Adult flour beetles are red-brown, slender, and about 1/8-inch long. Both species (red and confused) look very similar, but can be distinguished by looking at the antennae. The confused flour beetle’s antennae gradually enlarge toward the tip, ending in a four segmented club. The red flour beetle’s antennae become club-like very quickly and the club has three segments.
Tribolium confusum (Confused Flour Beetle), Tribolium Castaneum (Red Flour Beetle)
Over the span of the beetle’s lifetime, consisting of two to three years, females produce roughly 300 to 500 eggs. They lay two to three of these clear, white, sticky eggs daily in cracks, in bags, or trough the mesh of flour bags. The eggs hatch in 12 days and the larvae undergo 5 – 12 moults, completing development in about 30 days. The life cycle, egg to egg, can be completed in 49 to 90 days.
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