They are ideal for very small lizards, amphibians and invertebrates such a spiders or baby preying mantids. They do not possess biting mouthparts and are completely non aggressive.
Bean Weevils are supplied as a culture containing adult beetles, along with beans containing feeding larvae. They should be stored at 20-25C in the containers they arrive in and will produce weevils for several weeks, if not months. Eventually the larvae will have eaten all of the beans and no new beetles will emerge.
To use, the wood wool is gently removed from the culture and the beetles shaken into a plastic tub where they can be dusted with vitamin supplements if required before being used. The wood wool is then returned to the culture.
3- Bean Weevil :
Bean Weevils are a VERY SMALL beetle that feeds on dried beans, as well as other dried peas and pulses.
The larvae feed inside the bean, eating away at the inside until it is ready to pupate. It then makes a small chamber to pupate and emerges from the bean as an adult beetle.
Even as adults these weevils are very small at only a few millimetres long and are used as a food for any species that likes very small food items, much in the same way as fruit fly.
Vivarium Animals feeding guide
Bean Weavils ..
Bean Beetles (culturing and feeding them to your Dart Frogs)
BEAN BEETLE CULTURE AND CARE :
Looking for a different feeder insect to spice up your herp’s diet? If your pet reptiles or amphibians love smaller foods, consider bean beetles. Bean beetles, known scientifically as Callosobruchusmaculatus and sometimes called bean weevils or cowpea weevils, make a great treat for poison dart frogs, smaller geckos, small chameleons, and any other critters that are a fan of microfeeders.
What are bean beetles?
Bean beetles are a type of weevil, and are agricultural pests native to Asia and Africa. Bean beetles are obligate legume eaters – they only prey on beans. Bean beetles are considered a crop pest in the United States, and are regulated by the USDA. Josh’s Frogs has the proper permits in place to ship bean beetles to most states. We cannot ship bean beetles to Wisconsin, Utah, and Hawaii.
How should I care for and culture bean beetles?
Bean beetles are easy to culture and care for. Simply provide some black eyed peas for the adult beetles (which do not need food or drink) to lay eggs on, keep the culture at 75-85F, and wait! Within 4-8 weeks you’ll have plenty of bean beetles to feed from. Initially, bean beetles will be reluctant to fly. After the culture has many eggs and larvae present, the next generation of bean beetles will fly/glide around the culture – feed out of the culture then, as that means the culture is full and it’s time to feed out the adult bean beetles, and use the eggs/larvae present in the beans to make a new culture.
Bean Beetle Culture Life Cycle :
We add 6oz of new beans to 2oz of beans with eggs/larvae, as well as ~25 bean beetles to every bean beetle culture made at Josh’s Frogs. This way, the culture already has a jump start on it’s cycle, and should boom longer than using typical culturing methods. After mating, the female bean beetle will lay eggs singly on the surface of a black eyed pea. That egg will hatch, and the larvae will burrow into the bean, where it will dine and grow until pupating into the adult beetle. Adult beetles only live 1-2 weeks, and do not feed. This entire life cycle can take up to 7 weeks at room temperature, but temperatures in the mid 80s F will speed it up to 3-4 weeks. After a culture has boomed 2 times, it’s time to make new cultures. Split the old beans and some beetles into new cultures. If your aim is to have a constant supply of bean beetles, you’ll want to stagger your cultures and make new ones every 1-2 weeks.
How do I collect Bean Beetles from a culture?
There are several different ways to harvest bean beetles from the culture, but all involve 2 basic strategies – removing the surface area from the culture (generally paper, paper towel, a cardboard tube, or a coffee filter) and shaking the beetles off, or sifting the beans using a colander. Either method works, but I prefer to remove the surface area and shake the beetles into a waiting container. You won’t remove as many beetles as when using a colander, but more beetles will be left to breed in the culture.
How do I Dispose of an old Bean Beetle Culture?
As bean beetles are a crop pest, it’s important to dispose of all old beetles and beans with care. Place the materials in a sealed plastic bag, then freeze them for at least 72 hours. This will kill any eggs, larvae, and beetles present.
Where do I get bean beetles?
From Josh’s Frogs, of course! Click Here and get some shipped right to your door! Your pets will love them, and bean beetles really are simple to keep and easy to culture.
Guide to cultivating Bean Beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus)
4- Woodlice :
what is woodlice ?
