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More about gut-loading feeder insects than you probably wanted to know.

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by Tim Benzedrine, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    I couldn't decide which forum to place this. I started to put it in the insects forum, but decided it was less ABOUT insect and more about feeding insects to verterbrates, so came to this forum instead.
    Anyway, I ran onto a couple sited discussing gut-loading feeders that goes into a good bit of detail, and though somebody might find them of interest. Or not. :D They get fairly technical.


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  2. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince Active Member

    Great stuff, thanks!
  3. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnosquire Active Member

    Wow, you really meant it when you said it got technical. Still, awesome articles/papers. I have two bearded dragons to keep fed, and this will help me to decide how many of each bug they'll be getting in the future. Mind you, I never feed mealworms or waxworms. Just crickets, superworms, and hornworms once a month.

    I have heard that B. dubia roaches have 3x the neutritional value of a cricket. @Tim Benzedrine I was wondering if you've ever run across an article about them that goes into this level of detail?
  4. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Well, I haven't ran across any studies done by unbiased sources (ie, somebody not in the business of dubia roaches) but this outfit offers their opinion (and provides sources ) and admits that they are biased since they are in the business as well as stating that their results are not scientific, so to me that indicates at least a bit of honesty. They provide charts that may be of interest. But I won't stick my neck out and say that they are totally accurate, as they do not claim to be that themselves. Scanning through it, I found their assessment to be rather fair. Since I am not currently in the market for dubias I don't know how comparable their prices are, they may be a bit steep. But I'm a bit impressed by their information, and if I were in the market, I might be tempted to purchase some based on their apparent openness. They do not seem to be screaming "Other feeders are all bad, only offer dubias, and buy them from us!"
    But I have a pretty good colony of B. lateralis starting now, so for the time being I'll stick with them.
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  5. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnosquire Active Member

    Alright! This still helps. It looks pretty fair, like you said. Either way, it would seem that the info I got about dubia's (from my local pet store, not Petsmart but still...) was a bit overblown. Oh well. I have been breeding up a small colony of them for several months now. If nothing else, their adult size is impressive compared to lateralis, and they are quite fun to watch scurry about. I would like to get a lateralis colony at some point as well for feeding smaller critters like my Mediterranean House Geckos.
    Basically, I desperately want to get away from having to buy crickets every week eventually. I dislike them greatly... They smell like 10X worse than any other insect feeder, and I really hate the thought that I missed one in the enclosure and it will eat on my sleeping beasties.
    Unfortunately, no one I know carries lateralis locally.
    Anyway, thanks for hearing me out!
  6. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    I'm glad to have been able to help.

    After providing the link, I took the time to read the info more thoroughly, and I believe that they did indeed try to be fair.

    Now, I don't know about the reproductive rates of dubias, but I've come to learn that that B. lateralis rates are phenomenal. So unless you have a lot of critters to feed them to, you'll end up with a considerable surplus. But I can assure you, you'll never have to by crickets again.
  7. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    I completely agree, although variety can and does help with healthy insectivores. @Tim Benzedrine a very informative source of nutrient values for many feeders, thanks.
  8. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    That is true. I switch around when possible but the staple has generally been crickets because apart from them the other available options have been mealworms, super-worms, and waxworms, none of which I am a huge fan of for assorted reasons and I only offer them sporadically to my lizards.
    But if one doesn't want to feed crickets for whatever reason, the hardiness and sheer numbers that a B. lateralis colony can produce ensures you never have to see, hear or smell crickets again if you don't want to.
  9. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnosquire Active Member

    Yeah, I don't want to eliminate crickets entirely, I just want a different staple.