dermestid beetle

insect
      any of approximately 700 species of beetles (insect order Coleoptera) that at one time were important household pests because the larvae feed on furs, skins, feathers, horn, and hair. Adults are usually brown or black, although some are brightly coloured or patterned and are covered with either hairs or scales that easily rub off. They vary in shape from elongated to oval, and range in size from 1 to 12 mm (up to 1/2 inch). The wormlike larvae are the only beetle larvae that are covered with hair.

      The larder beetle larva (Dermestes lardarius) feeds on cheese and dried meats, especially ham and bacon. The adult beetle is oval, black or brown with yellowish bands and dark spots, and 6 to 7.5 mm (0.236 to 0.295 in) long. The beetles are usually discovered inside a house when the adult emerges from its pupal stage and is seen around windows trying to get outside to feed on pollen.

      The red-brown or golden-brown carpet beetle larva (e.g., Anthrenus) is about 5 mm (0.197 in) long and very destructive; it attacks fur, furniture, rugs, carpets, and clothing. The oval adults feed on pollen, are usually between 2.2 and 3.5 mm (0.087 and 0.138 in) in length, have brightly coloured scales, and resemble ladybird beetles.

      Anthrenus verbasci and A. musaeorum are two important museum pests. The larvae feed on and have destroyed collections of stuffed mammals, birds, and insects. Museums and private collectors must either have pestproof display shelves or continuously apply pesticides to protect their collections. The larvae of carrion-feeding species are sometimes used in museums and by taxidermists to clean the soft tissue attached to animal skeletons.

      The khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium), a small beetle native to the Indian subcontinent, is a serious pest in most parts of the world. It is unique among dermestids because the larvae feed on stored grain.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dermestid (beetle) — Any member of about 700 species (family Dermestidae) of widely distributed beetles that are household pests. Usually brown or black, some are brightly coloured or patterned, and they vary in shape from elongated to oval. Dermestids range from… …   Universalium

  • beetle — beetle1 /beet l/, n., v., beetled, beetling. n. 1. any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings. 2. (loosely) any of various insects resembling the… …   Universalium

  • Beetle — Beetles redirects here. For the band, see The Beatles. For the car, see Volkswagen Beetle. This article is about the insect. For other uses, see Beetle (disambiguation). Beetle Temporal range: 318–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • dermestid — I. dərˈmestə̇d adjective Etymology: New Latin Dermestidae, from Dermestes, type genus + idae : of or relating to the Dermestidae II. noun ( s) : a beetle of the family Dermestidae …   Useful english dictionary

  • tapestry beetle — noun : carpet beetle b * * * tapestry beetle, a dermestid beetle whose larva eats tapestry, woolens, and the like …   Useful english dictionary

  • skin beetle — ▪ insect       any of approximately 300 widely distributed species of beetles in the superfamily Scarabaeoida (insect order Coleoptera) that are also classified by some authorities in the subfamily Troginae in the scarab family Scarabaediae. Skin …   Universalium

  • khapra beetle — [kä′prə] n. [Hindi khaprā, lit., destroyer, akin to Sans kṣayati, (he) destroys < IE * gwhthei(e) , to swindle, destroy > Gr phthiein, to waste away] a dermestid beetle (Trogoderma granarium) native to S and SE Asia, now a destructive grain …   English World dictionary

  • larder beetle — n. a small, mostly black dermestid beetle (Dermestes lardarius) whose larvae feed on dead animal matter, cheese, etc …   English World dictionary

  • khapra beetle — ˈkä]prə, ˈka] noun Etymology: Hindi khaprā, literally, destroyer, from Sanskrit kṣapayati he destroys; akin to Sanskrit kṣiṇoti he destroys more at phthisis : a dermestid beetle (Trogoderma granarium) native to the Indian subcontinent and now… …   Useful english dictionary

  • khapra beetle — noun Etymology: Hindi & Urdu khaprā, literally, destroyer Date: 1928 a dermestid beetle (Trogoderma granarium) that is native to the Indian subcontinent and is now a serious pest of stored grain in most parts of the world …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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