Diversity of edible caterpillars and their host plants in the Republic of the Congo

  • Germain Mabossy-Mobouna
  • Justin B. Ombeni
  • Thierry Bouyer
  • Paul Latham
  • Frank Bisaux
  • Evelyne Bocquet
  • Bertie Brinck
  • Augustin Konda Ku Mbuta
  • Françoise Madamo-Malasi
  • Louisa Nkulu Ngoie
  • Paule Pamela Tabi Eckebil
  • François Malaisse


A systematic study of edible caterpillars and their host plants was carried out in different departments and localities of the Republic of the Congo. Twenty-nine (29) species of edible caterpillars were identified, of which 22 were determined to species level, i.e., namely 75.9 % of the species collected. The dominance of the Saturniidae and Notodontidae taxonomic families was established. The botanical study of the hosting plants revealed 90 plant species, belonging to 26 botanical families. The Fabaceae family was predominant (with a total of 33 species or 36.7% out of 90), followed by the Phyllanthaceae family (11,1%). Climate change could likely cause a light decrease of the host plants population by the year 2050. This information aims to guide conservation efforts and ensure sustainable use of edible caterpillars as food. It is recommended to particularly focus on the promotion of semi-domestication of edible caterpillars and awareness raising on cultivation techniques of host plants.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2791-0113