The coconut hispine beetle, Brontispa longissima (Gestro) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is a serious pest of coconut palm. In this study, we developed an artificial diet for B. longissima so that the beetle could be used as a host for rearing two of its parasitoids, Asecodes hispinarum Bouček (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and Tetrastichus brontispae Ferrière (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). The new artificial diet represents an improvement of our previous diet, which we used as a control. When beetle larvae were reared on the new diet, which contains cysteine but not cellulose powder and has twice as much coconut leaf powder as in the control, the adult emergence was 71% (≈2 times that in the control). We also examined the suitability of beetles fed on the new diet as hosts for the larval parasitoid A. hispinarum and the pupal parasitoid T. brontispae. The percentage of wasps that emerged from hosts that were fed the new diet was higher than that from the control-fed hosts. The new diet allowed both A. hispinarum and T. brontispae to produce adult wasps of the next generation, whereas the control only allowed T. brontispae to produce the next generation. These results suggest that the new diet is suitable for B. longissima and will facilitate mass-rearing of A. hispinarum and T. brontispae.
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Vol. 105 • No. 3