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Fly Facility

Department of Genetics

How to register as a fly food service user

To order fly food through our website, you will first need to be registered as a fly food service user. To be registered, please contact Simon Collier ( and provide your CRSid (Cambridge University ID) and the name of the Group Leader (or other individual) who will be charged for the food.

If you are in the Cambridge area, but are not part of Cambridge University (and so do not have a CRSid), we can usually arrange for you to email your orders directly to our fly kitchen. Please contact Simon Collier ( to discuss this.


Fly Food prices and charging

We charge our food service users at the end of each quarter of the academic year and include any stock-keeping charges in the quarterly bill. The academic year runs from August to July. We request a grant code for payment from users in the Department of Genetics and a Purchase Order from other Cambridge University users and from users outside of the university.

Infrequent food service users may be able to pay for individual transactions rather than pay quarterly. Such payments are normally via Purchase Order. Please contact Simon Collier ( to discuss this.

Our Fly Food prices for University of Cambridge users are here (Raven password required).

If you do not work in the University of Cambridge, but wish to purchase our fly food, please contact Simon Collier ( for pricing.


Fly Food Collection/Delivery

Food service users in the Department of Genetics: Fly food in vials and bottles is delivered to the front cupboards in the facility's Fly Lab (115). Plates can be collected from the basement cold room (B6).

Food service users outside of the Department of Genetics: Fly food service users outside of the Genetics Department have two options:

  • Collection from Genetics reception: Fly food in vials, bottles and plates can be collected from the Department of Genetics reception. Reception is open for collection from 8.30am to 5.00pm on weekdays (Monday-Friday). Please request this option in the 'Comments' section of our fly food ordering site each time you order. You can check that your order is labeled 'complete' on our fly food ordering site before coming to Genetics to collect your fly food.
  • Van delivery: There is a weekly fly food van delivery service for Drosophila groups in the Cambridge area every Thursday. If you are interested in using this service please contact Simon Collier ( to discuss your requirements and our delivery options. To be sure of Thursday delivery, groups need to submit their orders by the end of Monday. They will need to request van delivery in the 'Comments' section of the fly food ordering website each time they order food.


Returning used glass fly vials and bottles for washing and re-use

Food service users in the Department of Genetics: Used fly vials can be left for collection in the red trolleys in the Fly Lab (115) or can be taken directly to the basement autoclave room (B18).

Food service users outside of the Department of Genetics: Used glass vials and bottles can be returned to Genetics reception during weekedays between 8.30am to and 5.00pm. Please return trays of used glass vials/bottles in a sealed bag to minimize the possibility of fly release.


How to order Fly Food

Once you are registered as a Fly Food User, you can order fly food from our media website (Raven password required). Here's how:

  1. Select your research group name from the first drop-down menu
  2. Select the type of food you want (cornmeal, yeast-glucose etc.) from the 'Media' drop-down menu
  3. Select the type of container you want (bottles, vials, plates) from the "Container' drop-down menu
  4. Type the amount you want in the 'Quantity' box - this must be a decimal number (e.g. 1.2, 0.5). For trays of media, type the number of whole and part trays you need (e.g. 0.2, 3.5). For plates, type the number of plates you need (this must be a whole number)
  5. Add any additional information in the 'Comments' box. This might include, for example, additional instructions for food preparation (e.g. 'no added yeast') or a request for delivery to a particular place. Please include this information in your request even if you have discussed these changes with us beforehand.
  6. Choose your preferred delivery date for the 'Deliver On' box (click the [Cal] icon to select). The default date is the earliest possible delivery date.
  7. Click the 'add' button. Your order will initially be described as 'committed' and you will still be able to cancel your order by clicking the 'withdraw' or 'delete' button next to your order.
  8. When our staff accept your order it will be described as 'accepted' and you will no longer be able to change the order.
  9. When the order has been made it will be described as 'complete'. You can now collect your order. If you then click the 'received' button next to your order, that order will be removed from your list.


Types of fly food available

Please note: we can normally accommodate requests for alternate fly foods where a detailed recipe is supplied.

Cornmeal food:

  • Cornmeal, yeast, glucose, agar, water, Nipagin
  • Our standard food suitable for most Drosophila stocks

Propionic food:

  • Malt extract, molasses, cornmeal, yeast, agar, soya powder, water, Propionic acid, Nipagin
  • A more nutritious food for difficult-to-grow stocks and some non-melanogaster species

Yeast Glucose food:

  • Yeast, glucose, agar, water, Nipagin
  • Highly nutritious food for growing fat larvae for larval preps.

Banana food

  • Banana, yeast, molasses, malt extra, agar, water, Nipagin
  • For culturing some non-melanogaster species including Drosophila pseudoobscura

Malt food:

  • Semolina, yeast, malt extra, agar, water, propionic acid, Nipagin
  • For some non-melanogaster species (including affinis, ambigua, americana, bocqueti, buzzati, erecta, flavomontana, guanche, immigrans, lacicola, lummei, montana, orena, persimilis, pseudoobscura, repleta)

Apple Juice Agar 1:

  • Apple juice concentrate, agar, glucose, water, Nipagin
  • For embryo collections

Apple Juice Agar 2:

  • Apple juice, agar, dried active yeast, glucose, water, Nipagin
  • For population cage collections


Food containers

Fly food in vials Tubes Bottles 3

Fly food in vials can be ordered by whole or part tray. One tray holds:

  • Approximately 150 large glass vials (glass vials can be returned after use to the Fly Facility to be washed and re-used)
  • Approximately 150 single-use plastic vials

Fly food in bottles

Fly food in bottles can be ordered by the tray or part tray. One tray holds:

  • 20 glass bottles (glass bottles can be returned after use to the Fly Facility to be washed and re-used)
  • 20 single-use 8oz plastic bottles
  • 24 single-use 6oz plastic bottles
  • 7 glass Kilner jars (for cage work). Note: To order Kilner jars, select ‘bottles’ on the media website and specify ‘Kilner’ in the comment column.

Fly food on platesPlates 1

Fly food plates can be ordered by quantity (number of plates).

  • 50mm plates
  • 90mm plates
  • Chip plates' (for Cage Room collections). Note: To order Chip Plates, select ‘90mm plates’ on the media website and specify ‘Chip Plates’ in the comments column.

Contact Information

Tiny fly

E-mail contacts

Simon Collier (Fly Facility Manager):

General Fly Facility enquiries:

Microinjection enquiries:

Fly food enquiries:

Stock collection requests and enquiries:


Department of Genetics,
University of Cambridge, Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EH,
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1223 765124
Fax: +44 (0)1223 333992


The Fly Facility webpages are maintained by Simon Collier. Please contact me ) if you have any problems using the site.