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International Journal of Biodiversity
Volume 2014, Article ID 214071, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/214071
Research Article

A Crispy Delicacy: Augosoma Beetle as Alternative Source of Protein in East Cameroon

1Living Forest Trust (LIFT), c/o BP 1857, Yaoundé, Cameroon
2Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), BP 34430, Yaoundé, Cameroon
3Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), BP 2008, Yaoundé, Cameroon
4Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR 220 GRED, 911 avenue agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
5Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UR 072, BP1857 Yaoundé, Cameroon
6Laboratoire Evolution, Génomes et Spéciation, UPR 9034, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France et Université Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France

Received 4 October 2013; Accepted 2 November 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editor: Rafael Riosmena-Rodríguez

Copyright © 2014 F. J. Muafor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Despite the fact that the exoskeleton of the Augosoma centaurus (Dynastinae) is hard and difficult to chew, this insect is often gathered in Eastern Cameroon for food in periods of availability. Nine ethnic groups in Eastern Cameroon were surveyed to understand the role of this insect in assuring food security, using quantitative and qualitative social science approaches. Both the larvae and adult stages of this beetle are habitually consumed in the areas studied. In total, about 65% of consumers prefer consuming the adults, while 35% prefer consuming the larvae. About 24% of consumers derive the same satisfaction from the consumption of Augosoma or other edible insects. Close to 39% of consumers prefer other edible insects to Augosoma, while 37% prefer the consumption of Augosoma to other edible insects. This beetle usually occurs at a period when other edible insects are not available, therefore constituting a good source of alternative protein in this region where poverty, poaching, and biodiversity erosion are still a major problem. Furthermore, the gathering of this beetle for food is equally a means of biological pest control of raffia plants and a tool to enhance community-based conservation of the areas global biodiversity.