Silkworm pupae meal is a valuable protein source for many fish species.
High levels of silkworm meal (about 30%) can be fed to cyprinids.
Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)
When silkworm meal replaced part, or all, of the fish meal in common carp (Cyprinus carpio) diets, similar performance (growth and feed conversion) was observed (Jeyachandran et al., 1976; Erencin, 1976; Borthakur et al., 1998a; Borthakur et al., 1998b; Nandeesha et al., 1990; Nandeesha et al., 1989; Rahman et al., 1996). Undefatted silkworm pupae meal was safely used up to 50% without hampering growth and meat quality of the fish (Nandeesha et al., 2000). In a comparison between silkworm pupae meal and plant leaf meals (alfalfa and mulberry), feed conversion efficiency, nutrient digestibility and nutrient retention were better for diets based on silkworm meal than for diets based on plant leaf meals (Swamy et al., 1994).
Silver barb (Barbonymus gonionotus)
In silver barb fingerlings (Barbonymus gonionotus), highest growth rates were observed in fish fed a diet with about 38% of total dietary protein replaced by silkworm pupae meal (Mahata et al., 1994).
Mahseer (Tor khudree)
Mahseer fingerlings (Tor khudree) fed a diet containing 50% defatted silkworm pupae at 5% body weight had better growth and survival rates than fingerlings fed no or lower amounts of silkworm pupae (Shyama et al., 1993).
Fermented silkworm pupae silage or untreated fresh silkworm pupae paste were incorporated in carp feed formulations, replacing fish meal, in a polyculture system containing the Indian carp (Catla catla), mrigal carp (Cirrhinus mrigala), rohus (Labeo rohita) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix). Survival rate, feed conversion ratio and specific growth rate were better for fermented silkworm pupae silage than for untreated silkworm pupae or fish meal (Rangacharyulu et al., 2003). In rohu, undefatted silkworm pupae and defatted silkworm pupae produced significantly better protein digestibility values than fish meal (Hossain et al., 1997).
Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus)
Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) were able to utilize the protein of both defatted and undefatted silkworm meal (apparent protein digestibility of 85-86%) (Hossain et al., 1992).
Chum salmon (Onchorhynchus keta)
Chum salmon fry (Onchorhynchus keta) fed over 6 week diets supplemented with 5% silkworm pupae meal at the expense of fish meal did not show improvement in growth rate and protein content, though silkworm supplementation enhanced feed efficiency (Akiyama et al., 1984).
Asian stinging catfish (Heteropneustes fossilis)
Silkworm pupae meal was used as a substitute for fish meal at up to 75% of the protein in Asian stinging catfish (Heteropneustes fossilis) diets without adverse effects on growth (Hossain et al., 1993).
Walking catfish (Clarias batrachus)
Undefatted silkworm pupae was found to be a suitable fish meal substitute in diets for walking catfish (Clarias batrachus). Digestibility of the crude protein in silkworm meal was found to be similar to that of fish meal (Borthakur et al., 1998a; Borthakur et al., 1998b).
Japanese sea bass (Lateolabrax japonicus)
In Japanese sea bass (Lateolabrax japonicus), the energy digestibility of undefatted silkworm pupae meal (73%) was lower than that of poultry by-product meal, feather meal, blood meal and soybean meal, but comparable to that of meat and bone meal. Protein digestibility was also lower (85%) than that of poultry by-product meal, blood meal and soybean meal but it was comparable to that of feather meal and higher than that of meat and bone meal (Ji WenXiu et al., 2010).