Live Foods for Invertebrates
Feeding Invertebrates. There’s little doubt that the ready availability of an array of Livefoods has persuaded many people to revise their opinions that such things as Mantids, Scorpions and large Spiders are difficult to cater for in matters of food.
Giant Spiders-usually (and incorrectly) referred to as “Tarantulas” have a considerable following and an increasing number of species are being bred in the UK so that wild stocks are no longer being depleted. These Bird-eating Spiders consume a variety of foods in the wild – frogs, small lizards and various insects, even occasionally a baby bird which has fallen from its nest. But even though their tastes are wide ranging, one thing they do insist on is that their meal is alive and moving!
Scorpions are also popular with invertebrate enthusiasts and several species are available in the UK. Properly housed and at the right temperature they will eat almost anything that moves.
Preying Mantis are also carnivorous. Large ones are capable of subduing surprisingly large prey and they are so voracious that feeding is rarely a problem.
What to Feed - and how? Livefoods should be dusted with Calci Pure immediately prior to being offered to inverterbrates.
Crickets of various sizes are the staple food for most invertebrates. Their quick movements provide the stimulus for Spiders to feed. Hatchling Crickets are a near perfect food for hatchling Spiders and many Bird-eaters can be reared on Crickets alone by simply increasing the size of Crickets as the Spiders grow. Scorpions and Mantids too are willing to attack and eat Crickets of suitable size.
Large Scorpions are well able to tackle a larger Cricket.
Remember that providing Crickets with a nutritious food mix such as Progrub makes them more valuable as Livefood.
Locusts of suitable size offer an excellent alternative to Crickets for larger Spiders and Scorpions as well as providing variety to stimulate feeding. Large Scorpions are capable of tackling medium sized Locusts for instance and small to medium sized Locusts can be offered to Mantids.
Occasionally, if they are environmentally comfortable, a Scorpion will refuse both Crickets and Locusts of any size. In such circumstances, try Waxworms, or even Mealworms.
Fruitflies are a good alternative to hatchling Crickets when feeding hatchling Spiders. Young Mantids are best isolated for they can be quite cannibalistic. Batches can be reared with individuals housed in either small test tubes or pill jars. This task is made much easier by using Fruitflies as food.