Insect ID, Maharashtra, India

could someone please identify this insect? This photograph was taken in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India, near the town of Mahabaleshwar. Hemiptera was about as far as I could get using other online guides.


Due to its coloration, shape and tarsal formula (5-5-4) I think that a Meloidae(Blister beetle) of the Pyrota genus is likely. You can see several examples of species in this genus from a basic google search. Meloidae has about 2500 species world-wide though, and there might be similar species in other genera. Here is an example of Pyrota bilineata, just for comparison.

(picture from

You probably need somebody more knowledgeable on Indian beetles for a proper species determination though, but hopefully my suggestions can serve as a starting point.

Glycosyltransferases: the multifaceted enzymatic regulator in insects

Glycosyltransferases (GTs) catalyse the reaction of glyco-conjugation of various biomolecules by transferring the saccharide moieties from an activated nucleotide sugar to nucleophilic glycosyl acceptor. In insects, GTs show diverse temporal and site-specific expression patterns and thus play significant roles in forming the complex biomolecular structures that are necessary for insect survival, growth and development. Several insects exhibit GT-mediated detoxification as a key defence strategy against plant allelochemicals and xenobiotic compounds, as well as a mechanism for pesticide cross-resistance. Also, these enzymes act as crucial effectors and modulators in various developmental processes of insects such as eye development, UV shielding, cuticle formation, epithelial development and other specialized functions. Furthermore, many of the known insect GTs have been shown to play a fundamental role in other physiological processes like body pigmentation, cuticular tanning, chemosensation and stress response. This review provides a detailed overview of the multifaceted functionality of insect GTs and summarizes numerous case studies associated with it.

20 Most Terrifying Horrifying and Scary Insects of India

Indian biodiversity is home to a different kinds of insects,arthropod, spiders,Bugs and flying insects. The most common insects in India also includes Common black cricket,Mole Cricket,Dung beetle,stink and shield bugs,termite and firefly insect. Some of these small but dangerous insects have ability to kill human using their sharp sting,bite and venom.

Red Ant

There are thousands of different ant species found in India,one of the most common small red ants which are dangerous to humans and pets. Ants occupy a great variety of habitats found in great numbers in gardens and farm land all over India.

Paper Wasp

There are so many dangerous flying insects in India who carry venom and more painful bites using there sting. Paper wasp,red wasp, yellow wasp and black wasp are few species of wasp found in the country and they are the most common social wasp in India.


Mosquitoes are known as one of the most dangerous flying insect and responsible for prominent diseases of malaria, dengue and chikungunya. Nuisance mosquitoes bother people around homes or in parks and recreational areas.

Honey Bees

Indian honeybee is one of the predominant bees of India, usually found in tree hollows, abandoned house and man-made structures. Some of the common types of Honey Bee found in India are Rock bee,Little bee and Indian Bee.


The list of spiders found in India are Tiger Spider,Tarantula,Signature orb-weaver spiders,giant wood spider,biting spiders and fishing spiders.

There are few cases of giant venomous spiders attack in Northeastern India, 2 people dead after swarms of venomous spiders in North East India.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants species reside both outdoors,indoors and many forested parts of the world. This is the most familiar species associated with human habitation especially in the spring or fall.


Centipedes are one of the most terrifying insects in India, found almost every where from open grassland to bathroom in homes. They are found in an array of terrestrial habitats, Giant tiger centipede is one of the largest centipede in India.


Indian red scorpion and giant black Indian Scorpions are two of the most dangerous species of scorpions known to man in India. Hottentotta tamulus or the Indian red scorpion is rated among the most lethal scorpion species in the world.


Cockroaches pose a major threat to households and about 30 species are associated with human habitats. Cockroaches are among the most common of insects found in India.

Water Bug

Indian toe-biter is also known as Giant water bug is an aquatic predator that is also capable of flying. Giant water bugs are a popular food in some of the Indian states and typically found in freshwater streams,paddy field and ponds.

There are other species of insect, bug and beetle found in water apart from water bug like water beetle and water scorpion.


Caterpillar are larvae of many moth species and responsible for damage to fruits and other agricultural products in India.

There are various species of caterpillar used as sources of silk, human or animal food and for biological control of pest plants.

Leaf Insect

Insect is one of several insect species that looks like a leaf found mainly in tropical areas of India. Phyllium giganteum is a very wide and large leaf insect mainly eats mango, guava and berries.


Earthworms are generally used in India for fishing,vermicomposting and Perionyx excavatus. Lampito mauritii is the widely distributed earthworm in India,commonly found living in soil.

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis is a large insect named because of its front legs, which are bent like the position of prayer. This beautiful insect can be kept as a pet and its an amazing predator of the nature and wild.


There are so many different species of millipedes found in India and Xenobolus carnifex is one millipede species found in South India. Most common millipedes are found during monsoon season such as Black and Yellow Flat Millepede,Rayappa Kasi Millipedes and giant Indian millipede.

