Cripavirus outbreak...if you depend on crickets, read this.

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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I posted this in TWH before realizing I should post it here.

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo...virus_creeps_into_north.html#modg_smoref_face

One of my facebook friends had this as their status, and I thought I'd share for anyone who uses crickets to feed their spiders.

Cripavirus, or CRIcket PAralysis VIRUS is a virus that's extremely pathogenic to A. domestica. It is spread through the feces as well as cannibalization. Infected individuals essentially stop moving and die.

I did a quick google-scholar search to find a recent review paper on arachnid and insect pathogens...in the papers I saw for spiders and scorpions, there were a few records of nematodes, bacteria, fungi and microsporidians but the records were otherwise not very extensive. There were no records of this virus infecting mites that I could find, and mites had more extensive pathogen lists. There's no word as to whether this virus will infect tarantulas, but the fact there are no records for this virus in mites means it either doesn't infect mites (and thus unlikely to infect Ts) or that nobody's looked.

Just FYI...if you're raising crickets, it may be a good idea to stop bringing in stock and if you're buying crickets it may become difficult to find them for awhile depending on how far the outbreak spreads and how bad it is.

Kleespies, Regina et. al. (2008). Diseases of insects and other arthropods: results of diagnostic research over 55 years. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 18(5): 439-482
 

Travis K

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I have heard that most the pet stores don't have crickets in right now in my area, but I never go to the pet stores so I don't know for sure.
 

Crysta

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It's like the T virus ....maybe they will use it on humans next? :0
 

codykrr

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This is interesting because my sister had a few OBT's i had given her. and she said they all just stopped moving and died. She only fed crickets. this was just last week all three of her Ts died.:?

I know she took care of them, so maybe the virus is transmittable to arachnids?
 

Terry D

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Thanks Cheshire for the heads up! Transmitable to our t's- let's dang sure hope not!
 

blackrayne

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ive been having issues with crickets here in va the last couple of weeks...theyll get all spastic, flip on their backs, legs will flail, will act like their walkin around/jumping for a day or two, then die...have had this happen in smalls and larges...had a little colony going, and added a few larges to get new eggs when this started...wonder if its the same thing/related...thanks for posting b/c the guy at the lps didnt believe me but replaced the purchased crickets and my smalls (same thing happened to them though)...i cant stand roaches so not sure what feeders im gonna use...
 

kripp_keeper

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The cricket virus only attacks that specific species of cricket. It will not harm your tarantulas.
 

Cheshire

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The cricket virus only attacks that specific species of cricket. It will not harm your tarantulas.
Actually, CrPV has been found infecting Lepidoptera and I know they use Drosophila cells to culture it in some labs. It's host range is wider than in the article. The article was intended for your average exotic owner who would be concerned about the virus infecting reptiles, not invertebrates. Dicistroviruses (the family which includes CrPV) are restricted to insects, and there's no reason for reptile owners to worry about exposure.

That being said, I'm not trying to cause a panic because there's no proof this virus infects tarantulas. It's possible because they're arthropods (as are crickets) and Dicistroviruses infect arthropods. I'm not sure if CrPV is getting into the crickets sold at pet shops, although I think that's very likely. I'm not sure of it's host range, and that's the problem. Mites are pretty close to Ts (at least more so than crickets) and there aren't any records of it being lethal to mites...so it's doubtful it could infect tarantulas. That may be because nobody's looked or because it's non-infective.

Either way, it's still probably a good idea to switch feeders.
 

Moltar

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This is the real reason to raise your own feeders. Forget saving $$$ or the "meat-to-shell ratio" or any of that stuff. A private stock of feeders shields your collection from cricket farm disease outbreaks. Nuff said.
 

BQC123

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Funny, I noticed some of my crickets acting funny while cleaning the cage last night.
Laying on their backs, and barely moving. Also had some larges set up to breed. I had a high mortality rate, and no pinheads. Always worked for me before.
Don't know if it is related, but I will be watching more closely.
 

Ictinike

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This is the real reason to raise your own feeders. Forget saving $$$ or the "meat-to-shell ratio" or any of that stuff. A private stock of feeders shields your collection from cricket farm disease outbreaks. Nuff said.
So totally agree with this Moltar. Sure there are all kinds of benefits but this might be one of the biggest reasons to do so if you have the capacity and the mouths.
 

kripp_keeper

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Actually, CrPV has been found infecting Lepidoptera and I know they use Drosophila cells to culture it in some labs. It's host range is wider than in the article. The article was intended for your average exotic owner who would be concerned about the virus infecting reptiles, not invertebrates. Dicistroviruses (the family which includes CrPV) are restricted to insects, and there's no reason for reptile owners to worry about exposure.

