1. The effects of temperature and humidity on the duration of each instar of the life cycle of Calandra granaria Linn. have been examined. The insects were reared at temperatures ranging from 15 to 30° C. and at atmospheric humidities ranging from 40 to 80% R.H.
2. A method is described for assessing the effect of temperature as an independent factor.
3. The temperatures employed fall within the ‘vital zone’. Extrapolation indicates the threshold temperature to be approximately 11° C. for the egg and larval instars though somewhat lower for the pupa. 30° C. is below the optimum temperature.
4. The durations of the egg and pupal stages are not affected by atmospheric humidity.
5. The duration of all larval instars is affected by moisture. It is suggested that this is largely due to atmospheric humidity and that food water is of little significance.
6. Shortage of moisture acts as an obstacle to development. Evidence is presented which indicates that drier atmospheres tend to desiccate the insect and that desiccation is responsible for retarded growth and development.
7. Since much earlier work on temperature and moisture has been done on fasting insects and, therefore, on insects deficient in one of the most important environmental factors, we suggest that our results, incomplete as they are, indicate the need for new approaches to be made. More complete data on feeding insects under controlled conditions of food, temperature and moisture are required, from which can be drawn up more complete balance sheets of development involving measurements of food utilization and respiratory rates.