BREEDING FRUIT FLIES | Back to Caresheet Index |

:: Breeding Fruit flies

Anyone who keeps the smaller types of animals as I do, poison frogs and tarantulas, might find the following of some use, some lizard keepers might find it helpful? I don’t know!
Here goes..
Fruit flies are the staple diet of nearly all types of poison frogs, they are also the bane of all poison frog keepers, they may be easy to breed (as you will see later) but they escape easily (and they get EVERYWHERE even the flightless ones!) and your partner/parent will know doubt shout/moan at you for covering the kitchen, food processor and freezer in what looks like fruity smelling clay which quickly turns into putrid smelling sludge. That being said once you have made up some of the mix used some and frozen the rest you may only need to buy a new batch once every six – nine weeks, perhaps longer.

::Equipment required

Mixing bowl.
Food processor or liquidiser.
Large spoon.
Large jars Cadbury Roses (the plastic ones) and the largest Helmans mayo jars seem to work best for me (minimum two)
Fine netting (net curtains are good)
Some fruit flies (to get you started)


Any type of soft fruit. (I’ve found banana and paw paw work best)
Supermarket own brand readybrek.

That’s it!


Firstly cut large holes out of the tops of the jar lids and stick the net over it or just drape the net over the top of the jar and screw the lid over it.
Take the fruit and liquidise it, if your using banana just top and tail the fruit don’t bother to skin it, you can if you want I’ve noticed no difference either way.
When it’s a smooth pulp take what you are going to use and freeze the rest. Pour the fruit pulp into a suitable dish and add the readybrek until you are left with a mixture that forms a ball easily with a spoon (like wet clay).
Spoon the mixture into the jars to about 1.5cm (roughly ½’’) then add loads of fruit flies, if you don’t add a lot the mix tends to go mouldy quickly. Put the jar somewhere warm and wait. Depending on temperature you should have your first crop in a week (maybe longer, maybe shorter).
This should keep you going for a couple of weeks but keep an eye on things as if the culture starts to wane you need to start the next one (hence the two jars) fairly quickly especially if you keep frogs which seem to loose weight faster than they put it on.
To save even more money try asking at your local supermarket if they have any old bananas that they are going to throw away that you might be able to buy cheaply (but don’t get any ideas asking at Sainsbury’s in Farlington Dave and Karen as I’ve got the monopoly there) most do even if they say they don’t just tell them what you want them for they’ll either sell them to you out of curiosity or think you’re a complete nutter and sell you them to get you out of the shop!!

When the eggs the flies have laid hatch the maggots climb the sides of the jar and pupate then (depending on temperature again) hatch into flies which congregate on the netting at the top of the jar, it’s then a simple job of either quickly unscrewing the lid and shaking the netting into the viv or using a pooter to suck and blow them where you want them to be. (Don’t know what a pooter is? I’ll leave that ‘till next month, if someone reminds me!)
Give it a go it some how feels better if you’ve grown the food yourself and you could save yourself some money in the process.

By Christopher Richards