Sawtoothed grain beetle (Oryzeaphilus surinamensis)

Sawtoothed grain beetle

The sawtoothed grain beetle (or saw-tooth grain beetle) is an invasive pest in New Zealand. It originated in the Americas.

Found throughout New Zealand and worldwide


Larvae are a white, “straight”, elongated and worm-like with a dark head. Up to 6.0 mm long.


The saw toothed beetle is easily identified by the six saw like projections from either side of the thorax. It is brown beetle, 2.5-3.0 mm long with a slender, flattened body. The antennae are long and bead-like.

Female beetles lay around 400 eggs during her life-time.

The life-cycle is completed in 3-12 weeks depending on temperature. Larvae go through 4  instar stages before pupating.

Adults live for 6-10 months on average but can live for up to 3 years.

Saw toothed grain beetles feed on grains, seeds, cereals and other dried foods.  Like flour beetles they do not feed on whole grains and will often move in as a secondary pest after other beetle or moths attack the whole grains.

Both the adult and larvae feed and cause damage.

They are commonly found infested petfood, bird seed and rodent bait.

The saw-toothed beetle cannot fly.

They are small enough to penetrate very small openings / folds in food packaging.

  • Check all incoming food materials
  • Place all opened food stuffs in sealed plastic containers
  • Clear up any food spills

Monitoring and treatment notes:

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