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#135931 - 08/22/06 11:39 AM Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms
SarahW Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 542
Loc: Norman, OK
At our visit last week, my new vet recommended switching from 3-4 mealworms every day to 3-4 Kingworms a week (=Superworms at PetSmart) because the ratio of protein to fat is higher than in the smaller mealies (which are a different species). He also said silkworms had a better protein:fat ratio than the regular mealies, and to avoid waxworms in general because they are too fatty. He recommended letting the gliders "hunt" the superworms (e.g., during tent time) as a mental exercise.

I went to the store and asked about the Kingworms/Superworms. The guy behind the counter cautioned me about the label "superworm" because he said sometimes stores will use that label for the XL mealies I used to feed, and that those worms should be avoided because commercial farms often give mealies steroids to get them to grow faster!

Now, I have only ever seen the superworm label to indicate the superbig mealies (the same mealworms I have seen labeled kingworms), but the idea that the XL mealies (which are the same species as the small variety) might be fed steroids concerned me. I don't know if this was just a local guy trying to keep me away from shopping at PetSmart or other big chains, or if this is actually true. Haveany of you ever heard something like this???

As for my vet, I'm inclined to believe his assessment of protein and fat ratios in mealworms... he has 20+ years of exotic experience, a graduate degree in animal nutrition, and spent almost 2 years in Australia working with small animals, including a variety of glider species. And as it turns out, my female gliders "get" that superworms are ok, but the boys seem a little cautious around them.

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#135932 - 08/22/06 11:52 AM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Superworms are a different larvae beetle than that of the mealworm larvae beetle.
Mealworms = Darkling Beetles
Superworms = Beetles MANY times larger than the Darkling

That said, the fellow at the store maybe just trying to educate you to make sure you know the difference between the two.

Superworms can be visibly different looking than a XL Mealworm, they have brown little stripes across where their exoskeletal parts meet.

I have heard many speak of hormones being given to enhance growth to "mealworms", but to this day, no one has shown me any proof of it.

I farm mine, so I know mine don't get hormones and I do get some rather LARGE JUMBOS right before they morph into Beetles, so I'm not so sure that I would believe that EVERYONE spices up their mealworms for the Jumbo growth. But, I suppose anything could happen!!!

I would take your very experienced and knowlegeable vet's opinion to heart!!

Edited to add: I guess it also would depend on what diet you are feeding, to recommend how many Superworms. With BML, I would only feed one of those HUMONGOUS things, per glider, per day, besides them being really creepy looking, I just don't know if I could do that!!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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#135933 - 08/22/06 12:08 PM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mealworms mutate into beetles and are orangey/tan. They come in many different sizes. I have never heard of mealworms being fed steroids, as their sole purpose is to be fed to other animals... there is a possibility they might be "gut-loaded" however. Which is safe.

Superworms do not mutate. This is convenient because I find it creepy to have beetles running around. However there are many inconvenient things about superworms as well. Their heads must be removed because they bite. My gliders would never touch whole, live superworms.

Serving superworms proved to be a messy, smelly process. This is why I prefer mealworms.

My gliders get 5-10 average sized mealworms daily.

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#135934 - 08/22/06 12:21 PM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
SarahW Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 542
Loc: Norman, OK
Yes, I know that the Superworms are a different species than the other mealies. Perhaps I didn't explain it right---I was talking about the two sizes of regular mealies (i.e., the two sizes of darkling beetle larvae) and how they compared to Superworms.

For example, if you go to http://www.grubco.com, they sell Mealies, Mighty Mealies, and Superworms (=Kingworms). The Mealies and Mighty Mealies are the same species, but they are a different species than Super/Kingworms. My vet said that it was preferable to feed Super/Kingworms to Mealies or Mighty Mealies because they have more protein relative to fat than either mealies or mighty mealies. I have no problem with that, and you are right; you have to feed fewer because they are so much larger. The protein:fat ratio probably isn't such a problem for most people's gliders, but two of mine are overweight, so we have to watch their fat intake.

The guy at the store said to be careful because the Mighty Mealies (which are occasionally and mistakenly called Superworms) are sometimes fed steroids to get them to grow faster. And he didn't say everyone did it, just that some of the large corporate farms that supply places like PetSmart or PetCo do. That makes sense if you want a "crop" of mealworms that is uniformly large (so you don't have to spend time sorting out small and large).

