Updated: Dec 2, 2020
The beetle form of the Tenebrio Molitor insect is the final adult form of the mealworm, after egg,lava and pupa.
The beetle is part of the darkling family and is small and jet black when mature. There max size is around 2.5 cm.
The mealworm beetle dose not grow and therefore douse not shed its exoskeleton, There instincts are to survive and breed so they eat less than the lava whose instinct is only to eat, store fat/nutrients for its pupa stage and grow which is why the beetle is far less nutritious than the lava and pupa but can still be fed to reptiles and chickens ect.
The beetle is fairly fast moving and very active in the daytime as well as at night spending its time eating and mating laying eggs at a rate of around 12-20 eggs per day and 500 per female beetle over there 8 week beetle stage life span.
Beetles will not breed for around 5 days after completing metamorphosis from its pupa form and will have a soft white exoskeleton for around a day which is very soft, then it turns light brown darkening gradual every day for around 5 days then its exoskeleton will be jet black and strong. It can now breed.
They are raised most commonly on wheat bran or oats and carrots and can get all the moisture they need to survive from the carrots but it is strongly recommended to feed a enriched diet for far better breeding results. the best source of water for them is cucumber in my opinion as cucumber is over 90% water and they seem to like it more than other fruit and veg. A good source of protein is peanut butter, egg powder and milk powder. wild bird Seeds can also be a good cheap source of protein as many mixes are around 20% protein as birds need a lot of protein for eggs.
There exoskeleton is made up of calcium so it is also a good idea to supplement a small amount of calcium into there diet, a cheap (free if you eat eggs) source of calcium is finely crushed egg shells or you can use calcium carbonate, It is cheap (less than £3 a kg) and commonly sold as a horse feed supplement. They do not need a lot of calcium supplement just a small dusting.
(this blog will be updated)