Overview

Brief Summary

Lasioderma serricorne is a small (2-3 mm) brown beetle of the family Anobiidae, commonly known as the cigarette beetle, cigar beetle, or tobacco beetle. Its common name refers to the fact that this beetle is the most significant pest of all forms of stored tobacco, from cigarette packets to hogsheads and bales. It is also a pest of stored dried foodstuffs and non-food household items (dried plants, furniture stuffing, paper items and much more). Some were even found in dried resin from the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamun, and are known pests in museum herbariums. Locations with warm climates can see up to four generations a year; cooler climates just one. The small, grub-like larvae are C-shaped, white, and hairy, and constitute the main pest phase of this insect; they infest foodstuffs and feed for 5-10 weeks before pupating. Adults live up to six weeks, are strong fliers and become a nuisance by swarming at windows, but do not feed. Females lay 10-100 eggs upon a food source. Adult beetles carry a symbiotic yeast, Symbiotaphrina kochii, in their mycetome, a specialized organ linked to their gut. As the adult passes eggs through the oviduct, the yeast attaches to the beetles’ eggs and upon hatching, the larvae consume it to inoculate their own mycetome. The yeast supplies vitamin B and resistance to some toxins to the insect, and allows the larvae to survive on less nutritional food sources.

Populations of cigarette beetles can be monitored using pheromone traps. Sanitary practices and tight storage help control this pest, and deep freezing or heating products can rid contaminated items of this species. For heavy infestations, insecticides are sometimes applied, but in limited use around food products.

Cigarette beetles are easily confused with the similar looking drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum) and the common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum), all of which are pests of dried goods and belong to the family Anobiidae. All three harbor symbiotic yeasts for nutritional needs, but interestingly, these yeasts are of different species.

(Cabrera 2007; Koehler 2008; Lyon; Wikipedia 2011)

  • Cabrera, B. J. 2007. Cigarette beetle Lasioderma serricorne. Featured Creatures, Department of Entomology and Nematology. Retrieved November 3, 2011 from http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/stored/cigarette_beetle.htm" target= "_blank">http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/stored/cigarette_beetle.htm
  • Koehler, P. G. 2008. Cigarette Beetle, Lasioderma serricorne (Coleoptera, Anobiidae). Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, EDIS. Publication ENY-265. Retrieved online November 3, 2011 from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig116" target= "_blank">http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig116
  • Lyon, W.F. Cigarette and Drugstore Beetles. HYG-2083-97. Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet. Retrieved November 3, 2011 from http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2083.html" target = "_blank">http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2083.html
  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 July, 2011. "Lasioderma serricorne". Retrieved November 3, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lasioderma_serricorne&oldid=442273179" target = "_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lasioderma_serricorne&oldid=442273179
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Distribution

Cigarette beetles are found worldwide, everywhere that stored tobacco is found. They thrive in temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The beetle spread widely as it was transported in packaged tobacco or other packaged products. It is believed that the cigarette beetle originated in Egypt because their carcasses have been found in Egyptian tombs.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Introduced ); oriental (Introduced ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Introduced ); australian (Introduced ); oceanic islands (Introduced )

Other Geographic Terms: cosmopolitan

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Physical Description

Morphology

Adult cigarette beetles are small, reddish-yellow or brownish-red oval shaped beetles. They appear hunched when viewed from the side due to the angle of their head, which is bent downwards almost perpendicular to the thorax. Their wing covers are smooth and unstriated. Adult cigarette beetles are often confused with drugstore beetles, which have striated wing covers and are longer and thinner than drugstore beetles. Cigarette beetle larvae are off-white, grub-shaped, covered with long yellowish-brown hairs, and have three pairs of legs and a brown head. When fully grown, both adults and larvae are 2 to 3 mm long. Adults weigh 0.0016 to 0.0044 g.

Range mass: 0.0016 to 0.0044 g.

Range length: 2 to 3 mm.

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

The habitat of cigarette beetles is difficult to define because they can be found anywhere that there are stored food products to eat. The only requirements that it needs for life are warm temperatures and some humidity. Elevation and proximity to water are apparently unimportant to this species.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

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Trophic Strategy

Cigarette beetles are best known for their infestations of dried tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars, however, they eat many types of stored products including raisins, figs, dates, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, yeast, drugs, legume seeds, barley, cornmeal, flour, soybean meal, sunflower meal, wheat, wheat bran, rice meal, beans, cereals, fish meal, peanuts, dry yeast, dried flowers, leather, woolen cloth, bamboo, and sometimes, the remains of dead insects.

Animal Foods: insects

Plant Foods: leaves; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit; flowers

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

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Associations

Cigarette beetles feed solely on stored plant material and some carcasses of other insects found within their food source. There are some insects that prey on cigarette beetles like wasps (Anisopteromalus calandrae) and mites, (Moniezella angusta) which feed on the larvae of the cigarette beetle. If not living within human food stores, cigarette beetles may live in and eat dead plant matter.

