[Syrphidae] Keeping hoverflies in captivity

Nico Blüthgen nico.bluethgen at web.de
Mon Jul 24 12:08:34 BST 2006

Dear colleagues,

does anyone have experience with keeping adult hoverflies happy in captivity? We are currently trying to perform flower-choice experiments (mostly on Episyrphus balteatus). However, most of the males and females died after a few days until two weeks with a largely empty stomach – although we provided large cages (2 x 2 x 1 m), many potted flowers (of species which they commonly visit) and sufficient moisture (in the flower pots). We tried to keep them both in cages in the field as well as in climate chambers (20-22°C, 60% humidity, 16:8 h, 6000 lux), both largely unsuccessful. Although some individuals sometimes collected pollen on flowers, most sit on the gauze of the cage.
I would be very thankful for any hints and advice.


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