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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Colin S. Brent
Research Entomologist


Management & Biological Control Research Unit

USDA-ARS, Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center

Colin S. Brent

Research Entomologist

Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center

21881 North Cardon Lane

Maricopa, Arizona 85138

520-316-6337 (Office)

520-316-6457 (Lab)

520-316-6330 (FAX)


B.A. Biology, University of Chicago 1990

M.A. Biology, Boston University 1996

Ph.D. Biology, Boston University 2001


Research Interests:

My areas of expertise include insect behavior, ecology and physiology.  My research focuses on the mechanisms regulating development, dispersal and reproduction in a variety of insects.  I examine the behavioral, hormonal and physiological changes in insects as they mature, and the endogenous and exogenous stimuli that regulate this transformation.  I am particularly interested in how interactions with conspecifics are perceived and translated into developmental responses affecting reproductive dynamics.  My principal study organism is the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus, which is a major pest of cotton.  I am currently investigating pre- and post-mating regulation of female reproductive behavior and physiology, use of a male produced anti-aphrodisiac as potential mating disruptor, and the major endocrine changes accompanying maturation and egg production. 


Key Publications

JJ Hull, K Chaney, SM Geib, DJ Hawthorne, K Bennett, JA Fabrick, CS Brent, D Walsh, LC Lavine (2014) Identification of ABC transporters in the western tarnished plant bug Lygus hesperus. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113046.   PDF File

N Terrapon, C Li, H Robertson, L Ji, X Meng, W Booth, Z Chen, CP Childers, KM Glastad, K Gokhale, J Gowin, W Gronenberg, RA Hermansen, H Hu, BG Hunt, I Huylmans, SMS Khalil, R Mitchell, H Pan, F Sun, MC Munoz-Torres, J Mustard, JT Reese, ME Scharf, H Vogel, J Xiao, W Yang, Zhikai Yang, Zuoquan Yang, J Zhou, J Zhu, CS Brent (2014) The draft genome of a termite illuminates alternative social organization. Nature Communications 5: 3636.   PDF File

JJ Hull, CS Brent (2014) Identification and characterization of a sex peptide receptor-like transcript from the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus. Insect Molecular Biology 23: 301-319.   PDF File

CA Penick, CS Brent (2014) Neurohormonal changes associated with ritualized combat and the formation of a reproductive hierarchy in the ant Harpegnathos saltator. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 1496-1503.   PDF File

CS Brent, JJ Hull (2014) Characterization of male-derived factors inhibiting female sexual receptivity in Lygus hesperus. Journal of Insect Physiology 60: 104-110.   PDF File

V Callier, AW Shingleton, CS Brent, SM Ghosh, J Kim, JF Harrison (2013) The role of reduced oxygen in the developmental physiology of growth and metamorphosis initiation in Drosophila. Journal of Experimental Biology 216: 4334-4340.   PDF File

CS Brent, CJ Klok, SA Naranjo (2013) Effect of diapause status and gender on activity, metabolism and starvation resistance in the plant bug Lygus hesperus Knight. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 148: 152-160.   PDF File

NL Carreck, M Andree, CS Brent, D Cox-Foster, HA Dade, JD Ellis, F Hatjina, D vanEngelsdorp (2013) Standard methods for Apis mellifera anatomy and dissection. In V Dietemann; J D Ellis; P Neumann (Eds) The COLOSS BEEBOOK, Volume I: standard methods for Apis mellifera research. Journal of Apicultural Research 52: 4.03.   PDF File

Hull JJ, Geib SM, Fabrick JA, CS Brent (2013) Sequencing and de novo assembly of the western tarnished plant bug (Lygus hesperus) transcriptome. PloS One 8(1): e0055105.   PDF File

Hartfelder K, Bitondi MMG,CS Brent, Guidugli-Lazzarini KR, Simões ZLP, Stabentheiner A, Tanaka ED, Wang Y (2013) Standard methods for physiology and biochemistry research in Apis mellifera. Journal of Apicultural Research 52: 1.06.   PDF File

C Penick, B Trobaugh, CS Brent, J Liebig (2013) Head butting as an early indicator of reproductive disinhibition in the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis. Journal of Insect Behavior 26: 23-34.   PDF File

AR Smith, KM Kapheim, B Pérez-Ortega, CS Brent, WT Wcislo (2013) Juvenile hormone titres reflect social opportunities in the facultatively eusocial bee Zootermopsis nevadensis. Journal of Insect Behavior (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Hormones and Behavior 63: 1-4.   PDF File

CS Brent (2012) Classification of diapause status by color phenotype in Lygus hesperus. Journal of Insect Science 12:136.   PDF File

Y Wang,CS Brent, E Fennern, GV Amdam (2012) Gustatory perception and fat body energy metabolism are jointly affected by vitellogenin and juvenile hormone in honey bees. PLoS Genetics 8(6): e1002779.   PDF File

W Booth, CS Brent , DV Calleri, RB Rosengaus, JFA Traniello, EL Vargo (2012) Population genetic structure and colony breeding system in dampwood termites (Zootermopsis angusticollis and Z. nevadensis nuttingi). Insectes Sociaux 59: 127-137.   PDF File

A Dolezal, CS Brent , B Hoelldobler, GV Amdam (2012) Worker division of labor and endocrine physiology are associated in the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex californicus. Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 454-460.   PDF File

