A Review of the Use of Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), to Compost Organic Waste in Tropical Regions

  • G D P da SilvaEmail author
  • T Hesselberg


Hermetia illucens (L., 1758) is a fly of the family Stratiomyidae frequently found in tropical zones. Adult flies are not considered pathogens as they are incapable of biting and feeding thus not transmitting sicknesses to humans. The larval stage feeds off organic matter and offer a rich protein source naturally consumed by animals. The use of black soldier fly (BSF) larvae to treat organic waste is growing around the world. This is especially true for tropical low- and middle-income countries as their favourable climate conditions mean that the BSF technology has significant potential to solve existing problems associated with a poorly developed sanitation infrastructure. In this study, we evaluate the feasibility, benefits and limitations of implementing BSF projects in tropical regions using Belem, in Brazil, as a case study. Black soldier fly prepupae, arising from the waste reduction process, can be used as animal feed. It therefore offers potential to promote regional development, create jobs and dispose of organic waste locally. Legal requirements as outlined in the Brazilian National Policy on Waste offer further incentives. However, more studies are needed to compare BSF waste reduction efficiency and prepupae yield to other technologies such as traditional composting and vermiculture, which can inform the decision-making for implementation of organic waste treatment facilities.


Biological waste reduction animal feed regulations prepupae yield green disposal sanitation 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. We thank AuthorAid for connecting the two authors and making this paper possible.

Author Contribution Statement

GDPS and TH designed wrote and revised the manuscript. Both authors have done substantial contribution in terms of writing and researching for the final paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy Planning ProgramInstitute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering at the Federal Univ of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrasil
  2. 2.Dept of ZoologyUniv of OxfordOxfordUK

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