Effect of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Cellular Defense Response of Ephestia Kuehniella Larvae Fed Bacillus Thuringiensis

J Invertebr Pathol. 2005 Oct;90(2):79-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2005.08.007. Epub 2005 Oct 19.


While maintained under all combinations of three temperatures and two RH, fifth instar larvae of the Mediterranean flour moth, Ephestia kuehniella were fed wheat treated with spores and crystals of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki. Larvae that had fed on wheat with the bacterial preparation contained higher concentrations of nodules in their haemocoel than did larvae fed on wheat without bacteria. Nodule concentrations in larvae fed untreated wheat were unaffected by temperature or relative humidity. Larvae fed treated wheat had higher nodule concentrations at 32 degrees C than at 15 and 23 degrees C, and higher nodule concentrations at a relative humidity of 85% than at 43%. The percentage of larvae that pupated was lower when larvae were fed the bacterial preparation, and was significantly higher at 23 degrees C than at 15 and 32 degrees C, regardless of whether larvae were fed bacteria or not. Less time was required for larvae to develop to pupation at higher temperatures and at higher humidity. Mean time to pupation was lower for bacteria-fed larvae than for those fed untreated wheat, and this appeared to be a result of truncation of the distribution of times to pupation because only rapidly developing larvae survived to pupation.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Bacillus thuringiensis*
  • Humidity*
  • Larva
  • Moths / growth & development*
  • Pest Control, Biological*
  • Temperature*
  • Triticum / microbiology*