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New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

This is a discussion on New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others within the Live Food General Discussion forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; Hi All, I’ve covered a number of less-commonly kept food animals in this care guide, along with pet trade staples. ...

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Old 21st March 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

Hi All,
I’ve covered a number of less-commonly kept food animals in this care guide, along with pet trade staples. Please consider as many as you can, as dietary variety is critical to the health of most pets. The extra effort on your part will be very worthwhile…novel foods also inspire enthusiastic feeding responses, and may even stimulate reproduction.
There is an endless supply of useful live foods, so please post your ideas and observations. Read article here: Live Food Care - Reptile, Amphibian, Tarantula and Scorpion Diets | That Reptile Blog
Comments and questions appreciated

Thanks, Frank

http://twitter.com/#!/findiviglio

Frank Indiviglio | Facebook

Bio: That Pet Place welcomes Zoologist/Herpetologist Frank Indiviglio to That Reptile Blog | That Reptile Blog



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Old 22nd March 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

That was a great article! I use red wigglers and rolly-pollies but never thought of mantis eggs. I wonder what thoughts people have like using lady bugs? The article did comment on beneficial insects but what implications to not only the animal that is being fed but the keeper as well. I can imagine mass exodus of mantis out of a cage or insects taking flight.



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Old 23rd March 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

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That was a great article! I use red wigglers and rolly-pollies but never thought of mantis eggs. I wonder what thoughts people have like using lady bugs? The article did comment on beneficial insects but what implications to not only the animal that is being fed but the keeper as well. I can imagine mass exodus of mantis out of a cage or insects taking flight.
Thanks very much. Ladybugs are distasteful to most herps, as are many insects with bright coloration. Baby mantids are indeed very quick I once filled my house with hundreds of mosquitos, so yes, caution needed! Best, Frank



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Old 23rd March 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

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I once filled my house with hundreds of mosquitos, so yes, caution needed! Best, Frank
I to have done this, baby Xenopus love mosquito larvae, a netful of them will cause a feeding frenzy ,however they can cause problems when the survivors hatch and bite your wife, who happens to be allergic to them.



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Old 23rd March 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

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I wonder what thoughts people have like using lady bugs?
Some species of lady bug can be quite toxic to your animals. I recently read a post either here or on FrogForum of a person who's frog ate an Asian lady beetle and either died or almost died. I can't remember off the top of my head whether the frog recovered. Either way, it was a bad deal!


I feed my animals Lobster Roaches, Blaptica Dubia Roaches, and moths caught on the front porch at night.

Roaches are incredibly easy to culture (breed). Put them in a tub, add some cardboard (egg flats, paper towel tubes, etc), some food (dry organic cat food, fruits, vegetables), a bowl of water gel, and keep them at about 90F (between 80F-110F). "Set it and forget it." They will start reproducing rapidly if they have a secure hot environment with plenty of shelter, food, and water. You only have to clean their tub out once every 6 months or so (unlike crickets which have to be cleaned weekly). 1 blaptica dubia roach is said to have the same nutritional value as 12 crickets!! My animals BEG me for food, they love love love the roaches. Every night when I walk in my animals room, both salamanders and all five tree frogs are at the front of their tanks, crawling around trying to catch my eye :P I'm confident my critters will never get tired of eating roaches.

As far as I know you don't have to do anything special to make a roach edible to your animals. No removing heads, or poking holes, or any of that nonsense you have to do with other low quality feeder insects.

When you have a big colony of roaches there are almost always a dozen of them going through a shed cycle. Right after a shed the roaches are bright white and totally squishy. They don't have a single hard spot on them, think "soft shell crab." My animals go berserk for the white squishy roaches. Plus there are no wings or shells left behind in their droppings, which leads me to believe my animals are digesting more of the nutrients from the roaches that would have normally been trapped in their hardened exoskeletons.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is a video of my lobster roach colony devouring some oranges, bananas, and carrots: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...9855667&type=2

Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 23rd March 2012   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

Findi: Springtails seem to be a favored food item by small salamanders, however there doesnt seem to be an organized way to collect them. I usually shake the contents of moss into a container, but I dont always get what I want and often I get nothing but dirt. Do you have any succesful way in catching these fast bouncers?



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Old 24th March 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

Hi, Thanks for the useful feedback. I agree completely re roaches; Newly molted inverts are favored by many species; beetle pupae ( i.e. mealworm) as well; especially useful for species associated with blockages,etc. such as mealworms. Digestibility of the exoskeleton varies, however, as to both invert and herp species. Sowbug exoskeletons seem well-digested, and are likely a goodcalcium source. You may enjoy this 3 Part article on Dubia & other Roaches

Most ladybugs are distasteful and toxic;problems often arise when inverts not native to the herp in question's range are used, as there will likely not be an instinctual/learned avoidance behavior. Please see this article Toxic/dangerous invertebrates for more info,
'
Best, Frank



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Old 24th March 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

Hi,

Very common problem, even wih lg colonies. I've had some luck in concentrating them by baiting a small vial with fish food flakes, but results vary....best, Frank



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Old 24th March 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

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Hi, Thanks for the useful feedback. I agree completely re roaches; Newly molted inverts are favored by many species; beetle pupae ( i.e. mealworm) as well; especially useful for species associated with blockages,etc. such as mealworms. Digestibility of the exoskeleton varies, however, as to both invert and herp species. Sowbug exoskeletons seem well-digested, and are likely a goodcalcium source. You may enjoy this 3 Part article on Dubia & other Roaches

Most ladybugs are distasteful and toxic;problems often arise when inverts not native to the herp in question's range are used, as there will likely not be an instinctual/learned avoidance behavior. Please see this article Toxic/dangerous invertebrates for more info,
'
Best, Frank
Thanks for all of the incredibly helpful information! You're the man



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Old 25th March 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

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Hi,

Very common problem, even wih lg colonies. I've had some luck in concentrating them by baiting a small vial with fish food flakes, but results vary....best, Frank
Thank you I will have to try that. Especially with froglets on the way.



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Old 25th March 2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

[QUOTE=KingCam;329790]Some species of lady bug can be quite toxic to your animals.

You know it didn't even dawn on me....warning colors red/black.

Springtails are quite jumpy and tiny. How do you get them out of the container with out ALL of them leaving?



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Old 27th March 2012   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Article: Live Food Care: Sowbugs, Houseflies, Crickets, Native Insects, Others

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Springtails are quite jumpy and tiny. How do you get them out of the container with out ALL of them leaving?
Once your springtail colony is bigger you wouldn't be able to get them all out if you tried :P I have mine in a 8qt sterilite tub. I just take the lid off, tip it to one side to make the water line rise above the charcoal, then I hold the tub near one of my tanks and just blow air into it. Millions of springtails will go flying out. Many will land in your tank, many won't XD The ones that don't land in your tank will die unless you keep the relative humidity in your house at like 95% :P



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