Right after getting the Axolotl, you will have a hard time understanding the eating pattern of this new pet. Among other Axolotl foods, mealworms don’t provide adequate nutrition to axolotls and can cause impaction in some cases.
Also, mealworm isn’t the ideal food for their proper growth. However, if you are determined to feed mealworms to your axolotl, you can do it, but some preparation is needed.
In this article, we will discuss how mealworms benefit axolotl health, how they should be prepared, and how to feed them. So, read till the end.
Can Axolotls Eat Mealworms?
Yes, you can treat your axolotl mealworms sometime. However, they’re not highly recommended as food for this fragile creature, both in terms of nutrition and quality.
How does axolotl eat the mealworms?
Though mealworms are a low nutritional food, axolotl finds it hard to digest because of the hard exoskeleton. The axolotl has a unique eating pattern, as it quickly and smoothly ingests its food without any biting involved. You won’t see them chewing their food; rather they fully swallow it.
So when they find mealworms in front of them, they will grab them & swallow them. But the hard exoskeleton would make swallowing harder & the digestive process difficult too.
For your axolotl’s comfortable feeding, provide them mealworms when they are in the process of changing their exoskeletons. During this time, their body becomes exposed so it would be very easy for the axolotl to digest the soft mealworms without any hassle.
When mealworms are molting, their bodies become completely white. This is the perfect time to feed mealworms to the pet axolotl.
Can Mealworms Cause Impaction for Axolotls?
Mealworms can cause severe impaction on Axolotl. To avoid any impaction, you must avoid feeding them more than one mealworm in a single day. As I mentioned earlier the robust exoskeleton takes a long time to become fully digested. Which burns off huge energy in the mealworm consumption process.
Apart from impaction, this food can cause choking to your gorgeous pet. If the axolotl finds it too much trouble to swallow the mealworm, it will instantly spit it out. So you need to have close monitoring during the mealworm feeding time.
Can baby axolotls eat mealworms?
It’s a big no when it’s about feeding mealworms to baby axolotl. Though a full-grown can eat mealworms with few days gaps but for a baby axolotl, it can be fatal.
There is a high chance of getting choked because the mouth size of the young axolotl is quite small compared to the mealworm size. For speedy growth, you have to provide them with fat-containing food. You can add waxworm which is much softer and easy to digest for the baby axolotls compared to the mealworms.
Do Axolotls Eat Mealworms in the Wild?
Axolotls live in a lake in Mexico and over there they don’t eat mealworms. Even if they encounter mealworms, they won’t eat them as there are better foods in the surrounding habitat. By nature, these worms are not on their wild diet list.
However, you might be thinking then why do axolotls eat Mealworms in captivity? It’s just because your little buddy is hungry.
What is the nutritional value of Mealworms to an axolotl?
Regarding the level of nutrients, Mealworms serve as a low-nutrient food for axolotl. If you want to see the optimum growth of pet axolotl, you need to ensure it’s enjoying a vitamin and mineral-rich diet.
On the other hand, if their diet is loaded with fat & carbohydrate, there would be a cut-off in the overall growth rate.
Let’s see the nutrient of a live mealworm in the following…
- 13% fat
- 20% protein
- 62% moisture
While a dry mealworm has nutrient levels of the following…
- 5% moisture
- 53% protein
- 28% fat
- 6% fiber
You can see that in both live & dry states they don’t offer vitamins & minerals so they are not a recommended food for axolotl.
Why are mealworms not good food for axolotl?
Although mealworms are fleshy enough, due to 2 strong reasons they are not good food for axolotl.
First of all, the level of chitin is high in mealworms which can create digestive issues. Because your pet axie can’t digest chitin. Which can lead to serious impaction and if go unnoticed death might be the result.
The second reason mealworm has a high concentration of fat & low percentage of calcium. This combination makes it a poor nutritional food for axolotl.
Frequently asked questions
1. Can Axolotls be fed mealworms frequently?
Due to the lack of nutrition & complexity of digestion, you should not provide more than 3-4 mealworms to pet axolotl. Anything more than that can be risky for your pet’s health.
2. How to feed mealworms to axolotl?
The first rule is to never give live mealworms to an axolotl because they can bite them and hurt them. Instead, crush the mealworms using any hard object so it would be swift for the axolotl to eat & digest.
Before giving the mealworm you must ensure that the mealworm is in the molting stage & have no exoskeleton. This is the right time for feeding them to axolotl.
3. Which axolotl’s food is better than mealworms?
Luckily there’s a long list of food available that offer much better nutrients for axolotls. These are the following –
• Dendrobaena Worms
• Red wigglers
• Feeder fish
• Grub pie
4. What kind of worms do axolotls eat?
Axolotls can eat versatile worms like earthworms, waxworms, micro worms, blackworms, bloodworms, and mealworms. However, you need to ensure to feed them specific worms at the right age.
• Baby axolotl – Microworms
• Young axolotl – Waxworms, bloodworms, blackworms
• Adult axolotl – Earthworms, Mealworms
5. Can you feed dry mealworms to axolotl?
No, it would be extremely risky to give axolotls dry mealworms for feeding. The combination of the hard exoskeleton and the dryness will surely lead to an impaction that can put your axolotl’s life at risk.
6. When can you start feeding mealworms to axolotl?
Keeping in mind that you can feed axolotl as an occasional treat when they reach their 5th stage of life or from the age of 18-24 months.
From this short post, you must get the idea that mealworms are not the top-notch food for axolotl. And they can create health issues in your beloved axie.
You can keep mealworms as a side food and give them once or twice a week. Don’t forget to choose the mealworm during the molting stage.
Hopefully, you will become more expert in feeding your axolotl the right food in the right way.