The Latridiidae is a family of beetles that feed on mould spores. They are referred to as minute brown scavenger beetles. The family contains about 500 species with sixty species estimated to occur in Canada. In Canada, minute brown scavenger beetles are widely distributed. In general, they are associated with molds and fungi. A number of species are associated with stored products. In Canada they have been found in stored grain, cereal products, wheat, oatmeal, flax, flour, buildings, cellars, moldy cheese and moldy plant materials, and manure heaps.
Both the adult and larva feed on fungal spores and hyphae and do not cause direct damage to the commodity. They are associated with damp, mouldy spaces. The presence of minute brown scavenger beetles indicates poor storage conditions.
The adult minute brown scavenger beetle is very distinctive looking. It is very small. It is 1.2 – 2.4 mm long and flat. It is pear-shaped. The head and thorax are much narrower than the abdomen. Most species are brown. Other species are yellow-brown to dark brown in colour. The adult has clubbed antennae. Most species are sculptured. This means that the thorax and elytra may have distinct raised ridges or rows of pits. In some species, the thorax is constricted in a narrow waist and may be sculptured or pitted. Other species are covered in hairs. The adult is long lived and can fly.
The female lays eggs singly on a food source. Temperatures required for development range from 15°C to 23°C.
The larva is slender and slightly flattened. It is lightly coloured. The larva is active. It does not have urogomphi. The larva moult three times. The range of development time is 30 to 50 days. The temperature range required for development is 15°C to 23°C, and a relative humidity of 80%. The larva pupates in the food source.
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Aridius nodifer
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Cartodere constricta
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Corticaria pubescens
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Dienerella ruficollis
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Enicmus fictus
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Lathridius minutus
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Melanophthalma americana
Adult: Minute brown scavenger beetles - Thes bergrothi