Currently viewing the tag: "Edible Insects: Tasty Morsels"

Are you curious about insects as a food source?

Subject: bug in Panama garden
Location: Bqquete, Chiriqui province, Panama
December 29, 2012 10:42 pm
I watched this for ages in the garden in Boquete , there were 4 of the same on the one branch and did not seem interested in going anywhere even when I got really close. they were about the size of a thumbnail. I have never seen anything like this before and would love to know what it is, is it poisonous etc.
Signature: Thanks, Carol

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymph

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymph

Hi Carol,
This colorful individual is an immature Giant Mesquite Bug in the genus
Thasus.  Not only is it not poisonous, it is actually edible.

Subject: School infestation
Location: Northern Belize (tropical marine climate)
November 15, 2012 7:16 pm
We are suddenly have great numbers of the pictured bugs at the village school. No one seems sure what it is or if it is dangerous to the children.
Signature: Peter

Giant Mesquite Bug nymph

Hi Peter,
You have nothing to fear from this proliferation of Giant Mesquite Bug nymphs.  They pose no danger to the school or the children.  They are edible and they are commonly eaten by the indigenous people of Mexico.

Thank you for your help.  Sound like we could have saved a bit on the lunch program. Peter

When we eat something, we like it to look good, and this is one good looking nymph.  Winged adults don’t look as tasty.  We will contact David Gracer to see if he can provide any information on how they taste.

Subject: Colorful Beetle seen in Central Mexico
Location: Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico
September 22, 2012 7:55 pm
Hi there! In April, 2010, I was in Mexico, in Tepoztlan, in the state of Morelos, hiking up a hill to some ruins when I came across this very ornate and colorful bug. There were actually many of them along the trail of this hike. They looked like jewels! The weather at the time was super hot and dry…
Signature: What a great idea for a website!!

Giant Mesquite Bug Nymph

Your insect is a member of the Leaf Footed Bug family Coreidae rather than a beetle.  It resembles a species found in the southwest portions of the U.S. as well as in Mexico, the Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus neocalifornicus, but the coloration is different.  We believe this is another member of the genus.  Here is a similar individual from our archives.  The Things Biological website has an identically colored specimen identified as a Giant Mesquite Bug, and the site goes on to state:  “These nymphs are enormous, each being roughly the size of my thumb. I have never encountered them before and was astounded by their size and abundance. Adults and nymphs can be found on mesquite trees during the summer. The nymphs congregate on the pods, drinking plant fluids, while the adults feed on fluids from both the pods and young twigs.  The young advertise their bad taste with their brilliant colors, which are further emphasized by their tendency to aggregate.”  We are inclined to believe that the genus is correct, but that the species may be misidentified.  The images on BugGuide support that belief.  Though we are confident the genus is correct, we cannot conclusively provide you with the species name. 

Subject: They’re agricultural pests, but…
Location: Naperville, IL
September 22, 2012 10:58 am
Hi Daniel!
Happy first day of autumn! I believe (from its outer hind leg markings) that this is a female (a good 2 1/2” long) Melanoplus differentialis – differential grasshopper. And although they’re considered garden pests, they are amazingly intricate creatures.
All the best,
Signature: -Dori Eldridge

Differential Grasshopper

Hi Dori,
Thanks so much for submitting your image of a Differential Grasshopper.  According to BugGuide, the distinguishing features are:  “Forewings, pronotum uniform, without distinctive marks. Black herringbone markings on outer face of hind femora. Yellow hind tibiae.”

Differential Grasshopper

Sorry! I jumped the gun!
Location: Sarasota, FL
May 17, 2012 3:53 pm
I just sent a picture of a grub we found in a dead slash pine in Florida. After checking a little further, it appears to be the larvae of the flatheaded or metallic wood borer. We also found a few of them in the tree. Here is the photo again for reference. Keep up the great work!
Signature: Poolman

Flathead Borer

Hi Poolman,
What a beautiful Flathead Borer and we are thrilled that you managed to identify it in our convoluted archive with its nearly 15,000 postings. We expect that David Gracer would report that it is an Edible species and most likely a tasty morsel.

Hi Daniel,
This is a sort-of press release: I’d be grateful if you’d feature it on your site.

Insect Fast Food from Thailand from our archive

As many have noticed, the world has become increasingly interested in the subject of edible insects. There’s frequent mainstream media coverage, conferences, and two important new developments. World Entomophagy, of Athens, Georgia, has launched a open-sourced website that will become the definitive source of information on entomophagy – a meeting-place for researchers and practitioners with visionary interests and goals. We are at
Someday we will publish original, peer-reviewed scientific papers; for now, we are seeking all manner of contributions. Although we’re happy to see basic articles such as, What is Entomophagy; Allergy Concerns; Wine Pairings for Insects; How to Prepare your Insects for Cooking; and General Recipes, we are more interested in the cultural and international aspects of entomophagy; the many disciplines involved (such as Entomology, Anthropology, Nutrition, Sociology, Psychology, Literature, Agriculture, Sustainable Studies, History, Engineering, Chemistry, Culinary, Marketing, etc.); and artwork, video, and creative writing. We’re also creating a gallery of cross-referenced images with captions: documentation of edible insects around the world.
Technical articles are welcome, and authors of such work will be asked to include short summaries in layman’s terms. In all cases we will prominently feature contributors’ names and other information they would like to include. Currently we cannot pay for content; the current budget is slated for the site, though we may make exceptions for some articles. We would be happy to discuss the possibility of barter (edible insect products in exchange for articles) or terms for future compensation (within reason).
The other major development is EDIBL – The Environmental Discourses of the Ingestion of Bugs League. This student-group model was founded by Rena Chen, a food-anthropology major at Princeton, in 2010. Other chapters have started at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the University of Texas, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There are big plans to continue growing nationally and internationally, to pool resources and increase awareness. While college/university campuses might be the best setting for such enterprises, EDIBL’s founders would welcome other kinds of groups. Hopefully, the evolution of multiple chapters would encourage collaboration, friendly competition, and perhaps conferences.

There are Facebook pages for both “World Entomophagy” and “EDIBL Nation.” If Facebook holds no interest for you, email me at and I’ll answer any questions you have. And as the main editor of the site, I’d be delighted to see anything you might like to contribute. The future of this subject is very bright; consider joining us. According to the FAO, climate scientists, and other experts, there’s a very good chance that humanity’s future will have a lot more bugs in it.