We tested the effects of different soils (soils A–F) representing four soil types, two moisture extremes (wet and dry), and two soil densities (packed and tilled) on the number of emerging Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) adults. We further determined the effect of soil type and A. tumida sex on the time spent in the soil (where the beetle pupates). Three thousand A. tumida larvae were placed in the moist soil treatments (wet/packed and wet/tilled), of which 2,746 emerged from the soil as adults. Additionally, 3,000 larvae were placed in the dry soil treatments (dry/packed and dry/tilled), of which none emerged as adults. In only one soil were emersion rates different from those in other soils. For every soil, there were significantly more emerging A. tumida in the wet treatments than in the dry ones. Female A. tumida spent less time in the soil than male A. tumida but only by an average of less than half a day. Soil type did affect the length of time A. tumida spent as pupae, despite which average emersion as adults occurred within a tight range. The data suggest that biological requirements of A. tumida may limit/enhance their reproductive potential in various soil environments (especially in dry climates).
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