American spider beetle Mezium americanum Fig 516a

Adults are 1.5-3.5 mm long, shiny reddish brown to black. Elytra are strongly convex to give this beetle a humped appearance. Larvae feed on dried animal material, seeds, mixed dry foods, tobacco, and woolen carpets.

Golden spider beetle, Niptus hololeucus (Fig. 5.16g) Adults are 3.0-4.5 mm long and pale yellow, with long, fine setae covering the fused elytra. Indoors, adults and larvae feed on woolens, linens, and silk; natural habitats include nests of bees, wasps, and birds. Eggs are laid in batches; fecundity is about30 eggs. Hatching occurs in 11-20 days ati8-20 °C. Larval development is about 150 days, and adults live as long as 250 days. This species is probably originally from the region around the Black Sea, but is now distributed in Europe and North America.

Brown spider beetle, Ptinus clavipes Adults are 2.3-3.2 mm long. The male is uniformly dark brown and the female is blackish brown. Eggs are laid on the infested material, and hatching is in about 13 days at 22.5°C and 70% RH. Larval development is complete in 6-9 months; about 33% of the full-grown larvae enter diapause, which extends their life span to about 10 months. This beetle is a scavenger in cellars, attics, and storehouses, where it feeds on feathers, skins, rodent excrement, dried fruit, dry animal feed, grains, and sugar.

Whitemarked spider beetle, Ptnius fur (Fig. 5.16b, c) Adults are 2-4.3 mm long and covered with yellow setae. The female is larger and more rounded than the male, and has four white marks on the elytra; in some specimens the white marks on the female are joined to form stripes. The male pronotum has two rows of posteriorly directed, yellow setae that form a V-shape, and has two white marks posteriorly on the elytra. Development is completed in 30-90 days, depending on environmental factors. It commonly infests grain in warehouses. This species occurs in North America, but may be cosmopolitan.

Australian spider beetle, Ptinus ocellus (Fig. 5.16d) Adults are 2.5-4.0 mm long, and have fine, yellowish brown setae covering the elytra. Full-grown larvae are 3.5-4.0 mm long, fleshy, and covered with fine setae; they can roll into a ball when disturbed. Eggs are laid singly or in batches over a period of 3-4 weeks; fecundity is 100-1000. Oviposition usually occurs at 21 °C and 70% RH; eggs hatch in about 9 days. Larvae develop through three or four instars, and require about 60 days to complete development. Larvae are full-grown in about 93 days, and they pupate near the surface of infested material or crawl away to pupate. Adults are most active at night. Optimum conditions are 22-25 °C, and 80-90% RH. This species will not survive at temperatures above 28 °C, but develops at 10 °C and lays eggs at 5 °C. Infested food material includes nuts, beans, cacao, cayenne pepper, chocolate, corn, crabmeat, dried fruit, dried fish, poultry food, and hops; wood is sometimes invaded by full-grown larvae. The name P. tectus has been widely used for this species in Europe, but P. ocellus has been used in other regions. It is widespread and a common pest of household and commercial food commodities.

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