Comparison of two artificial diets to rear Elaphria agrotina

ABSTRACT: Given the increasing importance of Elaphria agrotina (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in corn crops, especially in the Brazilian Savannah biome, the present research aimed to study its development and survival on Greene’s and Poitout & Bues’s artificial diets (25±1°C, 70±10% relative humidity [RH] and 12h photophase). Poitout & Bues’s diet was more suitable than Greene’s diet, providing higher survival percent (77.51% vs. 5.57%), lower development time (49.81 days vs. 55.24 days) and higher fecundity (167.65 vs. 84.9 eggs), respectively. All the caterpillars reared on Poitout & Bues’s diet passed through six instars, while almost half of the larvae reared on Greene’s diet went through one less instar stage. Regarding the main reproductive parameters, higher average time of generation (T) and lower values of net rates of reproduction (Ro), and increased (rm) intrinsic and finite reason of increase (λ), were observed for larvae reared on Greene’s diet. Results presented in this study indicated that Poitout & Bues’s diet is more suitable for maintenance of colonies of E. agrotina as compared to Greene’s diet.