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My cricket colony collapsed last week....

I have been feeding my tiger salamander flukers freeze dried calcium/gut fed crickets for 1 week...

Are these acceptable food stuffs for him? he eats them, but tiger salamanders eat anything....


Well?
 

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Hi,

Earthworms can form the basis of their diet (preferable to crickets); many folks suggest pinkies, but several under my care at the Bx Zoo developed kidney/liver disease, fatty deposits in the eye, when pinks were used long term (happens to other insectivorous herps as well); use rarely if at all;.not a food they are adapted to digest on a regular basis.

Please see this article on Fire Salamanders..they do well on the same diet, best, Frank
 

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Hi,

Earthworms can form the basis of their diet (preferable to crickets); many folks suggest pinkies, but several under my care at the Bx Zoo developed kidney/liver disease, fatty deposits in the eye, when pinks were used long term (happens to other insectivorous herps as well); use rarely if at all;.not a food they are adapted to digest on a regular basis.

Please see this article on Fire Salamanders..they do well on the same diet, best, Frank
Hi Frank,

I'm going to disagree with a couple part of this.. There is no indication that they can't digest pinks well... In addition, the fat content of a pinkie on analysis is about the same as that of a cricket of comparabile size (40% for a pinkie versus 44% for a cricket) however the difference comes into play when you compare the weights and total calories provided. A pinkie the same size as an adult male A. domesticus weighs in at close to 1.5 grams while the cricket comes in at less than 0.4 grams. The calories provided are 6.3 kcals versus 1.9 kcals.....

So as we can see from the above analysis, pinks are acceptable but as noted (by Frank and others) they should be fed much less frequently. You can get liver issues regardless of what you feed, if you are feeding them too much too frequently as obesity rapidly contributes to issues like fatty livers (and fat infiltration of other organs).
As an example if we look at the picture of the marbled salamander I am attaching to this discussion (it was never fed pinks) but was fed as much as it would take of invertebrates (including worms) twice a week while kept at 65 F and it is easy to see that it is grossly obese at best.

Ed
 

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They are an acceptable food source for your salamander. I would recommend mixing it up with some live earthworms as well. I get my earthworms from walmart and feed each adult salamander 2 worms each per week, sometimes threee. I'll throw in a few crickets or jumbo mealworms for treats every other week or so.
 

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For my Tiger I always used a staple of large garden worms, some grubs and/or waxworms seasonally, handicapped moths(clipped wings, etc), superworms(giant mealworms) with the head crushed(used VERY sparingly, and offered by forceps holding the crushed head end), and when it was too cold to dig and in a pinch, crickets. With the crickets, I remove the back legs before feeding. This way they are easier prey, still mobile, and the undigested legs are not passed worthlessly through the digestive tract. I fed once a week. I do not think obesity is how to improve a captive's life.

Best of luck!

JBear
 

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It is important to remember that Salamanders have a slower metabolic rate(particularly when allowed seasonal variation in temps), and thus do not need a large meal often. A large earthworm will hold an adult over for maybe 2 weeks in a healthy way as long as feedings have been nutritional, varied, and regular. People fall into the trap of, well, he still wants more, without understanding the predatory/survival instinct that drives the salamander to strike at prey. Just ask a Goldfish(as an example) about appetite and the need to suppress it as keepers... To allow an animal to become obese in your care is just unethical, and will ultimately shorten the life span. This is obviously counter-productive toward the goal of bettering a species in any way whether helping to establish a healthy CB stock, genuine species conservation that is needed, or even limits the time a keeper will enjoy the specimen(to view it from a very selfish perspective...).

Don't overfeed any pet, you are not doing it any favors...

JBear
 

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. This way they are easier prey, still mobile, and the undigested legs are not passed worthlessly through the digestive tract.
The legs aren't passed through worthlessly.. the large muscles in the legs are digested even if the "outer" shell is left whole. That is a big chunk of protien your removing from the diet.

Tiger salamander nutritonal needs are very similar to other Ambystomids and you can get a good handle on the nutritional needs if you scroll down to feeding on this article and check out the food needs of an adult A. opacum Caudata Culture Species Entry - Ambystoma opacum at a reasonably low temperature. The caloric needs go up with the temperature..

Ed
 

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The legs aren't passed through worthlessly.. the large muscles in the legs are digested even if the "outer" shell is left whole. That is a big chunk of protien your removing from the diet.

Ed
When offering a consistently varied diet, I don't see the loss of the cricket leg muscle's protein as that detrimental. Crickets were not a large portion of the diet I offered... However, I was not aware that the internal meat could be used while the bony legs appear still whole... Thanks for the info!

JBear
 
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