Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Ptinidae is the correct name for the family(1)
Explanation of Names
Ptinidae Latreille 1802
"Death-watch" from the ticking sound made by the beetles from within the timbers of old houses, interpreted as an omen of death(2)
. Compare Keats's Beset with painful gusts, within ye hear // No sound so loud as when on curtain’d bier // The death-watch tick is stifled.
(Endymion Book IV
>400 spp. in 63 genera in our area, >2,200 spp. in ~230 genera worldwide, arranged into 10 subfamilies (all but one tiny neotropical subfamily represented in NA)(3)(4)
; ~100 species in 38 genera in Canada and Alaska(5)
Overview of our faunaTaxa not yet in the guide are marked (*)
hard-to-define group; no easy characters are found that apply to all
Wisconsin fauna treated in(1)
worldwide and throughout N. America; distribution of individual spp. in(6)
Predominantly wood-borers as larvae; presumably this is the primal mode of life within the family. Adults and larvae of several species feed on a variety of dry plant (rarely: animal) materials, including dry dung, plant stems, dry fungi; some are considered pests of stored products (grain, cereals, tobacco), furniture, and museum specimens.