Validation of Acrylic Paint as a Marking Technique for Examining Mating Success of the Black Soldier Fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Academic Article uri icon


  • The black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), is mass produced worldwide for use in waste management and the production of an alternative protein for use as feed. However, few publications have explored its adult behavior, particularly mating, as a means to optimize egg production in colony. In addition, there is limited knowledge of appropriate marking techniques to explore the mating behavior of this insect. The goal of this study was to validate water-based acrylic paint pens as a possible marking tool for behavioral studies with adult black soldier flies. Adult black soldier flies (<24-h old) were marked with green, gold, red, or white acrylic paint. Adult longevity, as well as the number of matings (mating success) were recorded for each treatment. Regardless of marking, 1) adult females lived ~7 d, whereas males lived 9 d, 2) mating frequency peaked 2 d after initiation of the experiment, 3) approximately 30% of adults across treatments were recorded mating, and 4) egg production and hatch rate were not affected. This marking technique did not affect the parameters measured, suggesting that it is suitable for experiments requiring a reliable marking technique.

published proceedings

  • J Econ Entomol

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Jones, B. M., & Tomberlin, J. K.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Jones, Brittny M||Tomberlin, Jeffery K

editor list (cited editors)

  • Furlong, M.

publication date

  • October 2020