Reptiles Grow Bigger On Diet Of Black Solider Fly

Posted by Spencer Doepel on

How reptiles grow bigger on a diet of black solider fly

Introduction


Reptiles make amazing pets no matter if you’re an adult or a child, which is why they’re so popular. A huge reason why reptiles are popular pets is that they’re easy to care for. Unlike dogs and cats, they don’t shed, enjoy living in their terrarium and are easy to feed. But like many other pets, there are certain requirements for having pet reptiles. You have to set up their terrarium with the right temperature and living environment, as well as feed them according to their required dietary needs for their breed. Different reptiles will have different dietary necessities, with some needing small animals to survive every few days and others feasting solely on insects and fruits and vegetables.

 Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae are a great feeder for a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates and have long been admired among the reptile community for their superior nutrition benefits.
BSF have recently been accepted as the best staple feeder insect for many reptiles, because of their naturally high calcium content.

Effect of BFS on Reptiles growth

Black Soldier Fly larvae make healthy, nutritious feeder insects for your pet reptiles or amphibians. They have the highest calcium concentration of any common feeder insect.  BSF are the only commercially produced insect that has been found to potentially have a natural positive calcium to phosphorous (Ca:P) ratio (2.5:1) based on the diet they are provided .

Positive calcium to phosphorous ratio (ideally 2:1 or greater) is considered essential for reducing the incidence of nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism (NSHP) in insectivorous reptiles.
BSFL are also highly nutritious. They are rich in protein and many amino acids (especially lysine). Black soldier fly larvae also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and even lauric acid (which can at as a natural antiparasitic). They make a great treat or staple feeder for many insectivorous or omnivorous reptiles and amphibians.


A recent study on bearded dragons shows that BFSL have positive effects on their growth. The study demonstrated that BSFL provide sufficient protein and calcium for faster growth of bearded dragons.
Study proved that bearded dragon hatchlings grew faster on a BSFL staple diet than those on supplemented on other insects, at the end of the experiment, the BSFL group dragons weighted 35.29% more than the others.

Key Benefits of Using BSF as Reptile feed

 

  • They are almost free from Chitin, as compared to mealworm, super worm and crickets.
    These insects have Chitin which is not digestible to your reptiles and can cause impaction.
  • They have high moisture content, Many reptiles tends to gain moisture from there feed. BSF have 65% body moisture and can fulfill the moisture requirement of your reptile.
  • They are high in essential amino acids and fatty acids. For example, methionine is amino acid presenting in BSFL's profile that is essential for any protein structure, but most animals are not able to synthesis this compound, so they have to gain from upper section of the food chain. Omega-3, as everyone knows, is good for your pets, and it's found in our BSFL as well.
  • If you are feeding your pet crickets you will know the pain--extra effort has to be planned to keep the crickets alive. The black soldier fly larvae can live up to 2 months without feeding and growing, but still be active. If you want them to grow to larger size, feed them whatever you think is appropriate, and they wouldn't reject it.
  • If you are concerned your pets don't eat a certain type of food, such as vegetable for vitamins, you can let the BSFL to do it. As I said above, the BSFL will not reject any food you feed them, so if you want your pet to get vitamins from tomatoes, just dump a piece of it to your BSFL container, and they will pick up the nutrients. When you feed your pet, then the nutrients become available to your pet anyway.
  • BSFL are seen as natural weapon to bacteria and virus. They produce lauric acid which has been show to actively against lipid coated viruses, including HIV virus, measles virus, clostridium, and many pathogenic protozoa. In addition, they can either digest or suppress Coccidiosis and E. Coliform. So even if you found them in a compost pile, it would be fine for your pet.

Conclusion

BSF larvae do have a positive nutritive value and an inherent ability to support health and growth of reptiles. There is no such thing as the "perfect insect," and no food item should ever be fed exclusively. Varying a diet is the best way to support captive reptiles and help meet their full nutritional needs, but supplementation with other ingredients in a complete feed should be able to improve the nutritional value of the BSF larvae.


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