Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Tribolium confusum
(confused flour beetle)



Tribolium confusum (confused flour beetle)


  • Last modified
  • 08 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tribolium confusum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • confused flour beetle
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Dorsal view of adult T. confusum (museum set specimen).
CaptionDorsal view of adult T. confusum (museum set specimen).
Copyright©Georg Goergen/IITA Insect Museum, Cotonou, Benin
Dorsal view of adult T. confusum (museum set specimen).
AdultDorsal view of adult T. confusum (museum set specimen).©Georg Goergen/IITA Insect Museum, Cotonou, Benin


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val

Preferred Common Name

  • confused flour beetle

Other Scientific Names

  • Tribolium ferrugineum Auct.

International Common Names

  • English: flour beetle, confused; mason beetle
  • Spanish: gorgojo confuso de las harinas; tribolio confuso
  • French: petit ver de la farine; ver de la farine, petit

Local Common Names

  • France: tribolium brun de la farine
  • Germany: Amerikanischer Reis-Mehlkaefer; Mehlkaefer, Amerikanischer Reis-
  • Israel: shachrurit hakemach
  • Italy: tribolio
  • Netherlands: amerikanische, rrijstmeelkever; rijstmeelkever, amerikanischer
  • Norway: rismelbille
  • Spain: escarabajo americano de la harina; gorgojo confuso de la harina; gorgojo confuso de la harinas; gorgojo de la harina; tribilio confuso
  • Turkey: kirma biti

EPPO code

  • TRIBCO (Tribolium confusum)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Tenebrionidae
  •                             Genus: Tribolium
  •                                 Species: Tribolium confusum

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentAhmed and Islam, 1988
IndiaWidespreadSeenappa et al., 1979
-ChandigarhWidespreadPajni et al., 1976
-Indian PunjabPresentJoia and Chawla, 1988
-MaharashtraPresentMen and Kandalkar, 2001
IranPresentKhormaly et al., 2002
IraqPresentAl-Alawy et al., 1985
JapanPresentYabe, 1985
SingaporePresentAVA, 2001
TurkeyPresentYucel, 1988
UzbekistanPresentAsanov, 1970


BotswanaPresentMpuchane et al., 2000
Cape VerdePresentPereira et al., 2002
ChadPresentTrematerra et al., 2003
CongoPresentDelobel, 1992
EgyptPresentEl-Halfawy, 1977
EthiopiaPresentAbdulahi & Haile, 1991
UgandaPresentEvans, 1985

North America

CanadaPresentAnon, 1981
-ManitobaPresentBarker, 1968
USAPresentFennell et al., 1977
-ArizonaAbsent, intercepted onlySmith and Olson, 1982
-ConnecticutPresentHankin and Welch, 1991
-IllinoisPresentWade and Stevens, 1985
-KansasPresentLaHue, 1979

South America

ArgentinaPresentPicollo de Villar et al., 1987
BoliviaPresentSquire, 1972
BrazilPresentCAB ABSTRACTS Data Mining 2001
-Minas GeraisPresentCAB ABSTRACTS Data Mining 2001


AustriaPresentBerger and Hetfleis, 1985
BelgiumPresentSchiffers et al., 1990
BulgariaPresentGolemanski and Dukhlinska, 1982
CroatiaPresentKorunic and Lorkovic, 1971
DenmarkPresentAthanassiou et al., 2008
Former USSRPresent
FrancePresentAthanassiou et al., 2008
GermanyPresentWohlgemuth and Reichmuth, 1983
GreecePresentCAB ABSTRACTS Data Mining 2001
ItalyPresentRotundo et al., 1995
PolandPresentPradzynska, 1983
PortugalPresentAthanassiou et al., 2008
Russian FederationPresentKuznetsova and Antykov, 1984
SwedenPresentFerrer, 1995
UKPresentVayias et al., 2006
-England and WalesPresentWilkin et al., 2003


-New South WalesPresentAttia, 1984

Habitat List

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Growth Stages

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List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Seeds / external feeding
Seeds / frass visible
Seeds / internal feeding
Seeds / lesions on seeds

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Acarophenax rackae Parasite Eggs Hajiqanbar et al., 2011
Acaropsellina docta Predator
Acaropsellina sollers Predator
Adelina tribolii Pathogen Ghazavi, 2013
Amphibolus venator Predator
Cheyletus malaccensis Predator
Dufouriellus ater Predator
Gregarina confusa Pathogen Ghazavi, 2013
Haemogamasus pontiger Predator
Holepyris sylvanidis Parasite Larvae
Mus musculus Predator
Nosema whitei Pathogen
Orius albidipennis Predator
Orius laevigatus Predator
Peregrinator biannulipes Predator
Termatophyllum insigne Predator
Xylocoris flavipes Predator
Xylocoris galactinus Predator
Xylocoris sordidus Predator


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1981. Confused flour beetle. Tribolium confusum (J. du Val). Insect Identification Sheet, Agriculture Canada, No. 72:2 pp.

Abdulahi A; Haile A, 1991. Research on the control of insect and rodent pests of wheat in Ethiopia. Wheat research in Ethiopia: a historical perspective [edited by Gebre-Mariam, H.; Tanner, D. G.; Hullluka, M.] Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Institute of Agricultural Research, 219-233.

Ahmed KN; Islam W, 1988. A new record of the parasite Rhabdepyris zeae Waterston (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) from Bangladesh and some aspects of its biology. Bangladesh Journal of Zoology, 16(2):137-141.

Al-Alawy SAM; Al-Zobaidi MM; Mahdi MT, 1985. General survey on flour beetles in the middle of Iraq, and studying the economic importance and population density of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), T. confusum (Jacq.) (Col.: Tenebrionidae). Journal of Agriculture and Water Resources Research, 4(3):43-56.

Asanov K, 1970. The lesser grain borer. Zashchita Rastenii, 15(10):47.

Athanassiou CG; Kavallieratos NG; Chintzoglou GJ, 2008. Effectiveness of spinosad dust against different European populations of the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val. Journal of Stored Products Research, 44(1):47-51.

Attia FI, 1984. Insecticide and fumigant resistance in insects of grain and stored-products in Australia. Proceedings of the Third International Working Conference on Stored-Product Entomology. October 23-28, 1983, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA: Kansas State University, 196-208.

AVA, 2001. Diagnostic records of the Plant Health Diagnostic Services, Plant Health Centre, Agri-food & Veterinary Authority, Singapore.

Awadallah KT; Tawfik MFS; Abou-Zeid N; El-Husseini MM, 1980. The life-history of Dufouriellus ater (Duf.) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae). Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique d'Egypte, No. 63:191-197.

Awadallah KT; Tawfik MFS; El-Husseini MM, 1986. Bio-cycle of the anthocorid predator Xylocoris flavipes (Reuter) in association with rearing on major pests of stored drug materials. Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique d'Egypte, 66:27-33.

Awadallah KT; Tawfik MFS; El-Husseini MM; Ibrahim AMA, 1986. Effect of larval preys on the biocycle of Xylocoris sordidus (Reuter) (Anthocoridae, Hemiptera). Archiv für Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, 22(3):237-242.

Barker PS, 1968. Note on the bionomics of Haemogamasus pontiger (Berlese) (Acarina:Mesostigmata), a predator on Glycyphagus domesticus (DeGeer). Manitoba Entomologist, 2:85-87.

Berger HK; Hetfleis M, 1985. Stored-product protection - pests and their control. Pflanzenschutz, 2:9-10.

Cong Hao N; Cuu Thi Huong Giang N; Cuu Khoa N; Thanh Son N, 1997. Synthesis and application of insect attractants in Vietnam. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 18(1/4):59-68; 19 ref.

Delobel A, 1992. Dried cassava chips, an important reservoir for stored-product insects in Central Africa. Journal of African Zoology, 106(1):17-25.

El-Halfawy MA, 1977. Entomofauna of dried medical and aromatical plants with a short note on their occurrence and populations. Agricultural Research Review, 55(1):103-160.

Evans NJ, 1985. The effectiveness of various insecticides on some resistant beetle pests of stored products from Uganda. Journal of Stored Products Research, 21(2):105-109.

Fennell DI; Kwolek WF; Lillehoj EB; Adams GL; Bothast RJ; Zuber MS; Calvert OH; Guthrie WD; Bockholt AJ; Manwiller A; Jellum MD, 1977. Aspergillus flavus presence in silks and insects from developing and mature corn ears. Cereal Chemistry, 54(4):770-778.

Ferrer J, 1995. A key to the flour beetles of the genus Tribolium MacLeay in Sweden (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae), with distributional notes. Entomologisk Tidskrift, 116(3):123-126; 12 ref.

Ghazavi M, 2013. Introduction of four entomopathogenic protozoa, new to Iranian fauna. Iranian Journal of Plant Protection Science, 44(1):Pe61-Pe69.

Golemanski VG; Dukhlinska DD, 1982. Unicellular parasites of insect pests in Bulgaria. I. Composition and distribution of Sporozoa and Microsporidia in grain storehouse insect pests. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 20:26-37.

Haines CP, 1991. Insects and Arachnids of Tropical Stored Products: Their Biology and Identification (A Training Manual), 2nd edition. Chatham, UK: Natural Resources Institute.

Hajiqanbar H; Baradaran P; Taheri MS, 2011. First record of Acarophenax rackae (Acari: Heterostigmata: Acarophenacidae), an egg parasitoid of Tribolium confusum (Col.: Tenebrionidae) from Iran. Journal of Entomological Society of Iran, 31(1):87-88.

Hankin L; Welch K, 1991. Insects found during sanitary inspections. Dairy, Food and Environmental Sanitation, 11(10):575-576.

Hinton HE, 1948. A synopsis of the genus Tribolium MacLeay, with some remarks on the evolution of its species groups (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 39:13-55.

Howe RW, 1960. The effects of temperature and humidity on the rate of development and the mortality of Tribolium confusum Duval (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae). Annals of Applied Biology, 48(2):363-376.

Hussain S; Aslam NA, 1970. Some observations on a beneficial Reduviid bug: Amphibolus venator, Klug (Fam. Reduviidae: Hemiptera). Agriculture Pakistan, 21(1):37-42.

Joia BS; Chawla RP, 1988. Comparative susceptibility of field populations of Tribolium castaneum (Hbst.) and Tribolium confusum Du Val from Punjab to malathion. Journal of Insect Science, 1(2):193-194.

Khan MA, 1983. Effectiveness of insecticides and repellents on stored-product pests. Anzeiger für Schadlingskunde Pflanzenschutz Umweltschutz, 56(2):25-29.

Khormaly S; Tahery MS; Broomand H, 2002. Faunal investigation of stored pests in Gonbad & Minoodasht. Applied Entomology and Phytopathology, 70(1):Pe13-Pe23, 3-4.

Korunic Z; Hamel-Koren D, 1985. The effect of deltamethrin and pirimiphos-methyl on pests of stored products. Zastita Bilja, 36(4):417-423.

Korunic Z; Lorkovic Z, 1971. A new mutant of the insect Tribolium confusum Duval (Coleoptera) found in Yugoslavia. Acta Entomologica Jugoslavica, 7(2):49-55.

Kuznetsova YuI; Antykov SA, 1984. Disinfestation of components. Zashchita Rasteni, 10:33.

LaHue DW, 1966. Evaluation of malathion, synergised pyrethrum and a diatomaceous earth as protectants against insects in sorghum grains in small bins. Mark. res. rep., 781.

LaHue DW, 1979. Pirimiphos-methyl and chlorpyrifos-methyl as controls of indigenous insect infestations in farmers' stock peanuts. Journal of Economic Entomology, 72(4):621-624.

Men UB; Kandalkar HG, 2001. First record of two insect pests on stored sunflower in India. Insect Environment, 6(4):176-177.

Mpuchane S; Gashe BA; Allotey J; Siame B; Teferra G; Ditlhogo M, 2000. Quality deterioration of phane, the edible caterpillar of an emperor moth Imbrasia belina. Food Control, 11(6):453-458.

Pajni HR; Jit I; Lata P, 1976. A report on Tenebrionidae (Coleoptera) of Chandigarh. Research Bulletin of the Panjab University, Science, 27(1/2):123-124.

Pereira AP; Carvalho MO; Rodrigues J; Mexia A, 2002. Survey and estimate of moth population density in a flour mill in Cape Verde Islands. Bulletin OILB/SROP [Proceedings of the IOBC/WPRS Working Group "Integrated Protection in Stored Products", Lisbon, Portugal, 3-5 September, 2001.], 25(3):53-63.

Picollo de Villar MI; Seccacini E; Zerba EN, 1987. Resistance to malathion in insect pests of stored grain in Argentina. IDIA, 441-444:59-63.

Pradzynska A, 1983. Occurrence of stored-product insects in stores in Wielkopolska. Prace Naukowe Instytutu Ochrony Roslin, 25(1):143-156.

Prozell S; Scholler M, 1997. The insect fauna of an industrial bakery applying biological control with Trichogramma evanescens Westwood instead of synthetic chemical insecticides. Proceedings of the German Society for General and Applied Entomology, Bayreuth, Germany, 18-22 March 1997. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft fnr Allgemeine und Angewandte Entomologie, 11(1-6):293-296.

