Anthrenus flavipes (LeConte,1854)

Synonym(s)Anthrenus vorax Waterhouse, 1883 ; Anthrenus fasciatus Reitter, 1881
Common French
Common English
Furniture carpet beetle
Common Spanish
Escarabajo del tapiz de los muebles
Common German
Order   Coleoptera
Family   Dermestidae
Genus   Anthrenus
Species   flavipes

General features

Adult Anthrenus flavipes are pollen-eaters. That is why they are frequently found on flowers in natural environments, more particularly on Apiaceae (Umbellifera) flowers where they feed on pollen and nectar. They are excellent fliers. They are also commonly found in museums and similar premises, and in houses. The larvae are necrophagous: they feed on the remains and faeces of various animals. Anthrenus flavipes are a true scourge of insect and stuffed animal collections, of book-bindings, parchments…


Identification criteria


Détail des élytres, vue dorsale.

Détail des écailles (arrondies).
2 to 3.5 mm long

Rather massive, quite rounded, oval shape,
Short 11-articled antennae; the last 3 articles are bigger and form a compact club.
Body covered in more or less round scales. That feature makes it possible to differentiate Anthrenus flavipes from A. verbasci (see fact-sheet) whose scales are narrow and elongate.


On the dorsal face, pronotum and elytra hued with whitish, greyish or blackish blotches (or blurred stripes) on an ochrish to yellowish background. Main colour on ventral face: silvery, with small, brownish black spots on the lateral margin of each abdominal sternite.
Sex can be told from the dark-brown blotch on the last abdominal segment: it is triangular in males, and trapeze-shaped in females.


Forme des soies de défense présentes sur les trois derniers sternite de la larve d'A.flavipes

Larve (coloration plus foncée que les autres espèces d'Anthrènes)

Larve vue de profil
5 mm long.

Oval and elongate, wider at the front end than at the rear end.
Body generously covered in long, dark and black bristles. Thicker hairiness on the last abdominal segment, in constant vibration when the larva is active.


Dark orange to dark brown, with lighter-coloured streaks between segments. Colour can vary depending on the nature of the infested substrate, but it is darker than Anthrenus verbasci


Development cycle

It varies a lot depending on the substrate larvae are developing on and on hygrometry conditions. It is optimal at 35°C, and total length can range between 3 months and 1 year, even more.
In optimal conditions, females lay 35 to 100 eggs (0.75 mm long and 0.35 mm wide) in the cracks of the infested substrate. Incubation lasts between 1 and 3 weeks.
The number of larval stages can be high. It depends on temperature and on the nutrient richness of the food substrate. There are 14 to 21 stages at 30°C, sometimes up to 30 in extreme unfavourable conditions. A minimum number of 6 molts has been observed before nymphosis, and adults are formed after about twelve days’ nymphosis. Adults remain within the nymphal envelope for a week before taking flight.
Adults live an average 2 weeks at 35°C, and 7 weeks at 25°C.


Infested materials

List of infested materials :
Chitin, Collagen, Keratin

Anthrenus flavipes larvae are quite rightly dreaded in insect and animal collections, and in libraries, archives and museums where it can cause serious damage to all materials made from leather and its by-products (book-bindings, parchment, animal skins…), to horn, silk, bone, natural wool and dessicated insects. Larval development rarely occurs on silk and is impossible on cotton. Besides, it is very slow on all substrates that contain keratin, except when extra organic food is also present such as blood or animal faeces.


Souris dévorée par les larves de cette espèce.

Sabot d'ongulé infesté par les larves de A.flavipes



Nearly round-the-world distribution. However, the species is rarely found under cold climates.


Similar species


Anthrenus museorum
Anthrenus verbasci

Frequency index : 2 / 5


More data

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