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Beetle  Varied Carpet Beetle

Photo: Varied Carpet Beetle -  Copyright 2009 G. Bradley

Latin name: Anthrenus verbasci

Size: Between 3 and 5mms long

Distribution: Found throughout the UK

Months seen: March to October

Food: The adult beetles feed on nectar and pollen. The larvae feed on dry materials and dead insects. They have been known to reduce museum collections to piles of dust.

Habitat: Woods, parks, gardens and sometimes inside houses.

Special features: The adult beetles sometimes appear on walls and window sills in spring and early summer. The patterns can vary, but they mostly feature a zig-zag of light and dark colouration.

The females like to fly inside houses to lay their eggs. There can be up to 100 eggs, and when they hatch, the young feed on woolen clothing and carpets, especially soiled materials.

Click for a better viewThe larvae of these beetles are commonly called 'wooly bears' on account of their bristly haired appearance.

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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved