Mealworm Madness #4



The Mealworm larvae are rocketing along. They’ve doubled in size again and are easily recognised for what they are even with the naked eye. Mostly, they’re about 1 1/2 centimeters long now and almost ready for feeding to the chooks.


IMG_20180313_113353.jpgSo many eggs coming through from the beetle trayThe beetles in the top tray of the Mealworm Palace are having a great time. They’re busily mating and egg laying. They’re laying so many eggs that the clusters are hanging like cobwebs from their home tray.

IMG_20180313_113412.jpgA layer of cast off skins.In the larvae trays, the rapid growth has led to a dark brown layer of cast off skins. They are papers and very light, so work their way to the top of the bran in which the Mealworms live.With insects, each stage in between molts is called an ‘instar’ and mealworms can have up to 20 molts before maturity.

IMG_20180313_113434.jpgThats a lot of dead skins!IMG_20180313_113542.jpgFrassWith all the growth and activity, it’s about time to clean out the Mealworm Palace. The trays are getting full of frass. ‘Frass’ is what the powdery leftovers from insect meals is called and when you have this many hungry mouths, it can build up quickly. Much faster, in fact, than I expected.

I’ll do a post on cleaning out the Palace in the next couple of days. That nearly completes ‘Mealworm Madness’ as the life cycle of the Mealworms is nearly complete.


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