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Black solider fly in the uk

Duncan Dalby


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Posts: 36
Location: England, Midlands.
Hi, I'm wondering if there are any people in the uk or northern europe keeping Black soldier flies? If so were there wild flys you were able to attract or did you have to buy them, do they just survive, thrive or die? I'm really interested in giving them a try to supplement my chickens diet but I cant find any uk info on them so im not sure if they are viable. And if I have to buy them is there any risk of introducing a foreign species that mite impact on other native animals?

Many thanks
Mark Harris


Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 73
Location: Portugal
Hi Duncan

BSF have been introduced into Southern Europe already and certainly seem common in this part of Portugal. They really need temps of around 28c or more to breed well so I don-t think they are viable in the Uk. I know somebody in Wales who had them do well wild in his garden for a while, but they didn't last long.

You might have luck with a greenhouse, but these flies traditionally need alot of space to breed well. I tried a 2x2x2 metre mesh cage here, and breeding was very poor. But I have reasons to believe captive BSF available in the UK are semi domesticated and are less fussy about space. I tried wild strains.

If you want some 'search engine' words such as 'calci grubs' or 'calci worms'. They are now commonly availabble as reptile food and can be ordered in the post.
Duncan Dalby


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Posts: 36
Location: England, Midlands.
Thanks for the info

I have found uk suppliers of BSF for reptile food and they are not too expensive and I have a couple of small greenhouses so I could give them a try in one of them. At least there wont be a risk of them escaping. Even if I have to buy new ones each year to restart them it wouldn't be that much trouble.
Mark Harris


Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 73
Location: Portugal
Could you let us/me know how you get on with them ? I will be very interested to know how they perform. Your worms will probably have been bred by a friend of mine in Essex.

The larvae overwinter in the ground. In the greenhouse should be fine for them. So I think it likely you could do without buying more if they breed well. Good luck.
Wenderlynn Bagnall


Joined: Jan 08, 2012
Posts: 73
Location: United Kingdom
I found this post interesting as I have seen some flies around lately that I haven't before and they look a bit like the Black Soldier fly but their wings are a bit lighter ( I think, from what I can remember). These flies just seem to hang around. I hung some washing out when we were in our wood in North Devon and these flies just clung to the fabric. They don't seem to scare away like other flies do. Any idea what they might be? I tried taking a picture of one but it didn't come out to well.

Thanks Permies


http://northdevonpermaculture.com/
https://www.facebook.com/NorthDevonPermaculture
Mark Harris


Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 73
Location: Portugal
I think its pretty impossible to identify these without a decent photo. Even then there are thousands of species of flies.

Post a picture at website below and somebody will identify it for you. There are loads of UK wildlife experts ready to help.

http://www.ispot.org.uk/
Duncan Dalby


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Posts: 36
Location: England, Midlands.
Thanks Mark, I'll post on here when I get round to starting them off.

Wenderlynn, I have looked around and there are some uk native relatives of BSF, some examples on here, so that mite have been what you saw. I have been keeping an eye out this year but have still to spot one in my garden and I dont know if they have the same behavior.
Wenderlynn Bagnall


Joined: Jan 08, 2012
Posts: 73
Location: United Kingdom
Thanks Duncan for the link. The ones I have seen look a bit like Hilara maura agg but then there are so many. I always though flies were boring but the ones from the link are quite diverse.
 
 
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