Giant Hornet

Asian Giant Hornet is found throughout Eastern Asia including India and known to be the the world’s largest hornet. They live in low mountains and forests and known as the killer hornet because of they injects large amount of potent venom.


The cicada is a large-bodied transparent wings flying insect, probably best known for their buzzing and clicking noises. Cicadas are the vuvuzelas of the insect world.

Stick Insect

Indian stick insect are nocturnal species of Phasmatodea feed on fresh privet, ivy or bramble. This laboratory stick insect is often kept by schools and individuals as pets.

Mupli Beetle

Mupli beetle is commonly known as Mupli vandu found in the Western Ghats in southern India. They are usually harmless to humans but they produce a phenolic secretion that causes skin burns.

Painted Grasshopper

The Painted Grasshopper is the largest brightly colored grasshopper found in India, generally feeds on the poisonous plant,papaya leaf and Indian Jujube leaf. Painted Grasshopper is one of the most commonly seen grasshopper in India.


Katydids or bush crickets are very common in India, known for common shapes and colors similar to leaves and exhibit mimicry and camouflage.

Mango Stem Borer (Batocera rufomaculata)

Mango Stem Borer is one of the giant species of beetle found in India, Nepal and Malaysia.

Occurrence of exotic whitefly, Paraleyrodes minei Iaccarino (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and other whitefly species on fruit crops in Maharashtra, India

Severe incidence of an exotic whitefly species Paraleyrodes minei Iaccarino (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) was noticed in the Pune region of Maharashtra state, India, on the fruit trees guava (Psidium guajava L.), jamoon (Syzygium cumini L.), mango (Mangifera indica L.), chiku (Manilkara zapota L.), custard apple (Annona squamosa L.), citrus (Citrus spp.), banana (Musa spp.) and coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Additional host plants of P. minei are neem (Azadirachta indica L.), Asoka (Saraca asoca (Roxb.) and temple tree (Plumeria alba L.). The identity of the pest was established based on sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (mtCO-I) region amplified from genomic DNA of single whitefly. The incidence of P. minei was 100% on guava, jamoon, and custard apple wherein under the surface of the infested leaves looks completely white with cottony wax. In the case of, coconut, guava, chiku, and banana, P. minei was co-colonising along with the rugose spiralling whitefly (Aleurodicus rugioperculatus Martin). Star gooseberry (Phyllanthus acidus L., new host record) plants were severely infested with less frequently collected whitefly, Bemisia bryniae (Singh). Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) was infested by whitefly Siphoninus phillyreae (Haliday). The study highlights the need for continuous monitoring of invasive whitefly species population on important fruit crops for timely application of management practices to prevent losses of potential yield.

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Ecology is the science of interrelationship. Various components of the ecosystem interact together and thus maintain the proper ecosystem functioning. To create the holistic picture of the any given area one should have to consider various components of the ecosystem. These components could be Habitats (Land and Waterscapes), Species, people/institutions, people's various practices, their various aspirations and issues ecological history etc. Here an attempt has been made to create a rather holistic picture of the fresh water ecological scenario of Maharashtra state. Maharashtra is well known for its varied biodiversity, habitat diversity, people and culture etc. In this page we are trying to put all available information regarding fresh water ecology of the Maharashtra region. The political boundary of Maharashtra is chosen only to facilitate the systematic data compilation. More specifically in terms of river basins, Narmada, Tapti, Godavari and Krishna basins are the premises of the information.

Habitats play an important role in shaping the biotic communities. The major reason behind the extinction of the flora and fauna is habitat loss, Habitat fragmentation and destruction. Landscape ecology is a sub-discipline of ecology and geography that address how spatial variation in the landscape affects ecological processes such as the distribution and flow of energy, materials and individuals in the environment (which, in turn, may influence the distribution of landscape "elements" themselves such as hedgerows). Landscape ecology typically deals with problems in an applied and holistic context.

Geography of Maharashtra Edit

Located in the north center of Peninsular India, with a command of the Arabian Sea through its port of Mumbai, Maharashtra has a remarkable physical homogeneity, enforced by its underlying geology. The dominant physical trait of the state is its plateau character. Maharashtra is a plateau of plateaux, its western upturned rims rising to form the Sahyadri Range and its slopes gently descending towards the east and southeast. The major rivers and their master tributaries have carved the plateaux into alternating broad-river valleys and intervening higher lever interfluves, such as the Ahmednagar, Buldana, and Yavatmal plateau.

The Sahyadri Range is the physical backbone of Maharashtra. Rising on an average to an elevation of 1000 m, it falls in steep cliffs, to the Konkan on the west. Eastwards, the hill country falls in steps through a transitional area known as Malwa to the plateau level. The series of crowning plateaux on the crest forms a distinctive feature of the Sahyadri Range.

