CIGARETTE (TOBACCO) BEETLE
Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius)
Written by Bruce Gow
Adult: Cigarette beetles are 2-3 mm long. The body is oval and reddish-brown to yellow.
Head: The head is drawn under the pronotum when the beetle is threatened. Antennae have 11 segments and segments 4-10 are serrate (saw-like). 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 are smooth in the cigarette beetle. 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 100 eggs in larval food. Females oviposit from 6-20 days old. Adults do not feed but do take water. Adults live for approximately 25 days. Eggs hatch within 6-8 days at 30°C. Larvae live 30-60 days with 4-6 instars. The early instars are active but mature larvae are less active. Mature larvae are white and C-shaped (scarabaeiform). Larvae bore away from the feeding site to construct a pupal cell/cocoon of waste material and food held together by midgut secretions. The pupal stage is 4-12 days. Cigarette beetle requires humidity to be greater than 25% to complete development. Adults remain in the cocoon for approximately 3-10 days until sexually mature.
Distribution:The cigarette beetle is a cosmopolitan, sporadic pest of stored products.
Pest Status:Cigarette beetle is a pest of tobacco, milled cereal, grain, dried fruit and dried insect collections. The larvae cause most damage when burrowing through cardboard containers and wrapping. Cigarette beetles actively fly, particularly at night.
“A threat to most restaurants or businesses that deal with grain, dried fruit, cereals and tobacco but the resident might also be interested in pest control and we’re always happy to help!” – Bruce Gow “Ring us up on 0417 251 911 or contact us via online message on the “contact us” webpage.”