Springtime, young toads, tarantulas, and you

LCDXX

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
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Apr 10, 2003
Messages
136
Okay, I live in the Midwest (IN) and it's that time of year again when the local canal behind my house starts spewing forth copious amounts of baby toads. Now I don't maintain a stock of crix or anything... since I only feed on Fridays, I typically stop by the store on my way home from work and snatch up a couple dozen of them to disperse among my scorpions and Ts.

Then it occurred to me that these little toads might do just as well, plus they have the added benefit of being more entertaining to watch as the inverts chow down (morbid thought, I know, but come one, you KNOW you watch).

I've seen pics and vids of people feeding mice and what not to their Ts, but generally people refrain from it for fear that a mouse could do harm to a fragile T (which I agree with, completely). But I'd have to assume that toads would pose even less of a threat.

Has anyone here attempted to use toads (or any other critter) as a food for their Ts?

The scorps I'm not worried about - I've used them before and had satisfactory results. But I tend to view Ts is a wholly different frame of mind and I'm just not positive on this one.

Comments? Suggestions?

LCDXX

PS: I have a G. Rosea and an A. Avic, in case you were wondering about what would be eating the toadies
 

cweg

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Messages
44
Poison?

I know here on the east coast, the eastern toad has poison glands near the head. This poison acts on mammals, but I have no idea about T's.
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
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Feb 13, 2003
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1,294
I'd be concerned about the possible poison too.:eek:
You could find out exactly what kind of toads they are,
you know, scientific names. Check with your local DNR
office, they should be able to tell you.
Then there is always a State Park Nature Center, the
people there are usually informed about the local critters.:)

Just catch a couple of them and have them checked out.
They don't need to know why, and if they do. You can just
say that since there are so many of the critters you are
just CURIOUS. And you are going to put them back when you are done. :rolleyes:
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Aug 16, 2002
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All true toads (Bufo) do possess parotoid glads (full of a potent toxin). I do not know if it's harmful to T's or not, but the way T's eat, they'd definately be exposed to it.

Wade
 
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LCDXX

Arachnosquire
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Apr 10, 2003
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136
The toads I'm referring to are actually called "Fowler's Toads" (Bufo fowleri). They are pretty much the basic, run-of-the-mill brown toad-thingy.

Here's a pic: http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/endangered/fowlers.htm

I do realize that a majority of toad species contain some level of toxicity in the form or a secretion usually emitted via a pair of glands located just behind the eyes. However, these are generally considered to be harmless.

Regardless of toxicity, I'm curious if a Tarantulas digestive process would negate any potentially dangerous effects considering a spiders "saliva" breaks down organic matter to make it digestable. I'm no scientist, but it sounds reasonable.

I guess my theory results from the fact that my P. Imperator has no problem tackling these little guys.

Plus, I'm only considering baby toads (around 1 to 1.5 inches in size) whose glands are significantly immature compared to a full grown monster.

Like I said... this is just speculation and curiousity combined. Whic can be deadly.

LCDXX
 

RugbyDave

Arachnoprince
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Apr 5, 2003
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1,428
All of them have a level of poison/venom, just like our little fuzzy bugs do.

I don't know (as seems to be the general consensus), but it's something i wouldn't try untill i knew for sure.

Maybe try some roaches if you want something besides crickets.

and the thing with mice, is, feed some pinkies, they can't really bite back. It is a pink, goey mess, but they're a good thing to throw in once in a while (esp. if you're trying to breed the T!)

I don't know to answer your question, but i would say No for now.
just grab some more crickets, some fluker food, and get a bunch.

On hand for T food, i've got pinkies, roaches, superworms, crickets, and some moths (which only go for my RP rosea).

Good Luck though!
peace
dave
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Aug 16, 2002
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Harmless to people, yes, as we are not in the habit of putting toads in our mouths and biting them.

Fowler's toads are also abundant here, and the toxin is a pretty effective deterrent against predation. My dogs will go after almost any animal under the sun, but they leave the toads alone. I imagine just one taste was enough to teach them that lesson!

The toxin MAY have evolved as a defense against vertebrate predators only, or maybe it would be broken down by the T's digestive fluids...it may have no effect at all against a spider. Still, I probably would think twice about giving one to an expensive, irreplaceable T.

The fact that your scorpions have eaten them is encouraging, but the way scorpions eat is a little different than the way T's eat. The scorp may be able to simply not eat the portions it finds unpalatable, but the T is going to smash up the prey and regurgitate digestive fluids over it and suck it up. There's no way for the spider to exlcude the paotoid glands, so the toxin IS going to be consumed. What I don't know is if there's any harm in that.

Wade
 

Vys

Arachnoprince
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Sep 22, 2002
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Well, some primitive part of me thinks small toads would be grand food for hungry T's; I know they love small frogs ('grods'), and would like to hear from you when you've tried one on one of your T's.

I wouldn't bet the T will start acting funny afterwards since you have other invertebrates of equal size that don't.

It's endangered though, no ? Hard to resist though when there's loads of them, I can understand. Don't think many people herearound take a closer look at the baby frogs they feed to their T's, eventhough they should :/
 
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LCDXX

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
136
Well, your opinions are very much appreciated. And please keep in mind I'm not trying to spark controversy here.

I'm even more curious about this now, seeing as there has been little or no experimention on this topic.

As for alternative food sources, I do use roaches in addition to crix, but rarely... I'm in the early stages of making a colony of Madagascar Hissers, so I try to spare a few while I can.

I may have to throw down a few bucks on another G. Rosea and try this out. I'll report whatever I find.

Thanks for the input!

LCDXX
 

Vys

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
1,571
If there's any area where Fowlers Toads and a T of any kind live both, and have for a considerable amount of time, then such a T would be preferrable for a test, I would think.
If that T would avoid that little toad like there'w's no tomorrow, then you'd know they're no good for T-chow :)
 
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