Mealworms vs Superworms


  • Family = Tenebrionidae (a darkling beetle).
  • Species = Zophobas morio.
  • Size = Most supplier's superworms are approximately 2.0+ inches in length.
  • Nutrition = High levels of calcium, fiber, and fat....lower levels of protein.
  • Storage = Must be stored in room temperature, then can be fed to pets for months.
  • Color = Darker brown color with black spot on both ends.
  • Aggressiveness = Can bite / sting, they have a small pin on their backs used for attacking.
  • Exoskeleton = Quite hard, makes digestion a bit of a challenge.
  • Availability = We do not sell live superworms, only Canned Superworms.


  • Family = Tenebrionidae (a darkling beetle).
  • Species = Tenebrio molitor.
  • Size = Our "Giant" size mealworms are approximately 1.0-1.25 inch in length, while our "Medium" size mealworms are approximately 0.5-0.75 inch in length. None of our mealworms are induced hormonally to be larger, they are 100% natural. Our Giant Mealworms are larger because they are simply farther along in their life cycle and have been feeding on Mealworm Chow longer.
  • Nutrition = Higher levels of protein...lower levels of calcium, fiber, and fat. 
  • Storage = Must be stored in a refrigerator, then can be fed to pets for 6-10 weeks. See our article on Keeping Mealworms Alive Long-Term.
  • Color = Lighter brown, uniform color.
  • Aggressiveness = Cannot bite / sting.
  • Exoskeleton = Quite soft, makes digestion easy.
  • Availability = We sell Live Medium MealwormsLive Giant Mealworms, and Canned Mealworms.


  • Some companies sell mealworms (Tenebrio molito) and advertise them as superworms (Zophobas morio).
  • Some companies sell superworms (Zophobas morio) and advertise them as mealworms (Tenebrio molitor).
  • Some companies bulk up their mealworms (Tenebrio molito) with the use of hormones, so that they are the same size as superworms (Zophobas morio). We do not do that. Our mealworms are bulked up with the use of Mealworm Chow, which is an all-natural protein source for live mealworms.
  • Never buy worms based off of a product title. We title our worms "Giant Mealworms" and they are approximately 1.0-1.25 inch in length, while other companies also title their worms "Giant Mealworms" and they are only approximately 0.5 inch in length. Always use the size listed in the product description as well as the scientific classification listed in the product description to know what you are buying. If neither are listed, we recommend contacting the seller.
  • Whether pet stores / online companies are being intentionally misleading, or they are simply misinformed themselves, we recommend contacting them directly to ask about worm specifics before purchasing.


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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not in a position to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please visit our animal info tabs or consider purchasing a care guide book for additional information. If you have a health or pet emergency issue, please notify your veterinarian or a specialized technician.