Monday, December 11, 2006 - 10:11 AM

Food type influences on developmental and physiological parameters of the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella

Abigail Walter, and Stephen Kells, University of Minnesota, Entomology, 1980 Folwell Ave Room 219, St Paul, MN

The nutritional quality of an insectís food may have profound effects on itís physiological and ecological performance. In this study, we reared Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpuntella, an important pest of stored grain and food products, on a variety of diets where it can be commonly encountered in the retail habitat, versus a standard laboratory diet. We measured the developmental parameters of time to pupation, pupal weight, and survival to adulthood; and the physiological parameter of supercooling point. Although we found trade-offs according to diet in each of these parameters, the performance of the moths on different diets varied according to the parameter used to evaluate performance. Thus, the optimal diet for this insect in a field situation would depend on the conditions experienced by the insect population. In addition, this work highlights the importance of understanding the behavior of this pest insect on different food sources in designing an integrated pest management plan. The foodstuff where the insect is encountered should influence management techniques such as monitoring interval and control by temperature modification

Species 1: Lepidoptera Pyralidae Plodia interpunctella (Indianmeal moth)

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