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Table 2 Note that the taxonomic positions and names of some of the insects mentioned in this table are likely to have changed since the original publication in 1943 by Umemura, on which this table and a similar one in German by Schimitschek (1968) are based. However, in order to avoid ambiguity and confusion, it was felt it was best for this translated version to retain the nomenclature used in the Japanese original. Note also that precise descriptions of the various ways that treatments are administered are not given in this translation. Left out are species included by Umemura (1943) to be used only as generally wholesome food items, e.g., pupae of Psilogramma increta and larvae of Dendrolimus spectabilis, Chilo simplex, Schoenobius incertellus and Zeuzera pyrina (Lepidoptera), larvae of Vespa japonica and larvae and pupae of 5 species of Polistes (Hymenoptera), larvae of Prionus insularis (Coleoptera), adults of Loxoblemus orientalis, L. doenitzi and Gryllodes bethellus (Orthoptera), Cloeon dipterum (Ephemeroptera) and adults of various species of cicadas (Hemiptera). That numerous additional species of insects historically found acceptance as traditional food in Japan is apparent from the list given by Mitsuhashi (2008) in his book on edible insects of the world

From: Therapeutic arthropods and other, largely terrestrial, folk-medicinally important invertebrates: a comparative survey and review



Additional information

Lepidoptera (Bombycidae)

Bombyx mori

Larvae employed in stopping bleedings, throat troubles, fever and snake bite;

Pupae used in connection with throat problems, tuberculosis, kidney problems;

Adults to stop bleedings and counter snake bite.

Faeces used in connection with bellyache, intestines, lumbago, cramps, eye infections, gonorrhoea, brain haemorrhage, haemorrhoids

Antheraea yamamai

Larvae used in connection with asthma and cramps;

Pupae for throat and skin troubles, lumps and cramps;

Cocoon used in connection with bone fractures

Antheraea pernyi

Pupae to reduce tumour growths & lumps

Cocoon to treat bone fractures and cramps

Dictyoploca japonica

Eggs used in treating skin problems


Rhodinia fugax

Cocoon for tumour & lump reduction

Whooping cough

Lepidoptera (Sphingidae)

Theretra oldenlandiae

Larvae all considered effective in treatments of TB, stomach upsets, umps, tumours and fever as well as snake bites


Theretra nessus


Acherontia styx


Pergesa elpenor lewisi


Macroglossa stellatarum


Herse convolvuli


Psilogramma increta


Lepidoptera (Brahmaeidae)

Brahmaea japonica

Larvae used in connection with cramps, respiratory and stomach troubles

Larvae can mitigate anaemia

Lepidoptera (Cochlidionidae)

Cnidocampa flavescens

Larvae help against cramps; Pupae and adults considered to have positive effect on vision


Lepidoptera (Hepialidae)

Phassus excrescens

Larvae used for lung and stomach troubles and snake bite


Lepidoptera (Psychidae)

Cryptothelea minuscula

Larvae used for toothache and larvae as well as adults for respiratory problems

Also used in connection with anaemia

Lepidoptera (Aegeriidae)

Paranthrene regalis

Larvae used for stomach upsets, cramps and gynaecological issues

Used in cases of diphtheria

Lepidoptera (Cossidae)

Holocerus vicarius

Used in fighting fever and cramps


Lepidoptera (Papilionidae)

Papilio xuthus

Larvae and adults all used in connection with skin disorders; adults moreover in treatments of lumps and tumours


Papilio machaon


Papilio protenor demetrius


Papilio macilentus


Papilio alcinous


Graphium sarpedon nipponus


Hymenoptera (Apidae)

Apis indica japonica

Honey used in connection with skin, respiratory, urinary and intestinal disorders, snake bite and rabies;

Wax used also in connection with skin and digestive problems and snake bite: Larvae & adults in connection with rheumatism

Honey given in cases of influenza, the common cold and whooping cough; wax for freckles and constipation

Hymenoptera (Xylocopidae)

Xylocopa apendiculata circumvolans

Larvae used in connection with fever and respiratory/lung ailments

Considered also effective in cases of haemorrhoids

Hymenoptera (Vespidae)

Vespa auraria

Larvae used in connection with skin diseases, fever and respiratory problems;

Pupae used in connection with whooping cough

Nest material for ear, eye and dental problems, skin disorders and cramps

Larval treatment in cases of haemorrhoids

Vespa mandarina


Nest material considered effective in venereal disease and haemorrhoids

Hymenoptera (Braconidae)

Euurobracon penerator

Larvae used in cases of cramp


Coleoptera (Cerambycidae)

Apriona rugicollis

Larvae used in connection with lung problems, cramps and palsy


Batocera lineolata

Larvae used to mitigate cramps

Used in cancer therapy and diphtheria

Chloridolum thaliodes

Larvae involved in treating smallpox


Coleoptera (Meloidae)

Epicauta gorhami

Adults used in treatments of hair, skin excretory (kidney) system and rabies

Considered effective in cases of warts

Coleoptera (Cicindelidae)

Cicindela chinensis

Adults used in connection with skin, tumours and gynaecological problems


Coleoptera (Telephoridae)

