Best Method to Culture House Flies?

josh1990

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I tried various method to culture house/blow flies and normally end up with alot of mold and fungus. I tried grits w/milk, soaked dry dog/cat food, and oaks/grains.
Does anyone know a good method to culture these insects? My salamanders love the maggots!

Josh
 

geganewt

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did you add enough flies? with my recipe i had about 10 flies in there half blue-bottle half a common grey fly with white stripes ( i don't really know what it is)
 

tuxar linuxarmy

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just throw an fish in a crate and come back next day you do need an gasmask for the stange but maggots enought ;)
 

Mark

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I purchase maggots from angling shops. They're cheap and easy to store in the fridge for a few weeks. Any that pupate are left to turn into house flies. 5 minutes in the freezer knocks them out for long enough to tweezer feed to the newts/sals. I've yet to find a species which turns their nose up at a house fly - I think they'd make up part of a natural diet for any terrestrial amphibian and are readily accepted.
 

SludgeMunkey

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I do the same as Mark. While I have successfully cultured multiple species of flies in the past, the requirements are just far too smelly and filthy. (When I lived in a climate that supported it, I actively bred six species of Old World Chameleon.)

Truth be told, I had the best results with a cow and horse manure mix kept at 85F and around 60% moisture content. The enclosure for this was on the roof of my condo and measured 6X6X6 feet. This produced about 2-300 adult flies weekly once it got going full bore. My attempts at small scale husbandry always failed.

With the time and money (and effort) involved bait shop maggots are far more economical.

I get 100 maggots for 2 bucks around these parts. Keep in mind they are not good a good staple diet and are quite lacking in nutritional value in many aspects.
 

Coastal Groovin

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It just smells to bad to culture maggots. I do however use the fish method used by tux. I catch a nice 12 pound catfish and leave it in the woods for a couple days and then come back. There must be 500,000 flesh fly maggots on it. YOu beter have a strong stomache. It does smell very bad but they can be collected placed in saw dust like wax worms and then chilled. They also make the best panfish bait !!!! SludgeMonkey can't they just be gut loaded like any other insect?
 

SludgeMunkey

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It just smells to bad to culture maggots. I do however use the fish method used by tux. I catch a nice 12 pound catfish and leave it in the woods for a couple days and then come back. There must be 500,000 flesh fly maggots on it. YOu beter have a strong stomache. It does smell very bad but they can be collected placed in saw dust like wax worms and then chilled. They also make the best panfish bait !!!! SludgeMonkey can't they just be gut loaded like any other insect?
They do not gutload too well, given their preferences in food. Now that I think about it though, perhaps they could be loaded with moistened goldfish flakes mixed into a thick paste? I am not certain. Earthworms are so much easier and by far the best staple food.
 

Mark

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Maggots are a good source of protein and have a better Ca:p ratio than some other standard feeders such as crickets, mealworms & blackworms. Larval insects accumulate fat during their development so should be used sparingly.

If you want to improve the Ca:p ratio they can easily be dusted prior to feeding. I store mine in calcium fortified flaked oat cereal. I doubt the maggots eat the cereal but some certainly sticks to them when being fed.
 

Coastal Groovin

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So maggots are a great free food source and should be part of a varied well balanced salamander diet. But care should be taken not to over feed your animals. I forgot to add that maggots are a great food for large tropical fish such as Oscars and African Chiclids. Im sure that other fish like Butterfly fish and Archer fish would love them also.
 

danec1987

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Although I feed my salamanders a variety of bugs (fruitflies, worms etc) I find the easiest (and cheapest) food source is certainly maggots. As BillYannone pointed out, if you are to take the approach of leaving a dead fish out to collect them then it's not the most pleasant of experiences but I'd say it's worth it!

Does anybody know if blow flies are suitable at all? I'm pretty sure mine would eat anything but I don't want to risk making them ill.


Many thanks
 

danec1987

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Forgive me if this has already been mentioned previously but according to this article on flies they are also attracted to compost heaps! I wish I'd known this before I started to leave fish to rot! Next stop - compost.

Anyone have any idea about salamanders stomaching blow flies? Can't seem to find anything myself.

Thanks,


Dane
 

danec1987

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Haha thanks for that, I'll give it a go!
 

Risigan

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I have found that a 2 liter bottle with some kind of meat in it attracts lots of fly's and it is easy to collect maggots. If you invert the top it has a similar effect to a minnow trap in that it captures flies that can't find the opening.
 

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I have read a lot about how difficult it is said to breed non flying houseflies, the media smells bad and if it does not, it is common that the flies do not lay their eggs and so on. So I set up 4st cultures 4 days ago, approximately 30-35st flies in each can, and today it started to pop up eggs.

From what I see now it seems no more difficult than culture bananaflies. I will keep you updated how it goes tho.

This is the ingrediens. And do not smell bad in any way.

80g wheat bran.
80g dry milk
80g soy flour
One bag dry yeast

Mix the ingredients and pour down water carefully. Must not get to wet, but more like a dough.
 

grius

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Well, When I open the lid it smells strongly of yeast, but with the lid on the smell is nothing that disturbs me anyways. And the media seem to work very good as I now can see maggots in my cultures.

So a little smelly but nothing that will be a probleme. But maybe the amont of yeast can be reduced a pinch. I will experiment with the recipe later.
 

grius

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quick update.

There are 100s of maggots in my cultures now, and they are crawling everywhere. So next time I might need a larger culture cup.

This mix really works!
 

Coastal Groovin

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Funny this post comes alive again. I just found a comman crackle (type of bird) dead in my yard last week. It had been torn up a little by a cat. I buried it in some very rich loose garden soil. Just 2-3 inches under. I forgot where I buried it and dug it up again a week later looking for worms. The shovel of dirt contained about 300 very large flesh fly maggots. My axies were very happy. I may try this method with a half pound fish. Burying it will cover the smell.
 

grius

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Here you go. This is my second culture start, and maggots are soon in good size for feeding to my small salamanders.



 
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