Meal Worm Care Sheet
Meal worms are a good staple diet for many pets, including scorpions, reptiles, birds and lizards. They are really easy to breed and can provide a cheap,reliable supply of nutrition for your pet.
Morio worms are much different to meal worms, they are a tropical species and require higher temperatures. They will also live a very long time without changing into pupae or beetles.
This is the larvae stage of the Tenebrio beetle, also known as a mealworm. Larvae have 12 to 15 brown segments making up its body, three pairs of legs and a head. As the mealworm grows it will shed its outer skin leaving a soft white skin underneath which will then harden and darken. Some larvae have been know to live for up to two years.
To the right is a mealworm beetle. Mealworms will pupate after a few months and develop into a beetle within a couple of weeks. Pupa have the ability to wiggle if they are disturbed and slowly turn into light brown coloured beetles which darken as the shell hardens. At this point they are not very nutritious and the shell can be too hard for some animals to digest.
 Housing and Heating
Housing worms is easy, a container of any size with a bedding of wheat bran, corn meal or dry oatmeal. Keeping them dry is important to prevent smells and mites etc. After a couple of weeks the worms should be sieved off getting rid all all the waste and a new clean bedding provided.
Mealworms and Morio worms will do fine at room temperatures except Morios prefer it a little warmer and must not be refrigerated. Morios can withstand heat up to 90F.
Mealworms can be stored in a refrigerator and will go into a form of stasis where they will remaining until warmed up again, this is a good way to store excess worms. Every 2 weeks they should be warmed for 24hours and fed.
Apart from the bedding of wheat bran, corn meal or dry oatmeal, worms will require a moisture food source. Every now and again a small piece of raw potato, carrot or celery is essential to their diet. When feeding moisture containing foods try not to let the bedding become damp. Morio worms will devour each other if they have no moisture source.
Breeding mealworms is really easy. When the worms begin to pupate, simply transfer them to a new container with a new mixture of food and leave them be. Beetles will emerge after a couple of days, begin mating immediately and females lay up to 200 1mm sized eggs each. After a month you may notice there are tiny little worms at the bottom of the culture and after another month they will be even more visible. When the beetles die remove them. Remember to add some moist fruit every now and again for moisture.
Getting morio worms to pupate can be a rather difficult task. They need to be separated and in a dark place with a little food. Feed them up and separate the ones you want to pupate, into separate containers then place in the dark. Keep checking up on them, a worm that is curled up is beginning the morph process and a strait worm is probably deal. For some reason they donβt pupate while in company of other critters so separating them is necessary. Keep the beetles at 70F plus or else they will not breed. After the beetles are dead remove them. Baby morio worms will hatch after about 1 month of the beetles dying.