The objective of this research was to evaluate artificial diets that can be used to successfully culture the atlas silk moth, Attacus atlas L. (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) indoors. Four plant species were evaluated as the basic component of each diet, barringtonia (Barringtonia asiatica), cheesewood (Nauclea orientalis), soursop (Annona muricata), and mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni). Evaluation of the nutritional value of each diet was determined by an analysis of the hemolymph proteins of sixth instars using the Folin-Ciocalteu assay. Survivorship, cocoon quality, and hemolymph protein content of larvae fed the barringtonia diet were higher than those of larvae fed mahogany-, cheesewood-, and soursop-based artificial diets. The average adult emergence of those fed the barringtonia-based diet was 74.5%. The weights of the cocoon in this treatment with the pupa and the empty cocoons were 7.0 and 1.1 g, respectively. Hemolymph of the larvae fed the barringtonia-based artificial diet had the highest concentration of protein with an average of 28.06 mg/ml. The atlas moth reared on the barringtonia-based artificial diet was comparable with those reared only on barringtonia leaves. However, the weight of empty cocoons, adult wingspan, and amount of hemolymph protein were lower than in those reared on barringtonia leaves only. This may suggest that the artificial barringtonia-based diet requires additional protein for maximum efficiency.
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