Subject: Blue Bug
Location: Not sure
January 30, 2014 1:13 am
We import a dry dog food from Midwest US and with the last few containers we had a blue bug in the container. The container is transported via the Panama Canal from Pennsylvania – we wonder if it could have some from there.
I am sorry but my photos are not that good.. but here we go..
Image 1: dead, but you can see the legs
Image 2: dead, but you can get an idea of the size
Image 3: there are about 5-6 live ones in the bag with the dog food
Your help will be much appreciated
Signature: Not sure
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Thank you for your patience. It appears you have an infestation of Red Legged Ham Beetles, Necrobius rufipes. Even though the photo is blurry, the red legs are very obvious in your second image. According to Forensics Topics, a high profile occupation thanks to all the crime scene investigation shows on television: “This beetle is small in size with a bluish/green metallic body. Notice the red leggs-hence [sic] the name. This beetle shows up during dryer stages of decomposition.” We suspect that there are also larvae in the dog food. According to BugGuide: “found on dried fish, skins and bones of dead animals, and other carrion; also found on museum specimens” and “Eggs are laid on the food material; larvae pass through three or four instars; the last instar spins a cocoon in which pupation occurs; life-cycle takes 6 weeks or longer depending on food type and physical conditions. Under optimum conditions, the rate of population increase is about 25 times per month. The adults fly actively and can thus easily disperse to new sources of food.”
Thank you so much Daniel. Much appreciated.