Black soldier fly

What is the black soldier fly?

The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens or BSF) is a species of black fly that belongs to the family Stratiomyidae. This black soldier fly is known to be an improved insect and is often used in the applied entomology industry.
Its use is accepted as live food in the feeding of other animals and as dead food it can only be used to feed farm animals when it has been categorized as category 3 material. Category 3 material derived from insects may be used for: a) obtaining "transformed animal protein" (PAT), which may be used (either in the form of raw material for feed or incorporating it in the manufacture of compound feed) exclusively for feeding aquaculture animals, poultry and porcine.

Hermetia illucens or BSF (Black Soldier Fly)

Name: Hermetia illucens – Soldier Fly
Order: Diptera
Family: Stratiomyidae
Hermetia illucens in other languages: Black Soldier Fly (English), mouche soldat (French), Soldatenfliege (German), soldier-fly (Portuguese)

Protein percentage of the Black Soldier Fly

Description of Hermetia Illucens

The soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is a species of black fly belonging to the order Diptera and the family Stratiomyidae. It is characterized by having a medium size, reaching approximately 1 to 2 centimeters in length. Its body is shiny black and has a robust appearance.
The soldier fly is known for its importance in the field of composting and waste management. Their larvae are excellent decomposers of organic matter, which makes them efficient agents for recycling and waste transformation processes. Additionally, these larvae are high in protein and are used as food for animals such as poultry and fish.
Although its appearance may seem unattractive, the soldier fly plays a valuable role in ecological balance by contributing to the cycle of destruction and being a sustainable source of food.

Larval Phase

The larvae are very small, approximately 1 to 2 millimeters in length.
Hatching from the eggs, the larvae are creamy white or pale yellowish in color.

Adult beetle

The adult fly is approximately 1 to 2 centimeters in length.
In the adult phase, soldier flies have a shiny black body.

Consumption of Hermetia Illucens

  • Alimentación animal: Soldier fly larvae are used as a protein-rich feed for farm animals such as poultry, pigs and fish. These larvae have become a sustainable and nutritious alternative to replace conventional foods, such as fishmeal.
  • Aquaculture industry: the aquaculture sector uses soldier fly larvae as a food source for farmed fish, due to their high content of proteins and essential nutrients. This contributes to more sustainable production and reduces dependence on capture fishing.
  • Composting and waste management: Soldier fly larvae are excellent decomposers of organic matter, making them a valuable option for composting and waste management. They are used to process food scraps, garden waste and other organic materials, turning them into high-quality compost.
  • Dietary supplements and human nutrition: applications are being explored in the food industry to use soldier fly larvae in the production of dietary supplements and foods for human consumption. Their high protein content and interesting nutritional profile make them a potential option for developing innovative and sustainable products.


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Why include the Tenebrio Monitor in your insect farm?

Its ability to convert organic waste into beneficial resources makes it an insect of great interest both in the field of entomology and in the agri-food industry.
The length of the life cycle of the soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) can vary depending on environmental conditions and food availability. In general, the complete cycle from egg to adult can take around 14 to 30 days.
It is also important to note that soldier flies are not usually affected by serious diseases or parasites as happens to other species such as Acheta domesticus.

How to breed Hermetia Illucens?

Life Cycle of Hermetia illucens is approximately 15 to 30 days.
The different phases are: Egg, Larva, Pupa and Adult.

Habitat of Hermetia illucens

Its ideal environment for the soldier fly includes warm temperatures, high humidity, and organic substrate for oviposition.

Soldier fly breeding requires a diet rich in organic matter, such as fruit and vegetable remains, food waste, agricultural or food industry by-products. The larvae feed intensely on these substrates to grow and develop properly. It is also important to ensure that the diet is balanced in terms of nutrients, such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates, to promote healthy growth of the larvae. It is possible to use specific formulations or even supplement the diet with additional ingredients to optimize the quality of the larvae and their nutritional value as animal feed or other purposes.

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