Southwestern corn borers, Diatraea grandiosella Dyar, were reared on a control meridic diet and diets that incorporated rubidium chloride (RbCl) or cesium chloride (CsCl) at the rate of 1000 μg/g (1 g/liter of wet diet) to evaluate the effects on biology of D. grandiosella and to determine whether the resulting adults are marked with the rubidium (Rb) and cesium (Cs) physiological markers. The effects of RbCl and CsCl on survival, diet consumption, larval and pupal weight, developmental time, adult deformity, adult longevity, fecundity, and adult dry weight were generally minor and seldom reached statistically significant proportions. Males and females mated successfully when paired in different combinations across treatments. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer and neutron activation analysis were both effective in detecting Rb and Cs in male and female adults reared on RbCl and CsCl diets. Rb and Cs concentrations of males and females reared on RbCl and CsCl diets were above the background levels found in adults reared on the control diet. Rb and Cs can be used as physiological markers to mark D. grandiosella in dispersal experiments.
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