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I have crickets that are laying eggs in a dirt bin. I've noticed tiny eggs that look like super small grains of semi-translucent rice. I'm curious, is it possible that a female cricket might lay barren eggs (non-fertilized)? Some animals I know will lay barren eggs regardless of whether or not they have bred (unrelated, but chickens being the most famous example), but also other insects, and especially some of the reptiles I keep. I couldn't find any information on this online so I'm hoping all the eggs they lay are indeed fertilized.

Any reason for suspicion comes from the fact that as soon as I put a small container of moist dirt in their bin, the females immediately stuck their ovipositors in the dirt and they had only been together for five minutes after I took them home from a reptile shop, which is a little suspicious.

Any insight would be much appreciated!

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It's possible, but I consider it unlikely. I found a good reference guide for the life cycle of crickets if you want to look through that.

Basically, female crickets can store enough sperm to lay eggs (roughly) every other day for about two or three weeks. At that point, she would probably come across another male cricket, and they would mate, giving her enough sperm to continue on for another two or three weeks.

The benefit of mating this way, rather than having to mate before each clutch of eggs, is that they can breed quickly, without having to spend effort searching for a mate. It's more likely that in passively searching for a mate while laying eggs, that they're going to run across one, then if they had to actively search for one before laying eggs. Also, most would get eaten if they had to search for mates.

So since crickets at the pet stores aren't separated by sex. They're able to mate, but don't have anyplace to lay their eggs. The females will just hold onto the sperm until they can find a place to lay eggs, and when you take them home and give them some dirt, that's all they really needed.

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I have a female cricket which I found in my room by surprise. My daughter wants a reptile so I thought I'll keep it for the reptile. So, I led it to my room, but it lost a leg and so I put it in a bin with eggcrates, paper tube and a small deli cup with a salad for food inside.

Days later I saw her in the deli cup and I saw very small beige eggs looking like rice. I seems that males and female crickets come together in a small container with an egg crate for the owner for mating for a bigger feeding colony.

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