Zagreus bimaculosus Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is naturally found in various agroecosystems in association with striped mealybugs (Pseudococcidae). In this study, the striped mealybug recently found in Brazil, Ferrisia dasylirii (Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), and an alternative food commonly used for mass rearing of various coccinellids, eggs of Anagasta kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), were evaluated as diets for the development and reproduction of Z. bimaculosus. The developmental time required from larva to adult was similar (approximately 34 days) in beetles consuming either diet. The survival rate of immature Z. bimaculosus was higher when fed A. kuehniella eggs than when fed F.dasylirii. However, Z. bimaculosus females fed F. dasylirii had approximately five times longer longevity and 30 times more fecundity than those fed A. kuehniella eggs. Since both diets provided for the development of immature stages and adult reproduction of the coccinellid and can be considered as essential food for Z. bimaculosus, both diets can be used in Z. bimaculosus mass rearing.
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Vol. 70 • No. 2