What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Legless lizard
November 30, 2010
Hi Daniel.
Haven’t seen a legless lizard lately, but came across a (perhaps) interesting science experiment.  My nephew’s class grew meal worms to see the life cycle of the Darkling Beetle.  I think I have the lineage correct;
First pair of larva were received in either Mid May or June.  They lived until August of this year.  The current beetle (as a mealworm) was hatched between mid June and July 1st.  So the beetle is approximately 5 months old.  According to the teacher and one or two websites,  the adult beetle,  should only live about a month.
My sister has taken over it’s care and feeding and replaces the oatmeal and apple slices regularly.
Is this the Methuselah of Darkling Beetles?   Or is this common for this critter?  I’ve attached a photo.
Thanks,
Doug Nickel
Mt. Washington

Mealworm Beetle

Hi again Doug,
Thanks for sending in your question.  The life expectancy of creatures in captivity can often be much longer than their wild counterparts if they are creatures that adapt well to living under the care of people.  Captive specimens that are fed regularly benefit from the captive diet and they are also free from predators.  Other than that general statement, we are uncertain if there are statistics on the longevity of Mealworm Beetles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: California

One Response to Mealworm Beetle

  1. Dave says:

    Mealworms: one of the mainstays for developed-nation entomophagy.
    Along with house crickets, this species is the most commonly purchased and cultivated insect. I’ve worked with them in many preparations, as have lots of other people. Though I know of several instances where folks have developed allergic reactions to something about this species, independent of the usual insect consumption allergy.

    Dave
    http://www.smallstockfoods.com

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