top of page

WHY INSECTS ARE IMPORTANT IN FISH DIET?

Updated: Apr 17, 2022


WHY INSECTS ARE IMPORTANT IN FISH DIET?

Many fish species consume insects in the wild, omnivorous species target insects found on the bottom of water bodies whereas young ones of carnivorous species eat insects before changing to fish-based diets. Fish food is the main part of many fish diets due to its unique nutritional value.


Insects are rich in protein, energy, and lipids, and, unlike plant components which are poor in fiber and anti-nutritional elements. Black soldier fly larvae, mealworm larvae, adult crickets, grasshoppers, and silkworm pupae have been analyzed for their nutritional characteristics, the comfort of rearing, and biomass production. Insect feeding is not the complete meal for fish, it can replace a part of it in fish diets, often less than 25 to 30% through greater rates are possible. The addition of synthetic amino acids could also enhance the protein quality of insects.


Insects are beneficial protein sources in fish food under natural circumstances due to their protein contents, which can vary between 9.3% to 76%, and fat contents, which can vary between 7.9% to 40%. These variations will impact the fatty acid and amino acid contents.


Omnivorous and carnivorous fish need more protein in their diets than herbivorous or detritivorous species. The protein needs for carnivorous fish are between 55% and 45% crude protein (CP), and the CP needs for omnivorous fish are between 45% and 35%; these ranges differ from those of other monogastric vertebrates that range between 12% to 30%. The protein needs of fish are exactly related to their amino acid profiles, and these requirements are based on the corporal amino acid profile of each species. Because of the high protein needs of fish, fish meal (FM) and soya bean meal (SBM) have become the primary protein sources.


There are eight varieties of insect feeders that have been analyzed for nutritional composition, including contents of crude protein, amino acids, fat content, fatty acid profiles, and minerals. Here, we shortly outline the nutritional composition of the eight varieties and point out some potential points on nutritional elements.



Dubia roaches
Black soldier fly larvae
Cricket


Hornworms
Earthworms
Mealworms


Darkling Beetle
Silkworm









CRUDE PROTEIN

These eight feeder insect varieties have a high crude protein (CP) level, which varies from 42.1% to 63.3%. This level of CP is less than that in FM but is similar to soybean meal (SM). Adult pupae of silkworm, locusts, and crickets maintain lesser CPs than the larvae of black soldier fly and housefly. The amino acid profiles of various insects changed in the eight species. Orthoptera (i.e., locusts and crickets) and mealworms' CPs contain less lysine than FM, whereas Diptera (e.g., black soldier fly and housefly) and silkworms' CPs are rather rich in lysine.


FAT

All eight insect species contain lower fat content as compared to FM. Insects collect fat in their body, especially in their embryonic stages. The fat content in the eight insect species ranged across different species, ranging from 8% for mature locusts to 36% for mealworm larvae. It is important to note that even within a species, there is a lot of variation in lipid concentration. The fat content is influenced by several factors, including the stage of development and the feed, which insects eat.


ASH

The ash content of the eight insect species is minimal, except black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), which has more than 15% ash. BSFL includes relatively higher calcium (7.6% of dry matter), while different insect species have very low calcium levels. Therefore, when replacing FM with insect meals, it is necessary to add calcium in aquafeeds. The calcium content of insect larvae meals can be increased by steeling the rearing substrate with calcium.


CARBOHYDRATES

In the eight mentioned feeder insect species, the levels of carbohydrates are low, in most circumstances, the levels are lower than 20%. Chitin is a polymer of glucosamine in the exoskeleton of insects. Thus, the insect feeds usually contain some amount of chitin. The percentage of chitin in insect feeds changes across different species and stages of development.




To learn more about mealworms and other feeder insects, how to feed them to your pets, or where to purchase mealworms, get in touch with Pro-meal. We are the supplier of mealworms, both live and dried, available for purchase. Also, we can answer all your questions about storage, feeding, and nutrition.



 

Why Purchase From Pro-meal?

  • Fresh and Healthy Worms- Our mealworms both live and dried are packaged fresh and at the peak of their nutrition cycle. 100% grown and processed in India.

  • Organically Grown- We feed our worms strictly Organic Feeds including fruits and vegetables. This ensures that you will get all-natural chemical-free worms for your pets.

  • Reliable Supply- Imagine you feed your pets mealworms for a week and next week there's no supply! URGH! Our production ensures regular reliable supply.

  • Pathogen Free- We regularly test all our batches of worms for pathogens like salmonella, Ecolli, and bacteria. This Live Delivery ensures 100% safe feeding for your pets!

Note- If you order live, you should get the worms live. We guarantee Live delivery of worms. If you receive otherwise, you are entitled to a replacement/ refund.

25 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page