I was wondering if anyone had heard anything about this; if there is any company that does feed steroids to their mighty mealies, I want to know so I don't buy them for my gliders.

And thanks for the tip about Superworm head removal!

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#135935 - 08/22/06 12:56 PM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


As said, no proof of that allegation has been shown to me, and I do call the companies often to gather information; however, I don't think they would ever admit to this practice as it would alter their sales. I know I wouldn't want to buy from them.

If your vet told you to buy the Superworms, then why would you worry about the mealies, just order the supers, I have never heard of anyone selling superworms and shipping mealworms instead of Supers ordered unless they were totally out of the Supers and confirmed by telephone or e-mail of the change. I wouldn't speculate too much that these companies would do such a thing to their customers.

Oh and KaraCO, for the record, mealworms morph into the darkling beetle which is a lighter color at first but then becomes almost black in color. And, Superworms WILL morph to a beetle many sizes larger than the Darkling. Also, they mostly get bit, and don't have much time to bite suggies but many prefer to cut the heads off, but it is not a must do thing. Gut loading also, would and SHOULD be considered under the cogitation of the diet in which you feed.

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#135936 - 08/22/06 12:58 PM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I just wanted to add my two cents about superworms.
I feed my gliders superworms and not mealworms because they have more protein and less fat.

I feed them alive and with the head still attached. None of my gliders have ever had a problem holding them so they don't get bit. And all six of them love them!!

They eat the insides but leave the hard outer shell.

Also, I am farming the superworms and they do go through mutation from worm to beetle very similar to a mealworm.

That has just been my experience with them. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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#135937 - 08/22/06 02:17 PM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


UGH! So, the superworms are not only uglier to look at, but the suggies leave superworm remnants! I tried to buy them for my girls at Petsmart the other day, but when the guy handed them to me, I peeked inside to make sure I could handle them and promptly switched my request back to the regular size. I just can't do it right now. Hopefully one day though...for my girls! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#135938 - 08/23/06 10:16 AM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


My suggies left the superworm exoskeletons... not fun to clean up.

Mighty mealies, I've read, can sometimes be injected with a growth hormone (not necessarily steroids), which stunts their ability to "mutate", thus the larvae grows larger and larger rather than evolving into a beetle.

I'm not sure if these growth hormones are completely safe or not, but I know of people that feed their gliders the GrubCo mighty mealies and it's just fine.

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#135939 - 08/23/06 10:32 AM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you notice on their site what it says about the Mighty Mealies:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Please keep refrigerated as these insects will quickly turn into beetles.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Found right here: Grubco Mighty Mealies

Meaning the Mighty Mealies are at or near their last molt, right before they morph to Beetles. Which, believe me, are much larger than seemingly normal sized mealies... so not having the absolute proof of this, I would, again, not speculate or communicate the "hear-say" that Grubco or any of the other large companies practice hormone or any other injections.

Imagine, a bunch of mealie farm people sitting around injecting hormones into these little wigglies, with itsy bitsy little syringe needles.... by the THOUSANDS, cause that's what their sales are! By the Thousands upon thousands!!! Really! Some of you have an absolutely very active imagination, including the Pet Store Guy ....it's just beyond me.

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#135940 - 08/23/06 12:12 PM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I just received 1000 Mighty Mealies from Grubco today. I have been using them since last September and my gliders love them. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> The first batch I received were big and fat and I figured I could breed more of them. They DID turn into aliens and they did have a bazillion mealies of their own. They were larger than standard pet store meal worms, but smaller than the original Mighty Mealies they descended from. I finally figured their prices were so good that it wasn't worth raising my own and now I order a thousand about ever 2 months. I put them in a 50/50 mixture of old fashioned rolled oats and wheat germ and they last until they are all eaten. I had 2 gliders and now have 4. But these worms WILL turn to aliens quickly if let unrefrigerated.

And, when I go through this thousand that just came in...I'll check for needle marks! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

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#135941 - 08/24/06 01:01 AM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I currently raise Mealies for my gliders also. About 6 months ago my housekeeper ran out to buy a fresh stock for me to raise (new batches were still to tiny to feed) and she mistakenly returned with these giant Arnold Schwarzenegger style mealies. I did some research on line for a few hours and found many instances were it suggested they may be feed some steriod based meal to help them grow larger. So what i decided to do was dump them in the growing tray and let them work their process to beattles and lay eggs and their offspring would be used as treats, not them. It made me nerveous feeding them to the gliders. (I also home grow most of my glider fruits and veggies). Anyway...long story short....they were all together in their tray and four months down the line I just finished feeding the new offspring batch from them and not one was supersized. My conclusion was they MUST have been feed something different because the new offspring were ALL normal sized. I feed my mealies a combo of wheat bran, baby mixed cereal and iceburg lettuce.

