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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a little accident with one of my FF cultures, so rather than dive into another I wanted to offer my guys a treat. I collected some termites and they loved them. Then I got to thinking, there are alot of other bugs here can I feed them to my frogs as well? So I thought since winter isn't here yet I wanted to research what some of the bad bugs were.
So? A list would be great.
Mike

p.s. anyone know a good way to get the ff culture smell out of the carpet before my wife finds out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shhhhh Maybe I can rearrange the furniture?
 

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This makes many people cringe but I feed my PDF any bug that can't eat them. Remember, these things make a living in the wild out of eating things that are toxic and using that to their advantage. They are pretty darn good at spitting out anything they don't like. Just make sure you don't feed any bugs that have been exposed to pesticides.
 

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keep in mind, the toxic bugs they eat in the wild are dramatically different from the toxic bugs you will find in north america. These frogs have evolved over a long period of time to be tolerant of the certain toxins that they get from eating these bugs. So, the toxins are very different between here and central and south america. Just because they spit the bug out doesn't mean that they are safe. I would just take extra precautions before feeding my frogs any wild bugs. They are too beautiful and expensive to risk to something like that. I typically stick to bugs that I can buy. If I had termites in my area, then I would use them though. As to the ants, most frogs will not eat north american ants, because they produce a chemical that is used as a predator deterent. I have heard that the only ants around here that frogs will eat are the flying ants, but I haven't found a colony of them since I was a kid. So, just be careful with your frogs diet. As for spilling the culture on the carpet, hmm, good luck. Just buy a rug to cover it with, and get a plug in air freshner. GOod luck,

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The whole reason I question what to feed and what not to feed is the field sweeping and using the Bug Bazooka. Very indescriminant way of feeding. hmmmmmmmm
 

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Dart frogs will eat some ants but you have to test them out first. I do field sweepings and have probaly fed most types of native insect in northern Illinois to my mint terribilis (and bicolors when I had them). They have eaten the occasional lightning bug and boxelder and absolutely no ill effects. Hell, I can't get my mints to stop breeding. It is actually quite funny seeing them eat lightning bugs, because they light up in their mouth and the frogs entire head glows. Out of an entire field sweeping nothing is left behind by the mints, but I wouldn't judge all darts by this. Most are much more picky than mints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far my G+B auratus eat everything, they're still small but I wanted to know where to draw the line. Thanks for any suggestions, I gotta run and collect some more termites.
Mike

Side question, am I geek or does everyone here think "hmm that would look cool in the viv or my dart would eat that"?
 
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Side question, am I geek or does everyone here think "hmm that would look cool in the viv or my dart would eat that"?
Nah your human, I used go to raves and I swear every raver (myself included) would have to say "wouldn't that be a perfect spot for a party" any time we drove by a vacant building that was bigger than a telephone booth.

-tad
 

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Whenever I bring up my philosphies on feeding insects it never fails to get some people riled. Yes, the toxins in the tropics that the frogs have "evolved" with are different. Largely, they are more numerous and often more potent than what are found in temperate zones. Evidence suggests that PDF are fairly plastic in their ability to tolerate and even exploit toxins. Hence, D. auratus transplanted to Hawaii have developed a toxin profile that is different from those found on Taboga Island where the population originated. The suggestion is that the frogs were able to exploit the chemical composition of the locally available food. Also, insects typically sequester toxins to make themselves taste bad and avoid predation. Frogs know bitter when they taste it regardless of whether they have ever eaten THAT bug before.

In captivity, many, many, hobbyists have fed their frogs meadow plankton for many years and I have yet to hear of a death attributable to toxins from wild insects. That doesn't mean there aren't risks associated with feeding wild insects. Introducing pesticides, parasites, predators, or disease (e.g. chytrid) are all things that should be considered. The locations of where insects are collected and how they are presented should be chosen carefully. However, I don't think that potential natural toxins harbored by insects even warrants being on the radar for problems. I doubt that there are even any insects that could provide a lethal dose to a PDF if consumed in the quantities found in meadow sweeps. On the other hand, there are many positive aspects of feeding meadow plankton including increased variety and nutrition. We struggle very hard to culture have a dozen feeder species to provide our frogs "variety" and still we often have trouble producing frogs with the vibrant colors found in nature or maintaining good breeding condition. Meadow plankton provides an easy solution to many of the problems we face in captive PDF by providing a diet much closer to that found in nature. No, it isn't exactly the same but it is much closer than a steady diet of ff. The benefits do not come without some risk though and it would be dishonest to suggest otherwise. But I will repeat that I've never heard of a death that resulted from feeding meadow plankton.