Species Used as Host:

  • none found

Mutualist Species:

  • none found

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

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Cigarette beetles are prey to many mites and beetles. Mite predators include Chortoglyphrrgs raciiipes, Pediculoides uentricosus, Seiulus, Acaropsis docro, Acaropsis solers, Cheyletus erudirus, and Tyrophagus putrescentiae. They are also eaten by feather legged orb weavers (Uloborus geniculatus), red flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum), cadelle beetles (Tenebroides mauritanicus), and clerid beetles (Thaneroclerus buqueti).

Known Predators:

  • Papadopoulou, S. 2006. Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank) (Astigmata : Acaridae) as a new predator of Lasioderma serricorne (F.) (Coleoptera : Anobiidae) in tobacco stores in Greece. JOURNAL OF STORED PRODUCTS RESEARCH, 42/3: 391-394.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Cigarette beetles use their senses of touch, sight (minimally), and chemical receptors to perceive their environment and communicate with other beetles. The most common form of communication between beetles is through the use of pheromones, which they use to attract mates and deter oviposition near an existing oviposition site.

Communication Channels: chemical

Other Communication Modes: pheromones

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Life Cycle

Cigarette beetles begin life as eggs laid directly onto dried, stored foods. These eggs are pearly white and have many spines on the end from which the larvae emerge 6 to 8 days later. Larvae are creamy white in color and covered in fine, light brown hairs. Larvae are mobile, burrowing into loosely packed stored foods which they feed on until they are fully grown. The larvae then enter the pupal stage, building a cocoon in which they undergo metamorphosis. They emerge 4 to 12 days later as sexually mature adults. The adult females are able to oviposit after one day of emergence. This whole cycle is generally completed in 26 to 33 days.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Life Expectancy

The lifespan of cigarette beetles in captivity is 26 days to 1 year, with an expected lifespan of 44 days. The optimal conditions for growth and development are between 30 and 37 degrees Celsius and 70 to 75% relative humidity. A constant temperature of greater than 40 degrees Celsius or less than -18 degrees Celsius is fatal to all stages of life and low humidity significantly shortens their lifespan. Larvae who eat more generally live to become larger, longer-living adults. Beetles raised on wheat flour have the highest body size and fecundity, laying an average of 10 times more eggs than beetles living on cigar tobacco.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
26 to 360 days.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
44 days.

  • Collins, D., S. Conyers. 2010. The effect of sub-zero temperatures on different lifestages of Lasioderma serricorne (F.) and Ephestia elutella (Hubner). JOURNAL OF STORED PRODUCTS RESEARCH, 46/4: 234-241.
  • Mahroof, R., T. Phillips. 2008. Life history parameters of Lasioderma serricorne (F.) as influenced by food sources. JOURNAL OF STORED PRODUCTS RESEARCH, 44/3: 219-226.
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Reproduction

Cigarette beetles are polygynandrous organisms that reach sexual maturity during the pupal stage of development. In 10 to 12 hours after a female cigarette beetle emerges from its cocoon, it begins producing sex pheromones from a specialized pore on the second segment on its abdomen. This pheromone is highly attractive to male cigarette beetles. When a male beetle nears the source of the pheromones, is lowers its head, vibrates its antennae, and walks circles around the source. The male cigarette beetle then touches his antennae to the dorsal surface of the female and grasps her elytra. He then inserts his aedeagus (male reproductive organ) into the female's vagina. Once the beetles are connected, they remain connected, "end-to-end" position for 53 to 67 minutes to allow for sperm transfer. Length of copulation period is unaffected by temperature. Females normally mate with two males, whereas males normally mate at least 6 times.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Cigarette beetles emerge from their cocoons, an average of 4 weeks after birth, as fully developed, sexually mature adults. A female beetle is able to oviposit within one day of emergence. After fertilization, the female beetle looks for dry packaged food materials on which to oviposit. Female beetles most often lay their eggs on food products, which also produce the highest number of successful offspring. After the female deposits the eggs, she releases a pheromone that marks the spot so other beetles do not oviposit in the same place. Each female produces an average of 5.2 eggs which gestate for 6 to 8 days before the larvae emerge.

Breeding interval: Female cigarette beetles mate twice and males mate more than 6 times within their short 2 to 7 week adult life.

Breeding season: Cigarette beetles mate year-round.

Average eggs per season: 5.2.

Range gestation period: 6 to 8 days.

Average time to independence: 0 minutes.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 4 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 4 weeks.

Key Reproductive Features: semelparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

The female cigarette beetle yolks and protects her eggs inside her body until she lays them.

