Dermestes (genus)

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Dermestes maculatus (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Udo Schmidt
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dermestes Linnaeus, 1758 - (hide beetles)

The genus contains about 70 species of beetles which are carrion feeder or live in nests of bird or mammals. Several are pests and breed in dried animal products like hides, skins or dried fish. During their development, the larvae pass through 6-8 instars. For pupation they leave their feeding site and construct a chamber in wood or other suitable structures.

The larvae are hairy and characterized by 2 horns (urogomphi) near the end of the abdomen. The adults are about 5-10 mm long and mostly black.


Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: