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Insect Sci. 2015 Feb;22(1):111-20. doi: 10.1111/1744-7917.12098. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Optimization and evaluation of microencapsulated artificial diet for mass rearing the predatory ladybird Propylea japonica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

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  • 1Institute of Plant and Environment Protection, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing; College of Plant Protection, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shaanxi.


Artificial diet optimization is a key aspect in mass rearing of natural enemies since it influences the quality and feeding effectiveness, and thus the success of the biological control program. Here, we introduced the microencapsulation method to package liquid artificial diet for feeding of the ladybird Propylea japonica. An orthogonal test of the quality of microencapsulated artificial diets (ADMs) was performed on key variables in production; Ca-alginate concentration, chitosan concentration and weight ratio of wall material to inner diet. We compared the development and reproduction of P. japonica fed on the ADMs under different cold-stored periods with those fed on fresh aphids and liquid artificial diets, in addition to a comparison of respiration, locomotion and predation. Our results indicated that chitosan concentration and ratio of shell to core significantly influence the quality of ADMs. The optimal recipe is 1.0% Ca-alginate, 1.6% chitosan and shell : core = 1 : 2. Insects reared on fresh optimized ADMs were similar to those fed on fresh prey in all developmental and reproductive characteristics except for survival ratio and female fertility. ADMs appeared more beneficial than using a liquid artificial diet, although this may decrease with the prolonging of the cold-storage period. P. japonica fed either on fresh ADMs or fresh prey showed improved respiration and predation abilities compared to where liquid artificial diet was used. Our study indicates advantages of microencapsulation in the production of artificial diet for predatory ladybird rearing. A microencapsulated diet can directly increase the efficiency and stability of mass rearing.

© 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


alginate; chitson; development; locomotion; predation; quality evaluation; reproduction; respiration

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