Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Family Dermestidae - Carpet Beetles

Beetle - Dermestes maculatus Carpet Beetles for Maryland in May - Anthrenus pimpinellae Which carpet beetle? - Anthrenus Black Carpet Beetle Pupa - Attagenus unicolor Beetle 2 - Apsectus Little larva Unidentified Beetle 2 - Anthrenus Dermestid Beetle - Cryptorhopalum
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Bostrichoidea (Carpet, Powder-post and Death-watch Beetles)
Family Dermestidae (Carpet Beetles)
Other Common Names
Dermestid Beetles, Skin Beetles, Larder Beetles
Explanation of Names
Author of family is Latreille, 1804
Greek derma 'skin' + Latin este 'eat, consume' (refers to the food habits of many members of the group)
124 spp. in 18 genera in NA(1)(2); global fauna still poorly known, with hundreds of undescribed spp. worldwide (and ca. 1000 described(3))
Overview of our fauna:
2-12 mm
Adult: body convex, oval, or elongate-oval, often with hairs or scales; elytra usually dark with or without pale markings; antennae clubbed
Larva: mostly light brown, covered with long hairs and hair tufts(4)
The best online visual identification guide is(5); most helpful guide to synanthropic spp. is(6)
larvae and adults found on carcasses, dry museum specimens, homes, stored food, nests (of bees, wasps, birds, mammals), etc.; adults of some spp. frequent flowers
dried organic material of high protein content (skin/flesh of dead animals, dandruff, feathers, hair, mantid egg cases, dried foods, wool/silk, etc.); a few spp. prey on wasp & bee larvae or spider eggs; most smaller species feed on pollen/nectar(1)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.A new U.S. and Florida record for Caccoleptus (Bicaccoleptus) kacka Háva, 2009 (Coleoptera: Dermestidae)
Háva, J. and M.C. Thomas. 2012. Insecta Mundi 0237: 1–3.
3.Háva J. (2011) World catalogue of the Dermestidae
4.A phylogenetic study of Dermestidae (Coleoptera) based on larval morphology
T. Kiselyova & J.V. McHugh. 2006. Systematic Entomology 31: 469–507.
5.Herrmann A. (200?-2013) Pictures of some dermestid species
6.Handbook of urban insects and arachnids: A handbook of urban entomology
Robinson W.H. 2005. Cambridge University Press.