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Survival and reproduction of lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) on flora associated with native habitats in Kansas

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Capture of Rhyzopertha dominica in pheromone-baited traps located many kilometers away from grain storage suggests that this species may be exploiting non-grain food sources. To investigate the potential for survival of this species on alternative hosts in the absence of grain, we conducted no-choice feeding assays with twigs and seeds of trees, and seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs, commonly encountered on Kansas prairie landscapes where R. dominica has been captured. In addition, R. dominica development and progeny production were assessed on seeds that adults were able to survive on for at least two weeks. Adult survival was poor on grass and forb seeds, although 13.4% of individuals survived on Elymus canadensis, Canada wildrye, seeds after two weeks, compared with 80.3% on Triticum aestivum, wheat, and 0.0% survival in the absence of food. Beetles readily tunneled into twigs from a wide range of tree species, but survival was generally low. A few individuals survived up to four weeks on Gleditsia triacanthos, honey locust. In contrast, bioassays showed that R. dominica could survive and reproduce on damaged seeds (acorns) of six species of oak, but not on undamaged seeds. For example, survival was 95.8% on damaged Quercus muehlenbergii, chinquapin oak. A survey of acorns at the original field collection site showed that the majority of the acorns on the ground had been cracked or bored into by insects and small mammals. Furthermore, we recovered three R. dominica adults from acorns collected in the field and held in sealed containers in the laboratory. These findings suggest that R. dominica populations in Kansas can persist on wild acorns when grain is not available.
Jia, Fengyou , Toews, Michael D. , Campbell, James F. , Ramaswamy, Sonny B.
Includes references
Journal of stored products research 2008, v. 44, issue 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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