OK to Feed OBT just Meal Worms?

devbuckey

Arachnopeon
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Feb 24, 2011
Messages
2
I'm getting a 1 1/2" obt sling friday and i was wondering if its ok to feed it just mealworms? I dont wanna get crickets cause they r so noisy unless i can use a can of freeze-dried crickets. Also, how do you keep mealworms alive for a month?
 

Armstrong5

Arachnosquire
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May 6, 2010
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58
put a piece of carrot in the container with them just remember to use small slices and make sure they dont rot but if you feed them carrots they stay alive for a long time they will basically live until they are all gone
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
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It's been said that mealworms are basically empty calories when compared to insects such as crickets or roaches. There's a lot of water and fat in them but not much else. A grub like a mealworm is basically just storing up fat for metamorphosis so that assessment has always made sense to me. I'm not saying your T will die from malnutrition if you restrict it to mealworms only, but you will probably have a healthier, faster growing T if you vary the diet to include other properly fed insects as well. Mealworms are especially good for feeding T's coming off molt. That's when they really need lots of calories and water.

Really though, what you feed the T isn't necessarily as important as what you feed the feeders. The better diet your feeders have, the better diet for the T. Maintaining your own roach colony is really the way to go but it's not always realistic if you only have a small number of T's or there are roach-phobia issues in the household.
 

Ms.X

Arachnoknight
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May 22, 2009
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First, I will say that I am in complete agreement with Moltar regarding providing proper nutrition for your feeders. If they are not provided with appropriate foods, then their content will not be beneficial to your tarantulas.

Secondly, Moltar was also correct about the basic nutritional content of mealworms vs. crickets/roaches...they are like tarantula potato chips :} Here is a basic nutritional analysis I found:
http://www.doubleds.org/newfeederpg.html
but I know that I've seen much better, more detailed nutritional charts previously, I'll just have to look a bit more to locate them.

I would feed your mealworms moist produce that does not rot quickly (eg. carrots and potatoes) in addition to oats. You can also prolong their lifespan by keeping them refridgerated...just allow them to warm up/become active prior to feeding them off because they are more attractive to your tarantulas when they are squirming and active.

Edit:
Found 2 great nutrition comparison charts:

http://chamownersweb.net/insects/nutritional_values.htm


Table 1. Proximate analysis, fiber fraction and energy content of invertebrates (DMB). abc
Item DM CP EE ASH ADF GE
--------------------------------%----------------------------- kcal/g
Black worm 18.4 47.8 20.1 4.5 0.7 5.57
Blood worm 9.9 52.8 9.7 11.3 * *
Cockroach, American 38.7 53.9 28.4 3.3 9.4 6.07
Corn borer larvae, European 27.3 60.4 17.2 2.9 13.1 5.69
Corn borer pupae, European 28.0 64.2 17.0 2.6 15.4 5.60
Cricket, domestic, adult 31.0 64.9 13.8 5.7 9.4 5.34
Cricket, domestic, adult, hi-Ca diet 30.3 65.2 12.6 9.8 13.2 5.40
Cricket, domestic, pinhead d 47.4 * * * * *
Earthworm 20.0 62.2 17.7 5.0 9.0 4.65
Fish fly 26.5 63.9 19.5 5.8 10.9 5.88
Fruit fly 29.6 70.1 12.6 4.5 27.0 5.12
Fruit fly larvae 21.2 40.3 29.4 9.8 5.9 5.57
Fruit fly pupae 32.4 52.1 10.5 14.1 17.4 4.84
House fly larvae, dry 93.7 56.8 20.0 6.8 18.0 6.07
House fly pupae, dry 96.4 58.3 15.8 6.8 19.9 5.70
Mealworm beetle 38.6 63.7 18.4 3.1 16.1 5.79
Mealworm larvae 37.6 52.7 32.8 3.2 5.7 6.49
Mealworm pupae 39.0 54.6 30.8 3.4 5.1 6.43
Mealworm larvae, king 40.9 45.3 55.1 2.9 7.2 7.08
Mealworm larvae, king, hi-Ca diet 42.2 38.9 45.4 3.5 7.7 6.79
Mosquito larvae, dry 94.0 42.2 16.1 11.8 * *
Night crawler 16.3 60.7 4.4 11.4 15.0 4.93
Tubifex worm 11.8 46.1 15.1 6.9 * *
Water flea, dry 91.7 55.2 6.6 10.8 * *
Wax moth larvae 34.1 42.4 46.4 2.7 4.8 7.06
Wax moth larvae, hi-Ca diet 39.9 * * 2.5 * *
a Data provided by Duane E. Ullrey, Comparative Nutrition Laboratory, Michigan State University, and
Mary E. Allen, National Zoological Park.
b Scientific names of invertebrates provided in Table 3.
c Abbreviations and methods of analysis described in Table 4.
d Analysis by Covance Laboratories, Inc., Madison, WI 83707; DM in vacuum oven (70°C).
* Value not determined.
this came from page 4 of http://nagonline.net/Technical Papers/NAGFS00397Insects-JONIFEB24,2002MODIFIED.pdf
 
