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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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Encosternum delegorguei utilisation groups determined by K-means cluster analysis. Edible stinkbug (Encosternum delegorguei) utilisation groups (i.e. modern, traditional or commercial) determined by K-means cluster analysis and based on preparation methods and whether harvesters eat and/or sell stinkbugs, where n = 106 harvesters.
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Figure 5: Encosternum delegorguei utilisation groups determined by K-means cluster analysis. Edible stinkbug (Encosternum delegorguei) utilisation groups (i.e. modern, traditional or commercial) determined by K-means cluster analysis and based on preparation methods and whether harvesters eat and/or sell stinkbugs, where n = 106 harvesters.

Mentions: K-means cluster analysis identified three homogenous user groups that correlated with the ethnic groups, and also identified respondents that were using stinkbugs in ways not consistent with the rest of their group (Figure5). The Vhavhenda displayed more variation in their utilisation patterns (73% behaved ‘modern’, 24% traditional, and 3% commercial), whereas the Mapulana utilisation patterns varied the least and were mostly traditional (97%). Modern users ate stinkbugs and used the quicker water method of preparation which left the head intact. The Mapulana only used the waterless method of preparation and all but one harvester consumed stinkbugs. The Bolobedu dominated the commercial group which tended to not eat stinkbugs. Eight Bolobedu were in the modern group, which was dominated by Vhavenda and included the three Zimbabweans.


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

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

Encosternum delegorguei utilisation groups determined by K-means cluster analysis. Edible stinkbug (Encosternum delegorguei) utilisation groups (i.e. modern, traditional or commercial) determined by K-means cluster analysis and based on preparation methods and whether harvesters eat and/or sell stinkbugs, where n = 106 harvesters.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 5: Encosternum delegorguei utilisation groups determined by K-means cluster analysis. Edible stinkbug (Encosternum delegorguei) utilisation groups (i.e. modern, traditional or commercial) determined by K-means cluster analysis and based on preparation methods and whether harvesters eat and/or sell stinkbugs, where n = 106 harvesters.
Mentions: K-means cluster analysis identified three homogenous user groups that correlated with the ethnic groups, and also identified respondents that were using stinkbugs in ways not consistent with the rest of their group (Figure5). The Vhavhenda displayed more variation in their utilisation patterns (73% behaved ‘modern’, 24% traditional, and 3% commercial), whereas the Mapulana utilisation patterns varied the least and were mostly traditional (97%). Modern users ate stinkbugs and used the quicker water method of preparation which left the head intact. The Mapulana only used the waterless method of preparation and all but one harvester consumed stinkbugs. The Bolobedu dominated the commercial group which tended to not eat stinkbugs. Eight Bolobedu were in the modern group, which was dominated by Vhavenda and included the three Zimbabweans.

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