Effects of Food Deprivation on the Development of Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
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The lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer) is a natural enemy of several insect pests and feeds on pollen and nectar to survive periods when prey is scarce. The effect of the feeding interval on the development, survival, fecundity, and longevity of C. maculata was determined. Newly hatched larvae of C. maculata were reared individually and fed with eggs of the Mediterranean flour moth Anagasta kuehniella (Zeller) at intervals of one, two, and three days under controlled conditions (23 ± 1ºC; 60 ± 10% RH; 12 h phtophase). The duration of larval instars and the total larval stage was prolonged as the feeding interval increased. The larval period lasted on average 9.2 ± 0.19 days when the larvae were fed daily with prey, and 14.6 ± 0.48 days when food was offered at three-day intervals. There was an inverse relationship between food intervals, survival, and weight of larvae and adults of the coccinellid. Survival rate of larvae fed daily was 76.8%, while the rate was 50.0% and 23.4% for larvae fed every two and three days, respectively. Coleomegilla maculata showed fecundity of 781.1 ± 149.02, 563.4 ± 80.81 and 109.0 ± 103.0 eggs when fed daily and at intervals of two and three days, respectively.