Livefood Care Sheet

Morio Worms / Giant Mealworms (Zoophobas Morio)

Do Not Refrigerate

Giant mealworms can withstand heat up to 30 degrees C (90F) and will not change to pupae or beetles unless kept apart from other Zoophobas morio. The container should be well ventilated or open topped and have a bedding of wheat bran, corn meal or dry oatmeal. Food (containing moisture) such as a small piece of raw potato, carrot or celery is essential.

Mealworms Regular / Mini-Mealworms (Tenebrio molitar)

Place in the refrigerator at 7-10 degrees C (45-50F). At this temperature, the worms become dormant and will last for months. It is best to keep fresh stock as they will have a higher nutritional value, so try not to keep more than a two week supply.

When you are ready to feed mealworms, first remove them from the refrigerator and let the container sit for 30 minutes, then place some food (containing moisture) such as raw carrot or potato in with the mealworms. When they are finished feeding, remove any food and leave them 24 hours to fully digest the food before they are put back in the refrigerator.

If kept at room temperature these mealworms will pupate fairly quickly (2-3 weeks usually).

Brown House Crickets (Acheta domestica)

House crickets should be kept between 28 to 32 degrees C (80-90F).

When the crickets arrive, empty out the entire contents into larger container such as one of our Komodo Plastic Terrarium or Exo Terra Cricket Pens Place egg cartons around the walls of the container and chicken meal or cereal or for best results use Feeder Insect Diet Gut Load Food on the base add a couple of pieces of carrot or potato, this will supply the crickets with moisture and vitamins found in fresh vegetables.

The smaller size crickets will require additional water either in a small container (coffee jar lid) with cotton wool to prevent drowning, (although you may find that this will encourage mites) or some Bug Gel will give excellent results with the benefit of added calcium.

To clean:
  1. Shake the crickets off the egg cartons and remove from the container
  2. Use a putty knife and scrape the sides and bottom of the container towards the center
  3. The live crickets will jump from this pile to the corners of the container
  4. Remove the debris from the container and place the egg cartons back in along with any carrot or potato

Black Field Crickets & Quiet (aka silent) Field Crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus) & (Gryllus assimilis)

Field crickets are best kept between the temperatures 28 and 32 degrees C (80-90F) although a localized heat source will be beneficial. The basic care is the same as the Brown House Crickets above, although a slightly higher ratio of protein is required.

Fish food or dry dog food should be used in a 50/50 mix with cereal based feeds.

Locusts (Schistocerca gregaria)

Locusts will keep well for up to 10 days if kept at room temperature (15 to 20 degrees C) and left in the tub or bag they arrived in.

If you are keeping locusts at room temperature DO NOT feed them at all, any food they eat will not be digested properly and will decompose inside their stomachs, the locusts will then become ill and die.

It is much better to keep locusts quite hot (35 to 38 degrees C), the best way to achieve this is using a small well ventilated glass tank with a layer of Locust Food Feeder Bran on the floor, egg cartons around the walls (the locusts need something to climb on and to hang upside down from while shedding their skin).

A small 25 watt light bulb fitted in the lid or alternatively a heat mat covering the rear wall of the container will provide the necessary heat.

If you keep locusts hot, fresh greens every day are essential for feed and to prevent dehydration, do not use a water dish, sponge or bug gel they will get all the moisture they need from the fresh greens.

Locusts breathe through minute holes in their skin, if these become blocked they will slowly suffocate and die, therefore they must have a dry atmosphere, there should be no condensation or dampness in the tank as this will kill them.

Fruit Fly Cultures (Drosophila Sp.)

Fruit flies are a perfect feeder insect for smaller hatchling reptiles or baby frogs, mantids etc.

Fly cultures can be kept at room temperature (15 to 20 degrees C). You should avoid freezing temperatures and temperatures above 37 degrees C (100F).

After the initial culture is purchased new flies begin to emerge; a new fruit fly culture will continue to produce fruit flies for 2 weeks or so; females will lay up to two-hundred eggs in the medium mixture. The eggs will hatch after two days and the larvae will feed on the yeast for seven to twenty days. The larvae will begin to climb up the sides of the vessel to dryer areas to pupate and transform into adult flies in a couple of days. The new flies are ready to mate within two days and have a life expectancy of a little more than two weeks.

Start a new culture when the original culture is two to three weeks old and before any flies are removed for any other purposes. For a continuous supply of fruit flies, always set up a new culture before taking flies from a culture.

Cultures should not be kept longer than six weeks.

Fruit flies can be raised on a variety of fermenting plant materials, bananas are ideal but using prepared medium is the easiest.

You may also want to make your own medium; use the following recipe for making your own medium:
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon agar (available at health food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 packet baking yeast
  1. Except for the yeast, mix all of the ingredients and boil
  2. Pour the mixture into the culture vessels
  3. Cover the vessels and place in the refrigerator until you are ready for them
  4. When you are ready to use the cultures sprinkle six to ten grains of yeast into the culture
Your home prepared medium is now ready for the fruit flies.

After preparing the medium add a dozen or more fruit flies to the vessel. This should remain undisturbed for about ten days. After ten days you may start another culture with the flies from this vessel or feed them off.

Transparent vials or bottles of glass or plastic can be used as a culture vessel. Vessels should be clean but they do not need to be sterilized when the medium is properly prepared.

Plastic foam or nonabsorbent cotton can be used as plugs for the vessels. You may also use pieces of fabric and rubber bands for covering the tops of the vessels.

Dubia Roaches (Blaptica dubia)

This is a very informative care sheet: