Are these the dreaded black crickets?

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by danTHAman152000, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. I made a local purchase at Rainbow Mealworms today. Their site says they have Acheta domestica for sale, however when I got home I opened the box and saw these:



    Are these the more aggressive species? I noticed right away, as compared to the banded crickets at another store or from Mulburry Farms, that they were slower and just hung out at the bottom of the cage instead of venturing up immediately to the top of the cage.

    Thanks for any feedback!
  2. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    Yes, these are the ones you've heard of. They are a little bit more fighty and bitey, also very slightly higher fat content. On the plus side they gutload a bit better and are a bit bigger and hardier (less dieoff). I pretty much only use the black ones now, aggressive crickets are nothing to be scared of :)
  3. Thanks for the reply!

    Gosh I really was freakin' out just getting them out of the box! You would think they are bullet ants or something lol.

    My main concern about them is the difference in behavior! Yeah they might not jump as high as the banded, but they also have just been hanging around at the bottom of the cage instead of crawling up to get grabbed by my veiled.

    I contacted Rainbow Mealworms and they did confirm that I had a mix of both Jamaican Field crickets (Gryllus assimilis), and the Black cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus). The manager Gillian was very helpful with his prompt reply and is happy to correct the order and send me some of the domestica crickets.

    Now what to do with these 500!? I am going to attempt to cup feed again so I can maybe still use these guys up. I wouldn't mind putting them in the cage, as I was told they do not bite until they are adults, however they hang at the bottom and are pretty much useless IMO.

    Thanks again for the reply!
  4. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    It's true, they wont bite until they are adults, and I never had a bite from a female one....... they just give a tiny nip, hardly notice it......nothing like a bite from an adult locust or one of those pachnoda beetle grubs (surprising! :D) I cup feed or hand feed so I never had any kind of problem with the crix.
  5. Dave

    Dave New Member

    Definitely black crickets. Be careful leaving large numbers of those guys near your chameleons unattended, or any other animals for that matter, they have a hardcore pack mentality with defending themselves.

    Why bother feeding crickets anymore? Honestly the only time I recommend feeders to clients if they are just so comfortable with the insect that they don't want to go to anything else without knowing if their reptile will take to other insects. My recommendation is start trying new insects each feeder shipment. Maybe try Silkworms or Hornworms your next order, or you can try some different roaches (Dubia and Discoids are popular). Point is that you should definitely try other insects, because crickets (even friendly House Crickets) are mostly shell and don't really contain enough meat to justify feeding them unless you literally have nothing else viable to feed them. You can still order some House Crickets next round, but defintely look into trying some new insects, there are definitely plenty out there.

    I hope this helps :)

  6. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    They are cheap, easy to keep and breed, gutload well with anything you want.........I could go on, there are lots of feeders 'worse' than crickets (Mealworms, waxworms.....).
    I do agree that other feeders should be used too, but there is nothing wrong with using crickets as part of a balanced diet :).
    P.s. My male Veiled doesn't like roaches or stick insects, and he refused silks last time I got a batch in........
  7. ataraxia

    ataraxia Avid Member

    Hi, I could be wrong but those look like normal brown crickets to me. The black crickets i know are literally black and have a bite that can leave a red spot on you. I have thrown and smashed quite a few out of reflex.Those have a line up the abdomen like a house cricket or a jamaican field cricket. Maybe my computer but your pics look dark, making the crickets look darker. Any and all crickets bite and WILL chew on your animal while it sleeps. No matter what type of cricket you have you want to take them out before lights go out.
  8. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    There is a mixture in the photos, some of them are black. It's only the adult males that have ever nibbled on me........ I agree though, don't leave any in overnight - have seen some horrible pics of what can happen when even smaller crix bite on cham eyes in the night.......
  9. stalincat

    stalincat Member

    Maybe it's just my imagination, but black ones stink less than brown. So, I prefer them
  10. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    They do smell less, unless we are both imagining it :)
  11. stalincat

    stalincat Member

    went and sniffed both brown and black boxed, black definitely smell less! I kinda regretted smelling brown ones ha. Another plus of black crix is the crunch sound they make when Rips eats them
  12. Yeah the manager from Rainbow saw those photos and said it was a mix of the Jamaican and other black crickets.

    I am trying to find a good alternative feeder. I tried silkies but my 4 month old veiled ignored them and they eventually all died. I had lobster roaches but they would just hide and my cham would never be able to find them. I just purchased some hissers that I will probably have to wait a while before I can get some babies.

    How do you guys feed off your roaches/silkies (other than hand feed, my cham will have nothing to do with that)? I guess I could put a film of petroleum jelly around the feeder cup that I am excited to say has been used the last couple days.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  13. Psychobunny

    Psychobunny Avid Member

    Ghann's is now selling the brown banded cricks.
    I very highly recommend trying this species as they are much easier to work with and are not nearly as aggesive as the Jamacian field crick.

    The only thing I dont like about them is they can jump way higher then any crick I have ever used, meaning they can escape their containers with ease :eek:
  14. nightanole

    nightanole Avid Member

    Some one needs to domesticate some to the point where they all have curly wings so the males can chirp. Chirpless crickets to go with your flightless friutflys.
  15. Kent67

    Kent67 Retired Moderator

    Ditto. I've now got a free-range colony of banded crickets in my cham room.

    I also received an order of what looks to be the same as the OP's crickets yesterday, despite being told they'd be Acheta. They're 5-week olds and don't quite look like the mean, red-headed ones of a year or so ago. Some of the older ones with wings look a lot like Acheta and there may even be some mixed in. I'd heard talk about some of the farms trying to hybridize the big, bitey ones with another species to make them more docile. Anyone know if that happened?
  16. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    Lol at the free-range crickets Kent, I haven't had them seriously since I was about 18............. And I'm pretty sure the some brown crickets and the black crickets have been hybridised. There have been all sorts of mixed-race looking crickets in my cricket bins ever since I started keeping them at least......I can only imagine it happens at big cricket farms all the time.

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