Effects of light and dark on Zophobas morio (superworm)


The darkling beetle has 4 stages of life that they will go through. Those are the egg, larvae, pupae, and beetle. These mealworms will not pupate, unless they are in complete isolation. Pet stores that sell these superworms, have to successfully cultivate them; they require a specific and proper understanding of its environmental conditions in which the species will survive. Z morios are cold-blooded creatures, (“Breeding Superworms.” (Zophobas Morio). N.p., Web. 26 Feb. 2013. http://www.reptileexpert.org/breeding-superworms/). Also their ability to reproduce and interact will either increase or decrease according to their habitat temperature. Some species of Zophobas morio have are usually found living under things, like mills, tree barks, and grain bins. Light, temperature and humidity determine a big role on the living conditions of these mealworms.


Some of the materials and methods we used to conduct this experiment. First of 10 Z. morio, were randomly selected this mealworms were obtained were obtained from Carolina Biological Supply, Burlington, NC. Then we used a container Rubbermaid® of 9.5L bought at (Wal-Mart, Kearney, NE.) We also used 2 cups of Great Value Oats also from (Wal-Mart, Kearney, NE) to cover the bottom of the container, along with 2 baby carrots. To maintain the mealworms in place inside the container we used a 16cm diameter paper ring, made from black construction paper.


To create a light vs. dark environment for the Z.morio, a Rubbermaid® container (Wal-Mart, Kearney, NE.) was used. One cup of Great Value Oats (Wal-Mart, Kearney, NE.) was placed on each side of the container, along with 2 baby carrots (each weighing 9.3 — 9.4 grams) from (Wal-Mart, Kearney, NE.). Half of the container was then covered with construction paper and a lid. Then we selected 10 random mealworms (Carolina Biological Supply, Burlington, NC), placing them inside the paper ring, and waiting couple seconds for them to acclimate. We gave Z. morio 10 minutes for them to move around and acclimate to the new habitat. After 10 minutes of observations of how the Z. morio moved around the container, we counted how many of them were on the lighter side of the container vs. how many of them were on the darker side.


We conducted 3 trails during this test. In our first trial, most of the Z morio preferred the darker side of the container, leaving 1 Z morio on the light side and 9 Z morio on the dark side under the Oats. Second trial, new Z morio where picked, followed the same procedure as the last test, leaving same results; 1 on the light side of container and 9 on the dark side. Third trial, following the same steps, and ending with same result, 1 on the light side of container and 9 on the dark side of container.


Based on our results, Z. morio are constantly looking for a place to hide in darker places and like to be under objects like the oats. We support our hypothesis when the Z. morio prefer darker places than places with lighter environment. Our studies do somehow relate with other sources we found, some of this species have been found living under bark, in rotting wood, or in decaying wood, (Jacques, B. 2013.) also supporting our conclusion and hypothesis. Doing this experiment shows that not all Z. morio will respond the same with in different habitats, many of us practiced different methods of environment for the mealworm. There is no further information about this mealworm, which could be relevant and help us with our experiment.

Work Cited:

Jacques, B. 2013. General Biology Lab Manual.

OfficeMax Impress, Kearney, NE. (pg. 12).

“Breeding Superworms.” (Zophobas Morio). N.p.,. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. http://www.reptileexpert.org/breeding-superworms/

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