Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (3): 461-468, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.061

The effects of larval diet on adult life-history traits of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae)

Paola GOBBI, Anabel MARTÍNEZ-SÁNCHEZ, Santos ROJO
Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales / Instituto Universitario CIBIO, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, Apdo. 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain; e-mails: paogobbi@hotmail.com; anabel.martinez@ua.es; santos.rojo@ua.es

Larvae of Hermetia illucens feed on different types of decomposing organic matter and their development depends on the quality and quantity of food ingested. In this study the effect of three artificial diets was analyzed, namely hen feed, meat meal and a mixture of these two diets. The effects of diet on ovarian development, size, mortality, duration of the larval and pupal stages and sex ratio were studied. Results indicate that the meat meal diet was the worst of the three diets in terms of percentage mortality and duration of the larval and pupal stages. We conclude that food ingested by the black soldier fly larvae determines both the physiological and morphological development of the adults.

Keywords: Diptera, Stratiomyidae, Hermetia illucens, larval diet, wing morphometry, immature stages, ovarian development, hen feed, meat meal

Received: October 1, 2012; Accepted: January 11, 2013; Published: July 11, 2013

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