Silken fungus beetles Cryptophagus
Cryptophagus spp.


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


  • Adults are small (2 to 3 mm long), oval shaped and flattened.
  • Adults range in colour from reddish brown to dark brown and may have yellowish or reddish markings on the elytra.
  • In many species, adults have fine hairs on the elytra and pronotum.
  • Thorax shape may be diagnostic of the species and may be angled or sculptured with small projections or serrations.
  • Larvae are cylindrical, flattened and yellow brown in colour.
  • Larvae are active with the head, thoracic legs and urogomphi clearly visible.
  • The most common species is Cryptophagus varus Woodroffe and Coombs.

Similar species

Commodities affected

  • Does not feed on commodity but rather on associated microorganisms
  • 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


  • 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

  • Cryptophagus spp. are found across Canada.
  • Cryptophagus varus is found across Canada.

Where found

  • Granaries, warehouses, mills, cellars, houses
  • Commonly found in granaries in the prairie provinces
  • Does not directly damage crop but feeds on associated moulds and fungi indicating poor storage conditions

Life history

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


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