The Effects of Temperature, Diet, and Other Factors on Development, Survivorship, and Oviposition of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)

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Developmental rate and survivorship of small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), life stages were measured across different temperatures (21, 25, 28, 32 and 35°C) and diets, which included natural and artificial pollen, honey, and bee pupae. Temperature affected hatch success, time to hatching, and larval growth. Eggs hatched in 61 h at 21°C but in <22 h at 35°C. Larvae achieved peak weight in <8 d at 35°C but needed 17 d at 21°C. Diet had comparatively little effect on larval survivorship or maximum weight, although larvae fed only bee pupae had lower survivorship. Access to soil influenced pupation success. Duration of the life stage spent in the soil, during which pupation occurs, was also affected by temperature: adults emerged after 32.7 d at 21°C but after only 14.8 d at 35°C, albeit with high mortality. Minimum temperature for development was estimated at 13.5°C for eggs, and 10.0°C for larvae and pupae. Temperature influenced adult longevity and oviposition: on a honey and pollen diet average adult lifespan was 92.8 d at 24°C but only 11.6 d at 35°C. Beetles lived longer at 28°C or lower but produced the most eggs per female, regardless of diet, at 32°C. Beetle density influenced fecundity: beetles kept at three pairs per vial laid 6.7 times more eggs per female than those kept as single pairs. Overall, beetles fared best at 28‐32°C with mortality of all stages highest at 35°C.

Keywords: Aethina tumida; diet; oviposition; survivorship; temperature

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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