Bioassay of Bacillus thuringiensis-Based Microbial Insecticides. III. Continuous Propagation of the Salt-Marsh Caterpillar, Estigmene acrea

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The salt-marsh caterpillar, Estigmene acrea (Drury), can be mass reared using alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., as caterpillar food for the first 7 days and primary leaves of the red kidney bean, Plzaseolus vulgaris var. rubra L., grown in sand-peat moss mixture, as food for remainder of the larval stage. Larvae are reared at about 26° C temperature for 7 days and then moved to a greenhouse with a diumal fluctuation of temperature (24- 32° C) and RH (30-60%) for the remainder of the larval stage. A 16-hr photo period prevents larvae from going into a diapause. A period of darkness is necessary for good adult copulation and oviposition. Under these conditions, the requirement for the complete life cycle is 6 weeks. Sanitation measures illelude sterilization of egg chorion by a l-hr soaking in 10% forma lin, and dipping rearing cages and bean flats in 10% formalin after eaeh use. The methods described can produce 10,000 to 12,000 larvae per week.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1964

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