Luciola lateralis

Adults used in connection with bleedings, hair and tumours

Considered effective in cases of whooping cough, haemorrhoids and as a tonic

Luciola cruciata

Coleoptera (Hydrophilidae)

Hydrous acuminatus

Larvae used in connection with skin disorders and cramps

Considered effective in cases of whooping cough

Hydrophilus affinis

Sternolophus rufipes

Coleoptera (Dytiscidae)

Cybister brevis

Larvae prescribed in cases of asthma, respiratory and stomach problems


Cybister japonicus


Cybister trpuntatus


Rhantus pulverosus

Adults used in cases of skin disorders


Coleoptera (Scarabaeidae)

Xylotrupes dichotomus

Larvae involved in treating gynaecological problems


Coleoptera (Lucanicidae)

Lucanus macrifemoratus

Larvae and adults involved in treatments of gynaecological problems


Psalidoremus inclinatus


Coleoptera (Gyrinidae)

Gyrinus curtus

Gyrinus japonicus

Dineutes marginatus

Larvae and adults both used in connection with lung and stomach problems, fever and cramps


Diptera (Syrphidae)

Eristalis tenax

Pupae for eye problems. tooth ache, and fever; adults inconnection with cramps


Diptera (Tabanidae)

Tabanus trigonus

Adults used for eye disorders and tumours


Tabanus rufidens


Tabanus chrysurus


Tabanus mandarinus


Diptera (Muscidae)

Musca domestica

Larvae used in treating snake bites and fever, gut and stomach problems and eye disorders;

Adults in connection with fever, tooth ache and skin disorders

Effective in cases of haemorrhoids

Muscina stabulans

Fannia canicularis

Calliphora lata

Used in connection with venereal diseases

Diptera (Ortalidae)

Dryomyza formosa

Larvae used to reduce fever, in cases of snake bite, gut and stomach problems and eye disorders


Diptera (Culiciidae)

Culex pipiens

Adults used to counteract venereal diseases


Aedes japonicus


Aedes albopictus


Anopheles japonicus


Aphaniptera (Pulicidae)

Pulex irritans

Adults all used in connection with venereal diseases


Ctenocephalus canis


Ctenocephalus felis


Anoplura (Pediculidae)

Pediculus corporis

Adults used in cases of venereal diseases


Pedicuus humanus


Orthoptera (Gryllotalpidae)

Gryllotalpa africana

Adults used to reduce fever, mitigate skin and kidney troubles and fight tumour growths

Considered also useful in connection with venereal disease

Orthoptera (Gryllidae)

Gryllus mitratus

Larvae and adults used for fever and tumour reduction

Adults used for dysentery

Orthoptera (Locustidae)

Oxya velox

Adults used in cases of fever, respiratory, skin and gynaecological problems

Effective in treating cancer, haemorrhoids and anaemia

Oxya vicina


Paratenodera aridifolia

Adults used in treating fever, beriberi, tooth ache, fever, hair and respiratory problems


Paratenodera angustiennis


Statilia maculata


Hierodula patellifera


Mantis religiosa



Blattella germanica

Adults used in connection with skin and stomach disorders


Periplaneta americana


Periplaneta picea


Blatta orientalis


Odonata (Libellulidae)

Sympetrum darwinianum

Adults used in connection with throat aches, asthma, tumours and fever

Larvae considered to help against whooping cough

Sympetrum elatum

Adults used for asthma


Sympetrum croceolum

Adults all considered effective in cases of asthma


Sympetrum frequense


Orthetrum albistylum


Crocothemis servillia

Adults used for ear, eye, throat and gut problems as well as fever

Used also in connection with diphtheria and cough

Neuroptera (Myrmeleonidae)

Hagenomyia micans

Larvae used in connection with fever, migraine/headaches, beriberi and gonorrhoea; adults considered effective in cases of whooping cough


Neuroptera (Sialidae)

Prothermes grandis

Larvae used for treating lung, stomach and gut problems


Plecoptera (Perlidae)

Perla tibialis

Larvae considered effective in cases of cramps


Perla tinctipennis


Hemiptera (Nepidae, Belostomatidae, Aphidiidae)

Lacotrephes japonensis

Eggs used in connection with bleedings, intestinal and uterine problems; adults in connection with cough, dysentery and haemorrhoids


Ranatra chinensis


Ranatra unicolor


Kirkaldya deyrollei


Schlechtendalia chinensis

Larvae used for endocrine disorders


Hemiptera (Coccidae)

Ericerus pe-la

Wax used to stop bleedings and in connection with lung and stomach problems

Considered effective against warts

Hemiptera (Cicadidae)

Terpnosia vacua

Larvae used in cases of anaemia;

Exuviae for ear problems, tooth ache and fever as well as kidney problems and tumours

Exuviae also considered effective in cases of smallpox, coughs and haemorrhoids

Platypeura kaempferi

Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata

Cryptotympana japonensis

Tanna japonensis

Oncotympana maculaticollis

Meimuna opalifera


Lepisma villosum

Adults used in cases of eye disease and kidney dysfunction

Adults also considered effective in cases of paralysis