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Bamboo worms

Any information on Bamboo worms farm?



  • Hi tomvu, - I think this translation into English is the type of bamboo larvae you want to breed.

    There are marine bamboo worms classed as maldenid polychaetes.

    In Brazil many decades ago I came across what is also called bamboo worms. These were plucked from flowering bamboo pith & administered to cause protracted phantasmagorical sleep. But the head is accepted as being poisonous & so shamans stored the larval body dried without heads.

  • Here's the Bamboo worm Omphisa fuscidentales life cycle in graphic imagry (narration in Thai):

    Quote: " ... adult lays an egg cluster on a bamboo shoot in early Aug ... newly hatched larvae bore a hole through the internodal wall so that all of the larvae from one egg cluster move into the internode and feed on the inner pulp. Within the plant, larvae bore a hole through the septum and move upward from internode to internode to obtain fresh inner pulp as food. When larvae become mature in middle-late September, they migrate down along the inner culm to the original internode with the entrance hole or the internode immediately above the original one in which they pupate in the middle of the following June ..." (Comment:  in other words by 5th instar larvae go into diapause suspension in Sept. & come out in June/July. So be aware that it takes 1 year for their life cycle.) Source of quote = "Growth and Diapause in a Tropical Moth, Omphisa fuscidentalis"; free full text:

    Females lay 80-130 eggs at the base of a bamboo culm (juvenile bamboo growth that see near ground in 1st video linked above). As for productivity the yield is from 0.3 - 0.5 Kg. larvae per bamboo. This video shows how prolific the larvae can become in a single bamboo section:

    Bear in mind bamboo worm larval gut can harbor salmonella, shigella & coliform strains of bacteria.

  • Do you know the name of the brazilian "bamboo worms" ? I have read that if you remove the intestinal tube too they are edible and tasteful.

  • edited June 2017

    Hi norseman, - The Thai "bamboo worm" marketed is in the moth family Crambidae & is called Omphisa fascidentalis. This kind of Crambidae has no toxic parts, that I know of.

    The Brazilian "bamboo worm" is in the same moth family Crambidae & is called Myelobia smerintha. There are several other kinds if Myelobia in the southern hemisphere, including Guatemala & Mexico versions.

    Mylelobia smerintha larvae can get as big as 10cm long by July/August before emerging in September as moths. They feed inside the stems of flowering bamboos like Merostachys Rideliana &/or M. Neesii, which are colloquially called in the Mines province "taquara" or "tacuara" (a transcription of extinct indigenous word meaning bamboo). Thus, the larvae get called "bicho de taquara//tacuara", which can be translated as "bug/grub/worm of bamboo".

    The head is never consumed, since it is thought to have some toxin in it's salivary glands. Heads are always removed before processing for storage, since heat apparently does not degrade the toxin.

    Then, if destined for eating they can be rendered into a oily consistancy over heat. Presumably the fat rendering coats internal surfaces, which keeps air from getting at what might otherwise spoil without refrigeration.

    Leaving in the gut & then drying them for consumption them provokes prolonged sleep with good dream fantasies; as alluded to previously. I am not certain, but think(?) the dream invoking compound in their gut is degraded when larvae are heated down into oily state.

    When eaten fresh during the day both the head & gut are pulled out. The white-ish colored interior, described as tasting like pleasant cream, is sucked out & the external remnant gets discarded.

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