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Common name

spider beetles

General distribution


Component taxa

~50 genera and ~500 species


Adult: Overall, body with spider-like appearance with head moderately deflexed under pronotum; legs and antennae elongate. Most genera brown to black in color with little to no fascia or vittae present. Typically smaller sized beetles ranging from ~2-7mm in length. Most genera strongly convex and globular to elongate oval in shape. Antennae inserted closely together between eyes and separated ridge; typically with 11 segments or rarely reduced to 10 or 3; usually filiform or appearing weakly capitate. Mandibles typically unidentate at apex, but with smaller tooth medially. Radius anterior (RA) vein divided into two branches before middle of wing. Procoxae globular to conical and typically contiguous, meso- and metacoxae variable from subconical to transverse and nearly contiguous. Abdomen with five, four or three visible ventrites.

Larva: Overall, body "C-shaped" (scarabaeoid) and lightly to moderately sclerotized and typically averaging between 2-8mm in length. Vestiture typically elongate and moderately dense. Prothorax not enlarged and without asperities. Legs are well-developed. Longitudinally oval pads located beneath the anal opening. Head typically protracted and hypognathous with very short antennae (usually only one segmented). Thoracic spiracles located anteriorly on the prothorax. Abdominal terga without transverse bands of asperities.

Pest information

Ptininae are mostly scavengers. However, stored product pests are known from the following genera: Gibbium, Mezium, Niptus, Ptinus, Sphaericus and Trigonogenius. Some species of Ptinus also are known to bore into wood.


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