Interspecific competition between agricultural pests may affect the species that can establish, and may also affect food production. Prostephanus truncatus (Horn), the larger grain borer, is endemic to Central America, but invaded Africa with disastrous consequences for maize production. Its main competitor is Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky, the maize weevil, which is cosmopolitan. These insects co-occur in many regions of the world and both are threats to maize. However, the impact of competition between these two species is not well-understood, nor is its effect on grain quality or potential to limit P. truncatus invasion in new areas. The aims of our study were to evaluate the outcome of interspecific competition between P. truncatus and S. zeamais at four different temperatures on a fixed quantity of grain, and determine effects on progeny production, grain damage, and mold growth. We found that coexistence may be possible at a range of 25–30°C, but mixed colonies experienced a direct competitive cost compared to single-species colonies. Prostephanus truncatus performed better at warmer temperatures, while S. zeamais favored cooler temperatures. The majority of grain damage was the result of P. truncatus activity as opposed to S. zeamais. Finally, mold growth was greater where both species were present, and species of mold that produce aflatoxin were identified. Although there are an increasing number of areas where both of these species occur, our results suggest P. truncatus will be capable of destroying much more maize in a shorter period compared to S. zeamais at temperatures greater than 25°C.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 49 • No. 1