Anthrenus flavipes (LeConte,1854)

Synonym(s) : 

Anthrenus vorax Waterhouse, 1883 
Anthrenus fasciatus Reitter, 1881

Common names

  • Anthrène
  • Furniture carpet beetle
  • Escarabajo del tapiz de los muebles
  • Polstenwarenkaefer


  • Order:  Coleoptera
  • Family:  Dermestidae
  • Genus:  Anthrenus
  • Species:  flavipes

Frequency index:

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By diet polliniphage, the Anthrenus flavipes adult is common on flowers in nature, particularly those of ombellifères where it feeds on pollen and nectar.

This is an excellent sailboat. It is also a usual host of Museums (and similar premises) and houses. Its larvae are scavengers and eat the remains and droppings of various animals.

This beetle is a scourge of collections and libraries where it can cause serious damage to the collections of insects and stuffed animals, binders, recipes ...

Recognition criteria



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.



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 is very variable depending on the substrate on which the larva develops and surrounding humidity conditions. It is optimal at 35 ° C and its total length can vary from 3 months to 1 year (or more). In optimum conditions, the female lays 35 to 100 eggs (0.75mm in length and 0.35mm in width) in the interstices of infested substrate; Incubation lasts 1 to 3 weeks. The number of larval stages may be important and it depends on the temperature and nutrient richness of the food substrate. It is 14 to 21 at 30 ° C, sometimes up to 30 in extreme adverse conditions. It was observed a minimum of 6 molts before pupation, and that's after a dozen days to pupation the adult is formed. This will remain a week in the pupal casing before taking off to the outside. The adult has an average lifespan of two weeks at 35 ° C. and 7 weeks at 25 ° C.

Infected materials

The larvae of Anthrenus flavipes is, rightly, much feared in the entomological and zoological collections and libraries, places of archives and museums where it can do serious damage to any leather materials and derivatives ( bindings, parchment, animal skins ...), horn, hair, bone, natural wool and dried insects. Larval development is rare on silk and cotton impossible, otherwise it is very slow on any substrate containing keratin, unless an organic food supplement is also present (blood, dung).

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

  • Souris dévorée par les larves de cette espèce.

Geographical distribution


however almost cosmopolitan species rare in cold climates.