Frozen Mealworm Comes Back To Life

Acro

I Want A Golden Goose!
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So I had a container of mealworms from PetSmart. I needed to go out of town for a while and didn't want the mealworms to die in the fridge, as they were already old. So I threw the container in the freezer, planning to feed off the mealworms (thawed) at a later date. The worms have been in the freezer for about a month. I fed off all the dead worms, and today I found one ALIVE!

This is how it played out . . . I took the container out of the freezer (not fridge, freezer!) and let it thaw out on the counter for a few minutes. Then I pulled out the remaining 7 frozen mealworms and one was moving. It's alive, and crawling. It's legs and body move . . .

I am a long time invert keeper. Been keeping bugs for over 15 years. I've never had anything like this happen before. To be honest, I'm a little freaked out.

Has this ever happened to anyone before? I don't know what to do with this worm now. Feed it off? Put it back in the freezer? Raise it up?

I'm so confused, amazed, and freaked out. Aren't mealworms tropical insects?!?
Anyway, I'm just going to ramble on, so please send some replies.
 

1Lord Of Ants1

Arachnobaron
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I'm willing to bet it was at least insulated from being frozen solid within the substrate mealworms are normally packed with. Otherwise such a scenario would certainly be surprising, but not unheard of in the realm of insects.

Mealworms however can certainly take the cold better than a lot of other feeder insects. Keep a superworm below 70 degrees and you quickly end up with a smelly black stick of bug jerky.
 

Acro

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I'm guessing it must have been some sort of substrate insulation, but I'm still amazed. All the other worms were frozen. All my food is still frozen through their packaging. The worms were in there for about a month, I'd be sure that was enough time for the worms to be frozen through and through.
If it makes any difference, they were the hormone treated "Giant" mealworms.

Anyway, I've setup the mealworm with some food. Just couldn't feed him/her off yet, or put him/her back in the cold. This one is tough.
 

Acro

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Could be a zombie zoophoba?
Probably not, no signs of decay . . . but it did cross my mind.
However, if it was, it would be a Zombie Tenebrio, as these were giant mealworms, not superworms. ;)
 

GingerC

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Keep it! It's made it this far, it'd be a bit of a shame for it just to end up as lizard poop.

Maybe I'm just a bit of a weirdo, but I like raising the mealworms I use as mantis food just as much as I like raising my mantis.
 

Acro

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Keep it! It's made it this far, it'd be a bit of a shame for it just to end up as lizard poop.
Maybe I'm just a bit of a weirdo, but I like raising the mealworms I use as mantis food just as much as I like raising my mantis.
At the moment I do plan to raise it. I don't mind it turning into lizard poop, but, for this one at least, I feel it should be given a chance. It didn't die when it should have, so it's special.
And it's not weird, bugs are cool, it is fun to raise them up, even mealworms!

Wouldn't that be something . . . if this one lil mealworm had some of those properties in it's body! Maybe a piece of genetically engineered bran fell into it's cup, and it was the only one to eat it! Ah, maybe not the most scientific idea, but either way, this mealworm has my mind boggled. I'm still amazed by the lil creature.
 

Nephila Edulis

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This mealworm turning into lizard food would be like the hero of a movie being eaten by a t rex right at the end.
 

Acro

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This mealworm turning into lizard food would be like the hero of a movie being eaten by a t rex right at the end.
That's a hilarious way to put it! Although, some movies are tragedies, but I don't think this one will be. At least, not with anyone being eaten.

Cool story. Add him to another mealworm colony.
That is a thought . . . then I could raise up antifreeze mealworms and become rich. There is a market for them . . . right?
But seriously, I don't have any other mealworms at the moment. I'm just going to see if this one makes it to an adult. It doesn't move around too much, but whenever I check on it, it wiggles. It might be preparing to shed, as it cleared out it's gut. I'll keep ya updated.
 

Hisserdude

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That is a thought . . . then I could raise up antifreeze mealworms and become rich. There is a market for them . . . right?
But seriously, I don't have any other mealworms at the moment. I'm just going to see if this one makes it to an adult. It doesn't move around too much, but whenever I check on it, it wiggles. It might be preparing to shed, as it cleared out it's gut. I'll keep ya updated.
Sounds like it's getting ready to pupate, hope it does so successfully! :)
 

Acro

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I thought so too, but now he/she is crawling around again . . . I was waiting for that "C" shape, but it hasn't happened.
I'll update if anything changes!
 

Acro

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And today . . . . . on this Easter Sunday . . . . . the mealworm . . . decides . . . to pupate . . . . . :wideyed: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coincidence?!?!
 
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Nephila Edulis

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And today . . . . . on this Easter Sunday . . . . . the mealworm . . . decides . . . to pupate . . . . . :wideyed: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coincidence?!?!
It's the second coming of jebuz in all his invert glory!
 

Acro

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I'm waiting for it to emerge with a gleaming cross on it's back.
Actually, at this point and time, I'm not sure if I'd be surprised if that actually happened. I hope that doesn't sound blasphemous.

My mind is still blown by this mealworm . . .

Supposing it emerges normally, I plan to give it some mates. Does anyone have an active colony with a few beetles to spare?

.
 
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Nixphat

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Hi! I just read everything up to this point and I'd like to share my favorite meal worm article:
http://mytutorlist.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-start-mealworm-colony.html

I have used the above link, and started in October. I bought a container of small mealworms from my local Petco and little did I realize that there were 100 little guys in there (it says ct. 100 on the side). Flash forward to today, I have changed the substrate but kept the old, after a few weeks I found out that I have hundreds and hundreds of baby meal worms. Seriously. It took well over a month for all the mealworms to grow and pupate, and a few more months of them living and breeding. Now I need to look into larger ways to store them all! The container of mealworms was 5 bucks and I will be set for mealworms for life.

Only thing is, small scale, that guide works great! When you really start getting going, separating the beetles and the mealworms may prove to be a challenge. My last substrate change has taken easily over 5 hours of sifting through oats and little babies and I'm still not done. The attached picture is a poor example of one of the four cups I have full of mealworms. (It's hard to uncover a healthy amount all at once, grab the camera, and snag a picture before they all take off ;))

I understand if you need the beetles for something right away, go ahead and buy some. But if you are just looking for more beetle buddies, it doesn't take long to get started and he'll still be alive by the time you start adding new beetles in with him/her. Happy colonizing!! :D
 

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GingerC

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I always find it funny how terrified some people (read: mom) are of mealworms. They're so hilariously inoffensive... it's like being afraid of an obese hamster.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear he made it to a pupa! I've had my worms since some time in late February or early March, and the only beetle I've gotten was the worm who escaped into the substrate in my jumping spider's cage. He became the janitor and died the other day, unfortunately.
 

Acro

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About two weeks ago, it emerged as a beautiful healthy beetle! (However, there was no golden cross.)

I ordered 25 beetles from ebay (they gave an over-count, with a total of about 40 beetles) and, just today, I placed them in with my original antifreeze beetle.
Now all 41 of them will live out their days in a naturalistic-ish setup, with good food, no worries about being eaten, and no freezer.
 
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