An Artificial Diet for <I>Diaprepes abbreviatus</I> (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Optimized for Larval Survival

  • Stephen L. Lapointe
  • Randall P. Niedz
  • Terence J. Evens


The root weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.) has been reared since 1992 on an artificial diet first reported in 1982. Recently, we have shown that several ingredients included in the original diet have little or no effect on insect performance. Here we examined the effects of 2 principal drivers (cottonseed meal and wheat germ) on weight gain and survival of larval D. abbreviatus in varying proportions along with a non-nutritive filler (cellulose). We employed a geometric design to evaluate amount and proportion combined with response surface models to identify optimal proportions for larval weight gain, larval survival, and development rate. All larval responses measured lead to the conclusion that cottonseed meal is the only major nutritive component, in addition to standard vitamin and salt mixes, required for a successful artificial diet for rearing larvae of D. abbreviatus to pupation.

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