T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Beetle (Sap feeding beetles) Genus: Carpophilus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Cucujiformia
Superfamily: Cucujoidea
Family: Nitidulidae
Genus: Carpophilus
Common name: Sap-feeding beetles

The sap feeding beetles are in the family (Nitidulidae) of beetles. 
Adult Carpophilus are small (2–6 mm), oblong shaped beetles with short wing covers. They are black, brown or mottled yellow, with some having red or yellow spots or bands. They antennae are clubbed. 

The larvae are yellowish with a brown head and forked tail and are about 5mm long when fully grown. They feed mainly on decaying vegetable matter, over-ripe fruit, and sap. There are a few pest species. Most commercial feeding damage is done to ripening stone fruit which are attacked on the tree, beetles burrow into the fruit, particularly near the stem end suture line. In other fruits such as tomatoes, strawberries, citrus, apples, feijoas and figs, only fallen fruit are attacked. Carpophilus beetles are a major vector of brown rot.

Carpophilus do not breed in fruit on the tree the eggs are laid in rotting or damaged fruit on the ground. The mature larvae emerge from the fruit and pupate in the ground. Adults emerge from the pupae and attack fruit on the ground. It takes about a month in summer to develop from egg to adults so there are many generations per year.
The insects may winter as larvae or adults in decaying vegetation, debris, and fruit buried in the soil.  Apparently there are two or more generations each year.
The beetles are strong fliers and can travel several kilometres in search of hosts.


A sap beetle in a lemon.

A 3mm beetle with knobbed antennae.

The underside