Ectomyeolis ceratoniae Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), carob moth, is a pest of several crops in South Africa. A laboratory culture was established from field-collected larvae infesting mummified pecan nuts. Biological parameters of larvae reared on an artificial diet were measured. The insect goes through five larval instars, and the head capsule sizes of the five instars were determined to be ≤0.34 mm, 0.35–0.64 mm, 0.65–0.94 mm, 0.95–1.14 mm and ≥0.15 mm for the five instars, respectively. The insect was reared individually and communally in glass vials, the latter to develop a mass-rearing technique. Developmental time from neonate to pupa was significantly slower when larvae were individually reared (38.18 ± 1.2 days) compared to when they were communally reared (24.6 ± 0.65 days).Amicrosporidian infection (Nosema sp.) was recorded in the culture, causing significantly (F1,6 = 14.99, P = 0.0082) higher mortality of communally reared larvae (76.25 % ± 11.87) than individually reared larvae (24.9 % ± 9.6).
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Vol. 25 • No. 2