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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got some kind of almost microscopic insect taking over my Cobalt viv. They are to small for pictures. The only time you can see them is when you mist. It drives them crazy and they all scurry around. The Cobalt doesn't seem to mind much but, I'm going to have to break down the viv just in case unless someone has an idea what they are.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Sounds like springtails or baby isopods.....Springtails at least in my observation do the same thing you describe....What color are they? White?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never seeded anything in my vivs. They must gave piggybacked in on something else. I've never seen one of the insects large enough for a frog to see and eat. My uneducated guess is that they may be an isopod. I wonder if they crawl on the frog and cause it stress. I've read on the dry ice method and I may give it a shot. It seems like there would be a few survivors though and you would find yourself back in the same boat. I wish I could figure out what they were.

Thanks for the help guys.
 

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Probably springtails. They start up for apparently no reason sometimes. Probably come in on a plant or the dirt stuck in the roots. When they come out, grab a straw and gently blow on them. If they are springtails, they will jump. Some species jump several inches. My giant blacks can jump 5 or 6"! Another clue is that springtails are usually much faster and more "chaotic". If they were isopods in any sort of density, you should see ones big enough to be identified as a "Rolly Polly".
Both of the bugs I've mentioned are good to have.
 
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I second the mites thing... these are roundish (looking) type bugs. In the past I warned someone who was feeding their prized galacs right from the old fruit fly container not to do it. They said the galacs love to pick up the mites as well as the flies. The frog went into the open container and inside and was found the next day dead with mites covering more than 90% of the body. Sad story, but yeah beware if these are mites. A few mites may be a supplement for your frogs, just be on the lookout to see if there numbers are growing. They are especially fond of younger frogs, but in greater numbers can take down any size frog.

Peter Keane
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate the insight from everyone! I think I will try to capture a few tonight somehow and get a real close look at them. I'm hoping for springtails but, I'm afraid they might be mites. I think I can grab the coconut hut and get it over by the light where I can maybe see their color and shape. If I can discern anymore info from them when I look I will post it here.

Thanks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I second the mites thing... these are roundish (looking) type bugs. In the past I warned someone who was feeding their prized galacs right from the old fruit fly container not to do it. They said the galacs love to pick up the mites as well as the flies. The frog went into the open container and inside and was found the next day dead with mites covering more than 90% of the body. Sad story, but yeah beware if these are mites. A few mites may be a supplement for your frogs, just be on the lookout to see if there numbers are growing. They are especially fond of younger frogs, but in greater numbers can take down any size frog.

Peter Keane
That's crazy! Poor frog!
 

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Just a warning, in the past I lost some frogs due to a mite infestation, they sucked blood from the frogs. Just be careful as you don't know what your dealing with. Bill

In cases like this the mites should be identified as I've had cases like this when I've found a freshly dead frog covered in mites only to have those mites turn out to be free living detrivore mites that are commonly found in the enclosures. In those cases, the mites don't kill the frog, they are simply the first decomposers on the scene. If there were/are blood sucking mites in the enclosure then you should find them attached to the frog(s) while the frogs are still up and active or lesions showing where they are embedded in the skin of the frogs.

See this abstract for an example of the issue JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
Pathology of cutaneous trombidiosis caused by larval trombiculid mites in a wild Lesueur's tree frog (Litoria wilcoxii) - [email protected]
 

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In cases like this the mites should be identified as I've had cases like this when I've found a freshly dead frog covered in mites only to have those mites turn out to be free living detrivore mites that are commonly found in the enclosures. In those cases, the mites don't kill the frog, they are simply the first decomposers on the scene. If there were/are blood sucking mites in the enclosure then you should find them attached to the frog(s) while the frogs are still up and active or lesions showing where they are embedded in the skin of the frogs.

