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

Family Dermestidae - Carpet Beetles

Black Carpet Beetle - Attagenus brunneus - male Coleoptera - Anthrenus verbasci Dermestes frischi? - Dermestes frischi Dorsal - Trogoderma ornatum Dermestidae - Dermestes marmoratus Found Inside a Spider's Egg Sac - Anthrenus Trogoderma skin beetle - Dermestes undulatus
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
Dermestidae Latreille 1804
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
Family Dermestidae
=============Classification per(4)==========
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(5)
The best online visual identification guide is(6); most helpful guide to synanthropic spp. is(7)
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)
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.Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)
Bouchard P. et al. 2011. ZooKeys 88: 1–972.
5.A phylogenetic study of Dermestidae (Coleoptera) based on larval morphology
T. Kiselyova & J.V. McHugh. 2006. Systematic Entomology 31: 469–507.
6.Herrmann A. (200?-) Pictures of some dermestid species
7.Handbook of urban insects and arachnids: A handbook of urban entomology
Robinson W.H. 2005. Cambridge University Press.