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Competition among species of stored-product psocids (Psocoptera) in stored grain

Christos G. Athanassiou, Nickolas G. Kavallieratos, James E. Throne, Christos T. Nakas
PLoS One 2014 v.9 no.8 pp. 1-11
Lepinotus reticulatus, Liposcelis bostrychophila, adults, air temperature, females, interspecific competition, laboratory experimentation, population growth, storage insects, stored grain
We evaluated the competition of stored-product psocid species, by conducting two series of laboratory experiments. In the first series, three Liposcelididae were used: Liposcelis bostrychophila, L. decolor and L. paeta. Five adult females of these species were placed in vials, either alone or in all possible combinations of two species. The number of adults in the vials was counted after 35, 70, 105, 140, and 175 d. These tests were performed at two temperature levels, 25 and 30°C. At 25°C, there were no differences in L. bostrychophila numbers when this species was either alone or with each of the other two species. At 30°C, L. bostrychophila was the dominant species, while its presence had a negative effect on the population growth of L. decolor and L. paeta. In the second series of tests, L. bostrychophila adults were placed either alone or with adults of Lepinotus reticulatus (Trogiidae), at the ratios of (L. bostrychophila adults: L. reticulatus adults) 10:0, 9:1, 7:3, 5:5, 3:7, 1:9 and 0:10. These tests were carried out only at 30°C, while the observation periods were the same as above. Liposcelis bostrychophila was the dominant species in this case as well, regardless of the ratio of the parental females. In contrast, L. reticulatus at the end of the experimental period was present only in vials that contained this species alone. Our results suggest that L. bostrychophila can be the winner in the competition with other stored product psocid species, but the outcome of this competition is highly affected by temperature, species and observation period.