Darkling beetles are small and black, but on close examination their shells reveal a wide variety of shapes and textures. This makes them just as interesting to look at as other, more colourful beetles. Darkling beetles are 3 to 4 cm long.
Like most scarab beetles, the two sexes are easy to tell apart (sexually dimorphic), particularly because of the males’ horns. The males may be 50 to 175 mm long, with two pincer-like horns in front. The elytra (wing covers) are pale greenish-yellow, with widely spaced, irregular black spots and a black border.
The females are 50 to 70 mm long, with a dark brown body covered in reddish-brown fuzz. They do not have horns.
The dermestid beetle is a dark brown or black beetle whose elytra feature a wide stripe of smaller, lighter hairs that range from yellow to grey or white in colour. This stripe has six black dots in the centre (three on each elytra) that vary in size and shape. Its head has two short, club-shaped antennae. Two pairs of wings are attached to its thorax. Under its elytra are two functional wings which are used when the beetle takes flight. Males and females have similar appearances and measure between 6 and 9 mm.
Around 20 species of Dermestidae live in Quebec. Dermestid beetles, whose name means “skin eater,” are frequently found in homes.
The most common, other than the larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius), are the black larder (Dermestes ater), the hide beetle (Dermestes maculatus), the carpet beetle (Anthrenus scrophulariae), the varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci), the black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor), the dermestid beetle (Trogoderma inclusum) and the warehouse beetle (Trogoderma variabile).