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Effect of particle size of soft wheat flour on the development of Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Locatelli, D.P., Limonta, L., Stampini, M.
Journal of stored products research 2008 v.44 no.3 pp. 269-272
wheat flour, soft white wheat, particle size, protein content, wheat starch, food composition, nutrient content, Ephestia kuehniella, storage insects, insect development, insect behavior, locomotion, instars
The effect of soft wheat flours, characterized by different particle size, protein and starch content, on the development of Ephestia kuehniella was studied. The attractiveness of the substrata to first and third instar larvae was also considered. The different protein content of the flours did not significantly affect the development of E. kuehniella, nor did it affect the ability of the flours to attract larvae. In tests with soft wheat flours with the same nutritional value but different particle size, the highest mean number of adults and the shortest developmental period were recorded on samples with greatest particle size (250-419 μm). In order to test the attractiveness of soft wheat flour to larvae, a one-way olfactometer was used. There were no significant differences observed in the number of first and third instar larvae found on flours with different protein composition and particle size. Larvae of this species show limited mobility, in fact few individuals of either instar can reach the flour from a distance of 2 m. No larvae of either instar contacted the different substrata from a distance of 2.5 m.