Cross-tolerance to Desiccation and Cold in Khapra Beetle (Coleoptera: Dermestidae).J Econ Entomol. 2020 04 06; 113(2):695-699.JE
Khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts, is unusual in two key respects. First, they are among the most cold hardy of stored-product insect pests even though they originate in hot and dry regions of the Indian subcontinent. Second, their larvae can enter into diapause to survive harsh environmental conditions. In the present study, we examined whether these two phenomena are related, i.e., due to cross-tolerance. Cross-tolerance is the tolerance to one ecological stress when induced by a separate stress. To investigate this, khapra beetle larvae were reared at different relative humidities (3, 28, 49, and 79%) in either nondiapausing or diapausing conditions. Then the cold tolerance of larvae was estimated by measuring mortality after different durations at -10°C. For nondiapausing larvae, relative humidity had little effect on cold tolerance with the lethal time to 50% mortality (LT50) occurring between 2 and 4 d. For diapausing larvae, cold tolerance increased with greater desiccation stress with LT50's of 5, 7, 10, and 18 d at 79, 49, 28, and 3% RH, respectively. This suggests that the physiological mechanisms that protect diapausing larvae from desiccation may also increase cold tolerance, even though these insects may rarely be exposed to low temperatures.