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Dermestes lardarius - top (aka).jpg
D. lardarius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Dermestidae
Subfamily: Dermestinae
Tribe: Dermestini
Genus: Dermestes
Type species
Dermestes lardarius
Linnaeus, 1758

Dermestes is a genus of beetles in the family Dermestidae, the skin beetles. The genus is distributed worldwide.[1]

The larvae of these beetles feed on dead and dried animal material, including dead bodies, dried meat and fish, and body parts such as bone, hair, skin, and feathers. They are cannibalistic on occasion. They are pests of museums, where they feed on specimens such as dried insects and stuffed animals. They may be useful in museum settings as well, where they are used to clean tissue from skeletons.[2] Some species may play a role in forensic entomology when they are found on human corpses.[1][2]

As of 2013 there are about 92 species.[3]



  1. ^ a b Magni, P. A., et al. (2015). A biological and procedural review of forensically significant Dermestes species (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 52(5), 755-769.
  2. ^ a b Dermestes maculatus De Geer, 1774. Pest Insects of our Cultural Heritage.
  3. ^ a b Herrmann, A. and Háva, J. (2013). A new species of the genus Dermestes Linnaeus, 1758 (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) from South America. Studies and Reports, Taxonomical Series, 9(2), 375-378.

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