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#43587 - 04/19/05 05:02 PM Thoughts?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was reading a pamphlet from Wambaroo today & wanted to share a section on feeding insects:

Carnivorous and omnivorous animals need to catch live food. Feeding live food is not only important nutritionally it also helps maintain a healthy attitude in captive animals. If insects are offered as live food ensure they represent the insect stage eaten by the animal in the wild. There are considerable differences in composition between mature and immature or larval stages of insects. Animals that prey on mature insects such as moths, beetles, and crickets should not be fed large numbers of larval stage insects. Captive animals are commonly fed mealworms and fly pupae which are larval stage insects. These can be poor food subtitutes for many animals becaause of their high fat content. Fat contains twice as much energy as other nutrients and increased quantities in the diet can signifigntly dilute the intake of essential nutrients.

This led me to wonder what insects our munchkins would actually be eating in the wild and if we are doing right by them - feeding mealies and waxies and the treats they love so much. Do they eat larval stage buggies in the wild? Or are we setting them up for nutritional deficiencies, even blindness? But then, if we choose not to feed buggies, are we depriving them mentally/instinctually? And if they are meant to be eating mature insects, what about aphlatoxins?

Hoping to have a good discussion - NOT A diet WAR! - IF THERE IS ANY BASHING OR FLAMING, I WILL CLOSE THIS POST WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT AND ALL USEFUL INFORMATION WILL BE LOST TO YOU! Please don't let that happen.

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#43588 - 04/19/05 05:40 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Very interesting article and I do see the two contradicting points Monster. I do know that adult stages of insects do have more protein and less fat than larval stages and are more nutritious and I don't see any harm in providing it. Aflatoxins will only be present if given the right conditions (fungus growth, the environment, and the host bug). If you gutload properly and do not use corn/peanut/cottonseed products as feed or bedding and do not store the insects in a high humid/warm environment that will promote fungal growth then all should be safe.

I don't see any harm in giving larval stage insects either...if given a variety and given in moderation. But it's always hard not to over-indulge...I know! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Of course it is not exactly what they would be eating in the wild and duplicating the precise nutritional requirements is very difficult with any captive cared species, but omitting larval stage or adult stage insects completely is not, I believe correct...also a variety of different insects does provide behavioral enrichment. Just my opinion... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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#43589 - 04/19/05 05:55 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Aside from farming the insects yourself - how can you be sure they haven't been gut-loaded with corn/peanut/cottonseed products prior to reaching you? this is a danger I'm concerned with. Not so sure about starting my own cricket farm either - LOL - I was wary enough about starting a mealie farm! Also a concern is the blindness issue - maybe someone can straighten this out for me. I thought that excess fat was stored in their eyes, making blindness possible from incorrect diet. So, keeping this in mind - wouldn't feeding larval insects regularly (as A LOT of glider parents do, including me) be really hearsh on eye health?

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#43590 - 04/19/05 06:12 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here's a link Miss Peggy found for me - It gives some examples of insect food sources for gliders - They're in the paragraph right above the pic of the book.
http://www.greenharvest.com.au/pestcontrol2/how_to_design_pests_out_garden.html

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#43591 - 04/19/05 06:24 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


http://www.marsupialsociety.org/02au04.html

Another awesome site with some great info about gliders and scarab beetles!

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#43592 - 04/19/05 06:25 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You're right Monster, you do not know what the insects have been housed in or fed before they get to you unless you research and ask the insect breeder those questions...or you breed them yourself. As for the blindness...I have heard of a case where an overweight mother was giving birth to offspring that had white eyes or white spots in their eyes causing blindness and the vet contributed it to the mother's high fat intake and recommended feeding diluted carrot juice to the mother until the offspring was weaned...but I really haven't heard of any research articles testing this theory out, have you? I'm not sure if this is just a genetic defect related to something else...there are too many variables to rule out that could be the cause of this until a scientific study has been done. And how common is this?

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#43593 - 04/19/05 06:44 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


No, I haven't heard of any research regarding this - as a matter of fact, I don't even remember where I heard the info about fat being stored in the eyes. Just one of those things I retained from somewhere! And again, good point...not sure how common. I know I've only heard of a handful of blind gliders and most of them have been victims of neglect and other horrible things. I'm not by any means saying "Mealies will blind your glider" I'm simply asking if there's a better and more natural (in terms of wild behavior) way to feed insects. I wonder if scarab beetles are easily attained?

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#43594 - 04/19/05 08:24 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Don't know anything about scareb beetles...but if you find anything interesting, please post! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

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#43595 - 04/19/05 08:56 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Great thread, Monster!

