Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bug identification


bugs in bag
bugs in bag  

Hi, I brought back to Australia with me, a lacquered piranha, that I had purchased on the Amazon in Brazil. I have had it sitting in my lounge, for some years now. But, this morning I noticed that it was shedding its' inner (dust etc). Upon tapping it, about 50 bus have now been knocked out, through the mouth (and eye sockets). I have attached 2 photos. I would like to think they are local Queensland Australian bugs, but have never seen them before. Perhaps they are Brazilian from a dormant egg? Can you offer me some advice please?
Thanks, Andrew.

Dear Andrew - These are larvae of beetles in the family Dermestidae (carpet/hide/skin/larder beetles, etc.), possibly in the genus Anthrenus, These have a cosmopolitan, virtually worldwide, distribution. Their affinity for eating animal protein not only has made them pests to some degree, but also valuable assets to those wanting to obtain very clean skeleton mounts of animals. In your case, to prevent further damage to your specimen, I suggest placing it in a freezer (at least -20C) for a week or more. and then keeping it in an insect=proof case.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.