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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a lot of recommendations on the boards on how to set up a fruit fly culture as well as which medias produce the best... there is a genetic component to both of this items (and with the media, the media can influence it as well)..

If you start all of your cultures from the first major emergence from the pupae (boom) then you will rapidly select your flies to be very intolerant of the conditions in the cultures that occurs after the this time line. This leads to the commonly reported occurance of the flies hatched out of the pupa and now the cultures have crashed and there are few if any flies left in the cultures.
As a further complication, this also selects flies for rapid maturation and can affect thier nutritonal profile as they have a poor energy utilization of the media.
(for those interested in the paper see http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~mueller/pdf/JEvolBio00.pdf )
This intolerance can result in a very rapid die off of the flies (within a couple days of emergence)...

To avoid these issues, cultures should be made from more than one boom from seperate cultures. As an example, I use a flies from at least three cultures and at least 14 days difference in age.

Media can influence production due to the level of protien in the media (supplied by brewer's yeast in most formulations) but if you have flies that are intolerant to ammonia then as the protien decomposes in the media you will have them crash...

So the recommendation to start all cultures with only the first emergences from the pupa should be viewed with an eye towards the negative consequences.

Some comments,

Ed
 

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Hi

Thanks for the info Ed!

What is the lifespan of a FF? I've been told around 12-14 days.

Is the lifespan of Melanogaster and Hydei different?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The life span of a D. melanogater is between 30-37 days when the fly has a wide tolerance for the culture conditions. The 14 day is the time for a non-selected fly to go from egg to fly while selected flies (melanogaster) can complete that cycle in about 9-10 days. (for temperature effects see Developmental Temperature and Life Span in <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> )

The life span of a D. hydei is much longer given that thier life cycle is also longer but I don't have a direct reference off hand.

Ed
 

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One thing that Laura and I do is set up what we call feeder cultures. I'm do the culturing and Laura does the feeding.

We have several containers set up with media. We call them our feeders.

Every day or two as the flies hatch from our cultures we dump them into our feeders.We feed the frogs from these.

After 1 week new feeder cultures are made and the old feeders are emptied of flies and put on the racks to hatch.

We do this for a few reasons.

We get a great mix of flies from all ages

It reduces the chance of a crash in the cultures from to many flies.

We don't have dead flies in our cultures which helps prevent a mite outbreak.

Does this make sense?
 

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When I started my first cultures and was purchasing flies, I was also told the first to hatch are predominately females, which would also complicate things based on skewed sex rations...good topic, although I suspect fruit flies are a little more genetically resilient, and most practices wouldn't result in a dramatic shift in tolerances or emergence timing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I started my first cultures and was purchasing flies, I was also told the first to hatch are predominately females, which would also complicate things based on skewed sex rations...good topic, although I suspect fruit flies are a little more genetically resilient, and most practices wouldn't result in a dramatic shift in tolerances or emergence timing.
This is true for D. hydei.

Most practices it is true but when and how you start the culture with melanogaster can have a big impact.

Ed
 

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One thing to consider is that if your culturing the wingless form.If you utlize different date cultures to make a new culture you will make flying ff's . Even if you use the same date this often happens . I only use 1 culture to dump into another (new) starter for wingless .
All the other species we use don't seem to have that issue .
Happy frogging ,
Darren
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice to know Darren,

I didn't see it when I was culturing the wingless but I switched over the gliders fairly early and may have simply missed out on the pleasure.

Ed
 

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One thing to consider is that if your culturing the wingless form.If you utlize different date cultures to make a new culture you will make flying ff's . Even if you use the same date this often happens . I only use 1 culture to dump into another (new) starter for wingless
I haven't gotten any flying ffs from wingless cultures. What temp do you keep your cultures?
 

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One thing to consider is that if your culturing the wingless form.If you utlize different date cultures to make a new culture you will make flying ff's . Even if you use the same date this often happens . I only use 1 culture to dump into another (new) starter for wingless .
All the other species we use don't seem to have that issue .
Happy frogging ,
Darren
Any idea why this would happen Darren?
 

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Ed, I was wondering how common of an issue the crashing of a culture with newly hatched flies being used is. Before getting back into the dart frog hobby about a year ago I was previously into it and also cultured ff's for various other small herps. To my knowledge I haven't had 1 crash on me because of this (I regularly use first hatched), and haven't had any crash in this last year at all. Am I just lucky or is this not a very common phenomenon but can happen? All of my current cultures produce well to the 1 month mark when I discard them although the flies produced towards the end are noticeably smaller.

Now when you are speaking first emergence with melos, I'm not sure if you are speaking the first day they boom or a couple days later. I always assumed that these flies would all be considered "first emergence". Or are you talking about the next 14 days or so later when the first hatched flies have layed and their offspring hatch? Maybe I missed that.

Anyway, good info as always with data to back it up.
 

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I don't believe that temps have anything to do with wingless turning into fliers . I believe that it's a genetic . Dave from Ed's says it's because the strong gene that survives so when you mix 2 into 1 you get fliers with that fly . Has somthing to do with the mutation of the fly.
Sorry I can't pull up a fancy paper like Ed . I'm just a lowly frog breeder .lol
I can only speak from my experinces . I have for years started my cultures from the newest emergent flies . I have never had my cultures crash . Though I have had slower productivity during the changes in seasons . I have always blamed that on the genetics of sucessive reproductive cycles in the season .
The bust cycles typically only lasts for a week then they get back into the booming .
I guess it just keeps frogging interesting .
Happy frogging ,
Darren
 

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One thing that Laura and I do is set up what we call feeder cultures. I'm do the culturing and Laura does the feeding.

