Evaluation of yellow mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor, Insecta, Tenebrionidae) meal as a dietary protein source in Asian Seabass (Lates calcarifer) based on growth and some biochemical parameters


1 Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156–83111, Iran

2 Body composition, Fishmeal replacement, Growth, Lates calcarifer, Mealworm, Tenebrio molitor



This study was conducted to assess the effects of Tenebrio molitor larvae meal (TM) in partial substitution of fishmeal (FM), on growth performance, hematological indices, plasma biochemical and antioxidant enzyme activities of Asian Seabass (Lates calcarifer). Experiment carried out with 144 pieces of Asian Seabass (mean weight±SE, 54±1.2 g) in a semi-recirculating fish culture system. Fishes were randomly distributed into four groups with three replicates as completely random design. All treatments were fed with iso-nitrogenous and iso-energetic diets at a substitution rate of 0, 20, 40 and 60 % of TM. The experiment was setup for eight weeks and feeding carried out at 3% of body weight/day. Results showed that there is no significant differences (p>0.05) in the growth performance, chemical body composition and protein utilization at the end of the experiment. However, weight gain, lipids and viscerosomatic index showed significant differences among the examined treatments (p<0.05). The red blood cells was not affected by TM diet, but the hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration levels decreased with increasing levels of TM (p<0.05). Plasma biochemistry analysis of triglyceride, glucose, cortisol, lysozyme and alkaline phosphatase levels increased significantly with increasing TM in the diet (p<0.05). Increasing the level of TM in fish diets caused an increase in the activity of glutathione peroxidase and catalase, while no significant differences were observed in the activity of superoxid dismutase and malone di aldehyde among the different diets. Overally, this study demonstrates that meal of T. molitor can be used as fishmeal replacement up to 40% of diet and is an alternative source of protein in Asian seabass diets.