Drosophila melanogaster,

13 May 2010 22:12 #1 by Puddlefish (Colin McCourt)
A Fly that cannot Fly!

There here follows a concise way of setting up new Fruitfly cultures.
These are the methods I use which gives a relentless supply of this little nutritious insect all year round.
I use a mutant form of Drosophila melanogaster which have little or no wings so in actual fact you cant really call it a fly..more of a hop, skip and a jump.
They are only a few millimeters in length and are easily cultured at home.

Many breeders just give their fly cultures the basic medium in which to breed upon, I go that extra mile and provide them with a la carte food. LOL

This picture shows some of the ingredients used.

Fruitfly Medium Ingredients;
Mashed Banana
Undiluted Orange Juice
Food Colourant (Green)

First off I microwave one cup of Oatmeal to three cups of water for three minutes, then I give it a good stir. I now zap it for a further two minutes.
The oatmeal is now ready after a good stir the paste is nice and loose, not too wet and not too dry. I now leave this to cool.
I now cut half a Banana and mash it up into a paste, I add to this some Grape which again are flattened and mashed. To this mix I then pour on a little undiluted Orange Juice and add a teaspoon of Unrefined Sugar. This is given a good mix and added to the Oatmeal where once again it is blended together to a nice consistency. At this point f I find its a little too stiff then I add a little bit of water and mix it up again. When I feel the mixture is just right I like to add a little bit of Food Colourant (green), this just lets you see the maggots a little more clearly and gives you an indication that all is well within the culture jar.

This shot shows the final mix above when its all done and added to the culture jar, about 10mm of medium is all that's required.

I now use an old culture that's nearing the end of it's life to inoculate the new ones.
Now this is where things can get a little tricky as you almost always get a few escapees.
I like to perform this task outside. The missus wont let me use the kitchen table.
You only need around a dozen flies really to start a new culture

I cut a slice of toilet roll core and place it into the medium for the flies to crawl up and rest.

Ventilation is required so the culture jar is topped of with a piece of cotton hankie or muslin and an elastic band.
This obviously stops the insects heading for the hills.

These little insects will now go about business and breed,
Adult flies lay many, many eggs, with a female laying over twenty eggs in a day, she also has the ability to store sperm within her body for up to two weeks & can lay fertilized eggs at will.
Eggs take around 23 hours to hatch at 25 deg C. Once they do hatch, the larvae bury into the media and grow. They will stay as larvae for five days, in which time they undergo three moults.
Eventually they will start to climb the sides of the vial, and when fully grown will settle near the top, and form a chrysalis. The transition from maggot to fly takes three days.

I like to keep my Killifish larder as wholesome and as diverse as possible and this I feel is an excellent food source on which to feed your killifish, They can be a little finicky to get used to dealing with in the begining, but once mastered you will have an endless supply of this nutritious little insect.

Why not try them for yourself

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13 May 2010 22:28 #2 by stretnik (stretnik)
Replied by stretnik (stretnik) on topic Drosophila melanogaster,
Thanks for that Fab information and taking so much time and effort, I'm going to save this to paper now.
I know I won't be the last to thank you.


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13 May 2010 22:44 #3 by derek (Derek Doyle)
another great illustrated post, colin, well done again. i tried the fruit flies for a while many years ago, but like vinegar eels, i found them a bit messy and dropped them from the menu. after reading your post i might try them again. at the moment i harvest white and grindal worms and brine shrimp, but have discontinued with micro worms because i am not diligent enough with the culture and it keeps fouling up.

30 tanks specialise in african cichlids, angelfish and various catfish

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13 May 2010 23:03 #4 by JohnH (John)
I agree wholeheartedly - and about the Micro Worms, I tend to neglect them somewhat and before you know it they've reached the point of no return!
I did culture the wingless Drosophila many years ago but since coming here I've found it impossible to get another starter culture. I do harvest ants in the Summer (remember the Summer? - That was those couple of nice days in April).

N. Tipp

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl - year after year.

ITFS member.

It's a long way to Tipperary.

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14 May 2010 00:12 #5 by mickdeja (mick whelan)
Another interesting learning experience Colin, cheers for that man....

Follow me up to Carlow

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14 May 2010 01:40 #6 by platty252 (Darren Dalton)
Great post Colin. I like the idea of adding the food colouring. You can see whats going on.

I never cultured these and taught it best not to after an incident involving a room full of mosquitoes, a missing snake and a "there's a mouse in the" situation. Never mind enough leaks to save this country from droughts next summer (expected April 7th-22th).
I think i will have to wait a while before culturing wingless fruit flies.

Colin is it possible someone from admin can put a copy of this in the article section? It would be a great reference.

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14 May 2010 12:48 #7 by Xeon (ioan micu)
Did the mosquito thing too platy, nearly all ceiling was black. Did the same with the drosophila, only that I had a jar about 10 times the size described here. I forgot to put the lid on :blush:, must been about 10 15 years ago and I hidden the culture behind the couch in my mothers livingroom as my room was not safe enought from her. I nearly got throun out of the house :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: .

Otherwise a great source of live food and a great post.
Thank you for sharing

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14 May 2010 13:28 #8 by igmillichip (ian millichip)
Good thread.

Irish Tropical Fish Society (ITFS) Member.

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14 May 2010 22:20 #9 by Acara (Dave Walters)
Yet again,very good post,makes it sound so easy.I might give this a try,getting the starter culture will be the problem though.
Sounds like a good smoothie!

always on the lookout for interesting corys.pm me if you know off any!

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