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Thread: alternative to crickets

  1. #21
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by KP View Post
    The "It is." was in reply to Trout Hunter saying this in reply to one of my responses: "It sounds like a great place for amphibians populations to thrive!".

    With regard to experience, I've got over 50 years of studying Reptiles and Amphibians academically, long-term observation and husbandry of mostly American and Fowler's Toads but also Turtles, Tortoises, Newts, Salamanders, Anoles, one Spectacled Cayman and more recently, for the past 10 years, Gray Tree Frogs (H.versicolor and H.chrysoscelis). Never had any problem with diseases, parasites, or the prey doing harm to the Toads. Their robust health and long lives were due to them having conditions and diet as close to what they would experience in the wild as can be simulated in a closed, artificial habitat minus drastic weather changes and predators and the stress they experience from living under the threat of predation.

    The only individuals (Gray Tree Frogs) I now have in captivity are mal-formed and ones of otherwise diminished survivability. The perfectly functional ones will do their kind and the environment, and by extension the human population the most good by being encouraged to propagate and expand their communities which I do with my compound, and left to be wild and occupy their ecological niche in the immediate and surrounding acreage.

    When I began practicing Toad husbandry as a child, I started by feeding them mealworms almost exclusively as that was the only feeder insect available at that time in my local pet store. They started to lose interest in them after some time so I began to use a wide variety of wild-harvested insects and spiders all small enough to be food for Toads their size of course. I never hand-fed them and they had to stalk their prey so after ten years I let them go in the same acreage where I now have my compound and kept a record of their survival thereafter. They lived another 3 to 5 years depending on which one was being documented and after that I didn't see them around.

    Diseases and parasites among Reptile/Amphibian populations has everything to do with environmental stressors of human origin which weaken the animals resistence to all such problems, destruction of habitat, and the tragic increase in commercial trade in baby or juvenile individuals, not feeding them a variety of wild-harvested prey.
    Do you have anything published?

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  3. #22
    100+ Post Member DanDrobates's Avatar
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    KP, you have to understand that your situation is an exception though and that few of us live within walking distance of a pristine biome. I live in a heavily polluted neighborhood within the New York metro area and that is why I caution people about the risks of feeding wild prey. I’m sure that your feeding methods are sound, given your situation, and I am pleased that they have brought you success. However, I cannot in good conscience recommend wild prey as being generally acceptable to a novice.

  4. #23

    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Thanks to everybody who contributed replies to this thread. I will continue to feed with a diet comprising of crickets and and alternating feeder of either meal, horn or butter worms. I appreciate all answers that were provided as I have learned a lot from it. I also just want to say that i did not mean to start any sort of forum beef amongst the members I just solely wanted to know the opinions from others who have amphibians as pets.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    No, my academic studies have been elective at the university level and independent.
    Academic study of nature in general is interesting and rewarding and very informative but as any field biologist will tell you there's no substitute for observation in the wild for extended periods of time especially when the specie being observed is primarilly nocturnal. At my compound I've had the benefit of what amounts to years of field observation of the many species that live here and have learned things that one wouldn't find out by academic study alone.

    I don't tend to want to keep animals captive as I did as a kid and into my 30's but moving back to the compound got me back to my root studies in the local wildlife and seeing an occasional mal-formed Gray Tree Frog out of several hundred froglets made me decide to take them in and see how well they could do when they'd otherwise be snacks for a variety of predators if left to strike out with their siblings. It's been great so far and since I began upgrading the compound to maximize the initial crop of all the Amphibians here I've hand-counted over 10,000 Toadlets or as I like to call them "Microtoads" and over 1,000 Gray Tree Froglets or as I call them "Micromints" successfully launched into the area in and around the compound. Over the last few years the local population of Gray Tree Frogs that participate in the yearly spawning chorus has increased beyond what I would have though the immediate acreage could support but they have also increased in areas as far as half a mile from the compound and beyond, so they have plenty of room to expand and the rainy years have been kind to them as well.

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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    I haven't disagreed with that reasoning.
    My responses have been with Trout Hunter in mind and their situation from what I get from their description of it is much more similar to mine than to yours.

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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    If you read back through my posts you'll see I believe, where I referred to my circumstances as "extremely ideal" so that has already been established.
    In your situation the very air you and your animals breathe is far more polluted than it is here let alone the level of toxicity in the insects you might encounter so of course you should never even consider a local harvest of Amphibian prey. If it was you who had asked the original question, and you had explained your circumstances as Trout Hunter did my reply would have been specific to your needs as it was to Trout Hunter's.

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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    The other thing you might want to keep in mind is that both my and Trout Hunter's species are indigenous to our regions while yours are from several thousand miles outside of your region. That makes a world of difference in the survivability of any specie and what must be done for it in captivity.

