The mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitor) is a species of darkling beetle or Tenebrionidae. The four life-stages of this insect are: beetle egg larva pupa
The beetle is not as well-known as his larva (mealworm). The latter is considered both a plague insect and an important food source for birds, reptiles and especially captive animals. Only the larval stage of this species is sold as a food source on a large scale, while the beetle is less suited for this purpose but still accepted as feed by reptiles and amphibians. Beetles can easily be grown by letting the worms pupate.
In nature, the mealworm eats mouldered wood but he also likes wheat meal which makes him a plague for grain and meal processing companies. The mealworm is offered as feed to captive arthropods like bird spiders, scorpions and praying mantises. Next to these animals, the worm can also be used as a food source for insect-eating birds, several reptiles, amphibians and some fishes. Not all birds, reptiles and fishes like its relatively hard armour containing a lot of chitin.
In our farms, the mealworm is bred on a mixture of wheat, wheat bran and vegetables without any added growth promoters or chemicals.
Due to the boiling and shock freezing process on our equipment, the mealworms are disposed of all bacteria and become virtually sterile. The remaining fraction of bacteria and fungus is well below the standards which apply to human and animal food. This is frequently verified through analysis. The double process makes the worms also better digestible for animals.