Successful laboratory culture for the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) reared on semi-artificial diet

Wednesday, November 13, 2013: 3:10 PM
Meeting Room 15 (Austin Convention Center)
Aziza Sharaby , Pests & Plant Protection, Professor of Entomology, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt
Zamzam M. Al-Dhafar , Dammam University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
The red palm weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), is one of the most important pests of palm trees. It can cause the death of palm trees. The RPW reared on semi-artificial diet in the laboratory for several generations from the adult emergence and compared with other two natural diets (leaf base petioles of date palm and sugarcane stem). All larval stages that reached to 15 stages within mean 96.7 day were fed on the artificially diet till pupation, the adult weevil also were fed and oviposeted on it. Duration and all the developmental stages were recorded. Duration of pupal stage was 21.1 day, high percentages of adult emergence were obtained, and the life cycle (from egg to adult stage) nearly reached 119.4 days. The average egg production per female was 250.2±52.1 egg and the greatest number of eggs were laid during the first three week, and then decreased with increasing weevil age. The percentage of egg hatchability was 82.7, the size of adults that reared on the artificial diet were smaller and lighter in their color from that reared on the natural host (palm leaf base). Red palm weevils were successfully reared on this semi-synthetic diet and these ingredients were found capable of supporting larval development. The main purpose of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of semi-synthetic diet developed from locally available ingredients for rearing the RPW and comparable with that reared on natural diet (Base leaves of Date palm petioles and Sugarcane stem pieces) under laboratory condition. The development of suitable artificial diets for maintaining laboratory colonies of insects became of great importance for facilitating different investigations of the biology, control, physiology and behavior of insect, especially, if the green natural plants were not available or for difficult and expensiveness rearing on the natural host like in case of the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

KEY WORDS: Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Semi-artificial diet, Laboratory culture, Biological parameters.