Khapra beetle - declared pest

Page last updated: Friday, 24 May 2019 - 12:04pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is one of the most serious pests of stored grain products, especially under hot and dry conditions. It is very resilient and can survive in stored food, packaging and transport facilities in very low numbers under difficult conditions. It is able to survive inactively for long periods.

Khapra beetle is a regulated quarantine pest in many countries and currently absent from Australia. Our international trade would be severely impacted if it became established here.

Description

Khapra beetles, scientific name: Trogoderma granarium Everts (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) are small, oval-shaped and densely hairy, reddish-brown beetles.

  • 1.5-3.5mm long, 1.1-2.0mm wide
  • head and the first third of the body is dark reddish-brown
  • wing covers (elytra), reddish- or yellowish-brown, usually with indistinct lighter bands marked by whitish hairs
  • venter (underside) of body, reddish-brown
  • legs, yellowish-brown
  • hairs (setae) on the dorsal surface are of two types: evenly distributed, yellowish-brown; and on the wing covers two or three bands of indistinct yellowish-white
  • middle eye (median ocellus) on the front of the head is always distinct
  • antennae are yellowish-brown, short, with a distinct club
  • Please see PaDIL (Pests and Diseases Image Library) for high quality diagnostic and overview images.
Khapra Beetle dorsal diagnostic image
Dorsal diagnostic image of Trogoderma granarium
  • Newly hatched larva are whitish with yellowish-white hairs, 1.6-1.8mm long and 0.25-0.3mm wide. A little more than half of the length comprises a long tail of a number of hairs.
  • Mature larva are creamy coloured and covered with dense, brownish hair, about 6mm long and 1.5mm wide.

Warehouse, carpet and hide beetle larvae are almost identical in appearance to khapra beetle larvae. Only microscopic examination can separate them, so specimens should be sent to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for positive identification.

Many non-pest native Trogoderma and native carpet beetle species are very similar. A conspicuous feature of khapra beetle infestation is masses of hairy larvae and their cast skins.

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Contact information

Andras Szito
+61 (0)8 9368 3571
Oonagh Byrne
+61 (0)8 9368 3600