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BEAN WEEVIL CULTURE

This a popular livefood with Dart Frog keepers and is ideal for smaller Invertebrates. A Weevil is small beetle reaching 4mm and has a higher national value than crickets. Adult Beetles lay eggs on black eyed beans, the grubs then feed within the bean and emerge once adult. New Beetles will emerge from the culture for about two week making feeding small numbers of spiderlings more economical. Keeping them at higher temperatures will speed up the hatch rate.

A great food for dart frogs, fish, frogs, toads, small geckos, and small / young mantis, spiders, scorps, fly traps & pitcher plants etc.

Very easy to breed. Just add some beans and adults from the old culture to a handfull of black eyed beans, and place somewhere warm (I put mine by an aquarium starter unit). With in a week, the pot will be exploding with weevils.

Just split the culture again, and add more beans! I have four constantly rotating, 2 being used for food, after a week I give them a rest period, new beans, and use the other 2.

Adult weevils are approximately 4mm in size. Requires temperatures of 25°C+ to breed.

Tips.

Line a milk bottle lid with foil and put in a piece of sponge soaked in honey and water for them though, make the sponge barely damp as the weevils will drown.I also start new cultures off every few months by filling jars about a third full of new beans, drop in about 30 weevils, cover really securely using several layers of mesh and an elastic band place it somewhere warm- on top of a viv or in airing cupboard, forget about it for about 3 weeks and you should fine it teeming with them. They are very quick, good at escaping, they can fly and do a brilliant impression of being dead untill you touch them and they gimble away. 

CRICKET CULTURE

The most important facts are:

A. Crickets need warmth.

B. Crickets need food and water

C. Crickets need a good place to lay eggs.

Setup for raising crickets:

You can put a Tupperware bin is on top of the stereo amplifier for warmth.

The basic elements to this setup are, the Tupperware container, the water feeder, the egg carton, and the breeding dish.

Building the water feeder.

Take a plastic party cup and mark it up like shown in the picture.

Bend out the flaps created. This provides a ramp for the Crickets to get to the water.

Cut a notch in the bottled water container about ¼ inch deep like in the picture.

Fill the water bottle with water and put the cup on it. Turn the whole think upside down and the water will fill the bottom of the cup to a shallow level.

Take some cotton balls or roll up a paper towel and press it into the bottom of the cup. There shouldn't be a pool of water accessable to the babies. The towel will get moist and the crickets will be able to suck on the paper or cotton like wet washcloth.

Take a piece of Duct Tape and place it on the side of the cup, this will keep the cup from falling over and creating a cricket flash flood.

Setting up the breeding dish.

Take one of the Zip Lock plastic Tupperware containers and fill it up with dirt. I went into the back yard and scooped up some bark dust. I have had problems using some potting soils. Some of them have anti-insect chemicals in them. I would reccomend using some form of Turf Substrate that you can get at pet stores. It usually comes compressed into about the size of a brick, you add water and it expands into dirtlike brown stuff. The good thing about this is that it is designed with your pets in mind and will produce consistant results. It says on it that the pet can eat it without harm, which is good!

Fill the container with water until you can see that half of the dirt is saturated. You will see the water line on the side, it will be about ½ inch deep.

Setting up the Environment.

Put the breeding dish in the Tupperware container.

Take the bottom off of one of an egg carton and place it in the Rubbermaid container upside down. Place it near the breeding dish so they can crawl up onto it to lay their eggs.

Take another party cup and cut it really shallow for the food. Any kind of little dish can be used, the picture shows a dixi cup. All that matters is that some kind of small cricket could find its way in and then out again so use your own judgment.

Use cricket food or chop up veggies and put it in with cat food if you don't want to use store bought cricket food.

Place the cricket food in the dish of choice and place it in the big Tupperware container.

Put the water feeder in.

Your habitat is now complete!

To complete your setup for raising crickets.

Put the bag of 30 or so Crickets from the pet store in the habitat. As soon as the females stems are as long, they are ready to lay eggs.

Put the container on a heating pad set on low, or that old piece of home entertainment equipment that gets warm.

You are now set, wait for a while and put up with a lot of chirping. If you have a thermometer, try to keep the habitat around 85 degrees, don't go over 95 or under 70 if you want the crickets to live.

Once the crickets start chirping and the females have long stems coming out of their abdomens, chances are they have fertilized eggs ready to lay.

Eggs will be laid.

Give them a few weeks, If you rub your finger into the dirt, you might be able to see some of the eggs, they are about 1/8 of an inch long and 1/32 of an inch wide they deposit them up to an inch deep. Make sure the dirt that the eggs are being laid in doesn't dry out, if it does, the eggs probably wont hatch that get real dry.

After you are sure that the crickets have laid some eggs, remove the breeding dish from the main container, put it into something that has slick walls so that baby crickets can't climb out. They can climb, but not very well.

