caterpillars for food

dilleo

Arachnosquire
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Sep 26, 2002
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Does anyone rear moth or butterfly caterpillars for tarantula food? I will be rearing a number of moths this year and plan on having hundreds of larvae for each of the species I'm rearing. Just wondering if anybody does this.

-Jeremy
 

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Where are you going to get the moths? I would like to feed my arborial(s) them when they get bigger. Since I moved out to Vegas a few months ago, I don't see to many any more.
Are they easy to raise and breed?

Big Dragonfly
 

Tarantula Lover

Psalmopoeus Lover
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Jul 21, 2002
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i do, my avic likes em, they are ok as long as they are not exposed to pesticides its alright!

James
 

Gail

Arachnopixie
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Making sure that any moths or butterflies you catch (or raise) haven't been exposed to pesticide is only one part of the potential moth problem. You need to make sure that any species you catch or raise aren't poisonous. With moths, it's a good idea to steer away from any that are brightly colored. With butterflies, best read a field guide as there are many species which are poisonous. Generally, the poisonous nature comes from what they feed on. For instance - you can buy tomatoe hornworm catapillars to feed herps and inverts (and raise them to moths on the included commercial food) BUT if you were to go grab some hornworms off of your tomatoes or catch the moths, they would be poisonous because tomatoe plants are poisonous. Tomatoes are in the nightshade family - only the fruit is OK to eat. Want to get really, really sick, possibly die? Eat a tomatoe leaf salad. So, just be sure what you are catching and raising - as Chip said in another post - it's not worth killing an expensive tarantula just to save a few bucks on crickets.

Gail
 

Lasiodora

Arachnoangel
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Oct 11, 2002
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I've never tried to, but I sometimes feed my T's waxworms. Waxworms are moth larvae. You can get these at any petstore or bait shop. My H.hercules loves them.
Mike
 

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Oh, I've seen the waxworms being sold at some pet stores. Could those be raised into moths since they are kept in refridgerations? If so, how?

Big Dragonfly
 

Gail

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I raise waxworms into moths for my aboreals. First thing is, don't keep them in the fridge. All you need to do is place them and the sawdust they are in into a plastic shoe box. You want them to be spread thin, so to speak, so the sawdust is only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Then put them in a warm spot and wait. Check every few days and remove the dead ones - they'll be black and shriveled worms - and watch for the pupae which start out tan and progress to reddish brown to dark brown as they get ready to hatch into moths. As long as the wax worms you start out with are a decent size, they don't need to be fed, just give them warmth and they will do their thing.

Gail
 

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Originally posted by Gail
I raise waxworms into moths for my aboreals. First thing is, don't keep them in the fridge. All you need to do is place them and the sawdust they are in into a plastic shoe box. You want them to be spread thin, so to speak, so the sawdust is only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Then put them in a warm spot and wait. Check every few days and remove the dead ones - they'll be black and shriveled worms - and watch for the pupae which start out tan and progress to reddish brown to dark brown as they get ready to hatch into moths. As long as the wax worms you start out with are a decent size, they don't need to be fed, just give them warmth and they will do their thing.

Gail
Gail, I did a little bit of research, and I saw some reccomendations to put honey and bran in with the wax worms to eat. I also saw a suggestion to put some crumpled up wax paper in there for the moths to lay eggs on. And then the cycle can continue.

Question is, do you think a ten gallon tank would be good for the purpose of breeding as well as rearing? Other wise, I think that the moths would all just take off when I take the lid off the shoe box. I could get a screen where only a portion opens up.

Big Dragonfly
 

Gail

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Originally posted by Big Dragonfly
Gail, I did a little bit of research, and I saw some reccomendations to put honey and bran in with the wax worms to eat. I also saw a suggestion to put some crumpled up wax paper in there for the moths to lay eggs on. And then the cycle can continue.

Question is, do you think a ten gallon tank would be good for the purpose of breeding as well as rearing? Other wise, I think that the moths would all just take off when I take the lid off the shoe box. I could get a screen where only a portion opens up.

Big Dragonfly
Actually, I did try the food and wax paper route the first time I got waxworms. I figured, hey, save myself some cash, raise them myself. Well, if you read the fine print (so to speak) on several of the sites that sell them, the honey and bran mix is "another way to raise waxworms" -http://www.wormman.com/Pets.html
- but they also sell the same food that they use for raising theirs. IF I ever decided to try raising them again I would buy the commercial food. I ended up with nothing but a sticky foul smelling mess. Over half the worms died, and all the one's that pupated rotted. It may have just been my bad luck or bad mix of food but I prefer to just order mine now LOL. As for flying away, I have found that 90% of the moths just don't fly too well. They will crawl and hop first and only fly if you really pester them. I never had a problem with them all taking off when I open my shoe box - but then again, I never have many in there as I use them up almost as fast as they hatch out. Good luck if you do decide to try to raise them and let us all know how it goes.

Gail
 

wicked

Arachnobaron
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Apr 15, 2005
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Had to do a little digging to find this thread but its a good one. I have a couple more questions though.

How long do wax worms keep in the fridge?
I only have one pinktoe that is large enough to eat the moths right now so I would not need a lot of them. The smallest number I could buy at once from the petstore was 50. Can I stagger the hatching/pupating by keeping most of them in the fridge and only trying to pupate a few at a time?

Are the wax worms too large for a 1" pink toe sling to eat?

I would greatly appreciate any extra info I could get on these. From what I have read so far sounds like wax worms are 'Twinkies' for Ts.
 

wolfpak

Arachnobaron
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Jul 22, 2005
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i feed my ts grasshopper, but butterflies? is it ok? :?
 

Schlyne

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Nov 19, 2004
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I would say no on the butterflies as a whole. Several species at least "taste bad" and/or toxic when eaten.

However, you can feed T's silkworms. They do, however, grow really really fast. (At least in my experience)
 

arachnoguy

Arachnosquire
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Apr 28, 2005
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i raise horn worms, silk worms and wax worms and all my t's seem to enjoy them. :confused: i think wax worms keep in the fridge for about two weeks or so and then they seem to melt into a sort of gooey mess.
schlyne is right about the butterflies, definately no, because they can be toxic to your t. try some horn worms if you have some of the larger t's in your collection they grow into moths about 3inches in body length and have a huge set of wings. its cool to watch the moth flying around a cage and a T. blondi catching it mid flight :}
 

wicked

Arachnobaron
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i think wax worms keep in the fridge for about two weeks or so and then they seem to melt into a sort of gooey mess.
Thank you! You're awesome! Guess I better start feeding the little buggers off before they go bad.
 
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