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The effect of transport temperature and duration on survival and growth of house cricket nymphs and eggs

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posted on 2024-07-04, 14:44 authored by C. Steinhausen, A. Lecocq, S. Oloktsidou, J.L. Rukov

The transport of live insects is becoming increasingly common within the food and feed industry. However, very little information is available as to its effects on the insects themselves. The aim of this study was to monitor how variation in transport conditions, such as duration of transport and external temperature and humidity, directly and indirectly affect the survival and growth of nymphs of the house cricket, Acheta domesticus. In addition, we investigated the effect of external temperature on the viability of eggs, upon completion of a transport event. We investigated how four different temperatures (5 °C, 15 °C, 25 °C, 35 °C) and four possible transport durations (1, 2, 3, 6 days) affected survival and growth of the cricket nymphs. To gain insight into the potential transport of eggs, its effect on egg hatch-rate was studied by storing eggs at three different temperatures (6 °C, 18 °C and 30 °C) before moving the eggs to optimal hatching conditions. We found that humidity remained constant inside the transport boxes and was different from the exterior humidity. Temperature had a significant effect on nymph survival and growth. The extreme temperatures negatively affected nymph survival, and increased temperature was correlated with increased growth. The development of eggs was also sensitive to temperature, and transport of eggs at suboptimal temperatures prolonged incubation time considerably. Finally, based on the results of this study, we discuss temperature optimisation as the most critical factor to consider during transport of live house cricket nymphs and eggs.

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