We have several containers set up with media. We call them our feeders.

Every day or two as the flies hatch from our cultures we dump them into our feeders.We feed the frogs from these.

After 1 week new feeder cultures are made and the old feeders are emptied of flies and put on the racks to hatch.

We do this for a few reasons.

We get a great mix of flies from all ages

It reduces the chance of a crash in the cultures from to many flies.

We don't have dead flies in our cultures which helps prevent a mite outbreak.

Does this make sense?

I go back to this. We don't culture all of our flies like this but these cultures do outpreform all of our cultures that are started from fresh flies. These flies are mixed up from several cultures. I do believe temps have something to do with fliers. I've read that one fly company doesn't like to offer flightless in the summer months because of this. I'm going to do some testing though. I'll culture some at much warmer temps and see what happens to satsify my own curiousity. I'll open them outside;) Lets say that you have a few flies with a dominant gene and start a culture with them. That dominant gene would then be carried over in the culture you're making. Therefore it would have no additional affect if you mixed several cultures. It's still the same few flies. No?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Jim,


Ed, I was wondering how common of an issue the crashing of a culture with newly hatched flies being used is. Before getting back into the dart frog hobby about a year ago I was previously into it and also cultured ff's for various other small herps. To my knowledge I haven't had 1 crash on me because of this (I regularly use first hatched), and haven't had any crash in this last year at all. Am I just lucky or is this not a very common phenomenon but can happen? All of my current cultures produce well to the 1 month mark when I discard them although the flies produced towards the end are noticeably smaller. .
Look back through the archives... I've passed this information around a couple of times now and I think we have seen a lessing of the crashes and need to replace the flies.
The change in size towards the end of the month is typically due to changes in the available nutrition of the media and loss of moisture (drying out).

Now when you are speaking first emergence with melos, I'm not sure if you are speaking the first day they boom or a couple days later. I always assumed that these flies would all be considered "first emergence". Or are you talking about the next 14 days or so later when the first hatched flies have layed and their offspring hatch? Maybe I missed that.
I'm referring to the first emergence from the pupae (first boom) as these are going to be the flies developing the quickest. The later group is going to contain later emergers which are going to have the more tolerant genes.

Does that help?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't believe that temps have anything to do with wingless turning into fliers . I believe that it's a genetic . Dave from Ed's says it's because the strong gene that survives so when you mix 2 into 1 you get fliers with that fly . Has somthing to do with the mutation of the fly.
I remember something along these lines.


Sorry I can't pull up a fancy paper like Ed . I'm just a lowly frog breeder .lol
I can only speak from my experinces . I have for years started my cultures from the newest emergent flies . I have never had my cultures crash . Though I have had slower productivity during the changes in seasons . I have always blamed that on the genetics of sucessive reproductive cycles in the season .
The bust cycles typically only lasts for a week then they get back into the booming .
I guess it just keeps frogging interesting .
Happy frogging ,
Darren
I wish I didn't have to pull up fancy papers but for some reason, its only when I do that, that I get taken seriously...

Ed
 

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I'm referring to the first emergence from the pupae (first boom) as these are going to be the flies developing the quickest. The later group is going to contain later emergers which are going to have the more tolerant genes.

Does that help?

Ed
Yes, that makes sense to me. I guess I have been wrong saying I use the first emergers because I do wait a week regularly and always just considered them the first since they were laid first. Thanks.
 

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One thing to consider is that if your culturing the wingless form.If you utlize different date cultures to make a new culture you will make flying ff's . Even if you use the same date this often happens . I only use 1 culture to dump into another (new) starter for wingless .
All the other species we use don't seem to have that issue .
Happy frogging ,
Darren
Seeing as Ed referenced this in the Beginners Section I thought I would chime in. Typically mixing flies from different dates is not what causes the problem in creating fliers. In over twenty years of raising flies, the only times that I have created fliers, was when I was experimenting with mixing different types of flies. Many years ago it was suggested that you could mix various strains of flies and that they would not interbreed, but would create different bloom times. I experimented with this for a bit, and while it may be true with mixing different species such as Melanogaster and Hydei, it doesn't turn out so well when you mix flies of the same species which have different genetic causes for their lack of flight. There are a bunch of different types of non-fliers, wingless, curly wing, gliders, etc. each having their own genetic reasons for why they can't fly. If you mix these different groups you are adding back the genetic information that they need so that their offspring can end up being able to fly. In essence you are breeding them back to the "Wild" type by giving them the all of the genetic information that they need in order to get to back to flying around your house and being a general pain in the butt. I still remember opening the brand new culture and watching this massive cloud escape and fill the kitchen. It was not a pretty site. It did create a new dance step called the dust buster cha-cha that was all the rave for a while. :D

The only other time that I have gotten fliers is when "Wild" type fliers that have gotten brought in with the bananas, have found their way into a culture through a hole in the paper towel filter, in essence doing the same thing.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don't forget you can get flies from gliders if the temperatures get warm enough..as the heat changes the protein returning it to functionality, however this isn't genetic but enviromental and will disappear once it cools down. The downside is that you won't be sure that this is the cause and that a wild type didn't get into the culture until you set up more cultures and to me isn't worth the hassel of opening a container and getting a cloud of flying flies...

Ed
 
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