The Konkan, lying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range is narrow coastal lowland, barely 50 km wide. Though mostly below 200 m, it is far from being a plain country. Highly dissected and broken, the Konkan alternates between narrow, steep-sided valleys and low laterite plateaux.

The Satpuras, hills along the northern border, and the Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri Ranges on the eastern border form physical barriers preventing easy movement, but also serve as natural limits to the state.

River basins of Maharashtra Edit

There are 4 principal rivers of this region, 2 of which runs towards west and 2 towards the east coast. Narmada, Tapti, Godavari and Krishna drain this region. All the rivers are monsoonal rivers. Brief description of these 4 basins is given here, link given to river names will provide detailed information about the same.

Narmada River basin Edit

The Narmada is a river in central India in Indian subcontinent. It forms the traditional boundary between North India and South India, and is a total of 1,289 km (801 mi) long. It is one of only three major rivers in peninsular India that run from east to west, along with the Tapti and the Mahi River. It is the only river in India that flows in a rift valley. It rises on the summit of Amarkantak Hill in Madhya Pradesh state, and for the first 320 kilometres (200 mi) of its course winds among the Mandla Hills, which form the head of the Satpura Range then at Jabalpur, passing through the 'Marble Rocks', it enters the Narmada Valley between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges, and pursues a direct westerly course to the Gulf of Cambay. It flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, and empties into the Arabian Sea in the Bharuch District of Gujarat. Its longest tributary is the Tawa, which joins the Narmada at Bandra Bhan in Hoshangabad District, Madhya Pradesh. After leaving Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the river widens out in the fertile district of Bharuch. Below Bharuch city it forms a 20 kilometres wide estuary where it enters the Gulf of Cambay. The Narmada river is not only used for irrigation, but for navigation. In the rainy season boats of considerable size sail about 100 kilometres above Bharuch city. Seagoing vessels of about 70 tons frequent the port of Bharuch, but they are entirely dependent on the tide.

Tapti River basin Edit

The Tapti River (also Tapi River) is a river in central India. It is one of the major rivers of peninsular India with a length of around 724 km. It is one of only three rivers – the others being the Narmada River and the Mahi River that runs from east to west The river rises in the Eastern Satpura Range of Southern Madhya Pradesh state, and flows westward, draining Madhya Pradesh's Nimar region, Maharashtra's Kandesh and east Vidarbha regions in the northwest corner of the Deccan Plateau and South Gujarat before emptying into the Gulf of Cambay of the Arabian Sea, in the State of Gujarat. The Western Ghats or Sahyadri range starts south of the Tapti River near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra. State Catchment area Percentage Madhya Pradesh 9804 15.1 Maharashtra 51100 78.8 Gujarat 3970 6.1 Grand Total 64874 100

Godavari River basin Edit

The Godavari (गोदावरी नदी) River is a major waterway in central India, originating in the Western Ghats and flowing eastwardly across the Deccan Plateau between the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, then crossing the latter state and turning to flow in a southeast direction until it empties into the Bay of Bengal through two mouths. Its tributaries include Indravati River, Manjira River, Bindusara River, Sabari River etc. Although the river arises only 80 kilometres from the Arabian Sea, it flows 1,465 km to empty into the Bay of Bengal. Just above Rajahmundry there is a dam that provides water for irrigation. Below Rajahmundry, the river divides into two streams that widen into a large river delta which has an extensive navigable irrigation-canal system, Dowleswaram Barrage that links the region to the Krishna River delta to the southwest. The Indrawati, the Wainganga, the Wardha, the Pench, the Kanhan and Penganga rivers, discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. The Godavari River has a drainage area of 313,000 km 2 in seven states- Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

State Area (km 2 ) Percentage
Maharashtra 152,199 48.65%
Andhra Pradesh 73,201 23.40%
Chhattisgarh 39,087 12.49%
Madhya Pradesh 26,168 8.63%
Orissa 17,752 5.67%
Karnataka 4,405 1.41%

Krishna River basin Edit

Krishna Basin extends over an area of 258,948 km 2 which is nearly 8% of total geographical area of the country. The basin lies in the states of Karnataka (113,271 km 2 ), Andhra Pradesh (76,252 km 2 ) and Maharashtra (69,425 km 2 ). Krishna river rises in the Western Ghats at an elevation of about 1337 m just north of Mahabaleshwar, about 64 km from the Arabian Sea and flows for about 1400 km and outfalls into the Bay of Bengal. The principal tributaries joining Krishna are the Ghataprabha, the Malaprabha, the Bhima, the Tungabhadra and the Musi. Most part of this basin comprises rolling and undulating country except the western border which is formed by an unbroken line of ranges of the Western Ghats. The important soil types found in the basin are black soils, red soils, laterite and lateritic soils, alluvium, mixed soils, red and black soils and saline and alkaline soils. An average annual surface water potential of 78.1 km³ has been assessed in this basin. Out of this, 58.0 km³ is utilisable water. Culturable area in the basin is about 203,000 km 2 , which is 10.4% of the total culturable area of the country. Most important tributary of Krishna are Tungabhadra River, which is itself formed by the Tunga River and Bhadra River that originate in the Western Ghats. Other tributaries include the Koyna River, Bhima River (and its tributaries such as the Kundali River feeding into the Upper Bhima River Basin), Malaprabha River, Ghataprabha River, Yerla River, Warna River, Dindi River, Musi River and Dudhganga River. Two big dams have been constructed on the river, one at Srisailam called Srisailam Dam and the other at Nagarjuna Hill. The latter, the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, is considered to be the largest earth dam in the world with a natural reservoir

