New Information on the Impact of Artificial Light on Black Soldier Fly Longevity and Oviposition Rate!
A paper was just published in Plos One that examined the impact of three different lights on the adult longevity and egg production of the BSF
Heussler, C. D., A. Walter, H. Oberkofler, H. Insam, W. Arthofer, B. C. Schlick-Steiner, and F. M. Steiner. 2018. Influence of three artificial light sources on oviposition and half-life of the Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae): Improving small-scale indoor rearing. PLOS ONE 13: e0197896.
The article researchers examined three different light sources and their impact on adult longevity and level of oviposition. For me personally, what I like about the paper is the authors did a nice job pulling together information from a number of other studies that examined light and its impact on mating and oviposition.
As far as this study, the three lights examined were: light-emitting diodes, fluorescent lamps, and halogen lamps. The authors provide some nice details about the lights (nice job), which is something I am sure you all will appreciated. The study had three consecutive trials (four replicates per trial- nicely done as well). The following data were recorded: the pre-oviposition period, total oviposition period, the average mass of eggs, and the half-life of flies.
This study is fairly unique as I am not aware of too many studies that have related longevity to light source. I think it would have been nice to have natural light as a control (but this is my being a bit picky) to see how these lights compared to some sort of baseline data. One other interesting aspect of these lights to keep in mind is the size of the lights in comparison to one another. If I am not mistaken, they are a bit different in size which could mean differences in coverage of light across the cages. Egg hatch across treatment would be nice to know as well.
Take home message: The study did demonstrate type of light impacts longevity of adult BSF with HL significantly shortening adult lifespan (although temperatures in this treatment were a bit higher- would this impact disappear if temperature was maintained lower and maybe if water was provided to the adults?). But, in most cases this impact was after oviposition would typically take place.
Good study- provides useful information to build on... and possibly something for everyone to consider when using artificial light.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Pleased to Present another great BSF study
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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