Last edited:

devbuckey

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
2
thanks for replys, i thought there would be some lacking in the nutritional value in the worms, thats why i asked. So can i use the can of freeze-dried crickets?
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
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If you can get your T to take them, go ahead. Not sure if she will though. Some T's will take pre-killed prey, others need it to move in order to trigger their predatory instinct. The problem is that freeze dried crickets are a little more like, obviously dead than a cricket you just chopped the head off of.

Can't hurt to try, she may take it. One problem I see is that IME, OBT's don't tolerate water dishes very well, constantly webbing them over. This means they need to get most of their moisture from food (a viable approach with this hardy, dry species but not appropriate for all spp) but the freeze dried crickets don't really have much moisture. So yeah, let us know how that works out.
 

Thegloryfades

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
119
I would also say the gut loading won't be nearly as good as if you fed the crickets yourself. That way you would know exactly what's going into your tarantula
 

JC

Arachnolort
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I've raised multiple tarantulas from sling to adulthood on nothing other than mealworms. Of these slings, I have managed to get P.murinus and Avicularia to mature at just a little bit over a year.

I believe that TKS also made reference in the third edition to the 'days of old' where it explained that there was a time when tarantula owners had nothing else but mealworms to feed their tarantulas because the cricket farming business was underdeveloped.

I see no big problem feeding only one source for an extended period of time, but a varied diet is always recommended because we have yet to fully comprehend proper tarantula nutrition.
 

micheldied

Arachnoprince
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Jan 25, 2009
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I've also raised tiny slings on nothing but mealworms... My P. Murinus was one of them.

Only started giving her other things, like crickets, when she was hitting 3 inches.
Now a solid 5 inches, and glowing.

Mealworms are the easiest things to keep alive.
I just dump them into a container of oats or flour, and they can last me several months, if I don't use them up feeding.
I rarely even offer them fruits or veggies.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
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I would feed your mealworms moist produce that does not rot quickly (eg. carrots and potatoes) in addition to oats. You can also prolong their lifespan by keeping them refridgerated...just allow them to warm up/become active prior to feeding them off because they are more attractive to your tarantulas when they are squirming and active.
Mealworm colonies are very easy to maintain. Fill a container with dry bran/oatmeal/cereal/etc. and add mealworms. Supplement with small amounts of vegetable - carrots, apple cores, peelings, etc. But keep the moist stuff down to a low level or you'll get mold developing. As beetles emerge, leave them in the colony. They'll multiply, and a good sized colony can last for years. I've seen successful colonies raised in everything from deli cups to 5 gallon buckets - it's all a matter of how large a scale you want to do this on. But do not refrigerate if you want them to multiply.
 

Introvertebrate

Arachnodemon
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Dec 18, 2010
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..............Supplement with small amounts of vegetable - carrots, apple cores, peelings, etc. But keep the moist stuff down to a low level or you'll get mold developing..............
No misting or water source is required? Do the mealworms remain sufficiently hydrated from just the vegetable scraps?
 

JC

Arachnolort
Old Timer
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No misting or water source is required? Do the mealworms remain sufficiently hydrated from just the vegetable scraps?
No misting whatsoever. A baby carrot a week provides more than enough hydration for a colony of around 1000 mealworms.
 
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