The role of density and sex ratio of adults in fertility of Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in mass rearing cages

Pilar MEDINA PEREYRA, Mariano ORDANO, Carmen REGUILÓN, Analía R. SALVATORE, César ACOSTA, Leopoldo RISSO

Abstract


Insect rearing for augmentative biological control requires knowledge of the factors affecting fertility to optimize mass production. In general, the practices employed are based on the results of successful experiences. However, in many cases, the verification of such practices other than those of their original conditions lacks published quantitative support and often overlooks the variation derived from the operators handling (standard condition). The aim of this work is to evaluate the fertility of the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis Fabricius, depending on the number of adults and sex ratio (number of females / number of adults) in rearing cages under standard production. In 25 cages, the number and sex of butterflies and the number of eggs obtained were recorded. Results showed that optimum fertility was obtained with intermediate density values and the sex ratio biased to males. It is suggested that the control of both density and sex ratio increases the efficiency of egg masses laid. This paper is the first to quantify both factors in mass rearing conditions, and reveals that the widespread practices commonly require further studies.


Keywords


Augmentative biological control. Mass rearing. Sugarcane borer. Oviposition.

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