Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332744

Research Project: Production and Deployment of Natural Enemies for Biological Control of Arthropod Pests

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: Factitious prey and artificial diets for predatory lady beetles: current situation, obstacles, and approaches for improvement

Author
item Sun, Yuang-xing - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University
item Hao, Ya-nan - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University
item Riddick, Eric
item Liu, Tong-xian - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2017
Publication Date: 6/6/2017
Citation: Sun, Y., Hao, Y., Riddick, E.W., Liu, T. 2017. Factitious prey and artificial diets for predatory lady beetles: current situation, obstacles, and approaches for improvement. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 27(5):601-619.

Interpretive Summary: Lady beetles are important natural enemies of pests on crop plants throughout the world. Several species are currently sold for release in gardens, nurseries, greenhouses, glasshouses, and interiorscapes. One major obstacle that hinders wider adoption of lady beetles in agricultural systems is the limited availability of alternative foods to produce them at low cost.This paper summarizes the literature on food (factitious foods/prey and artificial diets) for lady beetles. Some factitious foods are effective, but often expensive. A few artificial diets are effective for immature development, but not for adult reproduction, but some promising diets are forthcoming. New approaches and perspectives for speeding-up the creation and utilization of cost-effective diets for lady beetles are discussed.

Technical Abstract: Predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are important natural enemies of many pests in crop ecosystems throughout the world. Although several species are currently mass-reared and sold by biocontrol companies, there is an urgent need to reduce rearing costs. Cost effective mass rearing of lady beetles involves the use of factitious prey/foods or artificial diets in lieu of natural prey. This review summarizes the literature on the various kinds of factitious prey/foods and artificial diets as well as the feeding efficiency of predatory lady beetles. Factitious prey/foods generally satisfy the nutritional requirements for development of lady beetles, and lepidopteran immatures are the most widely used species. However, artificial diets, based on vertebrate protein and devoid of arthropod constituents, often yield disappointing results. We also highlight several successful examples and novel approaches for improving feeding efficiency. Moreover, available approaches and perspectives for speeding up the development and screening of cost-effective diets for mass rearing are stated in this review.