Dendroboard banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've tried the recipes, followed YouTube videos, etc. with the oats and honey mixes and so forth and I never have any success, some worms die, some pupate and I see the moths and they eventually die, but then I never seem to get any worms out of it. I really don't know where I am going wrong, it really seems to be something that people make sound easy to do so it's especially frustrating that I've been unsuccessful. I've also heard that the commercially bought wax worms may not be the best to try and start a culture with. Is that true? Does anyone offer cultures? I found a website Worm Man's Worm Farm but it seems to be defunct?

Thank you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
The larvae pupate very quickly when provided nourishment and a mediocum of wamth. The moths have a very finite adult span of life. They exist to mate and lay eggs.

Your "Blank Space" is the size and undetectibility of fry, especially in bedding. I used egg crate, and with aid of loupe glasses can find clusters of yellowish eggs in the concavities to be seen. I can locate visible fry only on the bare floor of container.

Unlike the recommendations, i mist the env daily, and half of the container is warmed firmly, around 85 degrees.

The fry are tiny and surprisingly mobile in comparison to when they are larger and closer to the pupate stage. I can only cull them by tilting the acrylic container and individually removing them from the bottom. Otherwise they are invisible in the oat sub.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Magnification is Power.

Loupe glasses are my favorite, field magnifiers, with standard hand helds last choice.

But once you add magnification as a tool to your husbandry, a world of accuracy opens up and you know you cannot be without it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I am in central California so in the gecko room on the shelf they are in the low 80s during the day and dips to about 77-78 in the evening during the summer months. I am using the oats and honey method, some extra bran mixed in I had laying around, I put egg crates on top of this substrate mix and put at least 50 wax worms in, I've seen moths in there, most are dead now, perhaps I just haven't given it enough time?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
That would be my guess.

Unless you are targeting very tiny worms ala microphage feeding purpose, it would be more practical to buy a feed-out supply of the 'standard' larvae. As when given warmth and sustenance they pupate quickly at that size and the tiny hatchlings arent rapid growers.

You probably have new worms but just cant see them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I would rather buy a supply of tinys than breed them TBH.

I have heard from a credible source that wax hatchlings are available but I am unable to locate.

Im just working with what I have currently. May look further in future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If you happen to come across anything, please keep me in mind. I feel like I have scoured the web and social media looking for a source and I cannot find one in the US. You can get them in the UK, but I cannot seem to find small/mini waxworms in the states.

wormman.com seemed to be a source at one point but they now appear to be out of business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
I would like to know more about the setup for waxworms. In the past, I either did too well with waxworms or I'd never get new caterpillars. I have used the oats and honey method and it's been hit or miss. Do you have to mist the container? What sort of ventilation do you use? Does it matter what kind of honey you use? I have noticed that when I did have waxworms, I got the waxworms that were not refrigerated, but still had issues with adult moths but no new caterpillars grow and develop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
I wonder if some commercially available wax worms are being subjected to some kind of treatment that prevents them from completing their life cycle by reproducing.
I know that other larvae are sometimes irradiated with x rays to prevent them from completing metamorphosis.
In the UK you can buy 6000 hatchling waxworms for around 25 dollars so it's been a long time since I've bred them myself. I can remember having better results at higher temperatures and in slightly drier and better ventilated cultures though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
My wax set up is simple and not very sophisticated. I would have rather used better quality honey, and have pondered adding beeswax in an innovative way, and even thought of having more compartmentalized harborage, as I enjoy contented feeders.

But I made an off the cuff culture using an acrylic pen plax type case with a snap on grated plastic lid. It would qualify it as openly ventilated.

I used "instant" oatmeal and table honey in the bear. Instant oatmeal is just a smaller ground oat. I have about an inch of oats that were generously ribboned with honey and mixed through. The container is positioned on a table edge with half of it recieving warm air from below. The computer modem, to be exact lol.

Its warm, 85 on the bottom surface thats being heated. I mist the inner peripheral twice daily to keep it from becoming arid.

I try to take out as many of the expired moths as I can. I culled some worms yesterday and it was easier due to sizes and numbers. But moths fly out while I do this so my system needs refinement there, also, but its producing.

