Green lacewings are widely used biological control agents for various insect pests. To meet the needs of growers, green lacewings are being mass-reared commercially around the world. A common salt shaker has been used regularly to distribute eggs into Verticel lacewing larval rearing units. This technique is time consuming and inefficient because the number of eggs distributed in each cell is inconsistent. The multiple orifice distribution (MOD) system described here greatly improved egg distribution efficiency by increasing the percentage of Verticel cells containing the desired one to four eggs per cell (i.e., 40.8 and 52.1% by using salt shaker method versus 61.9% by using the MOD system). This mechanical system significantly reduced the labor and time involved in the process and would cost under $3,500. In addition, this new system could be modified for distribution of other insect eggs.
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Vol. 100 • No. 2