An official website of the United States government.

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

Tribolium castaneum


Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, is a secondary pest of stored grain. It has emerged as a premier genetic model organism for studies of development and pest management. A robust RNAi response at any life stage has enabled functional studies of all live stages covering processes from development to physiology. In terms of genetic and transgenic tools including genome wide RNAi screening, T. castaneum is an insect model second only to D. melanogaster.

T. castaneum is a cosmopolitan pest of wheat that is easily reared in the laboratory on a diet of whole wheat flour supplemented with 5% yeast. At 29C, T. castaneum completes embryonic development in 3 days and generally undergoes 6 larval molts before metamorphosis into adults. Although the life cycle can be completed within 3 weeks, adults can live for a year while females reproduce for several months.

The T. castaneum genome contains 10 autosomes, an X and a Y. The genome is 200Mb, 160 of which have been captured in the latest genome assembly, Tcas_5.2. The original 7x Sanger draft was improved with additional NGS data and 90% of the assembled sequence has been mapped to Linkage Groups. Scaffolds in the resulting CHLG builds have been merged ordered and oriented using optical maps.

Please cite the following publication when using the T. castaneum genome and annotations: Herndon, N., Shelton, J., Gerischer, L. et al. Enhanced genome assembly and a new official gene set for Tribolium castaneum. BMC Genomics 21, 47 (2020).

Community contact:

Image Credit: Copyright Susan J. Brown

Assembly Information

Analysis Name
Tribolium castaneum genome assembly Tcas5.2 (GCF_000002335.3)
AllPaths v. 2008; ATLAS-LINK v. 2014; GapFiller v. 2014; stitch v. 2014 (NA)
Date performed
Materials & Methods
The full methods are published here:
Geographical location of specimen collection:Georgia, USA
Tissues included: whole insect
Sex: mixed eggs
Strain: GA-2
Other notes: GA strain was brother sister inbred for 20 generations

Assembly Metrics

Contig N50
Scaffold N50
GC Content

Data Files

NameLast modifiedSize
folder-parentParent Directory
folderCurrent Genome Assembly2016-04-19 18:13
folderGCF_000002335.32016-04-19 18:13