Fruit Flies as Food for Ants

 

I made this short tutorial for my mantis forum and thought it could be useful here too.

Fruit flies are an easy and cheap food resource that you can continue to culture without having to buy more. The term Readybrek is an English breakfast cereal made from crushed oats.

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1. Readybrek or any super market own label brand, not porridge oats it dosent work aswell.

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Check out the ingredients, this can only be good,,i think.

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Mix half a bowl full of readybrek with water until its a wet paste like below, its better to be wet rather than a dry mix.

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Add a couple of inches to a deli cup or plastic pint pot.

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Add a small wad of cotton wool.

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And a small piece of cardboard. This will give the maggots somewhere to caster upon.

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Cover the top of your pot with some fine net curtain this will allow for ventilation but wont keep pests like scuttle flies from dropping eggs through the net. These small flies are recognized by preferring to run in short fast burst and fly as a last resort. The casters are more rounded too. These will out compete your maggots for food and can decimates your cultures. You can also use kitchen roll, this will keep the medium wetter but allow for less ventilation and may cause the culture to go bad. Women’s tights also work well.Correct ventilation will also stop fungus and mold from growing, mold isn’t normally a problem as this soon disappears when the maggots begin to churn over the medium. Mites can also be a problem and also compete for food but there are some that will attack maggots. Adding fruit to your medium can also add mites and are also prevalent in shop bought cultures. Breeding your own flies over a few generations will gradually
decrease the mite population. Using mite paper can also help.

Make a small hole either in the net or the side of the pot and using a pooter blow in 50-100 flies.

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Block the hole with an earplug or similar.

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Leave at room temp and at 10 days your culture should be looking similar to this.

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If you make your medium to wet the maggots will cope fine as in the next pic. Better to be to wet, than to
dry.

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In 14 days you should have a good crop of casters.

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At 21 days they have started to hatch and in another few days there will be 1000’s. These are D. Funebris and have a slightly shorter cycle than D. Hydeii.

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Depending on how aggressive your ants are you can feed them live or freeze them first.