The members of this family are predominantly tropical. They are somewhat similar to the Anobiidae, their downturned head is almost completely covered by the arched thorax, but in contrast to the Anobiidae this ‘helmet’ is beset with tiny spines or knobs.
In their habits they are more like the powder post beetles as they also attack deciduous trees rich in starch, and exclusively the sapwood. The females lay their eggs on newly felled trees, but many of the species only do so when the bark is still on. They never attack dry, seasoned timber, though some of the species are able to continue their development in the timber even though it starts to dry out, and they may even emerge from furniture.
In Europe bostrychid beetles occur mainly in imported goods. Wooden chests from the east are often almost reduced to powder by the time they arrive.
Exotic wooden sculpture, as well as baskets and other woven objects, may also be infected, and in many cases the species concerned is Bostrychoplites cornutus.
Some species, such as the small Dinoderus minutus, are common in bamboo.
There is, of course, no risk that thebeetles might move from one object to another, but they may completely destroy the timber they are in. An attack can be stopped by heat or by freezing.