Sunday, October 09, 2011

Angry larva

It's been a long, long time since I saw carpet beetles around home. Maybe they were just hiding out; I shampooed the carpets a couple of days ago, and this afternoon, I found a larva heading up the wall. I collected him, of course, and put him in a container with a pill of wool from my sweater for food. He should have been grateful.

He wasn't. He led me a merry dance tonight, when I tried to take his photo. See:

Carpet beetle larva, tail end.

He kept running away, even though I tempted him with a nice dead amphipod to eat. He wouldn't slow down, so I flipped him over with a paintbrush.

Belly up, and squirming.

He was fast; I had time for at the most one shot only each time I flipped him. Then he was up and running again.

I noticed something I'd never seen before; the larva was getting annoyed. Every time I put the paintbrush in front of his nose, he lifted up a bunch of tufts on his tail for a second or two, as a threat gesture. So I annoyed him even more, trying to get a photo of that. The best I could do was very blurred.

Angry larva, still running.

Now he's sulking in his jar; won't even touch his wool and yummy amphipod. Ungrateful wretch! I could have squashed him, couldn't I?


  1. Wikipedia has a great pic of your blurry one -

  2. Yes, that is a good shot. And now I know what's going on; the larva is not happy.

  3. Beautiful macros!

  4. Only you would take the time to get such intricate shots. I've seen the larva but never a beetle. Maybe that's a bad thing. Sounds like they can eat a bit of my house without me knowing it. - Margy

  5. Don't worry, Margy; the adults are harmless. They eat flowers and the like. It's the larvae to watch out for, and you know what they look like. They eat anything dry from the animal kingdom, including, of course, your best wool sweater.

    The adult beetle is much smaller. It looks like a miniature ladybug wearing a brown tortoise-shell outfit.

  6. Wow, you could have squished him, but you took some incredible photos instead. Thanks again for a fascinating post!


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