Fruit Fly Culture

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Fruit Fly Culture

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An excellent culture which provides feeder insects for your reptiles.

- Produces flightless fruit flies rich in protein content.

- Self-contained.

- Require no maintenance.

You have to feed your reptiles and amphibians with small prey items. You have to spend hundreds of dollars for this. Instead if you prepare a fruit fly culture, you can feed your reptiles with flightless fruit flies obtained from them.

In a fruit fly culture either Drosophila mealanogaster or Drosophila hydei can be cultivated. An adult fly of D.hydei is about 1/8 inch in length while D. melanogaster is 1/16 inch in length. D.hydei’s egg can develop into an adult fly in one month while D. melanogaster’s adult develops in just two weeks. An adult fly can start reproducing after 24 hours.

Fruit flies serve as an excellent food for small reptiles, amphibians, baby chameleons, mantids, newts, arrow frogs, spiderlings, salamanders, tropical fish, betas, bearded dragons etc.

To set up a fruit fly culture, a 24oz or 32oz plastic container can be chosen. Small holes are drilled in the lid of the container for ventilation. The culture medium can be bought from the pet stores or you can prepare your own. It functions as food for the larvae and adult flies. If you want to culture substantial amounts of flies, prepare your own medium to save your money.

Following is the recipe for preparing your own culture medium.

- 1 cup distilled water

- 1 teaspoon powdered agar

- 1 tablespoon cornmeal

- 1/8 teaspoon calcium proprionate (mold inhibitor)

- 1 tablespoon molasses

- 1 package bakers yeast

All ingredients except yeast should be mixed and heated until boiling. Then it is poured into cleaned plastic containers. Close it and allow it to cool to room temperature. The tightly closed container is kept in a refrigerator. When you wish to use the culture medium, take it out of the fridge and sprinkle 5 to 20 granules of yeast. 25 to 75 flies are now introduced into the culture. They are kept undisturbed. The temperature of the culture should be maintained between 70°F and 85°F. Introduce extra egg-laying sites like poster board, cardboard into the culture. A single female can lay 500 eggs.

When adult flies are developed in the culture, let it be there for 2 days so that it produces more eggs. When you want to feed your pets, tap the container on something hard. Fruit flies will fall to the bottom of the culture. Remove the lid and shake them into a plastic bag. Then they are coated with reptile vitamin or calcium and can be fed to your pets.

In a single culture medium introduce a particular variety of fruit fly. Otherwise it will result in the production of flying fruit flies. Throw out the culture if you observe mold. After 2 weeks discard the culture and prepare a new one. Culturing container can be washed with hot water and re-used. For a continual supply of fruit flies, set up atleast 5- 10 cultures.


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