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Anthrenus verbasci – oh dear!

1 March 2012

Dermestid beetle

[Having sat at home waiting for the annual gas safety check…]

This is something that brings fear into the heart of housewives (oh, they do not exist anymore! 😉 ) and museum curators (clinging on by their fingertips!) – from the family of beetles known as Dermestidae, Anthrenus verbasci, the carpet beetle. It really is tiny – about 2mm, but the Pentax camera did a pretty good job. The adults feed mainly on pollen. I found this on my pillow. No doubt it has laid eggs somewhere only I was too polite to check if it was a lady beetle. When they hatch they eat any animal matter – carpets, feathers, museum insect collections… Wildlife is everywhere if you only take the time to observe!

Did you know that “In the circannual pupation rhythm of the varied carpet beetle, Anthrenus verbasci, entrainment to annual cycles is achieved by phase resetting of the circannual oscillator in response to photoperiodic changes.” In other words, it has a body clock which is involved in resetting the life cycle in response to light! I do love articles that are clear…

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