The main difference between superworms and mealworms is their size – Superworms are 5x larger than mealworms in terms of length and girth. However, their nutritional composition is almost identical.
Although super worms appear to be quite tough, they’re actually easier to eat than mealworms. They are usually better to feed and only need to crush the heads for younger or weaker geckos who have no experience with crushing the head themselves.
The head is the main risk with superworms, since it can bite and may be large enough to result in a blockage in young geckos if they eat enough of them. However, these are not pretty uncommon issues.
Superworms have more chitin, in their skin than mealworms do. That means more fat, fiber, and calcium but less meat.
Another common difference between mealworms and super worms is the inability t refrigerate superworms to keep them in hibernation until your pet chicken, leopard gecko, or bearded dragon needs them.
Now, superworms feature a stronger jaw for biting, and a head spike they can use to place a nasty bite on your pet lizard. My reptiles have learned to quickly take them by the head to avoid getting stung.
Optionally, you can use tweezers to get rid of superworms heads before placing them in your pet’s enclosure. Just do a little squeeze on the head to knock them out.
Note: Superworms should not be refrigerated.
Superworms Vs Mealworms Nutrition
|Moisture — 57.9%||Moisture — 61.9%|
|Fat — 17.7%||Fat — 13.4%|
|Protein — 19.7%||Protein — 18.7%|
|Phosphorus — 2370mg/kg||Phosphorus — 2950mg/kg|
|Calcium — 177mg/kg||Calcium — 169mg/kg|
|Fiber — 2.7%||Fiber — 2.5%|
|Ash — 1.0%||Ash — 0.9%|
Mealworms develop within the following timelines on average:
- Eggs: 9 – 13 days
- Larvae: 10 – 55 days
- Pupation: 19 – 21 days
- Beetle: 55 – 95 days
- Number of eggs produced 80 to 100
- Color = Lighter brown, uniform color.
Superworms develop on average with the following pattern:
- Eggs: 3 – 20 days
- Larvae: Develops within 10 days, can remain as larva for about 12½ months
- Pupation: 5 – 19 days
- Beetle: From 2½ – 15 years
- Number of eggs produced 100 to 500
- Color = Darker brown color with black spot on both ends.
In terms of Biology, there really is a difference between the two. Primarily, while they are both members of the darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) family, their genuses are different. REAL super worms are from the genus Zophobas (species: Zophobas morio) and are like very large mealworms but have a larger size, softer body, lesser chitin and more “meat.” Mealworms are of the genus Tenebrio (species: Tenebrio molitor). If you truly had Superworms that WERE just VERY large Mealworms that isn’t the fault of them both being the same thing but, rather, the fault of either mistaken or dishonest seller.
Silkworms are healthy and incredibly high in protein. They’re very soft and easy for a Leo to digest. Waxworms can be addicting to leos due to their high-fat content.
Which Is Better, Mealworms or Superworms?
It depends. For adult reptiles, superworms is great without necessarily worrying about your pet getting bit or stung while mealworms is great for juvenile reptiles since they can’t fight back.
Giant Mealworms Vs Superworms
Giant mealworms are regular mealworms that have been treated with a hormone to delay their pupation thereby causing them to grow to a larger size.
They are bugger, plumper, and slightly longer than regular mealworms and super worms. Therefore, making them an excellent feeding choice for larger reptiles and as a bait option for panfish.
Giant Mealworms are able to pupate but they are usually sterile since they have been injected with hormone delay. You can store them in the fridge like regular mealworms.