Babies will hatch!

Then the babies hatch they will be about the same size as the egg (imagine that!) Crickets don't go through any worm-like larva stage, they just pop out and start running around. They will shed their skin a couple times and after the last shedding they are considered adults. Don't worry if they turn white when they shed their skin, this is normal.

At some point you will want to put the crickets into the big tub so that they can grow If you don't have any more adults to feed to your pet, the babies can be hatched in the main tub, you want to avoid having adults and babies in the same container.

Before you know it you will have hundreds of babies running around.

This concludes my Breeding Crickets.

 

FRUIT FLY CULTURE

Use a pint size plastic cup

1. Instant Hot Oat Cereal 3 table spoons full
2. Instant Mash 1 table spoon full
3. Half Tea spoon of Sugar
4. Mix up mixture a bit
5. Orange juice 90ml and mix up again
6. Sprinkle on top a tip of a teaspoon of Yeast
7. Add folded up paper towel or cardboard into cup for flys to lay eggs on
8. Add about 75 fruit flys to cup
9. Cover cup with thin piece of thin material or old ladies tights held of with a elastic band
Tips

Don’t make mixture to runny or it wont produce as many flies.

Calcium propionate is a mold inhibitor used in bread. Calcium proprionate may be used as a substitute for tegosept.

Mix all ingredients except yeast, sprinkle a couple granules of baker's yeast on the surface.

Not adding enough fruit flies can make the culture fail.

MEALWORM CULTURE

Your breeding set up should have three containers - one for the mealworms, one for the pupae, and one for the beetles. A shoebox sized Rubbermaid container is good for an average sized colony. Cut out the center of the lid, then use a hot glue gun to attach fly screen. This type of container is suitable for the mealworms and beetles. Beetles and mealworms don't generally climb the walls, so if the container is deep enough, you don't really need a lid. The pupae are inactive and don't eat and can be kept in a separate container. Don't keep the pupae in with the mealworms or beetles or they may get eaten.

A substrate that most breeders use is a mixture of bran and oatmeal. You can add skim milk powder, reptile vitamins, cornmeal, tropical fish flakes, or chicken laying mash (which you can find at any farm supply store). The more nutrition in the substrate, the more nutritious your mealworms will be for your pets. You can use the same kind of bedding for both the mealworms and the beetles.

Add a small piece of potato or carrot (or other fruit or vegetable) every other day and remove any uneaten portions. Do not add anything that is too juicy, like an orange, or the substrate will become moldy. Mold will kill the mealworms and is also harmful to your pet. If you see any mold in your substrate, throw it ALL out and clean the container out thoroughly before adding fresh bedding.

To keep your mealworms breeding, keep them at a temperature of between 68 - 75 F. If you wish to stop breeding for a short period of time, you can store your mealworms in the fridge. Mealworms will become dormant in cool environments and stop breeding.

It could take a few months for your new mealworm colony to pupate, depending on how old the mealworms are when you first get them. When you see the pupae, separate them into another container. In about two weeks, depending on the temperature and some other factors, the pupae will turn into beetles. When the beetles first emerge, they are white, then darken in a few hours to a dark brown, almost black. Remove the beetles into another bin with substrate and a small piece of fruit or vegetable. The beetles will lay eggs in the substrate and in a few months, you'll see LOTS of tiny wriggling baby mealworms. The female beetle can lay between 500 - 1000 eggs. The eggs take about a week to hatch, but the larvae are MUCH too small to be seen and generally it takes a few weeks before you can see them. When you see the tiny mealworms, remove the beetles to another container and start the process over again.

PEA APHIDS

Culturing these aphids is quite easy :
1 : Take a plastic box like a disposable box
2 : Put some cocopeat on the bottom, about 2 cm
3 : Place some peas on top of it that have been soaked in a bowl of water for 12 to 24 hours (flush the peas before you add them)
4 : Place the plastic boxes away. The best place is on a light place and to speed up the growing process, leave the lid on for a few days

When the pea plants are about 5 cm high, you can add the aphids. It can take up to 2 weeks before a culture is ready to be feed to the frogs. It's not necessary to keep the cultures covered with a lid when the aphids are added. If you set up a new culture every 5-7 days, you can have continues cultures. And don't place the aphids too hot.

Harvesting the aphids :
Methode 1 : Brush them off the plants with a paintbrush
Methode 2 : Place a piece of the culture in the vivarium so the frogs can get them off themself
Methode 3 : Shake the plants so the aphids fall off into the viv

I use methode 2 and 3. Not all the frogs like them at first. It might take some time before the get used to it.

SILVERFISH CULTURE

Must be kept bone-dry at temperatures bewteen 32 and 45°C. Requires only a kitchen towel base, wad of cotton wool and a constant supply of fresh fish flake/calcium to multiply.

