Grain Beetle

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grain Beetle


(Anisoplia austriaca), a beetle of the family Scarabaeidae; a dangerous pest of grain crops. Body length, 12-16 mm. The head, pronotum, abdomen, and legs are black; the wing cover is dark chestnut with a rectangular black spot near the scutellum and a dark line along the suture.

Grain beetles are found in Europe, Asia Minor, and Iran; in the USSR they live in the steppes and the forest steppes of the European part. The life cycle lasts two years. The larvae live in the soil, feeding on humus and the plant roots. At the end of May, the larvae that have survived two winters enter the pupal stage. In late June the mature beetles come out of the soil (feeding on unripened grains of rye, wheat, and barley) and infest winter grains and then spring grain plantations. Ten to 12 days after her appearance, the female lays up to 50 eggs; the larvae emerge in three weeks. Grain beetles are heliophilous; they ap-pear on plants in the morning and hide in clumps of earth and cracks in the soil at night. They are most active in sunny weather. Grain beetles cause extensive damage in the lower and middle Trans-Volga region, the steppes of the Ukraine, the northern Caucasus, and the Trans-Caucasus.

Control measures include cultivation of the soil before planting, deep cultivation of furrows in late May and early June, interfurrow harrowing of intertilled crops, hulling after threshing, separate harvesting of wheat at the beginning of waxen ripeness (since the beetle does not harm the grain when it is in windrows), and spraying planted crops with insecticides.


Grivanov, K. P., and M. I. Dmitrieva. Khlebnye zhuki. Saratov, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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