Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Culturing Fruit Flies, other Insects. Supplements and Dusting.
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Dancing frogs
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Postby Dancing frogs » Mon May 10, 2010 2:45 pm

I ordered an innoculant for that purpose...
Kind of don't want to buy dirt...I have so much used up froglet container media around it's ridiculous...trying to ammnend that for the purpose.
Thanks for the tip though.
Brian T. Sexton

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Dancing frogs
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Postby Dancing frogs » Fri May 28, 2010 12:52 pm

I figured out a sure way to deal with the mold. (works for me anyways)
Turns out my first instinct worked best...loaded the pea plant substrate with white woodlice and springtails...no mold to be seen, and a much better sprout rate.
Still waiting for the aphids to start reproducing though...I only see a couple here and there so far.
Brian T. Sexton

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gary1218
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Postby gary1218 » Fri May 28, 2010 1:35 pm

Dancing frogs wrote:I figured out a sure way to deal with the mold. (works for me anyways)
Turns out my first instinct worked best...loaded the pea plant substrate with white woodlice and springtails...no mold to be seen, and a much better sprout rate.
Still waiting for the aphids to start reproducing though...I only see a couple here and there so far.


COOL!!!

I'd be interested in seeing a pic of your set up to culture these green little guys.
GARY

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Dancing frogs
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Postby Dancing frogs » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:15 pm

It's not looking too good...by the time I got the bean sprouting thing down (getting them to sprout and not mold) the numbers are way down.
Right now it's looking to be way more hassle than it's worth.
Also, there is a certain amount of mess they make when they shed that is less than attractive.
I'll say it again...don't bother ordering a starter till you get the bean culturing down...
Brian T. Sexton

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Philsuma
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Re: Looking For Pea Aphids

Postby Philsuma » Thu May 24, 2012 12:51 pm

Anyone currently working with Aphids ?

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Eric Walker
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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Eric Walker » Thu May 24, 2012 10:44 pm

I just talked to someone a couple weeks ago about having some sent to me with some plants Im planning on getting soon. Took me quite some time to track down anyone still keeping a regular supply going.

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby krakanax » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:24 pm

Aphids are great food for darts.
Some of my frogs are just fed springtails and aphids.
At the beginning you need to understand how to keep the cultures alive ... And how to keep them rolling.
Once you got it right it is quite easy and they jut love it 8)

K.

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Philsuma » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:29 pm

Are you supplementing the feeder insects with powdered vitamins and calcium ?

krakanax
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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby krakanax » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:36 pm

The Reticulatus are fed aphids and springtails only, sprayed with liquid vitamins.
The larger darts, Benedictas for exemple, get Repashy calcium plus dusted on the FF.
Aphids are quite fragile and I never tried to dust them!

K.

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby frogfreak » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:56 pm

krakanax wrote:Aphids are great food for darts.
Some of my frogs are just fed springtails and aphids.
At the beginning you need to understand how to keep the cultures alive ... And how to keep them rolling.
Once you got it right it is quite easy and they jut love it 8)

K.


Care to share you technique? 8)
Glenn

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby krakanax » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:42 am

Hello Frogfreak!

frogfreak wrote:Care to share you technique? 8)


Nope, I don't mind at all ;)
I'm back to darts after a 4 years break and aphids are pretty new to me.


This is the kind of pea I use:
"Pois" means "pea" and "Nain" means "dwarf" :mrgreen:

Image

Image

I started with those, now I get them from an open market in Paris where they sell seeds for birds.
This way they are way less expensive.
You can also get them to the producer, a 25 kgs bag sells for 20 euros ... more or less 15-17 dollars.


At the beginning I started with used mineral water bottles.
Damp paper in the bottom, no earth in and light coming in from outside.
The results were kinda okay but definitely not great.
Very irregular, not very reliable ... Peas would grow too high in some of them, sometimes not at all.

Image

Now I use earth and have them under a regular fluoresent tube (8W) 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
The peas don't grow high, something around 2 or 2.5 inchs at the most.
You just have to make sure the soil stays wet enough or the peas will go down the drain quite quickly.
The aphids are added to the peas when the peas are 1/2 an inch high ... kind of like on the following picture.

Image

This picture shows one of my first try out with earth.
The peas went up pretty high as I did not keep the lights on at night.
More light means more food for the aphids and stronger peas for them to suck on.

Image

The most difficult thing with aphids is to figure out the turnover.
One last thing, it looks like they don't like high temps as my cultures almost collapsed 2 weeks ago with a little heat wave.

If you have any question, please ask.
This one way of doing it ... among others, but for me it works fine.

K.

ps: I'm French and English is not my native langage ... ;)

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Jeremy Huff » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:04 pm

Great info and pics. I tried them last year and lost them pretty quick. I think the problem I had was getting them too humid. There may have also been a problem with feeding the a different food then the supplier. I'd like to try it again once I get moved.

