Grow mushrooms the EZ way.

How To Grow A Zombie Fly (Using Cordyceps).

Last summer I was doing some experiments with growing Cordyceps Militaris on eggs when I noticed a group of fungus gnats trying to get inside the containers and eat the mycelium.

Fungus GnatWhich is ironic because Cordyceps Militaris infects insects, lives on them as a parasite eventually killing the host and fruiting from its body. 

This sparked an idea in my mind, I wondered what would happen if the Fungus Gnat got into the container. Then it hit me could I thought could I grow Cordyceps on a fly? 

Well, the answer was yes

Cordyceps Militaris Fly (Zombie Fly)

Although it didn't yield any substantial fruiting bodies to be excited about (in fact the whole Fly was smaller than my finger, so the fruit was tiny), this experiment was undeniably fun and showcased the remarkable nature of this fungus.

So here's how I did it…


Cordyceps Liquid Culture.

PolyPropylene Pot.



Dead Fly.

Still Air Box (might work without one but I used one).



70% alcohol.

First thing you’ll need to do is find a suitable host, I tried this with Flies and also a Bee however Flies are normally in better supply in the household and I felt a bit guilty using a Bee as they are genuinely quite cool, whereas flies are quite irritating.

Look under sofas and on window sills, there will surely be at least one dead insect specimen somewhere.

Next, mix 50% vermiculite & 50% perlite and add it into the base layer of your polypropylene container. Then I add a few millilitres of water to this base layer and put the lid on.

This will create a micro-climate which the fungus will fruit in, Cordyceps needs a humid environment to fruit and the times didn't provide humidity, the Cordyceps didn't fruit.

Actually, I just remembered an improvement!

Add a small sheet of kitchen paper on top of the vermiculite/perlite layer. This will stop the fly from getting covered in tiny rocks and making your zombie fly look a bit messy like mine. 

Zombie Fungus Fly

Sterilise the container for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker at around 15PSI.

Finally move the container into a still air box and inoculate the fly. Dont squirt lots of liquid culture on it, I advise you to get a little droplet on the end of your syringe and then touch it onto the fly a few times.

Put the lid back on and keep the container AWAY from direct sunlight (or it will create a greenhouse and be too hot). 

Leave the pot for around 8 weeks, undisturbed at 18-21c.

How To Grow A Zombie Fly (Using Cordyceps).

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