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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Is this a carpet beetle?


QUESTION: I found this casing in an old wood dresser that I bought from an antique store. Obviously a little freaked that it could be bed bugs, but it looks like pictures I've seen of carpet beetle casings. I also caught a live bug overnight on a strip of tape I laid down in front of the dresser. I don't have a picture but it was black, and similar in size/shape to the casing attached


You are correct, this belongs to a carpet beetle.  The correct term is "molt" or "exuvium," as it represents the cast-off exoskeleton of the animal.

Carpet beetles (Dermestidae) are found in most homes.  Here's more about them:


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Bug found in car
Bug found in car  
QUESTION: Thanks so much! I found this on my shorts this morning as I was getting in the car (which I used to transport the dresser). It looks pretty similar to the one I found on the tape yesterday. Is this a carpet beetle? It looks like it has wings, which I understand carpet beetles don't have?


Carpet beetles most definitely *do* have wings, and they fly very well in fact.

The insect in your image appears to be some other kind of beetle, possibly a soft-winged flower beetle, family Melyridae, subfamily Dasytinae:

They are of no economic importance whatsoever.


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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.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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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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