Beetle (Australian spider beetle) Ptinus tectus
Species: P. tectus
Binomial name: Ptinus tectus
Synonym: Ptinus ocellus
Common name: Australian spider beetle
Ptinus tectus (Australian spider beetle) is a species of beetle native to Tasmania but it is now a cosmopolitan species. It is a pest of stored foods and museums where they destroy insect collections and damage stuffed animals. They are general scavengers and feed on a variety of items, such as cereals, seeds, flour, dried fruits and vegetables, fish food and many more organic products.
Australian spider beetle is a small, brownish-black beetle that is >4 mm in length. Its abdomen is stout and oval shaped. The prothorax (first segment behind the head) is constricted at the base of the wing covers. It has 6 long thin legs with 5-segmented tarsi (foot). The legs resemble those of a small spider. The body is covered with recumbent, fulvous, tawny hairs. It has long filamentous 11-segmented antennae which arise on the front of the head close together at their base. The adults have biting mouthparts but do not bite people.
The female beetle lays >120 sticky eggs in early summer. The number of surviving adults that emerge from the larval stage after 20 to 30 days depends on the temperature. Adults live for about a year.
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