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Soldier flies

This is a discussion on Soldier flies within the Flies/Fly Maggots forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; Just out of curiousity, has anyone tried to culture these before? The "phoenix worms" as they are more commonly known ...

Flies/Fly Maggots For the discussion of flies (Dipterids) other than fruitflies.

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Old 7th February 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Soldier flies

Just out of curiousity, has anyone tried to culture these before? The "phoenix worms" as they are more commonly known are supposed to be pretty nutritious for amphibs.



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Old 7th February 2008   #2 (permalink)
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I've heard of people culturing them. It's my understanding they need a lot of room. I heard the flies need to do a ritual mating flight before they mate. I do remember one of the worm suppliers was offering soldier fly breeding kits. I don't know waht's involved in the kit. Maybe the flight isn't necessary.



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Old 10th December 2008   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

Is there anyone who had luck breeding these indoor? I just got a cup of 150 small ones, and their nutritional values are very interesting. I coulnd't find any info on the mid-air mating ritual being neccesary or not for them to breed.



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Old 10th December 2008   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

I've cultured them outside during the warmer months fairly well. They're native throughout much of the US, so you just need to attract them and wait for them to take over the culture bin. It was pretty nice, but took forever for them to find it (~ a month). Once they're there, they produce pheromones that draw in the others, and you do great.

I tried some stuff indoors, but that was something of a disaster that I'd prefer not to talk about . . .



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Old 10th December 2008   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentysix View Post
I've cultured them outside during the warmer months fairly well. They're native throughout much of the US, so you just need to attract them and wait for them to take over the culture bin. It was pretty nice, but took forever for them to find it (~ a month). Once they're there, they produce pheromones that draw in the others, and you do great.

I tried some stuff indoors, but that was something of a disaster that I'd prefer not to talk about . . .
Thanks for the reply. Not everyone lives in the US though I guess it's just not easily doable indoors. It would probably involve a pretty big enclosure.



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Old 10th December 2008   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

You might want to check around; they've been introduced to a lot of countries, unfortunately, and there's a chance they might be in Europe as well. I know they've been introduced to Hawaii and Australia.

You could always try a shed of some sort, or a room with containers for them to breed in closed off to the rest of the house (they probably don't smell, but you'll need something to collect the larvae leaving the food and a container for them to pupate it). You just don't want the larvae crawling out and all over your house.

Be careful they don't escape though; last thing you want is to establish them if they haven't already been introduced to the wild there. The adults only live a few days and then they die, but sometimes that's all it takes.



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Old 11th December 2008   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

I think few people can devote a room to sodier flies Peter. :) Also, when you opened the door, wouldn't they flee?

I am interested in cultivating these though, phoenix worms are so good and so expensive.



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Old 11th December 2008   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

Naw, 95% of the time, you have no flies. And assuming they bred, they'd mostly be hanging around the larvae tub. Or trying to get out the window. Then they're dead within 3 days and you vacuum up the corpses.

They really don't use much space or anything, and they're a good way to dispose of uneaten food. The problem with having them in your house is that if the larvae escape to go pupate or for bad conditions, they can travel a long distance and you might find them just about anywhere in the house. . .



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Old 11th December 2008   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

Check out this past thread:

soldier fly larvae



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Old 12th December 2008   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

Is there anything known about ideal breeding temps? I could use my newt room...Just as a test. The first time there wouldn't be many flies, just the remaining 20-30 larvae will pupate, so not much vacuuming work in that case ... I'm just worried about the stench of a suitable food substrate.



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Old 12th February 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soldier flies

I was told they need exposure to the outdoors(natural light) to mate successfully. Very dissapointed. Is that not the case? I wonder if handpairing as is done for butterflies would work?

I think the adult flies would be neat food items for terrestrial caudates, and definetly for treefrogs.



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