Feeder Insects

Buspirone

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I'm curious what feeder insects people use besides crickets and any observations about their Tarantulas preferences or anything that you may think is relavent.

I've just seen a site that listed butterworms which are a larvae of the tevo moth from Chile....I was thinking Rosie food!

It would be nice to hear other peoples opinions on the pluses and minuses of the various feeder insects that are available to us since I've seen whats out there but don't usually see too much about what people who feed or have tried to feed them to tarantulas think.

I'd also be interested in experience with feeding slings different kinds of food too. Thanks!!:)
 

JacenBeers

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In summer time I feed a lot of my smaller juvie tarantula big white moths that are all over the place up here. THey seem to live them. My L parahybana and all my B albopilosum juvies are voracious when it comes to them.
 

jwb121377

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In the summertime I catch grasss hoppers and use them as feeders. My tarantulas love super worms, and I use them from time to time.
 

Code Monkey

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I haven't completely made the switch because the colony isn't large enough yet, but I'm moving over to an almost all roach diet before the year's out (Blaptica dubia "Orange spotted roach").

They're easy to culture, don't escape like crickets when you're working with them, make no noise, and have no smell. At any given time, I have feeders ranging in size from 0.25" to over 1.5", and because I'm rearing them myself, I know exactly what they've been fed and what their health and nutritional quality will be.

Everybody in my collection who's been offered a roach loved these.

People get hung up on the "roach" part of these great feeder insects, but having raised crickets and meal worms and even fruit flies in the past, I can't think of anything better for someone maintaining a collection of tarantulas and other predatory inverts.
 

jwb121377

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I agree with you CM, however my family does not. They said I could keep any invert I want except roaches. So to keep the peace I am yeilding to thier wishes for now (laughs devilishly to self)
 

Vys

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I've kept this colony of some sort of Blaberus species for about a month now, and I like them because they neither stink much nor fight to death nor make horrible sounds, however I do not know if my Parahybana will like them, since I've had for for a month and a half and she hasn't shown the slightest interest in food (molted a week ago). Only downside I see to the roaches is that the damned things burrow every chance they get.
 

genious_gr

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Originally posted by jwb121377
I agree with you CM, however my family does not. They said I could keep any invert I want except roaches. So to keep the peace I am yeilding to thier wishes for now (laughs devilishly to self)
I got that "There's no way you're putting roaches in this house for as long as I live in it" reply a few months ago. Same goes with snakes unfortunately :mad:
 
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Code Monkey

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Originally posted by genious_gr
I got that "There's no way you're putting roaches in this house for as long as I live in it" reply a few months ago.
Their loss ;)
I find it funny how people let social conditioning rule their lives so much. My wife is not *happy* having the roach colony present and doesn't want to see them, but she recognises intellectually that they're not anything actually bad or harmful and are quite beneficial to her husband's wacky hobby.

At least I didn't come up with this idea when I was a teenager, there's no way I would have ever gotten the idea past my mother. I managed to break down just about every animal aversion that woman ever had, but the roaches and centipedes I think are a wall I just don't have the tools to breach :)
 

sunnymarcie

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Well, back when I lived at home.........
My mom could not stand most of my pets, she liked my birds
and I guess she tolerated the rest.
The "worst" thing I kept at the time was a few RATS!
(Big one's too!)
It kept her out of my room;P
Even now, as an adult (well, kinda!LOL!) it's hard to get
past the idea of raising those kind of bugs:eek:
But, since it is hard to get quality food around here, I may
start raising my own.
So, aside from the standard crickets, what are the best type
of "bugs" to raise as feeders?
Be as scientific as possible, I do not want to raise the wrong
(pest) food source.:D
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by sunnymarcie
Be as scientific as possible, I do not want to raise the wrong
(pest) food source.:D
If what you want to do is feed your Ts something other than crickets, the only 2 that I really like are roaches and mealworms.

The advantages of the roaches have already been outlined. I really feel strongly that they are the best option.

