oa African Entomology - Life history and mass-rearing of Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) on artificial diets in the laboratory



The life history of Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot was studied at 26 2C, 65 5 % RH in the laboratory. When reared on artificial diet, the larval stage lasted 18.4 days, the pupal stage 10,2 days, and total development time (one-day-old larvae to adult) 28.7 days. On average, pupae of males weighed 80.7 mg and those of females 111.2 mg; adult males weighed 44,0 mg and females 65,2 mg. Mated females laid an average of 268 eggs, while unmated ones laid 155. Females had a longer mean life span (6.1 days) than males (5.3 days), Individuals reared in batches of 30 larvae had significantly shorter larval periods and total developmental times than those reared in batches of 60, 90 or 120, Pupal and adult weights decreased significantly as the population size increased. Development period was significantly shorter and weights of pupae significantly higher on a soyflour + wheatgerm-based diet and a soyflour + maize flour + wheatgerm-based diet than on most other diets, Seven oviposition substrates, including plastic mesh, wire mesh, brass screen, wax paper and paper towel were compared for preference by M. nigrivenella. In both multiple and no-choice tests, paper towel folded diagonally and 21 x 21 units (meshes/cm1 plastic mesh had significantly more eggs laid on them than other substrates.


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