Locust breeding attempt - Reptile Forums

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 31-01-2017, 05:28 PM
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Default Locust breeding attempt

Hello my fellow RFUKers,
long time no see. Not been focussed on reptiles past few years due to other life commitments but now I have been given a bearded dragon which I was hoping to feed on roaches but he's a fussy bugger and only wants locusts.

Not an issue as I am a keen insect breeder but even I am getting a bit impatient with these guys.
The annoying thing is how little information there is on locusts and how little people seem to have experimented keeping them.
Some people swear by a grass and bran diet, whereas others go for cabbage and vegg.
Some studies have shown that a dry diet can be better than fresh, especially cost wise for mass breeding but no real info on what dry food to use. I've been wondering if horse grass pellets would be any good as their diet seems to be very similar to a horses diet just like a cockroaches diet is very similar to that of a chicken.
Anyway I seem to be doing ok on cabbage and oats (the poor mans bran which seems to be working but this is partly experimenting)

Then again maybe I do need some bran because my locusts are not laying any eggs

I read from one person that locusts can breed in complete darkness. Nobody else has confirmed this. I have been giving mine only 3 watts of light for 12 hours a day. They are mating with this but no eggs yet.

Been very tricky to get the temperature right without wasting more electricity than its worth breeding them but I've compromised on 35 watts + 3 watts of light. It was possible to do it with a 25 watt heatbulb but my insulation box started melting a bit as it was built to size without thinking of space for a heatbulb.. so I went back to heatmats.

I would recommend a 25 heatbulb over heatmats, 25 watts could generate slightly more heat than a 20 watt and 15 watt heatmat together.

Haven't got any pictures, I might add some if people are interested at all.

Just another guy trying his luck at breeding some locusts and like said surprised at how little info I could find.

Even the time frame from them mating to the females laying eggs seems to be wrong. I witnessed my first mating 7 days ago. No eggs yet, just some empty holes in the soil.

So yeah just playing the waiting game at the moment. Waited 2 weeks for them to mature, then another month before any mating has happened. Guess I'm still on schedule.

Just wondering if the coco fibre I am using will be any good. Again very little comparative info between dirt, sand, vermiculite, wood pellet cat litter (apparently), and coco fiber. I went for coco fibre only because vermiculite has gotten pretty expensive. Decided to wash the coco fibre after 7 days of no eggs as it is known to contain salts so yeah as you can see I am getting impatient now.
So wish me some luck, I'm hoping to see some eggs tomorrow.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:24 PM
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Me again. Not sure if anyone is reading this but I found some eggs. Not where they were supposed to be and they look a bit dark to me. Anyone with experience know if they look ok? I'll know in 17 days but thats a long time again.



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Old 07-02-2017, 10:32 AM
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I got a bit impatient waiting so I stuck the eggs in the microwave for a bit and an hour later some hulk locusts have started hatching



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Old 10-02-2017, 12:05 PM
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Caught a female laying some eggs, hard to tell in the picture but her bum is in the sand.
Out of my last 30 odd locusts I got 5 females.
All 5 locusts laid an egg pod between 1st and 3rd of February.
Now a week later as expected they are laying their second egg pods.

These pods take 17 days to hatch at 28 degrees and 12 days at 32 degrees however my incubation box only goes up to 28 degrees. A couple of eggs took as long as 20 days to hatch on my test run.

I think 1 locust has died from non age related death.

I still need to see how many babies are in a pod, from my research I gather 10-30 eggs in a pod.

On my test run with an extremely old locust that died 3 days after laying eggs, 9 babies hatched.






ps: this is the best guide I could find if anyone is interested http://www.birdcare.com.au/locusts.htm
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Old 17-02-2017, 11:16 AM
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I was kinda hoping for some response on this post which is why I made the hulk comment earlier on.
Just as a reminder, sticking animals into the microwave will kill them, even locusts...

So anyway I got bored of green locusts so I made the next lot turn black, here are the next babies.

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Old 20-02-2017, 11:00 PM
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Really interesting thread and link.
Thanks for sharing.
I'm planning on keeping bulk amounts of xlarge hoppers/locusts fed on greens and oats and heated for the wife's horned frogs.
Was hoping they'd breed, or us it more scientific than hoping ?
Totally new area for me.
Blackmelo likes this.
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Old 21-02-2017, 01:35 AM
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Hi antaresia,
thx for reply

After reading how some people scrub their cabbage and maintain perfect hygiene I thought it would be harder but I haven't needed to clean my cabbage and generally haven't found it too hard.
I seem to get more locusts dying from them fighting over females than anything else. Stupid buggers do some mad acrobatics that cause the egg crates to collapse and crush a locust or two...
It's a learning game lol.
The only annoying thing is that they do need daily care. And a lot of space. And a lot of heat. 30c during day and 26c at night.

One cool thing I have discovered is that you can change their colour depending on their surroundings, I know they can turn yellow, green or black.

But they do smell a bit. You missus will not put up with them being in the house.
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Old 23-02-2017, 08:53 PM
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hello people,
thought I'd give an update.

Ok so first to clarify, in my pictures you can probably see me using sand - sand is not very good and i never really used it, only started topping off my coco fiber with sand but that isn't needed. Coco fiber is the best medium to use. You can soak it and it will stay moist for the next month without drowning the eggs. I've had up to 30 eggs hatch per pod in coco fiber which I think is good.

Also locusts can lay pretty deep so I was using containers that could accomodate this, about 12 centimeters deep however incubating these deep containers is far more annoying than shallow containers. I have since experimented using the perforated containers that locusts are sold in pet shops which are perfect for incubating with the lid on (prevents hatchlings escaping too).
Now they are far too shallow however so far I am 90% certain this does not matter. The locusts just lay in a bend and still manage to lay their eggs. I am still confirming whether a shallow dish is as good as a deep one but for the space saving and the fact that these containers give good ventilation to the coco I think they are better.

Also I must confess that by now I think all my original Adults have died(have still got 2 replacement batches from petshop). This is too soon in my opinion, they should have lived another month. I cleaned the adult cage and disinfected it. No deaths in the baby cages yet except a squashed one I found in the lid today. RIP little bugger.

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Old 24-02-2017, 06:47 AM
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Very interesting - thank you for posting and regularly updating.
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Old 26-02-2017, 08:07 AM
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Morning,

Starting to run out of space now. I've got 250+ babies and still getting at least 100 new eggs per week atm.
I've got 4 females from my second lot of adults that have been laying for a week or so and my third batch of locusts(bout 20) is starting to turn into adults now.

Hopefully by the time the third lot of adults has died my first own bred locusts will have turned into adults to start a new cycle.

Ps: I've been getting a few escapees by now... too many bunched in too small containers so I need to expand a bit.
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