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Yellow mealworms: Storage pests or nutritional treasures?

Yellow mealworms, also known as flour beetles, belong to the order Coleoptera, family Tenebrionidae, and genus Tenebrio. They are native to North America and were introduced to China in the 1950s from the Soviet Union for breeding purposes. Yellow mealworms live in grain warehouses, medicinal material warehouses, and various agricultural and sideline product warehouses and are a world-class pest of warehouses. However, recent research has found that yellow mealworms contain a lot of protein, amino acids, fats, trace elements, vitamins and other chemicals. Health products made from yellow mealworms have anti-disease and disease prevention functions.

Yellow mealworm: larva, pupa, adult
Yellow mealworm: larva, pupa, adult

Yellow mealworms undergo four forms of transformation: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Yellow mealworm eggs are about 1 millimeter long and about 0.5 millimeters in diameter. They are oval-shaped and milky white with a thin shell. They hatch into larvae after about 7 days at room temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. The growth and development of newly hatched larvae is carried out through molting. Under normal temperature conditions, they molt every 5-7 days for about 30 minutes each time. After eight molts, they grow to about 60 days old. Larvae like to live in groups. Newly molted larvae are milky white and move slowly. As their bodies gradually turn yellow, their activity increases continuously until they reach about 1.8 centimeters long when they begin to pupate. The pupa is about 1.2 centimeters long with a large head and small tail and is shaped like a flat cone. The thorax produces two thin white wings that gradually turn yellow to brown before turning into black adults. The pupa becomes an adult after about six days with wings but cannot fly and mainly crawls. At this time, male and female adults begin to mate and lay eggs. Adults are active, gregarious and like darkness.

Adult characteristics:

The body is 15mm long and is the largest grain storage beetle with a long tube shape that is blackish-brown with a luster. The width of the pronotum is greater than its length with large spacing between the carved points on the back surface that are not very dense. The antennae have 11 segments with the length of the end segment greater than its width; the length of the third segment is shorter than the sum of the first two segments. The legs are slender with several longitudinal lines on each elytron.

Yellow mealworm: 2-1 dorsal surface of adult; 2-2. dorsal plate of prothorax; 2- 3. antennae.
2- 1. dorsal surface of adult; 2-2. dorsal plate of prothorax; 2- 3. antennae.


They have complex eating habits and harm damp grain that can be found in drum skin, rice bran, broken rice as well as in grain warehouse corners and foot grain. Yellow mealworms are scavenging insects that like to eat rotten food so they often occur in damp food that has begun to rot. They damage intact or damaged grains and feed on debris such as dust particles or insect corpses in foodstuffs.

Yellow mealworms are an important source of protein for humans because they contain high levels of protein (about 50% by weight) as well as other nutrients such as vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, E and K; minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc; essential amino acids such as lysine; and unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid.

JHBIO Technology Limited Company is a company that sells yellow mealworm products such as health supplements made from yellow mealworms.

About Company

JH BIO -Leading chinese multinational manufacturer and distributor offeed ingredients. Main Products:Driedmealworms,DriedBSF,Dried
superworm.Mealwormpowder,BSFpowder,superworm powder.
Mealworm defatted powder, BSFdefatted powder,Corn protein powder etc.

Contact info

Address:Room 02-0301, Building 2, Meicheng Shaxi First Neighborhood, Luoyang, Henan, China
+86 186 3888 0267
+860379-6256 8658

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