Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity of the compound eyes of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) informing the design of LED-based illumination to enhance indoor reproduction

D.G.A.B. Oonincx*, N. Volk, J.J.E. Diehl, J.J.A. van Loon, G. Belušič

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mating in the black soldier fly (BSF) is a visually mediated behaviour that under natural conditions occurs in full sunlight. Artificial light conditions promoting mating by BSF were designed based on the spectral characteristics of the compound eye retina. Electrophysiological measurements revealed that BSF ommatidia contained UV-, blue- and green-sensitive photoreceptor cells, allowing trichromatic vision. An illumination system for indoor breeding based on UV, blue and green LEDs was designed and its efficiency was compared with illumination by fluorescent tubes which have been successfully used to sustain a BSF colony for five years. Illumination by LEDs and the fluorescent tubes yielded equal numbers of egg clutches, however, the LED illumination resulted in significantly more larvae. The possibilities to optimize the current LED illumination system to better approximate the skylight illuminant and potentially optimize the larval yield are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Volume95
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Black soldier fly
  • Indoor breeding
  • Light Emitting Diode
  • Spectral sensitivity
  • UV light

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