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Rust red flour beetle

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Scientific name: Tribolium castaneum .

Family: Tenebrionidae.

Order: Coleoptera.

 Host range: Broken grains/ mechanically damaged grains, germ portion and milled products.

Heavy infestation causes stinking odour in flour, adversely affecting the dough quality. It is an important pest for mill machinery. Nature of damage: Grubs feed on milled products.

Flour beetles are secondary pests of all grains and primary pests of flour and other milled products.

In grains, embryo or germ portion is preferred. They construct tunnels as they move through flour and other granular food products.

In addition they release gaseous quinines to the medium, which may produce a readily identifiable acid odour in heavy infestations.


Egg: White, translucent, sticky, slender and cylindrical. Grub: Worm like, whitish cream colour, faint stripes, two spines like appendages at the end segment.

Pupa: Pupa remains loosely lying in the grain and is naked.

Adult: Oblong, flat, brown in colour. In T. confusum, the compound eyes are completely notched and antennae are not gradually thickened whereas in T. castaneum, the notch is not complete and antennae have a clear 3-segmented club.

File Courtesy: 
C S Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur
Photo Courtesy:
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