Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences


S. L. Vanlaerhovn




The Black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) is a large 2cm long fly that is native to North America. Larvae are naturally found consuming a wide range of decomposing organic material and therefore has a potential to be used as an agent for waste management. Larvae reared from waste are high in fat and protein, making them valuable as animal feed. Included in the natural diet of black soldier fly larvae are carrion, making this fly species of value in estimating time of death and therefore, of interest to forensic entomologists. The current study tested the ability of black soldier fly larvae to consume six organic waste diets that were chosen to give the widest range of organic waste possible from all meat to all vegetable diet. Diet was found to affect black soldier fly development with respect to time to reach particular stages of development, length, weight and mortality at different stages of development. Black soldier fly larvae were able to consume the most waste that was high in fat and energy content. Diets high in fat and energy also produced the heaviest and longest maggots. As a result, it is recommended that black soldier fly larval diet should be high in fat and energy content. During the diet experiments, cannibalistic behaviour was observed in a lab environment.