Mealworms vs. Superworms???

Discussion in 'Feeder Forum' started by Robes, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Robes Embryo

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    I've used both and my gecko doesn't mind either, I think he's a little more partial to mealworms because they seem to have a little less 'crunch' (chitin) and are easier for him to digest. So I was wondering if superworms are a better feeder for any particular reason other than the much longer non-pupating phase? I realize superworms can be cultured to be much larger than mealworms, but I figure once you set up a colony and get a good number of mealworm beetles mating and eggs hatching, it's actually better for the leo to eat larger numbers of smaller sized prey rather than fewer larger feeders in terms of digesting.

    Just wondering if there was some great advantage to superworms that I'm not seeing other than the fact that it takes effort to make them pupate most of the time, which in itself can be a pain in terms of colonies...

    Thanks in advance,
    - Robes
  2. shortygirl Embryo

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    Superworms are a totally different worm than mealies. Supers have less chitin & a higher meat:chitin ratio. I stick away from mealies (I have a CWD & 2 BD's) simply because I'd rather not risk it with the BD's realitively "easy to impact" digestive tracks (especially the young ones) but I don't knwo about geckos, it could be different.

  3. JEFFREH Administrator

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    Assuming you have a leopard gecko, both mealworms and superworms are fine. Some people chose to use one or the other, but it's always best to use variety. Mealworms are an OK "staple" for leos, so if you would prefer to keep them and occasioanlly add supers or crickets or whatever, thats fine.

    But overall superworms are better in terms of nutritional value and their meat to shell/chitin ratio (as shortgirly pointed out). So really, supers are better than mealies =)
  4. Cerus Embryo

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    Actually mealworms have more protein, moisture, calcium and less fat than superworms. While supers do have more meat on them than mealies, it is more beneficial to eat a larger number of smaller items than the reverse.

    An adult Leo eating 5 large supers (about average) will receive about .5 grams of protein. An adult Leo eating 20 large mealworms will receive about .9 grams of protein, nearly twice as much. The protein difference between the two worms is slight, but when you factor in quantity, mealworms overtake supers by quite a bit.

    Superworms aren't actually cultured to grow as large as they do, that's just their normal size. The advantage supers have over mealies is they are a bit easier to digest, don't require refrigeration, grow slowly and take a long time to pupate unless forced into it. But if large numbers of feeders is what you want along with the higher protein, then mealworms would be a better option since breeding them isn't as lengthy of a process.
  5. Robes Embryo

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    Cool, thanks for the info guys.

    And I knew supers get to their large size 'naturally', by cultured to grow I just meant allowing them to live long enough to grow to the larger sizes, not some sort of special breeding practice or anything.


    - Robes

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