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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

Nothing official to offer yet (which is why I am not on the classifieds page) but I wanted to gauge interest - would anyone be interested in some free firebrat starter cultures? They've been working great as supplemental feeders for me, and my P. terribilis and Mourning Geckos go absolutely crazy for them.

When I tried to get some of these feeders a few months back it seemed like basically nobody in the US uses them. RoachCrossing.com sells them, and while I had a good experience buying from him and would recommend him as a vendor, other forum members have reported that in the past his availability/shipping dates can be inconsistent. He was literally the only source I could find for these feeders, and I think ideally we would change that.

I now have a firebrat colony that has started to produce well, and I would imagine I will have a sufficient supply to split off some starter cultures around September (hopefully by then my local temperatures will be out of the hundreds and I can think about shipping things). I would like to share in the interest of getting more of these feeders into the hands of PDF keepers - payment would be the cost of shipping and an honor system "pay-it-forward" where you make cultures available to fellow hobbyists when you have them going.

Let me know your thoughts.
 

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I would be interested, I'm in TX & would be happy to pay for shipping. I've been looking for firebrats for awhile now & have been looking into their care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sounds interesting. Do you know what species they are?
They're Thermobia domestica. They appear to occur everywhere humans do already (per some cursory internet reading and iNaturalist sightings), but for whatever reason they aren't cultured or used as feeders frequently in the US despite being popular in Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, so it definitely sounds like there's sufficient interest to be worth doing it. I'll make a basic care guide and post about it again when I am ready to send some starters out. I'd anticipate September, potentially October if California stubbornly sits in the high 90's/low 100's into the fall (I know firebrats like high temperatures, but the inside of any vehicle at these temps is like 160+ which is not compatible with life).
 

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Alright, so it definitely sounds like there's sufficient interest to be worth doing it. I'll make a basic care guide and post about it again when I am ready to send some starters out.
This is a cool idea -- please use the Marketplace for the distribution step, though. Thanks. :)
 

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I'd be interested in some breeder stock. HOWEVER, in the past I've read that Firebrats have quick reflexes and move too fast for any Frogs to catch them. Have any experience with this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is a cool idea -- please use the Marketplace for the distribution step, though. Thanks. :)
Will do - I felt like putting this post there now would have been a tease since I'm not offering anything yet.

I'd be interested in some breeder stock. HOWEVER, in the past I've read that Firebrats have quick reflexes and move too fast for any Frogs to catch them. Have any experience with this?
My terribilis absolutely destroy them, so I would say this is categorically false. They're more inclined to hide under leaf litter than flies, and seem to like the dark (hiding behavior seems to be about on par with crickets), which is the potential disadvantage. But I also like the idea that the frogs can forage for them (like a dog with a kong - they've gotta work a little bit for it) and they don't reproduce well in the temps frogs are kept in so strays in the cage should just be snacks for later. If they go into a food bowl they just run around in circles until they get eaten.

Cool, come by the university if you’ve a free day.
Sounds good I'll let you know - starting at a new clinic this week and I am gonna be on a 4 days/week schedule for the foreseeable future so I should have some weekdays off here and there.
 
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