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Stu&Shaz » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:59 pm

K,great post thankyou. 8)
what liquid vitamins are using and where are they obtained?
We harvest a mulitude of wild aphid though the summer months,i have always dusted them,due to their sticky nature they carry a fair amount of dust,possibly more then ff do,but the frogs even tiny froglets seem to love them as a feeder.
to the folks experiencing mould i wonder whether aldercone tea might just help,untried on pea aphid ,but good with dart tads,so maybe worth a shot in the dark, a natural fungicide. I also wonder whether adding the micorrhyza type funghi which works symbiotically with plants,might just bolster the pea shouts and make them stronger...more resilient to aphid attack,in other words make culturing just abit easier,again untested ,but again might be worth trying..
K again thanks for the above really useful post,i love aphids as food for our frogs,i wonder whether,they might carry more weight gaining properties for the darts than ff,i have seen very rapid weight gain on some frogs using this feeder,maybe thats just down to ease of capture i don't yet know,but I'm pretty sure this feeder turned the fortunes of at least one frog in our collection,a tinc that absolutely hated his QT tub.
regards
Stu

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby DrNick » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:04 am

Hello all - this is my first post on this forum I believe but I was browsing through and thought this info might be of use. It was suggested on a different forum that I write up a quick 'how to' for pea aphid cultivation - so here it is! :

I am convinced (admittedly on the basis of no hard evidence...) that aphids make good frog food. They are very high in sugar and complex carbs, and also carry natural pigments not found in our usual feeders. On the other hand, they are low in protein and their highly calorific nature could be problematic if not used as part of a more complex diet. We get an abundance of species around these parts (the north of England) in all different shapes, sizes and colours. They have no hard cuticle, they feed on a variety of different plants and must therefore make a contribution towards dartfrog nutrition that is difficult to get elsewhere.

The problem is, come October they are gone and I'm back to relying on the usual FFs, weavils and springs. In the past I've dabbled with pea aphids as a stop-gap feeder over winter, but had no joy keeping the cultures running semi-continuously. This time I am having no problems, so either I was not trying hard enough last time, or the brood stock I have now are substantially better. I suspect the latter...

The issue with pea aphids is that whereas with FFs you generally think about setting up new cultures every 10 days or so and on the scale of months with weavils, pea aphid culture need some kind of intervention a couple of times per week. Take your eye off the ball and it's all over. So, here goes:

- Stage 1, get some broodstock.

- Stage 2, get some peas. As far as I can tell, any will do as long as they germinate. I have to say I have never tried black eyed peas or any of the 'fancy' types others say they have used. I am currently using the cheapest dried marrowfat peas available from the local supermarket whole-foods section - a pound of dried peas (for soups etc.) should cost pennies and will last you for months.

- Stage 3, get a plastic pot.

- Stage 4, soak enough peas to cover the base of the pot over night in tap water.

- Stage 5, drain the peas and place on a few layers of wet tissue paper in the bottom of the pot thusly:

Image

- Stage 6, wait a couple of days until the peas have germinated and grown about an inch, then add some aphids (a couple of dozen should do it) and cover with fine mesh:

Image

- Stage 7, after another few days to a week at 15 - 20 degrees C, watering every couple of days to keep the peas damp (but not wet), the culture is ready to feed with. I usually uncover the culture at quite an early stage as the peas get too high for the pot quite quickly. It's no problem, the aphids stay put until the plants start to die:

Image

- Stage 8, Drain off any accumulated water (there should not be any unless over-watered) and let the culture dry out for a day (not essential, but really helps harvesting). To harvest, simply invert the culture over a piece of paper and tap. You'll be surprised how many come out!! You'll get a size range from absolutely tiny 1st instar aphids that are a good supplement to/replacement for springtails, to 3mm-long adults. All readily taken by all the frogs I've tried them with. If you do this and the culture is water-logged, you will end up with a smell and a load of drowned aphids.

It really is the easiest thing in the world, but you need to keep on top of things. These cultures are two weeks, start to finish, and all your aphids can be gone over night if you're not careful. I usually have three cultures on the go - two to feed with and one to make new cultures. Takes minutes and they are currently my most productive feeder by far. All of my frogs from Phyllobates to Ranitomeya take them without any problems. Any questions, fire away.

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Philsuma » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:36 am

Great write-up ! Thanks. One of these days I going to have to try these little guys. It seems they are way more popular in the U.K than over here though.

DrNick
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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby DrNick » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:54 am

Thanks - you can say that again! I think we're the aphid capital of the world (you've got to be good at something eh?!)

Our differing definitions of 'success' of aphid cultivation in the garden is a frequent topic of debate between my girlfriend and I 8)

Nick

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Stu&Shaz » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:01 pm

Nick where are you getting you starter cultures.thanks for the write up alot of the first paragraph backs up my hunches regarding aphids as a feeder.Can you tell me if pea aphid are only found on legumes? i know its sound silly ,but i know some aphid are species specific,i suspect all are not though
thanks
Stu

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby krakanax » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:11 pm

Stu&Shaz wrote:Nick where are you getting you starter cultures.thanks for the write up alot of the first paragraph backs up my hunches regarding aphids as a feeder.Can you tell me if pea aphid are only found on legumes? i know its sound silly ,but i know some aphid are species specific,i suspect all are not though
thanks
Stu


Hi Stu,

Pea aphids will only thrive/make it ... with peas.
Acyrthosiphon pisum is its name.
"pisum" is Latin for peas.


K.

DrNick
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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby DrNick » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:10 pm

Stu&Shaz wrote:Nick where are you getting you starter cultures.thanks for the write up alot of the first paragraph backs up my hunches regarding aphids as a feeder.Can you tell me if pea aphid are only found on legumes? i know its sound silly ,but i know some aphid are species specific,i suspect all are not though
thanks
Stu


Stu - I only ever bought one starter culture and it came from Dutch frog day (a fair while ago!!). I'm out of the country for a few weeks right now, but if you send me your address I'll mail you a few inoculated plants to get you started when I get back. Best to PM me on Dendroworld as I check that board most frequently.

Can't say I've tried them on much of a range of host plants, but I would expect them to be fairly specific as most aphids are.

Cheers,

Nick

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Re: Pea Aphids - Anyone using them ?

Postby Stu&Shaz » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:09 pm

cheers both,K if you backtrack i have another question.
Nick thankyou,no rush ,but it would be wonderful to give them a try,especially as the wild stuff dry's up,very kind
thank you
Stu


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