The Black Solider Fly is an impressive creature in its own right. But what is more impressive is the various unique parts of its lifecycle that are so different from each other yet come together to form a metamorphose.
A Black solider Fly life cycle is 45 days long on average. They have 5 stages of life; egg, larva, pupa, pre-pupa and adult.
They start as eggs which are typically pale yellow or a creamy white color. These eggs are oval shaped and reach about 1mm in length. Each gram of eggs can contain up tp 33,000 Black Solider Fly Larva. The eggs typical hatch within 4 days.
They hatch into Black Solider Fly Larva which are a light shade of brown and are 5mm in length. In this stage will eat every 5 minutes and consume immense amounts.They can eat over twice their own body weight every day which is the equivalent of an average human eating over 1400 hot dogs! Of course there are some variations in this regarding what nutrition is available in the given environment. As shown in Figure 1 where two different types of feed where used to develop the larvae.
Figure 1: Difference in nutrition of feed
Next they will turn into pre pupa which have a progressively darker color and dont move as much. They come in at about 12mm. This stage will last 18 days and you may also notice some hairs growing during this time.
The next stage will last 14 days and at this point the pre pupa have pupated and aren't really doing very much. They come in at a length of 19mm and are waiting to hatch into Black Solider Fly.
Once exposed to light the black Soldier Fly will fly around for 4-9 days and mate. They have no mouth and do not eat in this stage (while this is debated). They come in at a length of about 20mm. The Adult Black Solider Fly female can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. They prefer to lay their eggs close to or on top of the food source.
The Black Solider fly life is truly a road trip. But thankful for us there biology gives us the technology to help different industry's such as the reptile and aquaculture feed industry.