What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Most larval Anobiidae bore into the wood or bark of dead trees, and a few have become pests of furniture or timber in Australia. The most serious pest is the furniture beetle, Anobium punctatum , but the introduced Ernobius mollis attacks pine timber which still has some bark attached, and the native Calymmaderus incisus attacks softwoods but has also been reported from Eucalyptus wood (Hockey 1986). Most species of Dryophilodes , our largest genus, feed on the woody fruits of Eucalyptus and other Myrtaceae (Anderson and New 1987), but at least one is known to attack Araucaria seed cones.

Two cosmopolitan species, Stegobium paniceum and Lasioderma serricorne , are important stored product pests, while some members of the Dorcatominae feed on woody or fibrous fungal fruiting bodies. Members of the Ptininae feed mainly on dry materials of animal or plant origin and are common inhabitants of the nests of birds, mammals and social insects. Ptinus exulans lives on the arthropod remains in spider nests (Hickman 1974), while several introduced species, such as Mezium americanum , M. affine , Gibbium aequinoctale and Ptinus tectus , are stored products pests. A large number of ptinines in the genera Diplocotes , Polyplocotes , Enasiba and Ectrephes are specialised symphiles in the nests of ants, especially those of Iridomyrmex species (Lawrence and Reichardt 1969). [Belles 1985; Belles and Lawrence 1984; Espanol 1976, 1977, 1979; Ford 1970; Hinton 1941; Lea 1924; White 1974.]

The Anobiidae include the subfamily Ptinidae.


Convex, elongate and cylindrical to ovate and globose beetles, variously clothed with decumbent or erect hairs or scales and only occasionally glabrous above. Head strongly deflexed and usually concealed from above; prosternum reduced and sometimes deeply excavate forming a cavity which continues on mesosternum; trochanters squarely attached to bases of femora; antennae variable, but usually filiform, serrate, or with large, loose, elongate club. Hind coxae usually contiguous and excavate to receive femora (with coxal plates), except in Ptininae, where they are widely separated and non-excavate (lacking coxal plate); most ptinines also have approximate antennal insertions and no lateral pronotal carinae, but this is not the case in Ptinosphaerus marginicollis from North Qld.

Larvae C-shaped and very lightly sclerotised, with exserted, hypognathous head, very small antennae, and pair of oval lobes on segment 10 beneath anus.

  • Calymmaderus sp.

  • Ptinid (spider beetle)