Waxworm

July 30, 2014

waxworm

Waxworms have been commercially produced as food for a number of domesticated and research animals, but they are also one of the most popular ingredient for those practicing entomology in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Like other edible insects waxworms have a high protein content, but they are also prized for their relatively high fat content.

A “waxworm” is actually a colloquialism for the larvae of wax moths.  Wax moths belong to family Pyralidae (snout moths).  Two closesly related species see commecial production as waxworms: the lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) and the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella).  The larvae of distant relative Plodia interpunctella (the Indian meal moth) also share the name “waxworm” but are seldom produced commercially.

Waxworms are used as food for birds, reptiles, amphibians, insectivorous plants, small mammals, and other predatory insects; they are commonly used as fishing bait “waxies.”

In captivity, waxworms are typically raised on cereals, bran, and honey.

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