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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've heard of people feeding parasitic wasps to their froglets. I was wondering, If I order a bunch of them, are they ready to feed out, or would I have to gut load them somehow? Could I culture them on older ff cultures? If so, would there be any risk of them infesting all of my ff cultures? The place that sells them also sells Lacewings, which I would also like to try. Both of these are sold as benificial insects from garden supply catalogs.
Any info or tips would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Dancing frogs said:
Hi, I've heard of people feeding parasitic wasps to their froglets. I was wondering, If I order a bunch of them, are they ready to feed out, or would I have to gut load them somehow? Could I culture them on older ff cultures? If so, would there be any risk of them infesting all of my ff cultures? The place that sells them also sells Lacewings, which I would also like to try. Both of these are sold as benificial insects from garden supply catalogs.
Any info or tips would be greatly appreciated.
In the past I have bought the wasp as infected fly pupae, ready to hatch out in 2 weeks. You can keep cultures in the fridge, but you will have a drop in hatch rate. I haven't seen any for sale that use fruit flies, most are raised on normal house fly pupae. You could raise the wasp by raising house flies too, or just buying the fly pupae. The wasp are very tiny and unless you are trying to just add a treat to your froglets or raising retics, then you shouldn't really need to keep them around.
 

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Ben is right they usually take about 2 weeks before they hatch, and they are very small. You usually get about 50 per fly so not bad. We are considering raising them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bumping this up...
My local bait store has a good supply of housefly maggots (they call them spikes).
Considering trying to culture the wasps...any tips?
 

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Wrong fly larvae to use for the parasitic wasps, tho I use the larvae as food for my larger frogs and pupate the flies for my larger PDFs and my TFs.
 

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The key here is to figure out the right wasp species for the flies involved... I don't remember houseflies being the flies used for the more common species of parasitic wasps raised, and part of the issue with raising them was having to have a colony of flies that was otherwise not very useful (and liked meat in their media). Not all the wasp species sold actually go after houseflies...

Here is the only species information I could find on Housefly parasitic wasps:

"The small amount of research data available from the midwest indicates that Spalangia nigroaenea is the commercially available parasite that is most likely to attack both house fly and stable fly pupae in feedlots. Muscidifurax raptor and Muscidifurax zaraptor will provide some parasitism of house flies. Spalangia *****, Spalangia cameroni, and Spalangia endius will provide some parasitism of stable flies." From this website.

Another alternative... Trichogramma Wasps will parasitise wax moth larvae. Trchogramma was often the species talked about with parasitic wasps, but they attack catepillars...
 

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Trichogramma are the uber tiny ones anyways... but they've got a short life cycle which could be complicated with the longer life cycle of the waxies... but something to try. They seem to parasitize the eggs?
 

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I do not think it is worth the effort to culture parasitic wasps, the rate of parasitism vs the amount of host organisms you would need just doesn't warrant it. for example, take Cotesia spp., these are parasitoids of caterpillars. In my master's research lab, we raised these. the percentage of parasitism was less than 30%. meaning that for every 10 caterpillars we raised to near pupation, we may get only 3 parasitoids, of which are much smaller than the caterpillars. True, there are more gregarious parasitoids than cotesia, however, it still seems like to much effort for the reward. The majority of parasitoids ar going to be smaller than their hosts, offering little advantage if any over the hosts, when it comes to frog food.

Trichogramma would be even more pointless, These are extremely small, probably about 1/4 the size of your average sprintail, if that. and from an egg grouping of around 50 eggs, you might get 5-10 parasitoids.

A better option during the summer months is to try and rear parasitoids from their hosts. Basically, find things that might have been parasitized and keep them alive to see if something emerges. This can be a fun experiment to do with the kids too. Any questions on parasitoid collection give PM me.

James
 
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