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Effects of Rearing Density on Survival, Growth, and Development of the Ladybird Coleomegilla maculata in Culture

Eric W. Riddick, Zhixin Wu
Insects 2015 v.6 no.4 pp. 858-868
Artemia franciscana, Coleomegilla maculata, body weight, containers, diet, eggs, insect development, insect growth, instars, larvae, population density, pupae, rearing, sex ratio, survival rate
Our research focuses on developing techniques to rear ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). We evaluated the effects of rearing density on survival, growth, and development of Coleomegilla maculata. The hypothesis that a low to moderate rearing density has limited or no effects on survival and development was tested. C. maculata first instars were reared to pupae at a density of 1, 5, 10, 15, or 20 individuals per arena (2.5 cm high, 9.0 cm diameter, and 159 cm3 volume) and fed powdered brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) eggs. More larvae survived at the 1 and 5 densities, but no differences were detected between the 10, 15, or 20 densities. Median survival rate was at least 90% for larvae and 100% for pupae at the 10, 15, and 20 densities. Development time, body weight, and sex ratio were unaffected by rearing density. Overall, this study suggests that C. maculata larvae can be reared successfully at a density of 20 larvae/159 cm3 (≈ 0.126 larvae/cm3) in containers provisioned with powdered A. franciscana eggs. Scaling-up the size of containers, and C. maculata density in these containers, should be possible.