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Ok I see all kinds of talk about different kinds of fruit flies (FF). I have some Drosophila melanogaster that I originally purchased from Petco as my starter culture but I am not sure what variety they are... I mean I know that is their name but I hear everyone using slang for the different varieties.

Just trying to get a better understanding of everything. :confused:
 

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The flies I've gotten from Petco are vestigial winged, meaning they have wings but cannot maintain flight. The adults in the jar will be stunted (tiny), but will make a culture that reproduces like crazy.

They're kind of fun compared to the wingless, as they will jump and buzz a few inches, but they tend to climb straight up to the top of the vivarium as fast as possible. The wingless seem to crawl around a little more slowly and stay lower in the tank.

This has been my (limited) experience.
 

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The petco kind say "Flightless Fruitflies" but it clashes with what everyone usually coins as flightless. This is what I have gathered but I may be wrong. If anyone has a different view please let me know.

Wingless are like ants with dwarfed wings. They stay low and crawl

Flightless aka "Hoppers" do big old jumps but cannot get airborne. Hence they just hop. Lots of activity in these guys.

Hydei are giants that like to climb and usually perch on leaves and higher ground, they rarely hang out on the floor unless they are feeding on fruits or culture that is low.

Hope this helps.
 

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The melanogaster from Petco are fine to use when starting cultures. I have used them plenty of times. My girlfriend is actually a district manager for Petco. I have noticed that different Petco's carry different flies. Some carry Hydei flies. They are larger and have wings but tend to flutter instead of fly. The cultures I have used are melanogaster and labeled from "The Fruit Fly Company." These do not have wings and are typically smaller. I'm not a fly expert but found out not too long ago that they can produce wings in certain scenarios. I opened a fresh culture and flies came swarming out. It was a startling and comical situation. Petco charges about $10.00 per culture. As I said, they are fine to use to start cultures but very expensive in relation to creating your own. Josh's Frogs has put together a nice "How To Guide" to determine the right kind of flies for you. I have attached the link below.

Josh’s Frogs How-To Guides » Blog Archive » Which Fruit Fly is Right for Me?
 

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To add on Jay's comment. Beware of letting normal fruit flies mix in with your culturing fruit flies. If a flying fruit fly gets into the batch it can mate with the others and the resulting offspring will be able to fly.

This is easily overlooked until you have a nice swarm in there and think your going to get an awesome feeding when :: poof :: like a master magician you turn the bottle and look into an empty cup.

This has happened to me and although funny, trying to catch these flying guys becomes a serious pain lol.

PS: Traps of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap inside of mason jars with 1 hole should help catch most of em.
 

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I always tap my cultures and watch closely for fliers before re-tapping and opening the top to feed. I'm scared to death of the legendary black cloud of marital discourse, aka escaped fliers.
 

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In referance to an earlier reply, I have found exposing your cultures to higher temperatures will cause some of the "flightless" cultures to produce fliers. Happens alot in shipping in the warm months to me. This was a thread from a earlier question.
As a side light I have found "jumpers" to be economically for me the best in production and predictability but you have to fins what works best with your conditions (medium, temperature light etc...)
 
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