Brooks M, Harris G. 2017. Gut-Loading Diet Evaluation for Crickets (Acheta domesticus), Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), and Superworms (Zophobas morio) for the Purposes of Optimizing Institutional Protocols. In Ward A, Coslik A, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation and AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Frisco, TX.
For captive insectivorous birds, reptiles, and amphibians, gut-loading has become an essential part of a balanced diet when feeding commercial feeder insects. The captive bred crickets, mealworms, and superworms being fed have inadequate Ca and vitamin A to meet the nutritional needs of these animals. The trials conducted for this study were to determine which gut-loading diet would be the best option for our collection. The PS diet was included as the control diet. When insects are not being gut-loaded, this is the diet on which the insects are maintained. This diet is not meant to have a gut-loading level of Ca or vitamin A, as shown in Table 1. The OZTC diet was included as part of our trial diets because our herpetology department wanted a diet that contained vegetable items that were naturally high in vitamin A and its precursor, beta-carotene. There is evidence that this type of diet would increase retinol levels in toads fed crickets gut-loaded in this manner (Odum et al., 2015) without an additional gut-loading diet. This diet was designed to be fed to herbivorous reptiles in our collection, and thus the Ca:P ratio was 2.02 by design. The last two diet options, MHC and MBB, were both commercially available gut-loading diets with similar Ca and vitamin A concentrations. The difference between the two comes down to protein and fat concentration and ingredient list, with the MBB containing more CP and fat coming from fishmeal and spirulina instead of the corn, soybean meal, and porcine meal in the MHC.[Brooks2] Brooks-Harris-2017-Gut-loading-diet-evaluation-for-crickets-mealworms-superworms.pdf     73 KB