According to Ian Humes' study wild gliders fed primarily on scarab beetles, spiders, and moths. The larvae of the beetles and moths grew and fed on the pastures adjacent to the eucalypt and acacia trees inhabited by the colonies under study. The adult forms of these insects would then breed on or inhabit the trees, where the gliders would then capture them. (Marsupial Nutrition, Ian Humes, pg. 98)

I definitely feed my insects live and it sure does make for great stimulation and enrichment for my gliders. Also, I allow my silkworms and hornworms to pupate and I allow the gliders to hunt the adults in a tent (another enrichment activity). The larvae of many insects are definitely higher in fat, simply because the process of pupation, biological morphosis within the pupa, and emergeance requires a relatively great deal of energy for the insects.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43596 - 04/19/05 09:02 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Scarab beetles belong to a family of beetles called SCARABAEIDAE encompassing a very broad and relatively diverse group of heavily-bodied, elongated or oval, dorsally convex beetles found world-wide.

You've probably seen June bugs (really beetles) clicking against your window as they try to get into (or out of) your home in the night. These belong to the Scarab Beetle family, as do dung beetles, hercules beetles, stag beetles, rhinocerous beetles, etc. There are several species existent in Australia and surrounding islands.

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43597 - 04/19/05 09:20 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Also, in regards to wild glider diets, in the diet study alluded to in the posts two posts up, the feild study was done on glider colonies in South Gippsland, Victoria.

I wanted to mention quickly that although gliders as a species are definitely specialized feeders, and their realised nutritional niche and threshold for different food items may be relatively specific and limited, they are also biological opportunists.

That is to say, that wild gliders' diets do shift seasonally (according to availability of the food items in the season) but they also are determined geographically. Pockets was very helpful at sending me information pertaining to this. For instance, the dietary elements of gliders on the island of Tasmania differ from those of gliders living in further parts of Australia, which also differ from those of gliders living in Indonesia, etc. Stating that gliders feed primarily from eucalypt and acacia trees is really a very broad generalization, and depending on where the gliders in question live, there are a variety of other plant species that make up main portions of their diet, like Banksia sp, Pittosporum sp, as well as others. In fact, in one study on gliders living in eucalypt forests in Tasmania, it was found that the gliders did not consume Acacia gum at all!

I'd bet a trip to Australia that the gliders' insect/arthropod diet is directly related to the available species that inhabit the regions the gliders live in, and in particular the niches the gliders themselves occupy. Thus, my point then is that determining which insects or what forms of those insects (i.e. adults, larvae, pupae even) are best to feed to our gliders would be difficult to conclude with any real certainty seeing as gliders from different areas eat different bugs (to put it simply) and I'd imagine various metamorphic stages of the insects, depending on what's where.

Now, one might argue that our gliders have for the most part come from Indonesia and that it would make sense to attempt to match (to whatever degree) the insect/arthropod diets that wild gliders feed on there, however Pockets (such a wonderful resource for glider info btw!) has also indicated that our gliders have likely come from a wild stock from all over Oceana and not just Indonesia/Papua New Guinea.

It makes this topic quite a conundrum, really!

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43598 - 04/19/05 09:54 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I knew you would come up with some interesting info Mikey! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/offtopic.gif" alt="" /> I thought the dung and rhinocerous beetle were in that family but wasn't sure. I just remember watching a PBS Nature show on the dung beetle one time when I was little. I thought it was fascinating but my brother thought otherwise...("Give me the remote! I want to change the channel!" <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />)

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#43599 - 04/19/05 10:12 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
however Pockets (such a wonderful resource for glider info btw!)

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

I couldnt agree with you more! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Peggy
Critter Love
Critter LoveŽ Diet Center

If you want to know what a person is like, watch how he treats others.

You'll never know what the outcome is if you don't step up and try.


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#43600 - 04/20/05 12:55 AM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
however Pockets (such a wonderful resource for glider info btw!)

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

I couldnt agree with you more! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Me three! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

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#43601 - 04/20/05 02:37 AM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


lol, why not.... me four! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/multi.gif" alt="" />
She is definitely a wisened glider sage <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cloud9.gif" alt="" />

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#43602 - 04/20/05 05:14 AM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow - really interesting, I'm glad I joined this site - you point out things I wouldn't have dreamed about!!! Really interesting links about wild glider diets - real food for thought. I feed my gliders wax's and Locust hoppers, we just throw the hoppers in and they hunt for them and it's always quite fun to watch actually - lol!!

I had also heard that young can be born with excess fat in their eyes.

*** runs off to find more info ***

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#43603 - 04/20/05 01:13 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ozzi]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok, so I've been told that gliders won't eat "mealie beetles" does anyone have gliders that will? Just wondering as they would be easily accessible. Also, Mikey - where did you find hornworms & do they turn into beetles?

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#43604 - 04/20/05 01:28 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I often buy hornworms at my local pet store where they are fed as reptile feeders. You can even order them online from suppliers (only if your state allows them though because they are outlawed in many places). They often give you the culturing medium and you simply raise them yourself.

Hornworms are the larval stages of the Hawk Moth (so they're caterpillars) and are stunningly beautiful creatures in all stages of their metamophic life. The moths are HUGE!

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43605 - 04/20/05 04:23 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Do gliders like the hawk moths?
_________________________
620-704-9109
Judge not until you have walked in their shoes and lived their lives. What you see online is only part of the story.

