Meal Worm

Mealworms are not WORMS at all, instead, they are GRUBS.

Mealworm - Tenebrio Molitor The larvae of the Darkling Beetle.

King Mealworm - Tenebrio Molitor Sometimes referred to as the Giant Mealworm, classification Tenebrio Molitor, the larvae of the Darkling Beetle, is grown using chemical food additives that inhibit the larvae from evolving into the Darkling Beetle. This inability to pupate forces the larvae to continue feeding, thereby achieving its "King Worm" size. We do not recommend using the King Mealworm as a feeder for your gliders until more evidence is published on the possible residual effect the chemical growth inhibitors may have on sugar gliders.

Superworm - Zophobas Morio Is the larvae of a beetle many times the size of the Mealworm's Darkling Beetle. Superworms grow naturally, over a period of many months, to the 2 inch size sold by most insect suppliers. The complete life cycle of the Superworm can be 6 months or longer. Superworms do not require refrigeration, and should not be refrigerated as it will kill them.

Raising Mealworms or Mealworm Farming

Mealworms have 4 main cycles of life: Egg, Larvae, Pupae, Adult.

Mealworm Life Cycle

The egg is oval, opaque, milky white and shiny, about 1.5 mm long by about 0.60 mm wide. A female lays 250-1000 eggs singly or in small clusters on the food. When first laid the eggs are covered with a sticky secretion, and particles of food quickly coat them.

The newly hatched larva is white but becomes yellowish brown as it grows in length from 2mm to 25mm or more. Fully grown larvae closely resemble wireworms in appearance. The number of larval stages [INSTARS] varies from 9 to 21.

When ready to pupate, larvae move to the surface of the infested food and spend a few days as prepupae before becoming pupae. The pupa is about 15 mm long, 5 mm broad, white when first formed but soon changing to yellowish brown, and has a row of characteristic lateral lamellae on each side. It has no cocoon or protective covering.

The adult beetle is dark brown, elongate, moderately convex, somewhat shining, and from 17 mm to 25 mm long. Males and females have well developed wings and superficially look alike. They prefer dark, humid, and dingy places inside warehouses, mills, or grain stores.


Storing mealies in the refrigerator halts their development and their need to feed. They pretty much go into a state of hibernation. If you have a farm or purchased culture of large mealies 3 to 4 months old, they will begin to pupate. You can delay this by keeping them in the fridge.

Put about 2000 or less per container and cover with 2-3" of bedding material. Place in refrigerator for 2 weeks. Then take out of refrigerator and let them warm to room temperature and feed for 48 hours. You can use lettuce, carrot, apples or any other vegetable. After this time, remove the food and place the culture back in refrigerator. Repeat this process every two weeks until the worms are used up or until you desire them to complete their cycle.

NUTRITION Nutrition Analysis


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Last Edited May 2, 2009