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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MICROBIAL INTERACTIONS AND MANAGEMENT APPROACHES TO REDUCE PATHOGENIC BACTERIA IN POULTRY

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Improved visualization of Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) - Part II: Alimentary canal components and measurements

Authors
item Crippen, Tawni
item Esquivel, Jesus

Submitted to: Psyche
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 29, 2011
Publication Date: March 22, 2012
Citation: Crippen, T.L., Esquivel, J.F. 2012. Improved visualization of Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) - Part II: Alimentary canal components and measurements. Psyche. 2012:Article 607609.

Interpretive Summary: The lesser mealworm is a pest of stored food products and of poultry production facilities. The insect can ingest and harbor bacterial pathogens. We are determining the insect’s capacity to discharge bacteria from their gut, however precise measurements of the gut and its internal structures were lacking from the scientific literature. Previous reports included only line drawing depictions, which aided little in the measurement of the gut. Advances in imaging technology allowed higher quality imaging, and in addition, exact measurement of gross anatomical features of the gut. A photographic depiction to aid the researcher is presented and will assist in determining this dimension of the gut. Determining the capacity of the lesser mealworm to act as a reservoir for transmittal of disease-causing organisms is vital to improving management of A. diaperinus on poultry facilities and providing a safe food supply for human consumption.

Technical Abstract: Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) is a pest of stored food products and problematic to every type of poultry production facility. Larvae and adults can ingest and harbor foodborne and poultry pathogens. Determining the efficiency of this insect’s capacity to transmit disease is critical to improving management of A. diaperinus on poultry facilities and providing a safe food supply for human consumption. However, a deficiency exists in the literature reporting measurements of the gut and its defined segments. Previous reports include line-drawing depictions, which aid little in the determination of the pathogen reservoir potential of these insects. Advances in technology allowed more accurate visualization and precise measurement of gross anatomical features of the alimentary canal. A photographic depiction to aid the researcher in the visualization of anatomical features and accurate measurements of the alimentary canal for these insects are presented here.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014