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Potential utilization of Artemia franciscana eggs as food for Coleomegilla maculata

Eric W. Riddick, Zhixin Wu, M. Guadalupe Rojas
BioControl 2014 v.59 no.5 pp. 575-583
Artemia franciscana, Coleomegilla maculata, Ephestia kuehniella, bioassays, biological control, eggs, females, foods, growth and development, mass rearing, nutrients, oviposition, predators
A major hindrance to mass rearing predators for augmentative biological control is the limited availability of inexpensive, alternative foods in lieu of natural prey or target prey. We tested the hypothesis that brine shrimp eggs (Artemia franciscana) are a suitable alternative food that support the development of the predatory ladybird beetle, Coleomegilla maculata. Laboratory bioassays determined the effects of A. franciscana on C. maculata growth, development and reproduction. In comparison to Mediterranean flour moth eggs (Ephestia kuehniella), A. franciscana eggs were suitable for growth and development, but not for reproduction. C. maculata females oviposited less often when fed A. franciscana rather than E. kuehniella. One reason for the low oviposition rate could be less soluble protein in A. franciscana than in E. kuehniella, as determined by biochemical analysis. Further research is needed to identify all deficiencies in A. franciscana and explore the possibility of using supplemental nutrients to counteract them.