Alternative Livefoods

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Just wanted to add my tuppence to the debate regarding the sale of stick insects and such as livefood.

I agree that a lot of insects being sold as livefood are not suitable as staples, however a little variety may benefit certain species, and you must not forget that people feed livefoods to mantids, scorpions and other pets, not just lizards.

I have kept a few species of reptile, and previously found myself trawling the fields with a net for something a bit different for them to chase. This brings with it risks of feeding bugs which have been exposed to agricultural chemicals, and I therefore moved away from this practice.

I have now found it is much better to produce your own 'variety' so you know where they've been, and have found fruit beetle larvae, cockroaches and the indian stick insect to be a good start. I also keep mantids, and anything which breeds fast enough and isnt poisonous can be fed to them quite safely.

I wouldn't dream of feeding these as a substantial component of my pets' diets, but feeding crickets, waxworms and mealworms (which incidentally are dangerous to some soft bodied herps) is not entirely natural, and I like to reproduce the natural variety they would eat in the wild as closely as possible, in addition to the necessary staples.

To summarise:

- staples such as crickets, morios, waxworms, etc must (in the vast majourity of cases) form the basis of a health reptile or predatory invertebrate's diet.

- less conventional livefoods provide variety, and providing they are safe for your animals (people selling scorpions as livefood are taking the p*ss) are valuable in reproducing your pet's natural environment.

 

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