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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some superworms that are for my turtle. Are these okay to give to a hedgehog? I don't have one yet, but I am waiting for one from a breeder and I want to make sure I don't mess it up for my little one.
 

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NO!!! They can bite hedgehogs. Even if you cut their head off they can still grow in a hedgehogs stomach. Don't feed hedgehogs superworms unless you cut them up.
:) It’s a good thing you asked before giving one to your hedgehog.
 

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Some websites may tell you not to feed Superworms because they will bite your hedgies. This is simply NOT true! I have hand raised many Superworms colonies, and while they might occasionally bite (correction--they actually PINCH, rather than bite) .....it does not hurt, nor can they break the skin. Thus, if they can't hurt human hands, they will NOT harm your hedgehog. Actually their bite (pinch) is barely noticable, compared to getting pricked by your own hedgie's quills. They are VERY high in fat content, so they are to be used only as an occasional treat. Superworms are much easier to raise and maintain than Mealworms.

From my experience, the hedgie will swipe it out of your hand and gobble it down, before the worm has the chance to bite. I always held the worm's head and fed it to the hedgie BUTT first. Thus, by the time the hedgie has take a couple bites, the worm is dead, and cannot harm your hedgie.

I have been fighting very hard to get this biting 'rumor' dismissed. My son did a science project in the 3rd grade (see info below), and almost all of the children were walking around the room HOLDING the worms in their hands and passing them around the classroom. If a Superworm's bite was as bad as everyone makes it out to be.....then I guarantee that a classroom of 3rd graders would NOT have held and played with the ones I took to school.

[attachment=0:d52pmy8l]sciencefairWINNER 003.jpg[/attachment:d52pmy8l]
If you are interested in raising a colony of Superworms or Mealworms, just do a GOOGLE search on the internet, and learn how to breed and raise your own supply of bugs! Breeding a colony of bugs, makes a wonderful Science Fair project. My son won 1st place in the 3rd grade group, and also took home the "Mad Scientist" award, for having the best science project in the entire school! He morphed adult SUPERWORMS into their MORIO BEETLE stage. Then the beetles bred and hatched eggs, which turned into a new colony of BABY Superworms.

:!: We were very PROUD of his efforts!
His teachers told him, that his 'double-blind' research study was a Jr. High level science project.
 

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I have fed my baby both and she chewed them up so good I didn't worry about the biting. BUT I don't feed them anymore due to the fact that I think it is more fun to give several smaller worms. I raised mealies until recently but I am starting a new colony soon.
 

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Superworms can bite and kill a hedgehog. Jeanne Stanoch Robtoy had a hedgie who died after a super worm bit it's esophagus and it bled to death.
 

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Superworms, from my understanding, are meal worms that have been treated with a growth hormone to prevent them from developing into the pupae stage. For this reason alone I would be weary of feeding them.

There are many options for hedgie snacks, there is just no reason to feed superworms. IMO.
 

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As I stated above, I always fed them BUTT first. If they are DEAD when the hedgie gets to the head, then they cannot bite (aka: pinch) the hedgehog.

To my knowledge, mealworms and superworms are NOT related. They are two entirely different varieties of beetle, so I'm not sure how that could be true. I'm not telling anyone to feed their hedgehog Superworms. My opinion is just that.....it's an opinion. I'm simply trying to let you know that, when fed properly, there is no risk to the hedgehog.

I'm not familiar with the incident of Jeanne's hedgie. But, I would have to question HOW did they determined the death was truly from the BITE of a Superworm? I would suspect (in my opinion), that it is more likely there was a CUT from the exoskeleton of the Superworm, because the hedgie may not have chewed it up properly. As I am not a professional Vet, I could not say for sure. But I'd really like to hear HOW it was determined the hedgie died from getting bit.

From my personal experience of raising many colonies, handling them, and feeding to my hedgies, ****atiel, budgies, and gecko..... I just don't see where there is a high risk of feeding them. If someone can give proven information, then I will gladly back down on this issue. I just feel like the rumors have scared hedgie owners away from feeding Superworms.

I definitely don't want this to become a heated topic. I would like all replies to be posted in a professional and non-accusational manner. This seems to be a very EDUCATIONAL topic, and all information should be posted with the intent of HELPING hedgie owners.

Reaper, maybe you can help out with this discussion, since you have also fed your hedgie the Superworms and you are very knowledgeable in regards to what hedgies can eat and/or cannot eat.

Pixie
 

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I just found this information and thought I'd post it:

In North America, Mealworms and Giant Mealworms belong to the species Tenebrio molitor. Giant mealworms are treated with an insect growth hormone to make them bigger and to prevent them from pupating or turning into beetles.

