Theses and Dissertations

Title: Outdoor culture and harvest of midge (Chironomidae: Diptera) larvae for fish food

Name: Alston, Dallas E

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John S. Dendy

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1974

Pages: 44

Keywords: Chironomids,Chironomidae,Midges,Diptera,Diptera larvae,Culture/Harvest.


Chironomid larvae were cultured in 12 plastic pools, each with a surface area ot 1.25 m2. For use as organic fertilizers, chicken manure, cottonseed meal, fish meal, and cow manure were tested separately. Standing crops of larvae were estimated during spring and summer, and yield was determined in the fall by harvesting the entire crop. Values used were dry weights of larvae per unit area of water. Estimates of standing crops of larvae were made from three samples of mud representing 0.93% of the bottom of each pool. Methods were developed for collecting chironomid egg masses on floating traps and harvesting the larvae by flotation in a sugar solution. Fish meal produced high standing crops, but because of its high cost and difficulty in obtaining it, use of this material is not recommended. Pools fertilized with cow manure gave good yields but debris floated with the larvae and interfered with harvest. When considered from the standpoints of yield, cost, availability, and ease of harvesting the crop, chicken manure was the best of the materials used for fertilizer.

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