Silken fungus beetles Atomaria
Atomaria spp.

Classification

Secondary pest; Fungus feeder
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Cryptophagidae
Acronym: CRY

Description

  • Adults are small (2 to 3 mm long), oval shaped and flattened.
  • Adults are light to dark brown and have fine hairs on the pronotum and elytra.
  • Antennae have antennal insertions close together and are located on the frons, a characteristic useful for distinguishing from other species of Cryptophagidae.
  • Larvae are cylindrical, flattened and yellow brown in colour.
  • Larvae are active with the head, thoracic legs and urogomphi clearly visible.

Similar species

Commodities affected

  • Does not feed on commodity, but rather on associated fungi
  • May infest cereal grains, wheat, barley, oats, bran, rice, flour, bread, dried fruit, mouldy plant and animal materials

Signs of infestation

  • Mouldy, damp grain is often indicative of the presence of the beetles rather than the other way around

Damage

  • Both adults and larvae feed on fungal spores and hyphae and do not cause direct damage to the commodity.
  • Adults are capable of transmitting fungal spores and may promote excessive mold growth in storage.

How to control

Geographic range

  • Is found across Canada
  • Is one group of silken fungus beetles found across Canada

Where found

  • Does not directly damage crop, but feeds on associated fungi indicating poor storage conditions
  • Is found in granaries, warehouses, mills, cellars, houses

Life history

  • Adults are long-lived and can fly.
  • Females lay eggs singly on or among the fungal hyphae.

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