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live and breeding insects in a sealed bag of chickpeas from Waitrose

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  • Shaun
    Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g bag of Cerrato brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about three months ago with a
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 2, 2007
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      Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g bag
      of "Cerrato" brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about three
      months ago with a 'best-before' date of 19/01/08. Most, if not all,
      peas have neat holes bored in them.

      The insects are about 6mm overall. The head is tiny about 1mm, the
      thorax is also very small maybe 1.5mm and the remaining abdomen part is
      about 3.5mm. Colour a non-descript darkish brown. They crawl about
      quite actively and sometime indulge in positions suggesting sexual
      conjunction.

      All six legs and two antennae are of equal length, very fine (maybe
      0.2mm thick.

      Have you enough to chance a guess what they might be? or even suggest
      from my description what Order they might be so I can search further.
    • Rüdiger Preiss
      Hi Shaun, sounds like members of the family of Bruchidae, or seed-beetles. If this is the case, it s not because of poor storage conditions, as these beetles
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 3, 2007
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        Hi Shaun,

        sounds like members of the family of Bruchidae, or seed-beetles. If
        this is the case, it's not because of poor storage conditions, as
        these beetles would have already infested the peas long before they
        got into the bag. It just proofes that the chick peas haven't been
        sprayed ;).
        The beetles wouldn't use the same seeds to proliferate - they would
        fly out, looking for young chickpea plants where they'd lay their
        eggs so that 1 larva would grow in 1 chickpea.

        If you can identify them as seed-beetles, even though it might sound
        disgusting to you, the peas still can be used (even for sprouting)
        without hesitation - just sieve them through & make sure there is no
        secondary infestation of fungus or much smaller beetles or dust-lice
        etc.

        Btw, these beetles are not poisonous or unhygenic. Some close
        relatives of the weevil beetles even serve as delicatessen in South
        East Asia, especially their larva.

        you find pictures of typical Bruchidae on
        http://www.koleopterologie.de/gallery/
        click on families & then choose various species under Burchidae.

        Best regards,
        Ruediger


        --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" <southockendon@...> wrote:
        >
        > Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g bag
        > of "Cerrato" brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about three
        > months ago with a 'best-before' date of 19/01/08. Most, if not
        all,
        > peas have neat holes bored in them.
        >
        > The insects are about 6mm overall. The head is tiny about 1mm, the
        > thorax is also very small maybe 1.5mm and the remaining abdomen
        part is
        > about 3.5mm. Colour a non-descript darkish brown. They crawl about
        > quite actively and sometime indulge in positions suggesting sexual
        > conjunction.
        >
        > All six legs and two antennae are of equal length, very fine (maybe
        > 0.2mm thick.
        >
        > Have you enough to chance a guess what they might be? or even
        suggest
        > from my description what Order they might be so I can search
        further.
        >
      • Rüdiger Preiss
        Ad my last post, more unlikely it also could be the Khafra beetle. But this bugger fits less to your description, as it is a bit smaller & has a bigger
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 3, 2007
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          Ad my last post, more unlikely it also could be the Khafra beetle.
          But this bugger fits less to your description, as it is a bit smaller
          & has a bigger "thorax" relative to head.

          http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/beetles/khapra_beetle.htm

          In that case you'd better throw the peas away, as they spoil the
          product and often transmit mould, mites & lice.
          The beetle itself as well is not poisonous, but unhygenic, as it
          lives from storage products, hence, it will re-produce on the dried
          peas (in opposite to the seed beetle, which would lay its eggs on
          fresh, green plants)

          regards,
          Ruediger




          --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" <southockendon@...> wrote:
          >
          > Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g bag
          > of "Cerrato" brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about three
          > months ago with a 'best-before' date of 19/01/08. Most, if not
          all,
          > peas have neat holes bored in them.
          >
          > The insects are about 6mm overall. The head is tiny about 1mm, the
          > thorax is also very small maybe 1.5mm and the remaining abdomen
          part is
          > about 3.5mm. Colour a non-descript darkish brown. They crawl about
          > quite actively and sometime indulge in positions suggesting sexual
          > conjunction.
          >
          > All six legs and two antennae are of equal length, very fine (maybe
          > 0.2mm thick.
          >
          > Have you enough to chance a guess what they might be? or even
          suggest
          > from my description what Order they might be so I can search
          further.
          >
        • Shaun
          Rudiger, I thank you for both your comments. I should have added in my description that the insect has wings. The wings work like those on a ladybird in that
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 4, 2007
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            Rudiger,
            I thank you for both your comments.

            I should have added in my description that the insect has wings. The
            wings work like those on a ladybird in that they are normally covered
            by hard forewings.

            However the insect is not 'shaped' like a beetle [which is usually
            lozenge shaped in my limited experience] or a moth and it is in no
            way hairy.

            This insect has a tiny head and gets increasingly wider as you go
            back to the abdomen/wing tips. I have seen creatures like it in
            Ireland, much the same shape and size but I don't think they had
            wings.

