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Isoenergetic-practical and semi-purified diets for protein requirement determination in Hermetia illucens larvae: consequences on life history traits
Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology  (IF5.032),  Pub Date : 2022-01-19, DOI: 10.1186/s40104-021-00659-y
Bellezza Oddon, Sara, Biasato, Ilaria, Gasco, Laura

Black soldier fly (BSF) is one of the most promising species for the intensive breeding of insects given its adaptability and its efficiency in the conversion of waste. To maximize the production and use waste as substrates, it is essential to determine the larvae nutritional requirements. The study aims to evaluate the effects of 5 practical, semi-purified and isoenergetic diets (PSPID) with increasing protein levels (10%, CP10; 14%, CP14; 16%, CP16; 19%, CP19) on BSF life history traits. A total of 2000 six-day-old larvae were weighed and divided into groups of 100 (4 replicates/treatment [PSPID and Gainesville diet (GA) used as environmental control]). In larva-prepupa stage, sampling was carried out on 30 individuals/replicate, while in prepupa-adult stage on 35. In the whole larval stage, the CP16 treatment performed better when compared to the other groups. At 18 days old, the CP14 treatment showed a higher weight than the CP19 (P < 0.01), while the CP10 and CP16 weights were intermediate. On the contrary, the CP10 prepupae weight was higher than the CP19 (P < 0.01). The CP10 and CP14 pupae performed better in terms of weight when compared to the others (P < 0.01). The dietary treatments did not affect the adult parameters. The sex significantly influenced both the exuvia weight, which was the greatest in females (P < 0.001), and the fly lifespan, longest in males (P < 0.05). Fly lifespan was also influenced by the interaction between treatment and sex, with the CP19 females showing a longer life than the others (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the optimal protein level considering the whole larval stage is 16% on dry matter (DM). At 18 days old, looking at the size intended for the meal production, it can be considered 14% on DM. The result obtained on adult emergence in PSPID may not be attributable to the protein content. Further researches on macronutrients requirements determination have to be conducted to evaluate the substrates composition effects on BSF life history traits.