CHAPTER VIII. COMPARATIVE POPULATION GROWTH OF S.oryzae. C. cephalonica AND T. castaneum IN WHEAT AND WHEAT PRODUCTS.

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1 CHAPTER VIII COMPARATIVE POPULATION GROWTH OF S.oryzae. C. cephalonica AND T. castaneum IN WHEAT AND WHEAT PRODUCTS. Wheat cultivation was introduced in Assam for the first time in But it is still not a major cereal crop in this part of the country, although this cultivation has been gaining in popularity in the last few years. Wheat products like Atta (coarse flour), Maida (fine flour) and Suji (samolina) are, however, very popular, espicially in urban areas, and the amount of wheat and its products consumed in Assam is increasing rapidly year by year. Major part of wheat requirement of this region is met by import from other parts of the country. It was observed in the course of survey for storage pests in Lower Assam reported in Chapter III, that rice weevil, S. oryzae was the most serious of all the insect pests infesting whole grains of wheat. But this pest was not found to infest wheat products like Atta, Maida and Suji. Rice moth, C. cephalonica was noted as an importan t pest of both wheat and wheat products. But, of all the pests infesting wheat products in this region, the most serious was red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum of order Coleoptera, which was found to attack whole grains of wheat also. These preliminary observations, however, were not expected to

2 174 furnish conclusive information in respect of relative degree of damage caused in wheat and different wheat products by the three insect pests» S* oryzae, C. cephalonica and T* castaneum. Not enough work in this line have been done in our country* It was, therefore, proposed to undertake a study on tho extent of population growth of the three insect pests when wheat and wheat products were artificially infested with the.pests for the same duration. MATERIALS AND METHODS Wheat grains in good condition, and Atta, Maida and Suji fresh from flour mills were obtained. 50 gm samples of each of these food products were weighed in the laboratory with the same balance, and put in clean and dry jars of IbO ml capacity. The jars were then placed in an oven and kept at a temperature of 60 c for 4-5 hours. The sterilized food products were then pre-conditioned for a week in an incubator adjusted at temperature of 29 i 1 c. The relative humidity inside the incubator was maintained at $ by using a saturated solution of sodium chloride kept in three beakers of 500 ml capacity, one beaker being placed on each of the three shelves of the incubator* Laboratory cultures of the three species of insect pests used in this series of experiments were reared in a common Joha variety of rice. Adults of S. oryzae and

3 175 T. castaneum, and eggs of C, cephalonica used for infestation of the food products, were collected by the same methods described in Chapter V. 50 adults of S. oryzae. 2-4 days old, were released in jars containing 50 gms of wheat or wheat product in each. Number of replications for each material was three, so that the total number of jars inoculated with the pest was 12. Since the adult insects were picked up at random the numbers of male and female in a jar were expected to be nearly equal (Howe, 1952). Twelve jars containing 50 gm samples of each of the four materials were inoculated with adults of T. castaneum in the same way as was done with S. oryzae. In case of C. cephalonica 50 eggs, 24 hours old, were added to each 50 gm sample, the total number of samples of the four materials being 12. Thus, a total of 36 jars containing 50 gm samples of the four materials inoculated with the three pests were placed inside the incubator at a temperature of c. Relative humidity inside the incubator was maintained at $ with saturated solution of sodium chloride, as described in Chapter VII* The jars were then left undisturbed inside the incubator, and after 60 days the number of adult insects found alive or dead in each jar was counted in the same manner as has already been described in Chapter V. The number of

