Written by Earl Blewett
Saturday, 30 January 2010 01:07
Home made "Carolina Mix" Fruit Fly Culture Media
I found a recipe by Christina Hanson (she keeps herps) somewhere online and changed it slightly.
Ingredients Makes approx. 40, ¼ cup cultures.
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 teaspoons Methyl paraben
8 cups potato flakes
1/2 - 1 cup of brewers yeast.
Pinch of active yeast
- Sift the powdered sugar and the Methyl paraben into a gallon or larger ziplock bag or container.
- Shake well to thoroughly mix.
- Add brewer yeast and mix well.
- Add the potato flakes and shake well. This is the hardest ingredient to mix in.
I keep a large ziplock bag full of medium so I can make up 2 – 4 cultures every week or so.
The cost is approx. $0.25 per culture
Methyl paraben, also called Tegosept is a mold inhibitor. Some people use vinegar, YMMV. The brewer’s yeast increases the nutritional value of the medium and thus the flies.
I got my fly cultures at The Bug Farm.
There are many ways to keep flies that work but here is how I do it.
- Wash 4 small plastic bottles and dry (if the bottles aren’t dry the medium sticks to the sides)
- Add ¼ cup fly medium (I use a funnel for this and steps 3 and )
- Add ¼ cup warm water and swirl to mix
- Add a pinch or less of active yeast (I take a pinch and use that for 4 – 6 cultures)
- Add a ½ “ x 3” piece of filter floss (this will embed in the medium and give the larvae and pupae something to climb on; It also sticks into medium and won’t come out when you tap the bottle to feed flies to the fish)
- Add a 12” x ¾” piece of nylon mesh (I use the black plastic screening you buy to cover plants; this give the adult flies someplace to climb)
- I use a piece of filter floss to completely seal the bottle. (this allows oxygen but won’t let wild flies in or your flies out; I just bought foam plugs from Carolina Biologogical; they can be run through the dishwasher, rinsed and re-used https://www2.carolina.com)
- Place the bottle where it will be 70 – 80 F°. (warmer means faster growth time but bad things can happen)
- Feed by removing the stopper and tapping the bottle to drop flies into the culture.
- Feed daily and the culture will last a long time. I usually have cultures last at least 8 weeks.
- Drosophila melanogaster (vestigal wings) have a two week cycle from egg to adult
- Drosophila hydrai (flightless but have wings) are four times larger but require a four week cycle
- These sites (http://www.theuniverseaccordingtojim.com/highprairiefarms.htm ; http://www.livefoodcultures.com) have a lot of useful information
Last Updated on Saturday, 30 January 2010 01:17