The lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae), a serious pest of stored cereal grains, is widely distributed and has been collected in different habitats in North America, such as those from agricultural and nonagricultural settings. Our objective was to study the dispersal distances and direction of dispersal by R. dominica after external marking using fluorescent powder, releasing marked beetles, and recapturing adults using pheromone traps in distinctively different ecological habitats, wooded sites and open grasslands, for 2 consecutive yr. The recapture rate of marked beetles ranged from 6 to 26% in both sites and was generally higher in the wooded site than the open field site for both years. There was a significant difference in dispersal distances between wooded and open sites. Mean dispersal distances in the wooded site ranged from 337 to 375 m, whereas in the open site, they varied from 261 to 333 m. Trap captures for both marked and feral beetles were related to the ambient temperature such that increase in trap captures occurred with increasing temperature. Significant differences were observed for directional movement of R. dominica in both sites and indicated that most beetles dispersed in the northwest direction. Correlation analyses showed that the relationship between numbers of marked-released-recaptured beetles significantly decreased with increasing trap distances. Understanding dispersal distances and directions provide insight to flight behavior of R. dominica and to the relationship between ecologically diverse breeding habitats. Knowledge of R. dominica habitat ecology outside of grain storage facilities may be useful in designing suitable management tactics to minimize the onset of infestations in grain storages.
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