Optimization of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Mass Rearing through Cost-Effective Larval Feeding

M. Kavran, A. Puggioli, S. Šiljegović, D. Čanadžić, N. Laćarac, M. Rakita, A. Ignjatović Ćupina, F. Balestrino, D. Petrić and R. Bellini,  Insects,  13. 2022.

Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse, 1895) is an invasive important medical and veterinary pest species. The sterile insect technique (SIT) involves the mass rearing of males, and their sterilization and release into the habitat to compete with wild males. Our research objective was to compare the effectiveness of three larval diet recipes (IAEA-BY, BCWPRL, and MIX-14) in the laboratory rearing of Ae. albopictus males to evaluate the available economical feeding alternatives. The separation of sexes was done in the pupal stage by sieving. Reared males were tested for flight capacity and longevity. The application of the BCWPRL diet resulted in a higher portion of sieved male pupae than females, but the development of males was the slowest, and the number of obtained males (pupae and adults) was lower compared to the other two diets. The adult mean survival time was the highest in males fed with MIX-14 and the lowest in males fed with IAEA-BY. Males fed by IAEA-BY also demonstrated higher initial mortality in the adult stage. The diets BCWPRL and MIX-14 are economically more convenient than IAEA-BY (2.28 and 5.30 times cheaper, respectively). The cheapest diet, MIX-14, might represent a candidate for replacing the effective but still expensive IAEA-BY larval diet, providing lower costs of sterile male production.

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