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How many species of feeders do you culture for your collection?

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They say that variety is the spice of life. I would like to know what and how many species of feeder insects people keep cultures of (or harvest from the wild) to feed their collection of dart frogs? What are the pros and cons of feeding a varied diet vs. one of say only fruit flies?

I'm not sure if Drosophila varieties would (or should) count as "different" type of feeder. I.e. I culture both hydei and melanogaster and count that as 1 type of food source, not two since both are fruit flies.
 

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I have termites, golden hydei, black hydei, turkish gliders, buzzati, flightless melangoster, isopod, temperate springtails, tropical springtails, rice flour beetle larvae, and crickets
 

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I feed FFs, springtails, rice flour beetle larvae, field sweepings and 'til it gets cold termites. Field sweepings count as 1 item or 100? My frogs love the termites.
Mike
 
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Species of fruit fly.....
It's like having flavors of canned dog food :roll:
It looks like variety to us but do the frogs really care? :D

But if they do, I have both Melangoster and Hydei flies, springtails (the white trash species 8)), crickets, superworms (frogs like them really small), and woodlice. Field sweeping has been a recent but well received addition to the diet. Flour beetles are on the way.

Me however...I'm still living on fast food salads and energy drinks :shock:

What is intresting (and sad) though is how I've become more concerned with my frogs (and the other animals I keep) diets, more then I am my own lately. :roll:
 

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Three species of F.F., two species of flour beetle, springtails, waxworms, and crickets(though I don't usually raise them).
I plan on trying silkworms, superworms, and isopods soon, and can't wait to get some of the large variety of springtail.
I've heard of some interesting roaches also.
I can't think of any cons to having as many species of feeder available, except you're social life may suffer :oops: :cry:
As for the pros...What do the "experts" say humans should do...why should animals be any different?
 

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My mantellas really seem to notice a difference between mels and hydei. THey will almost always take the hydei over the mels, even my froglets will. So, I think they should count as a different source. They are larger, faster, and perhaps tastier. Anyway, that is just what I think, and what i have noticed from my frogs.

Ed Parker
 

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A pro to more variety, my golden mantellas start to look drab after a while when feeding only FF...any one else notice that?
 

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Interesting discussion.

I'm inclined to the view that regarding nutrition, all Drosophila are equal, as are all springtails, etc. Of course, it's useful to have large (hydei) and small (melanogaster) flies for thumbnails/big frogs and froglets/adults.

So, that leaves me with:

Drosophila (2 species)
Springtails (2 species)
Woodlice (2 species)
Waxmoths (I would regard Indian meal moths as the same as these nutritionally)
and I've just started culturing buffaloworms (mini-mealworms) for Phyllobates.

What I'd really like to find is something easy to culture to complement springtails for thumbnails/froglets.

Any ideas?
 

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How about mites? I know some can be a pest to ff cultures but other types (ground dwellers) should be a good alternative.

Also aphids, I am growing rose bushes now so that I can collect/culture rose aphids in the spring... (there are some rose aphids in the neighborhood)

Drugstore bettles?? I think this is what I have been cultured for some time... haven't really try to feed them to tumbnails but tricolor eat them.


AJ Cann said:
What I'd really like to find is something easy to culture to complement springtails for thumbnails/froglets.

Any ideas?
 

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steelcube said:
How about mites? I know some can be a pest to ff cultures but other types (ground dwellers) should be a good alternative.
Yes, I think mites are the biggest underexploited group of feeders waiting to be discovered. I know an entomologist who cultures red spider mites which I sometimes used to feed froglets. They looked easy to culture so I want to give them a try. There are so many species of mite with so many feeding habits that there must be some good feeder bug candidates out there. I think there are also a lot of potential species of beetles that might also fit the bill. Finally, let's not forget ants which I think are the holy grail of potential feeders if we can figure out good culture methods and which ants to use. Nutritionally they stink but they are what many PDF seem to have adapted to surviving on.

