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Exclusive mealworm diet results in better growth rates

Exclusive mealworm diet results in better growth rates

Postby Docmorrie » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:16 am

Dear Gecko Keeper

I have found this great journal research article on Leopard Gecko Growth Rates that proved that an exclusive mealworm diet for hatchlings results in better growth rates with better structure development (length, mass, head length and width, tail base width), compared to cricket only diet and mixed diets (cricket + mealworms).

Very interesting article! Please read, and lets discuss ihis together! Would be interesting so see what results one will get when roaches and superworms are used in a similar study design.

The article:

http://www.herpconbio.org/Volume_5/Issu ... s_2010.pdf
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Re: Exclusive mealworm diet results in better growth rates

Postby Bushviper » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:13 am

If you follow the theory that mealworms are technically larvae and they are storing food (fat) so that they can pupate and change into beetles then it makes sense that they have the best reserves. I think Super worms will fall into the same category.

Now when we look at Phoenix worms and Wax worms we should should see the same results.

Next question is. Once they are adults is it not a good time to then switch them to less fatty food items?
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Re: Exclusive mealworm diet results in better growth rates

Postby Westley Price » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:39 pm

Interesting article.

Upon reading the abstract I though that there could be multiple sources of errors but all of these were addressed by the authors and I think the results are definitely accurate.

One just has to keep in mind that a rapid growth rate does not necessarily represent a healthy animal. It would have been nice to have bone density or other variables also included in the report.

I guess the conclusion that we can take from the publication is that feeding exclusively mealworms does not have a detrimental effect (superficially) and it can be done effectively in captivity, although I still feel a varied diet is better.

Thanx for sharing.
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Re: Exclusive mealworm diet results in better growth rates

Postby Docmorrie » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:39 pm

I think we will soon reach a point in advanced reptile nutrition research that will rock our boats... Dog and cat nutrition has been well researched, hence the fact that puppy and kitten food are specifically formulated for growing animals of less than a year old. Thereafter they will follow adult formula.

Due to the fact that most babies, humans included, needs a high energy source to cater for their specific metabolic needs (typical high fat content items), this migh just as well be the case for growing reptiles. As in the case of puppies and kittens that will switch to adult formula food after the age of 1 year, I would like to think that one should switch the growing geckos to a more "balanced" feeder insect once matured. Further studies will be needed to investigate this hypothesis.
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Re: Exclusive mealworm diet results in better growth rates

Postby Danie Burger » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:22 am

Hi guys

I am by no means an expert I feed my Leos only mealsworms, but I add vitamin powder with the calsium and never had any problems,
every now and again I give them some Turkustan Raoches so the can run and "hunt" a bit for.

Well that is my 2c
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