Characteristics And Characteristics Of Mealworms
Introduction: Mealworms are the worm-like larval form of a very dark brown beetle, Tenebrio molitor, a species which belongs to the genus Tenebrio and the family Tenebrionidae. The animal has other common names such as “Yellow mealworm”, “Mealworm beetle”, “Darkling beetle”, and “Darkening beetle”. The larval form is the usable form in pet’s keepers.
Distribution and habitats: Mealworms are found throughout most of the world in temperate regions, but primarily in the northern hemisphere. They thrive on grain and flour and are usually live near human habitation where their food sources are readily available. They prefer in dark, cool, and damp places like under decaying logs and leaves. When found inside homes, they …show more content…
The larvae grow to about 25 mm and can reach up to about 35 mm long. They have a segmented body, six legs (towards the front of the body) and two antennae. Mealworms have a somewhat hard outer shell
The pupa is white/cream with a large head and a pointed tail; it darkens as it grows. The mealworms adult –like all beetles- has a dark brown or black hard exoskeleton, six jointed legs, two antennae, and compound eyes. Its 12-25 mm long body is divided into three parts (the head, thorax, and abdomen).
Feeding habits: Adults and larvae of “Mealworms” are scavengers that infest and feeds on stored grain products that is why it is considered a pest. Mealworms also eat decaying material, like dead insects, dead plants, and meat scraps. They are more active in damp or decay-promoting conditions. The insect gets their water requirements from the food they eat. Their affinity to eating grains makes them pests as they can get into and ruin stored grains of all types.
Mealworms often grow rapidly under favorable conditions. As they grow, they need to molt their outer shell, continue to grow until their new shell hardens. Mealworms go through series of molts and growth process during this stage of their …show more content…
They are commonly used in sports fishery as fishing bait such as for catching crappies or sunfish. In fact, there are various products of the mealworm prepared in a variety of forms for human consumption; some of which are sorted as healthcare foods.
The steadily increase in the prices of commercial fish feeds, stimulated searching and looking for less expensive feed for production economics reasons. Research projects have been designed to investigate the possibility of incorporating the mealworms in fish feed such as Nile tilapia and African catfish feed.
The manufacturers of fish feed in their attempts of replacing expensive ingredients such as fish meal by less expensive comparative ingredients are expected to benefit from research outcomes and commercialize it. The incorporation of the mealworms in on-farm feed preparation is most likely justified especially the production of the mealworms could be achieved on small farm level.
Away from its possible use in pet or aquaculture systems, Tenebrio molitor is being used as a model organism in biology laboratories for biology, biochemistry, evolution, immunology, and physiology. This is based on their relatively large size as well as the ease in their production and