About animals

Leaflet - Chloropseidae - family


Widely distributed on all continents except Antarctica. More than 1,500 species are described, about 250 are known in Russia, and 120 species in Ukraine.
About 10 species common in our country are pests of crops.
Small (1–4 mm) or medium-sized (5–12 mm) flies with a round or angular head. Body color is black, gray, yellow. In the latter case, on the mid back, a pattern of 3-5 stripes. The wings are developed. Larvae with a pointed anterior and somewhat thickened posterior end, from which two blunt rounded outgrowths - stigmophores. Body color is milky white, yellowish or pinkish. At the anterior end, an oropharyngeal apparatus is visible through the covers, the hooks of which are located outside. The cuticle of the body carries spines and rows of transverse ridges, with the help of which the larva moves. The shape and location of the spines are important in determining the species affiliation of the larvae. Flies feed on the flowers of umbrella, euphorbia, cruciferous, etc. Larvae develop inside the stems of cereals and sedge plants, as well as in inflorescences and seeds of other plants. Some species cause the formation of cigar-shaped galls on the stems or are saprophages, feed on rotting wood, mushrooms. Larvae of some species - predators, destroy root aphids (genus Chloropisca), develop in locust pellets (Siphonella).
Stem fly - Elaсhiptera cornuta Fll. In Russia everywhere. Western Europe, China. Larvae - saprophages, develop in decaying plants: cereals, gladioli, hemp, tomatoes, damaged by other insects.
White-headed fly - Oscinella albiseta Mg The north and the center of the European part of Russia, in Ukraine everywhere. Western Europe. Larvae develop in the stems of the hedgehogs of the national team (Dactylis glomerata).
Sheep fly - Oscinella festucae Mesnil. North-west and south of the European part of Russia, Kazakhstan, Siberia, in Ukraine everywhere. Europe.
The larva develops in the stalks of fescue (Festuca), sometimes damages winter wheat.
Swedish barley fly - Oscinella pusilla Mg The northwest and south of the European part of Russia, Kazakhstan, the mountains of Central Asia, southern Siberia, Southern Primorye, everywhere in Ukraine, are more harmful in Polesie and Forest-Steppe. Western Europe.
It damages wheat, barley, corn, as well as wild-growing cereals: wheatgrass, wheatgrass, chaff, perennial chaff, Siberian flare, meadow bluegrass, bluegrass, meadow fescue, etc.
Description. Fly 1.5–2 mm, black, ground beetle, abdominal stercy, tibia of fore and middle legs yellow, narrow darkened band on hind tibia. The ratio of the length of the II segment of arista to III is 0.27—0.31. The height of the cheeks under the eyes at the narrowest point is equal to or greater than the length of the third segment of the antennae. Egg 0.7-0.16 mm, white or cream, elongated cylindrical. The adult larva is whitish yellow, cylindrical. The body is pointed in front, rounded at the back. On the anal segment there are two fleshy rounded tubercles on which spiracles are located, each having three spiracular crevices. The cuticle on each segment has one main row of large and one closing row of small spines.
Lifestyle. Adult larvae hibernate inside the stems of seedlings of winter crops or wild cereals. In spring, with an increase in air temperature in the ground layer of more than 12 °, the larvae begin to pupate in wintering places on the damaged plant. First generation flies fly out in late April - early May. They feed on flowering vegetation. Oviposition begins on the 10-35th day after the flies fly out of puparia and occurs at a temperature not lower than 16 °. Eggs are laid on stems having 2-3 leaves or per seedling seedling film. The larva penetrates the middle of the stem and feeds on the embryonic germ of the ear and the lower part of the central leaf. The larval stage lasts from 22 to 46 days depending on temperature. Damaged stems are characterized by drying of the central leaf. With early settlement (before tillering), the entire plant dies. If loose plants are populated, then the flies do not lay eggs on the central, but on the lateral, underdeveloped stems. When populating corn, in addition to direct damage to the stems and leaves, it contributes to the infection of plants with bladder smut.
In Ukraine, depending on weather conditions, 4–5 generations are developing. The first develops on the breeder of winter crops and seedlings of spring bread, the second - on the breeder and wild cereals, ears of barley and oats, the third and fourth - on the carrion and seedlings of winter crops, the fifth (sometimes) on the seedlings of winter crops.
Control measures. Of great importance in limiting the number of flies are agricultural practices: feeding winter crops, stubble cultivation, deep autumn plowing. Effective pre-sowing treatment of cereal seeds with heptachlor.
To protect the seedlings of corn, pre-sowing seed treatment with heptachlor is used, as well as spraying of crops in the phase of full seedlings of chlorophos, metaphos or preparations of the gamma isomer of HCH.
Swedish Fly - Oscinella frit L. The European part of Russia, Kazakhstan, the mountains of Central Asia, Siberia, everywhere in Ukraine, is more numerous in the western Forest-Steppe and Polesie. Western Europe, North America.
Until recently O. frit and O. pusilla were considered variations of the same species. Currently, these forms are considered as two independent species, characterized by trophic and environmental differences. O. pusilla is considered more xerophilic, and O. frit - a more hygrophilic look. However, in the steppe zone of Ukraine O. frit is more common than O. pusilla. Thus, a more detailed study of the ecology of these species is necessary.

