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Mealworm Pupae Dying

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Danvie, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Danvie

    Danvie Arachnopeon

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    So I recently decided to set up a mealworm "farm". My mealworms are all full sized and many of them already became pupa. Problem is that none of them seem to be making it to a beetle. They survive a couple of days but then they just turn really squishy to the touch.. like really squishy. Sometimes if I try to pick it up I accidentaly do it too hard and all the inner juices come out... I'm not sure what's causing this problem either... I feed my mealworms oatmeal and carrots and I'm wondering if the oatmeal is too dry for them? I separate the pupa to mealworms in a different container and I also wondered if it was that they didn't have enough humidity so i put wet wool inside to see if it would help. Can the temperature be a factor? It's pretty cold here in Ireland especially in the night so I dont know if that affects it either
     
  2. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnobaron Active Member

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    How cold? Temperatures are definitely a factor. I have had success breeding mealworms before. I kept them in the upper to mid 70s range. They seem to pupae and turn into beetles quicker when the temps are somewhat elevated.
     
  3. Danvie

    Danvie Arachnopeon

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    Just under room temperature. How do you keep yours heated?
     
  4. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnobaron Active Member

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    I use a space heater. Room temperature varies greatly depending on where you are situated, what are your temps?
     
  5. Danvie

    Danvie Arachnopeon

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    Well I just placed them inside of this... thing that keeps the heat in. not exaclty sure what its called but i maintains steady temperature... In the night I'm guessing 15 degrees celcius
     
  6. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnobaron Active Member

    My gaff is old as heck and probably has cack insulation but I don't think it drops much below 18°C in my room with the heating off and I've had no problems breeding them.

    I just keep the pupae in an empty container until they moult out into beetles and then I place the beetles into a well-ventilated container with just oatmeal substrate and leave them to mate/lay eggs until they die off.

    I don't keep the beetles and pupae together as the former tend to eat the latter.
     
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  7. boina

    boina Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

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    No - the moisture is the problem. Pupae need to be completely dry to pupate - or at least I keep mine completely dry. Mealworms in general don't handle too much moisture well. Mine are kept on oatmeal that gets supplemented with small pieces of fresh veggies and not even every day. I take the pupae out and place them on pure, completely dry oatmeal for the beetles to find something to eat when they've hatched. Once a week or so I transfer the hatched beetles to the beetle box. They breed like crazy - I feed the surplus worms to my rats who love them.
     
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  8. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnobaron Active Member

    I don't bother at all, they don't seem to need them.
     
  9. boina

    boina Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

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    Come on, think of all those vitamins ;) - must be good for something :D
     
  10. miss moxie

    miss moxie Arachnoprince Active Member

    Not only that, but think of enhancing the flavor! Mmm, corn flavored mealies for the Ts! Then some mashed potato flavored ones and finally a little roast beef flavored ones.

    I think I'm just hungry.

    I didn't do anything fancy and my meal worms pupated and turned into beetles. I just left them in the packaging they came in directly from the seller and then transferred the pupae into a tupperware container with ventilation and wheat bran. They're all beetles now.
     
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  11. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnobaron Active Member

    I haven't had many, if any, die off in the larval stage so they obviously don't need the extra moisture.

    I just have them in this (ventilation is in the lid to prevent escapes), I either keep them in my room or the fridge depending on how many beetles/pupae I have, I'm curious as to whether or not I can use my roach chow (ground up dog biscuits + fish food + vitamin/calcium
    powder) as substrate, I might just try it and see how I get on.

    DSC00001.JPG

    As already mentioned, the only problem I've had is beetles eating pupae if not separated.
     
  12. miss moxie

    miss moxie Arachnoprince Active Member

    @The Grym Reaper You could always try separating out a test group into a small enclosure and seeing how they do on the roach food. For science.
     
  13. boina

    boina Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

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    Mine do get fish food for added protein - they love that. I think even my meal worms are spoiled :confused:
     
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  14. miss moxie

    miss moxie Arachnoprince Active Member

    No harm in pampering them before they meet a grisly end. :hilarious:
     
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  15. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnobaron Active Member

    I'll give it a blast then, the dog biscuits are mostly made up of cereal iirc.