BugFilter - Help me identify this caterpillar (Picture included)
June 4, 2006 9:53 AM   Subscribe

BugFilter - Please, help me identify this caterpillar (Picture included) / My gf just found a couple of them when re-arranging the kitchen (closet, dark area, over wood surfaces) and we are since wondering if we must fear an invasion.

Here are some infos :
- We are living in Montreal, Canada - 2nd floor, in a century old building.
- We often buy exotic fruits and vegetables.
- My gf also found a few dry leftover skins.
- The bug is mostly shiny black/red, its head is slightly more red and it's got a very thin hair all over. ...Ha, and defensive gear at the back too.
- We share our space with a few house centipedes but nothing annoying or unusual.
- The weather is generally hot and humid during summer down here, and we're wondering if it could trigger a massive spread of thoose.

Do we have to tremble? Are they harmless? Thanks.

Link, just in case:
Picture of the caterpillar (bug01.jpg - 34kb)
posted by Bio11 to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
Best answer: I just looked through all four pages of caterpillars at the awesome What's That Bug site, and your little guy is not among any of the photos, so if no one here knows, you could post there - they really know their bugs.

Note for the squeamish - there are lots of photos of scary and horrifying bugs there. Even the caterpillar pages have a few grossouts...
posted by iconomy at 10:15 AM on June 4, 2006

This looks to me like a carpet beetle larvae... they come in a number of varieties, but a google image search for "carpet beetle larvae" shows a few that look like your critter there... they eat natural fibers (wool, etc), and grains.

I had an apartment in Arizona that had an ongoing problem with these and I was always finding the leftover skins, which made it seem like there were a lot more of them than there actually were. Finding and removing the primary source of the infestation (a wool sweater) helped a lot, though we found them periodically until I moved.
posted by everybody polka at 10:48 AM on June 4, 2006

Response by poster: That "What's that bug" site is amazing.
I've found my bug there, thanks to Polka's hints about my bug being a capret bug larva. It's certainly a Dermestid Beetle Larva (scroll down middle of the page), feeding on cat's hair and food, or pantry.

Thanks a lot, your answers halped refine my google fu about it!
posted by Bio11 at 11:19 AM on June 4, 2006

Isn't it cool? Glad our collective brain power found your critter for you!
posted by iconomy at 11:30 AM on June 4, 2006

Hmmm. For scale I'm gonna need some real money in one of those photos...
/I keed I keed.
posted by shanevsevil at 10:12 PM on June 4, 2006

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