Book Review: Culture Methods for Invertebrate Animals (Lutz et. al.)

SludgeMunkey

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Culture Methods for Invertebrate Animals (out of print)
F. Lutz, P. Welcj, P. Galtstoff, J. Needham
(1959 Dover Books reprint of the 1937 Comstock Publishing Company Edition)
590 pages

Yes, it is old. Very old. The taxonomy used is so far out of date as to be comical. Why even bother to review this dusty old tome, often found under a moldering pile of well used paperbacks in the back of a used book store?

Very simply, this is still a valid source of data for the hobbyist. While designed with research scientists of the time, this makes the book all to useful to the budget pet keeper. The methods and procedures described were cutting edge in many cases. However they have since been overshadowed by modern technology. The advantage to the home hobbyist is that these "dated" methods still work and do not require the fancy equipment and chemicals that some modern techniques require. For under 20 dollars, you can construct all most any rearing method for about anything living you can think of to feed your pets.

The old standbys are here: Daphnia, Maggots, Cyclops, various worms...and more. Starting off with numerous Protozoa, this book works it's way up through TO Chordata, including ascidians. Here you will find such hard to find gems like how to breed medically sterile maggots, low budget fruit flies, and even the infamous "infosuria".

Almost all the equipment mentioned can be purchased cheaply or found around the house. Any chemicals involved are available in the grocery or health food shop. Instructions to manufacutre tanks, jars, and anything else you need are included.

This book is readily available used online for very cheap. It can even be found in PDF format for FREE!

I highly reccomend this book to any serious critter keeper, you will lean more than you ever needed about growing your own live foods.
 

Otterwoman

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Are you kidding me? Are you absolutely kidding me?

So, Johnny's review sold me. I decided that for $4.58, I could read it at work.
It just arrived about 15 minutes ago, and I opened it randomly. And I am NOT kidding, I opened it to this page:

"Order Anoplura
REARING HOG LICE ON MAN

The hog louse, Haematopinus suis, is the largest of the lice affecting domestic animals. It is suitable for experimental work, because it is easily obtained and feeds readily on man....[it goes on to describe how to easily remove some from your infested hog]...Without undue delay they should be transferred to small vials....These vials must be worn continuously under the clothing, so that the lice may be kept as near body temperature as possible.
The captive lice are fed on the forearm...The[y] should be withdrawn from the vial and placed on the arm. The lice will then move to the skin and may feed at once or move about more or less rapidly....The average length of a meal is from 8 to 12 minutes, but it may last from 20 to 30 minutes....The lice should then be carefuly removed from the arm with a small forceps and returned to their vial....Newly hatched lice will feed readily and must be given at least four opportunities to feed in 24 hours until they reach maturity. Mature lice should be given two, and if possitlbe three, opportunities to feed in 24 hours...This method of keeping lice in captivity has proved satisfactory in investigations carried over a period of years, and large numbers of lice have been fed on the forearm without any harmful results....All our attempts to rear a second generation of captive lice have failed. ..[differences between human and hog blood] may be the explanation of the impossiblity of rearing hog lice elsewhere than on their natural host. " (pp. 296-298).


I can tell that this is going to be a most satisfying read. Johnny, if you really want to sell a book, you have to include riveting examples such as this!! :)

------------------------
thought I'd add a picture of the cover.
 

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SludgeMunkey

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Oh, it gets even better than that...

Wait till you get to "Parasitic Flatworms"!

"To supply accessory food substances, veal was digested and the resulting extract was filtered and adjusted to pH 7..."



Oh, and the numerous times you are suggested to boil dung for various aquatic crustaceans and flagellates. The Sheep/cow/horse boiled dung method seems most intriguing, however the I cannot get the cow to stand next to the kitchen stove properly to fill the pot... the sheep and horse have been most cooperative:D
 
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