Fruit Fly Culturing - A How-To Guide

Fruit flies are a great and easy food source for small herpetofauna and fish, but many people are intimidated by the process of culturing them. This how-to guide will show you step-by-step the process we have used to culture fruit flies for the last 10 year. 

Step 1: Take a 32 oz deli cup and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.


Step 2: Measure out 1/3 cup of our dry media and add to the vinegar in 32 oz cup. The media should soak up all the liquid vinegar, but this will wet the bottom layer of media, making mixing easier. 


Step 3: Add 1/4 cup water to vinegar-media mix. 


Step 4: Mix up vinegar-media-water mixture.


Step 5: Add fly pupae substrate. For D. melanogaster flies, this can be anything that stands up in the culture and doesn't overly degrade in moisture. For D. hydei flies, we recommend excelsior (wood wool) as their larvae will eat paper products. Commonly used substrates are folder coffee filters, cup up paper plates, or excelsior (wood wool).


Step 6: Top 32 oz deli cup with a cloth-lined lid and microwave cultures for 45 seconds. 


Step 7: Add flies from a producing culture. 


Step 8: Set aside and keep in the 70s F


That's all that's needed to be done to culture flies. These newly made cultures will begin producing in approximately 2 weeks and will produce for 2-3 weeks after. It is recommended that you made new cultures weekly to ensure a steady supply of flies.