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Australian Wildlife

  Merchant Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus mercator)





Merchant Grain Beetle | Oryzaephilus mercator photo
Merchant Grain Beetle

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Merchant Grain Beetle | Oryzaephilus mercator photo
Merchant Grain Beetle larva

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



INSECT FACTS

Identification
The Merchant Grain Beetle is a slender, flattened dark brown beetle. It has six saw tooth projections on each side of the thorax. The wing covers have grooves along their length. It is very similar to the similar to the Sawtoothed Grain Beetle which has smaller eyes and a more triangular head. The adult Merchant Grain Beetle can fly (although it rarely does) but the Sawtoothed Grain Beetle cannot fly.

Size
length about 2.5mm to 3mm

Food
The Merchant Grain Beetle is a pest species found feeding in nuts, seeds, biscuits, dried fruit, grain and various other food products. The beetles can chew through sealed packaging such as cardboard boxes, plastic bags and foil wrappings.

Breeding
The female Merchant Grain Beetle lays eggs singly or in small batches in the food product, and lays about 300 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs hatch after about 8 days. The life cycle takes about 35 to 50 days.

Range
The Merchant Grain Beetle is distributed throughout the world and frequently transported in grain products. It is found throughout Australia except Tasmania



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Coleoptera
Family:Silvanidae
Genus:Oryzaephilus
Species:mercator
Common Name:Merchant Grain Beetle

Relatives in same Genus
  Sawtoothed Grain Beetle (O. surinamensis)