The effect of a produce based gut loading diet on mineral and vitamin content of adult crickets (Acheta domestica)

Citation

Hunt A, Birt M, Ward A. 2007. The effect of a produce based gut loading diet on mineral and vitamin content of adult crickets (Acheta domestica). In Ward A, Hunt A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Knoxville, TN.

Abstract

Adequate supplementation of calcium and other nutrients including vitamin A is integral to successfully holding insectivorous amphibians and reptiles in captivity. Dusting and gut loading insects are two commonly used methods of supplementation. A produce based gut loading diet may be more palatable and thus may gut load more successfully and for an extended period of time. Adult crickets (Acheta domestica) were held on four produce based high calcium diets or a calcium carbonate diet for four days. Intake and survivability were recorded and insects were analyzed for mineral, vitamin, and carotenoid content. Survivability was high, only three out of approximately 900 crickets died over the study period. Intake did not change significantly within diet over time. The desired 1:1 calcium:phosphorus ratio was not achieved, however, the ratio was significantly higher in the apple, carrot, and sweet potato treatments over that of the calcium carbonate and papaya treatments. A very wet diet (13-21% dry matter) may have precluded the ability of the crickets to consume enough to achieve the high calcium content. Retinol concentrations stayed consistently low throughout the study period (no detection or <333 iu/kg, dry matter basis), however, there was a significant increase in the level of beta carotene of adult crickets consuming the carrot and sweet potato diets. More research is needed to determine if beta carotene can be used as a source of vitamin A for insectivorous amphibians and reptiles and also to determine if a dry produce based diet would lead to successful gut loading.

Hunt – EFFECT OF A PRODUCE BASED GUT LOATNG DIET ON MINERAL, VITAMIN AND CAROTENOID CONTENT OF ADULT CRICKETS {ACHETA DOMESTICA).pdf     3 MB

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