Optimizing of Harpalus rufipes (Coleoptera, Carabidae) diet under laboratory conditions

  • D. Y. Reshetniak Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University
  • V. V. Brygadyrenko Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University
Keywords: Harpalus rufipes, Carabidae, food preferences, laboratory experiments


Development of the laboratory breeding technology of insects that damage agricultural crops can help in the pest control. Harpalus rufipes (De Geer, 1774) were fed by the following types of products: fresh frozen chicken and pork, cooked sausage "Doctor", cheese "Russian", boiled wheat and buckwheat. In the experiment, 56 adult specimens were kept individually in plastic containers during five days. In the same conditions 8 control test products were placed to determine the percentage of its mass loss due to desiccation. Keeping in a laboratory and feeding of H. rufipes (De Geer) by common human food is possible. Throughout the experiment, there were considerable variations in the consumption of food between individuals. Specimens of an average weight of 148.2 ± 45.6 mg consumed daily 71.4 ± 99.4 mg of fresh-frozen chicken and 77.2 ± 112.8 mg of the pork meat (48.1% and 52.1% of the body weight, respectively). Cheese and sausage were consumed in approximately the same amounts (73.1 ± 81.3 and 44.9 ± 66.0 mg daily, or 49.3% and 30.3% of the body weight, respectively). Low protein crop ration (wheat and buckwheat) provided the increase of the food intake (103.5 ± 108.5 and 79.8 ± 91.5 mg or 69.9% and 53.9% of the body weight, respectively). Chicken, pork meat and sausage contributed the weight gain, which amounts to about 0.43–0.82 mg (0.29–0.56% of initial body weight). A significant increase in body weight was observed for specimens feed by cheese (the weight gain was 3.14 ± 18.3 mg, 2.12%), by wheat (8.71 ± 21.33 mg, 5.87%), and buckwheat (2.73 ± 13.75 mg, 1.84% of the body weight). Starving individuals of H. rufipes that had an access to drinking water lost 2.6 ± 3.6 mg of the wet weight daily (1.76% of the body weight). That low rate of basal metabolism ensures the species survival during unfavourable parts of the seasons (summer drought, long autumn rains, etc.). Thus, the changes of body weights in imagoes of similar diets are evaluated. The sustainable keeping of H. rufipes (De Geer) culture in a laboratory needs the alternation of used food. That problem should be studied in details.


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