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Insects and other arthropods

Drugstore beetle

Stegobium paniceum

Tabs group


These tiny brown oval beetles are 2.2 to 3.5 mm long. They have longitudinal rows of fine hairs on the elytra (wing covers).

They are easily confused with cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne), but their antennae help to tell them apart: the drugstore beetle’s antennae end in a three-segmented club, while those of the cigarette beetle are serrated.

The whitish, crescent-shaped larvae are covered with long hairs and have brown heads. They are up to 4 mm long.

Life cycle

Their life cycle varies from six weeks to seven months, depending on conditions in the habitat. The females can lay up to 100 eggs, directly on the food source. The larvae develop for 4 to 20 weeks before pupating and turning into adults.

In heated locations, there may be several generations a year.

Geographic distribution

They probably originated in South Africa, and are now found more or less worldwide. They are more abundant in temperate regions than tropical ones.

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