Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Dermestid Beetle

Worldwide family (Dermestidae, over 700 species) of coleopteran insects belonging to the superfamily Dermestoidea, commonly called the skin or hide beetles. Adult dermestids are serious agricultural pests, but the larvae consume flesh and tissues. Consequently, dermestid colonies are maintained by vertebrate zoologists, who use the larvae to deflesh zoological specimens in order to collect the skeletons.