flour beetle


: any of various small darkling beetles (especially Tribolium confusum and T. castaneum) that typically feed on and lay eggs in stored grain and grain products

Examples of flour beetle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the red flour beetle's rectum is a model of ultra-efficiency in that regard. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2023 Red flour beetles in particular are a popular model organism for scientific research on development and functional genomics. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2023 Each year, as much as 20 percent of the world's grain stores are contaminated by red flour beetles, grain weevils, Colorado potato beetles, and confused flour beetles, particularly in developing countries. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Dec. 2023 Confused flour beetle by Sarefo (via Wikimedia commons). Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2015 In species like the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), the behavior may also impart a reproductive advantage, since studies have shown that cannibalistic individuals produce more eggs than non-cannibals. Bill Schutt, Discover Magazine, 3 Jan. 2019 The male flour beetle has to battle other males over the right to mate with a female. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2010 The two most promising species are flour beetles and black soldier flies, specifically the larval stages of these animals. The Economist, 4 July 2019 The team bred six populations of red flour beetles, and watched them for 80 to 100 generations in male-biased and female-biased groups. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flour beetle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flour beetle was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near flour beetle

Cite this Entry

“Flour beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flour%20beetle. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

flour beetle

: any of several usually flattened brown beetles that are pests especially in flour or meal
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