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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Strange long bug in house?



2nd photo
2nd photo  
I'm sure I've seen carpet beetles around my house but this is different; it's longer, kind of an orangey brown with a darker head. Might have some sort of pincer things at the back end too (don't know much about insects). It does seem to have some tiny speckles. Photos attached. I'd say it's maybe 1cm long when stretched out. Quite a few little legs on the first half of its body but them seem to stop about halfway down.

Dear Amy - Your 'house guest' appears to be a beetle larva. Although your images are not clear enough for me to be certain, it might be the larva of a scarlet malachite beetle - see for an image. If such is the case, you have nothing to worry about, as it is completely harmless - adult beetles may feed on flower-visiting insects and/or pollen, and their larvae are presumably predatory on small immature invertebrates, mainly other insects.
  However, if you believe that your specimen differs significantly from the image provided (remember that most insect species can show considerable individual variation), please try to obtain a clearer close-up image and resubmit on a follow-up question.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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