Tenebrio molitor (Linnaeus, 1758)Edit

Arthropods (Arthropoda)-----Insects (Insecta)-----Beetles (Coleoptera)------Polyphaga-----Tenebrionoidea-----Darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae)-----Tenebrio-----T. molitor
Tenebrio molitor larva1

Larvae from a tub purchased from a pet store.

The Yellow mealworm beetle is one of the largest household "pest" insects. This species invades dry foods such as bread, wheat, oatmeal and similar.  When the adult hatches from the pupa it is pale and generally darkens when it ages, some specimens however keep some of the brownish tint. Larvae of this species can be bought from pet stores and fishing supplies, or even can be ordered in boxes by internet, try your hand and putting them in a container with air holes and feeding them bits of bread, apparently slices of apple gives them a water source, (which harden because of the air, though my larvae did not seem to care whether it was hard or not...) though I did not add anything else which is maybe why  only 1 of the 15 larvae successfully pupated.  The larvae of Tenebrio molitor are high in protein (not that this will really encourage anyone to eat them).

Yellow mealworm beetle1

2nd January, 2008. This specimen was the only successful adult out of a batch of larvae from my Science class. I feed them dry bread.


Adult body length including wings about 13-16mm.
Tenebrio molitor pupa1


Tenebrio molitor larva2

This larva has recently shed its skin, which is why its pale.