Interesting black cricket breeding

fluxlizard

Avid Member
So, late this summer (mid september) I collected a few of the big black crickets that live beneath things in our yard to see if I could breed them the same way as house crickets. The reason being, this local species of cricket is several times the mass of the domestic crickets, and according to one study, the black ones more effectively gutloaded certain nutrients than the domestic crickets (caratinoids maybe? I don't recall now for sure). So out of the interest of a little more variety for my lizards I collected and bred them and collected the eggs and set them up for incubation just like domestic crickets.

Everything went well I thought- until a couple of weeks into incubation. My domestic cricket eggs laid on the same days were all hatching out, my local big black crickets were not. By week 3 I started fiddling with things to try and see if the problem was the incubation temperature, or the moisture content of the medium. By week 5 or 6 I had given up, but left the containers in my incubator out of laziness.

By week 7 I had begun removing some of the containers (1 each day), dumping out the substrate and washing them out, and re-using for domestic crickets, as I needed more containers.

Yesterday, at week 9, I reached in to take another container out of the incubator for cleaning and re-use, and much to my astonishment, black cricket babies had hatched. I checked the remaining 4 containers in the incubator, and they all had baby crickets in them now also. I hadn't reached in for a new container since some time last week, so I have no idea if they all hatched at once, or if they hatched day by day. AND- another container I had sitting out on my shelves on heat tape where I keep mealworms and superworms, had also hatched at a much lower temperature when I checked it, and so had one other container on another shelf at a much higher temperature.

My astonishment is at seeing all these hatch if not simultaneously then in a very short window of time, when they were laid days apart and incubated at different temperatures, AND at how very long the incubation was.

I guess I'm going to keep them and raise them up and see what happens next generation. I only collected about a dozen adults, so there weren't lots of eggs per container, but the adults lived much longer than domestic crickets- a couple of months I think at least, as they were collected as adults.

Anyone else ever breed these and/or have any tips on what went on with incubation.
 

junglefries

Established Member
I would maybe use the freshly molted ones. I worry their exoskelton may be harder than the brown. On a phone now, with 6 open windows, and afraid to look it up. May crash everything, my luck. I would definitley keep some going, if possible. They definitely seem to have bigger guts, in which to fill. A couple here and there, if nothing else. Mixing it up, is always good. I am currently fixated on the mantids. My guys are freaks for praying mantis and moths. Just a lot of work, but great rewards.
 

CarlC

Established Member
They have some wicked biting power as adults. If feeding the crickets as adults I would make sure they all get eaten.

Carl
 
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