home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Bostrichidae (auger borers, shot-hole borers)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Coleoptera > Polyphaga

The auger beetles vary in size (2-31mm) and are adapted to a life of boring burrows into wood which is apparent from their cylindrical shape. The end of the body is characteristically truncated and not tapered and the head is directed downwards. They are perfectly adapted for moving through wood burrows and the body and legs are armed with hooks, spines and teeth. Unlike other woodboring beetles where only the larvae bore, both adults and larvae of the bostrichids bore.

There are 2 subfamilies, Dinoderinae and Bostrychinae. The Dinoderinae are small and included serious pests of grain and bamboo, basketwork and cane furniture. The larger Bostrychinae species bore into woof of living and weakened trees, both introduced and indigenous but also infest roots and tubers such as sweet potatoes.



Apate femoralis. 12mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths ©, from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].



  • Lesne, P. 1906. Revue des coléoptères de la famille des Bostrychidae Sinoxylinae. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 5e Mémoires.

  • Vrydagh, J. M. 1951. Faune entomolique des bois au Congo belge. Les insectes bostrychides. Bulletin Agricole du Congo Belge 42(1): 65-90.


Page by Margie Cochrane