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Andee

Raising Grasshoppers

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Ok so I'm trying to raise some local (from San Luis Obispo, CA) grasshoppers that I've caught as feeder insects for my Cham. (hoping to get him off those stupid crickets) Anyway I am having the hardest time getting them to eat anything I buy from the grocery store. I would just harvest some grass from my backyard but sadly we spray for ants so that's not a possibility. I was wondering if anyone knew of something that grasshoppers liked to eat? Like something you can buy?

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I've raised grasshoppers on steel cut oats with some potatoe or carrots for moisture. The cricket jello water works well too. The will eat pretty much any grains and vegetables. Make sure you have a good substrate for proper molting moisture, I killed all mine on the final molt :/

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I second Markelangelo regarding the use of oats. You can also try giving them bran as dry food. As "wet" food, you may want to try different things. Many grasshopper species do very well on pieces of carrots or apples. Others prefer freshly cut grasses and low annual plants like clover. If on the other hand you are trying to breed lubber grasshoppers, I know they prefer leaves of semi-poisonous plants, such as Nicotiana, Amaryllis, Agapanthus. This diet makes the insects poisonous themselves and for this reason they are not very good as feeders.

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What do you mean substrate? I didn't know they needed substrate o.o I thought they only needed a cup of moist sand to lay eggs in? If not please tell me what you use ^^

I'm not very adept at telling regular grasshoppers apart from lubbers, because I have not seen them side by side. I think I have regular grasshoppers and not lubbers, cause I thought lubbers were more colorful.

 

They seem to be eating the wheat germ I put in there but show no interest in the greens and so I don't know if they are getting any moisture. >.< Also how strong of a light should I have on them? I have a 15 watt on them now, and they are in a ten gallon tank.

 

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I get it right before I try another batch.

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I'm raising lubbers right now. I just feed them romain lettuce. I've had them since L2 and now there adults and have laid around 9 egg sacs in regular organic potting soil. I don't have any lights on them btw.

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I do not know what Marelangelo meant regarding substrate, but grasshoppers molt taking advantage of gravity, facing down. You have to give them enough space to hang themselves upside down in the molting process. A mesh streched vertically in the enclosure works fine.

Lubber grasshopper are indeed more colorful, they are also fatter, slower, and very poor jumpers. Most of them have reduced wings. If your grasshoppers do not fit this description, I'd say most chances they are not lubbers.

Grasshoppers must eat something moist, otherwise they will dry out. If they refuse taking in leaves and vegetables you can try giving them a cotton ball that you soaked in water beforehand and see if they drink from it. This is just "first aid". They will still need moist food.

I don't think light is necessary in their enclosure, but many grasshoppers do require heating. They like basking in the sun, so I guess that's why insect wranglers use light bulbs. Depending on the size of the enclosure, you can use 25-40W light bulbs, but I would not recommend anything higher.

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OK I will try some different greens with the new ones, I definitely have grasshoppers (they are small and can jump super far >.< makes catching them a pain) I think I will buy a bunch of different greens and whatever I don't use for them I will use for the turtle and hermit crabs XD and roaches of course >.> can't forget my babies <3 does anyone know what grasshopper eggs look like? Like are they in individuals? Or are they sacs?

 

There is very little info on grasshoppers out there from what I could find, it made me kind of jump in here blind >.>

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Well, to answer to this question I need to know how big your grasshoppers are. But I think egg-laying substrate 3 inches deep or so should be OK. For large grasshopper species I would use 4 inches. The substrate should also be slightly moist.

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I would say the largest one I've caught (Which makes me think it's a female) was 1.5 inches long... so I will definitely make the substrate deeper, should I cover the entire bottom with it? Or just fill a small plastic bowl with it?

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Hey wizentrop, how long does it take for luber egg sacs to hatch? And do they really need a cool period then a warm period? Or can I just keep them 70-80 degrees 24/7 ?

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For egg laying I used tall plastic cups (like those being sold with instant noodles). You do not need to fill the whole enclosure with sand/soil (this will also make it harder to monitor the substrate's moisture and temperature). The grasshoppers will find the cup eventually and will use it.

a.ojala - I have only kept one species of lubbers (R. microptera). Eggs should be kept at room temperature with no cold period. Do not let the sand dry out completely. They should take between 3-5 months to hatch.

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Caelifera (grasshoppers) about "660 species in NA", use Bugguide.net for an accurate ID.

After knowing what you have it will be easier to find more about its natural needs.

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