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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY BASED PEST MANAGEMENT IN MODERN CROPPING SYSTEMS

Location: North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory

Title: Method for continuously rearing Coccinella lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Authors
item Hesler, Louis
item Mcnickle, Ginger -
item Catangui, Michael -
item Losey, John -
item Beckendorf, Eric
item Stallwag, Leonard -
item Brandt, Danielle -
item Bartlett, Pamela -

Submitted to: The Open Entomology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 2012
Publication Date: September 16, 2012
Citation: Hesler, L.S., Mcnickle, G., Catangui, M.A., Losey, J.E., Beckendorf, E.A., Stallwag, L., Brandt, D.M., Bartlett, P.B. 2012. Method for continuously rearing Coccinella lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). The Open Entomology Journal. 37:M2.

Interpretive Summary: The nine-spotted ladybeetle (C9) and the transverse lady beetle, predatory species that beneficially prey on agricultural pests, were historically two of the most common ladybeetles across the US and southern Canada. In the 1980s they became rare in eastern North America and apparently elsewhere in North America. An artificial system for continuously rearing these two beetles is described here to aid conservation efforts and facilitate studies aimed at determining factors in their decline and possible recovery. All rearing of lady beetles was conducted in the laboratory. The two lady beetles were each reared separately, and different life stages were handled independently. Eggs were collected every 1 to 2 days, placed in holding containers, and individual clutches were transferred to cages with prey when eggs began to hatch. Newborn larvae were fed live bird cherry-oat aphids for 3 to 4 days, and second immature stages were transferred to different cages and fed live pea aphids. The third and fourth immature stages were also fed pea aphids, but reared individually in small cups to preclude cannibalism. Upon pupation, individuals were collectively transferred to fresh cups and placed in a different container for the duration of pupation. Newly emerged adults were collected within containers about 2 days later. Adults were housed in cages stocked with live pea aphids, supplemental food, and rumpled paper towels as egg-deposition substrate. Over 80% of egg clutches were deposited by beetles on rumpled paper towels versus other surfaces within cages, and incidence of cannibalism of egg clutches was declined greatly on rumpled paper towels. Techniques for successful rearing of these two lady beetles and future research regarding their rearing methods are discussed.

Technical Abstract: Coccinella novemnotata L., the ninespotted lady beetle, and Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni Brown, the transverse lady beetle, are predatory species whose abundance has declined significantly over the last few decades in North America. An ex situ system for continuously rearing these two beetles is described here to aid conservation efforts and facilitate studies aimed at determining factors in their decline and possible recovery. All rearing of lady beetles was conducted in the laboratory at or near room temperatures and 16:8 L:D photoperiod. The two coccinellid species were each reared separately, and different life stages were handled independently. Eggs were collected every 1 to 2 d and placed in holding containers, and individual clutches were transferred to cages with prey when their eggs began to hatch. Neonate larvae were fed live bird cherry-oat aphids [Rhopalosiphum padi (L.)] for 3 to 4 d, and second instars were transferred to different cages and fed live pea aphids [Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)]. Third and fourth instars were also fed pea aphids, but reared individually in small cups to preclude cannibalism. Upon pupation, individuals were collectively transferred to fresh cups and placed in a different container for the duration of pupation. Newly emerged adults were collected within containers about 2 d after eclosion. Adults were housed in cages stocked with live pea aphids, supplemental food, and rumpled paper towels as oviposition substrate. Over 80% of egg clutches were deposited by beetles on rumpled paper towels versus other surfaces within cages, and incidence of cannibalism of egg clutches was greatly reduced on rumpled paper towels. Techniques for successful rearing of these two coccinellids and future research regarding adaptations to further optimize their rearing methods are discussed.

Last Modified: 10/19/2014
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