Furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum)

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Furniture beetle
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Furniture beetle fact file

Furniture beetle description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyAnobiidae
GenusAnobium

The furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum), also known as ‘woodworm’, is a notorious pest of timber in buildings and old furniture (3). Very few people, however, have actually seen the small brown adult beetles responsible for making the characteristic round holes in timber when they emerge (4).

Also known as
Woodworm.
Size
Length: 2.5 – 5 mm (2)
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Furniture beetle biology

The adult beetles are usually active in late spring and early summer. They mate, and the females lay their eggs in crevices in wood, occasionally using existing furniture beetle exit holes (4). The larvae develop inside the timber, burrowing in and feeding upon the wood. The time taken for development depends on the type of wood and the temperature, but it usually takes more than two years for the adult to emerge (4). The fully grown larva creates a chamber just below the surface of the wood in which pupation takes place. It is the emergence of the adult beetle that creates the familiar round exit holes that indicate an infestation of furniture beetles (2).

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Furniture beetle range

This very common species is found throughout Britain, but is most common in the south and east (5). The furniture beetle also occurs throughout Europe (4) and other parts of the world including New Zealand and Australia (5).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Furniture beetle habitat

This species originally inhabited dry, dead wood of both deciduous and coniferous trees (2). Although it is still found in this wild habitat in small numbers, the furniture beetle has adapted very successfully to exploit human-created habitats such as old timber in buildings and furniture (4).

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Furniture beetle status

The furniture beetle is not threatened in Britain (2).

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Furniture beetle threats

The furniture beetle is not currently threatened in Britain.

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Furniture beetle conservation

Conservation action is not required for this pest species.

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Deciduous
A plant that sheds its leaves at the end of the growing season.
Larvae
Stage in an animal's lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Pupation
The process of becoming a pupa, the stage of an insect's development, when huge changes occur that reorganise the larval form into the adult form. In butterflies the pupa is also called a chrysalis.
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References

  1. Harde, K.W.(2000) A field guide in colour to beetles Silverdale Books, Leicester.
  2. Buczaki, S. (2002) Fauna Britannica. Hamlyn, London.
  3. Furniture beetle (October 2003):
    http://www.npta.org.uk/furniture_beetle.htm
  4. Common furniture beetle Rentokil Initial research (October 2003):
    http://www.ri-research.com/otherservices/propertycare/woodboring/frameset.htm
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Image credit

Furniture beetle  
Furniture beetle

© Liz & Tony Bomford / www.ardea.com

Ardea wildlife pets environment
59 Tranquil Vale
London
SE3 0BS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 208 318 1401
ardea@ardea.co.uk
http://www.ardea.com

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