Tenebroides mauritanicus

Tenebroides mauritanicus L.

Systematic position: Insecta, Holometabola, Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae.

This species is sometimes placed in the family Trogossitidae.

Common name: Cadelle, cadelle beetle.

Distribution: Cosmopolitan.

Morphology: The larva is whitish with a brown head, about 10 mm in length. Pronotum dorsally black, other 2 prodorsal segments with black spots. Posterior abdominal segment with a pair of claspers. The adults have a flat body, mostly black to brown, antennae and legs brown, up to 18 mm in length. The thorax and abdomen are clearly separated; the elytra with longitudinal stripes.

Life history: A long-lived insect that may survive for long periods without food. The females can lay about 1.000 or more eggs in batches of 10-60. The life cycle can be completed in 70 days, but may be prolonged under unfavorable conditions. It feeds on grains, flour and bran and even on other stored-product insects. Females live for one year or more, and there are 2-3 annual generations, according to the regional climatic conditions. The larvae invade wooden structures and wherein they burrow and may remain there for long periods, sometimes in large numbers.

Economic importance: A common, very destructive, easily dispersed pest that attacks stored grain and the seeds of many commodities. Its feeding causes irregular holes in undamaged kernels. It is capable of invading food containers and can gnaw through wooden boards and paper packages, and thus enable the invasion of other pests. In addition T. mauritanicus is a serious pest in tobacco factories, occurring within bales of dry tobacco.


Cultural methods: Maintaining good store hygiene, including the avoidance and removal of broken seeds and filling all crevices. Heating to 55°C for 3 hours.

Biological control: The pteromalid Dibrachys microgastri (Bouché) (formerly known as Dibrachys cavus (Walker)) attacks T. mauritanicus in Turkey.


Peters, R.S. and Baur, H. 2011. A revision of the Dibrachys cavus species complex (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae). Zootaxa 2937: 1–30.

Sinha, R.N. and Watters, F.L. 1985. Insect Pests of Flour Mills, Grain Elevators, and Feed Mills and Their Control. Agriculture Canada, Research Branch, pp. 290.

Website https://www.google.co.il/search?q=tenebroides+mauritanicus+image&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK55X0nJjYAhXoCsAKHdqSBYsQsAQIJA&biw=1097&bih=552