Does anyone know if ant protein Jelly is worth purchasing?
Offline - Posted December 5 2018 - 3:52 PM
Offline - Posted December 5 2018 - 4:37 PM
Some ants eat it, others don't.
My Camponotus ants aren't really that impressed by any jelly but then they don't like anything that isn't liquid or 'liquid in a shell' (=fresh insects). The Lasius niger have just completely ignored it so far.
The type of food your ants eat heavily depends on which species they are. There are ants that eat fruits for sugars and there are ants that don't.
Edited by Serafine, December 5 2018 - 4:37 PM.
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Offline - Posted December 5 2018 - 5:47 PM
Keep in mind that most of these jellies are manufactured for the rearing of certain beetles which have vastly different diets than ants. They've simply been adopted by antkeepers—mistakenly, in my view—because someone observed that ants would apparently consume the substance, and shopkeepers found they could make money selling it to a wider range of insect hobbyists. However, whether ants eat a substance isn't a measure of its quality. Ants will eat poison if it's loaded with sugar.
As has been discussed numerous times, many synthetic diets—particularly ones containing protein isolates derived from milk (whey and casein), are of dubious nutritive value to many species of ants. In replication studies, scientists have observed that colonies fed a synthetic diet "failed to thrive," in that the workers remained relatively healthy, but brood production and development was stunted by the synthetic diet.
It sometimes takes decades for scientific findings to percolate up and modify the behavior of established hobbyist communities, so that is why many still use, recommend, and sell these products. However, the fact remains that with all these synthetic or "complete" dietary products marketed towards antkeepers, one is effectively only overpaying for the sugar which acts to attract the ants, because the particular proteins the diets contain don't really benefit the ants.
Edited by drtrmiller, December 6 2018 - 12:33 AM.
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Offline - Posted December 5 2018 - 8:06 PM
Ok thank you so much. I was weary about trying it. With all my pets I like to go the natural route, and I'm still learning in a lot about ants. I like to try and to find out everything I can before I buy or try anything I'm not sure of. And thank you again. I'm glad you answered before I decided to buy some lol.
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Offline - Posted December 5 2018 - 8:09 PM
Offline - Posted December 5 2018 - 9:41 PM
With any wild food you have to weigh up the risk of that animal having come into contact with contaminants, pesticides being the biggest risk obviously. Surface sprays are commonly used around buildings as are automatic sprayers and residual pesticide treatments, along with herbicides that may be detrimental. Even if only air borne direct sprays are used some will always remain on every surface in the area. There are also other chemicals that may be present in and around buildings which may be toxic even though they are not specifically "poisons". Then there are the biological risk factors like parasites, disease, bacteria, fungus and so on. Spiders eat flies and bugs that come into contact with all sorts of chemicals, bacteria and other pathogens etc so it's not just what the spider itself might come into contact with but also what it eats and what that prey eats. These are the reasons it is not recommended to feed wild caught prey, they hold true in respect to most pets you might keep even dogs and cats.
Having said all that you need to assess your own circumstances, I fed worms, slaters, moths and other "bugs" to my animals for nearly 30 years without a problem because we never used even fly spray in the house or yard, outdoor household sprays or treatments weren't really a thing and there was little chance of overspray from agriculture where I lived.
However in the last decade or so I stopped using wild prey altogether, mostly because even though I've lived in this house for 25 years and not used pesticides or herbicides in the house or yard automatic outdoor sprayers have become popular and I just don't want to take the risk but it really is up to you to decide for yourself, I'm sure nutritionally a varied diet would be beneficial.
As to the spiders, look at Pholcus phalangioides and "spiders" from the Opiliones family to see if you recognise them.
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Offline - Posted December 6 2018 - 1:31 AM
a lot more confident raising ants now since I've joined this forum.
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