Selected Life-History Traits of Black Soldier Flies (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) Reared on Three Artificial Diets Academic Article uri icon


  • Hermetia illucens (L.) was reared on three larval diets to determine their effects on preimaginal development and selected adult life-history traits. Prepupal and adult characteristics were examined for individuals reared on each diet and compared with field-collected prepupae and corresponding emergent adults. Diet did not significantly influence development or survivorship to the prepupal stage. However, adult emergence for all diets was significantly less than that determined for the wild population. Development time from egg to adult for individuals reared on the diets at 27C ranged from 40 to 43 d with the larval stage lasting 22-24 d. We observed >96% larval survivorship to the prepupal stage and 21-27% adult emergence. Females accounted for 55-60% of emergent adults across treatments. Specimens reared on each diet were reduced in size, longevity, and calorie content in comparison to specimens from the wild population. Males within diet treatments and field-collected specimens were significantly smaller than female and emerged 1-2 d before females. Additionally, males reared on the diets and provided water lived for 9 d, whereas females lived for 8 d. This information indicates the diets might be used for rearing soldier flies. However, further refinement is needed to produce adults similar to those found in nature.

published proceedings

  • Annals of the Entomological Society of America

altmetric score

  • 12

author list (cited authors)

  • Tomberlin, J. K., Sheppard, D. C., & Joyce, J. A.

citation count

  • 190

complete list of authors

  • Tomberlin, Jeffery K||Sheppard, D Craig||Joyce, John A

publication date

  • May 2002