            This insect probably originated in Southern Italy? I cannot open the
            bag in case some of them might escape. I live in Essex where the
            climate is quite warm and dry. So all my observations are being done
            through the bag, which is sealed but not quite airtight.Because of
            this I cannot examine them in detail until I know exactly what they
            are.

            I have followed both of your previous suggestions and thank you for
            any extra help you may be able to provide.
            Shaun


            --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, Rüdiger Preiss <hannish.farhaan@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Ad my last post, more unlikely it also could be the Khafra beetle.
            > But this bugger fits less to your description, as it is a bit
            smaller
            > & has a bigger "thorax" relative to head.
            >
            > http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/beetles/khapra_beetle.htm
            >
            > In that case you'd better throw the peas away, as they spoil the
            > product and often transmit mould, mites & lice.
            > The beetle itself as well is not poisonous, but unhygenic, as it
            > lives from storage products, hence, it will re-produce on the dried
            > peas (in opposite to the seed beetle, which would lay its eggs on
            > fresh, green plants)
            >
            > regards,
            > Ruediger
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" <southockendon@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g
            bag
            > > of "Cerrato" brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about
            three
            > > months ago with a 'best-before' date of 19/01/08. Most, if not
            > all,
            > > peas have neat holes bored in them.
            > >
            > > The insects are about 6mm overall. The head is tiny about 1mm,
            the
            > > thorax is also very small maybe 1.5mm and the remaining abdomen
            > part is
            > > about 3.5mm. Colour a non-descript darkish brown. They crawl
            about
            > > quite actively and sometime indulge in positions suggesting
            sexual
            > > conjunction.
            > >
            > > All six legs and two antennae are of equal length, very fine
            (maybe
            > > 0.2mm thick.
            > >
            > > Have you enough to chance a guess what they might be? or even
            > suggest
            > > from my description what Order they might be so I can search
            > further.
            > >
            >
          • Rüdiger Preiss
            Hi Shaun, both suggested options have wings & can fly. I still believe you have seed-beetles in there, but if you wanna be sure about your specimens, just send
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 4, 2007
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              Hi Shaun,

              both suggested options have wings & can fly. I still believe you have
              seed-beetles in there, but if you wanna be sure about your specimens,
              just send the bag to me & I'll let you know what it is:

              Ruediger Preiss
              18 Melbourne Road
              Teddington TW11 9QX

              alternatively, you can send it to the Natural History Museum, Dept.
              for Entomology, att. to Max Barclay (he is specialised on the closely
              related weevils), Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, but you might have
              to pay a charge for identification, if you want him to reveal the
              buggers' name.

              Take care,
              Ruediger


              --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" <southockendon@...> wrote:
              >
              > Rudiger,
              > I thank you for both your comments.
              >
              > I should have added in my description that the insect has wings.
              The
              > wings work like those on a ladybird in that they are normally
              covered
              > by hard forewings.
              >
              > However the insect is not 'shaped' like a beetle [which is usually
              > lozenge shaped in my limited experience] or a moth and it is in no
              > way hairy.
              >
              > This insect has a tiny head and gets increasingly wider as you go
              > back to the abdomen/wing tips. I have seen creatures like it in
              > Ireland, much the same shape and size but I don't think they had
              > wings.
              >
              > This insect probably originated in Southern Italy? I cannot open
              the
              > bag in case some of them might escape. I live in Essex where the
              > climate is quite warm and dry. So all my observations are being
              done
              > through the bag, which is sealed but not quite airtight.Because of
              > this I cannot examine them in detail until I know exactly what they
              > are.
              >
              > I have followed both of your previous suggestions and thank you for
              > any extra help you may be able to provide.
              > Shaun
              >
              >
              > --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, Rüdiger Preiss <hannish.farhaan@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Ad my last post, more unlikely it also could be the Khafra
              beetle.
              > > But this bugger fits less to your description, as it is a bit
              > smaller
              > > & has a bigger "thorax" relative to head.
              > >
              > > http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/beetles/khapra_beetle.htm
              > >
              > > In that case you'd better throw the peas away, as they spoil the
              > > product and often transmit mould, mites & lice.
              > > The beetle itself as well is not poisonous, but unhygenic, as it
              > > lives from storage products, hence, it will re-produce on the
              dried
              > > peas (in opposite to the seed beetle, which would lay its eggs on
              > > fresh, green plants)
              > >
              > > regards,
              > > Ruediger
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In bugclub@yahoogroups.com, "Shaun" <southockendon@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g
              > bag
              > > > of "Cerrato" brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about
              > three
              > > > months ago with a 'best-before' date of 19/01/08. Most, if not
              > > all,
              > > > peas have neat holes bored in them.
              > > >
              > > > The insects are about 6mm overall. The head is tiny about 1mm,
              > the
              > > > thorax is also very small maybe 1.5mm and the remaining abdomen
              > > part is
              > > > about 3.5mm. Colour a non-descript darkish brown. They crawl
              > about
              > > > quite actively and sometime indulge in positions suggesting
              > sexual
              > > > conjunction.
              > > >
              > > > All six legs and two antennae are of equal length, very fine
              > (maybe
              > > > 0.2mm thick.
              > > >
              > > > Have you enough to chance a guess what they might be? or even
              > > suggest
              > > > from my description what Order they might be so I can search
              > > further.
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Shaun Wall
              Ruediger I followed seed-beetle through Google and have seen a picture of my bug. That s good enough for me. I am not an entymologist. I just want to be able
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 7, 2007
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                Ruediger
                I followed "seed-beetle" through Google and have seen a picture of my bug. That's good enough for me. I am not an entymologist. I just want to be able to give Waitrose enough information to pursue a chick-pea hunt, if they feel so inclined.
                 
