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The dietary relationships of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) with microfungi

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McFarlane, D. J., Aitken, E. A. B., Ridley, A. W. and Walter, G. H. (2021) The dietary relationships of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) with microfungi. Journal of Applied Entomology, 145 (1-2). pp. 158-169. ISSN 0931-2048

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/jen.12830

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jen.12830


The ecology of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) outside of grain storage facilities is poorly known. However, high densities of T. castaneum adults are known to infest stored cotton seeds (Gossypium hirsutum (L.)) in Queensland, Australia, despite the absence of stored food products in the immediate vicinity. Previous studies suggest that the beetles are attracted to the fungal colonies growing on the residual fibres that remain on the cotton seeds after ginning, but the specifics of this remain unclear, even as to the species of fungi involved. In the current study, 14 fungal species were isolated from stored cotton seeds collected from four sites in Queensland. The feeding preferences of the adult beetles and the developmental success of the larvae were recorded for each fungal species. Gut analyses of T. castaneum adults, after exposure in no-choice feeding tests, showed that the beetles will feed on any one of the 14 fungal species when exposed (over 14 days) to cotton seeds that had been inoculated with one particular fungal species. The developmental success of the larvae varied depending on the fungal species, with most fungal species supporting only low levels of successful development (<30%). Tests with each fungal species and the volatiles they release revealed that neither adult nor larval survival was significantly affected by the presence of any particular fungal isolate. These results indicate that T. castaneum will feed on a variety of fungal species but that none of the tested fungal species on its own provides a good larval diet for T. castaneum.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:cotton development diet feeding fungal grain
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Plant culture > Harvesting, curing, storage
Plant culture > Field crops > Grain. Cereals
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:29 Oct 2020 02:26
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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