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Mealworm Care Sheet

Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), which is the larval stage of the Darkling Beetle, have become one of a few staple foods for carnivorous lizards. While they should not be the main food source, they are an excellent complimentary food to crickets, silkworms and butterworms. Mealwoms will grow to a size of about 2.3 cm.

Nutritional Information for Mealworms

  • Moisture: 62.44 %
  • Ash: 1.57 %
  • Protein: 20.27 %
  • Fat: 12.72 %
  • Fiber: 1.73%

Food & Water

Keep your mealworms on a thin bed (1 - 1.5 inches) of dry oatmeal and wheat bran. Add a few slices of potato, apple or other similar fruit or vegetable for water. Make sure you remove the vegetable and replace with fresh produce every day.

Lighting, Temperature & Humidity

Keep the temperature where you are leaving the mealworms arounf 45 degrees F. The mealworms will keep for a few weeks in this temperature.


A deep plastic container will do just fine for mealworms. They will try and make a getaway is shallow containers are used. Make sure there is a lid on the top, and punch many small air holes into the lid. The substrate is their food, as mentioned above.

Other Issues

Since mealworms are the larval stage of the Darkling Beetle, they will at some point go into a pupal stage, and then turn into beetles. Mealworms are edible in both the larval and pupal stages, but should not be fed to your lizard when they are beetles. If you seperate the beetles into their own container, you may be able to breed them as well.
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