Anthrenus sp. carpet beetle
Little Anthrenus beetles are one of the most common insects across the northern hemisphere. Adults can be found in flowers feasting on pollen, and the detritivorous larvae are often inhabitants of homes and buildings. If you’d like to see one of these yourself, check your window sills- there’s a good chance a few will have accumulated around the edges as they try to exit.
A few years ago I attended an organizational meeting for the great Beetle Tree of Life project. A couple dozen of the world’s greatest Coleopterists were crammed into a room in Bozeman, Montana, hammering out which species to include in the project and assessing who could supply fresh specimens.
Could we find the elusive South American Tetraphalerus? Yes! The Argentinians had some.
How about the only-seen-in-Japan-and-Siberia-a-few-times Declinia? Yes! We could get that rarity too.
And Anthrenus, the ubiquitous carpet beetle?
Then, laughter. In a room full of beetle collectors, no one had even a single specimen.
An insect can be so common that experienced entomologists just pass it by. Anthrenus is one of these. Not worth the effort to pull out a vial and collect it. We’d have been better off with a group of less discerning Entomology 101 students.
Canon EOS 50D camera
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec