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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Far be it from me to not offer my darts the very best. So I tried field sweeping for the first time. So now I have several jars of bugs here, mostly tiny flying bugs which I only assume are what you guys would call meadow plankton. I also have some tiny black spiders, some larger but not huge brown spiders, small catipillers, grasshoppers (which i already know are too big for the darts but I'm going to give them to my green tree frog and anoles) and some weird green bug with a shield shaped body :shock: (this I belive is too big for the darts) and a few damsel flys (I think). How do you guys sort out what's ok and what's not ok to give to your frogs and keep everything from escaping in your house? The last think I want is spiders hurting my frogs after that last post :shock:

BTW the tiny black spiders are already starting to eat the meadow plankton. :shock:
 

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Sounds like a job for Brents Bug Bazooka. Maybe Brent can fill us in on this one.
 

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edwardsatc said:
Sounds like a job for Brents Bug Bazooka. Maybe Brent can fill us in on this one.
Looks like they finally tore down my web site. I know I have a backup but not sure where. Until I find it. The bug bazooka is basically a large funnel with the small end enlarges to the inside diameter of a 2" pvc pipe slip coupler and then gluing the coupler to the small end of the funnel. A hole saw works best for enlarging the hole. Next cut about a 6" lenght of 2" pvc pipe and glue a piece of plastic cross stitch mesh on one end. I've used hot glue in the past but have wondered about whether pvc solvent would work better. Trim the plastic mesh so it doesn't stick out past the outside edge of the pvc pipe. Finally get two 2" pvc caps and mark one so you know which end is on the mesh side and which is on the open side.

To use this, take the cap off the open end of the pipe and slip it in the coupler on the funnel. Sweep your bugs and dump all the bugs along with grass and crud into the funnel and shake them down into the pipe. Take the pipe off the funnel and cap it. Then take the pipe to your frogs, uncap the mesh side, and put the whole thing inside the viv. Only the small stuff can get out and they are mostly perfect size for the frogs. Also, really small bugs tend to get in the cap on the mesh size so the caps are great to throw in with juvies and small frogs when you pull them off.

Hope that helps.

Brent
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have been using the Bug Bazooka since last summer and love it.Some of my frogs are kinda shy about putting the pvc in with them until they see the treat coming out but I know my CR auratus can recognize it.What is very cool is watching them trying to pick legs off of a daddy long legs.Their legs stick out but their body is too big to go thru the mesh.Too funny :lol.
Mark
 

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andersonii85 said:
Brent,

Interesting device. Two questions:

1) Do you have sketches?

2) Are you an entomologist?

Justin
1) I do have a sketch on how to make these things but it was on my website. My website was on a server that use to administer until I moved to a new job and location about a couple years ago. The web site has been free loading on the server since then but my replacement has recently reconfigured the servers and my site is no more. I have a backup of the web site on a disk or computer somewhere around here so hopefull I can find the content and post the picture here. However, there are tons of images of the actual bazooka at:
http://www.frognet.org/gallery/IAD2002-Callie

2) I'm not an entomologist. My degrees are in wildlife biology and rangeland ecology and I'm a landscape ecologist. I worked for the entomology department at Kansas State University and have maintained close ties with several of the entomology faculty for many years. If you've ever spent much time around entomologists, you know that their enthusiasm for bugs is very infectious.
 

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Brent,

I myself am a wildlife biologist as well. I use landscape models all of the time for my work. My boss is an entomologist and is always giving me strange ideas on how to catch specific insect species. He never asks why i need to catch certain spp. as I think he is happy to reveal his techniques to another living being...lol. Thanks for the link. I have used pitfall traps with some success. Of course I modify them so that I only obtain the small stuff. It also helps that I am in the field most days and have much access to termites.

have fun,

Justin
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like that idea. :idea:

Of couse that won't help me out now and I still have no clue how to get these darn grass hoppers and big spider out without letting everything else go. But that sounds easy enough to build once I saw the picture, thanks for the idea :D.

