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Old 08-12-2019, 09:33 PM
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Default Ants for Darts

I have the opportunity to purchase a colony of Tetramorium immigrans ants with a queen (pavement ants) or a colony of Crematogaster hespera ants with a queen (crazy ants). Will dart frogs eat either of these ants? Does anyone have experience feeding these ants? If I buy the Crematogaster I plan on getting aphids for them to farm. Extra aphids will also be fed to the frogs.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

I personally would keep ants as far away from my frogs as possible. Even ants that are generally non aggressive can bite and will bite. I have had ants in my vivariums and they stress my frogs into hopping around the enclosure looking for safety. The concentration of ants was similar to what you might consider a feeding. Not a swarm but a good amount. The ones they try to eat they spit out. Could be the species of ant but based on my experience i would never introduce ants in with my frogs.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Fruit flies and their supplementation is a must, it's just the simple.

There is no other staple food insect that can take the place of fruit flies.

There is no substitute for fruit flies in over 40 years. That should tell you all you need to know about ants.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Ants have potent chemical defenses. This is the reason they are able to walk all over in the daytime usually with little trouble from predators. Unless you have an ant-specialist animal in your care, they are no good as feeders.




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Last edited by hydrophyte; 08-13-2019 at 12:00 AM. Reason: edit
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Ive had ants worry me to Stat Action with much larger and better armoured taxa in closed system. That being said on a more tender note I really want clean termites for some guys I have.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:34 AM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Termites are excellent supplemental food -several times a year, especially to fatten up females during breeding season.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:06 AM
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I understand the importance of fruit flies and supplements. They will still be the main food source. I'm just looking for variety. In the wild the frogs literally have thousands of food choices. In captivity 2 maybe a few more. How boring. Could you go your whole life on chicken and cheese burgers and a multivitamin? Okay yes you could but would you enjoy it? I have thought about Termites but workers can start breeding in the absence of a queen. That makes me nervous. Ants are more controlled as far as breeding goes and easy to care for. That is why I was thinking of ants.They would be housed completely separate from the frogs. Only 5 or so would be introduced at a time no more till eaten. I could also chill them before feeding to slow them down. Tropical ants are far more aggressive then ants around here and the frogs have been reported to eat them.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelGardner View Post
I'm just looking for variety. In the wild the frogs literally have thousands of food choices. In captivity 2 maybe a few more. How boring. Could you go your whole life on chicken and cheese burgers and a multivitamin? Okay yes you could but would you enjoy it?
Anthropomorphizing captive animals doesn't lead to better care. They are not people. Frogs don't get bored by meals (that is an artifact of human society and the fact that we think we need 40 choices of soda pop to be happy -- and guess what? We're not, on the whole. Hmmm.). Frogs don't 'enjoy' things.

Captive darts thrive on a diet of supplemented fruit flies. Other good prey includes springtails, isopods, and bean beetles.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:03 PM
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In the wild, darts eat ants BUT a frog coming across an ant in the wild is different than a few ants shaken into a tank. Ants fed this way will be in defense mode already instread of being caught unaware.
Darts also will not eat ants that produce Formicidae acid as it is could tasting so look into that as well before feeding.
Also consider that adding ants may increase the chances of your darts developing toxins themselves.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Frogs don't 'enjoy' things.
Speculate beyond the data much my friend? I have to beg to differ; just because the life form is more primitive than we are does not mean they are a completely different order of biological robot than us. Anuran brains operate on basically the same neurochemicals as ours- dopamine being one of them. Dopamine is the pleasure (joy) chemical. Unless you have some reason to believe it would react differently in their brains than ours, there must be some reaction akin to joy in there. Seeing RETF's play on a bird swing could really make one reconsider that opinion, in my opinion. Terribilis eating frenzies anyone?
More primitive animals rely more on instinct than us higher, super smart ones. But what is the direct experience of an instinct? Many believe it is emotion.
I've gone through the system being told lower animals don't feel pain, plants don't possess awareness. We know that both are incorrect now. Science is how we find better truth, bias is what directs our line of questioning. We can not allow ourselves to paint the world with it, or we end up asking the wrong questions (because we think we already know the answer). We all have bias.
I would contend that even a frog can feel joy, and I have neurochemistry on my side. What I deny is that science is a philosophy- it is not, it is a method of inquiry. When we use it to postulate a world view we're missing the point. Fortunately the first lesson of science is: be prepared to be wrong. I know I am all of the time.
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Last edited by Ravage; 08-14-2019 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

I actually have an ant problem in my house. These small ants, not sure on species, but they look like the ones everyone sees in driveways are a constant fixture. They like to go into my gecko tanks and eat the gecko food.

In the gecko sometimes they come in in fairly large and worrying numbers but they have never stressed a gecko to death.

