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Identifying the Optimal Temperature for Tenebrio molitor Mass-Rearing

Nam Jung Kim*, Sun Young Kim, Hyung Joo Yoon and Kyeong Yong Lee
* Applied Entomology Division, National Academy of Agricultural Science, RDA

Insect is an important player in the ecosystem as a prey for animals. Moreover, they are a valuable candidate food source for rearing animal. Tenebrio molitor (Coeloptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae are known as a good food source with high protein, unsaturated fatty acid, minerals. Therefore, it has strong potential to substitute the conventional meat consumption. To utilize T. molitor as a feed, the standard mass-rearing protocol is required. To make standard mass-rearing protocol, we tested different temperature(17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 27.5 and 30°C) conditions for egg, larvae, pupae and adult T. molitor to identify the optimal rearing condition. Hatching was occurred within 15~32.5°C range. However, 17.5~27.5°C was required to get more than 70 % hatching rete. When the eggs were treated in 22.5~27.5°C, all eggs were hatched within 10 days. As larval development, shorter developmental period, higher pupation and eclosion rates were observed within 25~27.5°C temperature range. In addition, we compared the number of egg, oviposition duration and time required to start egg-laying. The minimum egg-laying(258.40±10.86) was observed at 17.5°C, but the maximum(749.10±7.45) was at 27.5°C. The maximum oviposition duration (137.00±12.73 day (mean±S.D.)) was achieved at 27.5°C, but the minimum (87.50±3.54 day (mean±S.D.)) was at 30°C. The time required to start egg-laying was less than 10 days at 17.5, 27.5, and 30°C. To consider all the factors, we concluded that the optimal temperature is 27.5 °C.

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