Superworm Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Superworm, King Worms, Morio Worms, Zophobas

Scientific Name:

Zophobas Morio

Wild Status:

Least Concern

Habitat:

Ground dwelling, found in barns and grain containers

Country:

Tropical regions of Central and South America and have spread across the world

Shelter:

Under rocks and logs

Life Span:

Many months in this stage

Size:

1 1/2 to 2 1/4 inches

Cool Facts:

  • Superworms are not worms
  • If superworms are left without food or in confinement they can become cannibalistic.
  • Superworms are the larval form of the Zophobas beetle and will complete a full metamorphosis.
  • Females lay eggs in rotting carcasses, soil, decaying vegetation and decaying trees
  • Superworms curl inward and create cocoons made of silk that harden to protect them when they pupate.
  • All different animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and even hedgehogs enjoy a tasty superworm as a snack.
  • Humans eat superworms too.
  • The Superworm has a strong bite

Details:

Superworms are the larvae stage of a species of darkling beetle.  They are a common and popular food for all different animals. The superworm has a very strong bite so sometimes it's necessary to crush the head before feeding them to any pets.  According to humans who have eaten the superworm, it tastes like almonds. Their diet consists of fresh and decaying vegetation like rotting wood and dead leaves. In the larval stage they will molt anywhere from 9 to 20 times before forming a pupa. When they emerge they are white and will gradually darken to a black color. Superworms are rarely found in the wild. If they are around they will most likely be found in grain storage areas and barns.  

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Coleoptera Family: Tenebrionidae Species: Zophobas morio

Conservation & Helping:

Superworms in the larvae stage are helpful to humans because they consume dead animals.  They are natural recyclers of organic material.

For Teachers and Educators

Superworm-Fact-Sheet.pdf

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