I used to see them up at a friend's cabin in the Sierra Nevadas all the time, though they have since sold that place. I may keep an eye out if I'm anywhere nearby this spring/summer.I’ve caught and observed wild camel crickets, but never tried to breed them. Would be an interesting species to try. I’ve never seen them in Cali, but I used to find them on occasion in Michigan. Usually in dark damp places. I’m not sure if they breed year round in the Midwest.
I just begrudgingly use banded crickets because I can buy them locally. Spicoli (my panther) is six and probably doesn't have a lot of time left - his uric acid levels were very high the last time I did bloodwork on him so I can't really feed him roaches anymore. Long term I think I am going to try and set up a colony of the S. nitens to decrease the percentage of roaches I am feeding, but near term I am stuck with the bandeds as the main non-roach feeder available locally.So for those of you that don’t like bandeds, where do you get the house crickets, any healthy sources still? Even with optimal conditions I could never justify how fast they would die. It was cheaper to order large amounts from ghanns to feed my panthers and parsons than to get the house crickets due to the survivability. I could leave bandeds in a tub for a month and none would die. Almost Every single day the others would have some die off.