Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Stripey silverfish?


Stripey Silverfish
Stripey Silverfish  

Hello, Eric.

I saw this insect in my house in Burnaby, B. C. a few years ago around the end of November. It looked like a silverfish, and I think was the same size, but it had reddish and yellowish stripes and a "bushy" tail (lots of hairs coming out from its tail). It didn't seem to have visible antennae, and it was crawling across the carpet, then got onto our cutting board. Any idea what kind of creature this is? I'd be very pleased to know.

Thanks, Jascha

Hi, Jascha:

Thank you for including the excellent images with your question.

This is the larva of a black carpet beetle, genus Attagenus .  As luck would have it, I did a blog post about these awhile back:


That story also includes links to additional resources.

Take care.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.