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The Characteristics of a Black Soldier Fly

Mass-produced fly species may be fed to fish, pigs, poultry, and pets while simultaneously recycling organic waste. Commonly, many of us mistake Black Soldier Fly as our common housefly or mosquito that might be harmful and unhygienic. To break this misconception, let’s take a look at the main differences between the Black Soldier Fly and the housefly.

1. Identification

The adult black soldier fly is black in appearance and reaches about 5/8 of an inch in length, as its name indicates. Its elongated form and black body make it easy to spot. It has two transparent spots around its midsection and one set of wings, giving it a wasp-like look. Larvae of black soldier flies are more abundant than adults and may be distinguished by their huge size (as long as an adult) and dark-spined skin (exoskeleton).

Whereas the adult house flies are around an eighth to a quarter of an inch long, with unique sponging mouthparts and huge reddish-colored eyes. Their larvae (maggots) are off-white in hue, with a pointed dark-colored head and a body that tapers from the tail to the head.

2. Distribution

The black soldier fly is prevalent in the southeastern United States throughout late spring and early fall, with three generations each year in Georgia. This fly is widespread across the Western Hemisphere; however, it is most prevalent in the continental United States. Black soldier flies deposit their eggs in wet organic material at natural breeding places (such as carrion). It will lay eggs in garbage or compost, which have comparable scents and nutritional demands to naturally occurring organic waste, in regions where natural habitats have been destroyed (urbanized areas).

This is certainly relevant in locations where sanitation is a problem. Whereas the housefly has evolved in the Central Asian steppes, but now may be found on every inhabited continent, in all temperatures from tropical to temperate, and in a wide range of situations from rural to urban. It is generally linked with animal excrement, although it has evolved to feed on rubbish and is found practically anywhere people dwell.

3. Egg production and development

Abiotic (temperature, relative humidity, photophase) and biotic (diet, density, and strain) variables influence the development period of both fly species. The development of the housefly larvae is substantially faster than that of the black soldier fly larvae, although their pupal weight is only a sixth of that of the black soldier fly larvae. Unlike the black soldier fly, which oviposits just once or twice, the house fly oviposits several times. A clutch of 70-150 eggs and 4-6 clutches appears to be usual in the latter species.

However, extremes have been documented, with 21 batches generating 2,387 eggs. The initial oviposition in black soldier flies can happen as soon as 3-5 days after eclosion, but it can also happen 10-17 days later. House fly oviposition peaks on the second day after laying and gradually declines over the next three weeks. The majority of eggs (43%) are generated during the first trimester, followed by 34% in the second trimester, and 22% in the third trimester.

4. Bioconversion

The rate of organic reduction and bioconversion of organic materials into biomass is influenced by substrate types, strains, larvae density, feeding rate, and frequency of feeding. The house fly was anticipated to reduce swine-dung weight by 18-65 percent. Due to changes in the production technique (intensive vs. extensive, liquid manure vs. semisolid, etc.), bedding, pig age, and nutrition, the composition of swine dung, especially moisture content, is quite diverse.

One kilogram of manure may be transformed to 22-27 grams pupal mass using house fly and 155 grams of black soldier fly. The substrate reduction (percent dry matter) was calculated to be between 13 and 68 percent in an evaluation of black soldier fly bioconversion of a broad range of waste streams, but mainly between 40 and 60 percent.

5. The Spread of Diseases

The adult black soldier flies like to rest on plants and avoid humans and other animals. There is currently no evidence that they are a disease vector. Their larvae may live in microbe-rich environments, including harmful bacteria. In some cases, black soldier fly larvae can reduce pathogenic loads in the garbage. However, after the raising time, the larvae may still contain live Salmonella. Both species' larval extracts have antimicrobial properties.

The adult house fly is an annoyance to humans and other animals, and they are mechanical vectors of around 100 infectious disease infections (bacteria, protozoa, helminths, and viruses). Many diseases can survive pupation. house fly, for example, may spread germs such as E. coli and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause trachoma and epidemic conjunctivitis, as well as infect wounds with pathogens that cause skin illnesses such as cutanic diphtheria, framboesia, and leprosy. When a house fly is raised and safely held at its rearing facility, however, this danger is quite minimal.

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