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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was having lots of problems trying to separate out the larvae from the adult rice flour beetles. I bought another tiny hole strainer, but it didn't let out the adults OR the larvae, although it did a great job of straining out the flour. The little hole strainer (as opposed to the tiny hole strainer) would let the larvae, the adults, and the flour through the little holes. Today while I was straining out the flour, due to a fruit fly shortage I was ready to grab the tweezers and pick out the adults one by one. Instead I grabbed a shiny teaspoon from the silverware drawer and put the strained larvae and beetles onto it. Lo and behold, the adults would climb over to the side of the spoon and bail out, but the larvae was too slow to do that. So I had my larvae strained out and ready to feed my little guys.

I already have split up the eggs into new flour, but didn't have enough new larvae in those separate cultures to feed.

I have got to find out what is happening to my fruit flies. I was doing great with culturing the little suckers, but all of the sudden I had no fruit flies ready to feed. I have two cultures set up, one from this weekend. The other one that I have set up should have flies now, but it doesn't. I now have some kind of red thing in the cultures, could it be red mold?

Thanks for any help.

sue
0.0.4 auratus
0.0.1 azureus
 

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other rice beetle idea

I believe this is an AZDR idea.... seperate out your beetles and larvae like you did into another container, and place strips of cloth over the side. The beetles will climb up and out of the container quickly, leaving the larvae behind.

I had another friend show me his way of doing it... but I don't remember the details. It was at IAD '02 and I've slept since then.

I'm not sure whats happening with your cultures, but you might want to start new. If you do have a fungus or something similar, it will be transfered on the flies when you make new cultures. Better to buy new flies and start from scratch.
 

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Hey Kero,
It sounds like mold in the fruit fly cultures. Once that forms it is very hard to get flies. I get it in a percentage of my culture as well, so I don't have a solution for you. Just make more cultures from any "good" ones. I don't know what culture media you are using, but maybe try using a mix of vinegar and water as opposed to just water, it helps.
As for the flour beetles, the ADZR way is one alternative. I also have 2 strainers the one with tiny holes and one that lets almost all the buggers get through. I can tell you from experience that the smaller strainer lets very tiny larvae and eggs get through. Your best bet is to do this little trick and you will have an easy time of the beetles.

Strain your entire culture with the small strainer and use the adults and larvae to start another culture. With the sifted flour there will be eggs and small larvae. In ONE week strain the flour/first culture. You will find it teeming with larvae. I use the larger strainer so that I only get the larger larvae. You can keep doing this for about a month. After a month strain the second culture and you can either start culture number 3 or put the adults and larvae back into culture number 1. I think you can re-use the flour for about 3-4 times. An even better description of this is at:

http://doylesdartden.com/flourbeetles.html

Hope this helps.

-Ben
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I am planning to pick up some more cultures from the Manassas VA reptile show this weekend.

Can you really only use the flour 3-4 times?

sue
 

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You could use it more often, but you will lose production of larvae, so you will want to replace it. If you do get 3-4 uses that is 6 - 9 months or so. That is way cheaper than FF cultures. Also you don't have to use the shoebox containers. I use the 32oz deli cups with a paper towel over the top to keep the adults in. They are only half to 3/4 filled with flour.

-Ben
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fruit fly woes solved!

I figured out why my fruit fly cultures were having problems. I had put them all into an open top box to keep them organized, instead of spread out all over the place. Apparently the little guys like to see light, because after I took the vials out and put them on top of the bookcase downstairs, they all started reproducing like crazy. So now I have four containers filled with lively little fruit flies.

On a separate note, I received my (huge) order of fruit fly culture cups from Superior Enterprise today. Thank goodness that I have two friends who are willing to split the order with me, otherwise I would have 240 cups, which would probably rot before I could use them all.

sue
 
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