Gynanisa maja (Klung, 1836) is the wild edible caterpillar of a speckled emperor moth belonging to the order Lepidoptera and the family Saturniidae. It is a species of nutritional and economic importance and provides food security at household level during its harvesting season. Despite the significant value this caterpillar has, it is harvested seasonally and harvested in unsustainable ways such as cutting down of its food plants resulting in habitat destruction likely to lead into species extinction consequently, threatening food security. Therefore, this study aimed at identifying the preferred food plants of wild G. maja that will help in the definition of the actions needed for conservation of the G. maja moth consequently contribute positively towards combating food and nutrition insecurity. The household survey was carried out in 61 villages from five clusters of Luampa district to determine the knowledge of people on the food plants of G. maja and the structured questionnaire was used to collect data via face to face interview. A total of 400 respondents participated and five food plants belonging to the family Fabaceae were mentioned which include; Julbernadia paniculata (Benth.) Troupin, Erythrophleum africanum (Welw. ex Benth.) Harms, Brachystegia longifolia Benth, Albizia antunesiana Harms and Brachystegia spiciformis Benth. All (100% of respondents) mentioned J. paniculata (Benth.) Troupin as the primary preferred food plant of G. maja while others indicated the other four food plants as secondary or alternatives. Based on these findings, the food plant like J. paniculata can be utilised for embarking on farming G. maja which will result in the conservation of G. maja and its food plant.

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