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Saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis)


This very lively, slender, flattened beetle is up to 3 mm long and is coloured grey-brown to rusty brown. The neck plate has two flat broad lengthwise grooves and six sharp points on each side. These beetles feed on cereal grains, flour products, pasta, baked goods, dried fruit, nuts, etc. The females lay the eggs on these nutrient substrates. Following larval development the grubs pupate either unattached or in a cocoon comprising pieces of the nutrient substrate glued together. In warm grain stores massive proliferations can develop rapidly.


After the grain weevil, the saw-toothed grain beetle is the most important grain pest, causing extensive damage to the food industry. This is a feared pest because of its small size and extraordinary mobility, enabling it to get into everything, so that the insects are often transported inside food packaging. They are feared in the grain storage industry for their rapid and massive reproductive capacity. Damage is cause by feeding on the foodstuff substrates and resulting loss of quality due to heating and raised humidity followed by proliferation of mould fungi.