Mealworms are a portion of many Musuem animal diets, including the robins in the aviary, the bearded dragons, our Silkie chicken, and our American toads. For weeks I have been hearing rumors about a “national mealworm shortage” but as our supplier never had any problems providing us with our normal 20,000 large mealworms, I wasn’t too worried. Well, I guess this shortage has finally made its way up to the major suppliers, because when I called to order… there were none to be had. After checking a few other sources and coming up empty, we decided to try our animals on superworms and waxworms for the next few weeks until the mealworms are back in stock. None of our animals eat just mealworms, luckily! Superworms need different care than mealworms, and waxworms need different care than either superworms or mealworms. Thank goodness Kent has dealt with feeding his herps at home for years and knew the proper care for all.
Check out the size difference between our normal mealworm and the superworm! (the mealworm is in the center, with the superworm above it and the waxworm below) When the superworms first arrived, an unsuspecting Erin opened the box and got a little grossed out at the sight of them (not only are they big, but they are much squirmier). She quickly gathered her animal keeper wits about her and tried to adjust by bonding with one worm she affectionately named Waldo (thereby setting herself up for a corny joke when she couldn’t find him later).
Here’s Silkie chicken getting along fine with our purchasing choice.