Investigations into the nutritive value of Macrotermes falciger (Isoptera: Termitidae)

  • R.J. Phelps
  • J.K. Struthers
  • S.J.L. Moyo


A study was undertaken to determine the composition of the body material of alates of Macrotermes falciger and to investigate the nutritional value of termite material when fed to white rats. Termites were found to contain 44,3 % fat and 41,8 % protein, on a dry mass basis, and to have a calorific value of 3,2 ± 0,042 Megajoules/100 g. Incorporating termite material into commercial rat pellets at various levels produced no adverse effects on the rats. A full amino-acid analysis of termite protein is given and three unidentified amino-acids were recorded. A protein efficiency ratio of 1,7± 0,1 was obtained for termite protein, and digestibility of termite material was found to be poor, compared to that of casein, when fed to white rats.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020