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Posted by Mystina on July 29, 2002 at 21:00:48:
In Reply to: Re: concentration of formic acid in ants posted by Les4toads on July 29, 2002 at 15:55:57:
::i bought a HL recently and since it's still summertime here (i live in Québec, Canada), I give him ants (that i catch on my own) in addition of crikets and meal worms. but it's gonna be a bit difficult to give him ants during the winter time... I work in a lab, so I'm able to order formic acid Ultrapure, but I don't know wich amount to give to my HL. I know it can't totally replace ants, but still, it can't harm him if I give him the right concentration, right? I read that formic acid is vital for HL because they produce a base that neutralize this acid, and if they lack the acid, the base build up in their system and can kill them (on the long term).
::do any of you know the proportion or concentration of formic acid in an ant? If I know this information, I will be able to make a solution containing the right concentration for my lizard (i have all the equipment I need in the lab to make the right concentration).
::(by the way, sorry for my english, I'm french)
::One other item, meal worms are bad for HLs. Their physiology is not designed to handle or digest the exoskeleton or the excessive fat content. Their systems can get bound up by the chitonous plates and will not pass through the digestive tract. Lester G. Milroy III
I didn't know HLs weren't able to digest meal worms correctly. thanks for the information. My HL seems to like them though! but like I said, in the winter time, what should I do? Even if I order ants, they'll probably freeze to death by the time I get them (it's pretty cold in Québec). That's why I want to add a bit of formic acid on my crickets so they'll be a better source of food. I am completely aware that they're specialize in ant eating, and crickets with supplements won't replace ants, but it's not possible for me to give him ants all the time.
and I still want to know the concentration of formic acid in harvester ants (not necessarily an exact number, like "harvester ants are composed of 34,2% v/v of formic acid", but more something to give me a scale.. are we taking about 5 or 50% of formic acid??)