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Exploring Edible Insects: An Investigation in Kamrup District (Assam) and Ri-Bhoi District (Meghalaya), North-Eastern India

Asian Journal of Biological and Life Sciences,2024,13,1,
Published:May 2024
Type:Research Article
Authors:
Author(s) affiliations:

Arup Nama Das*, Golphina Ahmed, Adani Leshiini, Aditya Das

Department of Zoology, University of Science and Technology Meghalaya, Baridua, Ri-Bhoi-793101, Meghalaya, INDIA.

Abstract:

In the ecological context, insects play a crucial role by establishing a connection between people’s livelihoods and the assessment of sustainable practices. The exploration of edible insects as a food source necessitates consideration of various factors such as ecology, management, conservation implications, industrialization and marketing to foster their sustainable development. Through a survey conducted in selected areas, the study identified a total of 26 edible insect species across 9 Orders and 20 Families. Notably, Beltola Market yielded 14 species, while the USTM campus Forest area contributed 10 species. Among these, Orthoptera emerged as the most consumed edible insect species in Kamrup District (Assam) and Ri-Bhoi District (Meghalaya), comprising 27%, followed by Lepidoptera, Decapoda and Hymenoptera at 15% and Odonata and Coleoptera at 8%. Conversely, Isoptera, Hemiptera and Blattodea exhibited the lowest consumption rates, each at 4%. The survey also highlighted that 46% of the insects categorized as omnivorous, 37% as herbivorous, 13% as carnivorous and only 4% as detritivores. The traditional knowledge of entomophagy, deeply rooted in indigenous practices, is gradually diminishing due to evolving socioeconomic conditions and dietary habits. Recognizing this trend, there is a pressing need to assess insect biodiversity and explore the role of ethno-entomophagy, particularly in northeastern India, to conserve this invaluable natural resource, along with its traditional knowledge and potential commercial applications.