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Effects of food substrates and moxidectin on development of black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens

Alyokhin, Andrei, Buzza, Aaron, Beaulieu, Jack
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.1-2 pp. 137-143
Hermetia illucens, adulthood, biomass production, cafeteria foods, cafeterias, detritivores, domestic animals, feces, food waste, greenhouses, horse manure, insect larvae, laboratory experimentation, larval development, moxidectin, potatoes, rearing, recycling, survival rate
Black soldier fly is a common and widely distributed saprophagous species that has an excellent potential for being used for biological conversion of organic wastes on an industrial scale. The main goal of the reported study was expanding the list of wastes suitable for utilization by this species. We compared larval growth on cull potatoes, horse manure and cafeteria food waste in 100‐L bins in a greenhouse. We also conducted laboratory experiments to investigate whether black soldier fly larvae are affected by the presence of moxidectin, a common endectocide used to treat an array of domestic animals and readily excreted in faeces, in their food substrates. Feeding on potatoes resulted in slower growth, and the final size of potato‐fed larvae was smaller compared to the larvae fed on cafeteria waste. Nevertheless, potatoes supported substantial biomass accumulation, and could be a valuable option for rearing fly larvae for commercial feed production. Larvae feeding on horse manure gained very little weight and eventually failed to pupate. Moxidectin had a strong negative effect on larval survivorship; however, ca. 30% of larvae reared in the substrate containing a realistic field concentration of moxidectin still survived to adulthood. Our findings confirm that using black soldier fly larvae is a promising technology for recycling organic wastes, including those of plant origin.