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Abstract

The use of suitable mass rearing methods is crucial to establish successful inundative or inoculative biological control programs. The development of an artificial diet considerably reduces costs of mass rearing. In this study, the efficacy of a new meridic artificial diet for rearing the predatory bug, Orius albidipennis (Het., Anthocoridae), was studied. The artificial diet was composed of some natural materials including lamb liver, hen yolk, whey protein, honey, royal jelly and some specific vitamins. To determine the artificial diet efficacy life table parameters of the bugs, using the two-sex life table method, fed artificial and factitious diets, Ephestia kuehniella egg + date palm pollen, were compared. Results showed that O. albidipennis could complete its life stages and reproduce when reared on the recommended artificial diet. However, its fecundity and survival rate when fed the artificial diet was lower than the controls. Overall, due to lower production costs the artificial diet can be recommended for mass rearing of O. albidipennis despite the lower fecundity and survival rate.
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