Domestic crickets (Acheta domesticus)
are the staple food and form the basis of the diet for
almost, if not all, carnivorous lizards. The crickets
you find in pet stores for sale as feeder insects are
natively from North America. This type of cricket can
grow to lengths of about 1 1/4 inches. You can generally
find crickets of 3 (or more) different sizes at most
pet stores, meant to feed lizards of different sizes
Please note that it is NOT recommended to feed your
lizard wild crickets, as they tend to bite, or pinch,
and will do so to your lizard.
|Calories from Fat
|Calcium (ml/100 grs)
|* Not a significant source of Vitamin
D3 or Calcium
Food & Water
High protein baby salad flakes mixed with reptile vitamins,
green beans, orange squash, parsnips, sweet potato, cantaloupe,
apples, pears, carrots. You can also purchase Cricket
Food from your local pet store, usually calcium enriched
pellets. It is advisable to offer your feeder crickets
a mixture of foods. Make sure to remove old food and replace
with new food every couple of days to ensure a clean,
healthy habitat. The healthier your crickets
are, the healthier your pet lizard will be.
For water, it is easiest to provide a section of a sponge,
dampened with water. Crickets will tend to drown themselves
if you provide actual water in a dish. This will keep
their housing clean, as well as lower the death rate.
They will also get water from the food they eat, like
lettuce and fruits. You can also purchase a 'water-gel'
from your local pet store.
Lighting, Temperature & Humidity
Your crickets should be kept in an area where the temperature
is around 70-75 degrees F. They should be kept in an
area with low humidity. There is no specific lighting
needed for keeping crickets. They will
survive in high to low light. However, if kept in bright
lighting, make sure to include some upside-down egg
cartons for them to hide.
An empty container will be enough to house crickets.
A 'Cricket Keeper' available from pet stores is excellent
(also has tubes for easy transport), but any plastic
container will suffice. A deep container is ideal so
the crickets can not climb/jump out. Make sure to throw
in some egg cartons so they can hide, and to allow them
more standing room. No substrate or bedding is needed.
It will also be easier to move crickets from their housing
to your pets habitat without bedding.
Breeding Crickets for Lizard Food
To breed crickets, follow the directions
in 'Housing'. Place damp paper towel on the bottom of
the container, and damp cotton in a jar lid. Only include
15-20 crickets in the container. Crickets can be territorial
and become stressed. The crickets will lay eggs in the
paper towel and/or cotton (eggs look like small yellow
Disease & Sickness
The main concern regarding diseases with your crickets
are the dead ones. Remove dead crickets
as soon as possible. Crickets tend to be cannibalistic,
and will eat their dead. Dead crickets also smell rather
bad. Another thing to keep in mind is that cricket droppings
will promote disease, so make sure to clean the container