The Mealworm Life Cycle
A female darkling beetle lays hundreds of tiny oval eggs, which hatch into tiny mealworms (the larval stage). It takes anywhere from 14 to 19 days for the eggs to hatch. As the mealworms grow, they eat an abundance of food, and shed their exoskeleton (to allow for more growth). When the mealworm enters the pupa stage (can last from 2 weeks to 9 months depending on the season). The pupa does not eat, and looks inactive; however, the mealworm is transforming into an adult. After pupating, a white darkling beetle emerges. The beetle slowly turns brown, and then black. The adult beetles lives for a few months. The entire lifecycle takes about a year.