Insects as Human Food: A Chapter of the Ecology of Man by F. S. Bodenheimer

By F. S. Bodenheimer

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It is certain that the insects which are usually eaten are unwholesome and an irritant. e. mammals for man) prove the most satisfactory'. And in the second edition of the same book (1824, II, pp. 319, 329) VIREY refers to entomophagy, mentioning the cicadas of the Athenians, the locusts of the Arabs and Africans (which may cause phthiriasis cf. ]ourn. Complem. vol. 15, p. I), the cossus of the Greek, the palmworms of the Indians and natives of America. He writes: 'The Moor, starving in his deserts, devours locusts or feeds on the gum of its acacias, or on some pinches of cous-cous'.

Africa, and in India L. mahrattarum nov. , and a few others are occasionally eaten. L. persarum Mor. is the yellow-locust from Bushire. Most of these species are identical, of course, with the common locusts (Locusta, Schistocerca, Nomadacris). It is amusing how freely HOPE creates new species, based only on reports of great swarms occurring in Madagascar, India or Persia. He concludes (p. 140): 'To mitigate the injuries of locusts, I) the legislative powers should recommend locusts generally as an article offood; to employ people and children to hunt and destroy their eggs; to collect the hoppers with the aid of police and military.

Ancient authorities are quoted for the consumption of cicadas (p. ' 348-44 I), but not for that of beetles (pp. 468, 478, 488). Contemporary travel reports were also utilized by ALDROVANDI, when he states that ants are eaten in certain parts of India and in the Genusucian Islands (p. 53 I ), or that lice are consumed, boiled or raw, in the Cum ana Islands, as well as by the Phtheirophagi of HERODOTUS (p. 559). 44 The 'Insectorum sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum', prepared from the manuscripts of Conrad GESNER with some additions by E.

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