Sueprworms are often a staple diest for reptiles. And, if you have a reptile pet then you cover frequent trips to the pet food store or an exclusive pet store to buy the super worms. They are better for your pet because superiors offer a balanced meal including protein, fat, and minerals to your pet. Additionally, these worlds are also a good source of hydration for most reptiles.
But, the truth is, often buying superworms can lead to extra expenses for any pet owner. If you want to provide a good nutritious meal to your pet and save some bucks at the same time then you need to be clever. You can easily breed super worms in your home backyard. It is affordable and you provide organic food to your pet.
What are super worms?
The truth is, super worms are not worms at all- they are a species of the darkling beetle (Zophobas morio). It is also known as morio worm, Zophobas, or King worm. They are from the tropical land of central and South America. But, now they are easily available in any part of the world if there are enough humidity and moisture. They are strong creatures and can survive if they get a comfortable environment.
A superworm is very large and has a longer body. A fully grown worm can be 1.5 to 2 inches long and are thick (nearly the same thickness as a number 2 pencil). Due to their natural size, they are a good food option to medium reptiles turtles. But, they are not right for smaller reptiles.
Their life cycle
A superworm usually lives for a year through the four different stages of metamorphosis. Here are some details about their metamorphosis-
- Eggs- Fewamle super worms lay small white eggs in multiple of 100 on soil, animal carcasses, decaying plants, or rotten woods.
- Larva- The eggs start to hatch and the larva comes out. The larvas have three pairs of legs and a strong mouth and eat decaying veneration, tree barks, etc. It is their lengthiest life stage and a superworm needs to be isolated to develop into a pupa. If they are kept in another colony of worms then the larva may remain in that stage for a whole year.
- Pupa- After the larvae get enough nutrition they create a silk cocoon around themselves and they stop all their movements and grow inside the cocoon. In general, the pupas are found lying on the moist soil. The super worms stay in their pupal stage for two weeks.
- Adult- After 2 weeks the adult beetle comes out of the cocoon with antennae, legs, wings, and a fully grown body capable to breed.
How to raise them?
Well, if you are planning to raise some superworms on your own or want to try your hand in insect farming you need to be a little careful. They live in colonies. But, in colonies, their growth is often slower. Hence, you may need to separate them for faster breeding. Here are all the steps that you need to breed a healthy pool of super worms-
How to breed them?
You can breed super worms in a simple 5-inch deep container. You can use a plastic tub, al aluminum bowl, or even a cat litter pan- just you need to use a cleaned and sanitized container. They also need ventilation but refrain from making holes in the side of the base of the container, Because the beetle will chew the holes and escape.
Superworms need their food to grow and breed. You need to prepare a four-inch substrate with their food mix. Ready mixes are always convenient but, Bran, raw oatmeal, wheat bran are a good choice. You can also Also, add small pieces of vegetables like carrots. You need to keeps thee substrate moisturized. The substrate should be replaced regularly to prevent molds from growing.
They do not need any special temperature., But, you need to keep them in a comfortable place. The temperature range of 75 to 80 degrees F is the best range to breed the super worms. If the temperature drops or increases, the worms might die and try to escape.
If you need to breed the worms faster then you need to be attentive. You have to place every pupa in an individual trey to make sure they hatch faster. Usually, the pupas can be placed in individual hatching containers if they are at least 5 months old. You do not need to provide any food for the pupas.
You need to take a close look at all those pupas. They will hatch in two weeks and you need to transfer the newly hatched super worms into another container if you need to breed more you can do it or you can feed them to your pet.
You need to feed the worms a balanced food with nutritions so that they can provide the necessary nutrition to your pet. Also, dust them with supplements before feeding the worms to your pet. Breeding these insects can be a good hobby and you might also learn to have fun with them.