UCR Urban Entomology
UCR Urban Entomology
UCR Urban Entomology
University of California
UCR Urban Entomology

Insect Photolog

Carpet beetle hairs

carpet beetle hastae

A mature larva of varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci). The larva is covered with dense tufts of hair they extend upright to form a round plume if disturbed. It has alternating light and dark brown stripes and is distinguishable from other carpet beetle larvae because it is broader in the rear and narrower in front.

In this particular picture, the larva was placed on the double-side sticky tape to remove the hairs from their body surface. The hairs are easily removed by this method. In addition to the hairs on its overall body trunk, it is evident that there are tufts of special hairs (also known as "hastae") at the end of the body. Hastae are modified hairs that are spear-shaped. They are typically clumped into bunches on the posterior abdominal segments. There are several reports indicating these hairs might cause irritations on skin, eye, and respiratory systems when contacted or inhaled in large quantities.

Picture was taken in Riverside, CA, in November 2017.

Webmaster Email: donghwan.choe@ucr.edu