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 Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks 
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:32 pm
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Post Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
I spent this past summer focused on developing a BSF colony in my in-town Seattle yard. Great success, but not because of my efforts. My mothering instincts kept butting in and disrupting the natural process...

I collected thousands of larvae of every stage and brought them indoors in Sept. I have an indoor breading area made from a see-thru plastic bin with a 4 ft tall clear plastic tent which sits in my large southern exposure window. I have a heating pad under the bin and I mist daily. Inside I have a smaller bin with shredded paper for pupation and inside that is another smaller container with an egg trap that is baited coffee grounds and fermented chicken scratch. I also have a lekking 'tree'.

Now I have a couple hundred mature larvae (self harvested and transferred) in the pupation bin. They are all cuddled and squirming under the container. They have wiggled down so they are right against the plastic of the bin which sits directly on the large bin which is directly on the heating pad.

So now for the issue: I have had some pupate, but the most active adults I ever had in one day was 5. The mature larvae were placed in 1 cup quantities per week over a 4 week period. I would have thought that with the quantity of larvae I would have more adult flies active at the same time.

Any ideas or suggestions?
--LLL

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Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:25 pm
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Tarvus summarizes pupation nicely (link) "About the earliest you can expect an adult to emerge from the "pupation" stage is about 3 weeks. Some take several months. Once they start to emerge, you may see a few each subsequent day. ..."

It may just be that they are slow to pupate in your system.

Do have any problems with larvae escaping from your system? There will always be a few that wander but it's usually the prepupal larvae which have stopped eating that go looking for a way out. If so, you'll probably want to look at a barrier of some sort. Jerry lines the top interior circumference with the rough (not the fuzzy) strip of two-part Velcro (link) and there are also the mechanical barriers used by PeteB (link) and (link).

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Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:18 pm
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Lorri LarvaeLover wrote:
... Now I have a couple hundred mature larvae (self harvested and transferred) in the pupation bin. They are all cuddled and squirming under the container. They have wiggled down so they are right against the plastic of the bin which sits directly on the large bin which is directly on the heating pad.
Their tendency to huddle under objects has been noted by others on the forum. I believe it's related to Thigmotaxis (link), (link)

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Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:39 pm
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
thanks BW
I had read all of that info. The concern is that with so many, (I actually just counted out a cup full of mature larvae from my stock in my refrigerator and the count was approx 800. So 800 x 4 = 3200 larvae in there??? I really had hoped to have a few more pupate at the same time. Another question was the intense activity where they have congregated. I thought when they crawled off to prepare to pupate that they sort of went dormant. Aren't they burning up their fat supply with all that activity...I guess I don't need to worry. I need to just let the kids do their thing. :roll:

-LLL

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Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:22 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
LLL from your description I can't see anything obvious that needs to be altered (light, temperature, humidity) so I guess just wait and see. Patience is hard sometimes ;)

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Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:40 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
LLL,

I'm in Woodinville, about 15 miles NE from you. I had the same concerns as you when I started my breeder box. Then one day, I had over 20 flies hatch. The next day, another 20+. Within a week or two of the first few, I soon had hundreds in my box. After about a month, I had just as many dead carcasses on the bottom of my box as I did live flies. From those flies though, I had lots of new egg clusters (and I still get about 3-4 new clusters each day).

I would put all of the eggs into another smaller container to hatch them because I didn't have very good luck hatching them in my breeder box. I was worried after a few weeks because they didn't hatch and I read on the forum here that if they hadn't hatched in a week or so, they were probably not viable eggs. What I discovered was that they need a warmer space than my garage and more humid than my breeder box. Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife and she suggested that I put them above the refrigerator in the kitchen to hatch, which was a great idea because it is a warm AND humid environment. Once the BSFL are big enough to play with their cousins in the garage, I transfer them there to continue their growth. Now, I believe I have the perfect (albeit, several different boxes) system to keep them going over the winter here in WA state!


Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:44 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Thanks for the encouraging word, Djeung. Yesterday there were 4 and today I have 22. I even found 4 adults in my office (where I had my feeding and crawl-off) that I think emerged after being in the carpet. I am amazed at their ability to get out of containment. They were in a dishpan for feeding which sat inside a 4" straight sided dry bin which sat on a dry 2" straight sided bin lid.
--Lorri

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Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:53 pm
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Okay so I have larvae that are the very dark brown color and crawled out of the food source. They are in a bin in my basement which is probably around 60-65°F. I regularly give them a light drizzling of water to keep their paper/cardboard bedding damp, but not wet. I don't have any food in there. They still lightly move and crawl around. They have been this way for almost nine weeks. I am worried they will pass away from exhausting their fat stores. I have had may be around 5 flies 4 weeks ago. Please help and give suggestions I don't want my little guys to die, they are like my pets. :cry: :)


Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:38 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
I think they need a much warmer environment in order to pupate. Probably in the high 70's or warmer.


Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:49 pm
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Do they need any type of food it sustenance?


Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:36 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Yes, they do need temps of around 80°F. Even in these conditions, it still needs patience; the flies can take anywhere between 3 weeks and 4 months to emerge.
A thick layer of bedding helps to keep them calm (thigmotaxis)
I've had good results with mixtures of leaf litter, potting soil and compost; in fact anything that's loose and fluffy.
Their eating days are over, all they need is slightly damp bedding. :)


Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:50 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Patience is the key Compostingguy16. As others have said, it can take months.

I remember watching a pupa from my first batch that I thought was about to eclose. Lots of movement (imagine someone swapping ends inside a sleeping bag) but I gave up after a couple of hours. The adult eclosed OK a day or two later.

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Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:45 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
Well I have them in a relatively thin bedding of damp ripped and shredded paper, paper napkins, paper bags like the paper McDonald's bags. I don't have compost, potting soil, or leaf litter in the bedding, but if you'd think this would help I do have all of these on hand. Would a heat lamp, or heat mat, or even heater be help full to help warm them up? So they need light?


Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:29 am
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Post Re: Mature Larvae from crawloff not pupating after 8 weeks
My daily temperature goes from 22 to 32 C in a 150 sqm greenhouse. The mature pre-pupae go into a net cage which is 2 cubic metres. The hatching tray has a 1" layer of soil then 2" of sawdust, then 2" of leaf litter, this is all kept damp. I am constantly adding pre-pupae in the hopes of achieving a constant rate of hatching, mating and egg laying. Instead I will get a hatching of up to 200 adults over a period of about a week which will result in some mating and yield a few clusters of eggs then after a fortnight back to nothing. I am totally puzzled as to what I can do to maintain a constant state of hatching?


Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:33 am
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