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Comparative ethnoentomology of edible stinkbugs in southern Africa and sustainable management considerations.

Dzerefos CM, Witkowski ET, Toms R - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2013)

Bottom Line: The legitimisation of stinkbug harvesting and introduction of a collection funnel could reduce conflicts with managers of plantations and private land.Stinkbugs have numerous medicinal uses, in particular as a hangover cure.Awareness and optimal use of beneficial insects, such as stinkbugs, in rural areas could lead to a reconsideration of current environmental management strategies, where harvesters act as habitat stewards and clearing, grazing or burning indigenous vegetation is kept to a minimum.

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Affiliation: University of the Witwatersrand, Restoration and Conservation Biology Research Group, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, P O Wits, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa. cathy@dzerefos.com

ABSTRACT
Insects, such as stinkbugs, are able to produce noxious defence chemicals to ward off predators, nevertheless, some ethnic groups have recipes to render them delicious. We provide an example of edible stinkbugs (Encosternum delegorguei) used by two locally separate ethnic groups in South Africa, the Vhavenda and Mapulana, with a third group, the Bolobedu using them for commercial purposes. Structured interview schedules and observations with 106 harvesters were conducted to determine differences in use, nomenclature and oral history, methods of collection and preparation as well as perceptions pertaining to availability. The stinkbugs’ foul defence chemical and flight response necessitates nocturnal harvesting when the insect is immobilised by cold. The defence chemical stains the skin and affects vision yet protective gear is not worn. Damage to host trees was recorded when harvesters poached from plantations or private land, whereas, in communal-lands, sustainable methods were preferred. The legitimisation of stinkbug harvesting and introduction of a collection funnel could reduce conflicts with managers of plantations and private land. Two methods to remove the defence chemical for increased palatability were used. Preparation methods differed in whether or not water was used and also whether the head was left intact or removed. Stinkbugs have numerous medicinal uses, in particular as a hangover cure. Awareness and optimal use of beneficial insects, such as stinkbugs, in rural areas could lead to a reconsideration of current environmental management strategies, where harvesters act as habitat stewards and clearing, grazing or burning indigenous vegetation is kept to a minimum.

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Edible stinkbug harvesting sites in South Africa. Edible stinkbug, Encosternum delegorguei, harvesting occurs in the foothills of the eastern Zoutpansberg escarpment near Thohoyandou, in the northern Drakensberg at Ga-Modjadji, in Limpopo Province, as well as Bushbuckridge, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
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Figure 2: Edible stinkbug harvesting sites in South Africa. Edible stinkbug, Encosternum delegorguei, harvesting occurs in the foothills of the eastern Zoutpansberg escarpment near Thohoyandou, in the northern Drakensberg at Ga-Modjadji, in Limpopo Province, as well as Bushbuckridge, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

Mentions: One of the most unexpectedly sought after edible insects in southern Africa is a species of stinkbug, Encosternum (=Haplosterna) delegorguei Spinola (Hemiptera: Tessaratomidae) (Figure1). It is consumed as a delicacy in south eastern Zimbabwe[13,14] by the Karanga people as well as by two geographically separate ethnic groups in South Africa, the Vhavenda[15,16] and the Mapulana[17] (Figure2). A Karanga legend recounts the origins of stinkbug use[18]. Nemeso is exiled by his father the chief because he has four eyes. His fortitude is rewarded by the ancestors revealing the secret of rendering stinkbugs palatable.


Comparative ethnoentomology of edible stinkbugs in southern Africa and sustainable management considerations.

Dzerefos CM, Witkowski ET, Toms R - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2013)

Edible stinkbug harvesting sites in South Africa. Edible stinkbug, Encosternum delegorguei, harvesting occurs in the foothills of the eastern Zoutpansberg escarpment near Thohoyandou, in the northern Drakensberg at Ga-Modjadji, in Limpopo Province, as well as Bushbuckridge, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3735041&req=5

Figure 2: Edible stinkbug harvesting sites in South Africa. Edible stinkbug, Encosternum delegorguei, harvesting occurs in the foothills of the eastern Zoutpansberg escarpment near Thohoyandou, in the northern Drakensberg at Ga-Modjadji, in Limpopo Province, as well as Bushbuckridge, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
Mentions: One of the most unexpectedly sought after edible insects in southern Africa is a species of stinkbug, Encosternum (=Haplosterna) delegorguei Spinola (Hemiptera: Tessaratomidae) (Figure1). It is consumed as a delicacy in south eastern Zimbabwe[13,14] by the Karanga people as well as by two geographically separate ethnic groups in South Africa, the Vhavenda[15,16] and the Mapulana[17] (Figure2). A Karanga legend recounts the origins of stinkbug use[18]. Nemeso is exiled by his father the chief because he has four eyes. His fortitude is rewarded by the ancestors revealing the secret of rendering stinkbugs palatable.

Bottom Line: The legitimisation of stinkbug harvesting and introduction of a collection funnel could reduce conflicts with managers of plantations and private land.Stinkbugs have numerous medicinal uses, in particular as a hangover cure.Awareness and optimal use of beneficial insects, such as stinkbugs, in rural areas could lead to a reconsideration of current environmental management strategies, where harvesters act as habitat stewards and clearing, grazing or burning indigenous vegetation is kept to a minimum.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of the Witwatersrand, Restoration and Conservation Biology Research Group, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, P O Wits, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa. cathy@dzerefos.com

ABSTRACT
Insects, such as stinkbugs, are able to produce noxious defence chemicals to ward off predators, nevertheless, some ethnic groups have recipes to render them delicious. We provide an example of edible stinkbugs (Encosternum delegorguei) used by two locally separate ethnic groups in South Africa, the Vhavenda and Mapulana, with a third group, the Bolobedu using them for commercial purposes. Structured interview schedules and observations with 106 harvesters were conducted to determine differences in use, nomenclature and oral history, methods of collection and preparation as well as perceptions pertaining to availability. The stinkbugs’ foul defence chemical and flight response necessitates nocturnal harvesting when the insect is immobilised by cold. The defence chemical stains the skin and affects vision yet protective gear is not worn. Damage to host trees was recorded when harvesters poached from plantations or private land, whereas, in communal-lands, sustainable methods were preferred. The legitimisation of stinkbug harvesting and introduction of a collection funnel could reduce conflicts with managers of plantations and private land. Two methods to remove the defence chemical for increased palatability were used. Preparation methods differed in whether or not water was used and also whether the head was left intact or removed. Stinkbugs have numerous medicinal uses, in particular as a hangover cure. Awareness and optimal use of beneficial insects, such as stinkbugs, in rural areas could lead to a reconsideration of current environmental management strategies, where harvesters act as habitat stewards and clearing, grazing or burning indigenous vegetation is kept to a minimum.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus