Yesterday, I found out that one of my Zophobas morio larvae has pupated, which was a great opportunity to show my pupils some examples of life cycles and life stages of various animals.
We already worked with the larvae, so most of the students have had them in their hand and were not scared of them any more (they even named the biggest larva).
They also saw the adult beetles, as I demonstrated their ways of defending themselves by secreting a smelling substance when disturbed (although it is not very easy to make them feel disturbed or threatened, I had to work very hard on that).
The only stage that I did not see were the eggs. The tiny larvae just seem to suddenly appear in the tank with adults, so I willbe happy if someone could give me some advice on how to look for them or what they look like.
When I was working on my thesis for teaching certificate, I got critisized by som people for picking this beetle, because of its smell and so on.However, they do have a very positive response in students and are a great source of various information - about life cycle, defence mechanisms, even can be shown as an example of potential food source (I am planning on trying to cook some at the end of the schoolyear and am getting a lot of inspiration from the Girl Meets Bug blog). They are relatively long lived and you can keep them very comfortably in a plastic box and feed them whatever food or veggie leftovers you have. And you can observe the larvae, pupae and adults at the same time.
I definitely need to get some more larvae :)