The scientific name for the Phoenix Worm is hermetia illucens linnaeus. It is the larvae of the soldier fly. The larvae has a soft, bullet-shaped body. The body is flattened and it is covered with firm, tough skin. The Phoenix Worm head is smaller and much more narrow than the body. The worm has no legs, but it does have spines and hair. These are its only features. The worm’s back contains “spiracles” or breathing pores. The Phoenix Worm is 9.4% fat and 17.3% protein making it the perfect feed for snakes, lizards and other reptiles as well as certain fish, insects, and carnivorous plants.
After hatching from its egg, the larvae develop through several stages before pupating inside of the last larval skin. If you feed your Phoenix Worms, they typically require a grain-based diet. That said, the Phoenix Worm will last for weeks inside of cups or any other packaging before pupating. The Phoenix Worm does not require feeding nor does it need to be cultured. This makes the Phoenix Worm a hassle-free and easy live feeder.
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In addition to silkworms, Phoenix Worms considered the most nutritious feeders on the market today. In addition to being low in fat and high in protein, Phoenix Worms contain a significant amount of calcium and phosphorus. The high calcium content makes the Phoenix Worm perfect feed for gravid females or for animals whose owners are hoping to become parents. By eating Phoenix Worms, due to the high calcium content, the female will retain and use larger than usual amounts of natural calcium for strong and abundant egg production. The high calcium content of the Phoenix Worm may also halt or reverse the effects of metabolic bone disease.
If you plan to use Phoenix Worms for feeding, silkwormshop.com offers the following instructions for maintenance and use:
*Do not refrigerate your Phoenix Worms. Keep them at room temperature. Although they can tolerate high temperatures, Phoenix Worms will have the longest shelf life at 50-60° F.
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*Keep the Phoenix Worms in the cups that they are sent to you in.
*Do not feed your Phoenix Worms. They do not require any food and will last for weeks without pupating. The packing media in the cup that the Phoenix Worms are sent to you in is not food but is an organic material that is ideal for storage. If the material becomes almost completely dry, you should add a few drops of water to keep it slightly moist.
*Keep the lid on the cups. The special cup will allow the Phoenix Worms to have enough air and must be kept closed to ensure long shelf life.
It is important to note that the Phoenix Worms will begin to turn dark colored as they age. This is perfectly normal and does not affect their value as a live and nutritious feeder. If the Phoenix Worm is allowed to mature, it will become an adult soldier fly. The adult soldier fly is about 5/8-inches long and it is black with pale black wings.