What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you identify this ground bug?
Location: South west of Dedza, Malawi
September 24, 2013 12:33 pm
The accompanying photo deserves identification.
Whilst climbing the wooded base of a ”mountain”, near Dedza, Malawi, we came across a hillside of divots, bored into the soil. We had no idea if it was man or beast creating the holes in the ground.
Further up we climbed, and soon, happened upon a family, with primitave hoe in hand, the son had been digging random holes in the hillside. One older sister proudly reached into an old bread sack and pulled out these critters for us to see.
From the image, do you have any idea what these are? It’s food for them, but eye candy for me.
Signature: John Robert Williams

Edible Crickets

Edible Crickets

Hi John,
These Orthopterans are most likely a species of Cricket.  Crickets, Grasshoppers and other Orthopterans are eaten in many parts of the world, including Mexico where they are roasted.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Dedza, Malawi

3 Responses to Crickets as food in Malawi

  1. Dave Gracer says:

    Hello Daniel and John,

    These burrowing crickets are Brachytrupes portentotus. They are a popular food-item in several African countries, and a related species [Brachtrupes africanus] is eaten in several South-East Asian countries. Yes, it’s annoying how the ‘africanus’ species is Asian.

    I’ve eaten the latter in Thailand; it’s fine, though it was deep-fried and simply crunchy. I don’t know how they’re prepared in various parts of Africa.

    Entomophagy is a fascinating subject, and several intriguing projects are underway. Chances are good that most people will be eating ‘bugs’ in the next couple decades, so we might as well start getting used to the concept.


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