Superworms (aka Darkling Beetles)
Reptiles Alive Name: Too many to name!
Hissstory: We purchase our superworms from an insect “farm” that caters to zoos and other animal related organizations.
RA Diet: Our superworms dine on oatmeal, whole wheat bread, greens and other veggies.
Natural Diet: Superworms will eat just about anything.
Range: Zophobas beetles are found in Tropical Central & South America. (Beetles are found in every continent except Antarctica)
Habitat: They love to hide in rotting logs and leaves.
Size: Superworms can grow to 2 inches long and can be as thick as a pencil.
Lifespan: From egg to beetle, superworms have a total lifespan of about 1 year.
Reproduction: Female darkling beetles lay eggs, which hatch out into tiny, baby superworms. The superworms will molt many times as they grow. After a few months of growing, they morph into a pupae form, (what I like to call the “alien stage”) and emerge as a black beetle called the darkling beetle. Superworms will only morph into a pupae form if they are “stressed” such as lacking food and water. The larvae will turn into a pupae when food and water are scarce; a perfect time because pupae do not need to eat or drink. Then, the superworms emerge as beetles at a time when food and water are plentiful.
Conservation: As decomposers, superworms are extremely beneficial recyclers of organic material. They are also a tasty treat for many animals and, even some humans!
Cool Facts: In many countries, superworms and mealworms are cooked and eaten by humans. They are healthy and a valuable source of protein. Taste a little like almonds. (No really, they are delicious.)