Screwworm flies, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel), were fed on honey and spray dried egg product; honey, molasses, and spray dried egg product; honey and spray dried meat protein; as well as on a control diet of honey and horsemeat, which is the standard diet used for screwworm adult colony in the mass-rearing facility. In general, the weight of eggs laid by females fed on the diet of spray dried egg product was significantly higher than that laid by females fed on the standard horsemeat diet. Egg production declined when spray dried meat protein replaced the egg product. Partial replacement of honey with molasses in the egg diet did not decrease egg production, compared with the control diet. The use of spray dried egg diet has advantages over the horsemeat diet, such as storage, handling, preparation, feeding, and expense. A cost analysis suggests that replacing the horsemeat with spray dried egg product, and half of the honey with molasses, would reduce the cost of the diet by more than US $100,000 annually.
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Vol. 93 • No. 4