Superworms, (Zophobas morio), are an excellent and easy to keep feeder insect for many reptile, amphibian, and bird species. I personally use superworms for box turtles. If fed properly superworms can be kept at room temps for a long time. I have some superworms that I have been keeping for more than 1 year.
Superworms are NOT the same as Mealworms or Giant Mealworms (tenebrio molitor) though they are similar in appearance. Superworms need to be kept at room temps and will not turn into to beetles while in group. On the other hand mealworm quickly pupate at room temps and should be refrigerated to keep them in the larval stage. Superworms are in fact more easily digested when compared to mealworms since they have less chitin. Small superworms have even less chitin.
|Nutritional Analysis of Superworms:|
When I want small superworms for hatchling box turtles, I take 6 or more superworms and place 1 each in a multi-compartment storage case (available at Lowes for $3.78 click here to view). I put a little bit of greens with the superworms and wait. In about a week the superworms stop moving and curl up.
Within a few days it will shed its skin and pupate.
In 2-3 weeks the pupae will become a beetle. When it first emerges its white...then red and finally black.
I keep the beetles on damp sphagnum moss and feed them small amounts of greens. In a few weeks you will see movement in the moss. The superworms larvae are very small and almost impossible to see without a magnifying glass. Below is a picture of superworms at 1 week old.