Artificial diets used in mass production of the New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax

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Abstract

The New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), has been eradicated from North and Central America using the sterile insect technique. This success has been based on mass production of high-quality screwworms using artificial diets since 1958. Many diet formulations for both larvae and adults have been developed, mainly driven by cost efficiency and material supply. However, only four larval and two adult diet formulations have been applied in the six sterile fly mass production plants in the USA, Mexico and Panama. Herein, we briefly review the history of screwworm diet research and development, introduce the diet formulations used in mass rearing and discuss their advantages and disadvantages in terms of plant application. Finally, we propose future research on screwworm nutrition, potential protein sources, feeding stimulants, further optimization of screwworm formulations and possible methods to reduce the negative qualities of waste generated during the mass production.

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