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Old 03-04-2008, 12:54 AM
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Default wax worms and silk worms

My feeder choices are very low and unpredictable. I've done some research into breeding both and can do either or both on my farm. Both would obviously be fed off small. I know they are both fatty foods. Dose any one feed/breed either? any thoughts and/or recomendations?
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

You should be able to get starter cultures of wax worms or lesser wax worms from some of the sponsors on this site.
If you want to try and cycle silk moths through and breed them then I would recommend a copy of Captive Invertebrates, A Guide to their Biology and Husbandry by Dr. Fredric Frye. (see http://www.amazon.com/Captive-Invertebr ... 148&sr=8-1 ) there is a good section on silk moths including a discussion on attempting to increase thier calcium to phosphorus ratio.

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Old 03-04-2008, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

Sorry, I should have pointed out that I'm in canada, and as such feeders are very limited... like ff, springs and pinheads... and not always easy to get ahold of.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

I raise wax worms now and then.
The problem is the worms grow really fast, and there is seemingly no good way to pick through the worms to sort them, other than with a pair of tweezers and lots of time.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

Dancing Frogs. Is there a way to hold them? like in the fridge to get them to stop growing for a short period of time so they can be fed out as an appropreite food size? I figure it will take some practice and trial and error but some of the techniques I've read were based on timing, experimenting with food amounts and the amount of eggs that get placed in the jar so that the majority of food is gone by the 1st or 2nd instar... Never seen them not fully grown so i figure it will be a real experiment to decide which is the best target instar. I know from back in my real bug days that the last 2 instars are the biggest size ones, and don't know if they go through 4 or 5...

As for the silk moths, my plan is very much to get a dozen large silk worms now, hoping to finish rearing them and have them spin, pupate then hatch, pair up and get eggs all before spring (which i probably will). Once they've paired, will do the paper bag thing with the female to get eggs. Now from what I've read once they've been laid and given a few days to solidify, you can then cut them out and put them in a tupperware container in the fridge, being able to take them out as need be for nearly a year. The only bit I'm really stuck on is if i will give them the artificial diet, or mulberry which i have an abundace of chemical free trees.

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Old 03-04-2008, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

There are two wax worms species commonly cultured... the ones available most often as feeders and bait are the Greater Wax Worms (Galleria mellonella) and the Lesser Wax Worms (Achroia grisella). If you are looking for smaller species, I'd recomend searching for the Lessers. Otherwise all I could recomend is having the moths breed for a limited time in a container, let the eggs hatch, harvest out all the worms when they are the size you need and storing them as per typical directions in the fridge to keep them from growing as fast as you need if you find you cannot consistantly produce them in sizes you need. Usually I just set them up on a breeding schedule where I have different small cultures going at one time, with a week or two difference in set up times so I can harvest the same size larvae from the cultures, and have them at week or two intervals (where I wouldn't have if they were all on the same schedule due to generation time).

Mostly tho I've just gotten lazy and feed out just the moths :lol:
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

They'll eat the adult moths? I thought for sure they would be too big except for possibly mints. I'd basically be supplementing auratus morphs, azureus, tincs, and leucs with them.

What technique do you typically use? the dogfood based chow? I was reading that the typical wide mouth jars work well, and was my plan. Some articles were suggesting to have 2 different jars, one for the adults to lay in and another to raise the larvae in. I was leaning towards a cycleing like you said, leaving some adults in a jar for a few days (definately no longer then a week), then moving them to a new jar. I wonder if it's possible to get a few jars seeded like this then refridgerate them for a week or so to stagger production? Think I will head down to the reptile store tomorrow and see what they have and/or order myself in a set. My azureus in particular seam to be pickey eaters so I'm just wainting to go through all this effort just to have them reject it! Atleast I have other frogs that can hopefully make use!
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: wax worms and silk worms

I feed them to my larger Epipedobates/Ameerga and Phyllobates (as well as TFs). I'd have a hard time feeding any but the freshly hatched worms to the tinc group, and don't personally consider them worth the time/money involved for that group of frogs.

Both have specialized diets. I order silk chow from mulberry farms, and waxy chow from Ed's. I've never tried to produce either in large amounts, so I don't know the best way to do it.

Azureus ARE pickey eaters and I've had to generally force mine into eating other small foods (RFBs, love termites, aphids, etc)
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