Adults are taken by larger Dendrobates while hatchling firebrats are devoured by most Dendrobates.

SPRINGTAIl CULTURE

 

A small white species from Brazil (size up to 4mm). Very prolific.

Springtails (Collembolla sp.) live naturally among leaf litter and debris as decomposers, and are a valuable component for a healthy vivarium. They are also very small, making them a perfect food source for newly morphed froglets and picky eaters. Larger frogs will also relish them as a supplemental feeder item.

Temperate springtails can be cultured in small rubbermaid containers on a substrate of gardening charcoal, coconut mulch, or soil.

They can be fed a wide variety of foods ranging from vegetables to flake fish food, and are cultured best between 65-70F on frequently moistened substrate.

WOODLICE CULTURE

Ideal containers are clear plastic sandwich boxes containing a thin layer of soil (coco brick), and feed them fish flake. Care should be taken not to make conditions too damp since woodlice are just as easily killed by conditions being too moist as being too dry

WAX WORM CULTURE

1.Best way to start raising wax worms is to buy some.
2.Prepare an escape proof container for them ie 3 to 5 gallon tank with screened lid
(tape it on later).
3.You will also need a substrate- get some bran and honey- mix it together dry. If you can get some bees wax grate it into the mixture. Crumble the mixture into the tank. You can also buy the bedding.
The mix may still be a little sticky.
4.Put the wax worms in the container with the bedding.
5.Add a few crumpled balls of wax paper as well.
6.Keep the wax worms at room temp. eventually the waxworms will begin to spin
cocoons. They will remain in their cocoons for approx two weeks- then moths will
emerge.
7.The moths will mate and live for about a week or so- they will lay their eggs in the wax
paper.
8.A couple of weeks after the moths have died you will see lots of tiny worms. They
grow fast if they are kept at room temp- so once they are half grown you may want to
store them in the fridge in a container with small air holes and some of the honey and
bran mix. If you leave them at room temp the cycle will begin again.
9.You must secure the top. The worms hatch small and will escape.

INDIAN MEAL MOTH

(Plodia interpuctella)

They are a common grain-feeding feeding on dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dry dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy.

Breeding:
I have been breeding meal moths in a plastic pint cup adding a mixture of  Bran cereal, Sugar, Wheatabix, Oats. Crush the mixture up with your hands into smaller bits then add a table spoon full of Honey or syrup.  Fill half the plastic pint cup with the mixture and add some paper towel or card on top for the moth lay there eggs on. Next add some moths or larvae then cover the lid with something like T-Shirt material held of with a elastic band.

The moth larvae are off-white with brown heads. When these larvae mature, they are usually about 12 mm long.
The adult moth is 8–10 mm in length with 16–20 mm wingspans. The outer half of their forewings are bronze, copper, or dark gray in color, while the upper half are yellowish-gray, with a dark band at the intersection between the two.
The indianmeal moth was given its name after an insect scientist found it feeding on corn meal, also known as Indian meal.

Lifecycle:
The female moth lays between 60 and 300 eggs, singly or in clusters, on or near the foodstuffs. Eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days with larvae or "tiny whitish caterpillars" dispersing within a few hours. Larvae move to foodstuffs, and feed in or near a tunnel-like case of silk which they web together. Some food becomes matted with silken webbing. The larval stage is the feeding and may range from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature. In stored grains, feeding is done at the surface. When ready to pupate, mature larvae leave their tubes and spin a silken cocoon. They often migrate or "wander" from their food source before finding the pupation site. Some crawl up to where they spin the cocoon in which they pupate and from which new adult moths emerge. Mating occurs and the life cycle is repeated. The life cycle may range from the shortest period of four weeks to the longest of 300 days. Under good conditions, the entire life cycle requires six to eight weeks. However, in cold climates, larvae overwinter and pupate in March. Moths emerge in April. Generations overlap as the season progresses. The life cycle depends on temperature, taking two to six months in temperate zones and three to four weeks in warm climates.

GRAIN WEEVILS

(Sitophilus granarius)

Adult Beetles lay eggs on Whole grain wheet, the babbies then feed within the Whole grain wheet. Keeping them at higher temperatures will speed up the hatch rate. Requires temperatures of 25°C+ to breed.
Very easy to breed. Just add some Whole grain wheet and adults from the old culture to a handfull of Whole grain wheet, and place somewhere warm (I put mine by an aquarium starter unit). In time the pot will be exploding with weevils.

Just split the culture again, and add more Whole grain wheet! I have four constantly rotating, 2 being used for food.

These explosive breeders very simialr in culturing to the bean weevil except they live on wheat and otherr small grains. Requires temperatures of 25°C+ to breed quickly otherwise has a long development period. These weevils are slightly smaller, more elongate than bean weevils.

A great food for dart frogs.