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Insects 2017, 8(3), 72; doi:10.3390/insects8030072

Aquatic Insects and their Potential to Contribute to the Diet of the Globally Expanding Human Population

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON M1C1A4, Canada
2
The Wildlife Trust, The Manor House, Broad Street, Great Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6DH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kerry Wilkinson and Heather Bray
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [495 KB, uploaded 21 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

Of the 30 extant orders of true insect, 12 are considered to be aquatic, or semiaquatic, in either some or all of their life stages. Out of these, six orders contain species engaged in entomophagy, but very few are being harvested effectively, leading to over-exploitation and local extinction. Examples of existing practices are given, ranging from the extremes of including insects (e.g., dipterans) in the dietary cores of many indigenous peoples to consumption of selected insects, by a wealthy few, as novelty food (e.g., caddisflies). The comparative nutritional worth of aquatic insects to the human diet and to domestic animal feed is examined. Questions are raised as to whether natural populations of aquatic insects can yield sufficient biomass to be of practicable and sustained use, whether some species can be brought into high-yield cultivation, and what are the requirements and limitations involved in achieving this? View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic insects; entomophagy; human diet; animal feed; life histories; environmental requirements aquatic insects; entomophagy; human diet; animal feed; life histories; environmental requirements
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Williams, D.D.; Williams, S.S. Aquatic Insects and their Potential to Contribute to the Diet of the Globally Expanding Human Population. Insects 2017, 8, 72.

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