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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We grow bugs. And worms.

So...a few years ago a friend called and said "you like lizards right?"  A few hours later we became the happy keepers of a tribe of 4 Leopard Geckos.

Thing is, it's expensive to keep these little buggers. The closest Petco is 45 minutes away, and frankly their "super worms" are not that super. They smell funny and you have to open an lot of little containers to find one that appears fresh. Well, as fresh as a yogurt sized container of worms is likely to get. Also, the lady at Petco told me I should CUT THE HEADS off of the super worms so they don't bite my Tribe members. So...I was considering switching to the little mealie species to avoid cutting heads off of big mealies when...

Insert a friend of my kids, whom I adore, who came to visit and brought us bugs. Beetles to be exact. And some pupas. And a fancy plastic bug keeping device from the dollar store. This young lady has been our worm and bug growing MUSE. She has also saved me a ton of money in gas and stinky, yogurt-container, dried-up meal worm purchases. She IS my Geiko Gecko! We are growing our own little mealies now!

The white container has three trays. Each tray is full of steel cut oats.  I keep a fresh apple or potato slice on a cleared off corner of the tray for water and a slice of bread for food.

The beetles only live for about a month. They'll eat their own eggs and the baby mealies too...my Muse says so! So...I'll be shifting each stage to the next drawer. I had SO many mealies born this summer I haven't had to buy worms since. I also grew crickets, but they stink terribly and they get loose easily. It was a pain. Mealies don't get out, neither to the darkling beetles they become, and they smell like oats and apples.

This is the lifespan of the Mealie; worm, pupa, beetle. The beetles turn black as they "harden" and become ready to be mommies and daddies.

Here is one of the little guys this whole bug keeping program is all about! This is "Skinny" he is a fussy eater. He will NOT eat anything with calcium powder on it. His cohorts are fatties. And I try to feed him seperately so he'll eat a lot.

He's a good Gecko, but no he won't save you a ton of money on your car insurance. (Bet you didn't see that joke coming! HA!)  Here is another view of Skinny, eyeballing a tasty morsal!TY to my Chickadee who took these great pics!
The following video is gross and disturbing. And it happens at my house every day.  This is one of those posts where I hope that after I hit "Publish" nobody thinks I've lost my potatoes!

Best wishes,

Leopard Gecko eating & Pupa hatching