fakra, S.; Tamura, N.; Alvarado-Ortega, J.; Espinosa-Arruberena, L.; Banfield, J.; Cervini-Silva, J.

    2007-12-01

    The Tlayúa slurry quarry constitutes the most important paleontological locality in the American continent, and constitutes the second most important locality in its genre worldwide. The importance of Tlayúa strives inderives from the fact that a great diversity of marine and terrestrial fossils in perfect state of preservation have been found, with ages surpassing 115 million yrs. Paleomagnetic and biostratigraphic determinations conducted in ammonites and belemnites indicate that the formation of the Tlayúa slurry dates back to the late Albian. One of the most accepted hypothesis for explaining Tlayúa's formation relies on the deposition of sediments and fauna on a shallow platform of a tropical sea. A similar geographic place is located in Solenhofen, Germany, where slurries have been exploited for more than 200 yrs with a production of approximately 500 species. Remarkably, in the Tepexi del Rio region alone for the past 20 yrs more than 5,000 fossil specimens representing more than 200 species have been collected alone. An The exceptional specimen preservation found in Tlayúa has been attributed to restricted circulation of water resulting in an anaerobic and/or hypersaline environment, coupled with the general absence of infaunal species. There were periods when the deposition site supported a rich planktontic community. Large quantities of calcareous ooze were produced, resulting in rapid burial of the organisms. The presence of diagnostic terrestrial and freshwater organisms, including arachnids, insects, lizards, and chelonians, along with typical marine fauna, suggests that Tlayúa lagoon had periodic freshwater inflow, in addition to the strong marine, lagoonal, and reefal influence. Some organisms were transported into the lagoon when the barrier was breached, probably during periods of heavy rains and hurricanes, or during high tides. Additionally, some fishes from Tlayua have been found to have affinities with recent families known to inhabit

  8. Parasites of the Nile rat in rural and urban regions of Sudan.

    PubMed

    Fagir, Dina M; El-Rayah, El-Amin

    2009-06-01

    In this investigation on endoparasites (helminths) and ectoparasites of the Nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus Desmarest, 1822), a total of 220 Nile rats were trapped from different regions of Sudan during the period January 2003-January 2006. Examination of different tissues, identification of parasites, effect of these parasites on the organs, the prevalence and intensity of infestation of the parasites and their relation to the habitat of the host, and sex-related infestations were considered. Results showed that the variation among helminth species was wide, especially in those that are transferred by arthropods. No protozoan parasites or distortion in the infected tissues were observed. No examination for Toxoplasma gondii was carried out. Two species of cestodes (Hymenolepis nana, Hymenolepis diminuta), two genera (Raillietina sp. I, Raillietina sp. II) and one unidentified Hymenolepididae were reported. The most prevalent species of cestodes was Raillietina sp. And for nematodes only one species and one genus were recovered (Monanema nilotica and Streptopharagus sp.). Investigation of skin revealed that 83.8% of rats were infested with one or more of ectoparasites; namely, insects and arachnids. This survey also revealed that fleas and lice were the most common ectoparasites that infested the Nile rat. Synanthropic rodents, particularly those living in close association with man, play a significant role in human health, welfare and economy. It has to be stressed that their arthropod ectoparasites are important vectors of pathogenic microorganisms and they can also be important reservoirs for parasitic zoonoses, like trichinellosis and capillariosis. No doubt, the increase in rodent populations could be followed by an increase in zoonotic diseases (Stojcevic et al. 2004, Durden et al. 2000). Rats and mice (commensal and wild) play an important role in public health, being carriers or reservoirs for infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans (zoonoses

