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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303799

Title: Oviposition of Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, the hide beetle, as affected by biological and environmental conditions

item FONTENOT, EMILY - Former ARS Employee
item Arthur, Franklin
item Hartzer, Kris

Submitted to: Journal of Stored Products Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2014
Publication Date: 10/1/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Fontenot, E.A., Arthur, F.H., Hartzer, K.L. 2016. Oviposition of Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, the hide beetle, as affected by biological and environmental conditions. Journal of Stored Products Research. 64B:154-159. doi: 10.1016/j.jspr.2014.11.004.

Interpretive Summary: The hide beetle can infest a wide variety of stored food products, particularly protein-based food and feed. We have developed a method to mass rear this insect but it is difficult to collect eggs from that diet. We evaluated different methods to collect eggs and small larvae and found that synthetic fur was suitable for collecting large numbers of individual eggs or young larvae. In addition, we found that females laid fewer eggs on diet that had already been used for rearing compared with fresh diet. Results show how the biology of an individual insect species can be used to help rear the insect on artificial diet and to maximize collection methods for different life stages.

Technical Abstract: Experiments were conducted to document the oviposition behaviors and preferences of the female hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, in order to optimize collection of eggs and neonate larvae for biological assays. Factors evaluated were type of oviposition substrate, preference for and type of preconditioned diet, sex ratio and light/dark conditions. We determined that synthetic fur was a suitable medium for oviposition and for collecting progeny. Fur type and position were not important factors in oviposition preference (average progeny production ranged from 27.9 ± 6.4 to 42.4 ± 6.4), however, the use of paper as a cover and no cover treatments were statistically different from the fur treatments and resulted in average progeny productions of 5.2 ± 1.1 and 3.4 ± 0.7, respectively. Diet preconditioned by the colony was a statistically significant (P <.001) factor for oviposition preference compared with unconditioned diet and inhibited oviposition. The type of preconditioning was also an important factor (P = 0.004); we examined four treatments: no conditioning, conditioning by larvae, conditioning by adult males and conditioning by adult females. The mean progeny production for the control (no conditioning) was 52.9 ± 13.6, which was not significantly different from the larval conditioning treatment (48.1 ± 5.9). Both adult conditioned treatments were statistically different for progeny production, adult male (22.3 ± 2.9) and adult female (8.2 ± 2.5). In regard to progeny production, oviposition was greatest with only one male. Mixed results were obtained in light verses dark conditions and further experiments regarding the effects of day length on oviposition would be useful for optimizing oviposition of D. maculatus.