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Re: Culturing bloodworms

Non-member submission from [George Slusarczuk <yurko at warwick_net>]   

>  Original text: 
>  Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 23:41:02 -0500
>  From: George Slusarczuk <yurko at warwick_net>
>  To: live-foods at actwin_com
>  Subject: Re: Culturing bloodworms
>  > After searching the archives to no avail, I have a question or
>  1) Does anyone have information about culturing bloodworms?
>  2) I understand these are the larva of midge flies, does anybody know if
>  they are present in south Georgia?
>  Thanks in advance for the info I cant find this info anywhere
>  Barry Barlow
>  bbarlow at camcomp_com
>  Hello Barry,
>  I have found "bloodworms" in my mosquito cultures & followed up on their
>  care & culture. 
>  For a while I "bread" mosquitoes in 1-gallon white plastic pails located
>  in the shade, under a tree. The falling leaves provided an ideal medium
>  to lay their eggs in for mosquitoes and - it turned out - also for
>  Chironomid midges. 
>  Sometimes you could see the larvae - red, wriggly "worms" - swim in the
>  bucket, but most of them were concentrated in the humus on the bottom.
>  They form a protective camouflage coat of debris around them, so it
>  might be a little bit difficult to see them. Anyway, I used to capture
>  them and put them in a separate container inside an empty aquarium,
>  covered by tight-fitting mosquito netting. They grow well on powdered
>  fish food (Tetramin).
>  I did not succeed in establishing a permanent culture, mainly because I
>  lost interest & discontinued the experiments.
>  The problem is in mating of the midges - they need air space to mate &
>  the female has to have a suitable water container to lay her eggs in.
>  Some species (i.e. Chironomus riparius and probably others) need only
>  about 1-2 cubic feet of space to fly & mate. Others need much more
>  space. C. riparius larvae grow to 3/4-1" in length. 
>  Another problem is the time needed to maturity and midge emersion. After
>  three months, my "mosquito bucket midges" were still in the "wormy"
>  stage. C. riparius needs only a few weeks to go through its life cycle.
>  Chironomus riparius is used in environmental testing, so your State EPA
>  will know where you can obtain a starter egg mass  (perhaps even donate
>  the eggs or suggest a better species of midge). If my experience is any
>  guide, obtain at least five egg masses, because the midges emerge at
>  intervals and you need several of them for mating. Also, until you gain
>  experience, give them more air space, say a 20-gal high.
>  I am almost certain, that the US EPA has a pamphlet on culturing
>  Chironomus riparius. Should you find it, please let me know - I might
>  someday get back to culturing bloodworms.
>  George Slusarczuk
>  yurko at warwick_net