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Mites associated with stored grain commodities in Benin, West Africa


After insects, mites are the major arthropod pests that inhabit stored agricultural products worldwide. To determine the acarofauna that infests cowpea, maize, paddy rice and sorghum in Benin (West Africa), surveys were conducted in some principal markets (Dantokpa, Glazoue and Parakou) of this country. A total of 555 samples of grains and debris were collected in May and September 2011. More than 56 species belonging to 24 mite families were recorded in the four products. These mite species included predators, parasites, fungivorous, phytophagous and other groups whose feeding habits are not well known. The family Cheyletidae was the most prevalent and the most diverse predatory mite family encountered, in which Cheyletus malaccensis Oudemans was the most abundant species. Several families of mite pests and mites responsible for allergies (Acaridae, Glycyphagidae, Pyroglyphidae, Pyemotidae and Saproglyphidae) were also detected. The three most dominant and frequent species were C. malaccensis, Suidasia nesbitti (Hughes) and Suidasia sp. Statistical analysis showed that densities of these three mite species were higher in Parakou than in Glazoue and Dantokpa, on one hand, and higher in debris than in grains, on the other hand. The densities of S. nesbitti and Suidasia sp. decreased significantly during the dry season, whereas C. malaccensis remained stable throughout the two samplings. Of all grains, sorghum was the least infested with mites. This study shows that in Benin mites are present in stored agricultural products to which they cause serious damage, and may cause various allergies to people.

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To A. Onzo (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; University of Parakou), for his valuable suggestions and comments, B. Bovis (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) for his valuable help in the accomplishment of this study and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture for providing facilities for this study.

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Correspondence to Ignace D. Zannou.

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Zannou, I.D., Adebo, H.O., Zannou, E. et al. Mites associated with stored grain commodities in Benin, West Africa. Exp Appl Acarol 61, 449–470 (2013).

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  • Maize
  • Cowpea
  • Sorghum
  • Paddy rice
  • Grain debris
  • Mites