COMMON NAME: Peanut Beetle SCIENTIFIC NAME: Palembus dermestoides SIZE: Larvae- ¾” Adult beetle- 1/8” PRIMARY USE: Larvae are used by tropical fish keepers, bird keepers, and reptile keepers. VALUE: The full sized larvae are used as a feeder insect to geckos ranging between 3-6”. They are easily kept alive and are extremely prolific breeders (200 eggs/female), flightless and cannot crawl up smooth surfaces. NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Larvae- 55% crude protein, 18% fat. P. dermestoides is a kind of insect resource with high protein, low fat, diverse amino acids and lots of minerals and trace elements compared with a normal protein resource. LIFE CYCLE: @ 82 degrees F- Egg: 1-2 weeks, Larvae: 2 months. Pupae: 7 days, Adults: 20 months SETUP: Either a small (sandwich box) or a large (storage bin) container can be used depending on your need. Use an ice [ ... ]Read More
Dubias- if you have more than a few geckos and are not raising dubia roaches, you are missing a golden opportunity. Dubias are extremely inexpensive to raise, easy to breed, and geckos LOVE them! So you have an issue with 'roaches'? Get over it! Dubias are less offensive than crickets! Less stinky, less nasty, they don't eat through everything and anything, and if they get loose in the house will diet in a short time, rather than crickets that will keep you up at night for days chirping. If you are interested in starting a starting a colony, there are many, many sites that provide basic care information. However, I will list the few minimum requirements here- 1) Heat [@ 85 degrees] 2) Food- they eat almost anything [they are roaches of course]. I tried to come up with a 3 but that is about it- heat and food and they will breed. However, if you want to super charge your colony and get the most production out of the group, here are some necessi [ ... ]Read More
In our Daily Gecko News (read here), I have promised to mix the pretty baby gecko photos (good news) with the real-life happenings (sometimes not so good news) in the Supreme Gecko facility. Social media would call this transparency, or being "real". I call it- 'look at what I did and be smart enough not to do it yourself'! It’s only been a couple months since I last did a cleaning but WOW, they are loaded with babies. I started with the most established bin. Taking each egg carton out and shaking it into my 3 tub system (larger holes in top tub, smaller holes in middle tub, bottom collects babies) everything went very well. I have 2 ‘feeder’ buckets used to pull, well feeders out of (medium and small). Mediums were dumped. I place the bucket of smalls on the table. Noticing the ‘small feeder’ bucket needed a couple more egg cartons; I walked the 5 or 6 steps to the stack of cartons, grabbed 2 and turne [ ... ]Read More
There are many methods to care for your roaches, and lots of information when you look hard enough for it on the internet. I am going to use this to tell you how my husbandry works here with my roaches. I will start with the Dubia Roaches, as those are what got me interested to move on to more exotic roaches. Most of which I never knew existed. Thanks to great people that I have met over the internet and in roach forums, I have listened to them, and learned so much about these wonderful creatures. The hobby of collecting Exotic Roaches is a very small group of people, that enjoy raising, watching, and learning all about their roaches, just as I have been doing. My son in law and I raise many different geckos. We have Crested Geckos, Leopard Geckos, Tokay Geckos, assorted odd ball geckos and Chameleons. I have a pair of Mali Uromastyx also. The cricket feeding was getting crazy expensive, and they were so smelly and most died before we c [ ... ]Read More
Recipe that I use for all my fruit flies
1 cup of Powdered Sugar
4 teaspoons of Methyl Paraben
8 cups of Potato Flakes
1 cup of Brewers Yeast
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
I mix all the ingredients in a gallon size zip lock, then I put small amounts in a food processor at a time until all of it has been ground up (I usually make a double batch). As for making cultures I use a half cup of media, then I add about a quarter cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, next I add about a quarter cup to a half cup of hot water (more or less, depends on the time of year [winter=more, summer=less]). Then I add a pinch of Bakers Yeast, next I add some Excelsior (add a good handful of it), or you could use Coffee Filters. I let culture sit overnight before adding flies (or an hour or two), this allows for the CO2 to dispate (from the Bakers Yeast). Article by Steve Smith
Rice Flour Beetles (Tribolium confusum)
This is how I culture my Rice Flour Beetles, first I will list what I use for the media.
