The coconut hispine beetle, Brontispa longissima (Gestro), is a serious invasive pest that infests young unopened fronds of coconut palms (Cocos nucifera L.) in Southeast Asia. We previously developed the first artificial diet for rearing B. longissima larvae, which contained a leaf powder of young coconut fronds. Because the fronds are required for healthy growth of coconut palms, it is necessary to reduce their use for rearing the beetles. In this study, we tested two new artificial diets for the beetle larvae, which contained the leaf powders of mature coconut leaves or orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata L.). Brontispa longissima successfully developed from hatching to adulthood on both the mature coconut leaf diet and orchard grass diet. The beetles reared on the mature coconut leaf diet and orchard grass diet developed faster than those reared on the young coconut leaf diet. Fecundity and egg hatchability of beetles did not differ among the three diet treatments. We then examined the suitability of beetle larvae or pupae reared on each diet as hosts for two specialist endoparasitoids, Asecodes hispinarum Boucek and Tetrastichus brontispae Ferriere. The survival rate from oviposition to adult emergence for A. hispinarum was 43.8% in hosts reared on a young coconut leaf diet, 77.1% on a mature coconut leaf diet, and 85.7% on an orchard grass diet. For T. brontispae, the survival rate was 70.0% in hosts reared on the young coconut leaf diet, 38.1% on the mature coconut leaf diet, and 66.7% on the orchard grass diet. Our results indicate these artificial diets can be useful for rearing B. longissima and its two parasitoids, helping to reduce the costs of mass rearing these insects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Insect Science