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

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Family Dermestidae - Carpet Beetles

Varied Carpet Beetle - Anthrenus verbasci Varied Carpet Beetle - Anthrenus verbasci Megatoma variegata - female Dermestid Dermestid - Trogoderma Dermestes lardarius Polyphaga - Attagenus schaefferi Larder Beetle - Dermestes lardarius
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
Superfamily Bostrichoidea
Family Dermestidae (Carpet Beetles)
Other Common Names
Dermestid Beetles, Skin Beetles, Larder Beetles
Explanation of Names
Dermestidae Latreille 1804
124 spp. in 18 genera in NA(1)(2); global fauna still poorly known, with hundreds of undescribed spp. and ~1000 described(3); checklist of our fauna in (4)
Overview of our fauna
Family Dermestidae
=============Classification per(5)==========
Subfamily DERMESTINAE Latreille 1804
==Tribe Dermestini Latreille 1804
Subfamily THORICTINAE Agassiz 1846
==Tribe Thorictini Agassiz 1846
Subfamily ORPHILINAE LeConte 1861
Subfamily TRINODINAE Casey 1900
==Tribe Thylodriini Semenov 1909
==Tribe Trinodini Casey 1900
Subfamily ATTAGENINAE Laporte 1840
==Tribe Attagenini Laporte 1840
Subfamily MEGATOMINAE Leach 1815
==Tribe Anthrenini Gistel 1848
==Tribe Megatomini Leach 1815
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(6)
The best online visual identification guide is(7); most helpful guide to synanthropic spp. is(8)
throughtout NA, cosmopolitan
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). Some species are probably specialists of mantis oothecae (Thaumaglossa), others (Apsectus) feed on spider webbing and dried spider eggs.
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. (2018) World catalogue of the Dermestidae
4.Annotated checklist of Nearctic Dermestidae with revised key to genera
Beal, R.S. 2003. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 57: 391-404.
5.Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)
Bouchard P. et al. 2011. ZooKeys 88: 1–972.
6.A phylogenetic study of Dermestidae (Coleoptera) based on larval morphology
Kiselyova T., McHugh J.V. 2006. Sys. Entomol. 31: 469–507.
7.Herrmann A. (200?-) Pictures of some dermestid species
8.Handbook of urban insects and arachnids: A handbook of urban entomology
Robinson W.H. 2005. Cambridge University Press.