Heteropteran predator production: status and contributions to mass production of insects

Tuesday, November 12, 2013: 1:55 PM
Meeting Room 14 (Austin Convention Center)
Patrick De Clercq , Crop Protection, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Thomas A. Coudron , USDA - ARS, Columbia, MO
Eric W. Riddick , USDA - ARS, Stoneville, MS
The use of natural, factitious, and artificial foods have been an integral part of rearing procedures for predatory bugs.  Whereas several types of factitious foods are routinely used in the production of heteropteran predators, the adoption of artificial diets in mass production systems has remained negligible. Attention has been given to the implications of zoophytophagy for the production of predatory bugs, as well as the use of plants and plant materials as sources of water and supplementary nutrients, and as living and oviposition substrates. Resolving issues associated with the impact of crowding, cannibalism and micro-organisms on the performance of rearing systems have been an important part of rearing achievements.  Gaps in our knowledge of insect nutrition and diet formulation are currently limiting the cost-effective mass rearing of heteropteran predators.  However, new technologies that are enabling researchers to rapidly expand our knowledge of genetics, and developmental and reproductive biology should assist efforts addressing those gaps.