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EntoCraig's Feeder Bug Thread + Experiments
#1
As many of you know, or may have guessed, I am a huge bug nut. Entomology was my first love before fish, and then frogs.

I Highly enjoy culturing insects for feeders, or simply for enjoyment, as well as raising several predator species...

Currently I have your standard FFs, Bean Beetles, Springtails, and Isopods. I also have Roaches and Meal worms for other hobbies.

A friend and myself also have some alternative feeder insect projects going on and I thought I would share, as well as take in input and conversation from the Board members!

I'll be including some posts I made in another thread to get this thread going...

Please feel free to jump in with ANY thoughts, as well insects you would like me to try out, or any generic insect questions at all.
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#2
EntoCraig Wrote:...
A friend of mine brought me some beans from a tree his parents had in Vegas. Not sure on the name of the tree...

Anyways, the beans are infested with small beetles, Chrysomelids, more specifically Bruchids. We are working on a species ID, though this is not as easy as it sounds with this subfamily.

They seem slightly smaller then the common bean beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus) we see in the hobby currently. They are lighter in color and have small hair particles on the underside, likely making them great for holding supplement powders for feeding.

Currently we are hatching the beetles and attempting to get them to lay their eggs on a more common culturing media, black eyed peas. The hopes is that the larvae will accept the new beans and will be as easily cultured and their kin.

A few pics will come in the future.....
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#3
EntoCraig Wrote:We are also working on some new Isopod sp, found locally. They have a purple hue, with some orange in them, not like the 'Purples' we currently have. Also working on several species of springtails, including a ridiculously purple, almost blue species.

This one is going to be a shocker: We are even working on a pseudoscorpion species. This species is about the size of a meaty termite. Being a pseudoscorpion it has no tail or venom. It feeds on springtails only so culturing food for them is easy. 'Pinchers' are only small enough to grab springtails, so basically its impossible for it to harm frogs of any size, though its would be a feeder to 6 months or older frogs. The ants they eat in the wild are more vicious Wink

The down side to all of this is the fact that everything is temperate and not tropical, so 'seeding' isnt an option, but feeding is. Right now the most promising are the Bruchids, and the isopods. The others are going to take some time to really figure out life cycles and various needs, and if culturing will result in large enough populations to feed from.

Oh and for anyone who might be concerned about nutrition, the beetles and pseudos are high it protein, the pseudos will have fat also, which is good for breeding season, and the isos are great for calcium. These potential feeders are meant to add variation to Dart diets but not intended to replace a staple diet of FF's...
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#4
My other goal is to identify other insects or bugs that could be beneficial to Vivarium life, or simply coexist with DartFrogs without issues.

Along those lines comes a resent discovery regarding Pseudoscorpions: They LOVE mites. I know that mites can come in on plants or simply show up somehow, despite efforts to keep 'nasties' out. This could potentially be a solution to mite infestations, or keeping mites in check.

More research needs to be done first though, as Pseudo scorpions eat Springtails mainly. I need to find out how a Micro fauna Predator would effect springtail colonies. The last thing I want to do is reduce a food source for the frogs...

More to come Smile
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#5
*Subscribed*
Glenn
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#6
Hi Craig,
I'd be very interested in any predatory insects (or anything else that's safe while frogs are in-viv) to rid vivs of Psychoda alternata. The bacterial dusts they sell farmers do not work in-viv. Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#7
I am always looking for new inverts to rear as food. I'd be very interested in getting some of the pseudoscorpions and springtails for sure. I have lots to trade.

About the beetles, I'd be cautious about potential sequestered plant toxins in the wc beetles. However, if you can get them on the BEP that would be great.

I too am working on a couple new things. One is an isopod living in my terribilis tank. Adults are the size of springtails and the young are tiny tiny and quick. The other thing I'm working on is what I am almost positive is an amphipod. They are lg and the young are the size of tomocerus adults. They hop as well, and seem very prolific.

My friend has also suggested an ant species that is easy to rear in large numbers. I need to get more info on that.
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#8
RichFrye Wrote:Hi Craig,
I'd be very interested in any predatory insects (or anything else that's safe while frogs are in-viv) to rid vivs of Psychoda alternata. The bacterial dusts they sell farmers do not work in-viv. Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Rich

Are you having issues with the larvae or adults?
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#9
EntoCraig Wrote:
RichFrye Wrote:Hi Craig,
I'd be very interested in any predatory insects (or anything else that's safe while frogs are in-viv) to rid vivs of Psychoda alternata. The bacterial dusts they sell farmers do not work in-viv. Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Rich

Are you having issues with the larvae and adults?

Yes,
Easier question, lol.
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#10
It's my feeling that the larvae are producing a chemical which has potential to kill other fauna. The main concern being tads.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#11
Also, suggestions on soil nemerteans too please.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#12
Jeremy Huff Wrote:I am always looking for new inverts to rear as food. I'd be very interested in getting some of the pseudoscorpions and springtails for sure. I have lots to trade.

About the beetles, I'd be cautious about potential sequestered plant toxins in the wc beetles. However, if you can get them on the BEP that would be great.

I too am working on a couple new things. One is an isopod living in my terribilis tank. Adults are the size of springtails and the young are tiny tiny and quick. The other thing I'm working on is what I am almost positive is an amphipod. They are lg and the young are the size of tomocerus adults. They hop as well, and seem very prolific.

My friend has also suggested an ant species that is easy to rear in large numbers. I need to get more info on that.

Sure thing, I'll keep you posted on how it goes. The Pseudos I have are locally found here in a temperate environment, but seem to be responding well to the humid environment at room temp. I'll gladly share once I can get enough to colonize, and can make sure things are separated into species. (Its possible Im working with multiple) I can show you how to capture them if you want to take a stab at any local species you might have.

