Population dynamics of Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) under optimal and sub-optimal conditions

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Tripathi, Rahul
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Population dynamics of red flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) was determined using three different sizes of grain patch (bulk), specifically, small (0.03 kg wheat), medium (2 kg wheat) and large (14 kg wheat), at different temperature profiles. The temperature profiles tested were 21, 25, 30, 35˚C, T-decrease (30˚C in the first 4 weeks and then decreased 1˚C /week to -10˚C) and T-increase (21˚C in the first two weeks and then increased 1˚C /week to 38˚C). Three male and three female adults were introduced into each grain patch (bulk) at the start of experiments. Numbers of adults in the grain patch (bulk) were counted every 28 days up to 30 weeks. The population dynamics of the Tribolium castaneum (insect numbers) were strongly influenced by the temperature profiles, storage time and grain patch (bulk) size. The insect population increased after 4 week of introduction inside all the grain patches. Later, the number of both offspring and adults showed drastic variation with respect to temperature and storage time under different patch sizes. The peak number or density of insects also showed variation with time for different temperatures and patch sizes. The peak live adult density was the highest in the small patch at each temperature profile. The peak live adult density in the small patch was 300 ± 50, 673 ± 118, 689 ± 48, 1100 ± 150, 1150 ± 150 and 1133 ± 94 adults/kg at 21, 25, 30, 35˚C, T-decrease and T-increase, respectively.
red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum (Herbst)), population dynamics, patch (bulk) size, temperature