There have always been two camps for keeping captive animals. One is what I call the clinical camp and the other is the naturalistic camp. Both have their virtues. The clinical camp keeps things tightly controlled and tries to reduce or eliminate stress and potentially harmful agents being exposed to the animals. This is a smart choice for zoos and collections with a lot of new animals coming and going because it allows you to minimize exposure to "unknown" factors that may cause harm. The down side is that this method assumes that you know everything an animal needs to thrive and reproduce. That's not always the case. The naturalistic group tries to simulate conditions as they occur in nature within an acceptable degree. They tend to provide more variabilty and variety for the animals which includes some elements that have uncertain impacts on the animals. The philosophy is that if the element isn't something the animal can exploit, it should at least be something it can cope with. The reasoning is that nature provides the elements that makes a species thrive and therefore provides the best model for maintaining them in captivity. The hope is that any harm done is minimal and potential benefits are great. It's a great method for unraveling the mysteries of what makes a species tick but because there are more unknowns in the system, it also has more inherent risk. But even though the risks would appear higher, that doesn't mean that the nature people are losing more animals. There is at least as much risk in controlling an animals environment so tightly that we miss something we didn't even know they needed. Both camps are successful so I'm not trying to tell people which is better.
 

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What is a good way to catch field sweepings. I haven't seen many ideas that would work too well. DOes anyone have pics of what they use, or know of a website. I agree with you bbrock. I totally forgot about how the auratus were introduced into hawaii. And now they produce a similar, yet different toxin than auratus in south america and central america. I think that is the way I heard it. Sorry to get any one riled up. I just really wish I could find termites in Utah. but, if anyone has good ideas on collecting field sweepings, let me know. I guess I will have to try it.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
bbrock,
Very well said. Thank you for your input, that was exactly what I wanted to hear. An honest answer. I guess I'm a naturalist. 8) I wanted to catch anything that would fit in my frogs' mouths but being relatively new I wanted to be timid in my aproach. Now hear this all you little bugs, the dinner bell has rung and you're the main course! :twisted:
Mike
 

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Mantellaprince20 said:
What is a good way to catch field sweepings. I haven't seen many ideas that would work too well. DOes anyone have pics of what they use, or know of a website.
Check out the thread on meadow sweepings:

http://www.dendroboard.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2884&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

In addition, what you need is a good sturdy "sweep net". You don't want a flimsy butterfly net. My favorite net is the "heavy duty sweep net" on page 45 of the Bioquip catalog http://www.bioquip.com/html/view_catalog.asp Buy extra nets because even a heavy duty net will wear out after about a season of hard use. The technique is fairly simple. Find a pesticide free area meadow and sweep the net side to side in a 180 degree arc back and forth in front of you as you walk. Hold the with the hoop perpendicular to the ground and flip the net at the end of each stroke so you are constantly sweep insects into the same side of the net. The net will be crammed with large and small bugs and vegetation trash. Then you can use the deal posted on the other thread to transfer to the vivs.

Also, on the subject of ants. PDF will eat more than many people think. I think of 7 species I've offered, at least some frogs have eaten 5. Sometimes they won't eat them the first try but if you repeat later they will. Sometimes they'll eat ants heartily when first offered but then not so well at a later date, only to relish them yet again later. The best genus I've found that were almost consistently liked by all frogs were Chrematogaster but Monomorium have also been a favorite.
 

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khoff said:
It is actually quite funny seeing them eat lightning bugs, because they light up in their mouth and the frogs entire head glows.
This is interesting. I've always heard lightning bugs were very toxic towards lizards, killing them rather quickly. This is not something I would feel comfortable trying. Has this produced adverse effects in your terribilis at all?

