See also: Mopane Worm Recipe; Insect Food Trivia
Sales of dried mopane worms in South Africa can exceed 1,600 metric tons per year.
The mopane worm (Imbrasia belina, Order Lepidoptera) is a large edible caterpillar that forms the basis of a multi-Million Rand trade in the Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
The worm is an important source of protein and income to many people. However, the trade is threatened by over-harvesting, and mopane worms are now rare or extinct in some areas where they were once common.
Mopani worms are being studied to try and find out more about the extent to which this resource can be harvested on a sustainable basis.
Mopane worms may be found on the menu of Gramadoelas Restaurant in Johannesburg. (2006)