History of freshwater fish research in Maharashtra Edit

Fresh water fishes of Maharashtra Edit

6 Orders, 25 families and 160 species of freshwater fish have been described in Maharashtra.

Fishing communities in Maharashtra Edit

Maharashtra is famous for its varied fresh water resources, including lakes, tanks and rivers. A number of fishing communities have developed in response to these favourable factors. These communities can be divided into:

  • Specialists or indigenous groups who depend completely on fish and other aquatic resources for their subsistence
  • Subsistence fishers or opportunists who depend partly on fish, and
  • Groups who have recently started fishing.

Traditional knowledge about natural history of fishes Edit

Humans may have discovered complex, symbolic language in its present form about 60 thousand years ago, thereby initiating the development of knowledge in the modern mode. At these early stages, until the beginning of agriculture and village society some ten thousand years ago, human population were organised into largely autonomous-endogamous tribes of perhaps 2 to 10 thousand people each. There would be considerable social inter course within a tribe, but little across tribes, who would often speak mutually incomprehensible languages. There would then be common pools of knowledge limited to individual tribes pools of different tribes may greatly diverge with little in common. However, even within tribes there may be people, such as Shamans especially concerned with development and systematic management of knowledge, in charge of pools of specialised knowledge such as that of movements of celestial bodies or March of seasons, or of herbal remedies (Gadgil 2001b). With the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry, human societies changed radically, with a breakdown of boundaries between erstwhile endogamous tribal groups. Due to this, there may occurs amalgamation of the many streams of the knowledge and there may have developed a variety of specialised groups of people concerned with management of particular stocks of knowledge, such as that dealing with fashioning of tools or use of herbal medicines. Merging of different knowledge streams and their use has led to rapid expansion of the total flow as the hunter-gatherers societies transformed into agrarian one (Gadgil 2001b). For thousands of years, aboriginal peoples around the world have used knowledge of their local environment to sustain themselves and to maintain their cultural identity. Only in the past decade, however, has this knowledge been recognised by the Western scientific community as a valuable source of ecological information. This knowledge is variously labelled as 'folk ecology', ‘ethno-ecology’, 'traditional environmental knowledge' or 'ecological knowledge', 'indigenous knowledge', 'customary law', and 'knowledge of the land'. Traditional environmental or ecological knowledge is probably the most common term however, there remains no universally accepted definition of the concept. For this work, 'traditional knowledge’ (TK) and some time 'folk knowledge' terms are used interchangeably. In this linked page traditional knowledge of Dhivar and Gond people of eastern Maharashtra has been described.

Fishing techniques Edit

Fishing is probably oldest and one of the important activity of humankind. Ancient remains of spears, hooks and fishnet have been found in ruins of the Stone Age. The people of the early civilisation drew pictures of nets and fishing lines in their arts (Parker 2002). Early hooks were made from the upper bills of eagles and from bones, shells, horns and thorns of plant. Spears were tipped with the same materials, or some times with flints. Lines and nets were made from leaves, plant stalk and cocoon silk. Ancient fishing nets were rough in design and material but they were amazingly, as if some now use (Parker 2002). Literature on the indigenous fishing practices is very scanty. Baines (1992) documented traditional fisheries in the Solomon Island. Use of the herbal fish poisons in catching fishes from fresh water and sea documented from New Caledonia (Dahl 1985). John (1998) documented fishing techniques and overall life style of the Mukkuvar fishing Community of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India. Tribal people using various plants for medicinal and various purposes (Rai et al. 2000 Singh et al. 1997 Lin 2005) extends the use notion for herbal fish stupefying plants. Use of the fish poisons is very old practice in the history of human kind. In 1212 AD King Frederick II prohibited the use of certain plant piscicides, and by the fifteenth century similar laws had been decreed in other European countries as well (Wilhelm 1974). All over the globe, indigenous people use various fish poisons to kill the fishes, documented in America (Jeremy 2002) and among Tarahumara Indian (Gajdusek 1954). An ecological niche refers to the way in which a species utilises the resources of its environment and its relation to other species in the biological community. In biological community, no two coexisting species share the same niche. Similarly, no two coexisting castes have the same traditional niche in rural India their niches are so differentiated as to preempt excessive competition for the same resources (Gadgil 2001a). The concept of the ecological niche has been used in a number of ways in anthropology: as a specialized part of human society, as synonymous with culture, and as a segment of the habitat (Donald 1972). Indian society is an agglomeration of several thousand endogamous groups or castes each with a restricted geographical range and a hereditarily determine mode of subsistence. These reproductively isolated castes may be compared to biological species, and the society thought of as a biological community with each caste having its specific ecological niche (Gadgil and Malhotra 1983).