Yes, plant toxins are a concern. Im still waiting on an ID on the Tree, but chances are its safe. Though the whole idea is to get them onto the BEPs for convenience and hopefully better nutrition and faster producing broods.. So far we have 3 emergents so it may be a few months before I even see the next generation...

Tell me more about the Amphipod...
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#13
RichFrye Wrote:It's my feeling that the larvae are producing a chemical which has potential to kill other fauna. The main concern being tads.

Rich

Let me do a bit of homework on these guys and see what I can come up with.

My initials thoughts are to trap the adults and draw them away so they dont reproduce in the tank. The best thing would be a light trap of some sort. If its possible to kill all the lights around the tank and then hav the tank open with a light above, you could harvest the adults, poreventing them from breeding in the tank.

I may jhave to think up an inovative design for this, so give me a few days to mull it over while i get more familure with the species.

I assume these moths are 'yuck' eating moths, meaning their larvae eat fungi, bacteria, detritus, etc... Addressing that issue may be diuficult in some vivariums, as this is what most microfauna feeds on to some degree...

Anyways let me get back to you

RichFrye Wrote:Also, suggestions on soil nemerteans too please.

Rich

haha these are a PITA.

BUT! I just solved both issues... Gas the tank... Remove the frogs to a temporary home and use dry ice or CO2 to gass the tank. Do this once a day in a sealed tank and let it sit for a full 24 hours. Do this at least 3 times before allowing the air back in the tank and putting the frogs back.

The one down side is this kills EVERYTHING that isn't a plant. Bybe bye microfuana... However I assume you have the necessary means to reseed the tank and get it back on track quickly...

I use dry ice to rid wild collected moss from slugs, nematodes, mites, snails, millipedes, and honestly anything living. :twisted:
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#14
EntoCraig Wrote:
RichFrye Wrote:It's my feeling that the larvae are producing a chemical which has potential to kill other fauna. The main concern being tads.

Rich

Let me do a bit of homework on these guys and see what I can come up with. I have some friends with the Utah Lepidoptera society that might know some specifics.

My initials thoughts are to trap the adults and draw them away so they dont reproduce in the tank. The best thing would be a light trap of some sort. If its possible to kill all the lights around the tank and then hav the tank open with a light above, you could harvest the adults, poreventing them from breeding in the tank.

I may jhave to think up an inovative design for this, so give me a few days to mull it over while i get more familure with the species.

I assume these moths are 'yuck' eating moths, meaning their larvae eat fungi, bacteria, detritus, etc... Addressing that issue may be diuficult in some vivariums, as this is what most microfauna feeds on to some degree...

Anyways let me get back to you

RichFrye Wrote:Also, suggestions on soil nemerteans too please.

Rich

haha these are a PITA.

BUT! I just solved both issues... Gas the tank... Remove the frogs to a temporary home and use dry ice or CO2 to gass the tank. Do this once a day in a sealed tank and let it sit for a full 24 hours. Do this at least 3 times before allowing the air back in the tank and putting the frogs back.

The one down side is this kills EVERYTHING that isn't a plant. Bybe bye microfuana... However I assume you have the necessary means to reseed the tank and get it back on track quickly...

I use dry ice to rid wild collected moss from slugs, nematodes, mites, snails, millipedes, and honestly anything living. :twisted:

Thanks tons Craig.
Please keep in mind that I have about 100 working vivs right now in a basement . Not all have moth flies and nemerteans ,by any means, but many do...and I have no wish at all to kill all the microfauna and potantially tads, froglets or any other frogs not found in lots of big vivs by letting CO2 bombs fly.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#15
subscribed as well.
https://www.facebook.com/dartden/

https://twitter.com/DartDen


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#16
Well that makes things a little more tricky Smile If you do have a tank that you know you can remove the frogs and tads, the co2 option is quick and thorough. But like you said, might not be optimal for many setups like you have.

Ultimately the best way is to rid the spawn sites, which in your case may be less water or better draining substrate. Most Psychoda sp. require near fully aquatic conditions to live. This leads me to believe that adjusting the amount of water in the system, or the drainage of your soil might be the best place to start. The larvae are likely down towards the bottom of your substrate.

The nematodes are also a wet dwelling so look into that.

Second, lets figure out a light trap. Basically we need to attract the flies with a light out of the tank so that they do not spawn. A trap of some sort might be a good idea, though I'm not sure how we get them in and keep them in so you can remove them with the trap. This might be as simple as Blacking out the entire room, opening the tank with the flies, and turning on a sinlge light source near by. This would need to be done at night so that there are no other light distractions. Step 2: Smash away... :lol:

I'll look into if they have any natural predators...
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#17
With about 4ooo-5ooo film cans always full of 'stagnant' water (standing is a better word, the flies breed in water not quite "stagnant" also, same with nemerteans ) it's impossible to cut down on wet areas.
There are products sold which come with light, fly sticky board, and pheromones all in one. If there are no parasitic bugs to help with the moth fly issues I guess the questions are answered. Order an un-living bug killer. I just want to make sure there is not a more natural way of killing these awful beasts.
Thanks again,
Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#18
Craig,
this is the best trap I have found after a decent amount of ckecking the past year+. What do you think? I sure would love it if there turns out to be a parasitic 'bug' that helps.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110557129830?ss ... 1423.l2649











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Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#19
Check out this site for various traps. They also have an interesting ff trap I may try

http://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/
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#20
RichFrye Wrote:Also, suggestions on soil nemerteans too please.

Rich

Sorry I can't contribute more to this thread, but nemerteans can lick my balls!!!!

I am very interested in more, diversified feeders. Definitly interested in some of these potential new ones and can't wait for the results of culturing/feeding them.
Scott Bryant
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