Vita-Bugs 1/4'' Crickets (500 Count) are commonly called small crickets by pet stores, and perfect for anoles, adult praying mantids, tarantulas, leopard geckos, young bearded dragons, and any other insectivore that requires smaller food. Get your crickets from Josh's Frogs!
Acheta domestica, commonly called the house cricket, is a great staple food item for your pet. Easy to keep, inexpensive, and full of nutritious vitamins and minerals when properly gutloaded and dusted, crickets will eagerly be eaten by your pet reptiles and amphibians.
Not sure which cricket size is right for you? A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the cricket is no longer than the distance between your pet's eyes when viewed from above. If you're not sure, err on the side of caution and choose a smaller size. Please keep in mind that crickets grow quickly - if it'll take you a few weeks to use all the crickets you order, they could easily be much larger than when they first arrived.
Josh's Frogs always recommends feeding your crickets with a quality cricket food for at least 48 hours before feeding them to your pet reptile or amphibian. Crickets will easily drown in a water dish. Instead, use fresh veggies or Josh's Frogs Insect Watering Gel. Not sure how to house your crickets while you're feeding them out to your pet? Check out Josh's Frogs Cricket Care Kits.
Not sure how to take care of crickets? Watch the following video:
Why choose Vita-Bugs®?
Currently commercial insect are primarily raised for rapid growth using the lowest cost ingredients. As a result insect diets do not contain the same ingredient makeup as wild insects would naturally forage for. Vita-Bug® insects have had their diet changed to increase their nutritional content to be more in line with wild insects.
Insect Dusting vs. Insect Gut-Loading
Insect Dusting - A recent study has shown that a cricket will groom off 50% of any dust applied to it within 90 seconds. Therefore unless you see the pet animal eat the dusted cricket very quickly you are not delivering the nutrients from the dust.
Insect Gut Loading -While properly formulated gut-loading diets can enhance the value of feeder insects many commercial gut-loading diets do not contain sufficient nutrients, they use the wrong forms of some nutrients and they are relatively unpalatable meaning the nutrients don’t get eaten. It is also important to know that crickets will empty the contents of their stomachs’ rapidly.
After 7 years of research and development the Vita-Bug® process has been created. Vita-Bugs® are created using a scientifically proven feeder insect process that reduces dusting and gut-loading complexity. Vita-Bugs® contain nutrients more like those of wild insects. This changes the internal make-up of the insects so it is NOT an applied process that quickly “wears off”.
Retinol and Retinal are forms of Vitamin A, and as you can see the effect of the Vita-Bug® process begins very quickly. The reason the small cricket contains more vitamin A is because insects store these compounds in their eyes and smaller crickets have a disproportional body mass size to the size of their eyes.
Zoos report that the biggest deficiency that they experience is a Vitamin A deficiency. So as you can see Vita-Bugs® have a comparable amount of Vitamin A to wild caught insects.
The below image displays the amount of Vitamin E in wild caught, commercially raised and Vita-Bug® crickets. As you can see commercially raised insects are very low. This is because Vitamin E is a very expensive therefore just enough is added to the diet for the insect to grow correctly but not enough for additional storage. As you can see the Vita-Bug® cricket has similar levels that in wild caught insects carrying on the theme of making the nutrient content of commercial insects more like that of wild insects.
Results you can see
In a study conducted in England with red-eye tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) researchers found that when carotenoids were provided to tadpoles they had a positive influence on development, adult frog coloration and reproduction (Oglivy et al 2012).
Additionally when Tomato frogs (Dyscophys guineti) were fed crickets that were enhanced with various carotenoids they had a more natural coloration and improved vitamin A status (Brenes Soto, A. and E. Dierenfeld, 2012).
What are carotenoids? Carotenoids are naturally occurring compounds that are responsible for the coloration many of these foods we are eat. The red in tomatoes is the result of a carotenoid called lycopene, the yellow in corn is from the carotenoid lutein and the orange in carrots is from the carotenoid beta-carotene.
In addition to their role in enhancing the color of many species of animals carotenoids also play a role in immune health in many species of animals. What does all this mean? For a long time now we have all heard about premium food choices for dogs and cats, now it’s time for reptiles and amphibians to have the same options.
Eeva T., Helle S., and Salminen J. P. (2010). Carotenoid composition of invertebrates consumed by two insectivorous bird species. Journal of Chemical Ecology 36:608-613.
Finke M. D. (2002). Complete nutrient composition of commercially raised invertebrates used as food for insectivores. Zoo Biology 21: 269-285.
Finke M. D. (2013). Complete nutrient content of four species of feeder Insects. Zoo Biology 32:27-36.
Ogilvy V., Preziosi1 R.F. and Fidgett A.L. (2012). A brighter future for frogs? The influence of carotenoids on the health, development and reproductive success of the red-eye tree frog. Animal Conservation 15:480-488.
Pennino M., Dierenfeld E. S., and Behler J. L. (1991). Retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and proximate nutrient composition of invertebrates used as food. International Zoo Yearbook 30: 143-149.
Brenes Soto, A. and E. Dierenfeld. 2012. Effect of dietary carotenoids on skin pigmentation in tomato frogs (Dyscophys guineti). European Nutrition Research Group Proc., Zurich, Switzerland.
This product ships to your doorstep. Most orders placed before 2pm ET on business days will ship out the same day.
Import/export restrictions on this product require that it can only be shipped to destinations within the United States.
Restrictions on this product that prohibit shipping to the following states: HI.
This product is covered under our Live Arrival Guarantee. If your insect/animal does not arrive in good health, we'll make it right, provided the following criteria are met:
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