Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2007
Citation: Arbogast, R.T. 2007. A wild strain of Plodia interpunctella (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) from farm-stored maize in south carolina: Effect of temperature on mating, survival, and fecundity. Journal of Stored Products Research. 43:503-507. Interpretive Summary: The need to reduce the risk posed by chemical pesticides to human health and the environment, and at the same time to protect food commodities from damage and contamination by insect pests, has prompted a substantial research effort to develop insect control strategies that reduce or eliminate the need for chemical application. Development of expert systems for predicting insect problems and recommending remedial action have made significant contributions towards this end. These computer systems incorporate the collective knowledge of many experts in a form that can be accessed and applied by those responsible for protecting food commodities. The systems also incorporate mathematical models capable of predicting population growth of storage pests. Unfortunately, relatively few population models have been developed for stored product insects, because the necessary data linking physical conditions of the storage environment to pest growth, development, and reproduction are incomplete. ARS scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida, have determined how temperature affects the survival and mating of adult moths and the number of eggs that they lay. This moth is a major worldwide pest of granaries, food processing plants, warehouses, retail stores, and households. The information provided by this study will be used by scientists in building population models for incorporation into expert systems. These systems will in to turn be used by farmers, elevator operators, warehousemen, and extension workers to prevent or reduce damage and contamination of corn and corn products by means that will minimize pesticide risk.
Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to develop age-specific survivorship and fecundity schedules for adult Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) relevant to maize storages, with special reference to the southeastern states (USA). Laboratory cultures were established with moths collected from farm-stored maize in South Carolina and maintained on cracked maize at 30 degrees C and 60% r.h. Age-specific schedules of survivorship and fecundity, the length of the oviposition period, mating success, and mating frequency were determined at 20, 25, 30, and 35 degrees C and about 75% r.h. The maximum oviposition period was longest (18 d) at 20 and 25 degrees C, shortest (8 d) at 35 degrees C. The optimum temperatures for reproduction (mating frequency and fecundity) were 25-30 degrees C, but mean life-span was longest (13.2 d) at 20 degrees C and declined linearly with increasing temperature. Mean total (lifetime) fecundity ranged from 16.9 eggs at 35 degrees C to 227.7 eggs at 25 degrees C.