Dermestes, the scientific name of the larder beetle (I). lardarius, Fabr.), one of the largest and most destructive of museum pests. It is about half an inch long, oblong-oval, with short legs, and black, the base of the wing covers with a grayish buff broad band. Slow in its movements, it seeks some crevice or feigns death when disturbed. The larvae are hairy, the body ending in a pencil of hairs. The genus anthrenus, of the same family of skin beetles, not more than one eighth of an inch long, generally less, is covered with transverse wavy bands of irregular spots; the larva is short and thick, with long bristles. Both these beetles commit their depredations in the larva condition during the summer or latter part of spring; they attack and often completely destroy natural history specimens of every kind, where any animal matter remains. The constant evaporation of benzine, camphor, creosote, and turpentine in the museum cases will usually keep them out; specimens thoroughly impregnated with carbolic acid, arsenic, or corrosive sublimate are safe from their attacks. Their presence may be detected by the dust which they make falling beneath the specimens.
The last is the A. musoeorum (Fabr.).
1. Larva of Dermestes lardarius. 2. Anthrenns. 3. Larva of Anthrenus. 4. Pupa of Anthremis.