at Tue Jul 29 16:41:16 2008 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Cable_Hogue ]
This is a pretty interesting discussion.
Regarding non-native ants, I know of many folks in Europe that have had very good and prolonged success feeding Lasius Niger.
Their success includes solare, cornutum, taurus, hernandesi, platyrhinos, and modestum. So non-native, non-harvester type ants can suffice for horned lizard care without a doubt.
Our good friend in the north east has also had great success with his local ants, which are not harvester ants. I would say again that caution is warranted though.
Regarding pathogens in various locations, I too have given this some consideration. I have seen a rise in parasites when ants from certain localities are used. State boundaries are probably poor definitions for designating localities as AZ has quite a variation in terrain. Anything from barren desert sand and creosote, to plains grassland, to PJ, to Pine forests. All of these areas have differing flora and fauna, not to mention temperature gradients and average rainfall. It would be a great study, regarding the differing parasites in each, but this is beyond my means.
FS and Lou, both of your treatment regimens are interesting. I have to wonder if your local ants might be causing some issues. I almost never treat my HLs and have had possibly 2 cases over the 6 years of my experience where it might have helped save a lizard. I have had lizards that I have kept for 5 years without any type of treatment at all with no ill effects. Lester is actually the one who put me on this path early on. If I remember correctly, his advice was that nematodes are a normal part of an HLs life cycle and a healthy HL will not be impacted significantly by them.
I don't say this to take away from your methods or disparage them. It's just another persons observation over time.
There are so many factors that come into play in keeping these guys healthy, it would take a dedicated long term study to know which method might prove more profitable in keeping lizards healthy.
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