A new native edible cricket species, Scapsipedus icipe Hugel and Tanga, has been described in Kenya for the first time. However, there is lack of information on suitable diets and their effects on the developmental time, survival, weight gain, body length, growth index, preoviposition, oviposition, postoviposition, fecundity, egg eclosion period, adult emergence, and longevity of this species, which are prerequisite for large-scale production. In this study, six diets (wheat bran, soybean, fish offal, pumpkin leaf, carrot, and maize meals) selected to vary in protein, carbohydrate, and fat content were evaluated. The developmental time and survival rate of the different life stages varied considerably on the various diets, with the shortest development and highest survival rate recorded when fed wheat bran diet. Preoviposition duration was significantly longer on maize and carrot diets (>10 d) compared with that recorded on the other diets (<8 d). Body weight and body length were significantly influenced by the different diets tested. Females of S. icipe fed on protein-rich diets (fish offal, soybean, and wheat bran) had significantly higher lifetime fecundity and fertility. Female-biased sex ratio was recorded on wheat bran and soybean diets, whereas male-biased sex ratio was recorded on maize and carrot diets. Our findings reveal that the impact of diet quality on the biological fitness parameters of S. icipe and the implication of the results are discussed in light of effective mass rearing of this species.
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Vol. 112 • No. 2