  9. Maternal transfer of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in aquatic and terrestrial arthropods.

    PubMed

    Saxton, Heidi J; Goodman, James R; Collins, Jeffrey N; Black, Frank J

    2013-11-01

    The transfer of mercury from females to their offspring plays an important role in mercury accumulation and toxicity during early development. To quantify the transfer of inorganic mercury and methylmercury from female arthropods to their eggs, the authors collected and analyzed brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana), wolf spiders (Alopecosa spp.), and their attached eggs from aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. Essentially all of the mercury in both the female brine shrimp and their eggs was methylmercury (94 ± 17% and 90 ± 21%, respectively). The brine shrimp eggs had methylmercury concentrations that were 84 ± 2% lower than in the females, reflecting the fact that females transferred 45 ± 4% of their total body mass but only 11 ± 3% of their methylmercury burden to their eggs. As a result of this sequestration, the concentration of methylmercury in the female brine shrimp increased by 62 ± 8% during egg formation. The percentage of the total mercury that was methylmercury in female wolf spiders (77 ± 21%) was similar to that in their egg masses (81 ± 19%), indicating similar maternal transfer efficiencies for inorganic mercury and methylmercury in these invertebrates. The concentration of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in the female spiders was the same as in their eggs. These arachnids transferred 48 ± 9% of their total body mass, 55 ± 13% of their inorganic mercury, and 50 ± 9% of their methylmercury to their egg masses. Thus, female wolf spiders do not have the ability to reduce the transfer of methylmercury to their eggs, nor does this process represent an important pathway for the depuration of mercury. The present study demonstrates that although some arthropods have mechanisms to minimize the transfer of methylmercury to their eggs and reduce the potential for mercury toxicity during early development, other arthropods do not.

  10. Inventory and assessment of foliar natural enemies of the soybean aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in South Dakota.

    PubMed

    Hesler, Louis S

    2014-06-01

    Soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a major pest of soybean in northern production regions of North America, and insecticides have been the primary management approach while alternative methods are developed. Knowledge of arthropod natural enemies and their impact on soybean aphid is critical for developing biological control as a management tool. Soybean is a major field crop in South Dakota, but information about its natural enemies and their impact on soybean aphid is lacking. Thus, this study was conducted in field plots in eastern South Dakota during July and August of 2004 and 2005 to characterize foliar-dwelling, arthropod natural enemies of soybean aphid, and it used exclusion techniques to determine impact of natural enemies and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on soybean aphid densities. In open field plots, weekly soybean aphid densities reached a plateau of several hundred aphids per plant in 2004, and peaked at roughly 400 aphids per plant in 2005. Despite these densities, a relatively high frequency of aphid-infested plants lacked arthropod natural enemies. Lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were most abundant, peaking at 90 and 52% of all natural enemies sampled in respective years, and Harmonia axyridis Pallas was the most abundant lady beetle. Green lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) were abundant in 2005, due mainly to large numbers of their eggs. Abundances of arachnids and coccinellid larvae correlated with soybean aphid densities each year, and chrysopid egg abundance was correlated with aphid density in 2005. Three-week cage treatments of artificially infested soybean plants in 2004 showed that noncaged plants had fewer soybean aphids than caged plants, but abundance of soybean aphid did not differ among open cages and ones that provided partial or total exclusion of natural enemies. In 2005, plants within open cages had fewer soybean aphids than those within cages that excluded natural enemies, and aphid

  11. Unraveling Molecular Mechanisms for the Unusual Fossil Preservation and Biomineralization Pathways in Tlayúa, the Mexican Solenhofen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cervini-Silva, J.; Fakra, S.; Alvarado-Ortega, J.; Cornejo-Garrido, H.; Marcus, M.; Hao, Z.; Espinosa-Arruberena, L.; Banfield, J.

    2007-12-01

    The Tlayúa slurry constitutes the most important paleontological locality in the American continent, and constitutes the second most important locality in its genre worldwide. The importance of Tlayúa strives in the fact that a great diversity of marine and terrestrial fossils in perfect state of preservation have been found, with ages surpassing 115 million yrs. Paleomagnetic determinations and biostratigraphic determinations conducted in amonites and belemnites indicate that the formation of the Tlayúa slurry dates back to the late Albian. On the other hand, fish, reptiles, invertebrates, and vegetables fossil specimens have been found to date back to the Mesozoic Era. Because of this fact is unprecedented worldwide, Tlayúa is nowadays considered patrimony for the humanity. One of the most accepted hypothesis for explaining Tlayúa's formation relies on the deposition of sediments and fauna on a shallow platform of a tropical sea. A similar geographic place is located in Solenhofen, Germany, where slurries have been exploited for more than 200 yrs with a production of approximately 500 species. Remarkably, in the Tepexi del Rio region for the past 20 yrs more than 5,000 fossil specimens representing more than 200 species have been collected alone. An exceptional specimen preservation found in Tlayúa has been attributed to restricted circulation of water resulting in an anaerobic and/or hypersaline environment, coupled with the general absence of infaunal species. There were periods when the deposition site supported a rich planktontic community. Large quantities of calcareous ooze were produced, resulting in rapid burial of the organisms. The presence of diagnostic terrestrial and freshwater organisms, including arachnids, insects, lizards, and chelonians, along with typical marine fauna, suggests that Tlayúa lagoon had periodic freshwater inflow, in addition to the strong marine, lagoonal, and reefal influence. Some organisms were transported into the

