As you may know, my latest passion involves the little geckos- Lygodactylus, Spearodactylus, and Gonatodes. Yes, the ones that are smaller than most other gecko's babies. These animals are ALWAYS active and on the prowl for food. The challenge is 1. finding the smallest of foods for them and 2. Finding enough of it. I have been on a quest the past months to match supply with demand.
My initial source was Abby Malvestuto from Chicago (aka Herpetological Girl). Her wingless fruit flies were a perfect staple food. With feedings occuring every day though, I quickly ran out and was not able to successfully set up other cultures in time. My next source came from Captive Bred Specialties. About once a week, I would stop in and chat with the guys about this or that and purchase a hundred little crickets (actually would get a few more than that :) Very convenient and inexpensive but I still wanted to be a bit more self reliant. I tried mealworms and that worked great but again, supply ran out far too quickly. I had to find those fruit flies!
Well, the NARBC show was last weekend and at the end of the event, I found my 'source'. Josh's Dart Frogs had a great supply and the food and the cups, well they had everything. A bag full and about $50 lighter, I had 6 containers of flies- 3 D. melanogascar and 3 D. hydei, food, and cups. If you keep dart frogs, and know that I only have about 15 animals to feed, you know where this story is headed.
Feeding time rolls around a few days after the show and I set aside a high deli cup (similar to the one the flies are in). A tap or two and the insects should all be down at the bottom. I open the top and about a million fruit flies are still on the lid! In unison, they all decide to hop down to my cart and start crawling in all directions. Top back on and a few quick sweeps of a piece of paper later and miraculously, about 99.9999 percent are in the once empty deli cup now being topped off with another lid. In those 30 frantic seconds, I used every swear word I knew... and made up a couple in the process.
All's well that ends well but I quickly realized that I had enough wingless fruit flies in this one cup to feed for WEEKS! And I have 5 other cups! Anyone need some fruit flies?