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Shea caterpillars
Shea caterpillars

Shea caterpillars

Shea caterpillars

 

Scientific name

Cirina butyrospermi

 

dried shea caterpillars by the bug trotters, delicious edible insectsWhere can you find this insect ?

Shea caterpillars are consumed in Burkina Faso, in the region of Bobo-djoulassou.

 

Common name

Chitoumou in Burkina Faso

 

 

 

Harvesting

 

cirina-butyrospermi-the-bug-trotters

 

Shea caterpillars are eaten in big quantity during the rainy season in August. Mature caterpillars leave the leaves they eat to bury themselves in the ground, and transform into a cocoon before becoming a butterfly 9 months later. This is while going down the trunk of the Shea Tree that they’re collected using a traditional method.

 

 

 

 

Economy around caterpillars

Caterpillars harvesting creates a lot of employment opportunities in the villages. Those dried caterpillars are sold  along the roads between 1500 and 2000 fcfa/kg ( $2,5 and 3,5). Some companies like FasoPro also transform caterpillars into powder or biscuits and sell it within  the country and abroad.

 

 

Taste and texture

Shea caterpillars have a grass taste, certainly because their only food are leaves ! Fresh and cooked in a broth, caterpillars are delicious, the texture looks a bit like squid or meat. Once dried, the taste is more like dried fish !

 

Nutritional composition

Shea caterpillars are rich in iron and in omega 3 fatty acids !

 

Nutritional composition of dried shea caterpillars

Proteins 63 %
Minerals  5 %
        including iron      13 mg/100g
 Carbohydrates  13 % 
 Lipids  14 %
       including Omega 3      36 %
 Fibres (chitin)   %
Energy 432 kcal/100g

Source: Morgane Paul M. Anvo et al. Nutritional qualities of edible caterpillars Cirina butyrospermi in southwestern of Burkina Faso. International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies Vol. 18 No. 2 Oct. 2016, pp. 639-645

 

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