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Breeding technology guide part III. – Darkcage, where the miracle happens

Darkcage plays the leading role in our next article, which can help you master soldier fly rearing! The Darkcage, which serves as the home for BSF pupae, makes it possible that ready-to-mate flies find their same age partner in the Lovecage after emerging as flies. Would you like to learn more about the Grinsect Darkcage? If yes, you are at the right place!

The Darkcage is a darkened tool where the last phase of metamorphosis happens when adult black soldier flies emerge from their pupae phase. When it comes to the BSF developmental cycle, the egg and pupae phases are the most sensitive ones because during these phases flies don’t or hardly move at all and don’t eat. If kept under inappropriate conditions, the pre-pupae phase could take longer, although they would be ready based on their age, due to the fact that they have to use their fattening phase energy to find the ideal place and conditions to transform. This means, that it is crucial where (in what tool) and under what conditions the metamorphosis takes place for efficient breeding.

We have already mentioned the potential downsides of using homemade breeding technology tools in connection with the Lovecage and the Fly Hive and the same is true for the Darkcage as well.

It is simple: find a dark place where the black soldier fly pupae can transform unperturbed far from any disturbing stimulus and factors, such as light, moisture or wind. Unfortunately, the tools presented in tutorials, often do not provide the ideal environmental conditions for the pupae, such as steady heat, darkness and relaxed environment and they also do not keep the pupae isolated from moisture.

When designing and developing the Grinsect Darkcage, in addition to the needs of the soldier fly pupae, the compatibility with other tools, particularly with the Lovecage have also been taken into consideration to maximize the breeding efficiency.

But what happens exactly in the Darkcage and how does this contribute to the breeding process?

As its name suggests, it is a dark cage, where the miracle happens: you put the pupae in from one side and let the flies out from the other side.

Once the larvae reach their pre-pupae state, they get ready for pupation and hatching by leaving their food source behind. Adult soldier flies emerge at the end of the metamorphosis. This process can take from 10 days to weeks depending on the environmental conditions.

You should be aware, that when choosing or making the perfect Darkcage it is not enough if you create the ideal environmental conditions, especially if as an intensive insect farmer, you wish to optimize the breeding process. You should also consider how the cage can be cleaned, aired, how practical and durable it is.

Let’s analyse why the Grinsect Darkcage is the best choice?

The material used for the Darkcage has been carefully selected to block light and ensure proper airing for the pupae.

Thanks to the easy-to-clean strong framed, sturdy Darkcage, you can freely pile up boxes filled with pupae on one another. Our Darkcages come with boxes. One Grinsect Darkcage can accommodate a maximum of 15 litres, roughly 50,000 pcs of pupae

Important note: Pupae should be placed max. 5 cm thick in the boxes, otherwise the emerging flies cannot climb out or only with difficulty.

Thanks to the two manipulation openings, you cannot make a mistake:

  • Zipped opening: Using the zipper on the opposite side of the Darkcage, after hatching you can easily remove the boxes and replace them with pupae or pre-pupae.

  • Tunnel: Once the young flies have emerged, they cannot wait to follow the light and move to the Lovecage for mating. The practical lock opening of the Darkcage, when attached to the cylindrical opening of the Lovecage, will make flies fly to the light and none of them will escape. One Darkcage will provide for 2-4 Lovecages. You can leave it attached to the same Lovecage from 1-2 hours up to 24-48 hours.

Step-by-step assembly guide

Have you received your Darkcage and you don’t know how to start assembling it? There is an assembly guide packed with the product and we have also created a short video on how to attach the Darkcage to the Lovecage. It is not that complicated anymore, is it?

How to clean the Darkcage?

  • You can wash the black material of the Darkcage at 30° using detergent.

  • Always close zippers before washing to help prevent wear and tear of the material.

  • After washing, dry the material carefully stretched out on a radiator.

  • In addition to cleaning the black material, it is also recommended to clean the plastic tubes with a wet cloth on a monthly basis

  • Always wash the boxes with lukewarm water using detergent before filling them with pupae again

You can learn more about the last but essential piece of our advanced breeding toolkit, the special Grinsect Breeding LED lamp in our next article.

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