Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 27, 2007
Publication Date: February 28, 2008
Citation: Opit, G.P., Throne, J.E. 2008. Effect of diet on population growth of the psocids Lepinotus reticulatus and Liposcelis entomophila. Journal of Economic Entomology 101: 616-622. Interpretive Summary: Psocids, which are also referred to as booklice or barklice, are minute, soft-bodied insects that are emerging as a problem in grain storages, grain processing facilities, and product warehouses in the United States and many other countries. Knowledge of the suitability of different cereal grains for psocid pests is important for their management. We found that wheat and barley are the most suitable diets for Liposcelis entomophila, followed by milo, rice, oats, and corn. In the case of Lepinotus reticulatus, we found oats to be the most suitable, followed by rice, barley, milo, and wheat; corn is the least suitable. Knowledge of relative suitability of these cereals to L. reticulatus or L. entomophila can aid in improving pest management. For example, the frequency of monitoring for these pests in storages may be adjusted based on relative rates of population growth.
Technical Abstract: We investigated the suitability of 11 different diets as culture media for the psocids Lepinotus reticulatus and Liposcelis entomophila. Psocids were reared on six diets made of plain cereals, namely, wheat, corn, milo, barley, oats, and rice, and five artificial diets. We found that, with the exception of corn, L. reticulatus population increase was greater on plain cereal diets than on artificial diets, and the greatest population growth of L. reticulatus was on oats. There was an inverse relationship between L. reticulatus population growth and diet compactness. L. entomophila populations grew fastest on wheat, barley, and a mixture of cracked wheat, rice krispies, and brewer’s yeast (97:2:1 – wt/wt). The proportion of females in diets that were less suitable for L. entomophila was greater compared to that in the more suitable diets. This study has also established the relative level of suitability of damaged wheat, corn, milo, barley, oats, and rice to L. reticulatus and L. entomophila.