Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGY, SAMPLING, AND MODELING OF INSECT PESTS OF STORED GRAIN, PROCESSING FACILITIES, AND WAREHOUSES Title: Effects of rearing density, age, sex, and food deprivation on flight initiation of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Authors
item Perez Mendoza, Joel
item Campbell, James
item Throne, James

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 5, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Repository URL: http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/handle/10113/49925
Citation: Perez Mendoza, J., Campbell, J.F., Throne, J.E. 2011. Effects of rearing density, age, sex, and food deprivation on flight initiation of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(2):433-451. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10430.

Interpretive Summary: The red flour beetle is one of the major pests in stored grain and in grain processing facilities throughout the world. Traps are used to monitor their movement to aid in making pest management decisions, but we don’t fully understand the factors that cause their movement. We found that the rates at which red flour beetles initiate flight did not differ with age or sex, presence or absence of food, or duration of starvation. Adults were less likely to fly when individuals of the opposite sex were present. Presence of the same sex or mixed sexes and the actual numbers of individuals present did not affect tendency to fly. Older beetles (7- to 20-d old) initiated flight more quickly than younger beetles (1- to 4-d old). No young beetles flew during the first 24 hours of flight tests. Time to flight did not differ with rearing density, sex, presence or absence of food, or duration of starvation. These results will help to develop better methods for interpreting trap catches from pest monitoring programs.

Technical Abstract: Effects of rearing density, adult density and sex ratio in the flight chamber, adult age, sex, presence or absence of food, and duration of food deprivation on rate of and time to flight initiation of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), were studied in the laboratory. Rates of flight initiation were slightly lower at lower rearing densities, but did not differ with age or sex of adults, presence or absence of food in the flight chamber, or duration of food deprivation. Focal adults were less likely to fly when individuals of the opposite sex were present in flight chambers. Presence of the same sex or mixed sexes and numbers of individuals in flight chambers did not affect tendency to fly of focal individuals. Mean time to flight of older beetles (7- to 20-d old) was less than that of younger beetles (1- to 4-d old). No young beetles flew during the first 24 h of flight tests. Mean time to flight did not differ with rearing density, sex, presence or absence of food, or duration of food deprivation. Our results indicate that this species is highly dispersive during the adult stage and that flight does not appear to be associated with just pre-reproductive or post-reproductive dispersal phases, high rearing density, or short to medium periods of food deprivation. Therefore, T. castaneum level of flight activity does not appear to be associated with factors that have been shown in the literature to increase dispersal by walking for this species and to increase flight initiation in other stored-product species.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page