, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 43–54 | Cite as

Adequacy of Drosophila melanogaster as prey for the development and reproduction of Coleomegilla maculata

  • Halina Schultz
  • Eduardo da Silva
  • Elen de Lima Aguiar-MenezesEmail author
  • André Luis Santos Resende
  • Janaina Ribeiro Costa Rouws
  • Ana Rafaela Moreira da Silva


Factitious prey are preferentially used to rear lady beetles in the laboratory in lieu of natural prey with an aim towards facilitating and lowering the cost of producing these predators. We tested the hypothesis that live dipteran larvae of Drosophila melanogaster Meigen (factitious prey) meet the nutritional requirements of the coleopteran Coleomegilla maculata and can substitute for its natural aphid prey [Lipaphis erysimi (Kaltenbach)]. The biological cycle of C. maculata was faster and the immature stages suffered a lower rate of mortality when fed D. melanogaster larvae rather than when fed L. erysimi. The factitious prey resulted in improved reproductive attributes for C. maculata, with the exception of fecundity. The N content was the same for both prey types, but the dipteran larvae had a higher C content, water content and C:N ratio than the aphids. The conclusion of this study is that D. melanogaster larvae are adequate factitious prey for the development and reproduction of C. maculata under laboratory conditions.


Coccinellidae Drosophilidae Alternative prey Food quality Immature stage fitness Adult fitness 



We thank the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES), for the master of science scholarships awarded to the first and second authors, and the laboratory technician Caroline Rosa Cabral Ferreira for maintaining our C. maculata and D. melanogaster colonies. Thanks to Prof Aurino Florencio de Lima (Entomology and Phytopathology Department, UFRRJ, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil) for identifying the aphid. Additionally, we thank Dr Robert M. Boddey (Embrapa Agrobiologia, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil) for the use of the C:N soil analyzer and for helping us interpret the data. This study was financed in part by CAPES—Finance Code 001.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there is no conflict of interest in this work.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Fitossanidade e Biotecnologia Aplicada (PPGFBA), Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da SaúdeUniversidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro – UFRRJSeropédicaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Entomologia e FitopatologiaUniversidade Federal Rural do Rio de JaneiroSeropédicaBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa AgrobiologiaSeropédicaBrazil

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