Hope that helps.... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#135942 - 08/24/06 09:33 AM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sarah, I have heard that somewhere also. Can you ask the vet, I would like to know what he thinks about it? Please let us know.
Angie

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#135943 - 08/27/06 01:27 AM Re: Mealies, Mighty Mealies, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
SarahW Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 542
Loc: Norman, OK
I will email the vet and see what he thinks.

I also doubt that the mealies would be injected, but it would be very easy to put something in their food.

I have ordered both the grubco mealies and mighty mealies in the past, and my experience was that the mighty mealies got to the alien stage a little faster but not too much faster than regular mealies. I have been testing the superworms with the gliders for a week now; so far the girls have no problem but the boys (who never loved mealies as much as the girls) have shied away from them.

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#135944 - 08/28/06 12:11 AM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
pheonix Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 50
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hello All,

I was wondering what you meant by "gut-loading"?

Just to put my two cents in, It would be extreamly easy for the mealie breaders to put hormones into their food to make them grow larger. Everyone these days is trying to make a greater profit from their products and pumping mealies with steroids may just be another unfortunate case of this.

Thnx
Tasha
_________________________
Slave to my babies Pax, Lia and Daniel Jackson!

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#135945 - 08/28/06 06:34 AM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
It would be extreamly easy for the mealie breaders to put hormones into their food to make them grow larger. Everyone these days is trying to make a greater profit from their products and pumping mealies with steroids may just be another unfortunate case of this.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

I find it a compromising relationship with their customers that any company would feed any steroids, my mealworms are HUGE right before they morph, so I don't believe it. Anyone have any compelling evidence to offer otherwise? I don't.

But on the gut loading: Gut loading insects is placing calcium and/or vitamins in the bedding so that they are eating it along with the bedding, but I don't gut load mine (used to) found that I had a lot more dead worms, I don't gut load now and I have very few dead ones.... Also, depending on the diet you feed, you probably shouldn't gut load anyways. I have talked to several competitive mealworm farming company's and all state that due to the worms intestinal tract being so small, it really doesn't add any mentionable nutritional value, but dusting with the calcium right before they are fed (with reptiles mainly) is the best way to go.

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#135946 - 08/28/06 07:56 AM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
23Paulette23 Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/03/06
Posts: 450
Loc: Florida
i have to jump in here and say contact bob at Lucky lure cricket farm. he will tell you which worms have steriod or hormone growth inducers. it is either superworms or giant worms. he also raises and sells diff worms and has been in business for fifty years. i trust these people as it is where we buy our bugs for our suggies. the breeders of worms don't want you to know these facts. if he will not answer you guys as we are on the inside(been with their product for over five years) i will find out. i keep getting which worms it is confused but my suggies won't eat any of the big worms . ex: at a show they brought the non steriod worm to the table(i asked to be sure) gave it to pin head and he looked at me and i said go ahead and try it. as it was wigling in his hand he took a bite and threw the worm across the cage and looked at us as to say yuck.
the worker went back to their table and brought back a cricket and everybody was happy then.

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#135947 - 08/28/06 10:58 AM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Have you guys seen the miniature mealworms before? My local petstore has them. They grow to be about 1/2 an inch long and when they turn into beetles they're only about 1/4 an inch long. Are these ok for gliders?

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#135948 - 08/28/06 01:52 PM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Miniture mealworms? Can you post a picture? They do come in all sorts of sizes and I have noticed they grow according to what they are fed ....

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#135949 - 08/28/06 09:52 PM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Meal worms are better for gliders, they have less fat and more protein than a mega worm. i work at a pet store and this is what all the companies tell us.

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#135950 - 08/29/06 12:16 AM Re: Mealworms, XL Mealworms, Superworms/Kingworms [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I bought a can on sale of mini mealies. They were so tiny, I actually used them like sprinkles on their food; it was hard holding them, they were so tiny. Here a thread, Giant Mealworm, with a chart of mealworm measurements.
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:rbridge:
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