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How To Raise Your Own Fruit Flies

You can raise your own fruit flies from a store bought culture of flies.

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Fruit flies are ideal food for small reptiles such as certain chameleons. It is not that hard to raise your own from a store bought culture of flies. Adjust the following to your needs. Purchase a fruit fly culture to start your own cultures and collect the following ingredients. This recipe is for approximately 15 cultures.

  • 10 cups potato flakes
  • 6 cups to start of each: H2O and vinegar
  • 1 cup brewer’s yeast
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 4 ounces Vit-All
  • 2 ounces Miner-All
  • Raffia shredded palm
  • Add 1 tablespoon of powdered milk to the Drosophilia hydei culture.

Mix all dry ingredients except sugar. Blend in mixer. I use a hand blender. Mix sugar and water until dissolved. Blend with dry ingredients and vinegar. Add more vinegar and water in equal parts as needed to achieve a consistency of applesauce. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.


fruit fly

Sanjay Acharya/Wikipedia

A fruit fly feeding on a banana. Fruit flies make great feed for smaller reptiles such as baby chameleons.

Depending on your area, you need to adjust the amount of water needed to create a good culture. If you live in a humid area, make the culture about as dry as an uncooked meat ball. It will absorb humidity from the air. If you live where it is very dry, like I do, mix culture to resemble runny applesauce.


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Use 7-inch-tall deli cups with the coffee-filter breathable tops. Add 1⁄4 cup mixture per culture.

Add enough raffia to loosely fill remaining space in the culture. Be sure to get raffia into the medium. Add approximately 50 to 100 flies to starter culture from purchased culture.

Store at room temperature 74 to 80 degrees. Drosophila hydei will hatch in approximately 20 days. Drosophila melanogaster will hatch in approximately 10 days. Do not start to feed off culture until larvae have formed on sides. Two to three hatch cycles will occur if you feed off regularly to prevent over population of culture, which may result in poor production.