All Black Soldier Flies Are Not Made Equal- Molecular Research Indicates Massive Variation Globally (Possible Hidden Species)
First and foremost, I hope (pray) you all are safe and healthy during the COVID19 global crisis. We in Texas are hanging in there. While unfortunate, I tell my children it is great to have more time with them as they are growing up so fast. I hope you have the same luxury with your family.
And now the news.....
A quick note on a paper to be in print soon (you can access the submitted version below) that will offer new perspective on the black soldier fly- Hermetia illucens.
The term black soldier fly is applied liberally to a family of flies that is quite massive and diverse. Many species look like Hermetia illucens, but are obviously not.
I ask anyone that is shipping material globally to consider the ramifications of practices. Shipping different genotypes (possibly different species) to locations outside of your geographic location. This caution is warranted for many reasons; 1) dilution and suppression of unique genotypes in the area you are shipping (i.e., loss of genetic variability), 2) introduction of new species to an area, 3) mass production of a species that is not approved for use by federal governments. Keep in mind- the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, has to be managed properly to avoid issue (see second citation below).
Everyone that is industrialized might consider having their population genotyped for their records.
Ståhls G, Meier R, Sandrock C, et al. The puzzling mitochondrial phylogeography of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), the commercially most important insect protein species. Research Square; 2020. DOI: 10.21203/rs.2.19982/v2.
Tomberlin, J. K., and A. v. Huis. 2020. Black soldier fly from pest to ‘crown jewel’ of the insects as feed industry: an historical perspective. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 6: 1-4.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Making the most of time with family
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Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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