The title says it all! This post will keep up to date with a new storyline focusing on the ecosystem of the woods and forests and how it consists of many parts. This thread is designed to highlight vivarium keeping, bee keeping, gardening, amphibian help (providing breeding ponds and habitat to live.)
The main focus on this thread will be comprised of many featured creatures. Eastern Gray Tree Frogs, or also known as The Gray Army to many of you who follow them on other threads and YouTube. These frogs are one of the two species I can confirm that I am working with closely. We will observe together their lives through a long battle with parasites, their hopeful brumation, and their move into the new enclosure which will be temporary until the real enclosure in the fall.
The Gray Army relies on many other organisms for survival and this storyline will show us the balance and the intricate depth of an ecosystem. Why do I emphasize an ecosystem? Let me welcome in the other species native to PA that will have a major impact on the enclosure. One keeping it as clean as possible and also acting as a garbage disposal and waste management: the Giant North American Millipede is a detritivore which eats dead matter. Poop, dead leaves, and fungus which can effect the quality of life for the Gray Army will be taken care of by these millipedes.
One of my all-time favorite insects it is and it is amazing to me that I get the opportunity to keep them. I would love to allow them to reproduce and release them near the area I'm creating (that we will learn later is significant) to the to this story and the ecosystem. This species of millipede is also found in my woods. I actually collected one of mine from being killed by a neighbor. They apparently crossed the road and one was saved by me. There weren't many that I know of in these woods, but I would like to allow the captive millipedes the opportunity to give back to the ecosystem where they were rescued.
This next part is very very cool. Imagine growing fruit, and that fruit is fed to the millipedes, and the crickets. So the millipedes get to taste the fruit of the labor and the frogs get a more nutritious meal from the crickets. Accompanying the Gray Army and Giant Millipedes is the Leafcutter Bee.
This bee will be given the essentials to pollinate plants and crops inside a greenhouse that I'm going to purchase. The Leafcutter Bee I decided on because I wanted to keep the bees safe in a greenhouse from predators near my artificial frog breeding pools. The leafcutter bee tolerates hot conditions and is said to be a good greenhouse bee. They will pollinate blueberries and many other crops that will be fed to my feeders and my millipedes.
I am also planning to use a handful of male bees as a feeder one time a year for the Gray Army. I will put the bees in and I'll set a timer. Once the timer goes off any bees that survive I will take back outside. Just a cool feeder for the Gray Army, and also it brings together the importance of the bees and how they are also a food source for the frogs.
I will not just allow the bees to live in the greenhouse, but butterflies, green lacewings, and even grasshoppers that I plan to breed and feed to my toads. I will open the greenhouse when the temperature is right and allow the bees to pollinate outside. I'll have the door open during the day and close it at night. So literally the bees should fly back to the greenhouse at night for protection and shelter. I'm really excited to see this in action.
Not only do we have an enclosure and a greenhouse, but artificial vernal pools. Both American toads and gray tree frogs breed in these pools of water. The ones we rescue from road patrols will be taken here to breed hopefully, and we have a large pond on the property if they are picky. So the frogs and toads will have a place to live and breed, I will supply feeders and appeal to many insects to come to the area with the pools and greenhouse.
The bees in the greenhouse will pollinate fruit which will bring wild insects to the area for the neighbor frogs and toads, but also provide fruit and nutrition for my enclosure for the Gray Army, and maybe my millipedes can breed as well as the gray tree frogs and we can continue to put out many creatures into the ecosystem.
Thank you for reading this thread and I look forward to posting updates as we move forward as well as pictures and links to videos soon.
Sent from my BKL-L04 using Tapatalk