RB Rosengaus, L-T James, TR Hartke, CS Brent (2011) Mate preference and disease risk in Zootermopsis angusticollis (Isoptera: Termopsidae). Environmental Entomology 40: 1554-1565.   PDF File

CS Brent, JA Byers (2011) Female attractiveness modulated by a male-derived antiaphrodisiac pheromone in a plant bug. Animal Behaviour 82: 937-943.  PDF File

CS Brent, DW Spurgeon (2011) Diapause Response of Laboratory Reared and Native Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae). Environmental Entomology 40: 455-461.  PDF File

CS Brent, MP Fasnacht, TM Judd (2011) Post-mating enhancement of fecundity in female Lygus hesperus. Physiological Entomology, 36: 141-148.  PDF File

S Helms-Cahan, CJ Graves, CS Brent (2011) Intergenerational effect of juvenile hormone on offspring in Pogonomyrmex harvester ants. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 181: 991-999.  PDF File

CA Penick, J Liebig, CS Brent (2011) Reproduction, dominance, and caste: endocrine profiles of queens and workers of the ant Harpegnathos saltator. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 197: 1063–1071.  PDF File

DW Spurgeon, CS Brent (2010) Morphological characters of diapause in Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae). Journal of Entomological Science, 45: 1-14.  PDF File

CS Brent (2010) Reproductive refractoriness in the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102: 300-306.  PDF File

CS Brent (2010) Stage-specific effects of population density on the development and fertility of the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus. Journal of Insect Science 10: 49, available online:  PDF File

CS Brent (2010) Reproduction of the Western Tarnished Plant Bug, Lygus hesperus, in relation to age, gonadal activity and mating status. Journal of Insect Physiology 56: 28-34.  PDF File

GV Amdam, RE Page, MK Fondrk, CS Brent (2010) Hormone response to bidirectional selection on social behavior. Evolution and Development 12: 428-436.  PDF File

A Dolezal, CS Brent (2009) General dissection of female ant reproductive system and brain. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 4. doi:10.1101/pdb.prot5244.

CS Brent, A Dolezal (2009) Juvenile hormone extraction, purification, and quantification in ants. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 4. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5246.

CS Brent, A Dolezal (2009) Ant ecdysteroid extraction and radioimmunoassay. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 4. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5247.

CS Brent, A Dolezal (2009) Radiochemical assay of juvenile hormone biosynthesis rate in ants. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols 4. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5248.

J Liebig, D Eliyahu, CS Brent (2009) Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles indicate reproductive status in the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis.  Behavior, Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 1799–1807. doi: 10.1007/s00265-009-0807-5.  PDF File

A Dolezal, CS Brent, J Gadau, B Hoelldobler, G Amdam (2009) Endocrine physiology of the division of labour in Pogonomyrmex californicus founding queens. Animal Behavior 77: 1005-1010PDF File

CS Brent (2009) Control of Termite Caste Differentiation.  In: J Gadau, J Fewell (eds) Organization of Insect Societies – From Genome to Sociocomplexity, pp. 105-127. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

CS Brent, JFA Traniello, EL Vargo (2008) Benefits and costs of secondary polygyny in the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.  Environmental Entomology 37: 883-888. PDF File

T Schwander, J-Y Humbert, CS Brent, S Helms Cahan, L Keller (2008)  Maternal effect on female caste determination in a social insect.  Current Biology, 18: 265-269.  PDF File

CS Brent, C Schal, EL Vargo (2007) Endocrine effects of social stimuli on maturing queens of the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.  Physiological Entomology, 32: 26-33.  PDF File

CS Brent, C Peeters, V Dietmann, R Crewe, EL Vargo (2006) Hormonal correlates of reproductive status in the queenless Ponerine ant, Streblognathus peetersi.  Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 192: 315-320.  PDF File

CS Brent, C Schal, EL Vargo (2005) Endocrine changes in maturing primary queens of Zootermopsis angusticollis.  Journal of Insect Physiology 51: 1200-1209.  PDF File

L de Menten, D Fournier, CS Brent, L Passera, EL Vargo, S Aron (2005) Dual mechanism of queen influence over sex ratio in the ant Pheidole pallidula.  Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58: 527-533.  PDF File

CS Brent, EL Vargo (2003) Changes in juvenile hormone biosynthetic rate and whole body content in maturing virgin queens of Solenopsis invicta.  Journal of Insect Physiology 49: 967-974PDF File

CS Brent, JFA Traniello (2002) Effect of Enhanced Dietary Nitrogen on Reproductive Maturation of the Termite Zootermopsis angusticollis (Isoptera: Termopsidae).  Environmental Entomology 31(2): 313-318.  PDF File

CS Brent, JFA Traniello (2001) Social influence of larvae on ovarian maturation in primary and secondary reproductives of the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.  Physiological Entomology 26: 78-85.  PDF File

CS Brent, JFA Traniello (2001) Influence of sex-specific stimuli on ovarian maturation in primary and secondary reproductives of the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticollis.  Physiological Entomology 26: 239-247.  PDF File

CS Brent, JFA Traniello (2001) Social regulation of testicular development in primary and secondary males of the dampwood termite Zootermopsis angusticollis Hagen.  Insectes Sociaux 48: 384-391.  PDF File

Last Modified: 2/3/2015