superworms vs mealworms

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superworms vs mealworms

Postby jymcd » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:24 pm

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I searched for this topic and didn't come up with anything. I've got a couple of questions.

1) I've occasionally read on this board (as well as others) that some ppl feed super worms as a staple, usually to older dragons. I'm curious as to the difference btwn super worms and meal worms. I see over and over again to be careful feeding meal worms due to their hard outsides. Don't super worms have the same hard outter "shell"?

2) Can one get super worms that aren't huge or is that the nature of the super worm? Super big.

3) My beardie is totally off crickets (we've had issues; we're slowing in the process of solving, things are looking up) and has always loved meal worms.(he's roughly 6 months old and quite small due to said issues). If he won't eat crickets or phx worms (awaiting a phx worm shipment tomorrow- he's had them before but then refused to eat them after 2, 3 weeks) I don't know what the heck to feed him! He ain't gonna eat it if it don't move so even greens are tough to get in him (I'll put the worms in his greens and he's an expert at getting *just* the worm!). I've heard just feed the crickets..he'll eat them if he gets hungry enough. That seems kind of harsh and well, mean. <shrug> Any suggestions? Thanks~
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Re: superworms vs mealworms

Postby Kaiser » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:48 pm

1. Superworms do have the same chitin outer shell as mealworms. The significant difference is that superworms have a higher meat-to-chitin ratio (meaning they proportionally have less chitin) than mealworms, and therefore, are easier to digest.

2. Yes, you can! You can usually find super worms in different stages of their life being sold according to their size in most stores (locally and online). From what I know, you can get micro-superworms, small-superworms, medium-superworms, and large-superworms (which are the size you are probably most familiar with). Here's an example of an online store that sells varying sizes of superworms, along with their estimated sizes in numerical units: http://www.mulberryfarms.com/Superworms-c14/.

3. You can try micro- or small-superworms if he likes mealworms and won't eat anything else. They're relatively similar, and the smaller sizes are generally safe for young bearded dragons. Once he gets to be at least 16 inches in length, you can start him on the larger superworms. Just know that superworms are somewhat fatty, so supplementation with the occasional different protein source may be beneficial. Otherwise, give the Phoenix Worms a try. And if you're looking for other options still after, you could always try other staple protein sources until you find the right one (e.g., dubia roaches, hornworms, silkworms, etc.).

Also, what you've heard is called "tough love," ha ha. Some bearded dragons can be pretty picky and "spoiled" when it comes to food; it's usually in the animal's best interest to give him/her a little 'tough love" every now and then, ha ha. But I know how you must feel; I don't like the idea personally myself, but it makes sense and does eventually work.
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