Black soldier flies, Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), are of particular interest for their applications in waste management. Feeding on decaying organic waste, black soldier flies successfully reduce manure in confined animal feeding operations of poultry, swine, and cattle. To optimize waste conversion in confined animal feeding operations and landfill facilities, it is imperative to optimize black soldier fly development. Unfortunately, black soldier flies only convert waste during their larval feeding stages and therefore it is of interest to optimize the nonfeeding stages of development, specifically, the postfeeding and pupal stages. The time spent in these stages is thought to be determined by the pupation substrate encountered by the postfeeding larvae. The objective of this study was to determine the effect different pupation substrates have on postfeeding development time, pupation time, and adult emergence success. Five pupation substrates were compared: wood shavings, potting soil, topsoil, sand, and nothing. Postfeeding larvae took longer to reach pupation in the absence of a pupation substrate, although reaching pupation in the shortest time in potting soil and wood shavings. The time spent in the pupal stage was shortest in the absence of a pupation substrate. However, fewer adults emerged when a pupation substrate was not provided.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2