The Darkling Beetle: Determining Importance

Darkling Beetle

Darkling Beetles belong to the family Tenebrionidae. They are a family of beetles found worldwide, estimated at more than 20,000 species.

Many of the beetles are black. Darkling beetles eat both fresh and decaying vegetation. Major predators include birds, rodents and lizards.

The larval stages of several species are cultured as feeder insects for captive insectivores and include the very commonly known ‘mealworms’ and ‘superworms’ and the lesser-known ‘mini mealworms’. Mealworms are commonly used as feed for reptiles, fish and birds and are so easy to find from supply companies.

Mealworms can be grown in a wooden box or box eight to ten inches deep. They grow best in a container with large surface areas. The sides should be smooth to prevent them from escaping. The mealworms are mostly nocturnal and prefer a dark environment. Some sand may be provided at the bottom.

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