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Photo#10898
spider beetles - Mezium americanum

spider beetles - Mezium americanum
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
January 31, 2005
This image was submitted to www.whatsthatbug.com by Melina Suarez
Spider Beetles
(02/01/2005) bug info
We are having this bug on our carpet for a while. Apparently it's harmless, but since I have a 6-month-old baby, I'd like to check what it is. I've looked at several bug pictures, but could not find it. We also find them sometimes on our bathtub. We live in Boston, MA. It is the size of a small ant, very small. To kill it, I crush it and it sounds like killing a pregnant dog's flea, it cracks. I've put a couple in a completely closed jar a few days ago, and they are still alive. I’m sending some pictures I took. I’d appreciate any kind of information you could provide me.
Thanks a lot
Melina Suarez

Dear Melina
We were not sure exactly what species of beetle you had, though we suspected some type of Pantry Beetle. We contacted a true beetle expert, Eric Eaton who gave us the following reply:
"Some pretty clear images of pretty tiny beetles!  They are spider beetles, Mezium americanum.  It is a stored product pest, so best to inspect the pantry to find the source of the infestation.  This should also include examination of pet food, taxidermy mounts, insect collections, the spice rack....Aside from adding some inadvertent protein to one's diet, though, they are of no real consequence even if you don't ever find them.   Aside, we'd love to have these images submitted to Bugguide.net.  Not even sure this family is represented yet.  
Thanks.
Eric"

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