Parental Investment: female parental care ; pre-fertilization (Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)

  • Ashworth, J. 1993. THE BIOLOGY OF LASIODERMA-SERRICORNE. JOURNAL OF STORED PRODUCTS RESEARCH, 29/4: 291-303.
  • Hori, M., M. Miwa, H. Izawa. 2011. Host suitability of various stored food products for the cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne (Coleoptera: Anobiidae). APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY AND ZOOLOGY, 46/4: 463-469.
  • Papadopoulou, S. 2006. Observations on the mating behavior of Lasioderma serricorne (F.) adults and experiments on their nutritional requirements in dried tobacco. COLEOPTERISTS BULLETIN, 60/4: 291-296.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lasioderma serricorne

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Cigarette beetles are not threatened or endangered, and researchers actually study how to decrease their population as they are pests to humans. This is because the cigarette beetle causes damage to stored food products throughout the world.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cigarette beetles feed on stored food products, contaminating them with excrement and dead bodies which can destroy entire stores of food. In 1950 and 1968, it is estimated that 0.7% of stored, unprocessed tobacco was destroyed by cigarette beetles in the U.S. Recently, cigarette beetles have begun infesting stored museum collections, using a newly developed biodegradable packing peanut as its food source.

Negative Impacts: crop pest

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There are no known positive effects of Lasioderma serricorne on humans.

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Wikipedia

Lasioderma serricorne

Lasioderma serricorne, commonly known as the cigarette beetle, cigar beetle, or tobacco beetle, is very similar in appearance to the drugstore beetle (Stegobium paniceum) and the common furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum), and all three species belong to the family Anobiidae.

L. serricorne is around 2–3 mm long, and brown in colour. The beetles, which can fly, live 2–6 weeks and do not feed as adults. They can be distinguished from A. punctatum, by the fact that A. punctatum has a thorax which has a pronounced "hump" shape. S. paniceum and L. serricorne have thoraxes which have a much less obtuse looking angle when viewed from the side compared to A. punctatum, and thus could be difficult to tell apart. However S. paniceum has a distinct three-segment "club" at the end of each antenna whereas L. serricorne has uniform filament antennae of eleven segments. L. serricorne also has much weaker punctures on the surface of the wing covers (elytra) than the other two species.

As indicated by its common name, the cigarette beetle is a pest of tobacco, both in the refined cigarette packet presentation and also as stored in hogsheads and bales, but is also a minor pest of oilcake, oilseeds, cereals, dried fruit, sage, flour, and some animal products.

The female beetle lays around 100 eggs loosely on the commodity. The hatching larvae are the "grow bag" stage of the insect are active and will move around on and bore into the product, feeding as they go. The complete life cycle takes 26 days at 37 °C and 120 days at 20 °C. L. serricorne cannot tolerate the cold; adults die within 6 days at 4 °C, and eggs survive 5 days at 0–5 °C.

The beetles carry a symbiotic yeast, Symbiotaphrina kochii, that is transmitted to the next generation superficially on the eggs and carried internally in larvae and adults in the mycetome, a specialized organ that is linked to the gut.[1] The yeast cells assist in the digestion of less nutritious foods, supply needed B-vitamins and sterols, and provide resistance to certain toxins.[2][3]

Pest control[edit]

several views

Insect monitoring traps are available for L. serricorne, which contain specific pheromones to attract male beetles, and help detect and monitor infestations. Infested bulk tobacco in the form of bales or hogsheads can be fumigated using methyl bromide or phosphine.

Dosage rates and treatment times with methyl bromide are 20 grams/m3 at 21 °C above and 32 grams/m3 for 48–72 hours at 7–20 °C. Methyl bromide is not recommended for cigar tobacco since it can produce off odours in the product.

With phosphine dosage rates are one gram of phosphine (equivalent to a 3-gram table) per m3 for 5 days at 12–15 °C and 4 days at 16–20 °C and 3 days above 20 °C. For localised infestations the approach is to find the infested product, dispose of it, and treat around the area with a residual insecticide such as cypermethrin to kill off any remaining beetles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Noda H, Kodama K (1996). "Phylogenetic position of yeastlike endosymbionts of anobiid beetles". Appl Environ Microbiol 62 (1): 162–7. PMC 167783. PMID 8572692. 
  2. ^ Dowd PF, Shen SK (1990). "The contribution of symbiotic yeast to toxin resistance of the cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne)". Entomol Exp Appl 56 (3): 241–8. doi:10.1007/BF00163695. 
  3. ^ Nasir H, Noda H (2003). "Yeast-like symbiotes as a sterol source in anobiid beetles (Coleoptera, Anobiidae): possible metabolic pathways from fungal sterols to 7-dehydrocholesterol". Arch Insect Biochem Physiol 52 (4): 175–82. doi:10.1002/arch.10079. PMID 12655605. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: The species epithet is spelled serricornis in Poole and Gentili (1996).

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