Rice Flour Beetle Media:
2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour (Sift the flour to remove any large pieces of bran)
2 cups of Regular Flour
1 cup of Brewers Yeast (You can use Bakers Yeast instead of Brewers)
I mix all the ingredients in a bowl using a whisk. I culture the beetles in 16oz to 32oz deli cups. I fill the culture cup three quarters full of the media (so there is about an inch or two from the lid). Then add the beetles, next you'll need to wait. I usually wait a month before I start to take the larvae out to feed my frogs or start new cultures. Also once a week I'll open up the culture to allow some fresh air in. Article by Steve Smith
Springtails: Black, Blue & White Tropicals This is how I culture Tropical Springtails. I keep my Tropical Springtails in 16oz to 32oz deli cups. I use Eco Earth for my substrate (or you could use any type of ground up coconut fiber). I keep the cultures moist but not soaking wet. Charcoal works just as well, fill the container half way full with charcoal, then have about an inch of water. To get the springtails out, just flood the container and dump them out or use a spoon and scoop them out. Once a week I feed them just a pinch of Bakers Yeast or you can feed them dried mushrooms or even fish food. Opening their containers once a week also allows fresh air into the containers. When I make new cultures I pack the coconut fiber down into the cups (I fill the cup about half way to three quarters full). Then I'll take a spoonful or two of the existing culture and dump into the new one. To feed out of the cultures I take the culture and open it up inside of the tank, then I [ ... ]Read More
I culture my Isopods in 190oz containers, for substrate I use Eco Earth (or any type of ground up coconut fiber will work). I fill up the container about half way to three quarters full with Eco Earth. I also put Oak Leaves that I collect from pesticide free areas in the cultures (I bake the leaves in the oven before I use them, 300 degrees for half an hour).Also I stack brown cardboard in the cultures (I only use brown cardboard that has no writting/print on it). I spray down the cardboard and leaves so that they are moist. The substrate should be moist and not soaking wet. The Isopods like to hang out in /on the stacked pieces of cardboard. So when you want to feed out of the culture just remove the cardboard and brush off the Isopods. I feed the Isopods once a week Algae Wafers or any other type of Algae Discs (fish food), this also allows for some fresh air to enter the culture. For better Isopod production the culture should be kept in total darkness. The Dwarf White [ ... ]Read More
The following article is a transcript from the BlogTalkRadio Danny Mendez Urban Jungle show titled Silence of the Cricket dated 06/25/2010.
Danny interviewed Darren from Reptilefeeders.com (Canadian feeder company) concerning the recent issue of the virus devastating the feeder insect market.
Here are some of the points Darren made about the virus:
Some insect farms have closed their doors!
Ghanns (featured on Dirty Jobs) has not been affected so far.
The virus started in Europe, moved to Canada, then moved to US.
The virus is deadly at the 3rd instar- 3rd shedding.
There are no symptoms initially- once it hits certain level then you see symptoms then death.
Seems to only affects Acheta Domestica.
The virus does not seem to affect reptiles/arachnids.
It has been around N. America since September 2009.
It can survive outside host for very long time, can spread by air and of course by contact, and can be spread by other insects (superworms).
Europe keepers are using Jamaican fie [ ... ]
If you own a reptile that only eats prepared food or greens, consider yourself lucky. Most of the animals maintained in our facility eat live food- and a lot of live food. I mentioned to someone once that we feed thousand and thousands of crickets a week (yes, that is EVERY WEEK). While the insect has been a blessing for reptile keepers around the country (world?), there is probably no other topic that when mentioned holds such distain and frustration among hobbyists reliant on feeding crickets to their animals. So why is this? There are several valid reasons and I am sure you are mostly aware of all of these. First, the cost- crickets can cost as much as $1 a dozen at your local pet store. Even if you are feeding a small sized animal, you may need at least 2 or 3 dozen crickets a week. Oh, and the rising price of gas certainly jacks up this price. Ouch! Not to mention your time (ok, it is fun to visit the pet store once in a while to see what new creatures they have in). H [ ... ]Read More
In the last Gecko News, I wrote about breeding Meal Worms. What a great food source for your animals! This month I go smaller- Fruit Flies. There is no better food for your young, small reptiles than fruit flies, and they are super easy to raise if you follow these simple steps.... There are generally 2 species of fruit flies available in the hobby. Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila hydei. D. melanogasters are very prolific breeders but are about a third the size of D. hydei. Of course, this article focuses on wingless flies as they are the only type hobbyists will use as a food source. This is a great food for all types of baby reptiles especially chameleons, day geckos, viper geckos, and pictus geckos. Setting up a culture of either fruit fly is the same. I have used the recipe given below successfully for many years. The amount of the ingredients will make between 6 and 8 cultures. Begin by collecting the materials you will need- medium sized cooking pot, measuring cu [ ... ]Read More
You may ask why one would want to breed mealworms. There are several reasons I can think of why some might NOT be interested in breeding mealworms: They are worms! They are smelly, slimy, icky, squirmy, worms! They can get out and infest my home! Or those that have a bit of experience with these insects might suggest they can easily be purchase them from a local pet store or even cheaply in bulk from the internet. First, let me dispel the assumptions- they are not smelly, slimy, squirmy, and I don't think they are icky. Their climbing skills are limited to non slick objects. They are slower moving so if you do drop one, you can easily capture it. Yes, you can order mealworms from a pet store. The Internet also sells worms for as little as $ 12 a thousand! So why would I want to go through the hassle of breeding them if I can purchase them so easily and inexpensive? Great question. If you raise small reptiles like I do, or have very small hatchlings such as vipe [ ... ]Read More