Red - legged ham beetle

Necrobia rufipes

Adult: head, thorax, elytra shiny metallic bluish-green or blackish; underside of abdomen dark blue; legs bright reddish-brown or orange; antennae mainly reddish-brown but with dark brown or black club at tip; sides of thorax and elytra with stiff bristle-like hairs

Larva: body creamy-gray with mottled violet-gray markings on upper surface; head and upper surface of first thoracic segment and last (ninth) abdominal segment with brown hardened plates; 2nd and 3rd thoracic segments also with tiny brownish plates; plate on last abdominal segment with two horn-like protuberances which curve strongly upwards.

Damage: Any facilities that processes meat or cheese products is subject to infestations of the red legged ham beetle. This beetle does not attack grains as do other stored product beetles, rather it breeds in dried or smoked meats and cheeses. Its nickname is the copra beetle because it is a serious pest of this product which is made of dried coconut meat. Other items attacked include bacon, stored fish, fish meal, bone meal, animal mounts, dog biscuits, museum artifacts, garlic. The red legged ham beetle even has been used by museums and zoos to strip the meat off animal skeletons, and it can be found in slaughter houses and rendering plants where livestock animals are killed for processing as food. It has also been found infesting pet food processing facilities. 

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