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1. Populations of stored-products moths such as the Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) frequently show generation cycles, fluctuations with a period of approximately one generation. 2. Three age-structured models of stored-product moth dynamics were investigated to see which best accounted for the observed period and pattern of Plodia dynamics. 3. A model of Gurney, Nisbet and Lawton (1983) was modified to match Plodia biology. The model assumes uniform competition amongst larvae. It predicted generation cycles, but of too long a period and with the wrong larval cohort structure. 4. The introduction of asymmetric competition (young larvae more sensitive 10 resource depletion but exerting weaker competitive effects) could produce generation cycles but for parameters appropriate to Plodia predicted cycles with a period of half a generation. 5. Introducing egg cannibalism to the asymmetric competition model led to the prediction of generation cycles of the right period and cohort structure for Plodia parameters.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Animal Ecology

Publication Date





352 - 366