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 Rearing pupa to adult 
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:12 am
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Post Rearing pupa to adult
hi all, newbie here. I'm currently trying to grow BSF pupa to adult (the pupa were bought) and wondering if you can help. This will be my third attempt, so a bit of history
attempt 1: place the pupa in a styrofoam box filled with dry soil and keep it in a netted cage (full sun). Nothing happen after weeks/months, I suspect this is due to the cold weather (just coming off winter at that time, still a bit cold)

attempt 2: place the pupa in used biscuit tin filled with dry matter such as dead leaves, branches etc and kept at greenhouse to keep it warm, I moved it to full sun every morning and keep it shaded at night (still outside), also sprayed it with water every day just to keep it moist. Again, this is no go. after weeks, I tip it over and they all (presumably) dead, left with dried out pupa (paper thin)

attempt 3: so this is where I am now and determined to get this right now. Weather is great, it's not summer, but close and even in the early morning it's not cold at all, during the day it's hot. Range between 16 to 30 deg C. I used the tin can but filled with dry soil. the can is about 6.5cm high and I spray every now and again with water to keep it moist. I kept it in the greenhouse but to keep it from getting too hot, I kept it in the shaded area, so it should be hot/warm but not burning hot + tray of water to keep it humid. So is this a good set-up? Yesterday (day 1) they got out of the tin can and wander around, luckily I noticed it so I just put them back. Haven't noticed anything yet today (day 2). hopefully they're happy burrowing?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Is the can too shallow? I mix the soil with small pebbles and mulch to keep it loose and not too compact.


Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:11 pm
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
patbugs welcome to our forum :) If you'd like you can introduce yourself here (link).

Your 3rd attempt should work. The pupating larvae prefer the dark and slightly moist conditions so they don't dry out. In nature they would likely burrow down into the leaf layer on the ground.

See the BioSystems Design Blog's "A Primer on Black Soldier Fly" (link) for more information on conditions required at their various stages of life..

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


Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:30 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:12 am
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
thanks! yeah hopefully this time it'll work, the pupa are not cheap! I'm trying to attract the wild ones too using jerry's suggestion, considering its hot weather hopefully I can attract a few.


Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
Ok, so its day 3 now and it seems like every night they tried to escape. nothing happens at all during the day, but once its night they all started to escape!
any ideas why?
current temp is 22 deg C, so its not cold.
how high can they climb? I'm thinking of putting them in a styrofoam box, would they still be able to climb out?


Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:35 am
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
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. You'll find that BSFL are little escape artists and can climb vertical walls if there is any moisture at all. You could try keeping a light on as the larvae are photo-phobic (do not like light). 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). I experimented with an electric 'fence' (link) but I don't think as practical as the others.

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Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:40 am
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Location: State of Sabah, ( North Borneo) Malaysia
Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
patbugs wrote:
hi all, newbie here. I'm currently trying to grow BSF pupa to adult (the pupa were bought) and wondering if you can help. This will be my third attempt, so a bit of history


Any suggestions would be appreciated. Is the can too shallow? I mix the soil with small pebbles and mulch to keep it loose and not too compact.



I'm happy to help you on this one, find some dry coconut coir, fill a bowl and put the dark coloured pupa there and watch them crawl into the bedding.

I've nothing but excellent results with coconut coir, personal experience here.

good luck


Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:24 pm
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
how much coir should I use? how deep the container/bowl do you think?

good news for now: 1 has hatched!
bad news: no one to mate with! haha

hopefully more will come soon


Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
That's great patbugs. A small point - eggs hatch, flies eclose (link)

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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 Nov 15, 2016 1:32 am
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Location: State of Sabah, ( North Borneo) Malaysia
Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
patbugs wrote:
how much coir should I use? how deep the container/bowl do you think?

good news for now: 1 has hatched!
bad news: no one to mate with! haha

hopefully more will come soon



I use a wide bowl about the depth of 10-20cm ? fill it halfway with coconut coir and sprinkle the pupa into the dry bedding.


Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:43 pm
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Post Re: Rearing pupa to adult
Ok, got 2 more in the last 2 days and 1 more this morning, for a total of 4.
at least one is female, it has the prong tail.
still not mating, put them in full sun. they're just basking in the sun

I use the fermented chick feed/corn as the smelly food, or should I use scrap fruit & vege? I've got the cardboard above it to lay eggs.


Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:11 pm
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