© Stuart M Bennett 2003
Niptus hololeucus
(Golden Spider Beetle)

This beetle is very similar to the Australian Spider Beetle but what makes this beetle stand out are the golden hairs which cover it's back and head. It can feed on almost anything and when it appears in a house the source of infestation could be dead chicks in a birds nest in the roof space combined with a collection of seeds which were going to be used next year. Now and again this beetle has been recorded as a pest of textiles as you can see from the picture below:

Signs of gnawing by spider beetle larvae with pupal cocoons

In addition to the usual wide variety of products that are generally attacked by spider beetles, the adults and larvae of this species feed on woolens, linens, and natural silks, particularly if the fabrics are soiled with grease. The beetles are most commonly found in vegetable and animal debris in warehouses, poorly kept storerooms, cellars, and old houses, and sometimes occur in considerable numbers. They shun light, but move actively in the dark. The nests of bees, wasps, and birds provide their natural habitats.

Description: The adults are 3 to 4.5 mm long and golden yellow, with long, silky hairs covering the fused elytra. Flight wings are absent.

Life Cycle: Oviposition and the appearance of the eggs and larvae are similar to their equivalents in Ptinus ocellus. The eggs hatch in 11 to 20 days at 64 to 68 F (18 to 20C); the larval period lasts about 150 days; and the pupal period, 18 to 26 days. The adults may live as long as 250 days.

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