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Fruit Fly Larvae climbing sides of culture cup
#1
Not a newbie here, but this is kind of a newbie question (or at least a question i think newbies could benefit from).

I'm having moderate luck with my fruitfly cultures and I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong. In all my cultures I've noticed that a large number of the larvae are climbing up the sides of the cups and drying out, thus not producing. About the longest I've had an active culture is a month. Should I be spraying down the sides or adding moisture to my cups in any way? or is this normal? Any idea on how to up FF production?

I'm using these kinds of cups if this helps:
http://www.joshsfrogs.com/catalog/produ ... ucts_id=37

Thanks, guys!
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#2
First off let me say that those cups are really awesome...

There are many factors that influence the length of time a culture will last. I don't keep track of times, but a month is a decent amount of time for a culture. To keep them going you need to have media in the cup (are you running out of media in the cup?), needs to stay moist (dried media on the top hinders egg laying and larvae climbing out), and free from mold.

The larvae on the sides are not drying out, they are becoming pupae (flies "hatch" out of the pupae).
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#3
"The larvae on the sides are not drying out, they are becoming pupae (flies "hatch" out of the pupae)."


Even if these pupae are turning dark brown and there are no more flies?


Thanks for your info!!!
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#4
No, that is not right and there is something wrong. Here is what I do for my Fruit Fly media. Hope this helps and good luck.

Current mix I use:

For 8 cultures - 32oz deli cups:

1 cup shifted powder sugar mixed with
4 cups potato flakes. Then mix in
1/2 - 3/4 cup of brewers yeast from GNC.

Mix all dry goods thoroughly.
I don't store excess but make a new batch each time.

To the dry mix above add:

2 cups apple vinegar
2 cups apple sauce
2 cups of Apple Juice
Mix thoroughly with a hand mixer (important).

After mixing distribute a 1 cup of your mix to each of the containers where you are raising D. melanogaster for D. hydei you can expect a longer pupate period(about double) and therefore I would recommend only using 1/2 cup per container. Flatten the media down with a spoon or another 32oz container. Sprinkle about 40-50 (approx.) grains of Red Star Quick Rise Yeast on top, and smooth in with a spoon keeping the yeast on the top of the media. At this point you can either put in your filler or leave this out for about a week. I am currently using filter material but Parchment Paper folded accordion style comes highly recommended. Add a generous amount of FF and seal with cover. I use Ed's Fly Meats covers with round sponges for ventilation, and with this set up I do not have to respray during the life of the culture. You must be careful not to over mist when setting up the culture, too much water is worse than too little (you can always spray later if needed). If you prefer using a coffee filter for ventilation this has some pluses under the right conditions but you will probably be forced to spray occasionally in order to have higher yields, I just don't like the extra work and FF escapes during spraying. You know when the culture is drying out by when the maggots don't travel far from the media. You want your maggots to go to the top of the filler material and all the way up the sides of the container. This will give you higher yields longer but again don't over mist or this will make your media soupy and/or crash your culture because of maggot rot. I also use throw away plastic deli cups. If you are having problems with mites taking over or if you are having issues with moisture as the culture ages than only put 1/2 or 3/4 cup of mix in each container and shorten the cycle. I don't use mold inhibitor and have never had a problem but I do put a generous amount of FF so that they aggressively consume the top not allowing mold to develop. I also do not heat, boil, or warm the liquid for the mix and therefore do not need to have a cool down period. You will want to keep your FF cultures at about 78-80 degrees for optimum yields. I keep mine by my hot water heater, this isn't perfect but close. The more discriminating will setup a closet or cabinet that can be monitored and controlled. As far as lighting is concerned I haven't seen much of an impact but low light seems best. I have kept them in the complete dark and left them in bright light. Generally now I just keep them somewhere in the middle and whatever is convenient to me. Under no circumstances should you use FF from two different lines of cultures, this can cause cultures to have FF that can fly and then you may be forced to start all over. I generally like to take a culture that is just stuffed with FF and use that one cultures FF for about 4 new cultures. You know you have really done a great job on the culture when at the end of the life of that culture it is just caked with maggot shells. When feeding the FF direct and not dusting I just remove the lid and lightly tap the side of the culture to knock down the FFs. I find that after a period of time the PDF no longer fears me tapping the container but it actually means meal time and they come running. With thumbnails I generally like to deposit my food low because the FF will travel up toward the light and this seems to give an even dispersion prohibiting only a few select frogs from grabbing all the food. On the other hand if you are feeding your larger frogs and have a number in the same tank if is best to land the FF into the plants, again so that you have all your frogs being able to get at a good supply and reduce stress and fighting. If you are only talking about a pair of frogs per tank it doesn't matter much. I also will at time leave a culture in the tank with my frogs if I see undue stress or feeding concerns, but this I am learning has some concerns and you should never use a culture for this that is old or smelly, it has the potential of causing health issues. The PDF will go in the culture and snap up the maggots and get real plumpy. I recommend using a notebook and jot down the changes you make and their effects and share them with the group. Use at your own risk, it works for me.

matychuk
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#5
Check out this web site for specific recipes and information
http://flystocks.bio.indiana.edu/method ... n_seal.htm
http://flystocks.bio.indiana.edu/media-recipes.htm
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#6
Fly Larvae climbing and pupating high on the sides of cultures (often near the lid) are a very good indication that they are either not getting enough oxygen or that the media is too wet and liquid and they are seeking higher ground.

I always use ventilated lids and don't stack culture cups on top of each other.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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