Known as the house cricket, Acheta domesticus is a brown cricket that averages about 3/4" long. The females are differentiated from the males by the presence of an ovipositor for laying eggs. Adults sometimes shed their kind wings.
Acheta domesticus is the only species in this genus which occurs in North America. Wild crickets are found in eastern United States, Southern California, and parts of southern Canada. They're commonly found indoors, which suggests that they benefit greatly from the presence of human activity.
The earliest known consumption of this particular species comes from the 1976 booklet "Entertain with Insects. Or: The Original Guide to Insect Cookerery" by Ronald Taylor and Barbara Carter. It only occurs there because of their commercial success as a feeder insect (which is still true today).
The tough hind legs are generally removed prior to consumption. They are also often frozen to kill them before cooking, since they are quick and difficult to handle when living.
Crickets are commonly stir fried, baked, and boiled. To introduce entomophagy to westerners, crickets are often ground into a flour so that they are not recognizable as insects. This is the basis behind Chapul energy bars, though the Chapul barsutilize Gryllus assimilis.
|Lazy chocolate chirp cookies|
View more cricket recipes on Entomophagy Wiki.
- Cabbage, Peas 'n' Crickets (http://edibug.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/6-ingredient-cricket-stir-fry/)
- Sauteed Crickets (http://www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.php?title=sauteed-crickets-or-any-insects)
- Chocolate Covered Crickets (http://www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.php?title=chocolate-covered-crickets)
- Caramel Cricket Crunch (http://www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.php?title=caramel-cricket-crunch)
- Hoppin’ Good™ Banana Oat Cricket Muffins (http://www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.php?title=hoppin-good-banana-oat-cricket-muffins)
- Cranberry Oatmeal Cricket Cookies (http://www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.php?title=cranberry-oatmeal-cricket-cookies)
- Chocolate Dipped Candied Ginger Crickets (http://www.insectsarefood.com/recipes.php?title=chocolate-dipped-candied-ginger-crickets)
- Cricket Pad Thai (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32113074/ns/today-food/t/recipes-crickets-mealworms-oh-my/#recipe-32113099)
- Cricket Fritters (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32113074/ns/today-food/t/recipes-crickets-mealworms-oh-my/#recipe-32113599)
The house cricket is one of the most commercially successful feeder insects. It is also often bred at home by owners of reptiles or other insectivores. There are commercial foods and water crystals available specifically for breeding crickets at home (crystals are used to keep the crickets from drowning, though damp paper towels are often used instead).
A container with soil or other moist substrate is kept in the breeding container for the females to lay eggs in, and then the container is removed to keep the adult crickets from eating the eggs or young hatchlings.
Here are videos of a commercial and a home breeding setup:
There are no known legal issues with with the import, export, or sale of this species.
This species is commonly available from pet stores and mail order companies, and it is one of the most widely available feeder insects.
- Crickettes by Hotlix (http://www.hotlix.com/insect_candy/crickettes.html)
- Live Acheta domesticus from Carolina Crickets (http://www.carolinacrickets.com/crickets/)