Ants as feeder- suggestions?

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soulsynapse
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:47 pm
Location: San Diego

Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 14766Post soulsynapse
Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:44 pm

Hey there! Frog enthusiast here.

After going through the AntsCanada youtube channel and watching SO MANY videos I am absolutely dead set on setting up my own colony. It looks like so much fun and ants are SO freaking neat

However, I'm also an avid frog lover! I'm not keeping any right now, but some time in the near future I plan to keep darts again soon.

So here are my questions:

1. Any species you would recommend? Any I should stay away from?
3. Any tips? If this has been discussed already feel free to point me in the right direction-- nothing I was able to find with a quick search though

I realize this thread is a bit different from most threads here.. but watching the youtube videos, the ants that are in the outworld are already the older ants, right? I'd feel bad trying to feed say, the brood or something but losses in meal aquisition are to be expected in the wild so this is a bit more normal.

Thanks for reading :)

FlameofOsiris
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Location: NYC

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 14770Post FlameofOsiris
Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:06 pm

Ants aren't rich in nutrients, that's why you usually don't feed them.

JohnyDL
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Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 14772Post JohnyDL
Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:18 pm

I love the idea but I think it's doomed to fail, you would need a very large colony to absorb the losses of feeding some to a frog I'm assuming a frog can eat a few grass hoppers per day and you'd need an ant colony that eat twice that to be able to sustain losses, any colony that size might attack the frog as food anyway. So don't just attach them together.

Your best bet would be a polygynous species or a species with larger workers though or your queen might be over worked.

You also want a species that the frogs would interact with in nature if you can if the frogs don't eat them naturally you might make them ill ants can be poisonous.

You might want to consider a feeder cricket or hopper colony that feeds both of your pets rather than feeding one to another ;)

soulsynapse
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:47 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 14777Post soulsynapse
Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:14 pm

JohnyDL wrote:I love the idea but I think it's doomed to fail, you would need a very large colony to absorb the losses of feeding some to a frog I'm assuming a frog can eat a few grass hoppers per day and you'd need an ant colony that eat twice that to be able to sustain losses, any colony that size might attack the frog as food anyway. So don't just attach them together.

Your best bet would be a polygynous species or a species with larger workers though or your queen might be over worked.

You also want a species that the frogs would interact with in nature if you can if the frogs don't eat them naturally you might make them ill ants can be poisonous.

You might want to consider a feeder cricket or hopper colony that feeds both of your pets rather than feeding one to another ;)
Dart frogs are very tiny so they tend to eat wingless fruitflies actually, but fruitfly colonies tend to crash from time to time. Dart frogs eat ants in the wild so I was thinking this would be a great way.

The main concerns for feeding ants are 1- feeding ants that aren't similar enough to what they eat in the wild (since things like too much hair or spines would be ignored) and 2- ants that would attack them. Other frog keepers have had a lot of success with the tiny black ants they get from cracking open rotting wood in forested areas, but that could be any number of species.

The idea of a third feeder colony sounds brilliant though and I'll be looking into that for sure!

edit: actually, they eat termites as well in the wild

JohnyDL
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Location: Stoke on Trent

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 14785Post JohnyDL
Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:31 am

Workers can live for a year or more. If your frog eats 20 ants a day that'd mean you'd need a colony of a few thousand ants and a queen that lays an average of 20 eggs a day year round (some species hibernate) to be sustainable and that's assuming none die for other reasons. Given brood can take a month to go from eggs to workers you should be looking for about 600 eggs/larvae/pupae at any given time.

Like I said don't just attach colonies together your best bet is actually to collect a few each day and manually introduce them to your frogs like you would with any other feeder insect/predator combo.

One source online (http://www.dartfrog.co.uk/livefoods.html) suggests many live foods that darts eat and your ants might eat too, the roaches are probably the easiest to keep, a small tank with egg boxes a few food scraps preferably salad supplies and they undergo population explosions.

Your best bet might be keeping the ants as an occasional treat rather than a reliable food source.

Vaporeon189
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:00 am
Location: Santa Cruz,CA

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 16268Post Vaporeon189
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:14 pm

JohnyDL wrote:Workers can live for a year or more.
Actually they live for about 3 months.
Keeper of:
1 cat
3 dogs
5 goats
2 horses
1 gecko
a lot of chickens
1 peacock
2 rabbits
3 siblings XD
And hopefully a future ant keeper :D

plz read newest post

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Batspiderfish
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Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 16269Post Batspiderfish
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:27 pm

Vaporeon189 wrote:
JohnyDL wrote:Workers can live for a year or more.
Actually they live for about 3 months.
Workers can live for up to five years, depending on the species. One year is probably the average.

For Soul, If you think fruit flies are inconvenient or have a tenancy to crash, then ants are going to be worse. It will also take years for the colony to grow large enough to produce a sustainable, harvestable population. Drosophila colonies will not crash if you take good care of them, particularly by continuing the next culture well before the old one expires. Any surplus of adult flies need to be harvested; when you are keeping ants, you may simply store these excess flies in the freezer, which the ants may enjoy at any time.

You can still feed ants to your frogs, but it would probably be unsuitable to rely on them.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

Vaporeon189
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:00 am
Location: Santa Cruz,CA

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 16271Post Vaporeon189
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:35 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Vaporeon189 wrote:
JohnyDL wrote:Workers can live for a year or more.
Actually they live for about 3 months.
Workers can live for up to five years, depending on the species. One year is probably the average.
but mikey said so?
Keeper of:
1 cat
3 dogs
5 goats
2 horses
1 gecko
a lot of chickens
1 peacock
2 rabbits
3 siblings XD
And hopefully a future ant keeper :D

plz read newest post

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 2334
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Ants as feeder- suggestions?

Post: # 16272Post Batspiderfish
Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:59 pm

Vaporeon189 wrote:
Batspiderfish wrote:
Vaporeon189 wrote:Actually they live for about 3 months.
Workers can live for up to five years, depending on the species. One year is probably the average.
but mikey said so?
Mikey was probably talking about one of his tropical species, like Solenopsis geminata. Warm temperatures accelerate the lifecycle of many cold-blooded organisms. If our temperate ants only lived for three months, then all of our workers would be dead after hibernation.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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