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Visual Reference Library - Insects
IN-14.0 RUSTY GRAIN BEETLE
 IN-14.0 Rusty Grain Beetle

Cryptolestes ferrugineus

 

A 1.5-2 mm long beetle, flat, wing covers almost twice as long as wide, reddish-brown, head and neck shield relatively large; long, fine antennae.

 

Each female is capable of laying 200 to 500 eggs, which are deposited loosely on or among the grain kernels. The slim yellowish-white larvae have two amber projections at the tail end and are freely mobile and grow to 3-4 mm length. In feeding they penetrate the germ-end of wheat kernels where they pupate.

 

The rusty grain beetle is the most common insect pest of stored wheat in the United States and Canada. Adults and larvae feed mostly on the wheat germ and cause considerable damage.Heavy infestations of the insects also contribute to other damage by causing the grain to heat and spoil, and by spreading fungal spores in the stored grain.

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Last updated February 2010