Comparison of two gut-loading regimens on nutrient content of feeder crickets (Gryllodes sigellatus)


Reppert A, Ward A, Coslik A, and Barnett M. 2021. Comparison of two gut-loading regimens on nutrient content of feeder crickets (Gryllodes sigellatus). In Brooks M, Koutsos E, and Henry B Eds. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation and AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Virtual.


Captively-managed amphibian species are commonly fed diets consisting primarily of captive-raised crickets (Acheta domestica, Gryllodes sigillatus) due to the multi-faceted challenges of providing diverse diets on a consistent basis in managed settings (Livingston et al., 2014). Since crickets are known to be poor sources of key nutrients to amphibian health (Ferrie et al., 2014), feeder crickets typically are supplemented through the practices of gut-loading and dusting with vitamin/mineral supplements to enhance the nutrient content of these items to prevent dietary deficiencies that can produce health problems such as metabolic bone disease and hypovitaminosis A (Ferrie et al., 2014; Pessier, 2013). Gut-loading regimens for feeder crickets vary widely across institutions, and many studies have evaluated particular regimens for their effects on resulting nutrient content (Livingston et al., 2014).

Based on Iske’s (2018) findings suggesting specific gut-loading diets can result in significant levels of calcium, vitamin A, and carotenoids, the Fort Worth Zoo decided to test Iske’s successful diets in a new regimen. The new regimen will ultimately be assessed by review of reproductive, health, and pathology records for Puerto Rican crested toads (Peltophyrne lemur) and Chiricahua leopard frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis).

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