I also tend to agree that different species/strains of ff count the same nutritionally. There may be some subtle differences like many people have noted that hydei provide a larger volume of "red eye". Certainly some frogs will show a preference. We choose a larger piece of cake when we are hungry, why should frogs be different. I also agree that springtails are probably pretty equivalent nutritionally but this might be where different rearing conditions can significantly influence the nutritional quality of the insects. As Ed K. has pointed out elsewhere, soil insects tend to get soil particles stuck to their bodies and these particles can contain minerals like calcium.
 

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I also agree that springtails are probably pretty equivalent nutritionally but this might be where different rearing conditions can significantly influence the nutritional quality of the insects.
There are springtails out there that eat pollen... I think they should be nutritionally higher (slightly?) than those that eat just mold.

I know an entomologist who cultures red spider mites which I sometimes used to feed froglets. They looked easy to culture so I want to give them a try.
Brent, do you have their picture? and what do they eat? I've seen very very tiny red/orange mites but trying to find the right food for these little guys is an art form.. :?

SB
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I know an entomologist who cultures red spider mites which I sometimes used to feed froglets. They looked easy to culture so I want to give them a try.
Brent, I will pay you or your friend for instructions and a culture once you get this figured out, if you're interested.

My entomologist sources are only culturing species of mites that would destroy the plants in my terrarium at the moment...
 

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I also agree the more stuff you culture the better. I currently use:

2 types of FF
1 type of Springtail
1 Isopods
1 Four Beetles
and I am currently trying to culture termites. They are taking for ever to get going.
 

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Lydia said:
Brent, I will pay you or your friend for instructions and a culture once you get this figured out, if you're interested.

My entomologist sources are only culturing species of mites that would destroy the plants in my terrarium at the moment...
Those are probably the red spider mite. They are the bane of the greenhouses as they infect many houseplants, especially under warm greenhouse conditions. My friend simply cultured them on pea vines. He had a table with about 2 dozen small pots of pea plants under flourescent lights and the mites infested all of the vines. When a vine died, he replaced it with another. He would just pick off a leave or two that was heavily infested and give them to me for my frogs. Yes, they are hell on houseplants sitting out on their own but let's not forget that we have frogs in those vivaria that have nothing but the best intentions for our plants when they eat and poop. If you are worried about infesting houseplants that aren't in your frog tanks, then it is possible. But red spider mites do best in humid conditions and not so well under typically drier household climates. They tend to be pests in greenhouses or in houses during the warm humid months. So making a short story long, I wouldn't worry about these mites at all in a frog tank and would not worry about them much in my houseplants with the caveat that they are a known houseplant pest but...
 
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I was just laughing with my sister here at work how I was got my order of confused flour beetles in. I'm actually trying to raise PESTS that most people try their hardest to get rid of. That's what we all do, culture bugs that no one else wants and we pay $$ for them too boot. No wonder my family thinks I'm nuts :roll:

Speaking of little bugs....does anyone know anything about a black species of spring tail? I found them (or what I think is them) in two of my terrariums. They are the size of springtails, move and jump like springtails but are a shiny black or deep, deep red color. I'm trying to culture them to see what they produce but I'm not really sure what they are.
 
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I am currently fighting a mealy bug infestation on a few house plants, and well I found some attacking the alocasia in my Vent's tank. Intersetingly I checked all the plants and they were only on the botom of the alocasia, but I could see small fuzzy spots where they had been on the bromeliads but the bug was missing. It seems the vents did a decent job of cleaning them off the broms at least.


-Tad
 

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I'm trying to experiment with mites at present. I recently fed my imitator some large-ish white mites from a whiteworm culture and they went for them in a big way. It has to be said that previous experiences with (accidentally) culturing mites are not something I want to repeat!!! Since I'm only working in one room, I do *not* want to culture any species which could infest my fly cultures. Seems like soil mites of the type that crop up in worm cultures are the way to go, but you know what, now that for the first time in 40 years I actually want them, I can't get a decent culture going!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
After my experience with the grain mites in my superworm colony, I think that's the LAST thing I want to culture on purpose. I am looking forward to culturing termites. Wonder if you can set them up in a big clean covered plastic trash can with a tight fitting lid so they can't crawl out? Would they still need another source of fresh air or not?
 
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