A woodlouse (plural woodlice), also known by many common names (seebelow), is an isopod crustacean with a rigid, segmented, long exoskeleton and fourteen jointed limbs. Mostly they feed on dead plant material, and they are usually active at night. Woodlice form the suborder Oniscidea within the order Isopoda, with over 5,000 known species.
Woodlice in the genus Armadillidium and in the family Armadillidae can roll up into an almost perfect sphere as a defensive mechanism, hence some of thecommon names such as pill bug or roly-poly. Most woodlice, however, cannot do this.
- This is my guide to a foolproof, thriving dwarf white woodlice culture.
courtesy to : www.dendrobaord .com
I have tried a number of techniques to grow these guys over the last year and a half and have finally settled on one which I think is the most productive. I tried the method on Alan Cann's website (Woodlice), but it didn't work too well for me. Here we go...
Make sure that your culture size fits the population size (ie make sure you have enough woodlice so that mold cannot overtake the culture). A small culture can be pretty productive. Unlike tropical springtails, as long as these guys have food and shelter they will continue to reproduce and be productive (tropical springtails secrete a substance which inhibits further production, so populations will eventually quit being productive unless you split them). The easiest way to kill a feeder population is to overfeed it and let mold get the upper hand, so it is better for them to be hungry than over fed.
This technique is easier than setting up a fly culture. It involves growing them on bird bedding and feeding them dogfood. The dogfood will mold over and once it does, they will eat the moldy pellet until there is nothing left. They will also eat the bedding, at which point you know it is ok to split the culture. At the end, all of the bedding has been turned into "dirt".
Here is a culture which has eaten all of the bedding. I fed about half of the population out before I took this picture. The dirt in the bottom usede bedding that took up the whole container before they chewed it all up. It is full of woodlice (they burrow into the dirt).
This guide is intended for the feeders sold as dwarf white tropical woodlice, which I believe are actuallyTrichorhina tomentosa. I believe I read that Trichorhina tomentosa was first identified in the late 1800's as a hitchhiker in Germany found among some new world orchids. I believe that these guys are either hermaphroditic or parthenogenic... I don't think that mating is required to make more of them. The eggs are kept moist under their body near their gills and hatch after a few weeks. At 28C, I observed that it took a newly hatched woodlouse about 2.5 months before it produced babies, but it wasn't full grown at the time and I don't think I was feeding it the correct food at the time. It takes them about 2 weeks to have a clutch of eggs.
This is the inside of the old culture. The woodlice are burrowed in the dirt.
And this is what the jar looks like after I took out the dirt. You can see some woodlice remained in the bottom.
Now that the culture is empty, it is time to add some bedding. I used this product, which appears to be similar to shredded cardboard corrugation. It is sold for birds, but I've also seen it used in display cases before. I tried using cardboard as substrate but they were much less productive on the cardboard.
Now add 1 pellet of food. I usually add about a pellet every two weeks, after the old pellet had been completely consumed. I use this organic dogfood, which cost me $3 and has lasted for over a year. I also toss these pellets into my cages to feed the microfauna and give the frogs a place to pick off springtails and isopods.
And here is the finished culture. Just add bedding, dogfood, some old culture and spray it a few times. It should not be sopping wet. It looks wet in this picture because it hasn't soaked in yet, but there is dry bedding underneath. The fact that it is pretty well sealed up should keep the humidity near 100%.
You need a few small holes in the lid or the woodlice will die of anoxia. Very small holes should be sufficient. The pellet will mold over after a day or two, then the woodlice will then chew it all up (unlike springtails which will just eat the mold on the outside) and the pellet will turn into dirt after about a two weeks, at which point you should add another. If you ever notice it drying out, just spray it a few times. I spray it about once every 3 months.
I have tried a number of other substrates (cardboard, coco coir, peat, orchid bark, plaster) but they seem to grow the fastest in this setup. They are still much less prolific than flies, but require less work. I feed them out when a culture is exhausted by either just putting some of the old culture into the viv, or removing the old substrate and banging the empty jar, which has a bunch stuck to the sides.
Good luck and let me know how it works out for you.
How to set-up a Woodlice Colony
5- springtail :
- what is springtail ?
Springtails (Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modernhexapods that are no longer considered insects (the other two are the Proturaand Diplura). Although the three orders are sometimes grouped together in a class called Entognatha because they have internal mouthparts, they do not appear to be any more closely related to one another than they all are to insects, which have external mouthparts.
