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Pupal/Larval Isolation for Crossing
The easiest and cleanest way to isolate virgin Plodia for crossing is by using cardboard (hotels) to separate pupae. These hotels will provide safe shelter and attract wandering larvae to start pupation. Conveniently, the indentation size is also small enough to only contain one larva each.
It is important to choose clean cardboard as to not infect the entire stock container and take them out as soon as the hotels are filled. Prolonged storage in the container might introduce mold and web overgrowth around the hotels, making them harder to take out.
- Cut cardboard at around 1x3 cm size. Estimate how many hotels are required and line them with Kimwipe.
- Select with a Plodia stock at the very end of the wandering larvae. These larvae are about 1-1.5 cm in size and very plump.
- Place the Kimwipe-lined hotels inside the stock container.
- Leave 1-2 nights.
- Once filled, take them out carefully as to not disrupt the packed food underneath.
- Peel out the cardboard and isolate the cocoon.
- Place an individual cocoon together with a piece of paper towel inside a SOLO cup. SOLO cup is extremely slippery and paper towel can assist as a grip when they are emerging.
- Once emerged as an adult, distinguish males from females and set them apart.
- Cross by mixing male and female together in a cup. Optional: If the female is ready to mate and releases its pheromone, you can also observe the male courtship behavior, which you can be sure that you have sexed them correctly.
- To grow the progenies from these crossings, prepare food in the container and place the cup inside.