Spray-dried animal blood cells were evaluated as a protein source for mass rearing adult screwworms, Cochliomyia hominiorax Coquerel. Males and females were fed control diets of either a corn syrup carrageenan-gelled diet (Control 1) or corn syrup carrageenan-gelled diet plus 0.05% vitamins (Control 2). Three tests compared these control diets with eight concentrations of protein similarly formulated as the Control 2: 0.16, 0.20 or 0.24% (Test 1), 2, 4 or 6% (Test 2) and 1.25, 2.0 or 2.75% (Test 3). Differences in mean egg production, mortality, fertility and egg hatch were not significant (P = 0.05) in Test 1. The higher concentrations of protein in Test 2, concentrations of 2 and 4% protein laid significantly greater number of eggs than those fed the control diets or 6% protein. In Test 3, flies fed protein laid more eggs than did those fed the control diets. A diet of 2% protein from spray-dried-animal blood cells for may be used as an alternative to the diet used for rearing adult screwworms.

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Author notes

3USDA-ARS, Midwest Livestock Insects Research Unit, Lincoln, NE 68583-0938.