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Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Forums Pictures & Videos

Below are pictures highlighting Black Soldier flies (BSF) processing and recycling food scrap wastes, larvae in different stages of their life-cycle, examples of how to construct BSF Propagation Bioreactors (PBRs) out of inexpensive plastic totes, and youtube's illustrating how to manage and sustain propagation of BSF in the PBRs incuding the cycling and mixing of egg clutches and food scrap through the units.

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BSF Egg Clutch Deposition and Emergence of Newborn Larvae

  1. newly born cream-colored black soldier fly larvae, emerging, feeding and crawling about in an aqueous food scrap slurry
  2. black soldier fly clinging to propagation bioreactor (pbr) lid with her ovipositor positioned to lay egg clutches under lid
  3. image of light-yellow egg clutches deposited by female bsf in small crevasses on the underside of bsf bioreactor lids
Adult BSF seek out dark, moist places close to decaying organic matter, depositing upwards of 400 or more eggs per egg clutche. It is not uncommon to observe mating females depositing their egg clutches on top of and adjacent to other egg clutches left behind by other females. Whereas adult BSF mate in midflight, females prefer to deposit their egg clutches in dark, tight  nooks and crannies protected from direct sunlight.

Humidity markedly affects egg viability. As the relative humdity in the vicinity of the egg clutches falls below approximately 50%, egg viability rapidly declines due to dessication of the eggs. Newborn larvae emerge from the egg clutches in approximately four days, and immediately begin crawling toward the decaying waste where they begin feeding and growing off the waste at a rapid rate.

A single egg has an average mass of approximately 25 micrograms. Newborn larvae feeding off food scrap waste tyipically grow over a period of three weeks under optimal conditions into the preupa stage of their life cycle reaching a mass of approximately 200 mg, an 8000-fold increase in their mass over that of the egg from which they first emerged.

Conversion of Inexpensive Totes Into BSF Propagation Bioreactors (PBRs)

Commonly available plastic bins and totes can be easily converted into BSF Propagation Bioreactors (PBR's) as illustrated in the accompanying pictures. Adult females attracted to food waste added to the PBRs enter through holes drilled into the walls and lids of the PBRs and deposit egg clutches inside the PBRs which subsequently hatch in a matter of a few days. New larvae hatching from the egg clutches proliferate in the waste. Upon reaching the prepupae stage in their life-cycle they self-harvest from the waste through vent holes drilled through the walls of the units, pupate, re-emerge as adults, mate and return to the PBRs in sustaining their colony. PBRs can be used as a simple means of propagating and growing BSF on food scrap wastes.

  1. three holes spaced evenly apart in the lid of a plastic tote form the lid of a working bsf propagation bioreactor
  2. top down view of a working bsf pbr made by adding air and drain holes through the side walls and base of a plastic tote
  3. Image showing location of base drain holes added to a plastic tote in converting it into a BSF Propagation Bioreactor

Video Pictures of Adult BSF in Propagation Workstation and Egg Clutch Deposits on Walls and Edges of Propagation Bioreactors (PBRs)

BSF Consuming Fish Carcass Placed in Food Scrap Bin

  1. Image showing initial appearance of fleshy fresh remains of a tuna carcass added to a bsf food scrap bioreactor
  2. skeletal remains of tuna carcass absent fleshy parts 24 hours after presentation to bsfl

Herps Feeding on Young Larvae

  1. frilled dragon with head high and eyes focused ready to devour a bsf larva crawling in front of him
  2. image of leopard gecko in attack posture peering down at a bsf larva ready to snap it up in its mouth

Using a Larval Containment Bin to Collect  Self-harvesting Prepupa Crawling Out of a Backyard BSF Bioreactor

  1. image showing how prepupae self-harvesting from a bsf bioreactor get collected in a bucket
Prepupa self-harvesting from a "BSF Food Scrap Recycler" fall by gravity into a larval containment bin (see left image "(a)", upper and lower panels)  surounding the Recycler. BSF prepupae crawl through a side hole cut in the containment bin and subsequently can be collected in a harvesting bucket (see right image "(b)", upper and lower panels) placed beneath the hole of the larval containment bin.