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Life Cycle Of The Mealworm

The mealworm is not a worm. It is actually the larval form of a mealworm beetle. This larval form is the second stage in its life cycle, and at this stage, it does look like a worm. Elaborated below are the mealworm's life stages.
mealworm life stages

The Life Cycle of Mealworms:

Stage I - The Egg
Female Darkling Beetles will lay anywhere from 250-500 eggs during her short life.  These eggs are tiny, white-colored, and oval-shaped. 

Stage II - The Larva
After 4-20 days, the eggs hatch and the larvae surface. This is the stage  where it actually resembles a worm.  At this stage, the mealworm eats vigorously on grains such as wheat bran and suck water from vegetation. Molting or the shedding of its outer skin, which looks like dry scales, happens as it gets larger.   The molting continues till the larva grows too big for its exoskeleton. The mealworm then drops its carapace and curls into a pupa. In the larva stage, the mealworm's life span is around 90-115 days.

Stage III - The Pupa
After 90 days the mealworm drops its carapace and curls into a pupa.   The pupa doesn't eat anything during this stage and appears inactive.  In the beginning, the pupa looks creamy-white in color, but slowly transforms to a brownish color. It is in this stage that the mealworm is changing into a beetle.

Stage IV - The Adult
After the pupa stage is over, a white-colored beetle with dark wings emerges from the pupa.  Its is ususally white in color when it first emerges but then changes to a light golden brown and then to black. 
 
The males and females find each other and mate and this starts the life cycle over again.  The beetles usually live for 3-4 months.