Rhyzopertha dominica Click to enlarge image
Lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica Major pest of whole cereal grains. Image: CSIRO
© CSIRO

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    dominica
    Genus
    Rhyzopertha
    Subfamily
    Dinoderinae
    Family
    Bostrichidae
    Super Family
    Bostrichidoidea
    Suborder
    Polyphaga
    Order
    Hymenoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    3 mm

Introduction

The Lesser Grain Borer is the biggest pest of stored grain in Australia but is not an Australian native. It arrived here before quarantine controls were in place.

Habitat

The Lesser Grain Borer lives in stored grain silos and warehouses.

Distribution

The Lesser Grain Borer is found throughout Australia.

Feeding and diet

Female Lesser Grain Borers lay eggs on a variety of stored grains including wheat, rice and corn. On hatching, the small white grub-like larvae chew their way into the grain to complete the rest of their development. While they are eating the inside of the grain, they push faecal pellets out of the grain. This creates a huge build-up of faeces in the stored grain. After pupating, the adult beetles continue to eat the grain and can fly off to infest other stores. Many thousands of tonnes of stored grain are lost to this beetle every year in Australia alone.

Economic impacts

Many thousands of tonnes of stored grain are lost to this beetle every year in Australia alone.