Insects pests of stored products and by-products are extending their feeding preferences to new items. We report for the first time in Brazil the feeding and reproduction of the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne F. (Coleoptera: Anobiidae) on stored chamomile, Matricaria recutita L. (Asteraceae). One intact package (10 cm wide × 15 cm long) of M. recutita infested by L. serricorne was purchased in a supermarket in Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. In this sample this insect had fed on the dried parts (inflorescences and rods), which made the product unfit for human consumption. This 20 g sample included 101 live and 4 dead Lasioderma serricorne. Circumstantial evidence suggested that the infested material was probably harvested from an infested field in Apr 2013 and packaged with L. serricorne eggs, and that these had developed into the adults found in the package.
Insects pest of stored products and by-products, such as the cosmopolitan the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne F. (Coleoptera: Anobiidae) are extending their feeding preferences to new items (Machado et al. 2008; Poderoso et al. 2013). A case in point involves chamomile, Matricaria recutita L. (Asteraceae) [= Matricaria suaveolens L.; Chamomilla chamomilla (L.) Rydb.; Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert)], an annual plant that probably originated from Asia or Europe and is cultivated in most countries for multiple uses.
Thus our aim is to report the occurrence of L. serricorne in stored M. recutita in Brazil.
One intact package (10 cm width × 15 cm length) (Fig. 1 and Suppl. Fig. 1 in Florida Entomologist 97(2) (2014) online at http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/entomologist/browse) containing 20 g of dried parts (inflorescences and rods) of M. recutita was bought by a consumer from a supermarket in Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil for US$0.35 in 28 Aug 2013. The manufacturer is legal and regulated by the Brazilian government, because the package had the numbers of the National Registry of Legal Entities and State Registration. The product was manufactured on 16 Apr 2013 with an expiration date of 1 year from the date of manufacture.
The above-mentioned consumer observed adult beetles inside the M. recutita package and sent it to the Laboratory of Biological Control of Insects of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The package was opened and the number of adult beetles counted. Ten adult beetles were placed inside an Eppendorf vial with 70% ethanol and sent to the Laboratory of Integrated Pest Management of Grains of the Department of Agricultural Engineering of the UFV, where they were identified by a table magnifier based on keys and taxonomic descriptions (Papadopoulou & Buchelos 2002b).
The insects observed were identified as L. serricorne, so this is the first report of this pest in stored M. recuttia in Brazil. One hundred and five adults of this insect (101 live and 4 dead) were counted inside the M. recutita package. Lasioderma serricorne adults are 2–3 mm long with brown color (Omae et al. 2012). This insect is a good flier (Papadopoulou & Buchelos 2002a) and the adults live for 2 to 6 weeks (Ashworth 1993).
Adult L. serricorne feed on the dried parts (inflorescences and rods) of M. recutita, which makes this product unfit for consumption. We observed feces and remnants of plant parts in the sample infested together with the loss of aroma of the essential oil of this plant.
We surmised that the M. recutita in the infested package was probably harvested from an infested field and packaged with L. serricorne eggs, because the adults probably emerged in Aug 2013. The development of L. serricorne depends on climatic conditions with a duration that decreases as the temperature increases (Ashworth 1993). The average temperature at Viçosa was 17.4 °C between the date of packaging and the purchase of the product, which could have increased the longevity of L. serricorne adults (Ashworth 1993). The periods of egg, larva, pupa, and from egg to adult of L. serricorne are 4.6 to 6.6 days; 38.0 to 92.0 days; 4.6 to 18.3 days and 46.0 to 109.2 days, respectively, depending on the temperature and food source (Mahroof & Phillips 2008).
This is the first report of L. serricorne feeding and reproducing in packaged M. recutita in Brazil.
To the Brazilian agencies “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)”, “Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES)” and “Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG)” for financial support.