Laboratory studies were carried out to determine factors which induce larval diapause in a Nigerian strain of Plodia interpunctella.
Larvae reared at constant temperatures of 20 or 30°C did not enter diapause. However, 13.3 and 37.7% respectively of larvae reared for 8 or 12 days (third or fourth instars) at 30°C and then transferred to 20°C entered diapause. Larvae transferred to 20°C immediately after hatch (first instar) and after 16 days (final instar) did not enter diapause. Developmental periods from egg-hatch to adult of diapausing individuals ranged from 136 to 151 days, while those of non-diapausing individuals reared at constant temperatures of 30 and 20°C ranged from 23 to 34 days and 60 to 72 days, respectively.
Different photoperiods did not induce diapause when reared at constant temperatures but exposure of larvae that experienced a drop in temperature from 30 to 20°C, at 4th instar stage to continuous light or to a long photoperiod (light 16 hr: dark 8 hr) caused a drop in the percentage larvae that diapaused.
Larvae reared at high larval density at 30°C did not enter diapause, and increased mortality was observed.