Sustainable methods for managing waste associated with people and animals have been proposed in the past. Black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.), larvae represent one of the more promising methods. Larvae reduce dry matter, bacteria, offensive odor, and house fly populations. Prepupae can be used as feedstuff for livestock. However, it is not known if such a method results in the proliferation of potential pathogens. Although some bacterial species have been cultured and identified from black soldier fly, a true appreciation of fly associated bacterial diversity is not known. Such information is needed to understand pathogen colonization on decomposing animal and plant waste in the presence of black soldier fly larvae as well as develop research strategies for maximizing the use of this fly to reduce waste without risking environmental harm. Using 454 sequencing, we surveyed bacterial diversity associated with successive life stages of the black soldier fly reared on plant material. Bacteria diversity classified (99.8%) across all life stages spanned six bacterial phyla with >80% bootstrap support. Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were the most dominant phyla associated with the black soldier fly accounting for two-thirds of the fauna identified. Many of these bacteria would go undetected because of their inability to be cultured.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science
- Infectious Diseases