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Red-legged Ham or Copra Beetle


(Necrobia rufipes)
Red-legged Ham or Copra Beetle

Adult : shiny metallic blue to bluish-green, 4-6mm long, with reddish-brown legs and base of antennae. Larvae: slim, gray-brown, up to 10mm longg.

Life Cycle

Eggs : (from 50-1500 depending on conditions), laid by female on food material. Larvae pass through three-four instars and spin coccoon before emerging as adults. Entire life cycle takes about 45 days, depending on temperature and food conditions.


Significant pest (in both adult and larval stage ) of stored products with high protein content such as smoked ham, dried meat, fish and fish flour, pet food, dried fruit, copra (hence its other name), cashew, cheese, chocolate, and animal hides. Often found on human corpses by forensic entomologists, has a particular liking for larvae of certain flies (including Musca domestica) and eggs and larvae of Dermestid beetles (infestations of the two beetles are usually associated). Adults are good fliers; emit a strong, unpleasant odour when disturbed. Needs a relative humidity of minimum 50%.