Fruit Fly Culture D. melanogaster Wingless

More information is available on our Fruit Fly Culture Care Sheet, like how to use them properly.

We offer 3 different sizes of Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly cultures, and in the dropdown menu below you must choose your size and there are three sizes and a couple shipping options.

Keep in mind that we only guarantee live arrival on these with slower priority mail if your temps are between 33 and 83 degrees. If your temps are outside that range, choose express mail for the live guarantee.

1. The small culture is $3.00. It's just under 4 inches tall and one inch wide with a foam plug and produces flies for 3 to 5 weeks on average. This is usually enough to get a praying mantis or other small pet bug through the early couple instars (or molts). There is no additional cost, regardless of whether you'll be checking out with priority mail (no live guarantee) or express mail (live guarantee).

2. The medium culture (black "shaker" lid) is $8.00, whether you order it with priority mail (no live guarantee) or express mail with a live guarantee. Many people prefer this size because the lids make feeding much easier.

We offer two options for shipping the large cultures at are 32 ounce deli cups.

3a. Large culture by priority mail is $8 ONLY if you also select priority mail at checkout later. We only guarantee live arrival with priority mail when temps at destination are 33 to 83 degrees. If your weather is outside that range there is NO live guarantee and so the next option for Express mail is instead required.

3b. Large culture by Express mail requires us to use a bigger box than we normally use and so it's the $8 culture cost plus another surcharge of $8 (for a total of $16). And then you must also choose Express mail at checkout ($27 for shipping). The reason for this is that the culture is itself $8 and the larger box will cost us $35 to ship.

If you are really in a hurry to get some feeders for your pet, I suggest you contact me first if you're not sure about whether the weather will delay your order.

What you might want to know...

Never feed off all your adult flies or the culture won't reproduce. See my fruit fly care sheet, here.

The small culture is suitable for one or maybe two small pet predators (like mantises). It may produce 100+ flies, on average. The medium culture is tailored to groups of 1 to 5 young praying mantises. In the 6 or so weeks that it produces flies it will make upwards of 500 of them. The larger culture we offer is in the conventional 32 ounce cup and is usually overkill for anybody feeding small numbers of mantises or other predatory pets as it will produce thousands of flies (an unnecessary number of wasted lives in my opinion).

This listing is for "wingless" Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. These are the small ones, as opposed to the D. hydei which we also offer (see related product below). We use only Repashy Superfly (see related products below) as the food media for these cultures. This brand is chock full of nutrients and micro-nutrients, and accepted overwhelmingly for producing highly nutritious flies, whether your pet is a dart frog, praying mantis, etc.

We create new cultures each week, dropping in enough flies to ensure a good production of eggs and larvae. The life cycle only takes about 7 days to produce new adult flies. We ship the cultures slightly on the dry side to help prevent spillage during shipping. However, we do not guarantee that your mail carrier or one of the dozens of hands that the box passes through between here and there won't hold it upside down. Even if this happens, it doesn't typicallly kill the flies and you can set the culture on its end and tap the media back down if necessary.

Upon arrival, it is recommended that you add a little bit of water to rehydrate the media at the bottom. More may be necessary if your culture appears dry. When the right amount of water has been absorbed by the media, the mixture should move slowly like molasses when the container is held at an angle. Not too thick, and just barrrely runny. Add the water slowly and in small amounts and wait a while in between.

It is recommended that you tap the side of cultures to knock down the flies before opening them, and never feed all the flies off or there won't be any left to continue laying eggs in the media at the bottom of the cage (which produces your next generation of flies about 7 days later). Flies lay eggs all the time, so you should have a constantly reproducing culture after about the 2nd week and then through to about 2 or 3 weeks after the media is all used up (a total of 6 to 8 weeks, on average from the day we make the large culture).

More information is available on my Fruit Fly Culture Care Sheet.

Drosophila melanogaster flightless fruit flies
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  • Item #: bic450
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Price $3.00
Availability In-Stock

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