Museum pests in mammal furs: An investigation of the correlation between pests and host furs
Insects are of great importance in the ecosystem. In some cases, however, they can be directly or indirectly harmful to humans. Pest insects in museums are good examples of such insects. Especially organic cultural heritage is often the target of these pests. To accomplish effective pest control, it is necessary to obtain knowledge on pest species and their effects. In this study, pest specimens including adults, larvae, pupae and exuviae materials (Total: 1323 specimens) were collected from 59 furs belonging to 12 species of mammals in Zoological Collection of University Istanbul (ZMUI). The species of these pests from various life stages were identified and the numbers were recorded. Further analyses were conducted through the means of Corresponding Analysis and a potential correlation between pest species and species of hosting furs was investigated 9 species of museum pests were identified; Anthrenus verbasci (Linnaeus, 1767), Attagenus brunneus Faldermann, 1835, Dermestes maculatus (DeGeer, 1774), Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius, 1792), Lepisma sp., Monopis sp., Ptinus clavipes Panzer, 1792, Stegobium paniceum (Linnaeus, 1758) and Tineola bisselliella (Hummel, 1823). Among the pest species, Anthrenus verbasci is the species with the highest specimen count in the collection, as well
as the most commonly distributed species. Museum pests are mainly observed on the furs of herbivore mammals. This observation is demonstrated with Corresponding Analysis. Also through Corresponding Analysis, a correlation between the species of pest insects and the diets of the species of hosting furs was demonstrated.