I hear the moths at night lightly fumbling, vibrating in their mating activities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
I wonder if some commercially available wax worms are being subjected to some kind of treatment that prevents them from completing their life cycle by reproducing.
I know that other larvae are sometimes irradiated with x rays to prevent them from completing metamorphosis.
In the UK you can buy 6000 hatchling waxworms for around 25 dollars so it's been a long time since I've bred them myself. I can remember having better results at higher temperatures and in slightly drier and better ventilated cultures though.
I've thought about that. However, I've never tried misting like KMC does, and I've noticed sometimes the media gets very hard and dry and I've wondered if maybe I shouldn't use metal screen lids, but had an issue with waxworms chewing through plastic (they can digest it, new research shows!).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
So far, Ive not had any chewing of the top happening, but I dont take your insight personally.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Re: a little 'dry' humor up there.

Artificial 'colonies' are healthier and more productive with abundant resources and resources are best applied when one or more arent restricted, as a means to achieve others.

In a project waaay back - before there were phones you could carry in yer pocket, a physicist friend and I did a study on air exchange behavior in various vivarium constructions and containers and various venting configurations using finely mitigated smoke bombs. Seeing air exchange tangibly made a lasting impression.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Update on my wax worm colony. Well i ran into the situation of so many moths, that it became troublesome and i realized the bin and makeshift warmth provision was not sustainable to harvest the littles.

The aridity others have experienced i have too. I misted the egg crate and sides to assuage it but a dark mildew develops in cooler portions of the bin if not kept in a very narrow range of benefit.
So i am starting again in a different container. Its a 12 by 12 inch glass cube with a slide screen top, with part closed per acrylic pc.This time i am going to try to warm it more evenly and adding a small amount of glycerin to the honey - oat mix to see if imparts a better moisture body to the culture.

I will get some new waxworms and report back with the applied details and what i get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
The aridity others have experienced i have too. I misted the egg crate and sides to assuage it but a dark mildew develops in cooler portions of the bin if not kept in a very narrow range of benefit.
So i am starting again in a different container. Its a 12 by 12 inch glass cube with a slide screen top, with part closed per acrylic pc.This time i am going to try to warm it more evenly and adding a small amount of glycerin to the honey - oat mix to see if imparts a better moisture body to the culture.

I will get some new waxworms and report back with the applied details and what i get.
I was just discussing this with a very, very experienced day gecko breeder who has been culturing lesser and greater wax moths for years. I'm looking to start culturing lesser wax moths so I was getting some tips and he absolutely assured me that the inclusion of glycerin is key to success as it allows the culture to be properly ventilated without being as prone to drying out but does not promote mould.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Im waiting on my new seed culture of larval worms with which i will be using the added glycerin. I will relay the experience.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I just started my renovated culture using glycerin in the mix.

I received 2 50 ct containers of waxworms which i separated from the shipping media. One container had fine pine chips, the other aspen bedding. Both are pretty lousy for the waxworms.
I gently placed the waxworms in a misted sterilite bin while i prepared the oat, honey and glycerin mix. The barely moving somewhat flaccid individuals perked up enough to show directional movement by the time i finished, which included taping a flukrs heat mat to the wall 1 cm from the glass back of the slide screen 12×12 cube. I sloped OHG media to the rear of tank.

I put 2 pc 6×4" egg crate in for now.

I placed a stiff plastic sheet, loosely over the top leaving a gap at the cooler front.

Day 1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I just started my renovated culture using glycerin in the mix.

I received 2 50 ct containers of waxworms which i separated from the shipping media. One container had fine pine chips, the other aspen bedding. Both are pretty lousy for the waxworms.
I gently placed the waxworms in a misted sterilite bin while i prepared the oat, honey and glycerin mix. The barely moving somewhat flaccid individuals perked up enough to show directional movement by the time i finished, which included taping a flukrs heat mat to the wall 1 cm from the glass back of the slide screen 12×12 cube. I sloped OHG media to the rear of tank.

I put 2 pc 6×4" egg crate in for now.

I placed a stiff plastic sheet, loosely over the top leaving a gap at the cooler front.

Day 1.
Glycerin is the key !
One trick I would give is not putting too many waxworms at day 0 but better making several cultures ; frequently checking the cultures to remove dead worms during the first days/weeks and the last important thing you need to know is that waxworms can dig a hole in plastic lids and escape from plastic culture's bins ,that's why I use glass jars with pierced metal cover ....Good luck:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
We'll see! Im looking forward to it. A large proportion of the worms received will be fed out to other animals before having the opportunity to propagate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I've been breeding waxworms for a few years now and my cultures are very productive. I use oat bran, honey, bee pollen and glycerin. I just set up one culture earlier today (picture with the moths). The key is to maintain a stable temp. I keep my cultures in a Boekel incubator at 82F. Let me know if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top