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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have my leucs in the classroom (4th grade), and went to feed them before the kids got there and saw that flies had escaped my culture. Dreading the thought of my principal's reaction, I quickly squished the escapees and inspected the culture for cracks. Seeing none, I then saw in horror as a double ended fly crawled through one of the pinprick vents (these are the standard issue fly culture containers with the standard lids). Some of flies were blacker than the others, and some were double-ended (not mating)!

Freaking out and kids due in the room any moment, I put the culture into the frog tank. Frogs thrilled with idea, but they keep trying to catch the flies on the inside of the container from the outside.

Any thoughts? I'm wondering if it was mean to do that to the froggies. They are currently sitting on top of the culture trying to catch the flies on the inside of the lid...

And what do I do with this culture? It is still producing and I'd hate to lose that many flies.
 

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You really need to get the fabric lined lids rather than the ones with the small holes.


I would venture to guess that what you have (blacker flies, that you said were "double ended" ?) are parasitic wasps that have invaded your culture.


An introduction to parasitic wasps of Drosophila and the antiparasite immune response. - PubMed - NCBI

These are smaller than drosophila and can fit through the pin holes in that style of lid. They are often seen mating and appear "double ended".


The frogs can eat these wasps as well (they only "sting" drosophila larvae/pupae), so putting the culture in the viv would be fine as long as the frogs can't get into the culture itself. If you are concerned with the frogs trying to get the flies seen through the sides of the culture, you could cover it with tape so they can't see. Also, you could make one of the pinholes larger (but too small frog frogs) so the drosophila can escape into the frog viv as well. Some people do this for "vacation feeding".
 

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My suggestion is to get the lids that have the paper mesh. Those seem to work well to keep the flies in.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I feel better now. This is the second culture that this has happened to, but the last one I only saw a couple and this was ridiculous. I have removed the culture from the tank (had to wait for the frogs to get off of it, they quite liked being on top of it). Frogs are now sitting where it was before, staring up at the top of the tank.

I'm a little embarrassed about the "double-ended ones." It looked so different...
 

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If you are going to cultures in an public place - consider bringing a small FF trap. So if some get loose - you're more likely to catch them.

You can put cultures in a viv. I make mini cultures for times where I'm going to be away for a few days. They are clear tubes and the frogs can see the flies inside. No harm in this.

Note that the filter-paper vents/lids CAN get wet from viv humidity which can/will cause them to weaken and in time, fail. But that takes days or longer.
 

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I always put my cultures in a large Sterilite bin (mine is 66 qt) with lots of diatamaceous earth in the bottom. This stops mites and other crawling bugs from getting in the cultures and it helps trap any FFs that escape. I can look in mine now and see quite a few FFs that made it out of the deli cup, but not the bin. Hope this helps with the principal issue.
 

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One thing to be mindful of is that placing cultures in a Viv is a sure-fire way to invite a mite infestation into the cultures. I'm always careful to keep cultures away from my vivs. I would recommend what has been mentioned... Get some separate Rubbermaid/sterilite bins to keep the cultures in.
 

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I hope I didn't confuse anyone with my earlier post / response.

I agree with Tom that your main cultures should not be kept in the viv (and the other excellent suggestions), but a split off of your main culture can be kept in the viv as a source of flies under certain conditions (such as a short absence / vacation).
Or as your culture appears to be contaminated by parasitic wasps, then it's OK to also put this in the viv as you have the wasps escaping and the culture is contaminated already.

You will need to get a new culture for future feeding / culture and I would recommend using the fabric lids as these will do a better job of keeping the wasps out of the culture.

Making flytraps with vinegar, etc. will help you keep any FF escapees from the viv in check (never will be zero).
 
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