Evaluation of the efficacy of aquaculture feeds for the climbing perch Anabas testudineus: replacement of fishmeal by black soldier fly Hermetia illucens prepupae

  • Bounsong Vongvichith
  • Shinsuke MoriokaEmail author
  • Tsuyoshi Sugita
  • Nokjalia Phousavanh
  • Norkeo Phetsanghanh
  • Phonaphet Chanthasone
  • Phoutsamone Pommachan
  • Satoshi Nakamura
Original Article Aquaculture


The growth of the climbing perch Anabas testudineus reared on lower protein feeds with the replacement of fishmeal (FM) by prepupae of the black soldier fly (BSF) Hermetia illucens was examined. Three different feeds were prepared: control feed (treatment 1; T1) with only FM as a source of animal protein [32.5% crude protein; CP]; lower protein feed (T2) with both FM and BSF (30.0%); lowest protein feed (T3) with only BSF prepupae as a source of animal protein (25.0%). After 123 days of rearing, survival rates were ca. 82% in all treatments. The final weights in T2 and T3 (84–92 g/fish) were comparable to that in T1 (ca. 85 g/fish) despite the lower protein levels of feeds in T2/T3. Similarly, CP levels of fish at harvest in T2/T3 were comparable to T1 (17–18%), while the crude fat level in T3 (ca. 14%) was significantly greater than in T1/T2 (ca. 12%). The level of ash in T3 (ca. 4.1%) was significantly lower than in T1/T2 (5.4–5.7%). The protein efficiency ratio in T3 (ca. 1.3) was significantly greater than in T1/T2 (0.9–1.1), and the protein retention in T3 (ca. 21.9) was significantly greater than in T1 (ca. 16.4). Similar final weights observed between T1 and T2/T3 suggested that BSF protein can be better assimilated by climbing perch than FM. The results suggest that BSF prepupae are an efficient substitute for FM in climbing perch feed, and potentially allow for a reduction of feed protein levels.


Low-protein feed Animal protein source Feed substitution Insect utilization 



We are grateful to the staff of LARReC for their assistance in the research. Our thanks also go to Drs Kensuke Kawamura, Naruo Matsumoto and Kazuyuki Matsuo, Senior Researcher of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and Dr Masuo Ando, Professor of the Utsunomiya University, for their kind advice on the experiments. Our thanks also go to Dr Yukiyo Yamamoto, Program Director of JIRCAS, for her helpful coordination of the research. Research undertaken in the present study was funded by the research program Value-adding Technologies, JIRCAS.


