Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Alphitobius diaperinus

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_4503-1


Escherichia Coli Staphylococcus Aureus Broad Spectrum Storage System Tropical Region 
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This dark brown-blackish beetle, which reaches a length of 4.5 mm up to 7 mm, has its origin in tropical regions of East Africa. However, due to ongoing globalization this species is now found worldwide everywhere in grain storage system and in many of the huge rearing facilities of chickens, turkeys, goats, etc. Due to this living within bird food, this species became a vector of a broad spectrum of agents of diseases of farmed birds.
  1. (a)
    • Virus of bursitis, virus of Newcastle disease (ND), virus of infectious bronchitis (IB), corona virus of poultry enteritis, etc.

  2. (b)
    • Salmonella species, Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and strains of Streptococcus sp.

  3. (c)
    • Cestodes (like Hymenolepis minutissima, Choanotaenia infundibulum, Raillietina sp., Cotugnia sp.)

    • Protozoa (like Eimeria species).


Except for tapeworms, where these beetles act as true intermediate hosts, most of the above cited agents of diseases are transmitted mechanically. However, since these beetles occur often in extreme numbers in stored bird food, they must be considered as very important vectors of agents of diseases.

Further Reading

  1. Enigk K, Sticinsky E (1959) Die Zwischenwirte von Choanotaenia infundibulum und Hymenolepis carioca. Parasitol Res 19:278–308Google Scholar
  2. Jacobs-Reitsma WF et al (1995) Epidemiology of Campylobacter spp. at two Dutch broiler farms. Epidemiol Infect 114:413–421CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. John HJ et al (2011) Investigation of the efficacy of synthetic silicones on Alphitobius diaperinus beetles. Dissertation, University of Leipzig, pp 1–110Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany