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Rhizopertha dominica (F.)
Lesser Grain Borer


A beetle of 2-3 mm length, red-brown to black-brown, slim, cylindrical in body. The hood-shaped, rounded neck shield extends beyond the head; the spots on the shield gradually become smaller towards the rear. The three last segments of the antennae form a loose club. The larvae are white, similar to grubs, and have brown head capsules; the white pupal stage is passed inside the grain kernel.

Life History:

In sufficiently warm climates, the beetle can fly well. A female deposits 300-500 eggs in grain and similar crops. The larvae can eat their way into grain kernels, and also pupate there. Development is only possible above 73° F.; the development period is approx. 4 weeks at 83° F.


In warmer countries. It is carried into the temperate zones in goods, where it can only survive in warm warehouses.


Mainly attacks wheat, rye, corn, rice and millet. Badly infested wheat takes on a honey-like odor. Also attacks whole kernels as a primary pest. Both larvae and beetles bore into grains; irregularly-shaped boreholes are made and the flour produced by boring appears on the surface. Also attacked are beans, lentils, chick-peas, dried potatoes, tapioca and herbs.

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