The hairy fungus beetle, Typhaea stercorea (L.), occurs frequently in stored grain, often in large numbers. Populations infesting stored barley in Minnesota, corn in South Carolina, and wheat in Florida were sampled by means of grain probe traps. Spatial distribution of the species was examined by contour analysis of trap catch. In South Carolina, corn was sampled at 2 locations over 2 storage seasons, and temperature, moisture content, and malathion residues were measured. These data were used to examine phenology as well as spatial distribution, and showed peak trap catch shortly after harvest in the fall, and in the spring. This pattern followed seasonal changes in grain temperature, but there was no apparent relationship of trap catch to either grain moisture content or malathion residue. The populations of T. stercorea were not distributed randomly, but were largely concentrated in 1 or very few aggregations associated with the “spoutline,” a region high in foreign material and broken grain that forms near the center of a bin as it is loaded. However, the spatial patterns were dynamic, even on a very small time scale (week to week). Numbers of insects in aggregations rose and fell, the areas involved expanded and contracted, the centers shifted, and secondary centers appeared and disappeared. These changes were apparently in response to changing patterns of grain temperature and moisture content. Secondary centers of aggregation often formed in warmer grain along bin walls.
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Vol. 93 • No. 2