Tenebrio molitor


The tenebrio molitor or mealworm is an insect belonging to the order Coleoptera, known for being used to feed exotic animals and also for entomophagy.
The Food Safety Agency (EFSA) approved on January 13, 2021, for the first time the production and commercialization of the Tenebrio Molitor mealworm as a safe food for human consumption.

Tenebrio Molitor (Mealworm)

Name: Tenebrio molitor – Mealworm – Miller beetle
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Tenebrionids
Tenebrio Molitor in other languages: mealworm (English), Ténebrion meunier (French), Mehkäfer (German), Bicho-da-farihna (Portuguese)
Tenebrio molitor

Protein percentage of Tenebrio Molitor

Porcentaje tenebrio molitor

Description of the Tenebrio Molitor

Its use is mainly carried out in its larva phase. Mainly used to serve as food for animal species such as reptiles, birds and fish.
The Tenebrio Molitor is one of the species most used for breeding in insect farms, especially for live food. This insect from the order Coleoptera is described as undergoing several metamorphoses. Initially in its larva stage (mealworm) until it becomes a beetle.
The interest for its livestock exploitation and consumption focuses on its larval phase. As a beetle, it gives off a strong odor that animals do not like in terms of taste.

Larval Phase

It usually measures between 1 mm and 30 mm.
The Tenebrio molitor is orange-yellow in its larval phase. It has 6 legs, a small and dark head.

Adult Beetle

Between 15 – 20 mm.
The dark beetle is dark and shiny in color, in shades ranging from reddish to black.

Consumption of Tenebrio molitor

  • Feeding exotic animals
  • Fish feeding
  • Pet Food

At Proteinsecta we direct the consumption of Tenebrio Molitor more towards aquaculture, that is, for fish raised on farms.
Furthermore, the tenebrio molitor is one of the most consumed in human nutrition currently in the rest of the world, and soon, in Spain.

Exotic animals

Alimentación animales exóticos


Alimentación para peces


At Proteinsecta we put at your disposal this Video Consultancy lasting more than 3 hours. You will learn everything necessary from a legal or regulatory, economic (viability) and clients (potential markets) point of view.
To resolve any questions that may have arisen in the Video Consultancy, you will have access to a 1.5-hour video call tutorial. You can clarify your doubts with one of our technicians

Why include the Tenebrio Monitor in your insect farm?

The Tenebrio molitor is one of the most used insects in insect farms due to its great protein content. This fact makes it possible to produce feed for aquaculture that is rich from a nutritional point of view.
Furthermore, it is expected that this species will be one of the most used for human consumption or entomophagy.
On January 13, 2021, the European Union's food control body EFSA approved that the mealworm or Tenebrio molitor is safe for human consumption both in its complete form and as a powder additive.

Incluir tenebrio en tu granja
Cliclo de vida tenebrio

How to breed the Tenebrio Molitor?

Mealworm Life Cycle
Its life cycle is approximately 6 months, about 125 days.
Larval phase: 2.5 months
Phases Pupa, beetle and egg stages: 3.5 months

Tenebrio Molitor Habitat

Its ideal environment develops in a tropical climate with high levels of humidity. A constant warm temperature is also essential. Thus, it can develop and continue its life cycle comfortably.
For the breeding of the tenebrio molitor, a specific diet and special environmental conditions are necessary. From Proteinsecta we can tell you, guiding the breeding towards the optimal development of these insects.
Become a farmer and you will be able to access the Tenebrio Molitor Breeding Manual that we at Proteinsecta have developed after continuous research work for more than 7 years.

Hábitat de Tenebrio Monitor