Entomology (Study of Bugs)/carpet beetle?


carpet beetle?
carpet beetle?  
QUESTION: Hey Sir Eaton,
       I have a few different insects i would like to share with you. the first one is tiny; about the size of a pin's head. i've found them a few times in the house in various locations. as far as i can search; the internet says it's a carpet beetle. on to the second insect; i was walking my cat outside and i brought my camera. as my cat was wondering; i spotted these bugs dancing around on a mushroom and leaf and took a picture and video of it. i thought it was a may fly because it's may and you have got to admit it looks decorative. my mother says it might be a wasp or some sort or carpenter ants with wings because the mushrooms and shrubs were next to an old tree stump. as always; you time and effort is greatly appreciated and look forward for answers.
p.s. pretty soon i'm gunna just nab your insect directory to help me out. and i found another beetle i haven't taken a picture of yet.lol

ANSWER: Feenie:

Thank you for the nice clear images.

Yes, the first image depicts two carpet beetles, genus Anthrenus .

The other image is of a picture-winged fly, Delphinia picta .  Here's more about it:


Thank you for appreciating what I do.  Feel free to query any time.  Meanwhile, if you would like a signed copy of my field guide, simply e-mail me at BugEricATyahooDOTcom with your address, and how you would like me to sign it, and I'll send it.  You could then reimburse me for the book and shipping.

Thanks for sharing your observations!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

tiny beetle
tiny beetle  

huge honking beetle
huge honking beetle  
QUESTION: Hey Sir Eaton,
   I finally got around to taking a picture of the last beetle last night. remember this is itty bitty. guess where i found it? i was sitting at my computer; minding my own business and i start to feel slight tingle on my arm. i looked down thinking it was probably going to be one of the god awful house centipedes or a house spider. it wasn't. it was a tiny little beetle. surprising the thing still survived over night in the container. but i managed to take a decent picture one it. it is the first one.

i then went to go set the poor thing outside by the garage in the back and came back to the stoop and spotted a honking huge beetle almost the size of my finger. it reminds me of an over grown clicking beetle and i didn't dare press my finger to it to find out. i know the picture for this one isn't too clear. i wish it was. cause i even got a picture of it mid flight.

all these insects are completely fascinating; with the exception of creepy centipedes with long dangly spider legs and house spider that always love to ascend down on me from the ceiling. i would love to know what these two beetles are; if possible. and thank you so much for putting up with frequent questions about insect identity.

as for the bug guide being signed; i would be honored. i dont have then money right now. but in the future i will contact you and we can figure out something. but i would be completely honored. i think i only have one signed book and it's child's book called "roseberry's great escape" by Kate Duke. i will contact you when i have enough money to refund you.



First image of "tiny beetle" depicts some kind of "deathwatch beetle" in the family Anobiidae.  Actually, I hear the family has been renamed Ptinidae.  Here's more:



Many species are attracted to lights at night, and will fly indoors from outside.  So, don't jump to the conclusion that this beetle is one of many destroying your furniture or house.

The "huge honking beetle" is some kind of firefly in the family Lampyridae:


Not all species light up.  Not enough detail in your image to tell you what species or even genus, but try Ellychnia corrusca as a possibility:


I'll give you a rain check on the offer of the guide, then :-)


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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