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Tenebroides mauritanicus (L.)


The slim, flat, 6-11 mm long beetle is dark brown to black; ventral side, antennae and legs are red-brown. A particular feature is the waisting between wing covers and neck shield, whose front outer corners extend towards the head. The dirty-white larva, 15-18 mm long, has a black head, behind this a black shield, two black hooks at the end of the body and long body hairs. The yellowish-white pupa is 7-10 mm long.

Life History:

The female deposits some 500-1,000 eggs in clusters in the grain or grain products over the course of several months. The entire development period is about 1 year in temperate zones, and up to 3 generations per year in the tropics. In mills, the larvae are mainly found in clumps of Mediterranean flour moth webs, but also in cracks in timber. Before pupation, the larvae bore into wood or make a bed of flour and other materials. The larvae hibernate before pupation. The adults are long lived, often more than a year.




Is a serious pest in the tropics. The cadelle is found in mills, silos and warehouses, on grain mill products, feeds, groundnut seeds, etc. Irregular borings are found in kernels; germs are preferred. The cadelle gnaws through the bolting cloths in mills, and through its tunnelling may weaken timber sections in mill equipment and storage bins.

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