Mini mealworms--Tenebrio obscurus vs. Buffalo worms--Alphitobius diaperinus

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
1,057
A few months ago I bought 1,000 mini mealworms (labeled as Tenebrio obscurus)...it turns out they are not that species...they are probably buffalo worms. I believe they were sold to me in good faith...just a mistaken ID. However, buffalo worms can cause diseases in chickens...and I had purchased the worms with the intent of feeding them to various creatures, including to my chickens...and now that is not going to work.

Does anyone culture the true Tenebrio obscurus?
 

jaredc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
84
Yep, those look just like my buffalo beetles. Had no idea they caused problems as feeders; are they ok for fish and arachnids? I actually bought them in the hopes of farming them as a food supply for myself, but now I wonder if they're safe for human consumption.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
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2,233
Yeah those are definitely Alphitobius, never heard that they cause diseases in other animals though, I suspect that has to do with what they are fed more than the insects themselves.
Also, Tenebrio obscurus are by no means "mini", I've found the adults and larvae to be as large, if not larger than those of T.molitor.
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
1,057
Yeah those are definitely Alphitobius, never heard that they cause diseases in other animals though, I suspect that has to do with what they are fed more than the insects themselves.
Also, Tenebrio obscurus are by no means "mini", I've found the adults and larvae to be as large, if not larger than those of T.molitor.
I agree...it's very possible that the poultry diseases they carry are due to the fact that the worms and beetles often live in the waste on poultry house floors.

I haven't had any problems feeding the worms to my fish or herps.

It's good to know that T. obscurus is not really a "mini" mealworm. How does it differ in activity level from T. molitor?
 
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