The plant bug Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) is a major pest on Bt cotton and multiple crops in northern China. A modified NI artificial diet called T7 was developed to rear this pest for 10 successive generations both individually and in groups. This T7 diet was similar in components and preparation process to the NI diet used for Lygus hesperus in North America, but was comprised of more whole chicken eggs, soybean lecithin, and Vanderzant vitamin mixture, and less brewer's yeast, wheat germ, lima bean meal, soy flour, and sugars than NI diet. While being reared individually on T7 diet, A. lucorum nymphs had a developmental duration of ≈12 d and survival rate of ≈80%, which was not significantly different from that on green beans. While being reared in groups, nymphal survival rate was above 81% (indeed above 90% for the first four generations), the weight of adults was heavier than on green beans and the average fecundity had a logistic increase through generations. The replacement rate of A. lucorum populations was expected to be ≈29 times per generation while being reared at a density of 100 nymphs per box (20 × 12 × 7 cm). This is the first successful artificial diet reported for rearing A. lucorum and is superior to green beans. The diet offers an economic means for producing natural enemies for biological control of this pest on Bt cotton. The possibility of further improvement of the present artificial diet is also discussed.
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