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Animals 2019, 9(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9030079

Influence of Temperature on Selected Life-History Traits of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Reared on Two Common Urban Organic Waste Streams in Kenya

1
Center for Development Research (ZEF), Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management, 53113 Bonn, Germany
2
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Plant Health Unit, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
3
IPM Department, The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), B.P. 2008 (Messa), Nkolbisson, Yaoundé, Cameroon
4
Department of Plant Sciences, Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University & Research, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Simple Summary

Rapid population growth and urbanization, continued economic growth, shifts in dietary patterns towards more animal source foods are major challenges that sub-Saharan Africa is currently facing. These challenges exert a high demand on agricultural production. Insect species such as the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) have been identified as potential alternatives for the traditional protein sources used in livestock feed due to their rich nutrient content and the fact that they can be reared on organic side streams. However, black soldier fly larvae are very sensitive to external environments such as temperature and rearing medium. Currently, little is known about the combined influence of temperature and organic waste streams that are readily available in the urban environments of sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of temperature and organic waste streams on the development of black soldier fly larvae reared on two different organic substrates, i.e., brewers’ spent grain and cow dung. The results show that black soldier fly larvae reared on brewers’ spent grain were more efficient and tolerated a wider range of temperatures in comparison with those reared on cow dung.

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, urban populations are projected to increase by 115% in the coming 15 years. In addition, economic growth and dietary shifts towards animal source foods have put high pressure and demand on agricultural production. The high ecological footprint of meat and dairy production, as well as high feed costs, prevent the livestock sector from meeting the increasing demand in a sustainable manner. Insects such as the black soldier fly (BSF) have been identified as potential alternatives to the conventionally used protein sources in livestock feed due to their rich nutrient content and the fact that they can be reared on organic side streams. Substrates derived from organic byproducts are suitable for industrial large-scale production of insect meal. Although efficient in waste management and in feed production, BSF larvae are very sensitive to the external environment such as temperature and rearing medium. Therefore, we studied the effect of temperature and substrate type, i.e., brewers’ spent grain (SG) and cow dung (CD), on the development and survival of BSF larvae. Both organic substrates were readily available in Nairobi, Kenya, the location of the experiments. In our experiment, 100 3–5-day-old BSF larvae were placed into containers that contained either SG or CD and further treated at temperatures of 15 °C, 20 °C, 25 °C, 30 °C, and 35 °C. The duration of larval development was recorded, and the prepupae were removed, weighed, and placed individually in separate, labeled, 35-mL plastic cups filled with moist sawdust. After emergence, 10 2-day-old adults (5 males and 5 females) from every replica per substrate were transferred into a cage (40 × 40 × 40 cm) and allowed to mate for 24 h at their respective temperatures. The laid egg batches were collected and counted, and the adult flies’ longevity was recorded. The data were subjected to a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the general linear model procedure. BSF larvae reared on SG developed faster than those reared on CD; the former also favored higher temperatures for their larval development and emergence into adults. The optimum range was 25–30 °C. With increasing temperatures, the longevity of adult BSF decreased, while the fecundity of females increased. Thus, it is possible to take advantage of the readily available SG waste streams in the urban environments of Kenya to produce BSF larvae-derived livestock feed within a short duration of time and at relatively high temperatures. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic waste bioconversion; black soldier fly (BSF); rearing temperature; development; growth; longevity; fecundity organic waste bioconversion; black soldier fly (BSF); rearing temperature; development; growth; longevity; fecundity
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Shumo, M.; Khamis, F.M.; Tanga, C.M.; Fiaboe, K.K.M.; Subramanian, S.; Ekesi, S.; van Huis, A.; Borgemeister, C. Influence of Temperature on Selected Life-History Traits of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Reared on Two Common Urban Organic Waste Streams in Kenya. Animals 2019, 9, 79.

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