So the little black spiders won't hurt my tincs? I got a few of the meadow plankton knocked off into their tank and it was a riot watching them chase after them :lol:. Jumping all over their tank and I even saw my male do a back flip off a leaf trying to get one off the glass lid!
 

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andersonii85 said:
Brent,

I myself am a wildlife biologist as well. I use landscape models all of the time for my work.
I could tell by your posts that you are a wildlife biologist. Are you using termite traps to collect your termites? One of my few regrets of moving north is that I'm out of termite range and I miss the traps I had buried in my yard.
 

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Brent,

Yes, I use a modified trap. Just basically cardboard rolled up inside some pvc. I cap one end and dig it in about 1-2 feet in an area that I know there are termites. Let it sit for a week or so and then unroll the cardboard out into a rubbermaid bin. I am still working on finding an efficient way of sorting the temites from the dirt. I catch plenty of them in my pitfall traps.... just some jars dug into the ground underneath a coverboard in the woods = works terrific if you check them everyday.


Justin
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wish I could find termites out here in colorado without going too far east... Be nice if i could set a trap up in my back yard and belive that they would come but I have a feeling they won't :(. All I get are ants out the wazoo.
 

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I cannot stress the value of field swepings.

Being a feeder insect company I am always trying to find ways to better serve people, and their frogs. In Washington State I have many areas that I can use to collect field sweepings. But there is not a practical way to sort out and culture what I want. Besides, the sweepings are a bit on the fragile side and some can dessicate easily. I try to advize my customers to give it a try. It is a great way to kill time waiting for fuitflies to hathch out. In the spring and summer, I cannot stress enough the value of field sweepings. (Yes, I have a Brent Brock Bug Bazoka too) Variety is great for a dart frog, and field sweepings provide just that. It is a great way to bulk up froglets too. Food food and more food. I have noticed that my froglets tend to get good sizes on them when I do add field sweepings to their diet (When available of course) twice a week. i think small spiders are ok, but I mainly avoid large things, things high in chiton like beetles, and anything with a nasty stinging potential. Aphids are a plua, as are gnats and non fuzzy caterpillars. I get my insects nets from Bioquip a nice insect supply company on the web.
Try it,
Dave
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
EXCELLENT!!! :D :D

Thanks for the building instructions. I gotta go make me one of those. Too bad it's so close to fall. :?
 

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CFeeney said:
EXCELLENT!!! :D :D

Thanks for the building instructions. I gotta go make me one of those. Too bad it's so close to fall. :?
Two tips:

1. You would be surpised how far into cold weather you can sweep and still get critters.

2. Many of the critters swept keep in the fridge surprising well. You can throw the sweeps in a ziplock and toss them in the fridge. Many insects will die but enough will survive to give your frogs a refreshing New Year's treat. I use to pick bugs in a lab from the sweep samples we collected in summer. Often times a spider or other arthropod would start walking across the tray after being FROZEN for several months!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can just see it now, Bugs in my fridge :shock: . My family is already scared to go in the freezer because it's full of rats. :lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just made me a Bug Bazooka and am going to try it out tomorrow. I love how easy the design was and how ingenious also :D . This is great I can't wait. I made several differnt lengths of tubes to fit my various sizes of terrariums. I'm so excited. I'm stocking up for the winter. Made a couple of wood lice cultures (I found a baby toad when collecting those in my back yard) and springtail cultures. Now coupled with that and the tiny baby superworms, pinhead crickets and fruit flies I already raise, and yes maybe even a few bags of refridgerated field sweepings (my family is never going to forgive me :roll: ) my frogs are going to be happy and fat this winter. Thanks again Brent for the great design I love it. And me and my dad and daughter had a blast making them. :D I give it two thumbs up.
 

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Glad the bazooka idea is useful for you. One last tip that you might be able to use depending on how your vivs are constructed. I have wooden light hoods that hide the lights. I screw a 2" PVC coupler up inside the hoods which gives me a place to plug in the loaded bazooka so bugs can rain down on the frogs and I don't have to stare at the ugly PVC pipe in my tanks. Although it can be pretty entertaining watching frogs crawl over the pipe and wrestle for the best spot to pop bugs as they crawl through the screen.
 
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