Traditional conservation practices Edit

India has deep-rooted tradition of nature worship, which provide base for the conservation from the grass root. However, this tradition is collapsing very rapidly. The reasons behind these are mainly, dilution of the belief systems, composite impacts of development in the form of population pressure, resource crunch, market economy, etc. In the present day context, it is important to see the present status of the 'folk conservation practices' so as to devise the strategies of its renovation.

Traditional knowledge about landscape ecology Edit

For most of the evolutionary history, human societies have been organised in hunting-gathering tribes each with its own exclusive territory. This territoriality persisted in one form or the other with all Indian casts until recent times (Gadgil 1987). Continually searching for the food man acquires the knowledge of the different landscapes surrounding him. Gadgil (1996a) suggests 5000 Km2 resource catchment area probably required during hunting – gathering mode of life. The resource catchment should sustain a band of about 50 – 60 people by hunting the animals and collecting edible plants. In this above said area, he might have identified different patches of landscapes and waterscape elements. As languages evolved, man gave different names to different land and waterscape elements and gathered very good deal of the knowledge about the same. To preserve the ecological wellbeing of the habitat and to extend his notion of the kinship and reciprocity he attached sacred values to the habitats.

Fish experts Edit

Fish Experts of Maharashtra Fish is rather ignored taxa as compare with birds, mammals and so on. Here an attempt has been made to prepare a listing of the fish taxonomists, fish biologists, fish-culturists etc.

Additional physiological processes and specialized functions where GTs are involved


Apart from various developmental roles, some GTs are also involved in specialized functions like cuticular tanning and body pigmentation. For example, Polyommatus icarus butterflies feed on flavonoid-rich plants like Coronilla varia and Medicago sativa, and this leads to sequestration of the dietary flavonoids as a glucose conjugate in the body with the aid of GTs, which is later used to impart colour to the wings (Wiesen et al., 1994 ). Similarly, Manduca sexta possesses phenol-β-GTs and tyrosine-β-GTs which are involved in cuticle melanisation and cuticle sclerotization, respectively (Ahmad and Hopkins, 1992 Ahmad et al., 1996 ). In these insects, phenol β-glucosyltransferases are expressed in the labial gland and fat bodies where they are crucial in the glycosylation of phenolic substrates found in plant tissues, cuticular tanning and pigmentation (Ahmad and Hopkins, 1992 Ahmad and Hopkins, 1993 ). Whereas tyrosine β-glucosyltransferase in M. sexta is observed to be expressed in labial glands, midgut, malpighian tubules and hindgut where it is required for the formation of o-diphenolics and quinonoid derivatives of tyrosine, necessary for cuticle sclerotization (Ahmad et al., 1996 ). In dipteran species like Drosophila brusckii, Sarcophaga bullata and Musca domestica tyrosine GTs form phenolic compounds that serve as reservoirs of tyrosine for pupal cases sclerotization (Chen et al., 2007 ). In yet another exclusive functionality of GTs quercetin 5-O-glycosyltransferase (Q5GT), in B. mori, catalyses the formation of quercetin 5-O-glucoside. It is a major constituent of cocoon flavonoids that emit bright yellow fluorescence under UV light. This flavonoid acts as a chemical UV shield and protects the pre-pupae from the harmful effect of UV radiation during metamorphosis (Daimon et al., 2010 ). Another GT, isolated from Dactylopius coccus DcUGT2 is crucial for the biosynthesis of Carminic acid, a well-known red colouring agent, used in food and pharmaceutical products as a dye and is also used as a microscopic stain (Kannangara et al., 2018 ).

