Studying Development of Hermetia illucens Fly Larvae Cultivated on High Cellulose Plant Substrates

Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, 117997, Moscow, Russian Federation


Yurina, O.V. and V.P. Karagodin, 2018. Studying development of Hermetia illucens fly larvae cultivated on high cellulose plant substrates. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 24 (2): 279–284

Hermetia illucens L. larvae with experimentally confirmed morphological and genetic characteristics were grown on plant substrates with 4.3% to 19.0% cellulose content: crushed corn kernels, wheat bran, beet pulp, and distillery stillage. It has been determined that the larvae are able to grow rapidly on the plant substrates during 10-14 days until the prepupal stage if optimal conditions are maintained, i.e.: air temperature (28°C) and substrate humidity about 60%. The highest substrate conversion was demonstrated for corn kernels and was equal to 77% in 14 days. A biomass yield of 181 g from 1 kg of substrate was obtained. With wheat bran the conversion was 64%, process time: 10 days. Distillery stillage and beet pulp contained high amounts of cellulose, and their use as feed substrate yielded little accumulation of larvae weight: 84 g and 34 g of dry biomass from 1 kg of substrate, respectively. Presumably, cellulose is a limiting factor as a nutritional medium for Hermetia illucens larvae, but bioconversion efficiency in the case of its high content may be increased by adding more nutritious substrates like corn kernels.

Key words: fly; Hermetia illucens L.; larvae; Black soldier fly; biomass; bioconversion; substrates; cellulose

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