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Can the first instars of zophobas morio also fit through 850 µm mesh?
I never bred Zophobas morio, so can not answer this question.
Volland (2004) wrote "Breeding food animals: Live food for vivarium animals" which points out that Z. morio reach adulthood in 3.5 months vs. "yellow" mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) reach adulthood in 10 weeks. I mention this because am uncertain why people choose to rear Z. morio, instead of T. molitor.
An average if 1,500 eggs is laid over the course if 12 months by a single female of Z. morio in her breeding life. However, an average of only 160 eggs is laid by a single female of T. molitor in her breeding life of 3 months. So if counting just the space (area) taken up by a single female breeder in the course if 1 year a Z. morio will provide 1,500 eggs v. a T. molitor will provide 640 eggs (160 x 4) in the course of 1 year.
When considering the larvae they have some variation; where Z. morio are 45% dry matter & T. molitor are only 36% dry matter. Yet T. molitor's dry matter itself is 53% protein & Z. morio's dry matter itself is only 45% protein in comparison.
Now, the number of eggs laid/area of operational facility clearly favors Z. morio vs. T. molitor & certainly the difference in % protein/dry matter is not at that high a ratio (>2 x eggs/ area/year) in favor of T. molitor vs. Z. morio (in % protein). What may be worth calculating is the expense (& area) related to rearing new breeding stock (for 3.5 mo.) of Z. morio in comparison to the expense (& area) related to rearing new breeding stock (for 10 weeks) of T. molitor.
I have not done that kind of cost analysis, so am merely thinking about trade offs. The final instar average weight may also influence the economic projection.