The common house fly was often used besides Drosophila in early studies on aging in insects. As in Phormia (and other diptera), males and females can easily be distinguished by the different positions of their eyes.
The flies are easy to raise in gauze-covered boxes as used for Phormia.
Rearing conditions The rearing temperature should be 27 to 28°C and the relative humidity about 60%.
The cages contain a Petri dish with humidified blotting paper. Another dish contains the larval food composed of a mixture of alfalfa flour, wheat bran, yeast and water (1:1:0, 2:5). This mixture is fermented for 3 days at 26°C. For adults, this mixture should be covered with powdered milk. Another larval food mix contains equal parts dry yeast and milk powder (10%) dissolved in 2% boiling agar solution.
After egg deposition, the food dishes are taken away and covered with gauze. After two days, the larvae are about 3 mm in length. Depending on population density, the food mixture has to be divided among additional food dishes. (About 1 kg food mixture is sufficient for breeding of 1000 maggots.) After about 6 days the larvae stop feeding and move to the dry surface of the food. They pupate after another 4 to 8 days. The dark brown pupae can be washed out with water from the food and stored in slightly wet sawdust. The adult flies emerge after 4 to 5 days. They can be fed on powdered milk, sugar and/or larval food.
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