Insect pests such as Callosobruchus maculatus Fabricius and Plodia interpunctella Hübner cause substantial losses to grain during postharvest storage. In the last few years, hermetic storage technologies have been successfully used by smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia to protect their harvested grain against insect pests. Hermetic technologies owe much of their effectiveness to restricting oxygen availability to insects confined in the containers. There is a need to better understand the biology of specific storage insect pests and their responses to hypoxia. We employed a novel and non-invasive analytical technology, the OxySense 5250i, to measure oxygen levels in closed containers, and evaluated its effectiveness in measuring the total oxygen consumption of two insect pests during their development: C. maculatus and P. interpunctella. The total amount of oxygen consumed by C. maculatus during its larval development period determined with the OxySense apparatus was not different from that previously recorded using another instrument, the Mocon Pac Check 325 gas analyzer. Using the OxySense 5250i, we found that P. interpunctella consumes nearly three times as much oxygen per insect over its larval-to-adult developmental period compared to C. maculatus. Information on the lifetime oxygen consumption of insects provides relevant information to the effectiveness and ability of hermetic technologies to protect stored products against insect pests.
Quellhorst, H. E., Williams, S. B., Murdock, L. L., & Baributsa, D. (2018). Cumulative oxygen consumption during development of two postharvest insect pests: Callosobruchus maculatus Fabricius and Plodia interpunctella Hübner. Journal of Stored Products Research, 77, 92–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jspr.2018.03.006