Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.
The eggs and larvae of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner), are widely used in mass rearing of parasitoids and predators. Feeding indices and some biological parameters of P. interpunctella were studied on bran of different wheat cultivars ('Back-cross Roshan', 'Khooshe Pishgam', 'Khoshki line 9', 'Arg', 'Alvand', 'Pishtaz', 'WS-89-2', 'Sepahan' and 'Bam') when incorporated into artificial diets under laboratory conditions (25 ± 1 ºC, 65 ± 5% R.H., and a 16:8 h light-dark photoperiod). The efficiency of conversion of ingested food was highest on 'Back-cross Roshan' (98.79 ± 8.48%) and lowest on 'Pishtaz' (64.56 ± 9.66%). The highest and lowest percentage of mortality of P. interpunctella larvae were on 'Pishtaz' (56%) and 'Back cross Roshan' (12%). Our results showed that larval growth index was highest on 'Khoshki line 9' (5.81) and lowest on 'Pishtaz' (3.33). Moreover, the highest daily and total fecundity were detected in moths that were reared on 'Back-cross Roshan' (37.6 ± 0.93 and 177.3 ± 1.61 eggs, respectively). The results demonstrated that, among different wheat cultivars tested, 'Back-cross Roshan' was the most suitable cultivar for P. interpunctella rearing in order to optimize the mass production of natural enemies.
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