Breeding and Raising Butter Worms
What are Butter Worms?
Butter worms are a bright yellow and orange worm that is imported from Chile. It is known for its strong fruity smell that most reptiles love.
Butter worms are common in Europe, and now in the U.S.
These worms are commonly used for bait in fishing, as well as, food and treat for animals such as birds, small animals, fish, and reptiles.
They have smooth, fat bodies, with a very soft exoskeleton, as at full maturity these worms will become Chilecomadia moorei moths.
Nutritional Value of Butterworms
Moisture- 58.54 %
Ash- 1.04 %
Protein- 16.20 %
Fat- 5.21 %
Calories/ Fat- 87.73
Calcium (ml/100 grs)- 42.90
Butter worms are exceptionally high in their calcium content, averaging about two times the normal calcium content then any other feeder insect on the market.
But, at the same time, the calories/ fat is extremely high, as well, which means that these high calcium insects should only be fed as treats.
Storing Butter Worms
When housing butter worms, you will want to keep them in the refrigerator, you will not have to feed the worms because the 42 to 45 F temperatures, their metabolism will slow to an extreme that they do not need to be fed.
In the wild, on the other hand, because all butter worms aren't kept in the refrigerator, they eat the leaves from the Tebo Tree.
You can keep butter worms in a plastic container with some kind of organic substrate such as oatmeal or wheat bran.
Because it is best to house them in the refrigerator, you do want to make sure there no excess moisture gets caught in the container because damp substrates lead to mold formation.
Check the container a few hours after you initially place them in the fridge. When you check on them, if you notice webbing amongst the substrate, where the worms are making a nest, so to speak, they'll be fine, and leave them alone. Otherwise, you will want to change the substrate to something else.
Leaving the butter worms in the refrigerator, they have a shelf life of about 1 to 4 months.
Breeding Butter Worms
Unfortunately, butter worms are irradiated before they are shipped from Chile, which means that they can not breed once they come to the states.
The sole purpose of irradiated them is to kill off any bacteria before they leave the country.