An artificial diet was developed for mass rearing of the spotted bollworm Earias vittella (Fabricius) in environmentally controlled conditions (27±1°C, 65±5% R. H. and 16:8 h scoto/photophase). The ingredients for 1 l of diet consisted of soybean (Glycine max) flour (60.0 g), chickpea (Cicer arietinum var. kabuli) flour (58.0 g), wheatgerm (16.0 g), dried yeast powder (16.0 g), casein (8.0 g), l-ascorbic acid (2.4 g), cholesterol (0.4 g), methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate (0.4 g), sorbic acid (2.4 g), streptomycin sulphate (0.4 g), agar–agar (16.0 g) and distilled water (820 ml). The artificial diet developed showed a higher development index (3.58) and a higher survival rate (83.4%) compared to the most preferred natural food (okra pods), for which these parameters were 3.09 and 65.0%, respectively. All the ingredients of the diet are easily available and inexpensive. The cost of 1 l of the diet, on which 400 larvae can be reared, is approximately US$ 2.00.
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