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Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #76

On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Charlie Myers wrote: 
> Hello...
> With mealworms being beetle larvae, and ladybugs being beetles, would it
> be possible to use ladybugs to start a cutlure and use their larvae for
> fish food?
> Seems that ladybugs have overpopulated in my area (southern West
> Virginia) over the past couple of years, so they are readily available.
> I don't know anything at all about insects, but it seems like a viable
> alternative to me.  Can anyone else speculate on this matter?  Has
> anyone else ever tried this?
> Thanks,
> Charlie

Hello Charlie,
You are almost certainly correct in your assumption that Lady Bug larvae 
would make good fish food, however the main problem I see with culturing 
of these beetles is that both the adults and the larvae are predacious, 
feeding primarily on aphids, whereas the mealworms need only some 
sort of grain for food.
In fact Lady Bugs are highly prized by gardeners since they are so 
effective in protecting plants from infestation by aphids, and are widely 
sold for this purpose.
So if you could provide a constant source of aphids for your ladybugs you 
would probably be ok, but in that case you might as well just feed the 
aphids (which are likely pretty easy to raise) to your fish!  :)
Anyway, its seems that you are a lucky guy to have so many lady bugs in 
your area, at least from a gardening point of view, since they so helpful 
in removing unwanted garden pests!
Good luck.

Bentley Christie