African J. Trop. Entomol. Res. Vol. 1 (1) : 34-41, Février 2022

Harvesting modalities and periods of edible caterpillars in the Republic of the Congo

Germain Mabossy-Mobouna 1,2*, Justin B. Ombeni 3,4 & François Malaisse 5,6


This study is part of the development of local products in order to fight against food insecurity. Its objective is to inventory the different techniques for harvesting edible caterpillars in Congo, to determine the different harvesting periods and the types of people involved in this harvest. Field missions taking into account the calendar of probable cycles of Lepidoptera in the different departments were carried out in the Congolese forest and savannah ecosystems. This study showed that the most common method of harvesting caterpillars is collecting, followed by shaking the branches of host plants by climbers. This activity is not gender specific, and is practiced by both young and old. The timing of caterpillar harvesting varies from one ecosystem to another and even between hemispheres. Lopping, felling of host plants, post-season harvesting of chrysalises buried in the soil, and bush fires are all factors that contribute to the reduction of edible caterpillars, and even to the disappearance of some species. Increasing their production requires agroforestry programs such as conservation and reforestation of caterpillar-feeding forest species, as well as caterpillar rearing.

Keywords: Ecosystem, biodiversity, edible caterpillars, host plants, Congo-Brazzaville.

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1 Teacher-Researcher, Laboratoire de Nutrition et d’Alimentation Humaines, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université
Marien Ngouabi, Congo Brazzaville.

2 Unité de Recherche Nutrition, Santé et Motricité Humaine, Institut Supérieur d’Education Physique et Sportive, Université
Marien Ngouabi, Congo Brazzaville.

3 Teacher-Researcher, Département de Nutrition et Diététique, Institut Supérieur de Techniques Médicales de Bukavu, Sud Kivu,
R.D. Congo.

4 Laboraroire d’Entomologie, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles de Lwiro, CRSN, Bukavu, Sud-Kivu, R.D. Congo.

5 Professor emeritus, Biodiversity and Landscape Unit, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Liège University, Belgium.

6 Meise Botanical Garden, Belgium.

Article infos

African J. Trop. Entomol. Res. Vol. 1 (1) : 34-41. 

© 2022 Mabossy-Mobouna et al.


*Corresponding author : Dr. G. Mabossy-Mobouna, E-mail: [email protected]

Received : 02 October 2021

Accepted : 05 November 2021

Published: 08 February 2022

Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Citation : Mabossy-Mobouna, G., Ombeni, J.B., & Malaisse, F. (2022). Harvesting modalities and periods of edible caterpillars in the Republic of the Congo. African Journal of Tropical Entomology Research, 1(1), 34–41.