Development of Tribolium castaneum Herbst (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Damage to Selected Flours in Storage

  • C.N. Ehisianya
  • A.G. Stephen
  • B.N. Onunka
Keywords: Damage, flours, progeny, storage, Tribolium castaneum


Flours from maize, millet, sorghum, wheat and cassava, obtained from a local market in Abia State, Nigeria were evaluated for the development of Tribolium castaneum and consequent damage in the laboratory at ambient laboratory conditions of 28-34℃ and 58-75% RH for a period of 63 days. Twenty grams each of these flours were artificially infested with 5 pairs of adult T. castaneum in a 500 mls glass containers with netted lids. The experiment was set-up in a completely randomized design (CRD) and replicated four times. The results showed variations in the pre- and post- treatment proximate composition of the selected flours which influenced the development of the insect and flour damage. Irrespective of flour type, T. castaneum progeny development caused increase in moisture, ash content, and decrease in dry matter, fibre, metabolizable energy, and crude protein after treatment. The tested flours were susceptible to T. castaneum at varying degrees. Flours from wheat and sorghum were significantly (P < 0.05) more susceptible to infestation due to increased progeny development than others, whereas no progeny developed in cassava flours. There were significantly (P < 0.05) higher mean mortality of adult T. castaneum in maize flours (1.90) and least in wheat flours (0.25). Mean weight losses were also significantly (P < 0.05) higher in maize (25%) and least in cassava and millet flours (8.75%). The outcome of this study underscores the need of preventive measures against T. castaneum to avoid economic losses to flours destined for long storage duration.


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print ISSN: 0300-368X