  1. Adelizi PD, Rosati RR, Warner K, Wu YV, Muench TR, White MR, Brown PB (1998) Evaluation of fish-meal free diets for rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Aquac Nutr 4:255–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali H, Haque MM, Chowdhury MMR, Shariful MI (2009) In vitro protein digestibility of different feed ingredients in Thai koi (Anabas testudineus). J Bangladesh Agric Univ 7:205–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bondari K, Sheppard DC (1981) Soldier fly larvae as feed in commercial fish production. Aquaculture 24:103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carter CG, Haule RC (2000) Fishmeal replacement by plant meals in extruded feeds for Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Aquaculture 185:299–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chakraborty BK (2016) Sustainable aquaculture practice of climbing perch koi, Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792) under semi-intensive aquaculture system in Bangladesh. Proc Zool Soc 69:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chakraborty BK, Haque SM (2014) Growth, yield and returns to koi, Anabas testudinous (Bloch, 1792) under semi-intensive aquaculture system using different seed types in Bangladesh. J Fish Livestock Prod 2:1. (
  7. Cheng Z, Ai Q, Mai K, Xu W, Ma H, Li Y, Zhang J (2010) Effects of dietary canola meal on growth performance, digestion and metabolism of Japanese seabass, Lateolabrax japonicas. Aquaculture 305:102–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Francesco M, Parisi G, Médale F, Lupi P, Kaushik SJ, Poli BM (2004) Effect of long-term feeding with a plant protein mixture based diet on growth and body/fillet quality traits of large rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquaculture 236:413–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dubois M, Gilles KA, Hamilton JK, Rebers PA, Smith F (1956) Colorimetric method for determination of sugars and related substances. Anal Chem 28:350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. FAO (2016) The state of world fisheries and aquaculture 2016. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, p 200Google Scholar
  11. Fournier V, Huelvan C, Desbruyeres E (2004) Incorporation of a mixture of plant feedstuffs as substitute for fish meal in diets of juvenile turbot (Psetta maxima). Aquaculture 236:451–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gómez Requeni P, Mingarro M, Calduch Giner JA, Médale F, Martin SAM, Houlihan DF, Kaushik S, Pérez-Sánchez J (2004) Protein growth performance, amino acid utilization and somatotropic axis responsiveness to fish meal replacement by plant protein sources in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Aquaculture 232:493–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hossain MA, Sultana Z, Kibria ASM, Azimuddin KM (2012) Optimum dietary protein requirement of a Thai strain of climbing perch, Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792) fry. Turk J Fish Aquat Sci 12:217–224Google Scholar
  14. Hossain MS, Kader MA, Dey T, Sony NM, Bulbul M, Koshio S (2017) Effect of high inclusion of rendered animal by-product ingredients on growth, digestibility and economic performances in climbing perch Anabas testudineus. Aquac Res 48:931–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ido A, Iwai T, Ito K, Ohta T, Mizushige T, Kishida T, Miura C, Miura T (2015) Dietary effects of housefly (Musca domestica) (Diptera: Muscidae) pupae on the growth performance and the resistance against bacterial pathogen in red sea bream (Pagrus major) (Perciformes: Sparidae). Appl Entomol Zool 50:213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kottelat M (2001) Fish of Laos. WHT, Colombo, p 198Google Scholar
  17. Kroeckel S, Harjes AGE, Roth I, Katz H, Wuertz S, Susenbeth A, Schulz C (2012) When a turbot catches a fly: evaluation of a pre-pupae meal of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) as fishmeal substitute—growth performance and chitin degradation in juvenile turbot (Psetta maxima). Aquaculture 364:345–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kurniawan DR, Arief M, Agustono LM (2018) Effect of maggot (Hermetia illucens) flour in commercial feed on protein retention, energy retention, protein content, and fat content in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Earth Environ Sci 137:012030. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Magalhães R, Sánchez-López A, Leal RS, Martínez-Llorens S, Oliva-Teles A, Peres H (2017) Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) pre-pupae meal as a fish meal replacement in diets for European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Aquaculture 476:79–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Morioka S (2009) Otolith daily increment formation and preliminary growth analysis in the 0-year-old climbing perch Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792) (Pisces: Anabantidae). Suisanzoshoku 57:463–468Google Scholar
  21. Morioka S, Sakiyama K, Ito S, Vongvichith B (2009) Technical report and manual of seed production of the climbing perch Anabas testudineus. JIRCAS working report 61. Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, JapanGoogle Scholar