- Step-by-Step Springtail breeders guide :
courtesy to : www.dartfrog.tk/
Springtails are widely used here in Europe as a food source for Dendrobatids, especially for froglets of small species. Springtails or Collembola are tiny arthropods that live in moist conditions, usually feeding on decaying plant matter and fungi. They can be useful in raising the smallest of froglets, but anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be problems with protozoan infections associated with the long-term use of collembola.
My own personal experience is that the more springtails you can feed with, the better is the frogs doing. If you have problems with frogs that get tadpoles that turn into froglets with spindly legs syndrome (SLS) it will often solve the problem or at least decrease the number of frogs that get SLS if you start to feed with more springtails.
Another situation where springtails can help out alot is when you have a frog group that you want to start up for breeding. Increased springtail feedings will often help with starting them up. For feeding small froglets and some tiny species like R. reticulata springtails is the only alternative. Newly raised O. pumilio is best raised into adults with alot of springtails. Even if this is a good food source it's important that you don't overfeed with this since to much springtails at one time will stress the frogs.
Here is my simple guide with photos that describe how I set up my springtail cultures in a good way that has been working pretty good for me during a couple of years. It's not the only way that will work, but it is an easy way for setting up the cultures. I can also recomend you to use some cultures for experiements, mabie you will find out something that works better for you.
You need this to start with :
Plastic boxes with lid without airholes (Candy-type about 20x20x12cm width/length/height)
Flower pot Soil or cocos fibre soil
Cous-cous, grinded cat food pellets, fishfood flakes or a ready "springtail food mix".
Start culture of springtails
Fill a candybox with about this much soil or cocos fibre soil. I use normal flowerpot soils myself since I think it works best but other people is using cocos fibres with good result.
Add water but not more than it is only moist. If there is to much try to get it out of there.
The way I remove the water if I get to much is to take out the soil with my hands and press out water over the sink.
Press the moist soil hard against the bottom of the candybox so it is easier to harvest the springtails when they are ready.
The springtail culture will probably work just as good without this but you will not be able to harvest them that easy.
After the soil is pressed, put the box into the micro to get rid of as much as possible of odd kind of creatures that normally can come from regular soil. I normally set the micro for 7 minutes at full power. This time is probably individual for the micro you have so let the box stay there for as long as you think is necesary without melting the the candybox down.
Here is a photo of a "ready baked dirt box". There shouldn't be anything unexpected worms of flies comming out of it for a while.
New baked dirt-box
Important! Let the new cultures cool of before you add springtails to it! Otherwise the springtails won't survive.
This is about how much springtails I add to the new culture. The more springtails you add, the faster is it up running.
Cultures waiting to get cooled off
Minimum amount of springtails added to a new culture
Here is a closeup at some of the common tropical springtails that is my favorite springtails.
When I feed my new springtail cultures I always feed a little less than I do in an etablished culture. I always try to use a very fine grinded springtail food and I try to spread it alower the surface in a very thin layer. See the photo to see a new culture that I have been feeding.
If you feed them to much it will only result in mold that will kill the culture in the worst case. Never feed more than they can eat it within a week or less and the chances is better for not getting mold in the cultures.
New culture that has been feeded
Some Videos :
Making New Springtail Cultures - "collembola" Part 1
Making New Springtail Cultures - ""collembola" Part 2
Making New Springtail Cultures "collembola" - Part 3
How to Culture Springtails
6- Firebrat :
The firebrat (Thermobia domestica, sometimes listed as Thermophila furnorum) is a small insect (typically 1–1.5 cm) similar to the silverfish, both in the order Thysanura.
Firebrats prefer higher temperatures and require some humidity, and can be found in bakeries and near boilers or furnaces. They feed on a wide variety of carbohydrates and starches that are also protein sources such as dog food, flour and book bindings. They are distributed throughout most parts of the world and are normally found outdoors under rocks, leaf litter, and in similar environments, but are also often found indoors where they are considered pests. They do not cause major damage, but they can contaminate food, damage paper goods, and stain clothing. Otherwise they are mostly harmless.
At 1 1⁄2 to 4 1⁄2 months of age the female firebrat begins laying eggs if the temperature is right (32–41 °C or 90–106 °F). It may lay up to 6000 eggs in a lifetime of about 3–5 years. After incubation (12–13 days), the nymphs hatch. They may reach maturity in as little as 2–4 months, resulting in several generations each year.
