what is this? Can you tell us about our adopted caterpillar, Pretty Legs? What is she? What does she eat? We found her in our house. Her front legs hurt when she crawls on you. My homeschooled 6 year old daughter is very curious about her. How soon should we release her? Thanks for you help!
We knew this was not a caterpillar, and most probably some type of beetle larva, but we checked in with Eric Eaton for more clarification. Here is his opinion: “The larva here looks like a giant mealworm, Zophobas spp, but I could be wrong. Most likely something in the Tenebrionidae.” So, chances are some stored grain product has some of your visitors siblings munching away. Here is a site on Raising Your Own Insects that will provide additional information.
Update (07/02/2007) Correcting an entry for Giant Mealworm
I wanted to let you know that it is not a Giant Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) but actually a Superworm (Zophobas morio). I feed them to my bearded dragon every day! You can tell because they have a dark tail and head whereas Mealworms (regular and giant) are fairly uniform in color. This also explains why the woman said it hurt when the worm crawled on her! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Superworm