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Keeping Camel Crickets


windward
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Does (has) anyone keep them? While roach hunting recently I came across a “small” colony of them; mom, dad (likely), and their army of progeny. I presume they're a Ceuthophilus sp.

I’m considering scooping up the adults and putting them in a spare bin. The only downside I can think of is that they are crickets – do they smell as much as house crickets?

General relative humidity they're living and reproducing at outside is between 20-45%, temps are between 60F (nighttime) to 100F or so.

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I've had them for a couple generations. Entertaining and hardy, just make sure they have space and enough food because they can be terribly cannibalistic. Not smelly at all in my experience.

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Thanks! I kind of figured they could get cannibalistic. I've put out a little cat food and then some roach food to encourage them to hang around... they all devour it quickly. I think I'll just grab the adult pair for now since they're easier to contain.

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I went out to collect them and found only males... the females I found the next day eating my tomatoes.

One male and two females, only one female (dark individual) is in the picture. Male is ~1 1/2", females are slightly smaller.

cricketpair_zps07b1314f.png

They don't settle well for photographs. Very nervous and easily spooked. If the male is aggravated enough it appears that he stamps his feet, I don't know if I'm seeing things or if this is actually what he is doing due to lack of information on camel cricket behavior.

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The color can actually be a bit darker, too. The female not pictured is darker. I'm sure it's just species difference or even some regional color variation.

The nymphs are lighter, too, a light tan/buff color with slightly darker stripes. I do not know how old the adults are that I captured, only that another mature male (left outside) was smaller and lighter orange.

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Mine crunch on whole pieces of cat food. Very audible bites that take decent sized chunks out at a time (for something cricket sized). Large bites taken out of other vegetables and watching one eat with it's head upside down (good view of the mandibles in action) leave me with no inclination to personally find out how a bite from one of them feels...

They are also able to kick their leg spines into you and more likely to try that when picked up.

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Mine crunch on whole pieces of cat food. Very audible bites that take decent sized chunks out at a time (for something cricket sized). Large bites taken out of other vegetables and watching one eat with it's head upside down (good view of the mandibles in action) leave me with no inclination to personally find out how a bite from one of them feels...

They are also able to kick their leg spines into you and more likely to try that when picked up.

Yes, good points. Those leg spikes can get ya! : ) Thanks for sharing. Super cool bugs...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried to start a colony of these, but I could never find them in enough numbers. Of course when I wasn't looking for them I'd flip over boards with thousands underneath. Little jerks.lol

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Well, I only have the three. Nymphs take a while to grow and I'd rather grow out from eggs for a "cleaner" population. I don't have any nymphs, yet. I have them on a soil peat mixture and I wonder if it may not be suitable to oviposition into.

If you can't find them, or native roaches, you can create a place in your yard to attract them to. Dig a very shallow hole, cover with some thin old wood and throw some leaves on top. Water every few days, if it gets dry over the summer. If you want some wood roaches to show up, layer more old wood atop or add some old cut wood.

Keep an eye out for termites and preferably do not do this against the side of a home.

You can also "bait" after you have this set up for a week or so and moist. A few pieces of cat or dog food will attract all sorts of insects. Be on the look out for pest roaches if you put food out.

Cave and camel crickets will also get trapped in the water main holes - where the shut off between home and the city waterline is. Roaches will hang out in these, too.

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