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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 6 
The nutritional status of seven species of plant leaves as food for an edible larva of a lepidopteran, Bunaea alcinoe
W. Braide, T. G. Sokari, A. D. Hart, C. Akobondu, R. N. Nwaoguikpe
Pages: 89 - 94
Number of pages: 6
Trends in Entomology
Volume 6 

Copyright © 2010 Research Trends. All rights reserved

The leaves of seven plant species as food for growing the larvae of Bunaea alcinoe were chemically analysed for dietary nutrients. The plants which had been host to the larva were Gmelina arborea, Pentaclethra macrophylla, Cananga odorata, Spondias mombimAnthocleista and Prunus species. Proximate composition and amino acid profiles of the leaves were determined by standard methods. Determination of amino acid profile consisted of hydrolysis of protein to constituent amino acids followed by the quantitative estimation of the amino acids in the hydrolysate.Crude protein; crude fibre, fats, moisture and ash were determined by AOAC methods. Twenty live 3rd instar larvae were fed ad libidum with ten grams of different leaves for 24 h and the weight of air-dried faecal droppings determined with Sartoraius electrical balance. Chromatogram peaks of the hydrolysate shows that the leaves contained all essential amino acids that would avert risks associated with amino acid deficiencies in a diet. The nutritional analysis of the leaves showed high protein levels. There is no significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) in the protein quality of the leaves analysed except Pentaclethra macrophylla. Preference shown by the larvae in the leaves consumed could be attributed to availability of nutrients, especially protein, water, ash, fats and crude fibre which were present in high quantities. The larvae showed greater affinity for Cananga odorata and Anthocleista species which was evident by weight of faecal droppings and leaves after exposure.Harungana madagascariencis, Spondias mombim, Terminalia cattapa, Gmelina arborea, Pentaclethra macrophylla and Prunus species were among other leaves consumed by the larvae. Gross energy values of the leaves were high and could facilitate protein utilization. The use of leaves therefore could be the best alternative in larviculture.
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