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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MASS PRODUCTION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research Unit

Title: Production of coleopteran predators

Authors
item Riddick, Eric
item Chen, Hongyin -

Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 3, 2013
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: Riddick, E.W., Chen, H. 2013. Production of coleopteran predators. In: Morales-Ramos J, Rojas GM, Shapiro-Ilan D {Eds}, Mass Production of Beneficial Organisms. Elsevier. pp.17-55.

Interpretive Summary: Predatory beetles are important natural enemies of insects that destroy our crop plants. There is a need to discover sustainable technologies to produce these natural enemies on a commercial scale in support of the biological control industry. In this book chapter, we critically review the literature on mass production of predatory beetles. Only several predatory beetles are currently available on the market for biological control of insect pests of agriculture. Many opportunities exist to identify promising new species for commercial use and to increase the marketability of those already sold around the world. Perhaps these opportunities will come to fruition if we can develop effective artificial diets that maximize growth, development, and reproduction. A more intimate knowledge of behavior, physiology, and reproductive biology could encourage technological advances in the mass production of predatory beetles.

Technical Abstract: The research literature reveals moderate advances in technology to produce coleopteran predators especially lady beetles. We have several factitious prey/foods and insect-free artificial diets for polyphagous species. It might be more time and cost effective to develop artificial diet-based production systems for polyphagous rather than oligophagous species. More research is necessary to determine how to manipulate rearing (population) densities, relative to food quality/quantity, cage size, oviposition, and mating, to reduce the negative effects of crowding and cannibalism in colonies. We can use temperature to regulate the metabolic rate of predators to alter colony size during periods high or low demand, respectively. More research is needed to establish measures of “quality control” (i. e., regular monitoring of products, before or after shipment to customers, for acceptable fitness and unwanted symbionts) for more coleopteran predators.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014