Do Turtles Eat Crickets
If you have a pet turtle, or you are just generally interested in turtles, one of the first questions you probably have is about what they eat. In this article, we will go into detail about a turtle’s diet, and in particular about whether turtles eat crickets.
Do turtles eat crickets in the wild?
You may be surprised to know that turtles do in fact eat crickets in the wild. Now you might be thinking, how in the world do they catch a cricket since turtles are so slow.
But it is important to note that through thousands of years of evolution and adaptation to their environment, turtles have developed the ability to catch crickets quite easily. Aside from crickets, turtles eat a wide range of insects including worms, grasshoppers, beetles, and even caterpillars.
Turtle eating crickets
Below is a video of my turtle catching and eating live crickets.
While my turtle is a red-eared slider, you can feed crickets to just about any species of omnivorous turtle.
How do turtles catch crickets?
The main way turtles are able to catch live crickets is because of their quick and elongated neck. While a turtle normally keeps its neck close to the shell, some species of turtle can extend their neck up to 6 inches.
Not only is this very long, but they can also extend their neck very quickly in under a second. This allows them to sneak up on prey like crickets, and lunge at them before the cricket even knows they are there. Additionally, crickets don’t have the best visibility to see behind their back, which makes it easier for a turtle to sneak up.
Additionally, while turtles might be slow on land, there are many aquatic turtles that can swim fast. For example, a red eared slider can swim up to 15 mph. This makes it easier for a turtle to chase after a cricket that is resting near the waters edge.
Can turtles eat crickets?
Yes, since it is a part of their natural diet, you can certainly feed crickets to your turtle. In fact, most turtles will absolutely love the taste of crickets.
How often should you feed your turtle crickets?
Crickets should be fed sparingly to your ticket. You should consider crickets as a treat that you feed to your turtle at most once a week.
While they are nutritious, they are high in protein, which can cause digestion and even growth problems if your turtle eats too much of them.
Dried crickets for turtles
My suggestion would be to feed your turtle dried crickets. Dried crickets are great because they have already been freeze dried which removes a lot of the odor that live crickets have while still providing the same nutritional value. They are also much easier to handle, since live crickets can jump all over the place and escape before you can get them into the tank. Best of all, dried crickets have a much longer shell live compared to live crickets.
If you are interested in feeding your turtle crickets, I would recommend TradeKing Natural Dried Crickets. You can click the picture below for more information.
Can pet turtles eat crickets
Yes, pet turtles can absolutely eat crickets. Since crickets are part of a natural turtle’s diet, their digestive system can easily handle them.
If you do decide to feed your turtle crickets, do make sure that you don’t forget about other components of your turtle’s diet, such as leafy green vegetables. Since turtles are omnivores, they will need more than just crickets to stay healthy. To learn more about feeding your pet turtle, check out my article on how much food should I feed my turtle?
Are crickets healthy for turtles
Crickets are very healthy for turtles and provide a lot of essential nutrients. Most importantly, crickets are high in protein which is an essential component of a turtle’s diet. Additionally, crickets contain a lot of calcium. This is very beneficial for turtles, as they need a lot of calcium to maintain a healthy shell. You can find out more about a turtles diet in my article about what do turtles eat.
Can you feed your turtle live crickets
You can absolutely feed your turtle live crickets. They are just as healthy as freeze dried crickets. The only downside is that they tend to be more expensive, and it can take a while to catch them by yourself. They are also more work to since you need to keep them alive. That being said, there are still benefits of feeding your turtle live crickets.
Your turtle will surely love the thrill of chasing the cricket around the tank. It will help simulate their natural hunting instinct. Most importantly, it will be great exercise for your turtle and help keep them healthy.
Where to buy live crickets for turtles?
I have found that the best place to buy live crickets for my turtle is from Petco. They sell 40 crickets for only 7 dollars. You can pick them up in a store, or you can have them delivered to you.