Skin Beetles (Dermestidae)

Carpet beetles are a family of beetles that have a cosmopolitan distribution. There are around 500-700 species in this family.

Common Beetles Belonging to this Family

Scientific Classification

These beetles are separated into subfamilies, consisting of various genera.


  • Attageninae
  • Dermestinae
  • Megatominae
  • Orphilinae
  • Thorictinae
  • Trinodinae


  • Adelaidia
  • Amberoderma
  • Anthrenocerus
  • Anthrenus
  • Apsectus
  • Attagenus
  • Caccoleptoides
  • Caccoleptus
  • Cretonodes
  • Cryptorhopalum
  • Ctesias
  • Dearthrus
  • Dermestes
  • Egidyella
  • Evorinea
  • Globicornis
  • Jiriella
  • Labrocerus
  • Megatoma
  • Miocryptorhopalum
  • Neoanthrenus
  • Novelsis
  • Oisenodes
  • Orphilodes
  • Orphilus
  • Orphinus
  • Paranovelsis
  • Phradonoma
  • Pseudohadrotoma
  • Ranolus
  • Reesa
  • Reeveana
  • Sefrania
  • Thaumaglossa
  • Thorictodes
  • Thorictus
  • Thylodrias
  • Trichodryas
  • Trinodes
  • Trogoderma
  • Tryoniopsis
  • Zahradnikia
  • Zhantievus

Physical Description and Identification


Size: 0.078-0.197 in (0.2-0.5 cm)

Color: Most beetles in this family are black, though the larder beetle has a yellow band covering its elytra.

Other Characteristic Features: Their bodies are round and oval, covered with scales or bristles.


Dark brown or black, the larvae are covered in setae giving them a fuzzy appearance. Their body has a pair of chewing mouthparts, three pairs of thoracic legs, a sclerotized head capsule, and an abdomen with a couple of spine-like appendages.


The location where the larva pupates varies, either inside a larval shelter or a food source.


Females can lay eggs near a food source, ranging from 40 to 800.

Quick Facts

Other names Skin beetles, larder beetles, hide beetles, leather beetles, khapra beetles, dermestid beetles, flesh-eating beetles
Lifespan Males: 2 to 4 weeks Females: 2 to 6 weeks
Distribution Worldwide
Habitat Temperate and tropical regions
Predators Spiders, some ant species
Seasons active May to July
Hosts Dried foodstuffs, skins, hides, wood, and other natural fibers
Diet of adults Pollen and nectar

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The larvae feed on different types of plant and animal materials. This leads to damage to foodstuffs, clothing, and other household materials.

Did You Know

  • French zoologist Pierre André Latreille first described this family of beetles in 1802.