Cecropia caterpillars as feeders?

PidderPeets

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I know it's a very odd and somewhat ridiculous question, but I was wondering if anyone knows if I can or can't feed L1 cecropia caterpillars to some of my tarantulas and other spiders? I raised a baker's dozen last year, and managed to get eggs this year, but due to a busy schedule, I utterly forgot to check on the eggs and properly dispose of the excess that I knew I wouldn't be able to handle. Then lo and behold, today I finally looked, and there's about 60 fresh little caterpillars roaming around the container looking for food. They must have just hatched today. While I've been told by some that no native Saturniid is regulated in the US, the seller I got them from lists them as regulated and won't sell to certain states without a permit. They are native in my state, but the seller's website states that I can't release them unless they are actually from my state (which they are not, they're from the next state over). Their website also states that I can't sell any without a seller's permit. Seeing as how I don't intend to release them or sell them because of these possible regulations, and I feel like just freezing them would be a waste, I was wondering if maybe I could feed off a few to my smaller slings? I know for a fact that they've never been exposed to pesticides. My only concern was that maybe the tiny spikes they have might deter the spiders. Any advice would be appreciated, so thanks in advance
 

darkness975

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Look up if there are any toxins in their bodies. In regards to not releasing them if they are indigenous to your area I don't see why that is a problem.
 

PidderPeets

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Some caterpillars are toxic. I believe the OP is asking if anyone knows if these are.
Yeah, that's what I meant. I know their spines are harmless and don't contain and irritants, but I was wondering if anyone knew for certain if they were safe or unsafe for spiders.
 

PidderPeets

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Look up if there are any toxins in their bodies. In regards to not releasing them if they are indigenous to your area I don't see why that is a problem.
As far as I've been able to look up, people only mention that the spines were harmless. Nothing on any poisons in their body. So I'm gonna take a chance and give one to each of my jumping spiders. If they're fine, I'll try some with my slings. And it seems somewhat ridiculous to me that I can't release them, but I feel like the seller wouldn't go through all the effort to list the legal states and the permit information if it wasn't needed
 

darkness975

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As far as I've been able to look up, people only mention that the spines were harmless. Nothing on any poisons in their body. So I'm gonna take a chance and give one to each of my jumping spiders. If they're fine, I'll try some with my slings. And it seems somewhat ridiculous to me that I can't release them, but I feel like the seller wouldn't go through all the effort to list the legal states and the permit information if it wasn't needed
If the caterpillars are native to your state I wonder if the reason for saying not to release them is to avoid any kind of diseases or other conditions that could be contracted in captivity from spreading to the wild population.

That is the only thing I can think of that makes any kind of sense in this regard.
 

PidderPeets

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If the caterpillars are native to your state I wonder if the reason for saying not to release them is to avoid any kind of diseases or other conditions that could be contracted in captivity from spreading to the wild population.

That is the only thing I can think of that makes any kind of sense in this regard.
That's along the lines of what I was thinking too. But according to the seller, I can release them if they were actually obtained from my state. She breeds her captive stock (and likely originally got her captive stock) with wild caught ones in New York, so I would only be able to release mine in New York. So my only thoughts were that perhaps there's minor differences in each population or that some populations have bacteria that other have never been exposed to. Then it would make sense that I couldn't release them because releasing them could compromise my own state's wild population. That's the only thing that makes sense to me. Saturniids aren't considered environmental pests, and they don't produce ridiculous numbers of caterpillars like gypsy moths or tent moths, so there's no other reason I could imagine them being regulated. And actually, their numbers are declining due to pesticides used for gypsy and tent moths, so I almost feel like NOT releasing them causes more damage
 

PidderPeets

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:rofl:I would avoid caterpillars of the Io genus for sure
Oh god, I know enough not to give Io caterpillars to my tarantulas! I can already imagine all the angry hair kicking I'd receive from slings mad about being the victims of another creature's danger spikes
 
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