Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tenebrio obscurus Fabricius, 1792 - The dark mealworm - Cyprus

Family: Tenebrionidae

Tenebrio obscurus, or the dark mealworm, is a species of darkling beetle. The larvae, when used as feeder insects for reptile and amphibian pets, are known as mini mealworms. These insects should not be confused with younger mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) or with the confused flour beetle (Tribolium confusum), which is also occasionally used as a reptile feeder insect.

Mini mealworms would probably remain largely unknown, if not for the reptile pet industry. In the search for easy to raise insects to use as food for captive reptiles and amphibians, mini mealworms have recently attracted interest as an ideal food item for smaller species.

The larvae resemble very small mealworms, about ½ to ¾ inch (12 to 19 mm) in size. Once they reach adult size, the larvae pupate, and later emerge as small, black beetles. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenebrio_obscurus 

In Cyprus this species is often found in old poultry farms and it's nocturnal.

Photos at Rizokarpaso 5/5/2016, by Michael Hadjiconstantis




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