Australian spider beetle

( Latin: Ptinus tectus)

This species arrived in Europe from Australia as recently as 1900, but it is now common more or less everywhere.

The female can lay up to 1000 eggs, and the larvae will live in all kinds of dried plant products, such as grain, flour and spices. They may also breed in birds’ nests and in desiccated carrion. In lofts and warehouses they can make do with the remains of insects and rat or mouse faeces that collect in corners. In factories producing foodstuffs or bone meal this beetle can be a very serious pest, and it also destroys insect collections and stuffed animals. At room temperature development from egg to adult takes 3-4 months. Unlike its larva the adult may gnaw textiles (p. 99).