Cool article came across my desk today (thanks Aline and Chelsea) that I think highlights a very important aspect of BSF farming. For those not familiar with the family, Stratiomyidae, there are over 2600 species belonging to this group. And, while many of these species are clearly distinguishable from one another- some are not (proper identification is something I have discussed previously with regards to population differences due to genetics). In fact, species in the genus Hermetia illustrate this point very well.
This paper examined Hermetia for Australia- so it most likely will not directly apply to most readers; however, I believe there is an important lesson for everyone to learn from this paper. Verify the species in your colony!
The article is:
D, L. B., Y. D. K, and W. N. E. Revision of the Hermetiinae of Australia (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Austral Entomology 0.
I am not sure if you will be able to download the paper or not. So, I will try to convey some of the key findings here:
1. Species of Hermetia look a lot alike! Similar body plan, morphology, colorations, banding patterns, etc.
2. Hermetia illucens does not have hairs on its eyes like other species in this genus located in Australia. Yes, you read correctly, H. illucens does not have hairs on its eyes.
What is my take away? Some people around the world might think they have BSF in colony... and on some level they do... just not species that most around the world are working with. So, I urge you all to make sure your species is correct.
Of course, if not BSF (H. illucens), try not to think all is lost. different species might offer different advantages? In other words, you might have a new system for mass production of protein from wastes.
I hope this information is helpful... and a special shoutout to the authors of this paper (very easy to read- and very informative)...any chance this work can be expanded to the world?
And very cool to know that a Hermetia species is named after a colleague/friend/fellow-BSF producer in Australia.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, amazed at Stratiomyid diversity
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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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