ARTHROPOD MUSEUM NOTES

Number 79 • October 21, 2010 • Jeffrey K. Barnes

Confused flour beetle
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Tenebrionidae
Genus and species: Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val

confused flour beetle

Confused flour beetles commonly infest flour and grain stored in silos, warehouses, grocery stores, and homes. They feed on broken grain, grain dust, and flour, especially flour of high moisture content, rather than whole, undamaged grain. They have also been reported feeding on dried fruit, cayenne pepper, ginger, nuts, chocolate, beans, and other foods, as well as museum plant and insect specimens. Their secretions, feces, and dead bodies foul the food, making it unpalatable. The beetles are 3–4 mm long, reddish-brown, and they have clubbed antennae. The larvae are brownish-white and somewhat flattened. Adults apparently to not fly, and they are capable of living 2–3 years.