Mealworms are good because they're extremely easy to culture (mix some oat bran with some unmedicated chick mash and throw in some adult beetles. Periodically toss in some potato slices for food/water for the adults). Because they can't climb glass or plastic you can use the shallow plastic shoebox containers and stack as many as you need to supply constant mealworms for almost no money.

Disadvantages to mealworms is they don't really get much size on them and they will quickly burrow in the substrate unless you feed them out of a dish.

Waxworms can be easily cultured, but they're fairly labor intensive next to something like mealworms or roaches.

Fruit flies are easily cultured but aren't good for anything but sling food.

Rice flour beetles are another good sling option as they are as easily cultured as mealworms (since they're basically a cousin species, only much smaller). I have a culture of these going and feed out of it for variety in my tiny slings diet.

Zoophoba worms are able to be cultured, but are trickier, and I dislike them due to their large, effective chompers.
 

sunnymarcie

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I tried out small meal worms on the babies.
They didn't seem to want it....I offered the standard cricket
and WHAM! They ate them like normal.
Do you think they would eat from a dish?
The baby T's are about 1.5 inches.
The stripe knee seemed to be affraid of the worm when
offerd from the tongs, it takes it's food from me ( the tongs) any other time :?
 

Code Monkey

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Any new food source may take some time for them to get used to. I have read of good results with mealworms putting them in a small condiment cup which they can't climb out of but your Ts can access.
 

sunnymarcie

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I have a few extra bottle caps around, maybe one of those
will work. You say the worms can't get out, I hope not, I
wouldn't want them to turn into something that could hurt
or even eat my babies:eek:
 

MizM

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My pet shop gets all kinds of stuff in from time to time and he had some big fat juicy grubworms. I bought a couple, tossed them in and WHOA! Every one of my Ts relished them. What are they actually? Where do they come from?

I have tried lots of stuff, and grasshoppers, green OR brown, seem to be a favorite.
 

sunnymarcie

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Not really sure what the grubs (meal worms) are, I think
they become some kind of beetle. I'm sure one of our
experts can correct me, if I am wrong:?
Whatever they are, my babies seem to fear them:(
I've been trying for a week now, and they still will not take them.
The only reaction I get from the T's is the hands in the air thing.
They back up and display thats all. I even tried to put the food
in a dish, still nothing :rolleyes:
 

Henry Kane

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As already mentioned, mealworms, grubs, roaches and grasshoppers are all worth trying. Personally, I'd avoid using moths as feeders. Some moths are just fine as feeders but some can be toxic and unless you know for sure, it's not worth taking a chance.
With meal worms, you just have to be carefull not to let them burrow and turn into beetles. Your T will not likely be interested in eating the beetles. It seems they secrete some sort of chemical that is apparently a good deterrant from predators.
I have used beef heart a few times with decent results as well. I would recommend that you only use the kind that is packeged for feeding fish. It has been suggested that un-processed beef heart may have caused a possible bacteria related death in someone's tarantula. (I wish I could remember who that was...I'll search around to see if I can find the post)

Atrax
 
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Henry Kane

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Actually, no but I linked another thread where Galeo mentioned the same situation. Thanks for the additional link. :)
I can't say for sure but it seems she's correct about the kind used for fish being processed. I have not tried grocery store bought beef heart but after several feedings of the fish food variety, I have experienced no problems.

Atrax
 
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Buspirone

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Thanks for the info on the beef heart. I have tried large mealworms.....I think they are called kingworms. They are larger than a normal mealworm but smaller than a superworm. My rosie used her pedipalps to roll it around on the ground and and then fanged it. She took it and ate it very very slowly. I have yet to find any kind of little waste package(bolus?) like after she eats crickets. She has shown no interest in the kingworms since and seems scared of them now. She did eat a cricket that was hidden in the cage that I ddn't see. I noticed with the mealworm she didn't do the feeding dance that she always does after taking down a cricket.
 
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