Mass-production of coleopteran predators

Tuesday, November 12, 2013: 2:15 PM
Meeting Room 14 (Austin Convention Center)
Eric W. Riddick , USDA - ARS, Stoneville, MS
The research literature reveals moderate advances in technology to produce predatory beetles especially lady beetles. We have several factitious (unnatural) prey/foods and insect-free artificial diets for polyphagous species. It might be more time and cost effective to develop artificial diet-based production systems for polyphagous rather than oligophagous species. More research is necessary to determine how to manipulate rearing (population) densities, relative to food quality/quantity, cage size, oviposition, and mating to reduce the negative effects of crowding and cannibalism in colonies. We can use temperature to regulate the metabolic rate of predators to alter colony size during periods of high or low demand. More research is needed to establish measures of “quality control” (i. e., regular monitoring of products, before or after shipment to customers, for acceptable fitness and unwanted symbionts) for more predatory beetles.