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Common name

death-watch beetle, drugstore beetle, furniture beetle

General distribution


Component taxa

~150 genera and ~2000 species


Adult: Overall, body compact with head strongly deflexed under a hood-like pronotum; legs and antennae short and contractile. Most genera brown to black in color with little to no fascia or vittae present. Typically smaller sized beetles ranging from ~1-9mm in length. Most genera moderately to strongly convex and variable from globular to subcylindrical in shape. Antennae typically with 11 segments; capitate, serrate or pectinate. Mandibles typically bidentate at apex. Radius anterior (RA) vein divided into two branches beyond middle of wing. Procoxae globular to conical and typically contiguous, meso- and metacoxae variable from subconical to transverse and nearly contiguous. Abdomen with five visible ventrites.

Larva: Overall, body "C-shaped" (scarabaeoid) and lightly to moderately sclerotized and typically averaging between 2-12mm in length. Vestiture variable from short and sparse to long and dense. Prothorax rarely enlarged and/or with asperities. Legs are well-developed. Longitudinally oval pads located beneath the anal opening. Head typically protracted and hypognathous with very short antennae (usually only a single segment is visible). Thoracic spiracles located posteriorly on the prothorax or between the prothorax and mesothorax. Abdominal terga with transverse bands of asperities.

Pest information

Two species are pests of stored products, i.e., Stegobium paniceum (L.) (the drugstore beetle) and Lasioderma serricorne (F.) (the cigarette beetle). Two structural anobiid pests in North America include Anobium punctatum (DeGeer) (the furniture beetle) and Hemicoelus carinatus (Say) (the eastern death-watch beetle). Both species have been reported to damage woodwork and structural wood products. Numerous other non-native North American anobiids are pestiferous on wood and wood products, including Ernobius and Xestobium. Others are potentially problematic in forested areas, including Ozognathus, Ernobius and Calymmaderus. Species of Tricorynus damage books, leather, and various stored food products.


Key player modified February 2018
Content last modified: February 4, 2011