WHAT IS A MEALWORM ?
In fact, what we generally call "mealworm" is not a worm but it the larvae of a flour beetle. The latin name of the beetle is the "Tenebrio molitor". It belongs to the Coleoptera order just as the lady bug or the rose chafer. The distinctive attribute of the Coleoptera is the hardened front pair of wing call "elytra". The mealworm is a non-invasive species and can be found almost everywhere on the planet.
Where does the mealworm live?
They prefer living in the dark and enjoy living in relatively high density in closed space. Its ideal environmental condition are a temperature ranging from 26 to 29 degrees and an approximate humidity of 70%.
Can you tell me more about the mealworms life cycle ?
The Tenebrio molitor is a holometabolous insect. It means that the life cycle goes through 4 distinctive stages :
- The egg
- The larvae
- The pupae
- The imago (or adult beetle)
It all starts with an egg that hatches into a tiny larvae after 1 to 2 weeks. This tiny larvae will grow through several “instars” (development steps) into a mealworm of the size you like to eat (ca. 3cm long). With every instar the mealworm peels off its old skin in order to grow. After 10 to 14 weeks with 9 to 25 instars, it then turns into a pupae. For approximately one week, it will stay immobile. As the pupae evolve, you'll start distinguish the premises of the future eyes, legs and wings. At the end of this period, the beetle is ready to emerge. The beetle will live until 3 months and a female can lay between 200 and 300 eggs during its life span.
What does the mealworm eat?
The larvae and the beetles are omnivorous meaning that they can eat a large spectra of food; but not all food are created equal. Their comfort food are a basis of dry food such as oats, bread or bran completed with fruits and vegetables.
Does the mealworm need an external source of water?
Mealworms and the beetles don't need an external source of water. They can absorb the water contained in the fruits and vegetables.
DOES THE MEALWORM BITE?
We have handled thousands of mealworms and they are totally inoffensive animals!
DOES THE Beetle fly?
We have handled thousands of beetles and watched them for hours and we never saw one flying...