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Zophobas morio beetle egg laying frequency

Hello, I'm beginning research for creating a start-up starting with just Superworms. One factor I'm having difficulty finding information on is how many and how often will a female beetle lay eggs in the right conditions? Any other information on rearing superworms, such as temp. (about 80 degrees F is what I've read so far) and humidity (I've just seen "dry" [I'm looking for an actual percentage if possible] and I don't even know how reliable that source is) would be awesome. Also, I've heard microwaving works for sterilizing substrate/food, but that doesn't seem practical on a commercial scale. Are there other ways that can effectively kill parasites/mites on a larger scale than what you can fit in a microwave?

Thanks in advance!


  • Hi Brian_S,

    I do not have experience raising superworms so am going to discuss ideal humidity without being able to refer to data. My thinking is that if their substate is not allowed to become damp then they actually prefer decent relative humidity of approximately 75% R.H. rather than "dry". This is due to old research that collected breeding stock from caves & forests - which are generally humid micro-environments; & that superworms are bred by hobbyists in tropical countries like the Philippines (Manila relative humidity fluctuates from low 60% - low 80% R.H., averaging a bit below 75% R.H.)

    Most internet "breed your own" guides report the female lays up to 500 eggs. Again,(based on my recollection) old research found that if you were not cross breeding stock (ie: experimenting with traits) robust colony superworm bettles are good for an average of just over 40 progeny which survive per week. This was using a method that supplemented bran with chicken mash (food) & carrots for moisture; furthermore, that set-up allowed for larvae being kept out of bin where eggs fell.

    Feed sterilization can be done in what are basically over-sized pressure cookers. Their lids are fitted with pressure gauges to let you know when desired internal temperature is reached (relief valve should be consistently "hissing") & then you adjust your heat to hold it at that temperature for however much time desired. When removed from heat these take time to cool down & when the relief valve no longer pushes off stem they are safe to open.

    Batch sterilizers like this come in different sizes & they do sell some which plug in for electric heating; a little water goes in the bottom to create the sterilizing steam . You could place your feed/substrate formula inside big tin cans (tops cut off) & stack those cans inside the pressure cooker before securing the sterilizer lid. eBay sells these type of sterilizers for tatoo parlors & I've seen USA craigslist offers for used "tatoo sterilizer".

    If your venture gets so successful then you can always pay a welder to scale things up. You'd get through fittings & threaded ports for a pressure gauge + a relief valve (basically a weight atop an open outlet), top lid would have a lip rim that matches a lip rim on the uppermost edge of the cooking chamber, removable screw-down clamps can secure the top & underneath lips together with a gasket cut to shape from discarded a heavy equipment tire. You'd want to be able to place this oversize pressure sterilizer on a metal stand so that can heat it from below (huge truck rim can become a stand that is resistant to fire from wood/charcoal/gas).

  • There are types of sterilizers present and we can select according to our needs. sterilizes are very important equipment in laboratories. glass bead sterilizers is used in biological labs to remove biological agents of life. it is way to kill biological signs like fungi, bacteria virus from biological samples.

  • I also just started with superworms. Got my first beetles now after aprox. 1 1/2 month and now i am wondering whats the best way to seperate the eggs is. Haven't found any eggs yet though. Is there any good way to get the eggs laid on something and then take that thing out to a breeder?

  • Still haven't found any eggs yet -.- Maybe i just don't see them or they just eat them...

  • have raised SUPERworms for years. You will not see the eggs. Put the beetles is 2 inches of wheat bran for a month (40 lbs for 14.00 local feed store ) . Then puts beetles in another container for a month. Do this for four months minimum. Expect 100 superworms per female beetle per month. Ideal temp is upper 70's lower 80's. Cooler or hotter causes less worms per beetle.

  • wheat bran does not need sterilization. Use sliced potatoes for moisture. do not remove potatoes or other things when breeding beetles, everything may have eggs. I also have added damp newspaper (single sheet) for moisture. they will eat the paper. Can use paper egg cartons also. Very easy to grow. enjoy

  • Wheat bran is an excellent feed for worms and incredibly cheap. I keep about a thousand worms per container ( plastic wallmart 6" high container (20" by 18" approx.)

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