                I also know now that if I buy organic chick-peas I may be getting extra protein and vitamins and that if I leave the bag in a warm climate, it becomes a renewable source of nutrition.
                 
                I had no intention of releasing the buggers into the wild. I'll leave that to Waitrose. Thank you for taking the trouble to solve my problem and good luck with your work.
                 
                Shaun    

                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Rüdiger Preiss <hannish.farhaan@...>
                To: bugclub@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, 4 June, 2007 7:22:29 PM
                Subject: [bugclub] Re: live and breeding insects in a sealed bag of chickpeas from Waitrose

                Hi Shaun,

                both suggested options have wings & can fly. I still believe you have
                seed-beetles in there, but if you wanna be sure about your specimens,
                just send the bag to me & I'll let you know what it is:

                Ruediger Preiss
                18 Melbourne Road
                Teddington TW11 9QX

                alternatively, you can send it to the Natural History Museum, Dept.
                for Entomology, att. to Max Barclay (he is specialised on the closely
                related weevils), Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, but you might have
                to pay a charge for identification, if you want him to reveal the
                buggers' name.

                Take care,
                Ruediger

                --- In bugclub@yahoogroups .com, "Shaun" <southockendon@ ...> wrote:
                >
                > Rudiger,
                > I thank you for both your comments.
                >
                > I should have added in my description that the insect has wings.
                The
                > wings work like those on a ladybird in that they are normally
                covered
                > by hard forewings.
                >
                > However the insect is not 'shaped' like a beetle [which is usually
                > lozenge shaped in my limited experience] or a moth and it is in no
                > way hairy.
                >
                > This insect has a tiny head and gets increasingly wider as you go
                > back to the abdomen/wing tips. I have seen creatures like it in
                > Ireland, much the same shape and size but I don't think they had
                > wings.
                >
                > This insect probably originated in Southern Italy? I cannot open
                the
                > bag in case some of them might escape. I live in Essex where the
                > climate is quite warm and dry. So all my observations are being
                done
                > through the bag, which is sealed but not quite airtight.Because of
                > this I cannot examine them in detail until I know exactly what they
                > are.
                >
                > I have followed both of your previous suggestions and thank you for
                > any extra help you may be able to provide.
                > Shaun
                >
                >
                > --- In bugclub@yahoogroups .com, Rüdiger Preiss <hannish.farhaan@ >
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Ad my last post, more unlikely it also could be the Khafra
                beetle.
                > > But this bugger fits less to your description, as it is a bit
                > smaller
                > > & has a bigger "thorax" relative to head.
                > >
                > > http://creatures. ifas.ufl. edu/urban/ beetles/khapra_ beetle.htm
                > >
                > > In that case you'd better throw the peas away, as they spoil the
                > > product and often transmit mould, mites & lice.
                > > The beetle itself as well is not poisonous, but unhygenic, as it
                > > lives from storage products, hence, it will re-produce on the
                dried
                > > peas (in opposite to the seed beetle, which would lay its eggs on
                > > fresh, green plants)
                > >
                > > regards,
                > > Ruediger
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In bugclub@yahoogroups .com, "Shaun" <southockendon@ > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Yes! You read it correctly. There are scores of them in a 500g
                > bag
                > > > of "Cerrato" brand organic chickpeas bought in Waitrose about
                > three
                > > > months ago with a 'best-before' date of 19/01/08. Most, if not
                > > all,
                > > > peas have neat holes bored in them.
                > > >
                > > > The insects are about 6mm overall. The head is tiny about 1mm,
                > the
                > > > thorax is also very small maybe 1.5mm and the remaining abdomen
                > > part is
                > > > about 3.5mm. Colour a non-descript darkish brown. They crawl
                > about
                > > > quite actively and sometime indulge in positions suggesting
                > sexual
                > > > conjunction.
                > > >
                > > > All six legs and two antennae are of equal length, very fine
                > (maybe
                > > > 0.2mm thick.
                > > >
                > > > Have you enough to chance a guess what they might be? or even
                > > suggest
                > > > from my description what Order they might be so I can search
                > > further.
                > > >
                > >
                >



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