  12. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  13. Portrait of a Dramatic Stellar Crib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-12-01

    the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope located at La Silla, Chile, while studying the dark clouds in the region. Dark clouds are enormous clouds of gas and dust, with a mass surpassing a million times that of the Sun. They are very cold, with temperatures about -260 degrees Celsius, and are difficult to study because of the heavy walls of dust behind which they hide. Their study is however essential, as it is in their freezing wombs that stars are born. ESO PR Photo 50b/06 ESO PR Photo 50b/06 SN 1987A and the Honeycomb Nebula (WFI/2.2m) Observing in four different bands, the astronomers made a mosaic of the half-degree field of view of the instrument to obtain an image covering one square degree. With each individual image containing 64 million pixels, the resultant mosaic thus contained 4 times as many, or 256 million pixels! The observations were made in very good image quality, the 'seeing' being typically below 1 arcsecond. The image is based on data collected through four filters, including two narrow-band filters that trace hydrogen (red) and oxygen (green). The predominance of green in the Tarantula is a result of the younger, hotter stars in this region of the complex. It would be easy to get lost in the meanderings of the filamentary structures or get stuck in the web of the giant arachnid, as is easily experienced with the zoom-in feature provided on the associated photo page, and it is therefore difficult to mention all the unique objects to be discovered. Deserving closer attention perhaps is the area at the right-hand border of the Tarantula. It contains the remains of a star that exploded and was seen with the unaided eye in February 1987, i.e. almost 20 years ago. Supernova SN 1987A, as it is known, is the brightest supernova since the one observed by the German astronomer Kepler in 1604. The supernova is known to be surrounded by a ring, which can be distinguished in the image. A little to the left of SN 1987A, another distinctive feature

  14. Cosmic Spider is Good Mother

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    Hanging above the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) - one of our closest galaxies - in what some describe as a frightening sight, the Tarantula nebula is worth looking at in detail. Also designated 30 Doradus or NGC 2070, the nebula owes its name to the arrangement of its brightest patches of nebulosity that somewhat resemble the legs of a spider. This name, of the biggest spiders on Earth, is also very fitting in view of the gigantic proportions of the celestial nebula - it measures nearly 1,000 light years across! ESO PR Photo 11/06 ESO PR Photo 13b/06 Tarantula's Central Cluster, R136 The Tarantula nebula is the largest emission nebula in the sky and also one of the largest known star-forming regions in all the Milky Way's neighbouring galaxies. Located about 170,000 light-years away, in the southern constellation Dorado (The Swordfish), it can be seen with the unaided eye. As shown in this image obtained with the FORS1 multi-mode instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, its structure is fascinatingly complex, with a large number of bright arcs and apparently dark areas in between. Inside the giant emission nebula lies a cluster of young, massive and hot stars, denoted R 136, whose intense radiation and strong winds make the nebula glow, shaping it into the form of a giant arachnid. The cluster is about 2 to 3 million years old, that is, almost from 'yesterday' in the 13.7 billion year history of the Universe. Several of the brighter members in the immediate surroundings of the dense cluster are among the most massive stars known, with masses well above 50 times the mass of our Sun. The cluster itself contains more than 200 massive stars. ESO PR Photo 11/06 ESO PR Photo 13c/06 The Stellar Cluster Hodge 301 In the upper right of the image, another cluster of bright, massive stars is seen. Known to astronomers as Hodge 301, it is about 20 million years old, or about 10 times older than R136. The more massive stars of Hodge 301 have therefore already exploded as

  15. First Report of the Fig Cyst Nematode, Heterodera fici Kirjanova, on Fig Tree, Ficus carica, in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Sun, Fengcheng; Henry, Neil; Yu, Qing

