Currently viewing the category: "Pantry Beetles, Grain Weevils, Spider Beetles, Meal Worms and Carpet Beetles"
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Mealworm confusion, looking for expert
Website: http://www.rabbitindustrycouncil.com
December 18, 2011 7:44 pm
I know you’re terrifically busy in all senses of the word ‘terrific’, but I was hoping you might ask your entomologist backup crew to get in touch.
I’m starting out with mealworms and have some rather odd things going on in the colonies.  Major size differences in larval stage just before pupation and in pupae is only the beginning…!
I’m suspecting a mix of species, but which species?  Need to know so I can give them each their optimum environments, and I’m totally lost. :)
Have pics, can send, can take more…
And any help, as always, is wonderfully appreciated!
Signature: Pamela Alley

Mealworm Pupae

Mealworm pupae size difference
Location: N. California
December 18, 2011 7:55 pm
You ROCK, folks…!
This is a picture of a darkling beetle, matured from one of my mealworm colony pupae–and in the next pictures, you can see there is a huge size difference between two distinct groups. Supplier A’s mealworms are larger at pupation and make large pupae; Supplier B’s mealworms are pupating at a smaller size and result in smaller pupae.
I suspect a mix of species–let me know what photos will be most helpful in ID’ing the darn things?
Thanks so very much for all you do–I swear, I recommend you to about six teachers a year. *evil grin*
Signature: onafixedincome

Mealworm Pupae

Ed. Note:  These two emails came minutes apart, and despite the different signatures and email addresses, we suspect they have the same origin.

Darkline Beetle: Mealworm

Dear Pamela and/or Onafixedincome,
Since your two emails came minutes apart, and deal with a similar subject matter, we suspect they are related despite different signatures and different email addresses.  Please confirm our suspicions.  Additionally, since only onafixedincome sent photos, we are treating this as a single posting and we will respond to both together.  Mealworms are a common commercial name for the larvae of Darkling Beetles that are raised as food for a variety of pets including larger tropical fish, turtles, lizards and frogs.  The Aquatic Community website has a nice page on Raising Mealworms.  The common commercial species is the Yellow Mealworm,
Tenebrio molitor, though we suspect other species may also be raised commercially, which might be one explanation for the size discrepancy you have witnessed.  Individual species also have considerable variation in size from individual to individual, and this may be partially explained by genetic traits.  Perhaps one supplier has individuals that are passing on a gene that is producing smaller larvae and pupae, and this is producing smaller adults.  We hope someone with experience will provide a comment to this posting, though sometimes comments take years to be posted.  We would recommend that you place a comment to this posting so that you will be notified in the future if there are any comments or answers to your questions.

Whups!  My apologies, wasn’t trying to be sneaky…Just brainless as usual, which takes little effort. :(
I wasn’t going to send you pics, because they are ‘domestic’ insects, then thought you might find them fun, if not useful, so posted them.  The difference in emails was a screwup, and I am sorry.
Any rate, I appreciate your input as always!–can’t imagine how you manage to keep up with all this stuff.
Given the current average of malformation (50%+) thus far on the large pupae, I’m leaning toward the theory that these were treated with with growth hormone to get size–and that the beetles from these may well turn out sterile. :(
So, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see….Much obliged for the link, it’s always good to learn as much as you can when raising anything, even bugs! :)
Again, you ROCK!!!
And of course, thank you so very much. :)
PA
onafixedincome

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug I have never seen before
Location: Ohio
September 24, 2011 4:06 pm
I first found this bug last night when I got some bedding out of my daughter’s closet. Only saw one, but then I saw two more this afternoon in a laundry basket in the basement. Any idea what this is?
Signature: Megan

Bed Bug, Carpet Beetle Larva or other???

Hi Megan,
There is not enough detail in your photo for us to say with any certainty what the identity of your insect might be, but two possibilities are a Bed Bug or a Carpet Beetle Larva.  A better photograph would help.

I know for a fact that it isn’t a bed bug.  Have too much experience with those so I know exactly what those look like!  I looked up carpet beetle larva and found this picture (attached).  It looks like the bug on the left.  Now to research these things and find out more about them.  Thank you!

