Midges as Human Food
Cakes made from non-biting midges (Diptera: Chaoboridae) are a traditional food in African communities living along the shores of lakes in the African Rift Valley. Chaoborid swarms above the lakes may stretch over 10–32 miles and contain many millions of insects. They were first described from Lake Nyasa by the famous explorer David Livingstone, and also occur on the Ugandan side of Lake Victoria. The swarming gnats are called “E sami” by local people. It has been reported that the people compressed the flies into cakes that were used in some unknown manner as food. Also noted was the malodor of masses of dead flies that accumulated after the swarms, and the fact that the arrival of huge clouds of these gnats produced outbreaks of nasal catarrh among the white inhabitants.
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