Yes you can feed them live crickets. As long as the crickets are of equal size or smaller. Sometimes they cannibalize, feed them well, keep a bunch of hide outs aviable and seperate any that you think have ill intentions.
I've raised my brood of emps to 5I (a few are 6I) entirely on dead food. I keep them communally and haven't had any incident of cannabalism even in times when I haven't fed them much. They seem to get along very well.
Just curious Dom, when you feed them dead food, do you have to feed them sparingly for them to accept it or do they just eat them when you drop them in? Thank you for assisting, I'ved never used anything dead.
I usually feed them quite well. The reason I started in the first place is that when they were young I wasn't sure if they were quick enough to catch lateralis nymphs so I placed a pile of dead roaches in the middle of their tank. In the morning they were all gone and I've fed them that way ever since. It just works out easier to feed them dead, especially since they are eating adult dubia now which would spend most of their time hiding in the substrate if I put them in live. My 3 H. paucidens also eat dead food. I haven't tried it with my other species but perhaps I will this week and see if they are interested.
I usually feed the emps quite well but even if I don't feed for a few weeks and one molts the others will leave it alone and I've had no incidents of cannabalism (yet).
Actually that reminds me that I've fed my 2I V. spinigerus dead also. When I got them the only feeders I had were bigger than they were so I put a few dead ones that I cut in half, they ate them no problem.