  22. Naylor RL, Hardy RW, Bureau DP, Chiu A, Elliott M, Farrell AP, Forster I, Gatlin DM, Goldburg RJ, Hua K, Nichols PD (2009) Feeding aquaculture in an era of finite resources. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106:15103–15110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Newton GL, Booram CV, Barker RW, Hale OM (1977) Dried Hermetia Illucens larvae meal as a supplement for swine. J Anim Sci 44:395–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Perera PACT, Kodithuwakku KAHT, Sundarabarathy TV, Edirisinghe U (2013) Captive breeding of Anabas testudineus (climbing perch) under semi-artificial conditions for the mass production of fish seed for conservation and aquaculture. Insight Ecol 2:8–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Piwpong N, Chiayvareesajja J, Chiayvareesajja S (2016) Growth and survival of a diallel cross for five strains of climbing perch (Anabas testudineus Bloch, 1792) in Thailand. Agric Nat Resour 50:351–356Google Scholar
  26. R Core Team (2019) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. Accessed 8 Aug 2019
  27. Samocha TM, Davis DA, Saoud IP, DeBault K (2004) Substitution of fish meal by co-extruded soybean poultry by-product meal in practical diets for the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Aquaculture 231:197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sarkar UK, Deepak PK, Kapoor D, Negi RS, Paul SK, Singh S (2005) Captive breeding of climbing perch Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792) with Wova-FH for conservation and aquaculture. Aquac Res 36:941–945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sealey WM, Gaylord TG, Barrows FT, Tomberlin JK, McGuire MA, Ross C, St-Hilaire S (2011) Sensory analysis of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, fed enriched black soldier fly prepupae Hermetia illucens. J World Aquac Soc. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sheppard DC, Newton GL, Burtle G (2007) Black soldier fly prepupae—a compelling alternative to fish meal and fish oil. University of Georgia, Tifton, p 5Google Scholar
  31. Sugiura SH, Babbit JK, Dong FM, Hardy RW (2000) Utilization of fish and animal by-product meals in low pollution feeds for rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). Aquac Res 31:585–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sugiura S, Higashitani A, Sasaki T (2011) Effects of dietary phosphorus restriction on fillet fat deposition and hepatic lipid metabolism in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and crucian carp (Carassius auratus grandoculis). Aquac Sci 59:109–122Google Scholar
  33. St-Hilaire S, Sheppard C, Tombelin JK, Cefas SI, Newton L, Mcguire MA, Mosley EE, Hardy RY, Sealey W (2007) Fly prepupae as a feedstuff for rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. J World Aquac Soc 38:59–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tacon AGJ, Metian M (2008) Global overview on the use of fish meal and fish oil in industrial compounded aquafeeds: trends and future prospects. Aquaculture 285:146–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tang Q, Wang C, Xie C, Jin J, Huang Y (2012) Dietary available phosphorus affected growth performance, body composition, and hepatic antioxidant property of juvenile yellow catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco. Sci World J (
  36. Troell M, Naylor RL, Metian M, Beveridge M, Tyedmers PH, Folke C, Arrow KJ, Barrett S, Crépin AS, Ehrlich PR, Gren Å, Kautsky N, Levin SA, Nyborg K, Österblom H, Polasky S, Scheffer M, Walker BH, Xepapadeas T, de Zeeuw A (2014) Does aquaculture add resilience to the global food system? Proc Natl Acad Sci 111:13257–13263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tveterås S, Tveterås R (2010) The global competition for wild fish resources between livestock and aquaculture. J Agric Econ 61:381–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang Y, Guo JL, Bureau DP, Cui ZH (2006) Replacement of fish meal by rendered animal protein ingredients in feeds for cuneate drum (Nibea miichthioides). Aquac 252:476–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wen J, Jiang W, Feng L, Kuang S, Jiang J, Tang L, Zhou X, Liu Y (2015) The influence of graded levels of available phosphorous on growth performance, muscle antioxidant and fresh quality of young grass carp (Ctenopharingodon idella). Anim Nutr 1:77–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Xiao X, Jin P, Zheng L, Cai M, Yu Z, Yu J, Zhang J (2018) Effects of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae meal protein as a fishmeal replacement on the growth and immune index of yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco). Aquac Res 49:1569–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bounsong Vongvichith
    • 1
  • Shinsuke Morioka
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tsuyoshi Sugita
    • 2
  • Nokjalia Phousavanh
    • 1
  • Norkeo Phetsanghanh
    • 1
  • Phonaphet Chanthasone
    • 1
  • Phoutsamone Pommachan
    • 1
  • Satoshi Nakamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Living Aquatic Resources Research CenterNational Agriculture and Forestry Research InstituteVientianeLaos
  2. 2.Fisheries DivisionJapan International Research Center for Agricultural SciencesTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations