Mastic Beach beetles
I sent you some pictures of the tiny beetles we have last week but it was from an email account I’ve been having problems with. I haven’t seen them posted nor did I get a reply so I’m sending you them again from an email account I know works. I’ve been through all of the beetle and ant pages and nothing posted looks like these creatures. Photos are all of dead bugs, the live ones won’t pose for me: IMGA0981 – several on the handle of a plastic knife; IMGA0989 – best I could do for a closeup of the head area
Thanks for your help.
I found the bug on another site, it’s as follows: Sawtoothed Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis): The Sawtoothed grain beetle is another very common pantry pest. It does not feed on intact whole grains, but feeds on many processed food products such as breakfast food, bran, dried fruits, nuts, sugar, chocolate and macaroni. It is especially fond of oatmeal and birdseed. These flat beetles can even get into sealed boxes and packages of food. Adults are nearly 1/4-inch long, slender, brownish-red and active. Their name comes from the six saw-like teeth on either side of the thorax behind the head. After finding a potential food, the female lays white, shiny eggs that hatch into yellowish-white larvae. There can be as many as seven generations each year, but sawtoothed grain beetles often stop breeding in the winter, unless buildings are heated and moisture is sufficient. Adults are very long lived and remain active in the winter. The habits and traits are a perfect description and I think the source is the food we get for our parrot. Here’s the link to the other site and a copy of the photo. Between my closeup and the description I think I have a match.
Thanks for the information, and sorry we have been slow, but we could literally spend 24 hours a day answering letters, which is impossible. There is another closely related species, the Merchant Grain Beetle, Oryzaephilus mercator, that looks very similar. According to Hogue: “Its distinguishing feature is a small swelling on the head behind the eye which is lacking in O. surinamensis.” Your closeup seems to indicate this swelling. We favor the Merchant Grain Beetle.