Different Cricket Species Used As Reptile Food
The most commonly used insect used for feeding insectivorous reptiles are crickets.
They are readily available both online and from your local reptile supplier.
In this section we look at the various species that you may encounter and tell you the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
Crickets are normally sold in small tubs, that you buy from your local reptile outlet. Along with the crickets will be some for of hides for them, generally egg trays.
Typically they are delivered weekly, so it is best to find out when this is and buy them then as they tend to die off during the week.
Some retailers will gut-load the insects before sale so it is wise to check if they do and if so purchase straight afterwards.
SizesCrickets are available in many sizes starting with what are called pin-head or micro crickets.
These are very small and you tend to get a lot in a container. The difference between the smallest and largest sizes is very marked and as the sizes go up you will find that there are less in each tub.
Species Of Crickets Available
Different SpeciesDepending which country you live in, you may well find that not only will you have a choice of size of cricket you may well also have a choice of species.
Below we list the different types that you may encounter. As hopefully you will have realized by now the most important nutritional benefit of crickets is what they have recently eaten, so what matters most is what their recent diet has been rather than what species they are.
Black Field Cricket(Gryllus bimaculatus)These are the most commonly available cricket.
They are comparatively slow and the adults are bigger and meatier than other species meaning that they are ideal for feeding larger lizards.
Black crickets can be quite aggressive, so you must be careful that they do not attack your pet.
Black crickets are also very noisy and can be annoying with their chirping, especially if they have escaped.
Brown House Crickets (Acheta domestica)There are actually two species of crickets sold as 'brown crickets', Acheta domestica and Gryllus assimilis.
Acheta domestica are silent until they reach adult size and they are a more cost effective cricket to rear than Gryllus assimilis.
Silent Brown Field Crickets/Jamaican Field cricket (Gryllus assimilis)As the name implies, brown field crickets are much quieter than black crickets and this is one of the the main reasons for its popularity.
As to their behaviour, aggression, speed and size they can be thought to be in between the black and banded crickets.
Banded Cricket/Tropical House Cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus)The banded cricket is a popular choice with breeders as they give high yields, but they do not do well in the cold.
This is a fast cricket that can also jump quite high, and is the most likely to escape. The adults are also a lot smaller than than black crickets. This is a lot less aggressive than black crickets.