Rizk GN; El-Badry E; Hafez SM, 1979. The effectiveness of predacious and parasitic mites in controlling Tribolium confusum Duv. Mesopotamia Journal of Agriculture, 14(2):167-182.

Rotundo G; Cristofaro Ade; Chierchia A, 1995. Insect pests and hygienic conditions of a flour mill/pasta factory in Campobasso. Tecnica Molitoria, 46(5):465-484; 26 ref.

Sauer DB, 1992. Storage of Cereal Grains and Their Products. 4th edition. St Paul, USA: American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc.

Schiffers BC; Haubruge E; Mahaut T; Detraux M, 1990. Methods of control of pests of stored grain in Belgium. Parasitica, 46(4):121-144.

Seenappa M; Stobbs LW; Kempton AG, 1979. The role of insects in the biodeterioration of Indian red peppers by fungi. International Biodeterioration Bulletin, 15(3):96-102.

Shejbal J; Tonolo A; Careri G, 1973. Conservation of cereals under nitrogen. Mededelingen Fakulteit Landbouwwetenschappen Gent, 38:1133-1144.

Smith RL; Olson CA, 1982. Confused flour beetle and other Coleoptera in stored marijuana. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 58(1):79-80.

Sokoloff A, 1972. The Biology of Tribolium with special emphasis on Genetic Aspects. Volume 1. London, UK: Oxford University Press.

Sokoloff A, 1974. The biology of Tribolium with special emphasis on genetic aspects. Volume 2. Clarendon Press. Oxford UK, xviii + 610 pp.

Sokoloff A, 1977. The biology of Tribolium with special emphasis on genetic aspects. Volume 3. Clarendon Press. Oxford UK, xix + 612 pp.

Squire FA, 1972. Storage and household pests. In: Squire FA, ed. Entomological Problems in Bolivia. PANS, 18:261.

Suzuki T; Sugawara R, 1979. Isolation of an aggregation pheromone from the flour beetles Tribolium castaneum and T. confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Applied Entomology and Zoology, 14(2):228-230.

Tawfik MFS; Awadallah KT; Abdella MMH, 1982. Effect of prey on various stages of the predator Allpocranum biannulipes (Montr. et Sign.) (Hemiptera; Reduviidae). Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique d'Egypte, 64:251-258.

Tawfik MFS; Awadallah KT; El-Husseini MM; Afiji AI, 1986. Effect of temperature on the life-cycle of the predator Termatophyllum insigne Reuter (Hemiptera, Termatophylidae). Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique d'Egypte, 66:43-49.

Tawfik MFS; Awadallah KT; El-Husseini MM; Ibrahim AMA, 1986. Effect of temperature and relative humidity on the biocycle of Xylocoris sordidus (Reuter) (Anthocoridae, Hemiptera). Archiv für Phytopathologie und Pflanzenschutz, 22(2):119-129.

Trematerra P; Gentile P; Djikoloum T, 2003. Cereal storage in developing countries: Chad case history. Tecnica Molitoria International, 54(2):155-163.

Vayias BJ; Athanassiou CG; Kavallieratos NG; Buchelos CT, 2006. Susceptibility of different European populations of Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) to five diatomaceous earth formulations. Journal of Economic Entomology, 99(5):1899-1904.

Wade MJ; Stevens L, 1985. Microorganism mediated reproductive isolation in flour beetles (genus Tribolium). Science, USA, 227(4686):527-528.

Wilkin R; Cross D; Mumby R, 2003. An assessment of pheromone traps to monitor flour beetles (Tribolium confusum) at a flour mill. In: Advances in stored product protection. Proceedings of the 8th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection, York, UK, 22-26 July 2002 [ed. by Credland, P. F.\Armitage, D. M.\Bell, C. H.\Cogan, P. M.\Highley, E.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing, 311-314.

Wohlgemuth R; Reichmuth C, 1983. Summary of surveys of the infestation of imported goods by stored-product pests on entry into the German Federal Republic during the years 1975/76 to 1979. Mitteilungen aus der Biologischen Bundesanstalt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, 212.

Yabe T, 1985. Insects as a food source of Japanese house mice (Mus molossinus) in a seed warehouse. Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, 36(1):79-81.

Yucel A, 1988. Investigation on determining flour beetles and their damage in meal factories and mills in south-eastern Anatolia. Bitki Koruma Bulteni, 28(1-2):57-77

Zaki FN, 1989. Rearing of two predators, Orius albidipennis (Reut.) and Orius lpvigatus (Fieber) (Hem., Anthocaridae) on some insect larvae. Journal of Applied Entomology, 107(1):107-109

Distribution Maps

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