Artificial Rearing of the Red cotton bug,Dysdercus cingulatus using Cotton seed-based Artificial Diet (Hemiptera: Pyrrhocoridae)
[Künstliche Aufzucht der Roten Blutwanze Dysdercus cingulatus mittels eines aus Baumwollsamen gewonnenen Auszuges (Hemiptera: Pyrrhocoridae)]
Sahayaraj, K; Tomson, M; Kalidas, S
The red cotton bug (RCB) or cotton stainer, Dysdercus cingulatus (Fabricius 1775) is a serious pest of cotton, lady’s finger, sambhal, hollyhock,hibiscus [Kohno & Ngan 2004]. It is distributed in various parts of Asia, Australia, Egypt, Africa etc. In cotton agro-ecosystem, nymphs and adults feed on developing and mature cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (Linnaeus 1758) seed. Seed weight, oil content and seed viability decline as a result of RCB infestation. Severe attacks on bolls of two weeks old can kill developing seeds leading to boll shedding. Where feeding is less, though damaged bolls are retained and yield and quality of lint are also reduced as a secondary effect of feeding.Furthermore, it also acts as vector for transmitting the fungal pathogens in cotton [Kshemkalyani et al 1989, Karimi et al 2010]. It was reported by Wilson et al  that fuzzy cotton seed used for stock feed is an important alternate source of food for cotton stainers. Storing fuzzy seed in exposed places where cotton stainers can access this food source over long periods has to be avoided. The control of rotten cotton and cotton volunteers is important for limiting cotton stainer’s access to alternate food source. In general, rearing of phytophagous insects on natural food is not only time consuming but also involves a lot of man power. Further, frequent handling of the culture results in high mortality of insects. The success over the past century is due to the ability to rear insects on artificial diet [Cohen 2004].