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

Emily A. Fontenot, Frank H. Arthur, Kris L. Hartzer
Journal of stored products research 2015 v.64 pp. 154-159
Dermestes maculatus, adults, bioassays, diet, eggs, females, fur, larvae, males, neonates, oviposition, paper, photoperiod, progeny, sex ratio
Experiments were conducted to document the oviposition behaviors and preferences of the female hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus DeGeer, in order to optimize the collection of eggs and neonate larvae for biological assays. Factors evaluated were the 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 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 < 0.001) 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 sex ratio affecting 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.