Life Cycle of a Waxworm

By Diana Beall

Wax worms are not worms, but are actually the greater wax moth's (Galleria mellonella) larval stage, states FOSSWEB. Wax worms are a food source for birds, most frogs, lizards, insects and other reptiles.

Description

The average length of a wax worm is ¾ inch, with a maximum length of an inch. Their soft, white to tan, fat bodies are quite active.

Egg

After mating, the adult female moths usually lay their eggs in old or run-down beehives, and then die. Beehives provide a perfect 86-degree temperature for the life cycle of six to seven weeks.

Larva

After feeding on the beehive’s honey, the larvae crawl into crevices to make their silk. The silk is a lifeline as webbing, which the larvae can walk on and use as material to build protective cocoons where the larvae rest and transform into pupae.

Pupa

Wax worms remain in the pupa stage for one to two weeks to emerge into adult moths.

Adult Moth

The adult moths do not drink nor eat. Mating occurs and the wax worms’ life cycle begins again.

Farming Wax Worms

To farm wax worms for fishing bait or a nutritional source for a pet such as a bird or reptile, the wax worms can be purchased from bait stores, pet stores and wax worm farms.