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Odor-of-Leather Beetle - Osmoderma eremicola

Odor-of-Leather Beetle - Osmoderma eremicola
Near Ruraldale, Upshur County, West Virginia, USA
July 5, 2005
A pretty active beetle, but it did finally slow down enough to allow some photos to be taken.

Dillon & Dillon say the beetle gives off the odor of Russian leather. Unfortunately I didn't read this until the beetle had already ambled off. I didn't get a sniff. I wonder how Russian leather's smell is different from other leather?

Images of this individual: tag all
Odor-of-Leather Beetle - Osmoderma eremicola Odor-of-Leather Beetle - Osmoderma eremicola

A Tinge of Vodka, Maybe?
Bob Patterson

Maybe so!
Maybe so! I knew it wasn't English leather—that was a cologne I wore to the big dance when I was in junior high school.


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

Russia Leather
From WordWeb Online:

Russia leather. A smooth leather tanned with willow, birch, or oak, and scented on the flesh side with birch oil.

From the website of the C & D Jarnagin Company:

Russia leather is a type of vegetable tanned leather, but has very distinctive oils used during the currying process. This oil has an aromatic scent, and because of this the leather has certain properties. These properties include insect resistance and mold and mildew resistance. This type of leather was used in book bindings and hat sweat bands. This type of leather was embossed with a pattern in the grain surface of the leather, such as a diamond pattern as well as others. The leather is known for its distinctive red color, but was also dyed black.

SO this beetle seems to have a chemical that may repel other insects.


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

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