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Mortality of Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) Eggs Caused by the Flour Beetle (Tribolium castaneum)

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.21002    5,174 Downloads   8,706 Views  

ABSTRACT

It is estimated that quarter to half a million specimens of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti, 1768) live in liberty. Ranching crocodiles for their skins has been successfully implemented in several African countries but also in Israel. Recently, in one of these ranches, an increased mortality of crocodile eggs was observed and it was thought that insects were causing their death. Two crocodile eggs were kept together with 100 adults of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst, 1797), while the third egg was kept without beetles. No food for beetles was added to the boxes. The eggs were observed twice a month for any kind of changes on their surface. After two months, at least 39 holes were observed in one egg and 146 on the second egg, which was exposed to beetles, while no holes could be seen in the control egg. Some of the holes were deep enough to see the inner layers of the egg. There is enough evidence to believe that adults of T. castaneum are able to damage the eggs of the Nile crocodile and in some cases lead to their death; measures should be taken to protect the eggs from this and similar species of beetles.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

K. Mumcuoglu, "Mortality of Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) Eggs Caused by the Flour Beetle (Tribolium castaneum)," Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2012, pp. 9-12. doi: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.21002.

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