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the web of life in southern Africa

Superfamily: Bostrychoidea

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

Families encountered in southern Africa




Bostrychidae (auger borers, shot-hole borers)

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.


Anobiidae (biscuit beetles, drugstore beetles, furniture beetles, tobacco beetles)

Small brown, cylindrical or ovoid beetles (2-6mm) covered with fine setae (hairs). Larvae of most of the species bore into wood but some cosmopolitan species infest household goods. Anobium punctatum (Furniture beetle) is a serious pest of furniture and untreated timber but most damage occurs in the coastal areas. Their presence become apparent when small piles of dust collect around small round holes in wood or furniture. Stegobium paniceum (Drugstore beetle, Biscuit beetle) is a pest of grocery cupboard. They regularly infest any dry food of vegetable origin, even curry powder.


Ptinidae (spider beetles)

Small (2-5mm), spider-like beetles with rounded, globular bodies and long legs. The head is obscured from above by the pronotum. They are scavengers and feed on dry animal and vegetable matter and are found in birds' , animal nests and caves.


Iziko Museums of Cape Town, 2006

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