- FireBrat Culture :
courtesy to : www.dendroboard.com
I have had a number of people ask me how I keep my firebrat (Thermobia domestica) colony, so I figured I would post my technique for all to see.
I have a colony of a few thousand at the moment that are housed in a 10 gallon tupperware. The tupperware has a zoomed heat pad attached to its base. The heating pad and tupperware are then placed inside a styrofoam ice chest to retain the heat.
I am not certain on the colony's internal temperature, but I am sure it is above 100F.
Now into the tupperware we go... I initially laid down an inch or so of wheat germ. This will serve as a nice bedding as well as food. On top of the germ are alternating layers of cotton gauze and egg flat. Some people claim cotton is essentially for egg deposit, others say it is unnecessary. I feed my colony mainly powdered milk and occasionally some fish food.
I also have a few covered jars of salt solution to increase humidity within the colony. Water would work just as well. Additionally, I provide a couple water gel crystals every couple weeks.
When I first started the colony it was exactly as I have stated with exception to the fact that it was not housed in the styrofoam ice chest. At that time, the colony actually seemed to be declining. Upon putting it into the ice chest the colony rebounded and began to produce quite well. I hope this helps for all who plan on culturing firebrats in the future.
Styrofoam Ice Chest
10 gallon tupperware
Heating pad attached to the base of tupperware
The colony, everyone is hiding
Internal shot of the colony with alternating egg flats and cotton
Base showing wheat germ, some powdered milk and a container of salt solution
Salt solution is just another way to provide humidity. If made properly (saturated) it can provide humidity but also prevent condensation in the culture because it will remain in equilibrium with the surrounding air.... that said, it is overkill. I am aware of this . A bottle containing water with some pantyhose over it (to keep the firebrats out) will work perfectly. Just make sure to check every now and again for condensation problems.
7- Pea Aphids :
Acyrthosiphon pisum :
Acyrthosiphon pisum, commonly known as the pea aphid (and colloquially known as the green dolphin, pea louse, and clover louse , is a sap-sucking insect in the Aphididae family. It feeds on several species of legumes (plant family Fabaceae) worldwide, including forage crops, such as pea, clover,alfalfa, and broad bean, and ranks among the aphid species of major agronomical importance. The pea aphid is a model organism for biological study whose genome has been sequenced and annotated.
What is Aphids :
Aphids, also known as plant lice and in Britain and the Commonwealth asgreenflies, blackflies, or whiteflies (not to be confused with "jumping plant lice" or true whiteflies), are small sap-sucking insects, and members of thesuperfamily Aphidoidea. Many species are green but other commonly occurring species may be white and wooly or black. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners the world over. From a zoological standpoint they are a highly successful group of organisms. Their success is due in part to the asexual reproductivecapabilities of some species.
About 4,400 species are known, all included in the family Aphididae. Around 250 species are serious pests for agriculture and forestry as well as an annoyance for gardeners. They vary in length from 1 to 10 millimetres (0.04 to 0.39 in).
Natural enemies include predatory ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasps,aphid midge larvae, crab spiders, lacewings, and entomopathogenic fungi such as Lecanicillium lecanii and the Entomophthorales.
Pea Aphids Culture :
- Beginners Pea Aphid Culture Guide
Courtesy to : www.poisonfrog.org
I've been asked a few times about how I go about culturing Pea Aphids so thought I'd do a quick guide to how I go about it I think these are pretty much the easiest species of feeder insect to culture, certainly the fastest and the frogs love them.
First up I use Leo brand peas from the supermarket. I'm sure other brands would do just as well but these are what I can get easily and cheaply.
I put about 100-150 peas in a little pot to soak overnight to start the germination process. This is enough to start 5 individual cultures.
The next day I set the culture pots by placing a wet sheet of kitchen roll into the bottom of a 1 pint plastic cup. This is then squashed flat using the base of another pot
I then add the peas, just enough to give a very loose single layer on the kitchen roll, and then gently press these in. The uncovered cultures are placed on an East facing windowsill. Over the next few days spray the peas lightly with water if they start to dry out.
The seeds will produce a root by the next day and the first green shoot will appear about 2 days later. At this point I introduce the aphids, about 20 to each culture, and cover the tub with blue kitchen cloth.
