Weird question about Superworm beetles

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Weird question about Superworm beetles

Postby PogoSyd » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:56 am

I recently watched this video about the ability superworms have to digest styrofoam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9PWzkUG2s

For fun, I used just one of my beardie's worms to try it out as an experiment. I put the worm in its own separate container and fed it nothing but styrofoam and some water. Not only did it live this way for weeks(?), but it ultimately grew into what appears to be a healthy adult beetle! Pretty cool.

Obviously I can't feed a styrofoam-fed beetle to my girl, but since I'm unlikely to have adult superworms again I figured it might make for a novel treat ONLY if I can somehow make it healthy again. I moved it to a new, clean container and have been feeding it the same food and water crystals as the rest of my feeders for the past two weeks.

Is this enough to make the beetle healthy again to feed to my beardie? Do I need to keep it on the better diet for longer? Or is it permanently contaminated now?
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Re: Weird question about Superworm beetles

Postby claudiusx » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:35 pm

I wouldn't feed it. Even if the beetle became healthy I wouldn't just because they have a lot of chitin content.

FWIW I'm pretty sure super worms won't pupate in the presence of food (at least this is my experience) so while the super worm was eating the styrofoam, it was not considering it a sustainable food. Or at least not a food it liked lol.
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Re: Weird question about Superworm beetles

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:51 pm

I keep superworms in with my dubia roaches. Some of them do turn into beetles and they have a harder shell than the dubias. I've found that they do make a good snack occasionally and can be chewed down. The harder shell can be beneficial for a dragons tooth and gum health. That said, I don't offer them regularly as I find them to be more helpful as cleaner crew and roach shells seem to be keeping my dragon's teeth pretty clean.
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Re: Weird question about Superworm beetles

Postby PogoSyd » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:05 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I keep superworms in with my dubia roaches. Some of them do turn into beetles and they have a harder shell than the dubias. I've found that they do make a good snack occasionally and can be chewed down. The harder shell can be beneficial for a dragons tooth and gum health. That said, I don't offer them regularly as I find them to be more helpful as cleaner crew and roach shells seem to be keeping my dragon's teeth pretty clean.


I don't intend to feed the beetles regularly, just this one since I happen to have it. But do you think its previous styrofoam diet would still be harmful to my beardie now? Or is weeks on a normal diet enough to flush the styrofoam from its system?
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Re: Weird question about Superworm beetles

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:19 pm

Give it several weeks and I'd imagine the foam will clear through enough. Probably better to play it on the safe side and keep that one out of the food chain though. If you're feeding them a regular diet, oats along with some fresh greens and veges on top have worked well for me when I kept them on their own.
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