Moth Larvae as feeders

galeogirl

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
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1,202
For the past six months I've been culturing flour moths and larvae as feeders. It has worked out really well for me so I thought I'd share my notes.

I found one of those forgotten bags of rice in the pantry, the kind with the 1/4 cup left at the bottom of the bag, and noticed that flour moths had laid eggs in the bag and that there was a healthy bunch of wriggling larvae moving around in the grains.

I poured the rice out into a critter keeper, then proceeded to add cricket diet, wheat bran, wheat germ, oatmeal, brown rice, and multi-grain hot cereal (dry) to the container until I had a nice, mixed substrate of larvae food. I put a piece of cloth mesh over the top and put the lid back on.

The larvae are very small (less than half an inch in length) and soft-bodied, making them good feeders for small slings. It's also easy to pop the heads off of them and feed them to really tiny slings pre-killed.

The adults are also quite small, again making good pre-killed feeders or live food for small to medium slings. (My L. parahybanas and L. difficilis are all munching on them as I type).

I don't use them exclusively but they do help me cover for times when I can't get pinheads or Drosophila for my slings.
 

AlbinoDragon829

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
383
Originally posted by galeogirl
I found one of those forgotten bags of rice in the pantry, the kind with the 1/4 cup left at the bottom of the bag, and noticed that flour moths had laid eggs in the bag and that there was a healthy bunch of wriggling larvae moving around in the grains
Good thing you weren't planning on using that for food! That sounds like a good idea. Since I don't want to try to get my own moth larvae that way, I think I'm going to find a place where I can order some and/or adult moths because a tarantula of mine is arboreal. Do you know where I could order some?
 

galeogirl

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
1,202
You can get cocoons and larvae from entomological supply houses, but they tend to be larger, more colorful species. I don't think many people are interested in buying the humble and homely flour moth when it's so easy to get them by just leaving a bag of grain open somewhere for a few weeks.
 
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