Recycled Paper Products as Substitutes for Gelling Agent in Screwworm (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Larval Diet

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Absorbent recycled paper products were tested and compared with a sodium polyacrylate gelling agent, Aquatain, for solidifying larval diets of the screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel). A recycled newsprint product, Terra-Mulch, when mixed with water and dietary ingredients produced a diet medium of homogeneous texture that supported larval growth and development comparable to the standard diet prepared with the gelling agent. Biological yields as calculated from number of pupae per tray from both the diets were similar. Three other types of recycled paper products were tested. Although less homogeneous in texture, these diets were as good as the diet with Terra-Mulch. There were no significant differences in the mean larval and pupal weights, no. of pupae/tray, percent emergence, oviposition, percent hatch, and percent longevity. When tests were conducted through eight consecutive generations, no adverse effect was noticed in any of the life history parameters. Terra-Mulch is inexpensive and biodegradable compared with the gelling agent Aquatain that is expensive and not biodegradable. Replacing Aquatain with Terra-Mulch in the screwworm larval diet for mass rearing may result in an annual savings of more than half a million U.S. dollars in costs of material and labor.

Keywords: larval diet; mass; rearing; recycled paper; screwworm

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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