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Old 07-29-2020, 10:30 PM
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Default How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

Hi. I am raising flightless fruit flies. I am using a recipe I got from this forum (potatoe flakes, nutritional yeast, spirulina, etc). I am wanting to separate the larvae from the goopy medium for a timelapse photography project.

I've tried using fine cheese cloth thinking that the medium would wash away through it, leaving only the larvae - but it didn't really work. With a normal sieve the larvae get caught in the holes. Anyone have any ideas on how best to do this? Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:36 PM
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Start a new culture in an enclosure suitable to photography?

A thin rectangular one comes to mind. No excelsior.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

Thanks. I should provide some context. I have made 3d printed letter stencils (7 cm tall) that sit on the glass of a flatbed scanner. I then put the larvae in the stencil so that they move around and in so doing create an animated image of the letter.

This is a test I did. The green stuff is the medium. When they exit the medium they move around, creating the animation I want. There is black felt on top so the images are just larvae on black. I'd like to do away with the medium completely so that I can just place a ball of larvae in the stencil and have them define its contours it over 30-60 minutes. The medium kind of spreads out over time and then you loose that nice larvae-on-black contrast.

One photo is being taken about every 10 seconds.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/08hxwqttiq...arvae.m4v?dl=0

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmaticeasteregg View Post
Thanks. I should provide some context. I have made 3d printed letter stencils (7 cm tall) that sit on the glass of a flatbed scanner. I then put the larvae in the stencil so that they move around and in so doing create an animated image of the letter.

This is a test I did. The green stuff is the medium. When they exit the medium they move around, creating the animation I want. There is black felt on top so the images are just larvae on black. I'd like to do away with the medium completely so that I can just place a ball of larvae in the stencil and have them define its contours it over 30-60 minutes. The medium kind of spreads out over time and then you loose that nice larvae-on-black contrast.

One photo is being taken about every 10 seconds.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/08hxwqttiq...arvae.m4v?dl=0

Thanks!
When they are crawling on the sides scoop them out with a spoon.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

I was able to separate hydei in a miso grade strainer by putting some in that i spooned out and spraying the media thru and away with a hand sprayer that I use for misting.

I found it easier going another way with another larvae type, without mucking thru excelsior of cultures.

"Tea Balls" are same grade SS mesh as the miso strainers.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

I dont want to speak for him but there is a gentleman here that has a refined method using plankton seives - it would probably serve your purpose better than any other.

Hopefully he will see this post or try search plankton seive.
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I found the thread talking about using a plankton sieve after luring the larvae into a water soluble food like honey - brilliant!

Anyone have any ideas for less expensive foods or recipes to use to lure the larvae with that would be water soluble like honey is?
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:22 AM
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Do you really want Drosophila larvae? A bigger species larvae are pretty easy to separate from media. There’s a house fly species that gives live birth too. There’s people that breed those if it sounds easier/more productive.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

Hmm yeah good point. What species is that? That could be interesting, although I don't know if my roommates would tolerate it lol.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: How to separate fruit fly larvae from medium?

A couple of notes from someone who works with D mel. on a daily basis. If you've got a dissection microscope handy you can easily fish these guys out with a pair of fine forceps. This can still be done by eye too, just takes a little longer. The larvae are pretty tough critters. I commonly have to dissect out their brains. This is done with them in a solution - for purposes such as yours you could place them in RO water as you collect them from the media. You should easily have 30 minutes to collect them like this. This will clean them off and make it easy to transfer into your stencil afterward. When you're ready just wick off the water with something.

Hope this helps. Cool idea by the way!
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