Impacts of Larval Diet on Pre-imaginal Development, Survival and Adult Size of Six Species of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera)

Nathan H. Mercer, John J. Obrycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laboratory reared predaceous lady beetles (Coccinellidae) have applications in many experiments, but can be challenging to rear optimally, especially since production of aphid prey can be time and space intensive. Alternatively, frozen Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) eggs can be purchased and used to rear larvae. This study compared larval development, survival and adult size of six species of coccinellids on diets of Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and E. kuehniella eggs. Larvae reared from field-collected adults were assigned to either A. pisum or E. kuehniella egg diets and fed ad libitum until pupation. Both diets were sufficient for development and did not impact survival for the six species. Coccinella Septempunctata L. developed faster and produced larger adults when fed A. pisum. Harmonia axyridis Pallas, Hippodamia Convergens Guerin and Coleomegilla maculata De Geer performed slightly better on E. kuehniella eggs. Based on these results, E. kuehniella eggs would be a suitable larval diet for all of the species tested, except for Coc. septempunctata.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-261
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch project accession number 1008480. The authors report no conflicts of interest. Data are deposited in the UKnowledge repository:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Kansas Entomological Society. All rights reserved.


  • biological control
  • Diet
  • larval development
  • predator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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