I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance


The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

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#43606 - 04/20/05 04:26 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yea, my gliders do, even more so than the caterpillars, actually. It usually helps if I cut the moth up first. They discard the wings anyways! Sorry if that's gross...

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43607 - 04/20/05 04:35 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


They do enjoy it, if you feed it live make sure you keep an eye your suggies because the hawkmoth is pretty big and they have big spines on their legs which could scratch them when they're hunting them down, but should be fine!

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#43608 - 04/20/05 05:19 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I adore moths!! They are the birds of the insect world. @ years ago I found a Huge green caterpillar, the size of my pinky finger. I kept it in a cup in the house, and one night I checked on it, only to find a beautiful moth. I discovered it was a Polyphemus moth, and I let it crawl all over me. It was so tame, where as wild moths don't really like to crawl on people. I let him go later that night, but not before I took some wonderful pics:o) I'll post them soon....
Ok, question time--is it ok to feed gliders wild moths? There are no pesticides sprayed where I live, so I'm not too worried about that. Also, are spiders ok to feed? We have lots around here. Thanks for any help!

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#43609 - 04/20/05 05:43 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here is a pic of the pretty moth--is it a Polyphemus? I hope so, because that is a cool name!


Attachments
378889-P1010380.JPG (40 downloads)


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#43610 - 04/20/05 05:45 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here's another. I wouldn't feed one of these guys to my gliders, because I'd be afraid that it would eat my glider, instead of the other way around!


Attachments
378890-P1010379.JPG (33 downloads)


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#43611 - 04/20/05 06:23 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wat a grogeous moth! I love Luna Moths, too! Great photos!

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43612 - 04/20/05 07:26 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


my gliders eat mealie beetles. I feed them all three stages for variety, though i have noticed that they eat the brown freshly molten ones more readily than the darker ones.

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#43613 - 04/23/05 05:08 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Spiders are prevalent around here too. But there are so many different kinds. Are some poisonous and others safe? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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#43614 - 04/23/05 05:50 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you're the paranoid type like I am, you'd be weary about feeding spiders simply due to the fact of pesticides. Infact, the chances of gliders ingesting large pesticidal amounts from spiders could be greater than from say a wild-caught cricket or some other herbivorous insect, for instance.

Here's why:

It's simply due to a biological principle known as bioaccumulation. The way the pesticides travel through the foodweb is like this: the pesticide is sprayed onto grass, the insects (in the first trophic level) like grasshoppers and insect larvae consume the grass, and any insects that survive from eating the contaminated grass (for whatever reason, be it they didn't ingest enough pesticide, the pesticide became diluted, etc) are consumed by predators like spiders (second trophic level) or other carvivorous animals. Now because of bioaccumulation the concentration of the pesticides are greater in the predators because the spiders, for instance, eat many of these contaminated insects of the lower trophic levels (RULE OF THUMB: an animal is what its food eats). So simply due to the nature of the foodweb, the higher you go in trophic levels (i.e. predators up the food chain), the greater the concentrations of pesticides exist in the animals of that trophic level (and if you think about it, generally being at the top of the food chain, chances are we all have great amounts of pesticides and other similar chemicals accumulating in us).

In effect, I usually stay away from feeding spiders even though they may be quite omnipresent at times. Also, there is always a risk of having your gliders being bit which would be quite painful! Many spiders are capable of delivering some rather painful bites! Black widows (fatal), brown recluse spiders (fatal), and wolf spiders (all three of which may often be found around homes and within the domestic setting) would definitely be OFF LIMITS!

Other predatory arthropods to add to the "TRY TO AVOID" list for reasons of greater pesticide contamination would be praying mantids, ants*, lady bugs (cuz they're toxic anyhow), ground beetles, dragonflies/damselflies/darters/darners, assassin bugs, most wasps* (they sting, too, ofcourse), centipedes, and (for those of you from southern states) scorpions. For the same reasons I'd bet many wild lizards, wild frogs/amphibians, wild baby birds, and even wild fish could be carriers of large amounts of pesticides.

(* indicates insects that are communal/social/colonizing which makes them even more of a dangerous potential pesticidal carrier simply due to bioaccumulation and communal sharing of food foraged from a large area)

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

Hope this may have helped!

Mikey <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dance.gif" alt="" />

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#43615 - 04/23/05 09:00 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow, what a topic. Mikey, I am impressed with everyones input, eloquently written statements and such. It looks like from what Mikey found that our little buddies are a great deal like Humans, in that they adapt to their environment. That is the prime sign to a highly evolved mammal. I know I just came down out of the trees myself and learned how to use power tools.....maybe these guys are not so far behind us!

As fo rmeal or other worms, I bought a thousand of these MONDO 1.5 to 2.5 inch long brown guys with a black head and keep them in a bucket with fresh oatmeal and some cornflakes. What are they, any idea? I sift out the old oats and replace with clean every 10-14 days.....

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#43616 - 04/23/05 09:04 PM Re: Thoughts? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


got pics?

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