Culturing Wingless Fruit Flies (Drosophila melanogaster) as Live Food: A Quick Guide

Culturing Wingless Fruit Flies (Drosophila melanogaster) as Live Food: A Quick Guide


here’s how to culture wingless fruit
flies: Drosophila melanogaster for your fish, frogs, lizards, and more. You will need: an escape-proof, ventilated container you may use deli cups with ventilated lids, like the one shown here which are commonly sold with commercial
fruit fly kits, or you can fashion your own container
with a glass or plastic jar a cloth, and an elastic band. Other
possibilities exist as well. The important thing is that the lid be
escape-proof and well-ventilated a resting surface for the flies folded coffee filters or excelsior (wood wool) are often used. I prefer the
excelsior. Culture medium. You can use a commercial
medium or make one yourself. Commercial fruit
fly culture media are very nutritious, convenient, usually reasonably priced, and
very easy to use. just measure, add the proper quantity of hot
water, and stir. I occasionally use do-it-yourself medium here’s the recipe I use: 1/2 cup potato
flakes 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast 1/2
teaspoon spirulina powder 1/3 a teaspoon of cinnamon one-quarter
cup or more of boiling water and one-quarter
cup or more of white vinegar. Add the boiling
water to the dry ingredients until uniformly moist add up to 1/8 th of a cup of additional water and
vinegar as needed to moisten. SETUP. Whether you use commercial or do it
yourself medium the mixture should be moist
enough so that the surface of the medium quickly becomes smooth. If it is lumpy, at a little more liquid the medium pictured here may need a
little more liquid added once the mixture is complete push a handful of excelsior into the
medium. Put the lid on to prevent contamination with wild fruit flies or
other unwanted insects allow the culture to cool for about 20
to 30 minutes at this point at about 50 flies write the date that you made the culture on the container with the marker. Keep your fruit
flies around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit out of direct
sunlight. MAINTENANCE the fruit flies need little in the way
of care. Within a week or so after starting the culture you should begin to see adults emerging
from the dark pupal cases that dot the excelsior on the sides of the container soon after this, you should start another
culture with some of the new flies once the culture begins to produce flies,
the most important maintenance task is to harvest from the culture daily or almost daily to prevent overcrowding
and a subsequent crash about one month after you make a culture
it is time to discard it to help prevent mites from contaminating
subsequent cultures HARVESTING: tap the container a few times
so that any flies near the top of the container fall down towards the bottom remove the lid, tap the container, and tap
the flies out this may be done directly into an
aquarium or other animal enclosure or if you wish to dust the flies with
a supplement, into an appropriate container up