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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HIGHER DIPTERA PESTS OF LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY: SCREWWORM FLIES

Location: Screwworm Research

Title: Rearing insects on artificial diets

Author
item Chaudhury, Muhammad

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Pest Management
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 16, 2012
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Citation: Chaudhury, M.F. 2013. Rearing insects: Artificial diets. Encyclopedia of Pest Management. Taylor & Francis On-Line. DOI 10:1081/E-EPM-120048602.

Interpretive Summary: Insects are raised in the laboratory for various needs and may be raised on their natural food or on a diet prepared in the laboratory from commercially available nutrients, chemicals and other substances. This is known as artificial diet as opposed to the insect’s natural diet. Artificial diets are difficult to develop. However, once developed and optimized, they are simple to use. Because they are processed from commercial ingredients, they are available year-round and generally less costly to prepare. With proper quality control procedures, one can produce high quality insects on artificial diets which are comparable and sometimes superior to those raised on their natural food. To date, numerous artificial diets have been developed and many insect species are raised successfully on these diets.

Technical Abstract: Insects are reared in the laboratory for various purposes. They may be reared either on their natural food or artificial diets. Developing artificial diets may be difficult and time consuming but once optimized, artificial diets usually are simple to prepare and easy to use. Because they are processed from commercial ingredients, they are available year-round and generally cost-effective. With proper quality control procedures, it is possible to rear high quality insects on artificial diets which are comparable and sometimes superior to those raised on their natural food. To date, a large number of artificial diets have been developed and many species are being reared successfully on these diets.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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