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Effect of diet and refugia on development of Dermestes maculatus DeGeer reared in a laboratory

Emily A. Fontenot, Frank H. Arthur, Kris L. Hartzer
Journal of pest science 2015 v.88 no.1 pp. 113-119
Dermestes maculatus, adults, bone meal, cannibalism, cork, diet, dried foods, eggs, grain products, larvae, mass rearing, pests, pet foods, protein content, pupae, pupation, refuge habitats, stored products
The hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, is a Dermestid beetle that can infest a wide variety of stored products, including pet foods, animal feeds, dried foods, and grain products with high protein content. Although there is published information concerning the biology and habits of D. maculatus, there are few studies that examine these factors in terms of mass rearing for maintenance of laboratory cultures. Multiple experiments with factors such as diet type and amount, container size, refugia type, and amount and effect of larval density were examined to assess methodologies that could be utilized in mass rearing. Protein-rich diet sources such as commercial pet food, nutrition drink mix, and bone meal provided adequate nutrition for D. maculatus and supported development from egg to adult. Cannibalism by larvae and adults, especially on the pupae, was common but could be minimized by providing refugia for larvae to utilize as pupation sites. At greater larval densities, cork and wood refugia increased survival to the adult stage by nearly 50 % by reducing cannibalization. Results show that D. maculatus can be mass reared successfully in the laboratory, but the diet must have adequate protein content, and precautions must be taken to reduce cannibalism.