Ten Educative Facts About Mealworms

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1. Mealworms are from darkling adult beetle.
• Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) are members of the arthropods, the largest animal phylum which resembles the caterpillar in a butterfly’s life cycle.
• The darkling beetle go through four distinct life stages; Laid eggs in the soil then hatch after more than a month, larval stage, pupa stage and adult stage.
• It has three to five months to complete the life cycle.

2. Mealworms are not true worms.
• They are the larval stage in the life history of beetles.
• This stage is considered as the longest period in all stages of the life cycle of the insect wherein their main purpose is only to eat and grow.

3. Mealworms are invertebrates.
• Their body is covered by a tough yellowish to brownish skeleton but they shed it off in the process of molting and can molt nine to twenty times.
• They usually appear pale after they have molted and eventually turned tan to light brown or golden yellow as adult mealworms before emerging into beetles.

4. Mealworms like food with “meal” in it.
• Among their favorites are corn meals, oat meals and floured cereals.
• In the wild, mealworms are mostly vegetarian feeding on decaying plants and fungus.

5. Mealworms have the tendency to eat their own kind.
• Mealworms eating mealworms, sometimes they prey on each other in poor and overcrowded conditions.
• A good storage to keep them is in a large and flat container with huge space area.

6. Mealworms grow well in a warm climatic condition.
• They are considered exothermic, sustaining their body temperature from warmth of the environment.
• The growth rates of mealworms are influenced by temperature.
• If you want to slow down its growth, try to put them inside refrigerator to halt metamorphosis (the biological process of cell growth).

7. Mealworms are widely use for study and research
• They are one of the classroom best friends in Biology subject due to its harmless behavior, they don’t fly, jump and bite.
• No special care needed. They are able to complete their life cycle without giving them water as they are capable of generating water from every food source they eat (moisture from bits of carrots or potato).
• Earned its usefulness in the fields of biology, evolution and physiology in environmental behaviors and environmental factor investigations.

8. Mealworms are pet foods mainly for fish and birds.
• They are widely used by fishermen as a bait to catch fish.
• This is basically their positive impact on the ecosystem.
• Mealworm eggs serve as a snack for reptiles.
• On the other hand, they can be pests feeding on seedlings, small plants and on stored grains.

9. Mealworms have commercial value.
• Some reared mealworms at home while some do breeding and farming for commercial production which can be purchased at pet stores (alive).
• Small and large mealworms are sold mostly on fish shops individually or in bulk.
• In order not to advance into adult beetles, mealworms are treated with a type of insect growth hormones.

10. Mealworms are great source of proteins.
• It might sound disgusting but mealworms are edible for human.
• Eating worms are actually an ancient practice in various cultures and is still observed today.
• They can be toasted in the oven and munched on like a roasted nut.
• It has about twenty five percent of proteins with low fat content.
• It was once quoted that eating worms are economically viable and unceasing source of proteins for humans.

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