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 Wild BSF versus inbred "Tame" Flies 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:26 am
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Location: Durban, South Africa
Post Wild BSF versus inbred "Tame" Flies
Apologies to PeteB for hijacking your post but I wanted to create a discussion thread on this subject including the selective breeding aspects. Your post was the earliest and will sort to the top of this thread chronologically. Relevant posts from other threads will be incorporated into this one.

This began with a post by ChrisS77 (link).
ChrisS77 wrote:
... I've read a study ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24843926 ) that strains vary greatly depending on their region, with a specific strain from the Wuhan province of china being about 45% more effective at waste reduction in some cases taking 30% less time to reach prepupal stage.
There is more about this study in the Knowledge Base (link)

BW




People have so many different stories to tell about BSF that one sometimes wonders if we're dealing with the same species.
Is it possible that 'pet shop' flies have evolved into something different?
I'm thinking of silkworm moths, which cannot survive in the wild, and have lost the ability to fly.
Does anyone know of any papers on the subject?


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Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:37 am
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:59 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: Wild BSF versus inbred "Tame" Flies
I think that the flies used in scientific studies in the US might be different species, because they have been bred in captivity for dozens and dozens of generations. For those of us in Australia, most of our flies are wild-caught, but insects evolve fairly quickly - perhaps the birds here made easy pickings of aggressive soldier flies that stayed on the same leaf for hours?


Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:13 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Variation In Different BSF Strains / Selective Breeding
This is why I love this hobby. Can you imagine having a stud black soldier fly for breeding?

I remember a while back there was an American entomologist searching around for samples internationally to compare. According to the literature (which I don't trust overmuch) the evolutionary pressures on the fitness of the BSF are that bigger males dominate lekking spots, and that predatory wasps and birds would pressure in the opposite direction. Insect size is usually restricted by oxygen requirements - but even in stratiomiydae the flies can get a lot bigger.

Image

This timber fly is small for her species...

I wonder how big we can breed them when people get the system down. Selectively picking the largest ones for the breeding chamber could lead to some very cool results.


Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:14 pm
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Location: Alberta Canada
Post Re: Growth Rate Variation In Different BSF Strains
It's done with other livestock (cattle etc) so it's not to far of a stretch to breed for bigger better BSF or BSFL (hungrier).

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:32 am
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Post Re: Variation In Different BSF Strains / Selective Breeding
From this post (link)
Djeung wrote:
Is there really a difference between the "wild" population and the "domesticated" ones? At what point do they all begin to blend together, especially when we release flies into the environment? I've released hundreds of flies into the wild while cleaning my breeder box out, and now my compost bin has lots of grubs.
That's true but consider the larger indoor operations like Phoenixworm.com (link), Reptiworms.com (link) and Enviroflight (link). They may be working with isolated populations where selective breeding would work well.

Anyone heard of selective breeding with insect populations? I would imagine that something has been done with silkworms and honey bees (other than the ill fated African bee experiments).

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BorealWormer

I Believe The Black Soldier Fly Has The Potential To Be A Beneficial Insect Second Only To Pollinating Bees


Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:21 pm
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:41 am
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Location: Riverside, MO
Post Re: Variation In Different BSF Strains / Selective Breeding
This last month and a half I've finally had some "confirmed" sightings of wild BSF adults coming around my BSFL compost bin. I was immediately impressed by their size and energy - particularly since my second generation of adult flies from my purchased starter kit are undersized and feeble compared to the first (I hope this is not a trend that continues).

While thus far I've been keeping all my larvae and allowing them all to pupate and eclose into my sheltered outdoor breeding enclosure, I'm planning to eventually sift the crawl-off and only keep the larger ones - feeding the runts to poultry and/or aquaculture (which have not yet materialized).

I'm also suddenly very interested in the genetics of the wild flies in my area for reasons stated above. I actually captured a wild visitor yesterday - It really looked to be a female hunting for a good spot to deposit eggs - and put her in with my captive adults. Maybe this infusion of wild genes will do good things for my colony. I think I'll also try harder to obtain donations of wild eggs in the future - should be easier now that I have a densely populated bin - and see how things turn out.

I do think it's possible that the offspring of wild flies, kept captive, may quickly regress to the comparatively meek, stunted things I've got now... perhaps constant pressure from predators and and scarcity is the only thing keeping them vigorous generation after generation.


Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Variation In Different BSF Strains / Selective Breeding
Referring to Dr Tomberlin's paper on BSF development link, you notice that his best prepupal weight is 0.16 gram.
I've weighed prepupae on many occasions, and I'd say my average is more like 0.2 gram - an increase of 25% :D


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Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Variation In Different BSF Strains / Selective Breeding
Well Pete me old boy,
The armchair entomologist in me says that we can explain that because there is no natural selection for size in Tomberlain's captive population, as the natural lekking behaviour is muted within a greenhouse. Because the larger males no longer have an advantage in guarding territory, the average size of adults will have trended downwards overtime.

:geek:


Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:28 pm
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