Nutritional Potential and Microbial Status of African Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) Larvae Raised on Alternative Feed Resources
A six (6)-week long experiment was carried out to explore some feed resources for the production of African palm weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) larvae and to ascertain the nutritional potential and microbial status of larvae raised on different diets. Four-hundred (400) two (2)-weeks old young larvae with weights ranging from 0.6 to 1.6 g were harvested and randomly grouped into 40 sets, each group comprising ten (10) larvae of similar weights and then randomly allocated to four (4) dietary treatments, using a completely randomized design (CRD) with ten (10) replications of 10 larvae in each treatment. The four diets which were administered were labeled as T1, T2, T3 and T4 containing varying levels of oil palm yolk at 100%, 50%, 50% and 25% respectively with various combinations of agro-waste materials including fruit waste of banana and pineapple and millet waste. Three (3) kilograms of each diet was fed ad libitum every two weeks for six weeks. After the feeding trial, it was revealed that the various diets fed did not have any significant effect on the nutrient composition except Nitrogen free extract of different groups of larvae produced indicated significant (p<0.05) differences among larvae. Microbial status of crushed samples of larvae also revealed the presence of bacteria species including Klebsiella and Salmonella. It was concluded that R. phoenicis larvae possessed great potentials for use as food and feed for humans and animals respectively and the diets used served as nutritionally suitable growth media for production of palm weevil larvae.
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