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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout hunter View Post
    Thanks to everybody who contributed replies to this thread. I will continue to feed with a diet comprising of crickets and and alternating feeder of either meal, horn or butter worms. I appreciate all answers that were provided as I have learned a lot from it. I also just want to say that i did not mean to start any sort of forum beef amongst the members I just solely wanted to know the opinions from others who have amphibians as pets.
    You asked a great and important question to which we each offered responses.
    No beef was started, I'm not known to anyone here and I may respond with information based upon my experience and education which may rub up against what others believe and ilicit a threat response from them. I don't fault anyone for that, least of all you for initiating a perfectly civil disagreement amongst people who all are agreed, love the critters in question.

    Take what you gleaned from it and make a beautiful, long life for your sweet Toads.

  10. #29
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by KP View Post
    You asked a great and important question to which we each offered responses.
    No beef was started, I'm not known to anyone here and I may respond with information based upon my experience and education which may rub up against what others believe and ilicit a threat response from them. I don't fault anyone for that, least of all you for initiating a perfectly civil disagreement amongst people who all are agreed, love the critters in question.

    Take what you gleaned from it and make a beautiful, long life for your sweet Toads.
    I wasn't trying to attack you in anyway. These toads are all over my area in my woods and yard.

    I appreciate your knowledge and understanding of these animals but you also have to understand that your observations are limited to your region if you aren't observing toads and etc in other regions.

    I study toads and grays in I think 3-6 counties of PA so I see a lot of interesting things that I could observe but my knowledge would be useful on a specific region not the species as a whole. Not all toads are same in personality and some honestly I love them but some aren't so smart compared to other toads.

    Your experience is very useful and I want to let you know I have hopes someday of being a researcher and herpetologist focused on these two among others but these two specific species. I want to replenish their wild populations and further the knowledge we have on them.

    I live in an area similar to your area but like I said before myself and Dan have had to help people with toads a lot. We love doing it but we don't want to add to a possible problem down the road. Spiders really are something I thought of starting out but it's just not truly necessary to catch spiders for the toads. Some wild feeders if cultured would be good I was keeping in mind feeding down the road.

    I do not question your knowledge and understanding of these animals. I respect your input and I hope you post more. I just want to explain my reasoning and I'm in no way coming at you. As Dan said we were just thinking about someone trying this out and worst case scenario thoughts for me at least were running through my head.

    It's great because Trout can look at all this and think about what he wants to do.

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  11. #30
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Nowhere did I suggest that you or anyone else "attacked" me. I don't feel attacked.
    I can't cite any comment on this or any other thread that could be interpreted as an attack upon me.
    As I just stated in a post to Trout Hunter, we had a civil disagreement. By virtue of that civil disagreement Trout Hunter now has enough information to be confident in whatever decision they make with regard to how to best feed their Toads. I see no downside to the entire exchange on this thread.

  12. #31

    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Hello,

    I just wanted to follow up with a question that never got answered or I was able to find online but which are better : mealworms or superworms ( I would be removing the heads off super worms and tong feeding to prevent the bugs from biting the toads) and once the beetles transform into their beetles or into their pupae cocoon forms are they still edible by toads or leopard geckos

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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout hunter View Post
    Hello,

    I just wanted to follow up with a question that never got answered or I was able to find online but which are better : mealworms or superworms ( I would be removing the heads off super worms and tong feeding to prevent the bugs from biting the toads) and once the beetles transform into their beetles or into their pupae cocoon forms are they still edible by toads or leopard geckos
    Anaxyrus americanus Toads can eat any arthropod small enough for the specific individual but where superworms are concerned, they might be too large in most cases. Also, they bite as you know. They do have the good quality of having a softer exoskeleton than mealworms. The Beetle form of the insect is best when it's still light-colored and soft but as Beetles they make a chemical defense secretion. The other downside as adults is that they'll have significantly more chitin which is harder for the Toads to digest and pass. Generally speaking, my opinion is that domesticated Toads should be fed a good variety of food arthropods but not those that can be hard to digest and pass. I see my wild Toads eating everything that crosses their path if it's the right size but they're wild and have to do what they have to do to survive.

    I have no experience with Leopard Geckos but from what I've read they'll have a harder time with superworms than the Toads would.

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  15. #33
    100+ Post Member Larry Wardog's Avatar
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    I would recommend the mealworms for many reasons.

    Easy to breed
    Beetles has less noxious secretion
    Smaller mandibles won't necessarily damage or bite the toad


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  16. #34

    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Wardog View Post
    I would recommend the mealworms for many reasons.

    Easy to breed
    Beetles has less noxious secretion
    Smaller mandibles won't necessarily damage or bite the toad





    Sent from my BKL-L04 using Tapatalk
    I appreciate the reply. yeah I thought id ask if it was alright to give them the mealworms because I have been alternating their diet between the mealies and crickets and they seem to really like the mealworms. Of course they usually aren't too picky as they seem to like any bug that's capable of being eaten.

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  18. #35
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    Default Re: alternative to crickets

    50 years ago I was keeping Anaxyrus americanus Toads and I had several for a little over 10 years. They thrived primarily on mealworms which at the time was the only insect available at the local pet store, and as many other arthropods as I could collect for them to eat during 3 months of the year. They lived an average of 4 years as re-introduced wild Toads in and around the compound after I released them.

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