Bry
 
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Mantellaprince20 said:
if anyone has good ideas on collecting field sweepings, let me know. I guess I will have to try it.
I snagged my daughters cheap $5 butterfly net and use that and crash through the weeds in my huge back yard and sweep back and forth in front of me keeping the net open and always moving so that all the bugs are pushed by force towards the back. Then I just close it with my hand towards the top and dump it all in my new Bug Bazooka (god I love that thing) and go back and crash through some more weeds till I'm satisfied I have enough bugs. I plan on investing on a bigger, better net soon though, or maybe someone will take a hint and get me one for xmas. So far the cheap little one has held up great and has only grass stains to show for all it's use. It's pretty intreasting to see all the different bugs you come up with sweeping like that. I wouldn't even know what to call half of them.

Just a note, before I had the bug bazooka I dumped the bugs in a jar and had a hell of a time trying to get the grasshoppers and other bugs that were too big out of there before I dumped them in the terrariums. I usually ended up dumping the jars in the terrariums (everything) and then picking out the grasshoppers and other big bug very quickly and throwing them back into the jar. This usually resulted in a lot of bugs flying back out and ending up in my kitchen :roll: .
 

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Mike, you are a geek. Welcome to the club! Seriously, my brothers and buddies ride me about the "frog thing" all the time. Two weeks ago while salmon fishing I carried a piece of driftwood with me for most of the afternoon. It is going in my next vivarium. They also used to give me a hard time about looking for nymphs and scuds while flyfishing until I started tying flies to match the forage base of the streams and they started catching more fish.

As Kevin said, my terribillis will eat anything, any size, I'm pretty confident that if I put full grown crickets in with them they would try to eat them too! On the other hand my tincs will only small fruit fly sized items and they are as big (not as bulky) as the terribillis. All the others fall kind of in between, the only issue that I have is that if I feed an item that is too large, it is a pain to get back out of the enclosure. I only started being picky with field sweepings because I was bringing a lot of mosquitoes into the house

Kevin, that must have looked great with the whole head on the frog lit up, do you have a picture?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the input on items to worry about. My house backs up to a wooded area so bugs are no problem. I'll just use my judgement on what I think would be good. No = centipedes, millipedes, ants (maybe). All of the other critters that will fit in the frogs mouths = yes. I went out today and collected waaaay more termites than I thought I did (and the dirt didn't taste that bad). So does anyone know how to preserve them for a while?
Mike
 

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You can keep them in a tupperware box, in some moist cardboard for a while, if you set them up right you should see some babies, as without the queen the workers become secondary reproductives. I am trying to do this now as their are no woods close to me where I can collect termites.
 

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Dunner97074 said:
Thanks for all the input on items to worry about. My house backs up to a wooded area so bugs are no problem. I'll just use my judgement on what I think would be good. No = centipedes, millipedes, ants (maybe). All of the other critters that will fit in the frogs mouths = yes. I went out today and collected waaaay more termites than I thought I did (and the dirt didn't taste that bad). So does anyone know how to preserve them for a while?
Mike
You just reminded me of another risk of feeding meadow plankton that I didn't mention earlier. You can introduce millipedes, snails, and slugs which in some cases will eat frog eggs. The frogs won't eat the millipedes, trust me. So they can co-exist with the frogs fairly well but with the problem of possibly losing some eggs. I've had a resident population of millipedes in my pumilio tank for years and I have seen them destroy eggs but with pumilio it's not that big of a deal since they can easily lay more eggs until they get a tad or two in the water so I dont think the millipedes have slowed down reproduction too much. I've known other people with tanks that lost 100% of imitator eggs to snails. Just one other thing to consider. It's normally more of a problem in small tanks where the egg predators can get concentrated and easily find all of the eggs. Centipedes aren't really a problem for me. They are either to large to fit through the screen on the bazooka or the frogs eat them. Even if the frogs didn't eat them, a few small centipedes in the vivs wouldn't bother me since they might help clean up the slugs and millipedes but they would also compete for ff. Still, in the years I've been feeding meadow plankton, I've seen many centipedes go into the tanks and down frogs throats but never seen a population persist in a tank.
 
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