Dendroboard banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been feeding my Tincs a diet high in ants for the past 2 years. I now want to make the ants a permanent part of the micofauna.The benefit are;
1.A constant supply of food to my PAF.
2.A new janitorial group for my vivarium.
3.Adding to the chemical make-up, to there food, in which they loose in captivity. Helping to retain my frog's color naturally.
4.Giving them a diet, what they're use to in the wild.
I read a article awhile ago in Reptile Magazine, that over 90% PAF's diet consist of ants and mites.This acticle is what made me increase the ants, in my own frog's diet. With a diet like that, I think the common name should be change from Dart Frogs, to Ant Frogs. I'm plan on making the ants a permenent part by the use of ant plants in my vivarium.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
That might be a little difficult to pull off. What species are you currently feeding them and where are you getting them from?
I assume you have a queen? How are you going to ensure the queen isn't eaten? How are you going to regulate the production of new ants, to the point they can feed the colony, feed the frogs and not overwhelm the frogs and stress them out?
In my frogs fecals, I've seen the small black ants we have here in Florida (not fire ants or the tiny grease ants) pass thru my frogs whole. I wonder how much in the way of nutrition they actually get from eating ants.
Interesting Idea and I hope it works out for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,420 Posts
When i was at Rich Frye's house in one of his larger vivs he had colonie of large ants. I mean damn near half the length of a pum. Personally i would be concerned about predation on frogs but he said its never been an issue. As far as I know that was the only tank that had them though. There was a good size stump they where living in if I remember correctly. been a long time since I was there though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
That might be a little difficult to pull off. What species are you currently feeding them and where are you getting them from?
I assume you have a queen? How are you going to ensure the queen isn't eaten? How are you going to regulate the production of new ants, to the point they can feed the colony, feed the frogs and not overwhelm the frogs and stress them out?
In my frogs fecals, I've seen the small black ants we have here in Florida (not fire ants or the tiny grease ants) pass thru my frogs whole. I wonder how much in the way of nutrition they actually get from eating ants.
Interesting Idea and I hope it works out for you.
Thanks,It not so much the nutrional value I'm looking when I'm feeding ants, but adding the ants chemical compond to my frogs diet.I look for my other frog's feed to do that. I feed my frogs at least 6 different sp. of ants. They take to the ants just as any other feed. Unlike when I was living in VA., and the frogs dislike some of the ant sp. Here in FL they love all the ant sp that I feed. I believe this is a missing food in our captive frogs.
I'm plan on adding the ants to the microfauna, via refugium. Natural, letting ants naturally colonized ants plants. Then adding the plants to my vivarium. Or artificially, letting ants colonized artificial refugium internal,or external.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,152 Posts
Thanks,It not so much the nutrional value I'm looking when I'm feeding ants, but adding the ants chemical compond to my frogs diet.I look for my other frog's feed to do that. I feed my frogs at least 6 different sp. of ants. They take to the ants just as any other feed. Unlike when I was living in VA., and the frogs dislike some of the ant sp. Here in FL they love all the ant sp that I feed. I believe this is a missing food in our captive frogs.
I'm plan on adding the ants to the microfauna, via refugium. Natural, letting ants naturally colonized ants plants. Then adding the plants to my vivarium. Or artificially, letting ants colonized artificial refugium internal,or external.

I read more recently than that article that it is mites, not ants, that mainly contribute the 'beneficial components' to the frogs. A dissection of some dart frogs revealed something like 80 to 90 percent mites in their gut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
A refugium, smart, didn't think of that. Should allow you to control the amount of ants in the viv.
I don't know anything about ant plants. Does a queen inhabit the plant?
Sounds like you've done your research. Will be interesting to see how it works out.
Have you ever looked at your frogs fecals after they have fed on ants?
I'll have a disecting microscope at the central florida meetup next month if you want to take a look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A refugium, smart, didn't think of that. Should allow you to control the amount of ants in the viv.
I don't know anything about ant plants. Does a queen inhabit the plant?
yes,the queen and colony inhabit natural hollow part of the plant.The ants and plant form a symbiotic relationship. The plant provide both food,and shelter for the ants. The plant benefit natural defence of the ants. Ant plants comes in many classification of flora. From small trees, to shrubs, from vines to ferns.
Have you ever looked at your frogs fecals after they have fed on ants? Yes, but never under a disecting microscope.
I'll have a disecting microscope at the central florida meetup next month if you want to take a look. Sure, looking forward to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I had read that the symbiotic relationship between ants and ant plants in the wild is very specific regarding the species of ant and species of plant. It seemed to me that you'd have to make sure you have the right type of ants in relation to your ant plant, and of course also make sure that these ants would be suitable for cohabitation with your other vivarium inhabitants.

Being that this post is quite old, I was wondering if you ever implemented an ant farm into your system, and if so, whether or not you were successful in getting ants to colonize your ant plants, which species you used, and so on. I would be very impressed and would also love to see pictures of your set-up. In fact, if anyone knows of any enclosed set-ups with ant plants that have active ant colonies, please share a link or something, cause I'd love to see it. Even cooler would be a system that had both ant plants with live ants, and carnivorous plants in it. I wonder if that could work. I bet in the wild, it wouldn't be unlikely to find certain Nepenthes species living nearby certain ant plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,684 Posts
I want to throw some thoughts into the fire...

Diets of Dendrobatids are complex and vary significantly by population (because the arthropod community varies hugely as well). A lot of the popular references are directly related to determining the source of toxins they give off that are not toxins they produce themselves (and may be leaving out all the OTHER stuff they eat). This is not a debate on if it's mites or ants... it's mites AND ants (and termites, and beetles, and millipedes). Some species are more specialized in this than others, and some species are more studied than others, and some also have seasonal variation of availability.

As for ants in the tank... typically my short response is HELL NO. Species native here are vastly different (and may be only vaguely related) but small tests of collected ants was a good way to test them. If they eat them, awesome, you've got more variety in the diet (this really only seems to work in Florida or Hawaii though).

That being said... ones they like, would I put them in a tank? Depends on what their habits are like. Can they get enough to eat in the tank? Will they harass the frogs (look for very calm species that don't attack)? Will they have population explosions, or just a slow gradual increase (assuming you get a species that will even reproduce in the tank)? Will the frogs eat the population down so low they won't even be viable? Unless you've got a BIG tank you may have the issue of too many ants, or the frogs eating too much. Also realize that free range food means you're giving up supplementing a huge part of your diet that you will need to make up. This is why I stick to cultures outside the tank, with regular dumps into the tank for a steady food supply.

There are a number of ant plants that if you have your tank set up correctly for epiphytes would grow well in there. Also a background that is filter foam or something like epiweb that they can crawl into and establish where the frogs won't get them would be good - a refugium in tank for them.

Last thought... ,any Nepenthese ARE ant plants ;) not all are super carnivores, some live off leaf litter, others use ants to keep their traps clean while getting delicious ant poo in return... ;)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top