Pine bark anobiid

Adult pine bark anobiid
© Pests and diseases image library (PaDIL)
Side view of a pine bark anobiid
© Queensland Government

The pine bark anobiid is a pest of untreated, exotic (introduced species) pine logs that retain some bark. Although attacks occasionally occur around knots in boards, it is essentially a bark-dwelling insect. It does not cause structural damage and is only of minor economic importance.

In Queensland, 4 species of anobiid beetles (Family: Anobiidae) occur in or around buildings. Queensland pine beetles and common furniture beetles, native to Europe, are economically significant, while pine bark anobiids and cigarette beetles are less important.

Scientific name

Ernobius mollis


  • Adults grow to 6mm long and look like large common furniture beetles.
  • Young adults are covered with fine golden hairs, appearing golden brown.
  • Their colour darkens to brown with age as pale hairs are worn away.
  • Elytra (wing cases) are smooth, different from the long rows of dark marks or 'punctures' typical of common furniture beetles.
  • Wing cases and other parts are soft and much less horny than the common furniture beetle.
  • They are more active at dusk and at night; during the day they tend to hide from light.
  • Larvae are white and 0.8–8mm long, depending on their stage of development. They feed within the bark.
  • See additional images on the pests and diseases image library (PaDIL).


  • Found throughout Queensland.


Hosts are exotic softwoods, mainly pines and spruces, including:

  • radiata pine (Pinus radiata)
  • loblolly pine (P. taeda)
  • Scots pine (P. sylvestris)
  • Norway spruce (Picea abies)
  • giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Both seasoned and freshly cut wood is liable to attack, with logs or timber that retain some bark or that have been stored for a long time most susceptible. Pine bark anobiid can develop in sawn timber, roof truss structures, furniture, joinery, wooden tools, or museum exhibits. Dying conifers and the dead lower branches of living trees are also attacked sometimes.


  • Larvae live almost entirely in bark but have also been observed feeding in the surface of sapwood. They appear to be attracted to resin and are frequently found near resin canals.
  • Tunnels are up to 2mm in diameter, very irregular and usually up to 6–7cm long.
  • Emerging adults bore through veneer or other materials around the infested bark (such as leather, plastic or cloth), leaving round flight holes about 2mm in diameter.
  • The pine bark anobiid can attack the same piece of wood repeatedly for several generations, forming a tangled labyrinth of galleries.


  • Adults are only present in spring and early summer.
  • Adults generally develop in 1 year.
  • Bark must be available during development.
  • Adult beetles live for around 1 month and do not feed during this time.


  • To prevent attacks, remove all bark from susceptible timber or logs. Even small remnants can provide breeding grounds.
  • Where an infestation is already present, remove bark and treat the infested wood with an insecticide.

Resources and research