Popularly known as superworms or kingworms, the Zophobas morio is not a worm; it is a type of darkling beetle. If you have reptile pets, they are an excellent choice for feeders. These worms are larger than mealworms because of their thicker exoskeleton and elongated body.
Why Should You Include It To Your Reptiles’ Diet?
King worms can offer great nutrition for your pets. In-depth knowledge about these creatures’ nutritional facts can help you ensure that you are feeding your pet a proper diet.
Many pet owners like to feed superworms to their pets as they have high-fat content. While too much fat is never a good thing, a small amount is useful when your reptile hosts eggs and reserves warmth.
King worms are also an excellent protein source, one of the essential nutrients for a growing reptile. Lack of adequate protein in your reptiles’ diet may lead to muscle atrophy and important organs’ improper functioning.
Additionally, king worms are a great source of fiber for your pet. It is a nutrient that is often overlooked but is no less necessary for your pet. Fruits are a great source of this nutrient, but it can be hard to feed your reptile a fruit platter. Hence, kingworms are the perfect solution to add fiber to your reptiles’ diet.
How to Feed Reptiles
Firstly, it is important to keep the nutritional value in mind when you feed them to your reptiles.
A diet that is only filled with kingworms is never ideal. They can be hard to digest for some reptiles as they have high-fat content and poor calcium to phosphorus ratio. Hence, even if you decide to include superworm in your pet’s diet, keep the frequency low, and not rely on it as the only nutrition source for your pet.
Secondly, ensure that you feed kingworms using tongs or a plastic cup that the worms cannot get out of, but your reptile can reach easily. These worms are good at burrowing, and dropping them inside a tank without a container will mean that your reptile will have trouble finding their food.
Lastly, feed it to your reptiles only 2-3 times a week. You can dip them in supplemental vitamin powder to help with any nutrient that the kingworms lack in.
How to Raise Superworms
Once your superworm is four months old, or 50 to 60 millimeters long, they are ready to breed. The breeding process can be long and involves quite a few steps:
- Two weeks after you have kept them isolated in containers, the superworms will curl up and cease all motion, and start to pupate. If any of the worms are straight and black, it means that they have died and should be disposed of.
- Two weeks after this, your worms should turn into pupae.
- After you notice that the pupa has formed, you should ensure that you check your worms daily to detect any beetles.
- Once your worms have turned into beetles, remove the beetles from the breeding tank, and you can store them in plastic containers that have holes for ventilation.
- Ensure that the container has a substrate layer and enough egg racks for the beetle to lay eggs in a hideaway.
- Ensure that you provide them with enough moisture and food at this point, as they can be quite hungry after the tedious metamorphosis process. Store the container in a dark place that is at least 70 to 80 degrees
- A week or two after the beetles are placed in containers, the substrate will be filled with eggs, although they are too small to spot.
- Every two weeks, clear the substrate in your beetle’s tank and store them in a different container (the worm container); be careful about throwing out leftovers, too, as they may house small worms.
- Once you have been clearing and storing the substrate from your beetles’ tank into a separate container for about 4 to 5 months, you should be able to spot a few worms in your worm container.
Raising superworms can be a tedious process, but they can help you save money while keeping your reptiles happy. If you plan to introduce kingworms to your reptiles’ diet, make sure you know the proper steps to do so.