Maggots cannot live on meat meal alone: production parameters for mass rearing of the ovoviviparous blowfly, Calliphora dubia (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

David F. Cook, Muhammad Shoaib Tufail, Sasha C. Voss, Elliot T. Howse, Ella K. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study determined a cost-effective larval diet for rearing Calliphora dubia Macquart for use as a potential managed pollinator in Australia. This fly has potential as a pollination species to support honey bees (Apis mellifera). Larvae of C. dubia were reared mostly in meat meals with varying amounts of either whole egg powder, whole eggs (+ shell), bran flakes, skimmed milk powder, brewer’s yeast, or poultry oil.This was done from an economic and production perspective to support commercial rearing. Several laboratory-based studies determined the growth and output from various ingredient combinations. Larvae fed 90% meat meal and 10% whole egg powder developed rapidly through to pupation with a high pupation rate, adult size, and percent adult emergence. Given the high cost and difficulty in sourcing whole egg powder, media comprising mostly meat meals with the addition of bran flakes and whole eggs also supported rapid larval development, pupation rate, and adult emergence.The ideal amount of media/larvae was 0.5 g/larvae to support high pupation rates and adult emergence. Adult eclosion occurred over 4–5 days, even when larvae were laid and fed within 1 h on ample media. Commercial mass rearing would then require daily cohorts of larvae to ensure peak adult fly emergence over 1–2 days for release into a crop. Mass-rearing C. dubia should use meat meal as the base ingredient with bran flakes and whole eggs added and fed at 0.5 g of media/larvae. Based on the current media ingredient costs, rearing 1-m adult C. dubia would cost just over $500 (US$342).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-761
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Volume117
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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