Best flightless/wingless fruit fly seller online?

Lamb

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My Eurycea cirrigera recently morphed and I can have a supply of winged and flying D. melanogaster for him until I get a flightless culture in (flightless are easier to deal with). I was wondering what online seller you all would reccomend? I've bought flightless before, but I can't recall from where and when I got the cultures, which came in 6 small canisters, 2 of them were useless and the food medium was a bright blue (which I thought was wierd). Any suggestions?
 

SnakeDancer

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There's a seller on Ebay that I really like ... he has both D. melanogaster (wingless) and D. hydei (flightless). Also sells a good nutritious mold-free fly medium, but I found you have to add more water to it than the instructions tell you, or it's way too dry.

Here's a link to the currently available listings:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...nutri-bugs_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ

When I ordered from him, I got a nice big jar of D. hydei, the offspring of which I'm still propagating, plus a sheet of tips on how to keep mold down, which is a perpetual problem in fruit fly cultures.

I remember the bright blue fly medium from way back in high school biology lab. I think it turned blue when you added water, so you'd know you had enough water in it. I haven't seen it since, though.
 

Greatwtehunter

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There's a seller on Ebay that I really like ... he has both D. melanogaster (wingless) and D. hydei (flightless). Also sells a good nutritious mold-free fly medium, but I found you have to add more water to it than the instructions tell you, or it's way too dry.

I currently use the same Ebay dealer and have for awhile now with no problems. I have also used Josh's frogs and was as equally pleased.
 

Lamb

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I checked out the eBay site. There was a link where I could see a picture of the culture (which is in a wide mouthed tub). What's the best way to get flies out of that thing without them escaping? I know you can fridge them for a bit and that will cause them to settle...apart from that I don't have any ideas.
 

Greatwtehunter

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I tap the container on a hard surface and it knocks the flies down just long enough for you to shake some out.
 

SludgeMunkey

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I have used all the sellers above in the past with success. i have also had luck with the cultures sold at the two big chain pet stores.

For an easy Harvest, I give them about 5 minutes max in the fridge. This slows them down just long enough to harvest them with a soft bristle barely damp paint brush. By the time I transfer them to my critters, they are hopping all over the place again.
 

SnakeDancer

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What's the best way to get flies out of that thing without them escaping? I know you can fridge them for a bit and that will cause them to settle...apart from that I don't have any ideas.

Easiest way is to use an "aspirator," a trick I learned in undergraduate Drosophila lab. Take a plastic medicine dropper and cut off the "bulb" end (you may have to cut the tapered end a bit also if the tip is too small to accomodate your flies), and cut a small piece of cloth to fit over the cut end. (Pieces of old cotton underwear or t-shirts are perfect.) Then insert a piece of aquarium airline tubing into the cut "bulb" end, with the cloth in between. (Hope the description is somewhat clear ... it would be easier to just post a picture, but I haven't figured that out yet....) Then suck the flies up by mouth through the aquarium tubing with the tip of the dropper. The bit of cloth keeps them from getting sucked into the airline tube and into your mouth, so they collect in the dropper. You can then puff them out into your terrariums, or even suck up a bit of calcium powder (suck very gently, because the dust does get through the cloth, and is unpleasant) and shake the dropper so the flies are nicely coated with calcium.

Open the top of the jar just slightly and the flies will swarm up toward the opening. If it's a plastic tub, the top is flexible so you can open just a small bit (but you'll have to watch for flies getting in under the rim and being crushed when you close it again ... it can be a bit of a trick to suck them up out of that groove). I use small glass jars with rubber-banded cloth covers, and I just pull back the cover on a small section. A few flies will always get out, but since they are flightless they don't get far, and you can just suck them up from the floor through the aspirator.

This device also works beautifully for pinhead crickets.
 

Lamb

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I had not heard about the aspirator trick, I might try it. I did understand the description, well done there :happy:

I've fed with Drosophila before, but mostly with flying type. I'd put them in the fridge for a quick bit, and then distribute them out. If I didn't have time or want to fool with fridging them (once I forgot about the flies and left them in there :( ), I would quickley and constantly tap the container against the table, knocking the flies to the bottom and keeping them there, and then quickley dump some in. It can take some coordination, and flies do get out.
 

Lamb

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I recieved the wingless D. melanogaster this past Wednesday. I ordered them from

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53...Q_fromZQQ_mdoZ

as per Snakedancer's recomendation, and thus far am pleased. It might just be that I'm thrilled to have flies that can't fly! It's sooo much easier to feed, AND I'm more comfortable knowing that the flies are spending more time on the ground where my little guy can eat them! Thanks for the advice!

Oh, and I went out looking for termites the other day, thought I'd find the little guy a treat...I found fire ants, rolly pollies, and a grand total of 5 termites. Maybe the area I was looking in had fallen logs that were too new, although I found some really good really rotten logs that I thought were going to be chock full of the tastey morsels.
 

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Carolina Biologicals is a very good source for wingless melanogaster. They are not cheap but they send nice healthy flies and they back up their goods, for sure. If you are not happy, they fix it. They have an extra large culture as well as the small class room size ones.

That blue stuff is fly food tinted to let the larvae be more easily seen. Used mainly by students and labs studying flies, but is sold by a few places and used for general fly culture too.

I make my own fly food, it's much cheaper and I can use apple cider vinegar to prevent mould instead of using Tegosept, which I prefer to avoid. May not hurt flies, not so sure it's good for the critters who eat the flies.
 
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