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Local "wild" Isopods and Springtails - ok to use ?
#1
The first consideration is pathogens - Chytrid ect, from the soil as well as the bugs. Contaminants and pesticides / chemicals that are often unseen or undetected.

#2 - You are most likely going to scoop up other insects that prey on your target bugs and they could very well hamper or destroy your culture before it even gets off the ground, or even other neighboring cultures.

#3 - The local / regional species will often not thrive or reproduce nearly as well as other cultured insects that are "tired and true" - from other hobbyists. Most temperate Isopods take a lot longer to mature and reproduce, for instance.

#4- They may have a taste for your plants / decor, again, unlike some of well established and recommended species in the hobby.

Some thoughts....
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#2
I assume you posted this because of my post on another board. If not, it's extremely coincidental that we both had the same thoughts at the same time!

Anywho, it appears that my local species of isopod, Cylisticus convexus, has been cultured in Europe for many years. I was wondering if you had any idea of their reproduction cycling time ?

Thanks,
Mark
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#3
Nope...I'm only familiar with culturing the hobby varieties of Isopods - Dwarf white, Spanish Orange and recently, the Costa Rican purple.

Sorry.
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#4
I'm a novice,i know you know this Phil but other guys might not. We utilise a lot of wild grub,i am also culturing as an experiment some native isos which i have picked from our organic garden,with great results,and using the young as a feed stuff. I also have massive stocks of a small grey springtail in our compost bins,which we also use.

I asked extensively about these and peoples thoughts over here in England about the risks ,and was told by more experienced folks that the benefits will out way the risks,so went ahead. So far we have had no problems,although of course there could be long term implications,that are as yet to show. I might be wrong but i think that the UK hobby is more relaxed about the utilisation of wild grub. Personally i would hate to be without these feeders,and the variation that they add to our frogs diet,though as above there are risks that folks need to be aware of.

I kept amphibians as a child before there were any cultures available other than mealworms,wild food was my staple and all my stock i kept led long lives,although i didn't breed any of the non natives.... this has also influenced my choices. We are very very careful about where we chose to collect from.... almost all of it comes from home,where we have lived for over 20 yrs and have always had organic tendencies.

Its funny in a way that as weary as you guys are about bringing in something awful in wild food,i am about bringing in something in the way of a bought in culture: my first 2 starters of mel and the only culture of hydei all came here riddled with mites.I was given a new start of a red eyed wingless mel with our first frogs as i lost the other 2. That start of hydei that we bought around a year maybe more has been the only one that we have ever bought,and the mels despite a hiccup through pretty grave circumstances is also now going great. Again, isos only one culture of each brought in. Springtails we struggle with i have tried various methods but have,recently got a couple of new starters, am so grateful i have those organic compo bins to fall back on can't beat a 210liter culture :lol: Recently a sick tinc that wasn't really interested in ff's relished greenfly and I'm convinced that these put weight back on him real quick,so i love my wild grub!!

I must reiterate here that i am a novice to darts and that these choices are not made without great thought.

regards,
Stu
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#5
Markw Wrote:I assume you posted this because of my post on another board. If not, it's extremely coincidental that we both had the same thoughts at the same time!

Anywho, it appears that my local species of isopod, Cylisticus convexus, has been cultured in Europe for many years. I was wondering if you had any idea of their reproduction cycling time ?

Thanks,
Mark
Mark ,I'm not actually sure which natives i culture,although one is Onicillus acellus and probably another is Porcellio scaber,there is some detail on our room thread
regards
Stu
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#6
Stu.

This hobby would be NOWHERE without people trying new things. Meadow plankton and trying different species of feeder bugs are very much needed.

I just try to post cautionary issues and provide info on my experiences and my history of the hobby.
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#7
Philsuma Wrote:Stu.

This hobby would be NOWHERE without people trying new things. Meadow plankton and trying different species of feeder bugs are very much needed.

I just try to post cautionary issues and provide info on my experiences and my history of the hobby.
Absolutely Phil i utterly understand and its equally important that folks have an appreciation that I'm a beginner it could all go pear shaped for me there are always risks with wild grub.

Here's some pics of our wild grey springtail,it likes cooler conditions,doesn't thrive in a viv...so far refuses to be cultured or sent to my friends,but is loved by our frogs,when its at its best i can harvest say a tablespoon full in around 2 mins,in really hot weather they are non existent,buried in the heap,i use your cardboard trick to get some when the weather is a bit warm when the weather is right i just bang them off the lid.

[Image: IMG_2006.jpg]
[Image: IMG_2007.jpg]
[Image: IMG_2005.jpg]

I now have seeded them into 3 bins and also use a real soft makeup brush (nah i don't use them now Big Grin ) to sweep them off the outside of the bin into a tupperware container and dust and feed.

On some level this is funny we work really hard at culturing and i walk down there and with no effort have more than i can get out of 20 cultures,i see it as payback for all that recycling we do and for not using garden chemicals for 20yrs,but i absolutely agree there are risks.

I am also doing a mad blind test,i have got some leaf mould from a source where there are probably no native amphibians popped it in a 3l container and am feeding it,i might just get lucky and find a springtail that explodes in there,there is a couple of big say 5mm3/8th" black springs,with big antenna but so far no numbers.

its kind of a mission of ours to have as much as possible on the go, not only for the variety of diet but also to always be covered for grub for the frogs in the event of major crashes, of major feeders.

regards,
Stu
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