Flour beetle

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Flour beetles
Tribolium castaneum87-300.jpg
Tribolium castaneum
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Tenebrionidae (partim)


Flour beetles are members of the darkling beetle genera Tribolium or Tenebrio. They are pests of cereal silos and are widely used as laboratory animals, as they are easy to keep. The flour beetles consume wheat and other grains, are adapted to survive in very dry environments, and can withstand even higher amounts of radiation than cockroaches.[1] They are a major pest in the agricultural industry and are highly resistant to insecticides.

The larvae of T. molitor, when full-grown, are known as mealworms; small specimens and the larvae of the other species are called mini mealworms.

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In 2008, the Tribolium castaneum genome was sequenced by the Tribolium Genome Sequencing Consortium.[2]


  1. ^ [1] Tuncbilek, A.S., et al. Gamma radiation sensitivity of larvae and adults of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum Herbst. J. Pest Science 76(5), 129–132, 2003.
  2. ^ [2] The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum. Nature 452, 949-955, 2008.

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