Tribolium castaneum, the Red Flour Beetle

Here’s a beetle that the genetics-inclined entomologist will recognize.  Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, was the first Coleopteran to have its genome sequenced.

This small tenebrionid is native to the Indo-Australian region but has become a pest of stored grains around the world.  I photographed these individuals from a lab culture at the University of Arizona where they were being used in studies on beetle development.


Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D

ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused flash


  1. #1 jason
    October 30, 2009

    Well that’s just silly. They don’t even look like flour…

    Seriously, these are splendid shots! That second photo especially intrigues me with the texture being so visible–especially of the eyes.

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