Black fungus beetle
Alphitobius laevigatus (Fabricius)

Classification

Secondary pest: fungus feeder and scavenger
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Tenebrionidae
Acronym: ALA

Description

  • Adults are dark reddish brown to black and 5.5 to 7.0 mm in length.
  • Adults can be distinguished from lesser mealworm based on the appearance of lateral view of the eye. The black fungus beetle's eye is only one facet wide at its narrowest point.
  • Larvae are yellow brown in colour and cylindrical in shape.

Similar species

Commodities affected

  • Is a fungal feeder and scavenger on a wide variety of stored products

Signs of infestation

  • No specific signs of infestation are associated with this species

Damage

  • Black fungus beetle does not feed directly on commodity
  • Presence of beetles indicates poor sanitation

How to control

Geographic range

  • Is distributed throughout the world
  • In Canada, it is only recorded from southern Ontario.

Where found

  • Is a scavenger, thriving in damp and mouldy conditions
  • Has been recorded outside of Canada, in animal houses, feeding on feces and dead animals
  • Unlike the lesser mealworm, it has not been recorded from poultry houses in Canada
  • Has not been documented in stored products in Canada

Life history

  • Adults are relatively long lived (400 days) and can fly.
  • Adults lay eggs in clumps amongst the food source.
  • Larvae move actively amongst the food source.

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