Locusts: Great Dining for arboreal animals and some
Locusts are one of the largest of the live food insects,
growing to as long as over three inches (eighty
millimeters)! Locusts can be fed to a wide variety of animal
species, the primary issue being that you feed locusts that
are a small enough size for your pet.
Locusts are usually a yellowish color and are very
nutritious, and many large lizards,
turtles and tarantulas
love them. And, since locusts are good climbers and don't
hide as much as crickets, they are a good food choice for
arboreal animals and birds. Locusts are, however, more
expensive than crickets because they cost more to grow.
When you order locusts from a pet supplier they usually
arrive in ventilated tubs containing from five to twenty
locusts, depending on the size you ordered. If you can check
the locusts before you buy them, make sure they are alive
and any bran in the container is not damp. If there are
several dead locusts or the inside of the tub is damp, don't
buy them, the rest are probably ill.
Once you have your locusts at home, put them into a larger
secure, well-ventilated container containing pieces of
cardboard egg carton or something similar, to provide
perches and hiding places, and food and water containers. A
good way to provide water without finding drowned locusts is
to put a jar lid filled with cotton and water into the cage.
This way the locusts can sip safely from the cotton.
Keep the locust vivarium in a spot with low humidity and
temperatures in the range of sixty-eight to eighty degrees
Fahrenheit (twenty to twenty-six degrees Celsius). Feed the
locusts bran, fortified cereals, whole-grain bread, fresh
vegetables such as cabbage leaves, apples, and if you wish,
commercial cricket food. If you feed a good quantity of
fresh vegetables and fruits, you may not need the extra
If you choose to breed your own locusts for your pets,
simply use the container as described above, or a small
aquarium with a screened top, and add a four inch deep
plastic box or dish filled with damp sand. If you keep the
sand damp by adding a little water each day, your female
locusts will push their ovipositors (the pointed part of
their back ends) down into the sand and lay up to two
hundred eggs each.
If you keep your tank at the optimum temperature the locusts
will hatch out after ten to twelve days. Feed the young
locusts the same foods as the adults. They will go through
several instar moltings before reaching adulthood and
breeding age. If you need young locusts for your pets, be
sure to keep a few alive to adulthood to replace your breeders.
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