The 3.5-7 mm long beetle is metallic green-blue in color and has red legs. When fully grown, the slim, grey-brown larva reaches a length of about 10 mm.
The beetle can fly. The female deposits up to 300 eggs. The larvae also eat the larvae of other pest such as larder beetle and cheese skipper. They migrate before pupation. The entire development period is 6-14 weeks at 77° F., depending on nutritional conditions.
Develops on skins, hides, guts and dried meat, on coconut and groundnut cake; often en masse on copra in ships' holds.