Odorant sensing

GTs are also observed to be participating in the metabolism of volatile signal molecules that are significant in chemo-sensation (Bock, 2016 ). Antennal GTs are likely to play a crucial role in insects for odorant detection and detoxification. Previous studies have reported the probable role of GTs in chemo-sensation by analysing the expression profiles of antennal specific GTs on exposure to pheromones and plant volatile compounds (Bozzolan et al., 2014 ). Similarly, SlUGT40R3 and SlUGT46A6 from male S. littoralis moths when exposed to sex pheromone or ester plant volatiles compounds showed high expression in the antennae (He et al., 2017 ). Similar studies of antennal UGTs have also been conducted in three insects species, namely, D. melanogaster (Wang et al., 1999 ), B. mori (Huang et al., 2008 ) and M. sexta (Robertson et al., 1999 ), suggesting the significance of GTs in olfaction. It has been reported that A. lepigone moth shows a sex-biased expression of multiple AlUGTs in chemosensory organs such as antennae. These UGTs are involved in specific functions in different sexes, such as the degradation of sex pheromones in males and the degradation of plant volatiles from oviposition sites in females. The study concludes that the A. lepigone UGTs AlUGT33AD1, AlUGT40F6 and AlUGT40L4 explicitly show a male-biased expression, while AlUGT33B18, AlUGT33F10, AlUGT40Q3 and AlUGT41D3 show female-biased expression (Zhang et al., 2017 ). Further, BmUGT013829 is reported to play a probable role in insect olfaction with high expression observed only in head and antenna region of B. mori, in both the larval and adult stages (Huang et al., 2008 ). Also, in a recent report, it was observed that HparUGT1265-1, HparUGT3119 and HparUGT8312 were highly expressed in antennae of beetle Holotrichia parallela and are more likely to function in odorant inactivation and olfaction (Wang et al., 2018b ). Thus, GTs are believed to be playing a significant role in insect chemosensation by participating in odorant molecule deactivation and pheromone degradation. But to understand the molecular mechanism of this GT function, we still need further study exploring the direct molecular interaction of insect GTs with the odorant substrate and the enzyme kinetics involved in it.

Insect defence system

In a few cases, GTs are also shown to be involved in insect defence systems against various external and internal threats such as predator attacks, physiological dysfunctions, etc. For example, in insects, Dorothy encodes putative UGTs in the haematopoietic system, pericardial cells and posterior signalling centre. Dorothy is predicted to be membrane-bound, playing a variety of roles in immune defence, steroid regulation and protection against xenobiotics (Burchell and Coughtrie, 1989 ). In D. melanogaster, a UDP-Glc: glycoprotein glucosyltransferase is reported to function as an endoplasmic reticular sensor of newly folded glycoproteins (Parker et al., 1995 ). It can differentiate between misfolded and native glycoproteins and may be useful in guiding chaperone systems to assist newly synthesized proteins in achieving their final, native form. Furthermore, Carminic acid, synthesized by DcUGT2 in Dactylopius coccus, is observed to deter ants from feeding on them (Kannangara et al., 2018 ). It is observed that despite their diverse roles, research featuring functional studies of insect GTs are lesser compared to genomic or transcriptomic studies. Thus, the limitation of this understanding of GTs can be resolved with robust and defined bioassays, providing a basis for the potential of GTs as a molecular tool.

In summary, insect GTs have been well explored for their critical role in detoxification, development and other specific functions. The role of GTs in insect immunity and adaptation can be studied thoroughly in the future to have better insights. Further, GTs in insects are specific in terms of function and expression, and hence they could be a potential target for designing the next generation of insect control molecules. Their indispensability in the development increases their advantage as pesticide targets (Lopez et al., 2019 ). Biocatalytic application of insect GTs, like plant and bacterial GTs, is a thriving area for protein engineering and green chemistry. Also, the diverse plethora of insect GTs can be utilized to increase the hydrophilic nature of a varied range of lipophilic molecules used in the cosmetic, food and drug industry (Geisler and Jarvis, 2010 ). Many complex synthetic oligosaccharides can be synthesized by the combined use of insect glycosidase and GTs as catalysts. Therapeutic proteins, nucleic acid-based products and glycol-engineered products require post-translational modifications like glycosylation, which can be achieved by using insect GTs (Geisler and Jarvis, 2010 ).


Insect-herbivore community

Through the current sampling, I recorded a total of 17 insect-herbivore taxa (Table 1), of which five were Lepidopterans, six were Hemipterans and two were Coleopterans. I omitted four out of these 17 insects from the analysis since they were singletons. The insect community recorded showed an exceptionally high dominance of the moth Pempelia cf. morosalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) (95.24% relative abundance).

Summary of insect herbivores recorded on J. nana during 2015


It has not been our primary goal to argue that recent reports of insect declines do or do not represent a global phenomenon in which the many stressors of the Anthropocene are pushing insects over the edge of population viability. We agree with others who have stressed the need for greater investment in basic science and further analyses of existing data (Saunders, 2019 Thomas et al., 2019 ). However, it is our belief that the severity of reported insect declines is nevertheless sufficient to warrant immediate action. A simple application of the precautionary principle tells us that it is in our best interest to improve natural habitats and act for the benefit of insects. Even if further research finds that declines are not as widespread as they might appear, building more well-connected and toxin-free open areas is in the interest of all. Similarly, we can take action without understanding the complexities of all species- and region-specific drivers of decline: nontarget pesticide impacts, for example, can be minimized without understanding the diversity of physiological effects on individual species (Goulson, Nicholls, Botías, & Rotheray, 2015 ). Acting with imperfect knowledge is something that we all do all of the time, in our personal and professional lives, and (in the case of insect declines) it is a rational response to reductions in insect abundance and diversity. Similarly, the idea that basic science should proceed in parallel with pragmatic problem solving is not controversial. In modern medicine, for example, there are many pathologies for which mechanisms are poorly resolved, yet causal agents are sufficiently well understood that we can act to avoid the disease despite imperfect knowledge. The approach we suggest to insect declines is no different. We must act to ameliorate the drivers of declines while basic research proceeds. Along the way, basic and applied work will undoubtedly illuminate each other.

