W.G. Meikle, R. Diaz
Journal of Insect Science 12 (118), 1-9, (1 October 2012) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.012.11801
KEYWORDS: diet, pupal stage, Soil depth, temperature
Survivorship of larvae of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), was measured after they were raised on one of six diets. The effects of container shape (wide and shallow vs. narrow and deep), soil depth (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, and 8.0 cm), and temperature (28°, 32°, or 35° C) on pupation success was measured. Diet influenced larval survivorship, but did not have a strong effect on larval weight. The larvae fed only bee brood survived the shortest period of time. The larvae that were denied pupation substrate, fed only honey and pollen, and no other food or water after 20 days, had a median survivorship of 47.6 days, with a maximum of 61 days, while those fed only brood had a median survivorship of 18.2 days. Pupation substrate was essential for successful pupation, and the depth of the substrate, not its top surface area, was the crucial factor. Pupation success in narrow and deep containers was 95.6% on average, but only 12.5% in wide and shallow containers, using the same soil volume. In narrow and deep containers, most or all larvae kept in 4–8 cm of soil pupated at all temperatures, few larvae kept at 2 cm soil depth pupated, one out of 240 kept at 1.0 cm pupated, and no larvae kept at soil depths of 0 or 0.5 cm pupated.