Ever want to make a vacation feeder? Here is how to make one using flightless fruit flies.
The feeder will more or less just be a fruit fly culture that allows the newly emerging flies to leave the culture cup and drop into the outworld.
Start the feeder about two weeks in advance (time will vary depending on fly species and temperature).
These vacation feeders usually only last a week or so, as that is about how long it takes for the flies to emerge from the pupae. A tight fitting lid on your outworld is highly recommended.
Find one of those disposable deli cups (or any other plastic container) that will easily fit inside. The size will depend on the size of your outworld
Add 2-3 holes in the lid about 3-5mm wide, stuff them with cotton for now.
Add your fruit fly medium and something for them to climb on (pieces of paper plates, etc). Add fruit flies. The bigger your ant colony, the bigger the container and the more fruit flies you will need to use. If your outworld is large enough, you can use several containers.
Once the fruti fly maggots start to pupate, place the container in the outworld and remove the cotton plugs.
Hang the container from the lid in your outworld so the ants can't get in. This is the easiest route.
Or you can add some fluon or some sort of ant barrier to the outer edge of the container so the ants don't get inside the container and get stuck.
When the flies emerge a number of them will leave the container and jump, and being flightless, end up on the ground where your ants can enjoy them. Some may remain in the container to start a second generation before leaving, which may prolong your feeder (and intensify its odor).
This is a great way to simulate natural foraging, or it will also work if you just wish to provide your ants with easy "snacks" in between meals.
To learn more about how to culture fruit flies, please see my thread Culturing Fruit Flies: http://forum.formicu...ng-fruit-flies/
Can anyone else think of other easy vacation feeders?
Edited by Crystals, October 23 2013 - 11:02 AM.