Interestingly I never see them in the gecko tanks that also have frogs.
I am pretty sure if they wander into the tanks the frogs are eating them.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Ravage, I see your points. I could be interpreted as some sort of Cartesian-era vivsectionist based on what I wrote up there.

These two quotes help to illustrate what my thoughts are:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelGardner View Post
Could you go your whole life on chicken and cheese burgers and a multivitamin? Okay yes you could but would you enjoy it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravage View Post
Dopamine is the pleasure (joy) chemical. Unless you have some reason to believe it would react differently in their brains than ours, there must be some reaction akin to joy in there.

I don't deny that whatever feeling dopamine causes in humans, it causes in frogs, if that system is relevantly similar in both animals. That's simple logic. But the OP was making a comparison between, on one hand, an entire life with only two food items, and on the other (by implication), the rich and complex range of food choices that humans like us are privileged to have.

Would a human get a burst of basic feeding-behavior-motivating-pleasure from only cheeseburgers and chicken? I think so; I've met people with diets nearly as simple, and they look to have no problem motivating feeding behavior. Same with frogs -- Repashy on melanogaster, day in and day out, they keep eating, to obesity if I let them. Same neurotransmitter burst, same gluttony.

Now, 'enjoyment'. I'm enjoying a cup of coffee now (rather than simply consuming it because of the stimulation it causes, or some other reductive explanation). Enjoying it involves more -- it involves the feel of the cup in my hand (I enjoy coffee much less from a paper cup). It sometimes, like now, involves the pleasant, long-practiced, association of typing and drinking coffee. Occasionally, I am rewarded by a distinct remembrance of the cup of Turkish coffee I drank in Las Vegas, shortly after becoming engaged to my now-wife almost twenty years ago. And on and on -- the ways in which we enjoy simple activities are as numerous as are people.

This is, I think, what frogs don't experience. I also think this is what the OP was implying the frogs are missing out on if we don't vary their diet; the OP certainly didn't imply that the frogs were missing out on the 'dopamine-pleasure-qualia', whatever that feels like exactly.

Enjoyment, such as the enjoyment that comes from a varied diet, is an intellectual activity. The reason I enjoy listening to death metal and someone else instead enjoys petting cats isn't helpfully illustrated by reference to differences in neurotransmitter function. Those differences in enjoyment primarily have to do how a person's thoughts have been shaped by personal history, social history, cultural norms, and all sorts of things that are distinctly (if not uniquely) human.
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Unread Yesterday, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Hi Rachel,
All carpenter ants and many (or all?) Tetramorium have formic acid. Many (or most?) insect loving animals won't eat them. If you squish an ant with your finger and then smell your finger, it is putrid.

We have a few hobby ant colonies, and I wouldn't feed them to the frogs, because I'm pretty certain they won't eat them. I have insect-loving finches, and they won't touch ants (or ladybugs). Most ants contain some type of acid, so that frogs and birds won't touch them. Many ants can also bite and are fearless, so they could hurt your little frogs.
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Unread Yesterday, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

The ants that invade my vivariums sometimes are absolutely vicious. I have seen a single ant trying to attack hydei many times. In ant numbers they could easily kill a frog.
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Unread Yesterday, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

The big thing here is the lack of utilizing premium superfine dusted supplements for prey insects.

Calcium, vitamin package, vitamin A - all must be used with tremendous frequency - in other words, every prey item should be introduced dusted with some form of supplement.

My exceptions are some occasional springtail feedings, and 2 or so termite feedings a year that I use to fatten up my females pre breeding.

Ants and Aphids....just not practical. Some think that bioactive substrate is going to produce food and result in healthy frogs all by itself. It will not.

Is culturing FF and dealing with jars and cups and maggots and the occasional weird smell required for this hobby. Yes. Yes it is.
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Unread Today, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

Termites are rich but unsaturated fatty acids dominate lipid composition and proteins could rival the beautiful protein profile of flies.

I cant help but think the reputation as a destructive pest by some of its members has been a block to more extensive culturing models.

Humid neotropical habitat hosts the most termite species diversity, I cant imagine there arent excellent candidates for clean, easy culture that would pose little risk of household survival due to temperature, moisture requirements and propensity to desiccate apart from situ.
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Unread Today, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

termites cannot be effectively supplemented with superfine powders. There *can* be some debate on this as well as breeding them, but in terms of ease of culture and availability, they pale in comparison to the FF for our hobby purposes.

I saw Brian Kubicki take a fishnet and catch 'wild' fruit flies that were eating leftover pineapples that a kinkajou ravaged and there were what seemed like 50 different types of fruit flies and other 'flies' in the net. Take a handful of leaf litter and soil from the jungle and it's teeming with small 'bugs. We will never get anywhere close to that in our hobby.

we must use quality superfine dusting supplements, and the best prey insect to dust, by far, is the fruit fly.
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Default Re: Ants for Darts

I like to keep an open mind. In case things are dimensional.
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