Black Soldier Fly Prepupae for Aquaculture Diets

Forum: Mass Production of Black Soldier Fly Prepupae for Aquaculture Diets

Published on: 01/30/2012
Author/s : Gary J. Burtle, G. Larry Newton, D. Craig Sheppard (University of Georgia)
After decades of work in Tifton, Georgia, University of Georgia researchers think soldier flies will be a viable alternative to fish meal in aquaculture diets. Early work with the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) used manure as the growth media, but recent efforts show that food byproducts can be a better soldier fly diet. Catfish grow well on soldier flies and other fish, including tilapia...
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August 3, 2012
Greetings Mr. Oscar, Black soldier fly (BSF) only put the eggs on a substrate of plant by- produck not from animals such as palm kernel meal (PKM), etc, in my photos are a place where these beds, bed height > 50 cm, height of substrate <5 cm .... these beds must be covered after wet the substrate? yes. apter 14-21 days to harvesting of Maggots.
please try
August 6, 2012

Thank you very much for your indications Mr Ediwarman, I will try to produce larvae on a substrate composed of a manure mixed / wheat bran, moistened with blood water to attract adults to ovopositar in the substrate, I'll send my report resutls

August 6, 2012

OK. I wait for the results of your experiment.

September 2, 2012
This is very interesting. May i know the price of the dried maggots sell per kg? according to my research Bsf larvae is a very good source of protein for chicken feed.
October 26, 2012

Dr. Ediwarman, I have seen problems with wild productions of this specie, tell me if I´m correct,  must have a cage where flies are feed larvae and pupae completed their cycle, emerge to breed, ovopositan sites for ovopositar, that eggs are harvested and the substrate are prepared to feed these?

thanks for your guidance

Justin White Justin White
November 29, 2012

Hello and thank you for this post... very interesting!
A few years ago I was composting restaurant waste and noticed the black soldier fly around the heaps. I am now wanting to get hold of them and use the larvae to process the waste but can't find any of the flies.

Where can I source the eggs or larvae from around Cape Town or anywhere in South Africa?

November 29, 2012
In these days, when reviewing where we had production caneca efficient microorganisms (EM), this was covered and what was my surprise, it was full of larvae Hermethia, this gives me to recover larvae pattern and establish a production of these, construct cages, and adults producior collect posture. There may be a agroplus, cover with a cloth to pass adult flies that will opsitar, expect the larval stage and caging of laying and collecting eggs.
Leonard Van Schoor Leonard Van Schoor
Regional Manager
June 17, 2013
I am currently on contract in Gauteng and would like to start a black soldier fly colony.I already have a successful worm farm for my veggies.Would like to combine BSF into my system. The idea is to use aquaculture for nutrients the worms in the bio filter for hydroponic system etc.The BSF will be feedstock for the fish.I think this is the way to go on small holdings to produce food and reach food security on small pieces of land. My only problem at this stage is finding the flies. I will gladly pay for some larvae or eggs so if any one could let me know were to get hold of some in the Johannesburg area i will appreciate it very much.
Kind regards
Leonard van Schoor ( )
June 18, 2013
In South Africa, a company called AgriProtein may be able to help you. Also the Univesity of Stellenbosch Animal Nutrition group may be helpful.
June 26, 2013
i'm from Malaysia, now doing some backyard testing for BSF for our chicken and fish. It's very interesting. I plan to expand in large scale producing the larvae especially for waste management but i don't have capacity in term of specific scale. Any idea or suggestion from yours to my project. tq
June 26, 2013
Some ideas are to use larvae to seed the poultry manure pits, so you can seed at about 90,000 to 100,000 larvae per square meter. A fly breeding area is needed outside of the manure conversion area, in this case.

The pit can be designed with 35 degree slopes to the side so that prepupae can migrate out of the manure and self-harvest. Although, some use mechanical harvesting with screens if the manure substrate is a small particle size. In systems where the substrate is a pre-ground material, like brewers grains or corn meal, screening can be easily used for harvest.

