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Australian Wildlife

  Dark Mealworm (Tenebrio obscurus)





Dark Mealworm | Tenebrio obscurus photo
Dark Mealworm Beetle

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Dark Mealworm | Tenebrio obscurus photo
Dark Mealworm

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



DARK MEALWORM FACTS

Identification
The adult Dark Mealworm is a dull black beetle with flattened shape and parallel sides. It varies in colour from brown to black. The larvae of Dark Mealworms are dark brown. The adult beetle is similar to the related Yellow mealworm beetle (Tenebrio molitar) which has a more glossy appearance, and yellowish brown larvae.

Size
length: adult beetle to 18mm, larvae to 25mm

Habitat
found around damp and mouldy stored plant and animal material

Food
feeds on grain and other stored products. It is a minor pest of cereals and cereal products.

Breeding
The female beetle lays white bean shaped eggs which hatch into mealworms (grub like larvae) after about a week. The larvae feed on plant or animal material before pupating.

Range
Exotic (but present in Australia) found in the eastern states of Australia and also Western Australia

Notes
Dark Mealworm larvae are used as insect food for reptile and amphibian pets and are known as mini mealworms.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Coleoptera
Family:Tenebrionidae
Genus:Tenebrio
Species:obscurus
Common Name:Dark Mealworm

Relatives in same Genus
  Yellow Mealworm (T. molitor)