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Red mosquito larvae

3F Frozen Fish Food, manufacturer of aquarium fish foods, commissioned research group Aquaculture in Delta Areas to research the cultivation of red mosquito larvae. Red mosquito larvae are an important food source for aquarium fish. In the past, red mosquito larvae were imported from natural waters in Poland and the Ukraine. However, because of the changing water quality and the political instability in the Ukraine, the import of red mosquito larvae threatens to come to a halt. There is a great variety in red mosquito larvae. The majority of mosquito larvae feed on dead organic material. In Zeeland, there are various saltwater and freshwater intrusions that contain a high amount of organic material. In many cases it is very difficult to clean these intrusions.

In 2014, research group Aquaculture in Delta Areas conducted a feasibility study into the possibility to cultivate red mosquito larvae. The conclusion was that is technically feasible to cultivate mosquito larvae under controlled circumstances. Currently, the optimization of the cultivation of red mosquito larvae is explored in a follow-up study. In this study, saltwater red mosquito larvae are studied in the SEA lab to examine the effect of different waste flows (from fish farms and a potato processing company), different temperatures and different salt levels on the growth, production and composition (fatty acids) of red mosquito larvae. The analyses of the composition are conducted in collaboration with teachers and students of the Chemistry programme of the HZ. The research results must lead to a better insight into the possibilities of cultivating red mosquito larvae under conditioned circumstances.

The project ran until 1 July 2015. Research group Aquaculture in Delta Areas is the contractor of this project. This project is in part made possible by the financial support of the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy, and a bio-based knowledge voucher of the municipality Zeeland.