4 adult S» oryzae and T* castaneum newly developed was computed from the total number of adults counted, dead and alive, by subtracting the number of adults introduced for inoculation* EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS. Adult populations of S* oryzae, C* cephalonica and T* castaneum that developed in wheat and wheat products, viz. Atta, Maida and Suji, after infestation for 60 days, are presented in Tables 28, 29 and 30 and also displayed graphically in Fig. 14. It was found that S. oryzae built up its population only in wheat, and failed to produce progeny in Atta, Maida and Suji* The population growths of both C* cephalonica and T» castaneum were found to be maximum in Atta and minimum in wheat* No statistical analysis on the data for S* oryzae was necessary. The data for C, cephalonica and T* castaneum have been statistically analysed with a view to see the difference in adult emergence in wheat and these whe^t products. The *analysis of variance* tables are given in Appendixes XXVI and XXVII, 'F* tests were found to be highly significant at 1$ probability level* Critical differences at and 5$ levels are shown under the Tables 29 and 30

5 177 TABLE 28t Number of adult S, oryzae developed in wheat and wheat products after 60 days of infestation. Medium No. of adults emerged in 3 replications 1 * 2 3. Mean Wheat Atta Maid a Su ji TABLE 291 Number of adult C, cephalonica developed in wheat and wheat products after 60 days of infestation. Medium No. of adults emerged in 3 replications l 2 : 3 Mean Wheat Atta Maid a Su ji 4o F* test highly significant. S.E.= t 3.88 C.D.= 18.4 at 154 level, C.D.= 12.6 at 5$ level.

6 178 TABLE 301 Number of adult T. caataneum developed in wheat and wheat products after 60 days of infestation. Medium No. of adults emerged in 3 replications Mean Wheat Atta Maid a Su ji P* test highly significant. S.E.= C.0.= 66.1 at 1$ level. C.D.= 45.4 at 5% level.

7 k0 A Atta / Number of adults S. oryzae C. cephalonica T. castaneum FIG.14: Number of adult S. oryzae. C. cephalonica and T. emerged in wheat and wheat flours. castaneum

8 180 INFERENCE FROM THE STUDY ON ADULT EMERGENCE IN RESPECT OF THE THREE INSECT PESTS ARE SUMMARISED BELOWs Name Relative preference shown It is a pest of wheat only, not of wheat S. oryzae flours. It does not infest Atta, Maida and Suji. It likes Atta most, next in preference being Suji. There is no significant difference - * c e p k ^ jr..a at probability level in its liking for wheat and Maida. It likes Atta and Suji most, the next in T. Castaneum prexerence being wheat and Maida. There is no significant difference at 5?> probability level in its liking between Atta and Suji, and also between wheat and Maida. From the results of this study it is obvious that S. oryzae shows a hign population growth in whole grains of wheat, but fails completely to develop its population in Atta, Maida and Suji. In fact about 5> of the parent adults were found dead in wheat flours on inspection ox the inoculated samples after 60 days.

9 181 DISCUSSION The inability of S» oryzae to attack wheat flour can be attributed to the peculiarity in the manner of oviposition and larval feeding of this pest. Howe (1952) observed that S. oryzae cannot complete its development in flour, because it requires some grain as a stimulus for oviposition and first stage larval feeding. Bap Reddy^1950) reported that when sound and halved kernerls were given in mixture, weevils laid more eggs in sound kernels than in halved kernels.< Pant et al. (1959) also reported that adults of S. oryzae show extermely poor oviposition response on dry powdery material. Even for larval development feeding on the internal part of grains appear to be essential. Both C. cephalonica and T. castaneum prefer Atta and Suji to wheat and Maida for their population growth. Lesser growth observed in Maida perhaps have something to do with nutritional value of this food medium for the two pests. The reason for less growth in wheat may be due to the fact that C. cephalonica and T. castaneum generally prefer powdery food material to whole grains. Oberai (1961^ reported that whole grains of barley were the most inferior, whereas its flour was the most nutritive food for the larvae of C, cephalonica.

10 Jacob e_t al. (1966) reported that maize appeared to be the best food medium for rearing of C, cephalonica in the form of finely ground powder.' Dang et al.(l965) observed that sorghum grains were not attacked by T. castaneum,while its flour was a favourable food for the pest. * * * * #

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