These are just preliminary comments since you have not mentioned the scale of your intentions.

June 27, 2013
Thanks sir,

How the external conditions within and outside temperature larvae house?, Does temperature play a role in larval population?. We intend to implement the program management of waste materials to the local council in an effort to provide awareness of the public in dealing with waste products.
June 27, 2013
Temperatures above 26 C favor black soldier fly oviposition. Also, visible light is needed for the soldier flies to begin laying eggs. Once larvae emerge, light is not that important, but temperatures above 22 C are recommended for good growth.
August 14, 2013
Hello everyone,
I am an entrepreneur. I work on the subject already four years.
In 2014 I plan to build a commercial facility for growing larvae.
Currently looking for a suitable site.
Glad to see there are other people who are interested in this important issue.

Greetings to everyone.
September 1, 2013

I'm looking for people in South India.
People who have agricultural land and would be willing to lease the land for a long period.

Also I will be happy collaborating with growers BSFL to expand the knowledge on the subject.

Muruga Muruga
November 3, 2013
hello, I am from South India, and have knowledge of BSF. I have recently put up a nursery at my place and been studying its uses for waste management. I can lease/collaborate my land for the mass production of BSF. Let me know how we can work this out MR.Aviv!

November 4, 2013

I'd be happy to discuss the issue in more details.
My email

I'd be happy if you could provide some background about you and the stage where you are in terms of the BSF.

Jeff Clegg Jeff Clegg
December 15, 2013
I have some general questions for the forum:

1) how far will larvae migrate? a distance of 2 feet? 3feet? more?
--> how far should inclines be situated for the "self-harvest", from any area of the growth space?
--> how do the larvae sense where the inclines are located? How do they know where to go?

2) If substrate (manure) is provided that is 6" to 8" thick, how many pounds of
larvae can be sustained within a square foot or square meter area?

3) Under normal temperature, humidity, feed conditions, if the BSF go thru 1 life cycle, how many
larvae will 10,000 larvae become? What is the typical time duration for this? 4-6 weeks?

4) Do the dead adult BSF have much nutritional value?

5) Are there any major risks to losing the the larvae population?

6) If processing into a fish pellet format, what is a good, inexpensive binding agent? Is one needed?
(using the method of meat grinder & drying)

Thank-you very much.

December 15, 2013
I would like to know a bit about your interests in black soldier fly production.

Some of the answers to your questions can be found by searching literature authored by Craid Sheppard and G. Larry Newton.

The migration is over 4 ft. Larvae production depends on the type of substrate and the dry matter conversion is also dependent on the type of substrate, due to variability in nutrient composition.

Most of the production has been measured in dry mass produced rather than numbers of larvae or larvae survival.

I do not know of anyone who has checked adult carcasses for nutritional value.

There are risks in BSF population production. Substrate quality can be poor enough to allow mold growth that may affect the BSF. Predators should be screened or otherwise excluded from the cultures. Suboptimal environmental conditions may affect BSF survival.

BSF prepupae have a relatively high lipid content, making it hard to form a pellet unless care is taken to bring lipid content to below 5% of the finished diet. Therefore work to extract lipid from the BSF prepupae has been proposed. Or, use whole BSF as a supplement to fish food. We used up to 50% of the diet as dried BSF before feed conversion of channel catfish dropped. In aquaculture diets with high fat, the fat is usually added after pelletizing. Some extruders are capable of handling high fat mixtures, but the float of the product is poor. Example are chewy pet foods.
Jeff Clegg Jeff Clegg
December 15, 2013
Thank you very much for the response. My interest is with creating a small aquaculture system(s) in a southern state of Colombia, South America. The temperature and humidity levels are conducive to BSFL production. I am researching the topic to benefit friends that could benefit from incremental income. They will have access to various types of manure (chicken, swine, dairy, horses).

On a small scale production, I originally thought of something similar to what is proposed on this site (to create pellets):

Is there a benefit to the fish of using dried BSF vs. live BSF?

Would you recommend BSF along with fish pellets - where the pellets do not contain protein?

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