Black Soldier Fly Larvae | BSFL | Vitaworms Care Sheet

Author: Chris Read   Date Posted: 23 January 2018 

Vitaworms (Black Soldier Fly Larvae)

PetWave premium quality Vitaworms are the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens). These larvae are recommended by many veterinarians, as these are the only calcium-rich insect feeder that has naturally balanced calcium and phosphorus. Vitaworms are high calcium and low in fat, which makes it an excellent staple feeder.

Vitaworms are recommended as part of a varied and well-balanced diet for any pet and are especially helpful for building up young, sick, injured or gravid animals.

Size of BSFL: Vitaworms are 10 to 25mm in length and 6mm in diameter

Packaging of BSFL: We package the Vitaworms in a substrate of organic feed inside a calico bag and then placed in an aerated cardboard box to ensure that they arrive in premium condition.

How to Feed to Your Pet: Feed the Vitaworms at a rate that allows your pet to eat them immediately, straight from the container into a food bowl.

The darker Vitaworms are those slightly more mature in preparation for pupation. It is recommended that the darker worms are fed first before they stop moving. The calcium levels are at their highest at this stage (the darker the better).

If you are cooling your BSFL to extend their life, let them warm up to room temperature for about 20 minutes before feeding. This will make them move more and be more attractive to your pet.

Type of Animal

Examples

Suggested No of Vitaworms per Meal

Small birds, small lizards, fish, mice, small mammals & frogs

Blue Wrens, Gouldian Finches, Geckos, Green Tree Frog, Large Cichlid, Barramundi, Oscars, Sugar Gliders

5

Medium birds, medium lizards, large fish & rats

ButcherBirds, Bearded Dragons, Forest Dragons, Red Barred Lizards, Turtles

10

Large Birds

Chickens, Kookaburras, Magpies

20

If some of the Calciworms do pupate, then you can leave them to let the flies hatch. These flies can be of significant interest to active hunters such as Boyds Forest Dragons, Green Tree Frog and Red Barred Dragons who chase them around their enclosure, great exercise!

Storage and care: Vitaworms are amazingly hardy, tolerating a wide range of temperatures up to 40 Degrees C. They will remain fresh in their calico bag or an aerated sealed container for 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature (just make sure the substrate packing media is slightly moist; a relative humidity of 70% is perfect). Store in a cool and dark position. Storing your Phoenix Worms at 10 to 14 Degrees C can slow their growth and extend their life by up to 12 weeks (temperatures of less than 8 Degrees C can be deadly).

Be aware that Black Soldier Fly Larvae can crawl up steep surfaces (including glass and plastic) so it is important to keep them enclosed to prevent escape.

Toxic fumes can be very dangerous to your Vitaworms including insecticides, cleaning products, dog shampoos, flea products, car fumes, smoke, etc.

Can you put Black Solder Fly Larvae in a refrigerator? Most fridges run around 4 Degrees C, so d a normal refrigerator will kill them. Wine coolers and fridges that run hotter than normal around 12 degrees C or warmer are fine!

Nutritional Value of VitaWorms: Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) compares favourably to other popular feeders with a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 1.5:1, very close to the ideal 2:1 ratio without gutloading or calcium powder being required:

 

 

Fat

 

Protein

 

Calcium

 

Phosphorous

Calcium to Phosphorous Ratio

Vitaworms

9%

17%

8115 ppm

5400

1.52

Crickets

6%

21%

345 ppm

4300

0.08

Mealworms

13%

20%

133 ppm

3400

0.04

*these ratios can be further improved with a specialised & balanced diet

Benefits of VitaWorms:

  • great food for a picky eater, irresistible to most reptiles, birds and larger fish
  • the VitaWorms are extremely active, wiggling intensely. This behaviour makes them exciting and enticing to your pet
  • they are easily confined to a food bowl during your reptile’s meal, so easy to catch and eat
  • this perfect herp food can help with growth and development of bones, nerves, egg and can help to prevent or reverse metabolic bone disease, common in Beardies and other lizards and frogs
  • no calcium dusting or gut loading required before feeding to your pet
  • BSFL contains high levels of lauric acid (known to kill reptile viruses, protozoa and coccidian), thereby acting as a natural antibiotic for your pet
  • Vitaworms require no feeding
  • they make no odour or noise
  • they are a clean food
  • nutritional boost for gravid or just-laid females; increases the chance of healthy offspring
  • great start for hatchlings, early boost of nutrition to improve their health
  • considered the best insect feeder for reptiles and frogs in a mixed diet

 

Stages of Life:

Day 0

Stage 1

Female fly lays eggs

Day 4

Stage 2- 7

Eggs hatch into larvae. White larvae eat & grow through 6 instar stages until they have stored enough energy to get through the next stages. During this time they get darker, brown or grey.

Day 21*

Stage 8

Mature prepupa larvae metamorphosis into pupa

Day 36*

Stage 9

Fly emerges

 

 

Fly mates

 

 

Female fly lays eggs

Day 44

Stage 10

Fly dies

*At cooler temperatures, these stages can be extended significantly

At the simplest level, BSFL have four stages of life: egg, larvae, pupa and adult fly. Vitaworms eat and grow until they have stored sufficient energy to transform into a pupa; and then into a fly.

 

Mature Black Soldier Flies (with wings) mimic wasps in appearance but in fact can’t bite or sting. This is because as a fly they only live for 5 to 8 days and therefore do not need or have a mouth parts to eat. Since they don’t eat, they are not vectors of any human diseases unlike some other flies.

Names of Black Soldier Fly Larvae: On the internet, the humble BSFL are known by a myriad of brand names including Calci Worms, Phoenixworms, BIOgrubs, Nutrigrubs, Reptiworms and Soldier Grubs. In Australia, the most common names on online forums for the Black Soldier Fly Larvae include BFSL, Vitaworms, Calciworms, Lizard Grubs, Phoenix Worms & even Beardie Grubs.

PetWave Background:

Where can I buy live Black Soldier Fly Larvae online in Australia?

PetWave is an Australian online pet supply company that is expert in shipping delicate, live and frozen products to you and your pet’s door.

We know that your time is valuable & you want access to reliable, premium products at perfect prices. We are able to satisfy your needs through our premium online offer.

We are very proud to offer the highest quality and largest selection of live fish, aquarium plants and driftwood creations, a wide range of live food such as insects, frozen pet food especially for snakes, lizards, amphibians and birds of prey and many rare, creative and beautiful decorations for your aquarium and terrarium.

We supply other bulk lizard food online such as live crickets, live mealworms, superworms, giant mealworms and woodies.

Vitaworms (BSFL) can be bought online at https://www.petwave.com.au/reptile/live-insects/

 

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