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Cord Biological Studies On Dipha Aphidivora Meyrick (Pyralidae: Lepidoptera): A Potential Predator Of Coconut Mealybugs In The Philippines

Dipha (Conobathra) aphidivora Meyrick (Pyralidae: Lepidoptera) is recorded for the first time as a predator of coconut mealybug, Sangicoccus sp. (Eriococcidae: Homoptera)) in the Philippines.  Some aspects of its biology and ecology were studied to determine its suitability as a biological control agent against Sangicoccus sp.

The life history of D. aphidivora was investigated following the establishment of a rearing procedure. The incubation period of the egg was 4.64±0.70 days. The four larval instars larva were completed in 5.52±0.92, 3.40±0.91, 2.83±0.72 and 3.40±1.04 days, respectively. Adults emerged from pupae after 7.68± 0.99 days.  Adult longevity was 6.83 ± 2.30 days. The life cycle of D. aphidivora lasted for 32.42±3.63 days.

Voracity tests showed that the four larval instars of the predator consumed an average of 150 mealybugs.

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