Roots at day 2
Shoots at day 4
Keep the kitchen roll moist, I use a syringe to squirt water through the cloth, about 5ml at a time but only if it starts to look a little dry. About one week later the culture will have grown and will have hundreds of new aphids. It should look roughly like this
To harvest the aphids is a simple matter of removing the lid and tapping them into a clean dry container. From here they can be used to start new cultures or dusted with whatever supplement you use and fed to your frogs.
8 - Wax Worms :
Caring for Your Wax Worm Ranch
Info from Aqualand Pets Plus on Galleria mellonella
Origin : Predator of bee hives
Maximum Size : Little under an inch
Temperature : 55 o to 60 o best for storage
Breeding Temp : 86o best. Room temp okay.
Threat : Ants and mice
Nuisances : Fruit flies, gnats, house flies
Foods : Honey plus cereal
Containers : Cloth covered containers
Origins: You can find wax worms in Iowa in weakened or run down beehives. Bee keepers hate wax worms. Somehow the greater wax moth sneaks past the bees that guard the entrance to the hive. Once inside, they lay their eggs in the honeycomb. When the eggs hatch, the larvae (wax worms) hatch and start eating the combs. They eventually destroy the hive. As a former beekeeper, we prefer to avoid the rearing of wax moths.
Protein : 16.0%
Fat : 20.0%
Carbohydrates : 0.4%
Fiber : 0.8%
Moisture : 63.0%
Worms? Wax worms aren’t really worms. They just look like worms. As we said, they’re the larval stage of the greater wax moth.
Appeal: Most wax worms wind up on fish hooks. You can find them most often in bait stores. Sunfish love these tasty little crawlers. We use them in the pet trade as herptile food. Reptiles and amphibians love them. Tropical fish like them also. African butterfly fish love wax worms (they float, usually). Wax worms taste very good and pack a lot of nutrition in their fatty little bodies.
Size: Wax worms top out at about an inch. Most hit the market at ¾ inch. They fill the same pet food niche as sub-adult grey crickets. They provide some of the variety lizards need in their diets.
Freshly opened container of 250 wax worms.
Rooting around in there turns up several wax worms.
Larvae Container: Commercial wax worm containers work well for the larvae. If you plan to breed them, you need more room.
Breeder Containers: Stackable plastic boxes – big enough to get your hands into -- work well for your wax worm breeding colonies. Loosely crumple some sheets of wax paper and add to your container.
Eggs: Adult wax worms lay their eggs in the crumpled wax paper and on the container walls. Once the eggs “harden,” you can lift them with a single-edge razor blade and move them to a new culture once they “use up” your current culture.
Wax worm pupae.
Pupae: In nature, beehives stay quite warm. At 86o moths go thru their entire life cycle in six to seven weeks. At 60o your wax worm larvae won’t pupate for several months. At room temperature they pupate much quicker. Larvae crawl into crevices where they can safely spin their cocoons and pupate. They use the crumpled wax paper in the same way.
Adults: Wax worm pupae change into adults in their cocoons. The egg-laying moths emerge in about two weeks. This is the reason for the cloth or screen cover. Few people want these guys flitting about their house. However, most lizards love these fluttering moths.
Container/Media: Add about ½ inch of your food medium and the crumpled wax paper. Add at least a couple dozen worms. Put a cloth cover over the top to keep out fruit flies, gnats, ants, and house flies. Snap a plastic lid or screen on it to keep out mice. The cloth will also keep in the newly hatching eggs. Luckily, you needn’t fool with your breeding colonies once you add your food medium and starter wax worms.
Food Medium 1: Mix bran and honey in a heated sauce pan. Add enough bran to make it stiff. Spread it on a cookie sheet till it cools. Crumble it up and place on the bottom of your container. Freeze any extra for later use.
Food Medium 2: Mix seven parts crumbled dry dog food with one part water and two parts honey. This medium should gut load your wax worms. Spread on cookie sheet to dry until no longer sticky – usually 24 hours. Freezee any extra.
Food Medium 3: Mix any cereal with honey till it’s all gooey.
Wax worm ready to feed out to your lizards or cichlids. Nice change of pace.
You can almost always get these from your local bait shop.
Easy way to breed insects (Wax worms)
How to Breed Waxworms Gecko Guy-