    2017-06-01

    -682) µm, width = 395.3 ± 40.9 (366-442) µm, and length/width ratio = 1.3 ± 0.2 (1.3-1.7) µm. The morphometric characters of the vulval cone were fenestral length = 57.3 ± 2.9 (54-59) µm, fenestral width = 35.3 ± 4 (33-40) µm, and vulval slit = 50.7 ± 1.2 (50-52) µm. Second-stage juveniles tapering posteriorly (Fig. 1C). Stylet well developed, basal knobs rounded, directed slightly anteriorly (Fig. 1D). Tail tapering, with hyaline terminal about half of tail length (Fig. 1E). Second-stage juveniles (n = 16) showed the following morphometric characters: body length = 440.9 ± 20 (408-470) µm, a = 20.3 ± 2.3 (16.9-24), b = 2.7 ± 0.3 (2.3-3.3), c = 8.1 ± 0.6 (7.3-9.3), c' = 3.8 ± 0.3 (3.1-4.3), stylet length = 23.2 ± 0.4 (23-24) µm, anterior end to median bulb = 71.8 ± 4.5 (65-79) µm; maximum body width = 21.9 ± 2 (17-25) µm; body width at anus = 14.4 ± 1.5 (12-17) µm, tail length = 54.6 ± 2.9 (50-60) µm, and hyaline part of tail = 23.7 ± 2.9 (19-28) µm. These observations conform to the published descriptions of Heterodera fici Kirjanova (Kirjanova, 1954; Golden et al., 1988). The slides of the cyst vulval cone and juveniles were deposited in the Canadian National collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes (Accession no. 14851 to 14853 for the second stage juveniles and 14854-14855 for the cyst cones). For molecular analysis, DNA was extracted from individual juvenile (n = 4) from different cysts. A 1,151-bp fragment of ribosomal DNA containing ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region was amplified and sequenced using primers 18S (5'-TTGATTACGTCCCTGCCCTTT-3') and 26S (5'- TTTCACTCGCCGTTACTAAGG-3') (Vrain et al., 1992). The sequence was deposited into the GenBank database (Accession no. KY635986 and KY635987) and was compared with published sequences by means of BLAST search in the database (November 2016). The comparison revealed 99.0% to 100% similarity to the sequences of the same genomic region of H. fici from Iran (AF498385) and Georgia (AF274409). Subbotin

  16. First Report of the Fig Cyst Nematode, Heterodera fici Kirjanova, on Fig Tree, Ficus carica, in Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Fengcheng; Henry, Neil; Yu, Qing

    2017-01-01

    682) µm, width = 395.3 ± 40.9 (366–442) µm, and length/width ratio = 1.3 ± 0.2 (1.3–1.7) µm. The morphometric characters of the vulval cone were fenestral length = 57.3 ± 2.9 (54–59) µm, fenestral width = 35.3 ± 4 (33–40) µm, and vulval slit = 50.7 ± 1.2 (50–52) µm. Second-stage juveniles tapering posteriorly (Fig. 1C). Stylet well developed, basal knobs rounded, directed slightly anteriorly (Fig. 1D). Tail tapering, with hyaline terminal about half of tail length (Fig. 1E). Second-stage juveniles (n = 16) showed the following morphometric characters: body length = 440.9 ± 20 (408–470) µm, a = 20.3 ± 2.3 (16.9–24), b = 2.7 ± 0.3 (2.3–3.3), c = 8.1 ± 0.6 (7.3–9.3), c′ = 3.8 ± 0.3 (3.1–4.3), stylet length = 23.2 ± 0.4 (23–24) µm, anterior end to median bulb = 71.8 ± 4.5 (65–79) µm; maximum body width = 21.9 ± 2 (17–25) µm; body width at anus = 14.4 ± 1.5 (12–17) µm, tail length = 54.6 ± 2.9 (50–60) µm, and hyaline part of tail = 23.7 ± 2.9 (19–28) µm. These observations conform to the published descriptions of Heterodera fici Kirjanova (Kirjanova, 1954; Golden et al., 1988). The slides of the cyst vulval cone and juveniles were deposited in the Canadian National collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes (Accession no. 14851 to 14853 for the second stage juveniles and 14854–14855 for the cyst cones). For molecular analysis, DNA was extracted from individual juvenile (n = 4) from different cysts. A 1,151-bp fragment of ribosomal DNA containing ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region was amplified and sequenced using primers 18S (5′-TTGATTACGTCCCTGCCCTTT-3′) and 26S (5′- TTTCACTCGCCGTTACTAAGG-3′) (Vrain et al., 1992). The sequence was deposited into the GenBank database (Accession no. KY635986 and KY635987) and was compared with published sequences by means of BLAST search in the database (November 2016). The comparison revealed 99.0% to 100% similarity to the sequences of the same genomic region of H. fici from