This paper reviews entomophagy as practised in Africa within the context of food and nutritional security by providing an inventory of the various species of insects that are consumed on the continent and suggests a research for development (R4D) agenda for sustainable utilisation of insects for food and feed. Our survey showed that over 470 species of insects are eaten in Africa. The Central African region remains the most important hotspot of having a culture of entomophagy. The insects mostly eaten in the continent are dominated by the orders Lepidoptera, Orthoptera and Coleoptera. Commonalities were observed across the majority of the insects consumed across Africa, providing opportunities for related R4D activities. An R4D agenda and pathways for using edible insects suggest that socio-economics and marketing studies should address issues of communities' perceptions, based on their cultural background, income and beliefs. Cost-effective rearing, harvesting and processing technologies are required to prevent depletion and ecological perturbations while ensuring continuous availability of insect-based products. Indigenous reports assert that some edible insects harbour medicinal properties; thus, the need to undertake nutritional and bioactive chemical characterisation of main edible insects along the value chain and to investigate food safety issues such as diseases, allergies, and toxicological and chemical hazards. The use of insects for waste conversion into animal feed and fertiliser requires judicious choice of substrate in view of concerns regarding contaminant loads and pathogens occurrence. Responding to these research needs and opportunities, icipe has recently established an Insects for Food, Feed and Other Uses Programme with well-defined work packages oriented towards attainment of its Vision and Strategy 2013-2020 document, with a strong orientation towards R4D and a focus on activities that lead to adoption and impact on end users, through broad based complementary linkages and partnerships with agriculture and livestock extension services, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and advanced research institutes, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.
Efforts to recycle organic wastes using black soldier fly (BSF) Hermetia illucens into high-nutrient biomass that constitutes a sustainable fat (biodiesel) and high-quality protein ingredient in animal feeds have recently gained momentum worldwide. However, there is little information on the most suitable rearing conditions for growth, development and survivorship of these flies, which is a prerequisite for mass production technologies. We evaluated the physiological requirements for growth and reproduction of H. illucens on two diets [spent grains supplemented with brewers’ yeast (D1) and un-supplemented (D2)]. Development rates at nine constant temperatures (10–42°C) were fitted to temperature-dependent linear and non-linear day-degree models. Thereafter, life history table parameters were determined within a range of favourable temperatures. The thermal maximum (TM) estimates for larval, pre-pupal and pupal development using non-linear model ranged between 37.2 ± 0.3 and 44.0 ± 2.3°C. The non-linear and linear day-degree model estimations of lower developmental temperature threshold for larvae were 11.7 ± 0.9 and 12.3 ± 1.4°C for D1, and 10.4 ± 1.7 and 11.7 ± 3.0°C for D2, respectively. The estimated thermal constant of immature life stages development of BSF was higher for the larval stage (250±25 DD for D1 and 333±51 for D2) than the other stages evaluated. Final larval wet weight was higher on D1 compared to D2. The population growth rate was most favourable at 30-degree celsius (°C) with higher intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm = 0.127 for D1 and 0.122 for D2) and shorter doubling time (5.5 days for D1 and 5.7 days for D2) compared to the other temperatures. These results are valuable for the optimization of commercial mass rearing procedures of BSF under various environmental conditions and prediction of population dynamics patterns using computer simulation models.