All species are worth protecting and preserving for their own sake, but the current crisis is much larger than individual species and rises to the level of losing key functions in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. If we do not take action now to address declines in insect abundance and diversity, we will very likely face problems, including food shortages because of pollinator limitation, that will make many previous challenges faced by human civilization seem tame by comparison. The good news is there is hope because insects are resilient and established methods in conservation biology and management can produce positive outcomes for insect populations over reasonable time scales of decades or less (Table 1).

While government and legislative action is most definitely needed (see Policy Recommendations section above), it is also the case that the actions of individual humans can have an immediate impact. Even a backyard or apartment balcony can be an important stopover for the smallest of animals upon which we all depend.


Maharashtra supports high faunal diversity owing to its geographic position and the biogeographic zones it covers. Given the variety of macro- and micro-habitat types, it was expected that the State supports high number of Odonata species. From recent surveys and data mining, we have added 35 species to the previous list by Kulkarni et al. (2012) that included 99 species. Kulkarni et al. (2012) had counted some of the subspecies, such as Libellago lineate lineate and Libellago lineata indica or Aciagrion hisopa hisopa and Aciagrion hisopa krishna as different species in their species checklist. However, we confined our identification till species level. Recording subspecies on field is highly difficult. Hence, including subspecies in the checklist may introduce error. This difference of 35 species between previous (Kulkarni et al. 2012) and current checklist is mainly due to incomplete on-field sampling by previous researchers, which was scattered throughout the State. They undersampled various biogeographic provinces in Maharashtra. Moreover, difficulty in collection, unapproachable terrain in certain areas such as Western Ghats (mountains) or Central highlands, and limitations due to resources and expertise might have resulted in such a gap. Also Kulkarni et al. (2012) failed to incorporate records other than those published by the Zoological Survey of India. However, this work along with Prasad (1996) has been instrumental in providing the first exhaustive checklist of Odonata of Maharashtra State. Our sampling in addition to sampling done by previous researchers almost spanned the State. The sampling was not systematic and spread across seasons, because concentrated mainly in postmonsoon season when Odonata activity is at peak (Kulkarni and Subramanian 2013). The data collection was a collective effort, and sampling was highly limited due to resources and expertise. Therefore, although the current checklist significantly updates the previous ones by Prasad (1996) and Kulkarni et al. (2012), it may not be interpreted as a complete checklist of Odonata of Maharashtra.

Certain biogeographical areas such as theWest coast or the Malabar plains of Western Ghats have been underrepresented in this and previous studies. The Deccan south region was not sampled at all. The Deccan peninsula-central plateau which represents the largest area of Maharashtra was fairly well-represented in all the studies, except central Maharashtra, dominated by scrub-forest and dry-deciduous forest, for which there is a serious lack of data. Similarly, the Western Ghats (mountains) have not been sampled exhaustively during the study period, despite the fact that they are also areas of high endemism (Myers et al. 2000 Subramanian 2007 Subramanian et al. 2011). This region which is rich in evergreen and semi-evergreen forest patches, even though fragmented, has been highly underrepresented in samples. Out of 74 localities from where data were compiled, only four localities represent evergreen forest areas (Table 1). The northern part of Western Ghats of Maharashtra has been also undersampled. This undersampling might be the root-cause of lack of data on species numbers and distributions (Koparde et al. 2014). It seems that most of the data on Odonata diversity from Maharashtra comes either from West Maharashtra or East and North-east Maharashtra (Fig. 1). From Central-north and North-east Maharashtra, Satpuda mountain ranges have been undersampled, even if biogeographically important areas (Hora 1949, 1953 Auden 1949 Daniels 2001 Karanth 2003). Species distribution data from these areas should be important in answering questions related to the biogeography of Indian peninsula and/or the Indian subcontinent. Such studies have been carried out using Odonata as model systems (Dijkstra 2007, Shah et al. 2012), underscoring the importance of spatial data from these regions.

Major Insect Pests that attack Apple trees in India and its Control (with Diagrams)

Apple (Malus sylvestri) is one of the oldest fruit known to human-beings. Asia Minor is believed to be the original home of apple. Nowadays, it has become the most common and widely used table fruit throughout the world. Despite, having wide variety of taste and flavour, apple have a great quality to remain fresh for long. Apple trees need a temperature below 5°C to flower hence it can be grown in colder places.

