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Image by Shelley Pauls

Let's Start A Superworm Colony!

"Why Should I Start A Feeder Colony?"

Breeding your own feeder insects provides many benefits, from simply saving some cash, to knowing exactly what is going into your feeders, and therefore your reptiles. I believe that a keeper should put as much care into their feeder insects as they do their reptiles, and here is how I do it.



HOUSING


We have a couple of options for housing superworms (Zophobas Morio); glass aquariums or plastic tubs are best suited, in my experience.

When it comes to bedding, I recommend using the Peculiar Dragon nutritional substrate, which you can find the recipe for Here .

Place 2-3 inches in the bottom of the enclosure you've chosen. Avoid using oats alone, as the dust leads to suffocation in adult beetles.

It's important that the beetles have places to breed, lay eggs, and hide. A few pieces of cardboard egg crate achieve this very easily.

This species does not do very well in cooler temperatures, so I like to add heat via heat tape set to 91f if the temperature inside the enclosure goes below 75f. Warmer temperatures encourage activity, breeding, and eating.




DIET & FEEDING

Supers do well when fed a variety of rich, leafy greens (avoiding spinach), and the Peculiar Dragon gutload "Buggy Noms." It's important to offer an animal protein source occasionally as well, which can be accomplished by sprinkling cricket powder or the BPZ diets on top of your greens, or mixed in with the Buggy Noms.

Superworms in all life stages need constant access to hydration, or they will begin to cannibalize. This can be provided with fresh greens daily, cucumber slices, carrot or potato.




BREEDING

Zophobas Morio are easy to breed, though the process is tedious. The large worms will not begin to pupate unless they have been separated from each other and disallowed food.

To achieve this, a bead organizing box is a very simple way to keep them separated but in the same place. Small condiment cups with lids can also be used. Ensure there are small holes for airflow, and keep them somewhere dark and warm. Within 2-3 weeks, you should have pupae beginning to form. Once the worms have become pupae, they can be placed back into your colony to hatch. Beetles with a full belly will immediately begin to breed, and you will see tiny worms hatch after several weeks. These are extremely small - smaller than a single piece of oat - so they can be hard to spot. You'll most likely find them near the food at all times.





The Crested Cabana


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