IdentificationThe male is about 2 mm in length and the female is slightly larger (up to 3 mm). Dark-brown beetle with yellow-brown to red-brown markings on the wing covers. They are also covered with fine hairs which may trap dust, giving a dirty appearance. The larvae are yellow to golden brown and reach a length of up to 5 mm. They are covered with thick, red-brown hairs with two tufts at the end of the abdomen.
DescriptionThe Khapra Beetle is considered to be the world's most destructive pest of stored grain and grain products. If left uncontrolled, this beetle can cover the surface of stored grain making it appear alive with crawling larvae It is also considered to be a dirty feeder as it breaks or powders more grain than it consumes. They also contaminate the grain with larval skins and setae which have been known to cause gastrointestinal irritation. Feeds on rice, peanuts, dried animal skins, as well as its preferred natural foods such as wheat and malted barley. Adults are short-lived, completing their adult life in one to two weeks. Mating occurs almost immediately after adult emergence, with oviposition for one to six days following. In ideal conditions the life cycle can be completed in as few as 30 days. The female lays up to 125 eggs loosely in the infested material. Eggs hatch in five to seven days. The larvae undergo 4 - 7 molts, resulting in the shedding of numerous cast skins.