Bacillus thuringiensis

eyrops

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Morrisville, Pennsylvania
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Steve Morse
I have been interested in using [FONT=&quot]Bacillus thuringiensis [/FONT][FONT=&quot]in an outdoor amphibian setup to kill mosquito larvae. Mosquitoes have become more than a nuisance issue in many portions of the US because they have the potential to be carriers of West Nile virus, which can be serious and occasionally fatal for humans. I recently read of a New York City resident who was fined about $300 for operating a birdbath. While this incident is certainly not typical today in most places, the mentality that created it is on the rise. I believe that controlling mosquitoes in some manner is a responsibility of a hobbyist setting up an outdoor amphibian enclosure. One method would be to stock an organism that would eat the mosquito larvae. This may be a viable approach if the right organism for the particular setup can be found. I am not discussing this approach here. A second approach could be to use a pesticide that targets mosquito[/FONT][FONT=&quot]es without being detrimental to the amphibians. One possibility for this is the bacteria[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bacillus thuringiensis[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]These bacteria can be deadly to mosquitoes and many other insects, and is commonly claimed to be allowable under the “organic” gardening and farming umbrella. But what effect do they have on amphibians? I had not found very much information on Caudata.org or elsewhere. I decided to do a very simple qualitative trial with two [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Rana catesbeiana[/FONT][FONT=&quot]tadpoles.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I put each in a bucket with about 1 ½ gallons of water. I added a commercia[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bacillus thuringiensis[/FONT][FONT=&quot]product to one at a visual approximation of the recommended rate. I added some [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Daphnia[/FONT][FONT=&quot] to both buckets. Five days later, both tadpoles are alive, and both buckets contained living [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Daphnia[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. [/FONT][FONT=&quot] Concurrently, I set up two pint jars with mosquito larvae, on with[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bacillus thuringiensis[/FONT][FONT=&quot], a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nd one without. The mosquito larva in the jar with the[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bacillus thuringiensis [/FONT][FONT=&quot]died within 24 hours. There were still a few pupae alive. These were not evident after 48 hours. The larvae in the untreated jar appeared fine.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]This was a simple qualitative trial, not a quantitative experiment with replicates. It proves nothing except that[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bacillus thuringiensis[/FONT][FONT=&quot]is not universally fatal to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Rana catesbeiana[/FONT][FONT=&quot]tadpoles over the short term. I think it does suggest possibilities for more formal experiments. Although it seems cold and calculating, it also seems to me to be work that needs to be done. I hope to learn the experiences of others, and perhaps see some links to scientific papers on the topic posted here.[/FONT]
 

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  • lvlyvoa:
    hey thank you all so much for your help!! i shouldn't have been so careless, but I love my axie very much and her behaviour has improved as I have started a tank cycle and gotten some good food for her
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  • faebugz:
    @lvlyvoa, good to hear, np. They love nightcrawlers and worms if you have access to them, they're the healthiest thing they can eat since they're a complete prey
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    hey, does anyone have any brine shrimp eggs??
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    i do!
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  • Jaeger:
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  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger I would try to double up on Prime to combat the slime coat shed when doing the 100% water changes. Also, if it's bad, might want to consider a tea bath as a preventive measure.
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  • AxolotlMama:
    I just wrote this on the post ^
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Haha, great minds, right?
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  • AxolotlMama:
    They sure do 😄!
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  • Jaeger:
    @AkemiYousei thanks so much. Will do. I have also given them a tea bath before, seems to work their gills are looking so much healthier, my golden albino is swimming around frantically trying to jump out, should i be worried? my wild type is fine
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
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  • AkemiYousei:
    Make sure s/he can't jump out, and maybe keep her in a undisturbed, darkened place for a bit. See if that calms the goldie.
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  • Jaeger:
    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
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  • Jaeger:
    Just found out, hes dead. :(
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  • mcapanema:
    :'(
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  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
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  • AxelTheAxolotl123:
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  • Jasper2021:
    We have an axolotl called Jasper who is approx 3 years old. He was being attacked by his companion so we separated them. He has healed his wounds now but has got very thin. his lips have turned black. he was just looking still and dead at times but ears moved so we knew he was still alive. Hold earthworms right in front of him which after some time he will take you think good he is eating but then it pops straight out again. At the moment he is in the fridge. Not sure what else to do if he can't or won't eat !!
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  • Wyn1993:
    Hi Jasper 2021,
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  • Wyn1993:
    I am new to axolotls myself and one thing I learnt was that earth worms when in distress give off an awful taste - have you tried live river shrimp? Mine really like these and are always happy to 'bite' - I also give them live crickets and pellets which are really pungeant in smell and they always take these - even wait at the glass for them! So sorry to hear he was being attacked by his companion!
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    Wyn1993: I am new to axolotls myself and one thing I learnt was that earth worms when in distress give... +1
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