The Asiatic rice borer, Chilo suppressalis (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is an important rice, Oryza sativa L., pest in China and difficult to control with conventional pest management. To develop and optimize integrated pest management strategies, efficient and economic artificial diet and rearing protocols are desirable. A new artificial diet based on soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., powder and fresh water bamboo, Zizania caduciflora (Turcz.) Hand.-Mazz, was formulated and rearing technique was developed. Fitness parameters including larval development, immature survival, pupal weight, pupation, adult emergence, egg hatchability, and oviposition were measured to evaluate the performance of C. suppressalis fed on the diet over 15 successive generations. C. suppressalis reared on the artificial diet showed better performance with shorter developmental stage, similar larval survival rate and fecundity, and heavier pupae compared with that fed on rice plants and fresh water bamboo. A positive correlation was observed between number of eggs laid per female and number of generations reared on the diet. Larval development time tended to be shortened with successive rearing on the artificial diet. These results indicated that C. suppressalis adapted well to the artificial diet and successive rearing conditions. The diet could serve as a viable alternative to natural host plants for consecutive rearing of the insect. In addition, the diet is inexpensive (US$1.5/1,000 g) and easy to make. The better preserve ability of the diet required only one diet replacement during the rearing process. The successful development of the diet and rearing technique provides a very useful tool for refining stem borer pest management techniques.
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