Silkworms -> bugs ->food?

speedreader

Arachnobaron
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May 14, 2005
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I overfed my worms, so they are going to bug stage now. Can I still feed them to Ts/slings?
 

crashergs

Arachnobaron
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Jan 20, 2006
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what???? bug stage?


silkworms cocoon themselves in silk, in the silk cocoon they metamorphe into flightless moths. I recommend you wait for them to turn into moths, they can still be fed to your pets, do not unweave them.
 

speedreader

Arachnobaron
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moths are bugs :D.

Too bad they are flightless, I would love to see my arboreals take on some flying dudes.
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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Aug 18, 2004
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Speedreader: you should try waxmoths if you want something that flies, or maybe hornworms. The silkworm moths just kind of hop around...they will be very easy prey.

You could slit the cocoons and remove the pupae and see if the T's will eat them(if not, just put them back in, no harm done).
 

speedreader

Arachnobaron
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May 14, 2005
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Speedreader: you should try waxmoths if you want something that flies, or maybe hornworms. The silkworm moths just kind of hop around...they will be very easy prey.

You could slit the cocoons and remove the pupae and see if the T's will eat them(if not, just put them back in, no harm done).
whoa really?
Ts are nto hungry now, so i don't mind.
Where can I get these other worms you mentioned, btw?
 

arachnocat

Arachnoangel
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Nov 27, 2005
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I thought about getting some hornworms as a treat for my larger Ts. How is the nutritional value though? Are they good for Ts? (the worms, not the moths they turn into). I saw they were on sale at coastalsilkworms.com so I thought i might try a pod or two.
 

funnylori

Arachnobaron
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Hornworms are CRAZY. IHeartMantids tried raising some for himself to eat last summer. They decimated 10-20 tomato plants before they ever reached 2 inches long! They are definately not worth the amount of effort and cost of plants to eat if you want to use them as feeders.

Silkworms are neat, they have pretty paisly markings on them, and their poo comes out like the crazy many pointed star shapped toothpaste I had as a kid. Silkworms do need special food though, and a lot of heat. I was rasing them in an incubation chamber in a lab I worked in. Their food was a pain to boil. If it was too thick they couldn't eat it and would die. If it was too thin, they would drown. But if you have a mulberry tree in your yard, then they aren't such a problem. Also, if you peel back the skin of the worm very carefully you can see the silk glands and everything. They kinda look like clear jello with yellow bits in them.

Not that anybody asked for care information. I just thought, that since they need such special and intensive care that they wouldn't be worth the trouble as feeders.
 

Scythemantis

Arachnobaron
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Feb 27, 2005
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The word "bug" only refers to insects of the order hemiptera, so no, moths are not bugs. And even in common slang where "bug" can mean any kind of insect, silkworms would ALSO be "bugs".
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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Hornworms are CRAZY. IHeartMantids tried raising some for himself to eat last summer. They decimated 10-20 tomato plants before they ever reached 2 inches long! They are definately not worth the amount of effort and cost of plants to eat if you want to use them as feeders.

Silkworms are neat, they have pretty paisly markings on them, and their poo comes out like the crazy many pointed star shapped toothpaste I had as a kid. Silkworms do need special food though, and a lot of heat. I was rasing them in an incubation chamber in a lab I worked in. Their food was a pain to boil. If it was too thick they couldn't eat it and would die. If it was too thin, they would drown. But if you have a mulberry tree in your yard, then they aren't such a problem. Also, if you peel back the skin of the worm very carefully you can see the silk glands and everything. They kinda look like clear jello with yellow bits in them.


Whoah whoah whoah! Some of those things are not true at all, both silkworms and hornworms are very easy to raise!

First of all, if your going to feed hornworms to your pets, you cant feed them tomato leaves or tomatoes, their toxic to our pets, so you dont have to worry about feeding them tomato leaves. There is artificial chow available now for hornworms, you make it just like silkworm chow, some places may even have it pre-made already. At mulberryfarms.com you can buy hornworms in a container with pre-made chow so all you have to do is clean out the poo once a day and thats it you watch them grow. If your need them large size and they get too big for the container though, you'll have to put them in a larger container yourself and buy more artificial chow because the remaining chow from the container may grow mold. Also, if your hornworms are 2-3 inches, they will actually eat pre-made silkworm chow, which is safe, and easy to feed to them because it's the perfect texture. I tried this and they all grew into large, healthy caterpillars. They eat so fast and so much they grow quickly. But they get pretty large pretty fast, so unless you have multiple pets that eat alot of them quickly, and can eat large caterpillars, they arent practical, silkworms would be better they dont get as big and you can raise more of them at once.

Now for the silkworms.
Silkworms I think eat more in a day than hornworms do, hornworms at least take a break from eating for an hour or two, silkworms eat about 20 hours a day unless they are ready to shed, then they dont eat for 2 days. It's true the chow has to be a certain texture. The best bet would be having the chow too dry, because then you can lightly sprinkle water on it, it absorbs water like a sponge, so after the chow becomes moist and perfect for silkworms to eat, just dont add too much water. But, raising silkworms on fresh mulberry leaves really is the best way. The leaves are not toxic to our pets, and the silkworms grow quicker and healthier on leaves. I can say this with confidence as I have raised silkworms on white mulberry leaves, and I had about 50 moths by early summer out of 55 silkworms. Silkworms chow is sold pre-made just as much as chow not made is sold, so if you go artificial, you can pick which way you want to go.

Personally T's dont eat much a week, so you want something that will be around for a while, like crickets or roaches.
 

Louise E. Rothstein

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Feb 10, 2005
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Silkworms-bugs-food?

Mulberry leaves are not always an easy way out.
All of my silkworms became diseased.It turned out that wild insects sometimes contaminate mulberry leaves.
I was told to sterilize the leaves in a Chlorox solution:
but I find that I cannot tolerate the fumes anymore.

I do tolerate both vinegar and baking powder.
But could either of the above sterilize mulberry leaves?
Has anybody in this column ever tried either?
Please let me know if you have.

Thank you.
Yours very truly,
Louise Esther Rothstein.
 
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