Ascra vluteum, Santos, Bianca Tamires Silva Dos, Silva, Valeria Juliete Da & Fernandes, Jose Antonio Marin, 2015

Santos, Bianca Tamires Silva Dos, Silva, Valeria Juliete Da & Fernandes, Jose Antonio Marin, 2015, Revision of Ascra with proposition of the bifida species group and description of two new species (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae: Edessinae), Zootaxa 4034 (3), pp. 445-470 : 468

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4034.3.2

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Ascra vluteum


Ascra species as edible insects

The main goal of this article is the taxonomical review of Ascra but we cannot ignore the importance of these bugs to the culture of the Mexican people and particularly the entomophagy carried out for centuries. Thus, we present a brief review from literature and internet sites concerning species from Ascra and other edessines.

The natural history of all species belonging to this genus is almost completely unknown to science or the general public with the exception of indigenous people from Guerrero state in Mexico, where some species are important in the traditional or pre-Hispanic dishes. In Taxco region of Guerrero these bugs are called “jumiles” and several images and videos showing how to use them on meals can be found on internet (searching for “jumiles”). Other important sources of information presented below are articles on edible insects (e.g. Ancona 1932; De Foliart 2002; Ramos-Elorduy et al. 1998). Different species are collected in the hills where they feed on encino (oak– Quercus spp.). They are particularly abundant from November to February and people swarm into the neighboring oak forests to collect them. Hills close to Taxco–Cerro del Huixteco– is the place where each first Monday after the Day of the Dead in November people celebrate–Day of the Jumile. This word “jumil” is not used only for edessines but also for several species belonging to different genera of Pentatomidae . Edible stink bugs are rich in Iodine, proteins and vitamins from B group and may have analgesic and tranquilizing qualities. Specimens are kept alive until being consumed raw–still alive or freshly killed–in tacos, sauce, or eaten fried or roasted in many dishes. The first record and still the main source of information about “jumiles” is Ancona (1932) that described Atizies taxocoensis that will be treated in our next article. Other species regularly mentioned are Edessa conspersa , Edessa cordifera , Edessa mexicana , Edessa montezuma , Edessa petersii and Edessa rufomarginata ( De Foliart 2002; Ramos-Elorduy et al. 1998; Ramos-Elorduy 2009). Among them E. mexicana and E. montezuma seem to be wrong identifications, because these species are not seen in any image on internet concerning “jumiles”. Another common species that probably are part of the edible Mexican edessines are Ascra bifida and A. morbosa . Although these species were never mentioned in literature, photos from internet sites seemed to show them, but only appropriate identification will confirm their identity. Ascra cordifera and A. conspersa / A. morbosa are frequently found on internet. Lastly, it has been documented that other species of Ascra , for example Ascra vluteum n. sp., have been used in the preparation of burritos.













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