View Full Version : Aphids; to feed or not feed?

24th June 2009, 15:13
Hi all,

I appreciate that this thread is somewhat out of place here but it was a case of best fit! Has anyone tried feeding aphids to newly metamorphosed efts? I've certainly done this in the past with great success but wondered what the consensus was amongst the caudata community?

Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated!


24th June 2009, 15:56
They seem to be gaining popularity as a food for amphibians. Ive tried them with my juveniles since i had an invasion of aphids in the Lemna of one of my tanks, and it worked very well. I guess as long as you culture your own or can get them from a pesticide-free zone, they are a good choice.
I have a feeling they may not be nutritionally complete, anyone have information about this?

24th June 2009, 18:09
There's an abundance of them surrounding a reservoir where I walk my dog. They should be relatively pesticide free. They only seem to live on one particular species of thistle. Any one got any ideas on how to culture these little beauties? Is it simply a case of providing their favoured vegetation?

24th June 2009, 18:36
The species that lives on thistles is a black one right?
The thing is, in order to culture them you need to provide the correct plants, but for that you first need to identify the aphid species which can be reaaaaally hard.
Ive heard of people culturing bean aphids by growing their own legumes. Apparently there is a method for culturing aphids which requires no plants, but i know nothing about it.
Some sites now sell aphid starter cultures...i assume that means the species is identified so youd only need to provide the correct type of plant for those.

Catching them in the wild is easier of course but the risk of pesticides is there even in relatively safe areas, since some species fly.

24th June 2009, 20:08

i`m one of these persons.
I culture them on germinated peas priored for my dartfrogs.
When i raised my Paramesotriton (Laotriton) laoensis i tried that fooditem first for newts.
And it worked really well.

greetings Ingo V.

24th June 2009, 21:13
The aphids I have come across are indeed the black variety and also flightless. I can imagine that whilst this particular species of thistle is in season, culturing them would be relatively easy. When winter comes, however, and these thistles are no longer available, it may become an altogether more difficult task. Having said that, as a seasonal food, they may well be a welcome addition to a newts diet.

I've just been to walk my dog and collected a small bag full so I'm going to give them ago with my Ommatotriton vitattus. I suspect they wont last long!

25th June 2009, 06:13

they are flightless as long as the living conditions are fine. When they are getting harder, they are becoming wings.

greetings Ingo V.

26th June 2009, 09:22
After conducting some trials I can confirm that not only will metamorphs accept these but aquatic larvae will also. Convincing the aphids to sink is a little difficult and only larger larvae can handle them but nonetheless a welcome addition to the diet!

29th June 2009, 00:06
I've used aphids for over 40 years for a wide variety of tiny frogs and salamanders, in both my own and zoo collections. I've never had any problems when collecting them from pesticide free areas, but I hold off on collecting for a week or so after the area has been sprayed as part of the West Nile Virus control program. The chemicals used are supposedly very specific as to target species and dissipate rapidly, but I'm not completely convinced.

As for culturing ahpids, the little beasts actually have quite complicated life cycles - qued by population and predator pressures and environmental factors, individuals of various species switch sexes and reproduce vis parthenogenesis from time to time...very interesting but certainly complicates captive breeding.

Best, Frank

29th June 2009, 11:02

my experience with captive breeding is, that the culturing is very easy.

greetings Ingo V.

...very interesting but certainly complicates captive breeding.

Best, Frank

Coastal Groovin
29th June 2009, 12:43
Rememer not to use any that are one toxic plants like milkweed

29th June 2009, 13:10
Apparently there is a method for culturing aphids which requires no plants, but i know nothing about it.

I have read about a lab method for culturing aphids that uses a liquid food and a parafilm membrane- the aphids feed by puncturing the membrane. It sounded far more difficult than just using a plant host...

11th March 2011, 10:30
I know this is an old thread but I have found the info for culturing aphids.

this is the info on how to culture:
Culturing Pea Aphids - Dendroboard (http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/38600-culturing-pea-aphids.html)

this is the company that sells the insect:
Berkshire Biological - Insects/Aphids- 50 (http://www.berkshirebiological.com/Aphids--50.html)