The number of species in "sister" taxa

suborder / orderSingersOscines
squad / orderSparrowPasseriformes
superorder / orderNewborn birds (Typical birds)NeognathaePycroft1900
infraclassReal Birds (Foxtail Birds)NeornithesShadow1893
subclassCalabash Birds (Fanfowl)Carinatae Ornithurae (Neornithes) Ornithurae (Neornithes)Merrem1813
the classBirdsAves
subtype / subdivisionVertebrates (Cranial)Vertebrata (craniata)
type / departmentChordateChordata
overtypeCoelomic animalsCoelomata
sectionBilateral Symmetric (Three Layer)Bilateria (Triploblastica)
kingdomMulticellular animalsMetazoa

Male birds have to choose between attractive color and song beauty

Sexual selection, which is based on the struggle for the success of reproduction, can potentially act as a powerful factor in speciation. This role is confirmed by mathematical models and individual works, however, many attempts at a broader analysis did not reveal the expected connection. The team of British ornithologists wondered: is it always correct in such studies to evaluate the strength of sexual selection? It is usually assumed that sexual selection will affect all the signs associated with the struggle for partners and fertility. Often, sexual dimorphism in color is used as an indicator of sexual selection - color differences between males and females. However, the visual channel is not the only one that can be involved in attracting a partner. So, for many birds, acoustic signals serve this purpose. Using the Passeriformes order as an example, the authors of a new study demonstrated that there is a compromise between the development of two systems for attracting a partner: the merits of males are mainly manifested either in vocalization or in appearance. This means that it is simply impossible to evaluate the role of sexual selection by only one group of signs.

Songbirds have an extra chromosome

In songbirds (Passeri suborder), most body cells contain 40 pairs of chromosomes. In 1998, an additional chromosome in germ cells was found in zebra amadins, and in 2014, in their relatives, Japanese amadins. Then this find was considered as a genetic curiosity. It was present in the germ cells of females, as well as in the precursors of the germ cells of males, but it was also “thrown out” of them during sperm maturation.

A group led by Pavel Borodin from the Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS studied 14 species of songbirds from nine different families, as well as eight species of birds that are not songbirds - geese, ducks, hens, pigeons, gulls, swifts, falcons, parrots. In all song species, an additional chromosome was found in germ cells, while in other species it was not.

“We found that, unlike other birds and most other animals, all the studied songbird species contain different numbers of chromosomes in somatic and germ cells. All of them, literally every examined bird, have an extra chromosome in germ cells (COD). We have shown that the most common birds have an extra chromosome: squirrels, swallows, tits, flytraps, larks and rooks (rooks also belong to songbirds). Moreover, an additional chromosome is absent in birds of all other orders, ”said Borodin N + 1.

He and his colleagues isolated and decoded separate sections of additional chromosomes in the siskin, pale swallow, zebra amadina, and Japanese amadina and found numerous fragments of the functional genes of the main genome there. Simultaneously with the Borodin group, two independent research groups found (1, 2) that the chromosomes in the germ cells of the zebra amadina contain genes that are similar but not identical to the genes of somatic cells. Some of these genes are present in multiple copies and produce RNA and proteins in the testes and ovaries of mature birds.

“We suggest that COD emerged as an additional parasitic microchromosome in the common ancestor of all songbirds about 35 million years ago and underwent significant changes in size and genetic content, turning from a“ genomic parasite ”into an important component of the genome of germ cells. We do not yet know why it is needed and what advantages it can give its carriers. Perhaps it was she who allowed songbirds to become the largest suborder (more than 5 thousand out of a total of 9-10 thousand bird species), create many forms, beautiful and amazing, and capture many ecological niches on all continents, ”the scientist noted.

Scientists believe that the COD of songbirds can be seen as an evolutionary attempt to locally and temporarily increase the number of copies of the desired genes without increasing the total genome size and body weight. Birds need additional copies of genes in germ cells for a short breeding period just to produce a lot of sperm and load oocytes with a large amount of protein. And copies of these genes are not needed all year round and in all somatic cells.

“If we take into account that the COD of swallows, tits, reeds and many other small birds weighs about 0.1 picogram, and the whole genome - 1.2 picogram, it turns out to be a pretty heavy burden to carry, and not just carry, but also feed, drink and propagate throughout life in all cells of the body. A set of genes for reproduction is more convenient to store in a small tool box, ”said Borodin.

Distribution and Description

Leaflets (Chloropseidae) - close relatives of Irene. Their distinctive feature is the tubular tongues with which birds extract nectar from flowers. Leaflets inhabit the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, the largest number of species settled in Indochina. Males in leaflets differ from nondescript females in the brightness of their plumage.

These birds feed on nectar of flowers, small fruits, berries, insects and their larvae. They make nests on trees. In clutch 2-3 eggs. Both parents feed the chicks, bringing them nectar and tiny insects.

Leaflets - magnificent singers who have long attracted lovers of songbirds at home with their talents. In addition, the birds perfectly mimic various sounds, including the voices of many other feathered inhabitants of the forests.

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