Your browser does not support JavaScript! Mind Craft
Purdue Extension 4-H/FFA Career Development Event (CDE) | FFA | Purdue | entomology | CDE | insect | insect orders | flashcards | contest
insect image
Dermestid Beetle larva
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Dermestid Beetle - larva
See also: adult | damage

Scientific Name: Dermestidae: several species

Status: pest of stored products

Damaging Stage: larval and adult

Biology: Adults are approximately 1/4 inch long and can vary in shape from elongated to oval. They are usually dark brown but may be patterned with lighter scales. Dermestid larvae are brown in color and covered in red-brown setae. They have two distinctive spines on the end of the abdomen that curve backward.

Eggs usually hatch within two weeks; larvae develop through five or six instars before pupating. The pupal stage usually lasts less than two weeks. There are typically three to four generations per year. In outdoor environments dermestid beetles fill a valuable role as decomposers of organic materials. They are commonly found in decaying animal carcasses. Dermestid beetles may also become pests. Most damage is caused by the larval stage. Dermestid larvae feed in dark, quiet areas on a number of stored food items as well as animal products (wool, silk, leather, fur, hairbrushes with natural bristles, and feathers) that are of value to people.