Keeping and Breeding Crickets

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Keeping and Breeding Crickets

Welcome to the cricket section

Keeping Crickets

You can purchase live food from our other site Global Live Food (UK & EU only) from £1.66 inc post. Single standard tubs are £2.49 INCLUDING Royal Mail First Class delivery

By far the most common live food is the cricket. Crickets are highly nutritious and have a naturally low chitin (indigestible exoskeleton) to food ratio. There are three species of cricket which are commonly bought as pet food, these are the black cricket, the brown cricket and the silent or quiet cricket.

Here's some photos of the different types so you can recognise them.

You can purchase live food from our other site Global Live Food (UK & EU only)

Adult Black Cricket

Adult Black Cricket

Note the full length wings, this is what the cricket uses to make the calls (only the males make the noise). This one is a female and is identified as such by the long egg laying tube (ovipositor) at the end of the abdomen. This type of cricket is jet black but may have a pale band behind its head

Single standard tubs of crickets, mealworms, locust etc are £2.49 INCLUDING Royal Mail First Class delivery from Global Live Food (UK & EU only)

Juvenile Black Cricket

Same type of cricket but without the wings, this one is a make as it has no egg laying tube. Juvenile black crickets are black but with a dark brown tinge

Juvenile Black Cricket
Adult Brown Cricket

Adult Brown Cricket

Again notice the full length wings and the egg laying tube at the end of this adults body.  This type of cricket is a mid brown colour with a slightly darker and banded underside.

Juvenile Brown Cricket

No wing coverings on this young female, you can see the structure of the crickets rear end in this photo. All the crickets have two whiskers at the end of the body, the female is clearly identified as it has three - the middle one being the egg laying tube. Young brown crickets are a tawny colour with slightly darker band and markings.

Juvenile Brown Cricket

Buying Crickets

Crickets usually arrive in small ventilated tubs containing a piece of cardboard egg carton, bran and between 50 - 250 live crickets depending on size.

On arrival the crickets should be removed from the small tub and placed in to a larger one containing several pieces of cardboard egg carton, the egg carton allows the crickets to hide. Special tubs or cricket corrals can also be purchased which have a card tube that the crickets hide in, you can use this tube as a cricket dispenser.

If the crickets seem to be kept in damp bran or there are more than a coupe of dead ones in the tub - do not buy them. Crickets can deteriorate rapidly under damp conditions and infections can quickly develop.

Single standard tubs of crickets, mealworms, locust etc are £2.49 INCLUDING Royal Mail First Class delivery from Global Live Food (UK & EU only)

Feeding Crickets

Feeding crickets is pretty simple. 'Bug grub' is available which contains bran, calcium and other minerals but no moisture. Alternatives include bran, cornflakes, bread and digestive biscuits. Moisture should be provided in the form of fruits like grapes, apples or vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage. Alternatively it can be provided in a small dish filled with small pebbles and topped up with water, the reason for the pebbles is that crickets and the worst swimmers in the world and will easily drown if the fall in.

Temperature & Humidity

Keep crickets at a temperature of 18 - 22C and in quite a dry atmosphere to prevent fungal infections. The tiny crickets known as micro crickets or pinhead crickets are very prone to drying out so a piece of dampened paper kitchen roll should be placed in with them but still keeping the atmosphere quite dry.

Breeding Crickets

Crickets can be bred at home but the low cost of them makes it a little impractical. As we mentioned earlier the adult female cricket has a long egg laying tube called an ovipositor, she will find a damp place and deposit 1.5mm long torpedo shaped pale cream coloured eggs.

If you opted to provide water using damp paper then you may notice these eggs when changing the paper.

The tiny crickets will hatch after around 2 weeks if the temperature and humidity is correct, the resulting hatchlings are the pinhead or micro crickets which are highly prone to drying out.

 

 

 

 

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