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Australian Wildlife

  Rust Red Flour Beetle (Tribolium castaneum)





Rust Red Flour Beetle | Tribolium castaneum photo
Red flour beetle

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

Rust Red Flour Beetle | Tribolium castaneum photo
Red Flour Beetle larvae

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



INSECT FACTS

Identification
The Rust Red Flour Beetle is an introduced pest species that attacks stored food products in cereal mills, food processing plants, grocery stores, households, and ships. It does not feed on or damage timber or furniture. The Rust Red Flour Beetle is reddish brown with antennae that end is a prominent three-segmented club. It is similar in appearance to the Confused Flour Beetle (Tribolium confusum) which is slightly larger and has antennae that thicken gradually into a four segment club. The Rust Red Flour Beetle will fly when conditions are hot and humid.

Size
Length 3mm to 4 mm

Food
The Rust Red Flour Beetle is a serious pest species that attacks stored grain products such as flour, cereals, meal, beans and other dried food products.

Breeding
The female lays tiny white eggs that hatch after about 9 days. The larvae are creamy to light brown with two dark projections on the last body segment. Larvae remain feed outside of the grain. The larval stage ranges from about 22 days to over 100 depending on temperature. Adults emerge from the pupa after about 8 days. Adult beetles can live for three years.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Coleoptera
Family:Tenebrionidae
Genus:Tribolium
Species:castaneum
Common Name:Rust Red Flour Beetle

Relatives in same Genus
  Confused Flour Beetle (T. confusum)