Eur. J. Entomol. 106 (2): 193-198, 2009 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2009.024

Food consumption and immature growth of Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on a natural prey and a factitious food

Mohammad A. JALALI, Luc TIRRY, Patrick DE CLERCQ
Department of Crop Protection, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium; e-mail: patrick.declercq@ugent.be

One factor limiting the adoption of aphidophagous coccinellids in augmentative biological control is cost-effective mass production. The use of factitious foods may lower production costs by reducing space and manpower requirements for mass rearing of the predator and its prey and by enhancing mechanization of rearing procedures. The objective of this study was to compare the efficiency of food conversion, consumption indices and growth rates of first to fourth instars of Adalia bipunctata when fed either a mixture of Ephestia kuehniella eggs and fresh bee pollen, or on the natural prey Myzus persicae. Larval survival did not differ among treatments, averaging 80 and 90% on the respective diets. Mean dry body weights of the coccinellid were significantly lower on M. persicae than on the factitious food only for second instars and the pre-pupal stage. Dry food consumption by the predator throughout larval development averaged 20.61 mg on factitious food and 14.82 mg (corresponding to an average of 284 third and fourth instars) on M. persicae. The efficiency of conversion of ingested food for total larval development averaged 25 and 30% on factitious food and aphids, respectively. The relative growth rate of the larval instars was higher on aphids, whereas the consumption index was higher on the mixture of E. kuehniella eggs and pollen. An additional experiment showed that rearing the previous instars on the factitious food had no substantial effect on aphid consumption in the fourth instar. The study suggests that this factitious diet may be an appropriate food source for mass rearing A. bipunctata.

Keywords: Adalia bipunctata, Myzus persicae, food consumption, food conversion, factitious food, biological control

Received: January 9, 2009; Accepted: March 13, 2009; Published: May 20, 2009

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