Dart frogs are microphagus - they specialize in eating smaller foods, generally under 1/8"" in size. Variety is the spice of life - although dart frogs can live on a diet of just fruit flies or pinhead crickets, providing a varied diet will result in happier, healthier dart frogs! Make sure to dust feeder insects with a
quality vitamin/mineral supplement.Bean Beetles Best fed as a treat a few times a month,
bean beetles are an easy and inexpensive way to provide your pet dart frogs with a bit of variety in their diet. Bean beetles are a species of weevil that lay their eggs on black eyed peas. Black eye peas are high in protein, fiber, iron, calcium and even contain some vitamin A. They make great snacks for dart frogs and other herps that appreciate smaller prey. Each culture will produce hundreds of beetles over several weeks. A culture may not have bean beetles visible when it's received, but hundreds of beetles will emerge in the next couple weeks. Keep the culture warmer (up to 85F) to see beetles faster.To collect bean beetles for feeding, insert a piece of paper towel, coffee filter, or cardboard tube in the culture. Once it is covered with beetles, remove it and shake the beetles off into a feeding cup.How long will the bean beetle culture last? Each bean beetle culture will produce beetles for several weeks after you receive it. We recommend using a Bean Beetle Culture Kit to make a new culture with beetles from the first boom of the culture you received. Each culture will boom 2-3 times.Bean beetles are considered a crop pest in the United States, and are regulated by the USDA. Josh's Frogs has the proper permits in place to ship bean beetles to most states. We cannot ship bean beetles to Utah and Hawaii.For more information about Callosobruchus maculatus, please read our blog on
Bean Beetle Care and Culture.
Fruit FliesLong used as a staple small feeder insect,
fruit flies are inexpensive and easy to culture, especially with a
Fruit Fly Culture Kit. There are two types of fruit flies commonly available - melanogaster and hydei.Drosophila melanogaster measure about 1/16th of an inch long, making them ideal as the staple food for a variety of dart frogs and other animals that prefer smaller prey items. These flies lack wings, and as such are unable to fly. The life cycle of Drosophila melanogaster is very quick. Within 14 days of setting up a new culture, the next generation of flies is emerging. After that 14 day waiting period, new flies emerge every day. This quick generation time means that the culture will produce thousands of flies, fairly consistently, from day 14-28, when the culture is disposed of. Because of this, melanogaster fruit flies are generally preferred by those who are new to culturing fruit flies – melanogaster tend to be more forgiving and easier to culture consistently.Drosophila hydei are another commonly encountered fruit fly in the hobby. Hydei measure about 1/8”, and are quite a bit larger and ‘meatier’ than D. melanogaster – perfectly suited for dart frogs that prefer larger prey items, or other pets with similar needs. Compared to that of D. melanogaster, the life cycle of D. hydei is much longer. At average temperatures, it will take 21 days or more until the first new hydei begin emerging in a culture. Hydei fruit fly cultures show a particular ‘boom and bust’ cycle – the culture will appear empty, only to suddenly be filled with flies overnight. Most cultures will have 2-3 booms, with 5-7 days between each one. With the large period of time between active booms, hydei cultures are much more likely to dry out than melanogaster, and as such are more prone to crashes and grain mite infestations.Both species of fruit flies popular in culture are relatively easy to culture. Generally speaking, Drosophila melanogaster – the smaller fruit fly – is easier to culture for novices, and is perfectly suited for most species of dart frogs. Drosophila hydei – the larger fruit fly – will produce more ‘meat’ over the life of the culture, but is more prone to crashes.
SpringtailsSpringtails (Collembola), although not necessary to successfully keeping dart frogs, certainly make proper husbandry easier. They play an important function in the home vivaria – mainly as nutrient cyclers and an additional food source. They are simple to keep and culture on charcoal at home, especially when using one of our
Springtail Culture Kits.One of the benefits of using charcoal as a springtail culture substrate is the ease in removing springtails from the culture. Springtails tend to float, while saturated charcoal does not. Add additional distilled, dechlorinated, or reverse osmosis water to the springtail culture, and simply pour out the springtails directly into the vivarium. It’s that simple, and a lot less of a hassle than other methods. Any springtails that are not eaten outright will reproduce in the vivarium and help keep it clean.
Pinhead CricketsEasy to keep, inexpensive, and full of nutritious vitamins and minerals when properly gutloaded and dusted,
pinhead crickets will eagerly be eaten by your pet reptiles and amphibians. Josh’s Frogs always recommends feeding your crickets with a
quality cricket food for at least 48 hours before feeding them to your pet reptile or amphibian. Crickets will easily drown in a water dish. Instead, use fresh veggies or
Josh’s Frogs Insect Watering Gel.When feeding crickets, make sure to skip feeding your frogs afterwards for a couple days to give the frogs a chance to eat all the crickets.
Rice Flour BeetlesThe
confused rice flour beetle (
Tribolium confusum) is an easy to culture (especially with a
Josh's Frogs Rice Flour Beetle Culturing Kit!) and convenient food source for poison dart frogs. Rice flour beetles are cultures in a media consisting mainly of flour, and take some time to start producing. When rice flout beetles do begin to produce, they are very easy to maintain and can go months without any upkeep, making rice flour beetles an ideal ‘special treat’ or ‘backup feeder’ if you run out of other feeder insects. Adult rice flour beetles are capable of emitting an unpleasant tasting chemical when threatened, making them unpalitable to many animals. Rice flour beetle larvae are very nutritious and palatable. For more information on rice flour beetles,
check out our blog.
IsopodsIsopods are commonly called pill bugs, woodlice, or rollie pollies. At Josh's Frogs, we work with a tropical variety of isopod that is better suited for dart frog vivaria. These isopods are very small and softer bodied than the kind you'll find outside, making them an excellent prey animal. They also tend to reproduce fairly quickly, making them one of the easiest isopods to culture. Isopods, although not necessary to successfully keeping dart frogs, certainly make proper husbandry easier. Dwarf Tropical White Isopods play an important function in the home vivaria – mainly as nutrient cyclers and an additional food source. Isopods are simple to keep and culture at home. For more information check out our
blog on keeping, feeding, and culturing isopods.
Black Soldier Fly LarvaeSold under a variety of trade names such as Phoenix worms, Repti-Worms, or Calciworms,
black soldier fly larvae are a great treat for dart frogs as long as the worms are small enough. Black Soldier Fly larvae make healthy, nutritious feeder insects for your pet reptiles or amphibians. High in calcium, low in phosphorus, black soldier fly larvae make a great staple food or treat for your omnivorous or insectivorous pets! Black Solider Fly larvae also contain lauric acid, which can help kill parasites present in the digestive tract of your pets. So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to the
Live Feeder Insects section of JoshsFrogs.com today and get the bugs your dart frogs need to thrive! We've been keeping and breeding dart frogs for over a decade, and know the foods they need to stay healthy. All of our feeder insects are available at great prices, with same day shipping and a live arrival guarantee. We also offer a subscription service - sign up, save, and have regular shipments of feeder insects delivered right to your door! Not sure what to dust your bugs with? Check out our
Dart Frog Supplement Bundle!