Life Stages of Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Life Stages of Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae Stages of Life


Black Soldier Flies Larvae are currently the subject of significant research in universities and companies around the world. The race is on find the best way of producing BSFL for a sustainable source of protein for human and animal consumption including fish food in aquaculture and utilising their vivacious appetite as a mass recycler of human and animal waste. Black soldier fly insects are expected to play a big role in our future.


Black Soldier Flies are also growing in popularity as a nutritious feeder for pets including lizards, turtles, frogs, predatory fish, scorpions, spiders, native birds and chickens.


PetWave premium quality Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens) are recommended by many veterinarians, as the only calcium-rich feeder that has naturally balanced calcium and phosphorus. BSFL are high calcium and low in fat, which makes them an excellent staple feeder for any grub or worm eating reptiles such as Bearded Dragons, geckos, green tree frogs and turtles. Black Soldier Fly Larvae are also great for many types of birds including chooks.


Check out the Black Soldier Fly Larvae Care Sheet.


Stages of Growth:

















PetWave Product



Ideal For Pets

Mini” Black Soldier Fly Larvae Mini

2nd instar

Up to 3mm in length

White in colour

Active movement

Some odour when moist

Green Tree Frogs

Baby Bearded Dragons

Small Geckos

Small Spiders

Small Scorpions

Larva” Black Soldier Fly Larvae

3rd or 4thinstar

Up to 20mm in length

White in colour

Active movement

Some odour when moist

Bearded Dragons

Forest Dragons

Water Dragons

Large Geckos

Large Spiders

Large Scorpions

Pre-Pupa” Black Soldier Fly Larvae Pre-Pupa

Prepupal stage

Up to 20mm in length

Dark Brown in colour

Some movement

Little odour


Plus Above Pets

Pupa” Black Soldier Fly Larvae Pupa

Pupal Stage

Pupa Stage:

Up to 25mm in length

Black in colour

Minimal Movement

No odour

Can be stored at 12oC for months

 Fly Stage:

Keep cool and allow to hatch into flies within a week

Hatched flies are perfect for:

Green Tree Frogs

Baby Bearded Dragons


Small Spiders

Small Scorpions


PetWave supply four different stages of Black Soldier Fly Larvae - Mini, Larvae, Pre-Pupa and Pupa (for flies).


Buy your Black Soldier Fly Larvae online in Australia with free freight & over night delivery.


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


Packaging of BSFL: We package the Black Soldier Fly Larvae in a substrate of organic feed inside a plastic tub or calico bag and then placed in an aerated cardboard box to ensure that they arrive in premium condition.


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, Dragons Crunchy Critters & Beardie Grubs.


Black Soldier Flies are edible at pre-pupate, pupate & fly stages.


Nutritional Value of Black Soldier Fly Larvae:


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 the gut-loading or calcium powder dusting required with other live insect feeders:












to Phosphorous Ratio




8115 ppm






345 ppm






133 ppm



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


Benefits of Black Soldier Fly Larvae:

  • great food for a picky eater, irresistible to most reptiles, birds and larger fish
  • BSFL mini-larvae and larvae 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 for your pet
  • 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) including significantly reducing dangerous E Coli and Salmonella on your pet, thereby acting as a natural antibiotic
  • Black Soldier Fly Larvae require no feeding
  • they make noise
  • nutritional boost for gravid or just-laid females; increases the chance of healthy offspring
  • great starter food for lizard hatchlings or baby frogs, giving them an early boost of nutrition to increase their health


BSFL worms can be kept alive at room temperature for up to 8 weeks. If you want to keep them longer, they can be stored at 12°C for many months. However important not to keep them in a normal refrigerator as they mainly run at 5°C which is too cold for the BSFL.


Diagram 1 is attributed to: Microbial Community Dynamics during Rearing of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens) & Impact on Exploitation Potential, by Jeroen De Smet, Enya Wynants, Paul Cos, Leen Van Campenhout


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