The Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) is a very small insect in the Dermestidae family of carpet beetles.
The Varied Carpet Beetle has a rounded body and six legs. Its wing cases (elytra) are covered in fine scales with an irregular pattern of white, brown and yellowish colours in three wavy bands. It has short, clubbed 11-segmented antennae.
It measures 3 millimetres (less than a quarter of an inch) in length.
The Varied Carpet Beetle is common across Europe, North Africa, and northern Asia, in houses or close to houses and buildings.
The larva feeds on keratin and fibres, such as dead insects, animal hair and feathers. The adult beetle feeds on the pollen and nectar of flowering plants. Its predators include the wasp.
Its life cycle is egg, larva (grub), pupa, and adult. The female lays eggs in carpet, textiles, fabric, or in dark, dry places. They hatch into larvae. The larval form is short and spiky and is often known as woolly bears, like a caterpillar. The larva pupates and emerges as an adult beetle from May to August. This is called metamorphosis.
Its life expectancy is about 14 days.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM