Submitted to: International Organization Biological Control/West Palearctic Reg. Section
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2007
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Citation: Coudron, T.A. 2007. Improving cold storage of insects with dietary changes. In: Proceedings of the International Organization Biological Control/West Palearctic Reg. Section, October 28 – November 1, 2007, Montreal, Canada. 3:34-37.
Technical Abstract: Maintaining healthy insect colonies is costly regardless of whether those insects are for research or commercial use. To reduce cost, it is highly desirable to preserve insects at reduced temperatures for short- and long-term periods with a minimal negative impact on insect quality. Recent investigations demonstrated that insect egg, immature and adult stages each respond differently to short- and long-term storage at cold temperatures and that the nutrient quality affected the ability of each developmental stage to tolerate cold storage. In particular, it was more advantageous to rear the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris, on an artificial food source for short-term storage (useful for the shipment or release of eggs or immature stages). For adults, it is more advantageous to rear the spined soldier bug on natural food for long-term storage (useful when producing large numbers for sale and release purposes or when storing a colony between uses). These results introduce a conceptually new strategy for producing high quality insects. Insects can be pre-conditioned for optimal performance by correctly aligning three parameters, their nutritional experience, their developmental stage and their environmental conditions. Commercial producers and researchers will find these storage regimes useful when attempting to minimize their operational costs and to maximize the fitness of their insects.