Mini mealworm beetles?

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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Jun 4, 2006
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2,731
Hi, in my roach tank I had seen VERY tiny beetles that are light brown and look identical to mealworm beetles, except MUCH smaller, I could fit many on my fingernail and they move very slow. What are they and where did they come from?
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Mar 8, 2008
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They are most likely Alphitobius diaperinus, the lesser mealworm beetle. They are excellent as scavengers in roach tanks and will eat a wide variety of things, from roach frass, castings, and dead bodies to fruits and veggies. They are harmless to your roaches.
**EDIT- If you find any adults and they are black and shiny, they are A. diaperinus. If they are red-ish and incredibly small, they are Tribolium sp., which feed on grains and frass from roaches that have eaten grains. They are also harmless but can infest flour and other human foods.
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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They are a tad bigger than a fruit fly but not by much. They are pretty cool but so tiny they are the smallest beetle I have ever seen in my life! They are reddish-brown. I guess they are Tribolium sp. I;m going to look up what their larvae look like as I have never seen them. The beetles also chewed tiny round holes in my wood decor and tunnel through, or mabye it was the larvae?
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
They are a tad bigger than a fruit fly but not by much. They are pretty cool but so tiny they are the smallest beetle I have ever seen in my life! They are reddish-brown. I guess they are Tribolium sp. I;m going to look up what their larvae look like as I have never seen them. The beetles also chewed tiny round holes in my wood decor and tunnel through, or mabye it was the larvae?
Hmm. That doesn't sound like Tribolium behavior.
Maybe Stegobium or Lasioderma. Stegobium make exit holes from various media after maturing. The larvae are "grub-like" and white, whereas both Tribolium and Alphitobius have "mealworm-like" larvae.
 
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