Identification of economically significant death-watch and spider beetles in Wisconsin
Two widely distributed beetle families, the death-watch (Anobiidae) and spider beetles (Ptinidae), include a number of economically significant species which cause damage to wooden materials and/or stored products. Distribution and abundance of several common species are known but the obscure lifecycle and small body size of many of these beetles often hinders identification. The purpose of this project was to develop a comprehensive list of all species in these families occuring in Wisconsin, and identify those which could potentially become problematic. Collections were made by means of passive trapping, sorting past trap samples, examining museum specimens and contacting Wisconsin pest control operators. A total of 28 genera and 58 species were recorded from the state, although only one species, Hemicoelus carinatus (Say) was found to be problematic, causing damage to wooden structures. Interestingly, a few species known to be damaging to wooden materials in other localities were present in the state, but do not seem to be of economic significance in Wisconsin (e.g. Euvrilletta peltata (Harris)). It is possible that warmer winters or other changes in climate in the future could result in various species becoming pests of wood products in the state.