[en] Although, beetles of the genus Tribolium first evolved as saprophylic insects, they have adapted to the stored products environment for several thousand years. In this study reproductive strategies are described for eight species of Tribolium that are known to occur in this environment. Experiments were conducted under the same conditions for every species, and several life history traits, including egg mass, adult mass, developmental time and fecundity were examined and compared among these species. Common reproductive strategies were not found among the different species and univariate analysis highlighted strong differences between the species for most of the traits investigated. Some species showed reproductive traits that are likely to give a fitness advantage in the environment of stored products. Multivariate statistical analysis allowed the detection of different sub-groups with respect to their reproductive strategy. Adult mass and egg-to-adult developmental time discriminated between groups. Intraspecific allometric relationships were further investigated but only a few correlations appeared to be significant.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS