Interested in cultivating your own zombie flies? Anyone can do it with persistence and the right tools.

Culturing E. muscae in the lab:


Culturing E. muscae at home:


Finding E. muscae in the wild:

I suspect that you can find E. muscae in any temperate environment where host flies are present. This protocol can serve as a good starting point for catching wild fruit flies and, hopefully, E. muscae, in your own backyard.

Isolation of high molecular weight genomic DNA from E. muscae

Obtaining pure, high molecular weight genomic DNA from entomophthoralean fungi can be challenging. Here’s an approach that we’ve used successfully:


Paraffin embedding and sectioning of whole Drosophila

I used this paraffin-embedding and microtomy protocol to localize E. muscae cells in infected flies:

Drosophila CO2 anesthesia via SodaStream

In working with flies in my apartment, I’ve found it helpful to knock them out with CO2 using a SodaStream before transferring them to a chilled aluminum block for sorting.


Easy method to sort Drosophila pupae

This transparency hack from Dave Zucker and Tom Alisch makes it easy to sort pupae.