Dendroboard banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Corey turned me on to these and gave me some good info on them, I've been following instructions outlined in the following two links:

http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/insec ... aphids.htm

http://www.tracyhicks.com/aphid.htm

A lot of them died when shipped to me, about 20 survivors of the 100 I ordered, but I have close to 400 now and it's only been 3 weeks or so. I think the population will explode from here and be a nice feeder, so it might be worthwhile to have our own pictorial hosted on dendroboard.

When I have some time (and possibly Corey can help ;) ) I'll write this up and add a few more pictures / descriptions. But for now my method so far is that I germinate Fava beans and then add them to a 10 gallon tank with some leaf litter / thin substrate layer on the bottom. I added springtails and isopods in the hopes that they would eat the dead plant matter after the aphids are done with it, and so far it has been working well. The only downside I need to iron out, is by leaving the dead plant material in the tank to feed the springtails and isopods, I have also attracted fungus gnats.

Anyway just posting this as a note for myself to come back to when I have time, and write it up / format it properly.









 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I put a few other 'test' plants in their tank, and they have not touched anything other than the Fava bean plants. They are host specific to plants of the pea family. They are pretty slow moving as well, I think froglets would enjoy them more than adults (I haven't started feeding yet, just trying to get my numbers up first).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
Tried them on Kudzu, then?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I haven't tried them on Kudzu (and don't have any seeds of it for that matter). I guess I should say I'm not really sure which plants in the pea family they use.. just that I know the Fava beans I've been using have been working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,264 Posts
I have been wanting to try these for a while but held off as I didn't want to infest the terrariums and lose other plants. I can't imagine what else of the bean family I would have....but I am curious what they would do if there were no beans available.

Chris
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,602 Posts
I've harvested aphids off of crabapple trees and cucumber plants this past summer. I noticed they lived on their host leaves/stems in the vivs for up to a week, but honest nothing would eat them :?

I didnt try tincs, or terribs, but the thumbs pretty much seemed to ignore them.

they rarely move and seem covered in spikey hairs, not too appetizing really.

Are bean aphids different? they look quite similar really.

What has been your experience actually seeing thumbs or pumilio eating them??

S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I haven't fed them yet, but will start putting them in my froglet tanks and see what happens. I only have thumbs and egg feeders right now so will see if they eat them. I know Corey has had good experience feeding them to froglets, but no experience myself, yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,684 Posts
Aphids where actually how Corey raised her initial pumilio offspring before Corey was shown the light of springtails ;) And Corey's Epis have and do eat them. Corey's Epis eat everything they can shove in their mouth!

I've had good success with a variety of native and non-native amphibians eating aphids.

One big question tho... when feeding aphids in the past, were you guys "feeding them out" by dropping in a leaf/stem infested with aphids? Or just the aphids themselves? I always fed aphids themselves only... they will actively (albet slowly) move around the tank searching for another host... this is what attracts the frogs. Leave them on their host, and they have little reason for moving, and thus aren't too attract to animals that like active foods...

I do what to repeat that aphids are very host specific... the pea aphids are one of the less specific pest aphids (which means you can raise them on a variety of bean species) but still should not infest your terrarium plants unless you like to grow beans in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,166 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Keeping up with the amount of plant matter these guys consume has become increasingly difficult. I would like to switch over to creating an artificial diet, a liquid sugar solution that will attract the aphids just like the Fava beans would, filled in something like dialysis tubing instead.

I need the following research paper if anyone can get it to me (it's not available at my university):

"Acyrthosiphon pisum performance in response to the sugar & amino acid composition of artificial diets," Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Volume 48, Number 3 / October, 1988, pp. 283-292

Thanks in advance!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top