There it is, in the picture above… The Darkling Beetle except this Darkling (Tenebrio Molitor “Yellow Mealworm or Common Mealworm”) is not to be confused with another Darkling Beetle of the species Alphitobius diaperinus – known as the “Lesser Mealworm.” Alphitobius diaperinus is a poultry pest. It can get into your chicken coop, make holes in coop, pester the chickens and eat their food. Also they do carry diseases that can harm birds.
On the other hand our friend the Tenebrio Molitor in its larva state gets fed to chickens, bluebirds, warbler, and reptiles like geckos. The Tenebrio Molitor is holometabolic meaning it goes through a complete metamorphosis which is: egg, larva, pupa, beetle. The entire cycle takes around 200 days.
Here at Bird Ready(TM) we arrest the metamorphosis by refrigerating the larva once it has reached it proper size. Removing the larva from the fridge continues the 200 day cycle. The next phase for the larva is the pupa followed by the adult. Our adult is the Darkling Beetle.
If you want to learn more about raising mealworms come visit us in NE Atlanta at the Wild Bird Center of Johns Creek, Georgia.