Experimental investigations on stored product insect infestation of grains and seeds recently introduced into the Italian market


Abstract: The growing demand for healthy foods has recently brought new kinds of products to the Italian market to meet consumers’ needs. Currently, quinoa, teff and hemp seeds can be found quite commonly in most stores, as whole or broken grains or flour. These products can be susceptible to pest attacks in different stages of the production process: from storage as whole seeds through the transformation phases to the final products ready for consumption.The aim of this work is to verify susceptibility to infestations, even if only temporary, for these recently introduced products, by two of northern Italy’s most common stored product pests, known for their high polyphagy: Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Artificial infestation assays were carried out to evaluate the mating and development possibilities for such pests on these grains. The growth rate of larvae, life cycle length and number of individuals which reached the adult stage were also assessed. Insects were obtained from colonies maintained under constant conditions in a climatic chamber (23 ± 1 °C and 65 ± 5% R.H.) at the Di.Pro.Ve.S. laboratory. These environmental conditions were maintained throughout all the assays. Insect colonies were fed on commercially available grains.Significant differences as regards the bionomical traits investigated under the above climatic conditions were observed for each species and the different grains.

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