Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Attagenus unicolor - Black Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetle - Attagenus unicolor - male Black Carpet Beetle - Attagenus unicolor UT Beetle - Attagenus unicolor Black Carpet Beetle - Attagenus unicolor - male Attagenus? - Attagenus unicolor - female Black Carpet Beetle - Attagenus unicolor - female Black Carpet Beetle larva - Attagenus unicolor Black Carpet Beetle larva - Attagenus unicolor
Classification
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)
Tribe Attagenini
Genus Attagenus (Black Carpet Beetles)
Species unicolor (Black Carpet Beetle)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Attagenus piceus Latreille, A. megatoma Latreille
Explanation of Names
Attagenus unicolor (Brahm 1791)
Numbers
3 recognized subspecies: A. u. unicolor (subcosmopolitan), A. u. japonicus (=A. u. canadensis) (e. Palaearctic, introduced in NA), A. u. simulans (C Asia)(1)
Size
2.5–5.5 mm(2)
Identification
Telling apart the subspecies: in A. u. unicolor, the pronotum and elytra are almost entirely covered with dark setae; in A. u. japonicus, the sides and base of the pronotum and the base of the elytra have distinctive golden brown setae.(1)
Range
adventive and widespread in NA(3)(1), native to the Old World (origin unknown; non-native in Europe), now nearly cosmopolitan(4)(5)
Habitat
nests of birds, wasps/bees, rodents; may infest homes and facilities such as grain elevators, flour mills, feed mills, and museums(6)(1)
Food
Larvae feed on animal materials (silk cloth, wool, feathers, hair, fur, fishmeal, etc.) and cereal products; adults feed on pollen of various plants outdoors(6)
Remarks
One of the most common household pests in NA (the damage is done by the larvae only); attacks museum specimens, esp. dried insects(1) Has been reported to damage books; pest in Japan's silk industry. Larvae often bore into food containers, making food vulnerable to infestation by other pests. When disturbed, larvae curl and remain motionless for a long period.(6)
Internet References