Cricket Care Sheet
|Common Name||House Cricket|
|Scientific Name||Acheta domesticus|
|Size||1/8" - 1"|
Crickets (Acheta domesticus) are insects with distant relations to the grasshopper, and are found almost all over the world! Crickets can range in size, but a Fluker cricket can get up to an inch in length. These insects are an excellent source of protein and are very easily “gut-loaded” with calcium and other important vitamins for your pets, just check out our cricket analysis:
Analysis of Our Crickets
One thing most people wonder about crickets is why they chirp, and how they make that noise. Only male crickets can chirp, and they achieve this by using their stridulatory organ, which is located on the tegmen, or forewing. On each tegmen the crickets have a vein running along it with serrations on its edge, making it look almost like a comb. At the end of the tegmen, they also have a scraper. The cricket will move its wings onto each other and produce a noise which goes through a “harp,” a part of the body that has a lot of membrane, which amplifies and resonates the volume of the sound, causing a chirp!
There are many chirps made by crickets, and each one sounds different from species to species, but some species are mute. There are calling songs to attract female crickets, courting songs to encourage mating, and even a triumph song to celebrate successful mating! Not only are there different songs, but the pitch and volume of the chirp can also be changed by environment and temperature, which is why we can use cricket chirps to determine how hot it is outside using this formula: Temperature = 40 + number of chirps in 15 seconds.
Most cricket species have wings, even if they aren’t for flight. The ones that utilize their wings for flight are very inept fliers and the amount of species which fly are very few and far between. In some species, the wings are pulled off and consumed by the cricket for a nutrition boost.
Crickets are omnivorous insects, meaning they will eat both plants and meat, but, if deprived of their normal selection, will revert to a wide array of organic foodstuffs, such as flowers, fruits or even grass. Some species are more predatory, hunting other insects’ larvae and pupae or aphids and scale insects. Others are scavengers, seeking out remains and decaying plants, seeds and fungi. In captivity, some species have been found to eat ground-up dog food!
Most crickets lay their eggs in soil or inside plant stems. If the breed of cricket lives in the ground, they can lay them in underground chambers or into the walls of their burrow. Crickets are hemimetabolic, which makes their life cycle consist of an egg stage, a larval stage and an adult stage.
Caring for Crickets:
A bulk of one thousand adult crickets will require at least a 10-gallon aquarium. Suitable substrates for your crickets' home include egg crates and orchid bark. You should also provide dark places for hiding. It is important to clean the cage out at least once a week, or between cricket shipments.
The optimum temperature range for crickets should be 70°-75°F during the day and at night. This is necessary for the crickets' metabolisms and immune systems to function properly.
You should gut-load the crickets with Fluker's High Calcium Cricket Diet 24 hours before introducing them to the reptile. You could also mix half of the High Calcium Cricket Diet with half of the Cricket Diet.
Use a small dish filled with gravel, with water just covering the gravel, or Fluker's Cricket Quencher in Original and Calcium Fortified to provide a clean water source.
Also available is Fluker's Orange Cube Complete Cricket Diet, a convenient, easy to use nutrient filled water and food source. Simply drop a few in the container with the crickets.
You can also use our dusting products on your crickets to provide your reptiles with essential nutrients and vitamins.
Repta Calcium with Vitamin D3 and Phosphorus Free
Repta Calcium without Vitamin D3 and Phosphorus Free
*Note: Fluker Farm's sponsored a grant with Louisiana State University to breed crickets. Dr. Joseph Woodring selectively bred crickets by taking the top 10% heaviest at maturity and then repeating the process. These crickets were incorporated into our breeding stock, for stronger healthier crickets.
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