How can we tell the difference between maggots and mealworms?

I’m just curious how to tell the difference visually. They both look pretty similar to me. I know maggots come from flies and mealworms from a certain beetle but I can’t find anything for comparing them visually.

2 Answers

  • Both are insects larvae, so both are segmented, although the segments are more obvious on the mealworm. Maggots are white while mealworms are often between orangish yellow to orangish brown (although they are white at certain stages of their life cycle). More specifically: mealworms have a “head capsule” (a hard head) and 3 tiny pairs or legs, while maggots lack a head capsule and don’t have any leg. Also the mealworm rear end is tapering, while maggots have a flat rear end on which you can see 2 black spots (these 2 spots are “spiracles”, they allow the maggot to breathe).

  • Mealworms are a treat and a good protein boost, they don’t do anything for sour crop as far as I know. Maggots eat all of the gunk out of the crop so clear the sour crop as well as being a protein boost. You can use either as a treat and protein boost in the evenings.

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