Submitted to: Psyche
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2011
Publication Date: 3/22/2012
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57303
Citation: Esquivel, J.F., Crippen, T.L., Ward, L.A. 2012. Improved visualization of Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) - Part I: Morphological features for sex determination of multiple stadia. Psyche. 2012:Article 328378. doi 1155-12-328478. Interpretive Summary: Lesser mealworm beetles infest poultry houses and can transmit pathogens that affect poultry and humans. While conducting research to determine the amount of pathogens that an individual beetle could carry, it became apparent that a user-friendly guide to aid in determining sexes of beetles and other life stages was needed. This report provides a comprehensive guide illustrating features used to identify sexes at different life stages. This illustrated guide is the first to address all life stages and will be invaluable to the novice entomologists and non-entomologists entering the study area of lesser mealworm and pathogen interactions.
Technical Abstract: The lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), is a perennial pest of poultry facilities and known to transmit disease-causing pathogens of poultry and man. Ongoing research examining reservoir potential of A. diaperinus revealed the need for a comprehensive, user-friendly guide for determining sex of A. diaperinus at different stadia. This report is unprecedented in providing a comprehensive guide of characters used for differentiation of sexes in larvae, pupae, and adults of A. diaperinus. Potential research avenues are discussed in relation to observed phenotypic differences of characters within each life stage.