Coating feeder insects with calcium and vitamin supplements is a time-tested method of adding important nutrients to reptile and amphibian diets. However, shy and nocturnal species that do not eat soon after the insects are released into their terrariums may get little benefit from powdered supplements. Insects quickly lose their coatings as they move about…crickets and roaches add to the problem by grooming the supplements from their bodies as soon as they are able (Yes, “grooming” …watch roaches sometime, they are quite fastidious!).
R Zilla Reptile Calcium Supplement Spray and Vitamin Supplement Spray help to address this problem. The spray sticks to and may even be absorbed by insects (as well as dry foods and salad), thereby assuring its delivery no matter how much time elapses before the food is consumed. These products will prove particularly useful to those keeping Leaf Tailed Geckos, Crocodile Skinks, Flying Geckos, Red-Eyed Treefrogs, Spadefoot Toads, certain burrowing tarantulas and others that are notoriously shy about showing themselves by day.
Calcium Spray supplies calcium in three forms, including Calcium Gluconate, which is readily utilized by many species. It can also be administered orally to animals with deficiencies (a consultation with your veterinarian would be advisable beforehand).
Please see my article Providing a Balanced Diet to Reptiles and Amphibians for more information on other aspects of captive herp nutrition.
An interesting article on feeder insect calcium content is posted here.
Next time we’ll take a look at a few effective but little-used techniques for raising the calcium content of insects fed to reptiles and amphibians.
Agalychnis callidryas image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Christian R. Linder