Stegobium paniceum (Linnaeus)
Article by Bruce Gow, licensed pest controller
Adult: Drugstore beetles are 2.0-3.5 mm long. The body is elongate-oval and reddish-brown.
Head: Antennae have 11 segments with a loosely defined 3-segmented club. Compound eyes are large and positioned at the apex of the head above the mouthparts. The mouthparts consist of mandibles for chewing with 3/4-segmented maxillary palps and 2-segmented labial palps.
Thorax: The pronotum covers the head and laterally appears as a hood. Two pairs of wings are present. The forewings are hardened into protective covers called elytra. The elytra are not used in flight. The elytra protect the hindwings and serve as a dorsal exoskeleton. Elytra with longitudinal pits and lines of fine setae. The hindwings are membranous, fan-shaped and fold flat over the body when at rest. All legs are similar.
Abdomen: Cerci are absent.
Reproduction & Life-cycle:
Adult females lay approximately 75 eggs in dry organic matter. Adults live for 13-85 days. Eggs hatch within 7-12 days. Larvae live 35-50 days with 4-6 instars. Pupation typically occurs within a silken cocoon, but no cocoon is formed under some conditions. The pupal stage is 8-20 days. Drugstore beetle requires humidity to be greater than 35% to complete development.
The drugstore beetle is a cosmopolitan, sporadically serious pest of stored products.
Stegobium paniceum is a pest in granaries, pharmacies and museum collections. High-value commodities are easily ruined by slight damage or contamination by the drugstore beetle. The species occurs indoors in temperate regions and is not as abundant in tropical regions. Larvae feed on a broad range of foodstuffs including biscuits, chocolates, flour, fruits, nuts, leather and wool. The adult does not feed.
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