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Meal Worms Are Very Important For The Global Environment

28 13:27:47
Reptiles like lizards, salamanders and animals like frogs, tortoises and even spiders are fondly tamed and kept as pets all round the world. Their food products usually comprise of feeder insects. This feeder insect line-up is constituted by crickets, live crickets, fruit flies, meal worms and super worms. Crickets are grasshopper like creatures with flattened compact bodies and long antennas. They are most likely to be seen at night. Crickets squeak during their mating period and they do so using their forewings. It is really strange to know that they have auditory sensing organ - the ear located in their knee. Crickets basically feed on organic matter, decaying plants, fungi and some sprouting plants but in case of scarcity of food they are known to feed on their own dead. Carnivorous animals like frogs, spiders, tortoises, salamanders and lizards find crickets as nutritious food material. Also some humans from Asian and African culture are known to eat cricket.

Live crickets are very versatile insects and are the most common feeder insects for reptiles and arachnids and small mammals like hedgehogs and hamsters as well as for pet birds like finches. Live crickets are fastened to a hook with a small rubber band and used to catch fishes in ponds, lakes and streams. A Fruit fly is a relative of the fly. But unlike the structure of a fly, it has bright red eyes and has black rings obliquely on its abdomen. The body is yellowish brown in colour. Male fruit flies attract females by a sound produced by vibration of their extended wings. The duration of successful copulation is 30 days. According to the temperature of the surroundings, the development time of the fruit fly from egg to adult varies from seven to sixty days. Meal worms can be found very easily under the barks of trees, in and around rotten wood, in the ground and ant"s nests. Mealworms grow to about 15 to 20 millimetres long. They are very attractive as they are golden in colour and have a segmented body. They have little protrusions on the lower side of their bodies, which are attached to frontal segments which form the feet in the future.

The larvae of the meal worms hatch out from their eggs, eat away everything and grow very quickly and change into a pupa. The larvae then go through a number of stages called "instars" for moulting of newer skins every time. Meal worms are very important for the global environment for recycling of organic matter. Super worms are the larvae of a species known as darkling beetle. They are about 1.5 to 2.25 inches long and look like huge Meal Worms. They are a delicious diet for lizards, birds, frogs, salamanders and other insectivorous. Arachnids and other predatory insects do not eat super worms because of their outer hard chitin.

The super worms are used as classroom subjects to demonstrate life cycles of insects. This is possible only because they are large in size and also no special care is needed for them to survive.