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No Clue
Location: Western Massachusetts
September 11, 2011 1:41 am
Hello Mr. Bugman, I have searched the Internet trying to identify this crazy little bug. It was found under the covers of a bed that’s not used very often. It has little hairs all over its carrot shaped body and long grey hairs that protrude from it’s hind section. Turned over, it looks like six legs near the widest part, or head section. I could only see these features with a jeweler’s loop. I would say the bug measures 3/64” wide x 1/4” long half body half tail. Thanks for the help
Signature: Bugman

Carpet Beetle Larva

Dear Bugman,
Just yesterday we posted another image of a Carpet Beetle Larva.  We believe your Carpet Beetle Larva is the larva of a Black Carpet Beetle in the genus
Attagenus based on this image posted to BugGuide.

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Centipede?
Location: Eastern PA
September 10, 2011 5:30 pm
Hi bugman,
Found several of these bugs alive, indoors, in Eastern Pennsylvania, today (middle of September). Sorry, I didn’t think to include something for scale. The thing is quite small– 1/4” to 1/2” range.
TIA!
Signature: John

Carpet Beetle Larva

Hi John,
You have Carpet Beetle Larvae, common household pests with a cosmopolitan distribution.  Here is a very similar looking Carpet Beetle from Iran.  Try vacuuming more often and remove all pet hair.

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little bugs in my bed and cupboard.
Location: West Virginia
August 9, 2011 1:07 pm
My wife and I found these tiny brown beetle looking bugs in our bed and cupboard. Their body is in two sections, head then body. They also bite.
Signature: willyp

Drugstore Beetles

Hi willyp,
These appear to be Drugstore Beetles to us.  Drugstore Beetles are generically and unscientifically categorized on our site with other small but unrelated insects that infest stored foods in the pantry.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on prescription drugs, flours, dry mixes, breads, cookies, spices, chocolates and other sweets, plus a variety of “non-food” items (see Remarks section below)  adults do not feed … Larval non-food material includes wool, hair, leather, horn, and museum specimens. Larvae have been known to bore into books, wooden objects, and, in some cases, tin or aluminum foil and lead sheets.”  You can start by checking the pantry for food items that are infested.

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Wool eating caterpilar
Location: New York City
August 5, 2011 6:13 pm
Have these wool eaating caterpilars in my closets. What are they? Never seen any moths but occasionally see a small ladybug sized beetle which I suspect is the same animal.
Just to let you know that the caterpillar is about 1/8 inch long.
Signature: NYC

Furniture Carpet Beetle

Dear NYC,
This is most certainly a Carpet Beetle and a Carpet Beetle Larva, and it very closely resembles a Varied Carpet Beetle,
Anthrenus verbasci , however, the larva is too dark to be that species.  It is highly unlikely that you would have the larvae of one species in your closet and the adult of another species, so we continued to research.  We learned upon reading about the Varied Carpet Beetle on BugGuide, that it looks very similar to the Furniture Carpet Beetle, Anthrenus flavipes, but alas, BugGuide has no photos of the Furniture Carpet Beetle.  We did find a photograph on IPM images, that is credited to Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, that shows the Furniture Carpet Beetle and its Larva, and we believe they match your individuals. Carpet Beetle Larvae do feed upon wool, though the adults feed on pollen.  We did locate an awesome webpage entitled Urban Entomologywritten by Walter Ebeling that is on the UC Riverside Entomology website.  Here is what it says about Carpet Beetles:  “Four species of carpet beetles comprise not only the most important group of fabric pests, but also the group that is most difficult to control. The adults feed largely on pollen and nectar, and may enter homes in spring and early summer. All damage (figure 200) is done by the larvae, which develop in dark, undisturbed locations. Unlike clothes moth larvae, they spin no webbing, but their hairy cast skins and their sandlike pellets (shown in the figure; often the color of the fabric eaten) are evidences of infestation. The cast skins look much like live larvae, and may give the casual observer the impression that there is a greater infestation than is actually present. Pupation takes place in the last larval skin, and the adult may remain in the partially shed pupal skin for as long as 3 weeks. Evidence of a carpet beetle infestation may be the presence of the small, adult beetles flying to windows or larvae wandering from room to room. The adults resemble lady beetles in shape.  The source of a carpet beetle infestation is sometimes difficult to find. For example, one pest control operator treated an office building 3 times, each time failing to find the source of the beetles seen by the occupants. On the fourth attempt, he traced the beetles to a telephone cable in the wall, where the insects were discovered to be feeding on the insulation.”  The Urban Entomology page also states this, which supports our identification:  “Mature larvae are darker than those of the varied carpet beetle, and are able to run swiftly.”

Furniture Carpet Beetle Larva

Wow, that was quick! Thanks!


 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination