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Digestibility of Insect Meals for Nile Tilapia Fingerlings

Department of Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Lavras, 3037 Lavras, MG, Brazil
Department Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 135, Montes Claros, MG, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(4), 181;
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
PDF [256 KB, uploaded 20 April 2019]

Simple Summary

Insects can be a source of nutrients for aquatic organisms, replacing scarce or unsustainable foods. The diversity of insect species contributes to their variable nutritional composition, which fish may digest differently. Nile tilapia is a very important fish for aquaculture, which requires great quantities of quality protein and other dietary nutrients on its initial rearing phase. Therefore, it is important to better understand the technical feasibility of using insect meal as a nutrient and energy source for Nile tilapia fingerlings. In this study, Tenebrio molitor larvae meal showed the highest apparent digestibility coefficient, being attested as a potential alternative feed for Nile tilapia fingerlings. Those findings may contribute to sustainable development of the tilapia production around the world.


Insects are a valuable source of nutrients for fish, but little is known about their nutritional value for Nile tilapia fingerlings. To evaluate the nutritional value and energy apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) of five insects for Nile Tilapia male fingerlings, 900 fish were distributed in 18 fiberglass conic tanks, in a completely randomized design, with six dietary treatments (control, Nauphoeta cinerea meal (NCM) (Blattodea), Zophobas morio larvae meal (ZMM) (Coleptera), Gromphadorhina portentosa meal (GPM) (Blattodea), Gryllus assimilis meal (GAM) (Orthoptera) and Tenebrio molitor larvae meal (TMM) (Coleptera)) and three replicates (tanks), each containing 50 fish. The control diet had no insect meal included and the other five treatments comprised 80% commercial diet and 20% test ingredient with 0.1% chromic oxide as an inert marker. TMM presented a higher ADC for dry matter, protein, corrected protein and chitin than to other treatments (p < 0.01). GPM presented the highest ADC for lipids (p < 0.01). In general, the TMM presented better ADC of nutrients and energy and all the insect meals evaluated are potential feed for Nile tilapia fingerlings. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquaculture; beetle; cockroach; cricket; Oreochromis niloticus; sustainability aquaculture; beetle; cockroach; cricket; Oreochromis niloticus; sustainability
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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Fontes, T.V.; de Oliveira, K.R.B.; Gomes Almeida, I.L.; Maria Orlando, T.; Rodrigues, P.B.; Costa, D.V.; Rosa, P.V. Digestibility of Insect Meals for Nile Tilapia Fingerlings. Animals 2019, 9, 181.

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