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Spray-dried whole bovine blood and a sodium polyacrylate polymer gel as a bulking and solidifying agent are among the constituents of the current larval diet for mass rearing screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Locally available, inexpensive dietary
materials could reduce rearing cost and address an uncertain commercial supply of spray-dried blood. We compared efficacy of diet prepared from fresh bovine blood after decoagulation with sodium citrate or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or after mechanical defibrination, with the diet
containing spray-dried blood using either gel or cellulose fiber as the bulking and solidifying agent. Several life-history parameters were compared among insects reared on each of the blood and bulking agent diets combination. Diets containing citrated blood yielded the lightest larval and
pupal weights and fewest pupae. EDTA-treated blood with the gel also caused reductions. EDTA-treated blood with fiber yielded screwworms that were heavier and more numerous than those from the diet with citrated blood but lighter than those from the control diet using spray-dried blood. A
reduction in percentage of adults emerging from pupae occurred from diets with both bulking agents using citrated blood and the diet using EDTA mixed with the gel bulking agent. As a group, the cellulose-fiber diets performed better than the gel diets. Larval diet did not affect adult longevity,
weight of the eggs deposited by the females that emerged or subsequent egg hatch. Parameter measurements of insects from both defibrinated blood diets were similar to those from the spray-dried blood diets, indicating that fresh, defibrinated bovine blood can successfully replace the dry blood
in the screwworm rearing medium.
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.