That being said, I'm not trying to cause a panic because there's no proof this virus infects tarantulas. It's possible because they're arthropods (as are crickets) and Dicistroviruses infect arthropods. I'm not sure if CrPV is getting into the crickets sold at pet shops, although I think that's very likely. I'm not sure of it's host range, and that's the problem. Mites are pretty close to Ts (at least more so than crickets) and there aren't any records of it being lethal to mites...so it's doubtful it could infect tarantulas. That may be because nobody's looked or because it's non-infective.

Either way, it's still probably a good idea to switch feeders.
I've been using crickets that are infected with the cricket virus for months now, and I have not had any problems. I feed the ones that die off to my isopod colony, and they are breeding fine as well. The cricket virus has been in Canada for awhile. We just lost a major cricket supplier for western Canada. In Europe they also started breeding other crickets as feeders with no issue of the cricket virus affecting the different species. So unless you can show proof that it infects other insect and/or arthropods you really shouldn't make statements saying it could possibly harm tarantulas, when there is a lot of evidence it doesn't.
 

Sleazoid

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I've been using crickets that are infected with the cricket virus for months now, and I have not had any problems. I feed the ones that die off to my isopod colony, and they are breeding fine as well. The cricket virus has been in Canada for awhile. We just lost a major cricket supplier for western Canada. In Europe they also started breeding other crickets as feeders with no issue of the cricket virus affecting the different species. So unless you can show proof that it infects other insect and/or arthropods you really shouldn't make statements saying it could possibly harm tarantulas, when there is a lot of evidence it doesn't.
I would like a source to this.
 

kripp_keeper

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I would like a source to this.
Depending on what you want a source to I'm a source. Search cricket virus in Europe on google or on arachnoboards. You aren't this first to bring this up. It has been brought up on here a few times before. I have personally been using crickets infected by the virus and have had no issues.
 

gumby

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My local pet store has crickets I fed my Ts today but kept a few extra crickeets out to watch and see if they contract the virus.
 

Sleazoid

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Terry D

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Kripp keeper, Glad to see it appears the odds are in our favor. :)
 

Cheshire

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We just lost a major cricket supplier for western Canada. In Europe they also started breeding other crickets as feeders with no issue of the cricket virus affecting the different species. So unless you can show proof that it infects other insect and/or arthropods you really shouldn't make statements saying it could possibly harm tarantulas, when there is a lot of evidence it doesn't.
First, a look at what I actually said:

I did a quick google-scholar search to find a recent review paper on arachnid and insect pathogens...in the papers I saw for spiders and scorpions, there were a few records of nematodes, bacteria, fungi and microsporidians but the records were otherwise not very extensive. There were no records of this virus infecting mites that I could find, and mites had more extensive pathogen lists. There's no word as to whether this virus will infect tarantulas, but the fact there are no records for this virus in mites means it either doesn't infect mites (and thus unlikely to infect Ts) or that nobody's looked.
Then, a few posts later...

That being said, I'm not trying to cause a panic because there's no proof this virus infects tarantulas. It's possible because they're arthropods (as are crickets) and Dicistroviruses infect arthropods. I'm not sure if CrPV is getting into the crickets sold at pet shops, although I think that's very likely. I'm not sure of it's host range, and that's the problem. Mites are pretty close to Ts (at least more so than crickets) and there aren't any records of it being lethal to mites...so it's doubtful it could infect tarantulas. That may be because nobody's looked or because it's non-infective.
And in the TWH post I mentioned earlier (which you may or may not have access to):

Just FYI...but if you're raising crickets, it may be a good idea to stop bringing in stock and if you're buying crickets it may become difficult to find them for awhile depending on how far the outbreak spreads.
So there you have me saying not once but twice that I thought it was unlikely for this virus to infect arachnids and flat out saying there's no proof this virus could infect tarantulas. I did say it was possible because the family this virus is in specializes on arthropods, but twice I said it was unlikely.

If you had actually read my first post, you'd notice that I looked at records of pathogens isolated from spiders and scorpions and gave a short list which didn't include this virus. I also noted that the pathogen records weren't that extensive, so I expanded my search to mites...and noted the records also didn't contain CrPV.

Second, I know how they propagate this virus in the lab and noted that Drosophila cell lines (S2, to name one) could be used to propagate this virus. These are, of course cell cultures and perhaps not indicative of the body of D. melanogaster but it means that they have the proper machinery to potentially enter the cells of distantly related insects. I don't know that infectivity tests have been done, though...and I'm pretty sure I made this pretty clear.

I also said that they had been isolated from Lepidopterans, which was a statement made from memory of a paper I'd read awhile ago. I dug the paper back up and it was from 1975...long before the Dicistroviridae had been established as a family so that statement's not accurate.

I'm not aware of this virus's host range, although I did say multiple times that it had not to my knowledge been isolated from any arachnids. There's more than one reason why this is, and I wasn't sure of either reason. I also said in TWH that my recommendation of switching feeders was based on pragmatism and was dependent on how far the outbreak spread and how bad it was.
 
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