10/14/2021: Return of the twitchy litter flies
Some may remember a page that made a short appearance on the site a few years ago. I had ambitiously added cf. Puliciphora sp. under the common name “twitchy litter fly”, though within a few months I had lost my colony due to cool temperatures and possibly mites.
Pulling through yet again, William Samojeden collected several adult females of that or a similar taxon during one of our soil invertebrate quests. I recall last fall only being able to find adult males, but apparently this was a good time to the required sex for culturing. Regardless, these little dudes are very hard to find even where common and require a good eye and ready pooter to collect without injury or escape.
The new set-up features bumped up ventilation (as I have done with many inverts) and I’m happy to report my first captive bred F1 since “back in the day”. Care is very simple; larvae and adults feed and breed in dead things so I’ve been using euthanized roaches with great success.
The size and plumpness of adult females may prove promising for tiny predators, and there’s a small possibility of these being integrated into a clean-up crew assembly as unlike the endlessly obnoxious large phorids that sometimes wreak havoc in collections, the adults of these litter-dwelling phorids aren’t inclined to fly despite males possession wings.
If I can cycle the colony to F3, I will add their page back to the site, but I’m feeling rather confident in the magnitude of the success so far as there are many more pupae in the new set-up than I remember in the old colony despite only having a few females and less food.