Author(s): Ogbalu OK, Renner RN
This paper reports for the first time the bacterial distribution on Gryllotalpa africana, a mole cricket and one of the edible hexapods of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Children hunt it during the rainy and also at dry seasons and it is harvested as snacks in the rural settings of the region. It is eaten raw, boiled, fried or roasted along with other condiments including onions and pepper. It is a delicacy enjoyed in many other parts of Nigeria. Assessments were made to identify bacteria that are associated with different external structures of the edible mole cricket. The bacterial distribution on different external structures [the skin] of the adult Gryllotalpa africana (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) was investigated and ten bacterial isolates were obtained; the genera Micrococus, Corynebacterium, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Proteus. Fungal genera isolated were: Aspergillus, Alternaria, Fusarium, Penicillium and Rhizopus. Total Heterotrophic bacterial populations of the insect Gryllotalpa africana were: Head (8.00 x 107 cfu/g), Wing (5.12 x 107 cfu/g), Leg (7.36 x 107 ) while total fungal count (1.00 x 106 cfu/g). The population of viable bacteria was higher than that of fungi. The percentage occurrence of the bacteria isolates on the three examined parts of the skin were: Head (Bacillus sp. 25%, Proteus sp. 66%, Staphylococcus sp. 5%, Micrococcus sp. 3%, Corynebacterium 1%), Wing (Bacillus sp. 35%, Proteus sp. 60%, Staphylococcus sp. 3%, Micrococcus sp. 1%, Corynebacterium 1%); Leg (Bacillus sp. 35%, Proteus sp. 45%, Staphylococcus sp. 16%, Micrococcus sp. 2%, Corynebacterium 2%). Summarily, considering the mean bacterial genera population; Proteus (57%)> Bacillus (31.7%) >Staphylococcus (8%) > Micrococcus (2%) > Corynebacterium (1.3%). The incidence of Bacillus and Staphylococcus is of great health concern.