do superworms eat superworms?

Loohan

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I have read that the beetles will eat small larvae and eggs, but will big superworm larvae eat little ones, or was i just ripped off?

About 3 weeks ago i bought "100 small superworms" at a a Petco in Fairfax, VA. I was looking for small worms which i could raise up on organic veggies. I briefly stirred up the contents of the container to see that there were some small worms in there but did not check the quantity.

I did not do anything except feed them greens and a few carrot slices. I had another bin of large worms (bought at a Petsmart) next to them which i was also feeding, and feeding my boxie with. These seem fine, and there are still a lot of those left.

So today i thought i better change the bedding of the small worms (none of which i have harvested yet). There were only 7 worms in there! 2 were full-sized but some little ones too. I saw no carcasses of dead worms.
Is it possible the big ones ate the little ones whole, despit having plenty of other stuff to eat? Seems unlikely that 3-4 larger worms would have eaten 90 little ones.
The brand is Timberline.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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Could they have escaped? Just an idea for you, I keep a corner of my yard dug up and used for Sulcata poop. The nightcrawlers grow to be monsters, they are about 10 inches long.
If I have to buy some, I go to a fishing store, sporting goods or feed store. I rarely buy anything at a pet store......
 

jaizei

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Yes, they can be cannibalistic. They were probably eating each other before you bought them.
 

LolaMyLove

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The best thing I can recommend to you is U-tube vermiculture composting. I was buying worms at Petco every other week for my box turtle. Then someone gave me about 200 worms and showed me how to set up a verimculture bin. Super easy! I haven't bought worms since October to feed her.

Two $5.00 tubs, some holes for drainage and a few for air, some coco coir, and news paper- DONE. You feed them your kitchen waste... they turn it into food for your garden (compost)... they triple in volume every few months. Its a constant food source and disposal system in one, plus my husband always has fishing bait now. I started my bin about 4 months ago haven't needed to buy food for her since. There has to be close to a 1000 worms in there now. See the photos below, super easy. Highly recommend to everyone!
 

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SarahChelonoidis

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I've not seen that degree of cannibalism with superworms, but if they're thirsty they will definitely munch on each other.
 

FLGirl41

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I've not seen that degree of cannibalism with superworms, but if they're thirsty they will definitely munch on each other.

Exactly-- if inadequate food or moisture source isn't given, they will eat each other. I'll usually find the front half of a worm's body left when cannibalism occurs. But complete disappearance of the majority of superworms is very odd.
 

Loohan

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The best thing I can recommend to you is U-tube vermiculture composting. I was buying worms at Petco every other week for my box turtle. Then someone gave me about 200 worms and showed me how to set up a verimculture bin. Super easy! I haven't bought worms since October to feed her.

Two $5.00 tubs, some holes for drainage and a few for air, some coco coir, and news paper- DONE. You feed them your kitchen waste... they turn it into food for your garden (compost)... they triple in volume every few months. Its a constant food source and disposal system in one, plus my husband always has fishing bait now. I started my bin about 4 months ago haven't needed to buy food for her since. There has to be close to a 1000 worms in there now. See the photos below, super easy. Highly recommend to everyone!

Yes, i am familiar with the concept and will probably do this soon.
Altough since newspaper contains BPA (and it wouldn't surprise me if cardboard does too) i won't be using that. Maybe some halfway dried-out grass clippings?
 

Loohan

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No, they could not have escaped.
However, on 2nd thought, there may have been a few little pieces of dead worms in there.

When i posted this thread, i had just changed out the bran in the containers for some organic rolled oats. In the process i put the 2 largest worms from that troubled container into my other stash of large superworms. So all that remained in the small tub was 5 small ones.
Yesterday (9 days later) i took inventory of the small ones, and there were only 2 left! Also some dried pieces of dead ones. How can that happen? There were no big ones to kill them.

And BTW i am not totally new to using superworms. I normally don't have this problem. The other container, with larger worms, is still doing fine. I have been giving all the worms some fresh veggies almost daily, like i always do.

Anyway, it's a mystery that may never be resolved.
 
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