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Fan-bearing Wood-borer Hedobia imperialis

This is a family of rather small and well-known beetles. Only few people actually ever see them, though. Their damage in wood, especially furniture, is notorious and the rather small holes through which the beetles leave the wood are known to almost all. This family of beetles has many common names. Woodworms is one of them, but they are also known as Deathwatch Beetles, Wood-borers, Furniture Beetles and Timber Beetles. And there is more. Not only do these animals attack wood, some species also do a lot of damage in bakeries, drugstores etc. The Drugstore Beetle, the Biscuit Beetle and the Cigarette Beetle all belong to this family. Like in most other insects the damage is done by the larvae mainly. Most adults will be happy eating some nectar from flowers, when available. In our garden we have found one species only. It is the Fan-bearing Wood-borer. One does not often come across it inside the house as the larvae prefer moist wood infested by fungae. The species prefers beech over all other trees. The so-called Furniture beetles are named after their larvae. Just like some Longhorn Beetles the larvae can live in dry, dead wood, such as... furniture. The larva of the Longhorns living in dead wood can do a lot of damage, for you don't see anything until the adult comes out of it's hole: there is no visible damage to the wood and you won't find the wood powder always seen with the small holes caused by Wood-borers.

The Fan-bearing Wood-borer in these pictures is a common species to be found all over Europe. It is never seen inside, for the larvae eat decaying wood only, preferably beech. Scientifically it is also referred to as Ptinomorphus imperialis.