1. Home
  2. Fun Animal Facts
  3. Hide Beetle: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 09, 2021

Hide Beetle: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Find interesting hide beetle facts for kids.

The hide beetle (Dermestes maculatus) is a species that is found all over the world, except for Antarctica. In particular, these pests are present throughout Europe.

Adult hide beetles are generally large and they possess a dark brown or black body with numerous markings. They also have white undersides and the tips of their elytra are pointy. Their sides have hairs and are shiny and convex. When it comes to beetle larvae, their abdomen is yellowish-brown and their dorsal surface is dark brown. The average length of the species is around 0.21-0.39 in (5.5-10 mm).

The IUCN has not evaluated the status of this species, but the population seems to be quite large. They are not rare animals, but predation and insecticides are a few threats to the species.

Let's read more interesting facts about the hide beetle, and if you find this article insightful, don't forget to check out more fun facts about different animals like the water beetle and the tiger beetle.

Hide Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hide beetle?

The hide beetle (Dermestes maculatus) is a species that is found all over the world except Antarctica. Food sources of this beetle include leather goods, skins, animal hides, feathers, food storage, and much more.

What class of animal does a hide beetle belong to?

Hide beetles belongs to the class of insects and the family of Dermestidae, while the hide beetle genus is Dermestes. Both adults and larvae of the Dermestes genus feed on the carcasses and bones of dead animals. Adult hide beetles generally arrive within 5-11 days on an animal's body after it dies.

How many hide beetles are there in the world?

The exact population of hide beetles is not known as of now, however, the hide beetle species is found throughout the world except for Antarctica. As a result, the population of hide beetles seems to be quite high.

Where does a hide beetle live?

Hide beetles are found in every continent apart from Antarctica and these beetles are found in every country of Europe.

What is a hide beetle's habitat?

While talking about the average hide beetle habitat, this beetle is generally associated with materials rich in protein such as dog biscuits, animal carcasses, skins, feathers, bones, dried meat, fish meal, and much more. Also, these scavengers can also be spotted on the nests of birds that are filled with animal products.

Who do hide beetles live with?

Very little information about the social behavior of hide beetles is available, but they are generally found in groups. Also, they come together during the breeding season. Groups of hide beetles can be found feeding on an animal carcass, on protein-rich materials, or in cracks or crevices.  

How long does a hide beetle live?

The average hide beetle life span is not known as of now, but it is known that this insect goes through several stages. The stages generally include development from the larval stage, to the pupal stage, to an adult. The species generally completes its larval stage in about 50 days. Pupation lasts for around 20-22 days and adult beetles live for no more than 170-180 days.

How do they reproduce?

When it comes to the hide beetle life cycle, female hide beetles generally require a continuous supply of water and food to achieve their maximum egg-laying capacities. If dried meat (as food) and water are provided, females can easily lay up to 800 eggs in their life span. Males generally chase females, while studies also reveal that males possess a chemical that is used to attract females.

Females usually lay eggs in the crevices of food sources or any other commodity and these eggs can be laid either in single or multiple batches. Eggs generally hatch within four to six days and hide beetle larvae go through multiple stages.  Also, the number of instars varies as this usually depends on the temperature and quality of the food source.  Studies also reveal that the optimum level of temperature for these beetles should be between 64-68 F (18-20 C).

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has not evaluated the status of this species, but the population seems to be quite large. Predation and insecticides are both threats to the species. People generally use different types of insecticides to prevent an infestation of these insects. These pest control measures kill these bugs in the event of an infestation.

Hide Beetle Fun Facts

What do hide beetles look like?

Adult hide beetles are generally large and possess a dark brown or black body with numerous markings. Adults have white undersides, and the tips of their elytra are pointy. Their sides have hairs and are shiny and convex. When it comes to beetle larva, their abdomen is yellowish-brown and their dorsal surface is dark brown.

These hide beetle facts would make you love them.

How cute are they?

Generally, hide beetles are not cute. In fact, it is very annoying if you find a large infestation feeding on commodities in a larder or in cracks in walls. They feed on leather, the skin of dead animals, hides, and feathers. People generally consider these insects pests and pest control measures are used to control their infestations.

How do they communicate?

Like other beetles, hide beetles have similar methods of communication. Male hide beetles possess pheromones, which are chemicals used to attract female beetles during the breeding season. Adults also use other tactile cues to perceive their environment. These beetles are generally attracted to protein-rich food.

How big is a hide beetle?

The average length of hide beetles is 0.21-0.39 in (5.5-10 mm). Larvae of this species are generally bigger than adult beetles and adult hide beetles that get a proper food and water supply are either the exact same size or bigger in size than green June beetles and ground beetles.  

How fast can a hide beetle move?

The exact speed of hide beetles is not known as of now, but these beetles generally feed on carcasses of dead animals quite quickly. An infestation of these beetles can complete feeding on a carcass within a few hours.

How much does a hide beetle weigh?

The weight of hide beetles is not known as of now, but their larvae can be heavier than adults.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female hide beetles, people generally call them hide beetles. Also, there is no difference in coloration, and male and female hide beetles generally look the same. However, female larder beetles have no patches, unlike male beetles of this species.

What would you call a baby hide beetle?

No specific names are used to refer to baby hide beetles, but terms such as larvae are generally used to refer to the early stage of beetles.

What do they eat?

Hide beetles are carnivores that feed on food that is rich in proteins, such as the skin of dead animals or feathers. The food of these insects generally includes carcasses and infestations of adult beetles generally arrive within 5-11 days on an animal's body after death. They are often preyed upon by birds such as the lesser goldfinch and red-headed woodpecker. Also, people use insecticide products as a method of pest control to get rid of an infestation and kill these pests.

Are they dangerous?

These beetles are generally considered pests and they can be quite dangerous. The arrival of hide beetle infestations generally suggests the presence of a dead animal carcass, as these pests flourish in unhygienic surroundings. In homes, these pests can be found hiding in cracks, crevices, and food storage boxes. To prevent infestations, it is important to take proper care of sanitation. Also, to protect leather goods and other related items, the ideal temperature of the room where they are stored should be around 50 F (10 C). Sticky traps can also be used to prevent the entry of these insects.

Would they make a good pet?

These insects are not considered good pets. If you are a beginner and want to keep beetles as pets, you can go for other options like stag beetles, Hercules beetles, rhinoceros beetles, and many more. Hide beetles are not suitable pets.

Did you know...

Beetles are an insect species that hates mint oil.

Carpet beetle larvae generally hide under carpet edges, under baseboards, and along the edges of upholstered furniture.

How did hide beetles get their name?

They are good at hiding in cracks in the walls of homes and warehouses but it is thanks to their ability to prey on the corpses of dead animals, they are known as hide beetles.

How long does it take for a hide beetle egg to hatch?

Their eggs generally hatch within four to six days. The larvae stage lasts for about 50 days, while the pupation stage lasts for around 20-22 days. Adult beetles live for no more than 170-180 days.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our fungus beetle facts or eastern Hercules beetle facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable beetle coloring pages.

Subscribe_Hero
Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000's of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.

EXPLORE KIDADL
In need of more inspiration?