Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Subfamily Ptininae - Spider Beetles

Niptinus unilineatus (Pic) - Niptinus unilineatus Niptinus unilineatus (Pic) - Niptinus unilineatus Ptinus caelebs Fall, 1905 - Ptinus caelebs Ptinus Beetle - Ptinus fur Ptinus feminalis Ptinid - Niptus Ptinus falli - male - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
Superfamily Bostrichoidea
Family Ptinidae (Death-watch and Spider Beetles)
Subfamily Ptininae (Spider Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
many workers treat Gibbium and Mezium in a separate subfamily, Gibbiinae(1)
Explanation of Names
Ptininae Latreille 1802
~70 spp. in 12 genera in our area(2)(3), 15 in Canada(4) (ca. 600 spp. worldwide)
1.5–4.5 mm(5)
Body constricted between prothorax and elytra, pronotum often with humps, elytra often with shoulders reduced (flightless species). Head not retracted below pronotum, antennae free, filiform, their bases proximate.
illustrated keys & info on species that occur indoors in(4)(3)
worldwide and across NA; many spp. associated with stored products easily spread with commerce and have cosmopolitan distribution
mammal/bird/bee nests, dry carrion, tree holes; several species occur in homes, granaries, mills, warehouses(4)
Dry plant and animal matter (a few are wood-borers as larvae)
See Also
Print References
Arango, R.A. and D.K. Young. 2012. Death-watch and spider beetles of Wisconsin—Coleoptera: Ptinidae. General Technical Report FPL-GTR-209. Madison, WI: USDA, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. (6)
Philips T.K. (2000) Phylogenetic analysis of the New World Ptininae (Coleoptera: Bostrichoidea). Systematic Entomology 25: 235-262.
Internet References
Works Cited Jong Y.S.D.M. et al. (2014) Fauna Europaea - all European animal species on the web. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e4034.
2.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
3.An illustrated and descriptive catalogue of the Ptinidae of North Amerika.
Papp, C.S. 1962. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, 9(5): 367-423.
4.Beetles associated with stored products in Canada: An identification guide
Bousquet Y. 1990. Research Branch Agriculture Canada, Publication 1837.
5.Handbook of urban insects and arachnids: A handbook of urban entomology
Robinson W.H. 2005. Cambridge University Press.
6.Death-watch and spider beetles of Wisconsin—Coleoptera: Ptinidae
Arango, R.A. and D.K. Young. 2012. General Technical Report FPL-GTR-209. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.
7.Eifler M.