I get a very nice rush of OCD contentedness when I finish making a nice batch of fruit fly cultures and can line them all up in a row and admire them before putting them into the reptile room to incubate. I’ve tried a couple different methods so far, but I’m finding that my favorite way to make them is by using my own fruit fly culture recipe that I came up with after trying others.
I really like using a magic bullet blender to make fruit fly cultures. I find it easier to work in small batches, but I usually only make half a dozen at a time, so doing them two at a time isn’t a big deal to me. If you need to make 100, you might want to use a larger blender and double the recipe 50 times.
Another trick that’s been helpful is to freeze and thaw the bananas. You may need to drain off excess liquid when you defrost them, but freezing and thawing the bananas makes them really soft and much easier to blend smooth.
When you add the oatmeal, sometimes it’s helpful to let it sit for a while and allow the oatmeal time to soak up some liquid. If you make it too dry, the flies won’t do well, and the culture will dry a bit as the oatmeal absorbs the media.
Fruit Fly Culture Recipe
2 very soft bananas
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Add bananas, vinegar, and honey to blender and blend until it reaches an even consistency. Split between two deli cups and mix in oatmeal until it’s solid enough to not drown the fruit flies. Sprinkle yeast on top. Add excelsior and fruit flies.
Date the cups and move to a warm location to incubate.
Yield: 2 cultures
Both the vinegar and the honey help inhibit mold growth. The yeast is added to out-compete mold. I realize the vinegar and honey may be stopping the yeast from growing, but I couldn’t really tell you which ingredient is keeping the mold away from my cultures, or if they’re all contributing. Whatever the case, it’s been working really well for me. I’ll experiment more down the road and see if I can improve this fruit fly culture recipe.