BackgroundIn recent years, there has been a rapidly growing demand for readily accessible substrates for mass production of Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens Linnaeus. Beer production results in various by-products that typically end up in uncontrolled dumpsites constituting pollution problems, which merits urgent attention. The present study investigated whether the 12 formulated diets composed of brewers’ spent grains (BSGs), brewers’ yeast and cane molasses can serve as substrate for H. illucens production.MethodsFour different BSGs were selected and formulated into 12 diets, aiming at varying protein and net energy levels. The diets were offered to newly hatched (∼1 h old) H. illucens larvae and the influence on developmental duration, survival, wet weight, pre-oviposition time, fecundity, and longevity were compared.ResultsDevelopmental duration of the larvae (16–21 days) and pre-pupae (8–11 days) differed significantly across the different diets. The developmental duration of the pupae (8.7–9.1 days) was not affected by diet. The larval (86–99.2%), pre-pupal (71–95%), and pupal (65–91%) survival rates varied significantly between flies reared on the different diets. The pre-oviposition time was similar for flies provided with water (7–11 days) and 10% sugar solution (8–14 days) or across the different diets. The mean fecundity per female ranged from 324–787 eggs and did not differ between females provided with water or sugar solution. However, the number of eggs laid per female varied significantly across the different diets when provided with water. The longevity of starved H. illucens adults was significantly lower (5 days) compared to those provided with water (11–14 days) or sugar solution (14–15 days).DiscussionThe implications of these findings as part of a quality control procedure for commercial production of high-quality H. illucens larvae as an alternative protein ingredient in livestock and aquaculture feed are discussed.
The performance of an autoinoculation device was evaluated in field cage experiments for control of Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), in French bean, Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. Samantha (Fabaceae). Treatments consisted of a fungus‐treated device with and without semiochemical (Lurem‐TR), and a fungus‐free device as control; the fungus used was Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae). The overall mean number of conidia acquired by a single insect was higher in the fungus‐treated semiochemical‐baited device than in the device without semiochemical: 5.0 ± 0.6 × 104 vs. 2.2 ± 0.4 × 104 conidia per insect. The overall thrips mortality was also higher in the semiochemical‐baited device than in the device without the semiochemical: 59.3 ± 3.9 vs. 41.7 ± 3.5%. Conidial viability was not affected in the M. anisopliae‐treated device without semiochemicals, 7 days after treatment, whereas it was considerably decreased – from 81.0 ± 1.3 to 6.5 ± 1.1%, 2 and 7 days post‐inoculation – in the M. anisopliae‐treated semiochemical‐baited device. Thrips mortality was positively correlated with M. anisopliae conidial viability, and conidial viability was negatively correlated with conidial acquisition. This suggests that the semiochemical volatiles reduced the conidial viability, which in turn resulted in significant reduction in thrips mortality, despite the highest conidial acquisition in the semiochemical‐baited fungus‐treated device. Thrips density per plant was significantly reduced in both fungus‐treated treatments (with semiochemical: 8.7 ± 1.7 adults per plant; without semiochemical: 6.6 ± 1.4 adults per plant) compared with the fungus‐free control (19.8 ± 2.6 adults per plant). These results demonstrate the potential for an autoinoculation device strategy for the control of thrips, particularly in screenhouses.
A new native edible cricket species, Scapsipedus icipe Hugel and Tanga, has been described in Kenya for the first time. However, there is lack of information on suitable diets and their effects on the developmental time, survival, weight gain, body length, growth index, preoviposition, oviposition, postoviposition, fecundity, egg eclosion period, adult emergence, and longevity of this species, which are prerequisite for large-scale production. In this study, six diets (wheat bran, soybean, fish offal, pumpkin leaf, carrot, and maize meals) selected to vary in protein, carbohydrate, and fat content were evaluated. The developmental time and survival rate of the different life stages varied considerably on the various diets, with the shortest development and highest survival rate recorded when fed wheat bran diet. Preoviposition duration was significantly longer on maize and carrot diets (>10 d) compared with that recorded on the other diets (<8 d). Body weight and body length were significantly influenced by t different diets tested. Females of S. icipe fed on proteinrich diets (fish offal, soybean, and wheat bran) had significantly higher lifetime fecundity and fertility. Female-biased sex ratio was recorded on wheat bran and soybean diets, whereas male-biased sex ratio was recorded on maize and carrot diets. Our findings reveal that the impact of diet quality on the biological fitness parameters of S. icipe and the implication of the results are discussed in light of effective mass rearing of this species.
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