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Larder Beetle (Dermestes lardarius)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Larder Beetle



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A notorious pest around the world, the Larder Beetle is an unwelcome sight in homes, museums, stores, and food plants.



Updated: 04/28/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The diet of the larval Larder Beetle goes well beyond items typically stored in the pantry, cupboard, or larder. The natural food sources of this species area dried, dead animal parts or plants. This means that jerky, cured meats like ham and bacon, cat and dog food as well as pet treats, and dried fish like bonito are all at risk from an attack by this beetle. Larder Beetles have even eaten through the dried, preserved animal specimens often found in museums. They are a global pest.

The small black and yellow beetle may not be noticed until damage is detected. The wide yellow band across the middle of its body is comprised of short hairs, and it sports six black dots, three on each side. Short bent antennae end with a slight bulge. Larvae are mostly dark brown with a worm-like, segmented body. Fine hairs extend from the whole body and two curved, short horns sit near the rear end. If adults are discovered in the kitchen, check all food stores for larval presence. Sealing pantry goods well helps prevent infiltration.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Patterned insect icon
Pest insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Dermestidae
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          Genus: Dermestes
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            Species: lardarius
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Dermestes lardarius
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.19" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow, orange
Descriptors: pest, invasive, three black spots, yellow middle band, small, pantry, meat, infest
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 5mm and 8mm
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 8mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Larder Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Larder Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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