Cucujidae

Cucujids are 1.4-6.0 mm long, flattened and reddish brown or yellowish brown. They are found under the bark of hardwood trees, and are predators ofmites and insects, including wood-infesting beetles. A few species feed on stored grain or meal. Grain feeding may be a recent adaptation for cucujids. Originally, these species probably lived under the bark of wood used to build grain storage facilities, or they were associated with mold under bark or on grain. Cryptolestes is sometimes placed in the family Laemophloeidae.

Foreign grain beetle, Ahasverus advena (Fig. 5.6a) Adults are 1.9-2.5 mm long and brown to dark brown. Anterior angles of the pronotum have distinct protuberances extending anteriorly. Eggs are laid singly or in clusters of two or three. Females begin ovipositing 3-4 days after emergence; for most females there are 20-30-day periods of egg-laying, and 5-23-day periods of no egg-laying. Larval development is 11-19 days and there are four or five instars. Survival from larva to adult on rolled oats and yeast is at least 95% at 66-92% RH; no larvae survive at 58% RH. The full-grown larva constructs a pupal chamber of food particles cemented together and then attaches itself to the substrate with an anal secretion. Adults emerge in 3-5 days. Development from egg to adult on rolled oats and yeast is about 22 days at 27 °C and 75% RH. Mated males live 159 days and females live 208 days; unmated males live about 275 days, and unmated females about 301 days. This species is cosmopolitan and it has been recorded from a variety of food products, grain and cereal, copra, cocoa, peanuts, dried fruits, herbs, spices, and roots. It usually occurs in large numbers when the productis moldy, and itis capable ofliving in cultures of molds found on stored grain. The presence of mold, yeast, and wheat germ provides essential nutrients for development for both adults and larvae.

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