In India, apples are grown along the foot hills of Himalayas, ranging from Shillong (Assam) to Darjeeling (Bengal), in Kumaon hills of Uttar Pradesh, hills of Punjab, Kullu Valley and Simla in Himachal Pradesh and whole of Jammu and Kashmir.

The apple trees are attacked by a number of insect pests. Few important ones are as below:

1. Quadraspidiotus (= aspidiotus) pernicious comst:

The insect pest is found in almost all the apple growing countries of the world. In India, too it has been reported from all the apple growing states like Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Bengal, and Assam.

Low temperature or temperature fluctuation has adverse effect on this pest survival as it cannot tolerate such conditions. Since the insect was introduced in India from a place called San Jose in California, it is commonly called as “San Jose Scale”.

It is serious pest of apple, pear and peach but can survive in several other temperate fruit trees like, almond, apricot, cherry, chestnut, plum, mulberry etc. The adult females and nymphs are destructive. They suck sap from twigs and branches as the result the nursery plants become weak and die. The matured plants infested by this pest become weak, low yielding and may not survive for long.

Marks of Identification:

The adults are tiny greyish insects exhibiting sexual dimorphism. Females are round and wingless about 2 mm across while the males are elongated and bear a pair of wings.

After emergences male and female copulates. The male die after mating, Females are ovoviviparous and instead of laying eggs they directly produce nymphs. The egg develops inside the ovisac of mother and hatches there in about a month (during April-May).

A female is capable of producing 300-400 nymphs. The freshly hatched nymphs are called crawlers. They wander on host plant for about two days and then settle down at particular place and start sucking the plant sap.

Nymphal period lasts for 40 to 50 days. The nymph secretes a waxy covering over themselves in about 4 days, hence named as scale insect or scales. The shape of the scale covering over the male and female nymphs also varies.

The scales covering the females are round and those of males are elongated. The nymph transforms into adults. There may be 4 to 5 generations in a year. The males emerge in March. The insects remain active from April to December. They overcome winter as hibernating nymphs.


1. Fumigation of the nursery plants with HCN gas or methyl bromide.

2. Spraying of dormant trees in winter with 3% miscible oil.

3. Spraying of 0.05% diazinon or methyl parathion in summer.

1. Introduction of hymenopteran hyperparasite Aphytis diaspidis and Prospaltella perniociosi is quite effective to control the pest population.

2. Eriosoma lanigerum hausmn:

(The Woolly Apple Aphid)

It is a native of America but nowadays, are found in all apple growing countries of the world. In India, it is found in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and all the hilly tracts of India.

E. lanigerum is one of the most destructive pests of apple throughout the world. Both adult and nymph suck the juice from the bark of the trunk and from the roots of the host plant, as a result infested twigs shrivel. It attacks primarily the underground roots, which develops swelling and the whole plant may die.

The winged form of the pest attack trunk branches, ea and fruit stalks etc. The pest remains active throughout the year except in cold months of December and January. Above the ground infestation is characterised by the presence of cottony patches scattered over the stem and branches. Nursery plants are severely affected. Besides, apple the pests also infest pear, almond and some other fruit trees.

Marks of Identification:

Adults are minute, 1.0 mm long and purple coloured insect. Both winged and wingless adult forms exist. Since, the pest remain concealed underneath the white cottony mass, these are commonly called as wholly aphids. The winged adult can fly.

The aphid reproduces both sexually as well as parthenogenetically, of which the later is more common. The pest reproduces throughout the year except in the colder months from mid December to mid February. The wingless forms are present all through the years whereas the winged forms are seen only from July – October.

From March onward, each female produces 30 to 116 nymphs (ovoviviparity) parthenogenetically. The nymph within 24 hours starts secreting woolly filaments and wax over their body, hence named as woolly aphids.

Four instars nymphal periods lasts for eleven days in summer and 93 days in winter. Both winged and wingless adults are formed. With the onset of winter sexual form appears. Male and female mate to produces eggs.

These eggs remain dormant till the arrival of spring. During winter the nymphs already present on the tree migrate downward to enter the root for hibernation. After the hibernation period is over i.e., April onward the nymphs from roots moves upward on tree branches to complete the life cycle.

The dormant eggs also hatch into nymph on the arrival of summer. There may be 13 generations in a year. Maximum multiplication of the pest occurs in summer and early monsoon. For dispersal winged adults fly away to new host plants, while wingless forms are blown off by the wind.

1. Use of resistant varieties like golden delicious, Morton stocks and Northern spy tor cultivation.

2. Dimethoate or thiometon granules @15 g per tree should be mixed with soil around the tree base during spring and summer.

3. Spray application of insecticides like carbaryl, Fenthion, Endosulfan, Menazon, Phosphomidon and Dimethoate during October—November.

4. Biological control is the introduction of the parasite Aphelinus mali and Coccinella septempunctata.

Watch the video: Basic Insect Identification (January 2022).