July 16, 2022
Scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, have discovered that the larvae of Zophobas morio darkling beetles, which they are now referring to as superworms, eat polystyrene. Polystyrene is used to make packing material, disposable cutlery and even plastic boxes and bottles.
Because plastic does not decompose, it ends up in landfills from where it makes its way into oceans and animals’ stomachs, threatening our wildlife. Now, scientists have shown that the gut enzymes of these beetle larvae eat up polystyrene. Though the larvae can survive on polystyrene, it is not nutritious for them.
Did You Know?
Superworms grow up to 5cms long and are bred as a food source for humans in Thailand and Mexico and for reptiles and birds in other countries.