We investigated the effects of eight temperatures (22.5, 25.0, 27.5, 30.0, 32.5, 35.0, 37.5, and 40.0°C) and four relative humidities (43, 55, 63, and 75%) on population growth and development of the psocid Liposcelis rufa Broadhead (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae). L. rufa did not survive at 43% RH, at all temperatures tested; at 55% RH, at the highest four temperatures; and at 63% RH and 40.0°C. The greatest population growth was recorded at 35.0°C and 75% RH (73-fold growth). At 40.0°C, L. rufa populations declined or barely grew. L. rufa males have two to four nymphal instars, and the percentages of males with two, three, and four instars were 31, 54, and 15%, respectively. Female L. rufa have two to five instars, and the percentages of females with two, three, four, and five instars were 2, 44, 42, and 12%, respectively. The life cycle was shorter for males than females. We developed temperature-dependent developmental equations for male and female eggs, individual nymphal, combined nymphal, and combined immature stages. The ability of L. rufa to reproduce at a relative humidity of 55% and temperatures of 22.5–30.0°C and at relative humidities of 63–75% and temperatures of 22.5–37.5°C, in addition to being able to survive at 40.0°C, suggests that this species would be expected to have a broader distribution than other Liposcelis species. These data provide a better understanding of L. rufa population dynamics and can be used to help develop effective management strategies for this psocid.
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Vol. 103 • No. 5