Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée, 1854) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) is an important defoliating insect of rice crops in Asia, and is difficult to rear on artificial diets. The effects of dietary additives in artificial diets on survival and larval growth of C. medinalis were evaluated. Antibiotics, ascorbic acid and vitamin mixture in the medium were indispensable for the survival and growth of C. medinalis larvae. The neonates of C. medinalis did not survive for 5 days on the artificial diets that lacked antibiotics and an antioxidant, and they did not develop to the pupal stage on the diets without the addition of vitamin mixtures. Addition of antibiotics, antioxidant and vitamins at a low level facilitated larval survival and growth. Supplementation with a vitamin mixture promoted larval growth and shortened the duration of larval development. Additions of cholesterol, and sucrose to the artificial diets improved the development of C. medinalis larvae, but excessive amounts of cholesterol and sucrose resulted in inhibition of larval growth. Incorporation of rice or corn leaf powder and plant oils increased larval mortality, and reduced pupation. The addition of Wesson's salt to the artificial diet did not improve larval survival and growth. Therefore, leaf powder, plant oils and Wesson's salt could be omitted from the medium. In addition, the water content had significant effects on larval survival and growth of C. medinalis. Eighty percent water content was the most favorable for larval development, lesser or greater proportions were disadvantageous.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3