Fruit flies are one of the most common but unwanted household pets. As the name suggests, they are tiny flies that are attracted to ripened fruits. Fruit flies lay their eggs on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables and the larvae hatches and feed on that food until they mature into adults.
Fruit flies are very easy to breed in captivity. They don’t require much, are easy to care for, and only need a small container such as a plastic cup to live in.
As a whole, the best fruit flies to breed for feeding are flightless fruit flies. The most popular and common ones are the flightless Drosophila Melanogaster and Drosophila Hydei. The advantage of flightless fruitflies is that they won’t escape easily and are as easy to care for as other fruit fly species.
In the following, I will go into more detail on the flightless fruit flies, as well as information on how to breed them and possible obstacles.
What are the Best and Easiest Fruit Fly Species to Breed?
Fruit flies are great protein sources for pets that feed on insects such as young praying mantes, ant colonies, frogs, baby chameleons, or spiders.
There are two types of fruit flies, that are commonly held to breed as a hobby. Those are the Drosophila Melanogaster and Drosophila Hydei. There are several varieties available for both species, and for both species, there are flightless variants.
Here are some facts about fruit flies in general:
- Class: Insecta
- Family: Drosophilidae
- Genus: Drosophila
- Predators: Other insects, spiders, reptiles, frogs, mammals, birds
- Diet: Omnivore
The Drosophila melanogaster is also referred to as vinegar fly or pomace fly. One female fly can lay up to 500 eggs. The Drosophila melanogaster can be brown, reddish, black, or tan, and they have red eyes.
The lifespan of the Drosophila melanogaster is 1 to 2 months and they run through the phases of egg, larva, pupa, and finally reach the adult stage. They reach the adult stage after approximately 14 days. They are tiny creatures and only weigh 1 to 5 mg per fly.
The Drosophila Hydei is the second fruit fly type that is often used for breeding and feeding. It is slightly bigger than the Drosophila melanogaster, but the time to reach adulthood, and thereby the time until you can feed them, is longer. They mature into adults after about 21 days.
Both types are very easy to breed, only a few things are required, and due to their size, not a lot of space is needed. In fact, a simple plastic cup is more than enough.
What Animals Feed on Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are an important food source for many different animals in the wild and also in captivity.
Animals that feed on fruit flies include:
Other insects including wasps, hornets, ladybugs, ants, lacewings, praying mantes, and spiders.
Freshly hatched reptiles such as chameleons, geckos, and lizards also feed on fruit flies, as well as many types of birds and bats.
Fruit flies are also common feeder insects for pet frogs.