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Keywords:

  • Alphitobius diaperinus;
  • lesser mealworm;
  • darkling beetle;
  • temperature-dependent development;
  • poultry litter

Abstract. Development, growth and survival of the lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), were determined at six constant temperatures. No egg hatch or larval development occurred at 17oC. At temperatures of 20, 25, 30, 35 and 38oC the median development times (days), respectively, were for eggs (13.4, 6.0, 4.4, 2.6 and 2.6), larvae (133.0, 46.0, 26.2, 22.4 and 23.9), pupae (17.0, 8.0, 5.5, 4.0 and 4.1), and from oviposition to adult emergence (164.4, 60.2, 37.9, 29.0 and 30.8). The Sharpe & DeMichele (1977) model was used to describe the temperature-dependent development. The mean egg survival (hatching) ranged from 61% to 86%, with lowest hatch at 20oC. Survival of the larvae and pupae ranged from 32% to 73% and from 85% to 95%, respectively, with lowest survival at 20oC. Pupae had significantly lower weights at 35oC and adults at 38oC than at the other temperatures. Female pupae (20 mg) and female adults (16 mg) were significantly heavier than male pupae (17 mg) and male adults (13 mg). Adults (0.5–9 months old) laid 4–7 eggs per female per day at 25oC.