Superworms are Zophobas morio, a different insect altogether. I have seen them variously referred to as kingworms, king mealworms, morio worms, and dark mealworms. That is the difficulty with common names-- same and similar names can refer to entirely different critters or plants in different areas.

Many pet stores attempt to pass off the Giant Mealworms, which have treated with a growth hormone, as Superworms to unsuspecting customers. The easiest way to tell what your buying, is to pay attention to where the worms are being kept in the pet store. If they are kept in a refrigerator and the plastic container is cold when they bring it to you, then it contains Giant Mealworms. Mealworms must be kept under refrigeration, so that they remain dormant, or they will die off very quickly. Superworms must stay at room temp and will die within a few hours if place under refrigeration. They are very hardy and very easy to keep if kept at room temperature, and will live for an extremely long time if kept in a bedding of some sort of cereal or raw oatmeal.

Superworms can give a pinch if handled roughly, but they do not bite hard enough to break skin. As beetles, they do not bite either. Superworms are readily accepted by lizards, frogs, salamanders, birds, and other insectivorous animals.


Thus, if frogs, salamanders, and birds can eat them.....why shouldn't a hedgehog?

Pixie
 

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I have a bit different opinion, more in the middle...

(now we are talking about superworm, the hormone-treated mealworms of the darkling beetle. Zophobas are a different species, and are not hormone treated, but are a similar size and appearance) I have been bit by two superworms. I used to get cans of 50 for occasional snacks for my bearded dragons, and I would offer them from my palm. Well, one little bugger went up to the skin between my fingers and CHOMPED! It hurt! I am a wimp but it seriously did cause a teeny bit of pain. Human hands are pretty tough, though, I don't know how that'd compare to the pain tolerance/ thickness of a hedgie's skin. Anyways, the first time I just figured I grabbed a mean one and dismissed it. The next time I reached in and stirred the wheat bran in the can they come it, one latched onto my finger as well. It didn't hurt, but it was a bite. (not just hanging on by the legs)

I choose to feed regular sized mealworms because I try and avoid the hormones, whether they be there or not, and Inky simply likes the regular ones. I figured why change a good thing?

I don't think it is very common at all for an animal to just swallow an insect without chewing and killing it, but heck, anything is possible. Just be careful and make sure you know what you're doing, and it's your personal choice.
 

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LizardGirl said:
I have a bit different opinion, more in the middle....now we are talking about superworm, the hormone-treated mealworms of the darkling beetle. Zophobas are a different species, and are not hormone treated, but are a similar size and appearance
Zophobas morio is a species of darkling beetle, whose larvae are known by the common name superworm or zophobas morio. As stated above... Superworms (aka: Zophobas morio), are NOT treated with hormones. It is the Mealworms and Giant mealworms often misrepresented as Superworms, that are treated with hormones.
 

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I think you are getting a bit confused. (or maybe I am) The ones we are talking about here (I think) are not the zophobas but the giant mealworms known as superworms.

Yes, I realize that "giant mealworms" are the same species, treated, and that zohobas are a different species altogether, and not treated. Maybe I just worded my post funny, but that's what I said. :)
 

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LizardGirl said:
I think you are getting a bit confused. (or maybe I am) The ones we are talking about here (I think) are not the zophobas but the giant mealworms known as superworms. Yes, I realize that "giant mealworms" are the same species, treated, and that zohobas are a different species altogether, and not treated. Maybe I just worded my post funny, but that's what I said. :)
Here is the confusion: giant mealworms are not SUPPOSED to be known as superworms.

Quote from my posting above.......

Many pet stores attempt to pass off the Giant Mealworms, (which have been treated with a growth hormone), as Superworms to unsuspecting customers.

;) Guess your pet store did this to you.

Pixie
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok.... this is getting confusing for some I think. lol The worms I have and asked about are indeed Superworms; Zophobas morio (looking at the container else there would be NO way I could spell that :p ) The little tub they are in also says "DO NOT REFRIGERATE" so... from what was posted.... these are not the hard biting, hormone filled, giant mealworms.... and these should be ok to feed to my heggie once in a while (have to be careful of the fat content) ... or at least from what I can tell ;)
 

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In my (opinion) ...... YES, you are completely correct. Superworms don't actually bite, but they can pinch. Does it hurt? In my (opinion) ..... NO, not anymore so, than getting pricked by your hedgie. Can you feed them to your hedgie? In my (opinion) ..... YES, when fed properly (BUTT first), there is absolutely no way that they can harm your hedgie. And finally ..... YES, they should only be used as an occasional treat, due to high fat content.

Pixie
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, then I will keep what I have and get some smaller mealworms for treats I can give more often. Thank you all for your help and input :D
 
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