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How much space do Black Soldier Flies need to mate?

 
John Jackson
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
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Hey Permies,

I bought some BSF pupae to breed them one week ago. I put them into a 8 liter PET bottle with some cardboard to lay eggs on. The oldest flies are now a week old, but I didn't find any eggs yet and I never saw them mating. I'm trying to figure out why. How much space do they need in order to mate and lay eggs? Any experienced BSF breeders here?
 
John Jackson
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
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So, just to answer my own question: I've had hundreds of Black Soldier Flies in the 8 l bottle and only one managed to lay eggs. So, obviously, they do need more space.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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I'm pretty sure I heard that they do something called lekking (sp?) where they do a mating flight quite high up in the air, which is why it's easy to breed them in an area where they live anyway, but difficult to do it in captivity with limited flying space.  I couldn't find any links to back up that though, and my memory might be a bit iffy on the subject.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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I did quite a bit of research on this topic also, trying get them established here where I think it's a bit dry for them to be altogether native.  I think people have been successful in a greenhouse or similar fairly large enclosure where they can fly around.  Eventually I relied on saturation and simple left a lot of my pupae to hatch out outdoors.  Observation then started turning up eggs in various places, usually around manures, composts, and ferments (such as all around the edges of my wine fermenter!)  Now I have them well established on my homestead and they always turn back up, although usually quite late in the spring (June).  I would love to be able to keep an active colony over winter or at least get them started earlier, but they really need warmth to do well.
 
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