Artificial diet development for entomophagous arthropods

Tuesday, November 12, 2013: 3:15 PM
Meeting Room 14 (Austin Convention Center)
Juan A. Morales-Ramos , Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Stoneville, MS
M. Guadalupe Rojas , Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, USDA-ARS-NBCL, Stoneville, MS
Thomas A. Coudron , USDA - ARS, Columbia, MO
Artificial diets promised an economical way to mass produce entomophagous arthropods for augmentative biological control. Many decades later this promise has not been fulfilled and most of the commercial mass production of entomophagous arthropods is being done in-vivo. Although many successful artificial diets have been published, these diet formulations have not been developed to the level of commercial use. In some cases the resulting arthropods are of poor quality. In other cases the diet formulations are expensive to produce and not commercially viable. Alternatively, the methods to produce arthropods in-vitro are complicated and require too much labor for commercial application.  We propose that most of the published artificial diets have not been fully developed to their potential and represent a continuous work in progress. A proposed pathway for moving artificial diet development to commercial application is presented. The pathway consists of 6 levels of advancement based on the magnitude of capabilities to produce arthropods. The process of artificial diet development is a multidisciplinary enterprise which requires time, effort, and commitment and will benefit from industry and government support.