Wax Worm


Waxworms are the larvae of the Pyralidae (wax moths). They are used extensively as food in the pet industry, mostly due to their high fat content, their ease of breeding, and their ability to survive for weeks at low temperatures. Refrigerated wax worms are also popularly sold as fish bait, especially for members of the sunfish family. There are two related species which are commercially bred, the lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) and the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella).

They are medium white caterpillars with black tipped feet and small black heads. In the wild they live as nest parasites in bee colonies and eat cocoons, pollen, and shed skins of bees, and chew through beeswax, thus the name. When used in captivity they can go a long time without eating, particularly if kept refrigerated. Captive wax worms are generally raised on a mixture of cereal grain and honey. Beekeepers consider waxworms to be pests.

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Last Edited May 2, 2009



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