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Environ Entomol. 2015 Apr;44(2):406-10. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvv002. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Ability of Black Soldier Fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) Larvae to Recycle Food Waste.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, ON N9B3P4, Canada.
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, 2475 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-2475.
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, ON N9B3P4, Canada.


Accumulation of organic wastes, especially in livestock facilities, can be a potential pollution issue. The black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), can consume a wide range of organic material and has the potential to be used in waste management. In addition, the prepupae stage of this insect can be harvested and used as a valuable nutritious feed for animal livestock. Five waste types with a wide range of organic source matter were specifically chosen to evaluate the consumption and reduction ability of black soldier fly larvae. H. illucens was able to reduce all waste types examined: 1) control poultry feed, 2) pig liver, 3) pig manure, 4) kitchen waste, 5) fruits and vegetables, and 6) rendered fish. Kitchen waste had the greatest mean rate of reduction (consumption by black soldier fly) per day and produced the longest and heaviest black soldier flies. Larvae reared on liver, manure, fruits and vegetables, and fish were approximately the same length and weight as larvae fed the control feed, although some diets produced larvae with a higher nutritional content. The black soldier fly has the ability to consume and reduce organic waste and be utilized as valuable animal feed. Exploration of the potential use of black soldier flies as an agent for waste management on a large-scale system should continue.


Hermetia illucens; recycling; sustainable agriculture; waste management; waste reduction

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