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Rearing the legume pod borer, Maruca testulalis, Geyer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) on artificial diet
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Several diets were tested for rearing the legume pod borer, Maruca testulalis (Geyer). After initial selection of a soyflour‐based diet, further research was conducted to determine whether cowpea flour could be substituted for soyflour. Three levels of cowpea flour were tested; 25, 38 and 50 g of cow‐pea flour were used in place of 35.6 g of soyflour per 0.8 litre of diet. The 50 g level was found to give the shortest larval development time, biggest pupae, highest level of pupation and adult emergence, and highest growth index value. The resulting diet with cowpea flour and a “leaf factor”; component, and the complete larval rearing procedures, are described. Data are presented for the performance of the insect on this diet after 10 generations, and suggestions for future work are indicated.