See this abstract for an example of the issue JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
Pathology of cutaneous trombidiosis caused by larval trombiculid mites in a wild Lesueur's tree frog (Litoria wilcoxii) - [email protected]
Almost every viv, maybe every viv, is going to have mites sooner or later, probably sooner. The vast majority are going to be harmless to your frogs. Scavengers and decomposers can easily get a bad rap simply by doing what they do best. As an example, to this day, many reefkeepers still mistakenly believe that bristle worms are predators. In reality, out of the hundreds or thousands of types of bristle worms, only 2 have ever been proven to attack live flesh. There feeding response is triggered by dead, decomposing, flesh. So a reef keeper fails to meet the requirements of his prized Maxima clam. Clam looks fine one day, but is dead and covered with bristle worms the next. Reefkeeper believes that the worms killed his clam and goes on a "worm rampage", trying to capture and kill every worm in the tank. Little does he know that the worms actually saved his tank from a major crash. A huge chunk of meat (the clam) rotting in the tank, would have caused elevated nitrite and ammonia levels, causing more animals to die and levels to rise more, eventually crashing the tank. His thank you to the worms...death!
Maybe a sidetrack, sorry. I just thought it would be some more info backing Ed in that most mites are really harmless to your frogs. I use contaminated cultures to feed my pumilio babies. Mites are like candy to them!
 

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In cases like this the mites should be identified as I've had cases like this when I've found a freshly dead frog covered in mites only to have those mites turn out to be free living detrivore mites that are commonly found in the enclosures. In those cases, the mites don't kill the frog, they are simply the first decomposers on the scene. If there were/are blood sucking mites in the enclosure then you should find them attached to the frog(s) while the frogs are still up and active or lesions showing where they are embedded in the skin of the frogs.

See this abstract for an example of the issue JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
Pathology of cutaneous trombidiosis caused by larval trombiculid mites in a wild Lesueur's tree frog (Litoria wilcoxii) - [email protected]
Hey Ed, my vet at the time made the discovery when I brought him live frogs for exam.But no ID was made.
 

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Hey Ed, my vet at the time made the discovery when I brought him live frogs for exam.But no ID was made.

Hi Bill,

Interesting. The reason I was saying they need to be identified is because all of the ones that are in the literature as feeding on live frogs are trombiculid mites (chiggers) so it is possible you could have had a new species on your hands.
Did he at least determine if they were adults or nymphal mites?

Typically clearing up trombiculid mite infections can take months with repeat ivermectin treatments and manual removal. Simply stripping down the cage doesn't do anything to resolve the issue particularly if the adult mite is a feeder on organic detritus allowing for multiple breeding cycles in the cage.
 

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mites can be problematic, even the detrivores. sometimes they can reproduce out of control and they will really stress the frogs. some other mites will eat insect eggs, so you wind up with decimated springtail populations. since the frogs dont eat them, they might get out of control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's a very interesting article. I believe they are describing a different mite than what I may have. They describe it as "ovoid" or egg shaped. I think mine are more elongated. Also, I do not have any sores on my frog (thank god). The mite in the picture posted is huge in comparison to my insect infestation. I don't think they grow big enough for my frog to eat. At least I've never seen one that big. Seeing the way they cover my coconut hut makes me think they may be crawling all over my Cobalt. It would be a shame to break down my viv for no reason. I need to figure this out. If I can't I will have to do it just to be safe.

Thanks to all!




In cases like this the mites should be identified as I've had cases like this when I've found a freshly dead frog covered in mites only to have those mites turn out to be free living detrivore mites that are commonly found in the enclosures. In those cases, the mites don't kill the frog, they are simply the first decomposers on the scene. If there were/are blood sucking mites in the enclosure then you should find them attached to the frog(s) while the frogs are still up and active or lesions showing where they are embedded in the skin of the frogs.

See this abstract for an example of the issue JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
Pathology of cutaneous trombidiosis caused by larval trombiculid mites in a wild Lesueur's tree frog (Litoria wilcoxii) - [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Could this be what you are talking about?

(center of pic)
They are what you describe and have been in my viv for a while, though there are no forgs in it. Ive always thought they were aphids though they might be mites.
That's a lot larger and pear shaped. This bug is supper tiny and shaped a bit different. They are fairly quick moving. Thanks for trying to help!
 
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