Beetles as human food

 

Hunter-gatherer level civilizations have incorporated into their diets the consumption of larvae and adults of various families of beetles: scarab beetles, stag beetles, long-horned beetles, metallic wood-borer beetles and weevils. Beetles thus contributed to the nourishment of humans in many parts of the world. In Mexico and Madagascar, aquatic beetles are also consumed.

This entomophagy is sometimes accompanied by erudite culinary preparations: for example, in New Guinea, a sauce spiced with groundnut accompanies the palm worms.

Rhynchophorus palmarum

Adult of the weevil whose larva is known as "palm worm " digging of the galleries in the palm trees.

A large larva of scarab beetle represents a rare delicacy and in much tropical, rural, populations, the children still supplement their food by the capture of such prey. In addition to their considerable energy value, the larvae of beetles have a high percentage of vitamins.

The food importance of beetles remains however tiny compared to that of other insects. Their usual weak concentration can explain this relative disaffection.