Effect of nitrogen fertilisation on maize weevil Sitophilus zeamais: wheat preferences, development time and progeny production
Abstract: Impact of nitrogen fertilisation on the Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky wheat-food preferences, development time, and progeny production were studied. The Italian durum wheat, Triticum turgidum L., variety “Svevo” was cultivated using three different fertiliser regimes, 0 kg/ha, 60 kg/ha, and 160 kg/ha of nitrogen. The kernel samples obtained by the three fertilisation regime-plots were compared. After bioassays were performed in cylindrical arenas, different levels of kernel susceptibility to S. zeamais infestation were observed. Results of trials indicated that the susceptibility of grains is not closely related to higher protein presence in kernels from field plots fertilised with 60 and 160 kg/ha of nitrogen compared to the kernels of unfertilised plots. These observations were consistent with the results observed in F1 and F2 progeny. The overall duration of developmental time of S. zeamais, from egg to adult, was also not influenced by the different nitrogen fertiliser regimes.