University of Oulu

Kiewhuo, P., Mozhui, L., Kakati, L. N., Lirikum, & Meyer-Rochow, V. B. (2022). Traditional rearing techniques of the edible Asian giant hornet (vespa mandarinia smith) and its socio-economic perspective in Nagaland, India. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 8(3), 325–335.

Traditional rearing techniques of the edible Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia Smith) and its socio-economic perspective in Nagaland, India

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Author: Kiewhuo, P.1; Mozhui, L.1; Kakati, L. N.1;
Organizations: 1Department of Zoology, Nagaland University, Lumami 798627, Nagaland, India
2Department of Ecology and Genetics, Oulu University, 90140 Oulu, Finland
3Agricultural Science and Technology Research Institute, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Republic of Kore
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-03-29


The larvae, pupae and adult of the world’s largest hornet Vespa mandarinia are a nutritious food popular among the different ethnic communities of Nagaland. The traditional method of collecting, rearing and consuming V. mandarinia still persists among the tribal people. Semi-domestication of V. mandarinia practiced in the region has been found to facilitate the production of hornets for socio-economic purposes; thereby contributing to conservation and a sustainable utilisation of the hornets. Eight to nine combs measuring 30–45 cm in diameter are usually harvested, each of which fetching an amount of Rs. 10,000–50,000. The present investigation provides data on the crude protein content of the larvae and pupae which amounts to 52.82 and 60.99%, respectively, suggesting that hornet grubs represent an important source of nutrition. While V. mandarinia are considered as pest in western countries and most of East Asia, the present study suggests hornets as a promising alternative food item rich in protein and that hornet rearing can improve the state of health and economic situation of Nagaland’s poorer section of the society.

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Series: Journal of insects as food and feed
ISSN: 2352-4588
ISSN-E: 2352-4588
ISSN-L: 2352-4588
Volume: 8
Issue: 3
Pages: 325 - 335
DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2021.0088
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Financial support for LM to pursue Ph.D. came from a National Fellowship for Higher Education of Scheduled Tribe Students (NFST) in India. LNK acknowledges the Department of Biotechnology, GOI, New Delhi for financial support in the form of a major research project No BT/ PR17106/NER/95/452/2015. VBM-R acknowledges the support given to him by Prof. Sapu Changkija of Nagaland University at Medziphema for having hosted him in Nagaland and Prof. Chuleui Jung via the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF2018R1A6A1A03024862) to have enabled him to be part of this investigation.
Copyright information: © 2021 Wageningen Academic Publishers. Open Access CC-BY.