MOre QuailMore posts

Go Eat a Bug

May 02, 2011

“Arthropod” is the science-jargon, catchall term for insects, arachnids and similar invertebrates. Texas quail guru Dr. Dale Rollins has called arthropods “MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) for quail” because they offer convenient bundles of essential protein, energy, amino acids and moisture. We’ll just call them “bugs.”

Biologists have long known that chicks need to eat lots of bugs to meet the high protein requirements of rapid growth. Nesting hens also feed heavily on bugs to meet the nutritional demands of egg production.

Louis Harveson and colleagues investigated the importance of bugs in the role of South Texas quail reproduction. During a 2004 study, laying hens consumed three to 12.5 times more bugs than cocks and two to four times more than non-laying females.

Bobwhite food studies indicate that, among the 32 taxonomic orders of insects recognized by entomologists, the most important groups to quail include beetles and their larvae, grasshoppers and crickets, true bugs such as green stink bugs, ants and wasps, moth, butterfly and fly larvae as well as spiders and ticks.

Links to excellent online insect identification guides appear in External Links below.

xysticus_crab_spider.jpg

Photo of a Xysticus crab spider, individual, on rough blazing star flowerhead.
Xysticus Crab Spider on Rough Blazing Star
A yellow Xysticus crab spider waits for prey on a rough blazing star flowerhead.

Recent Posts

Discover Paddling, Discover Nature

Aug 17, 2016

Have you ever wished you could float silently through the woods, sneaking up on wildlife for a hunt, a birding expedition, or just a better photo? There is a way, and it affords you a lot more than just a closer look.

Viceroy caterpillar

A Cruddy Looking Success Story

Aug 15, 2016

With the Olympics wrapping up soon, sports enthusiasts and candid viewers alike have been plugged in and watching the next big event.  In nature's game of survival, there too are a variety of “headlines” that can amaze and inspire. 

Photo of an adult female house cricket walking on bark

Hearing Crickets

Aug 01, 2016

The cricket’s song can recall the carefree summer days of childhood. But usually we reduce the chirping to background noise.