Allium Flowers and Carpet Beetles

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Varied carpet beetles Anthrenus verbasci on allium Varied carpet beetles Anthrenus verbasci on allium

Nature is strange, here I was marvelling at the allium flowers just opened, and thinking about photographing them, when I spotted what at first appeared to be ladybirds of some kind.

But they were unlike any ladybird I had ever seen, they were brown, white and yellow without spots and not particularly shiny.

They also didn't have the same head shape as a ladybird and while they were moving constantly they weren't on a plant that had aphids, the ladybird's typical dinner.

Some research later, it turns out that these are actually varied carpet beetles Anthrenus verbasci - the larval stage of these creatures are usually found indoors where they eat through carpets, furniture and clothing as well as felt. You might have seen these as 'fuzzy bears'.

The adults, as seen here, feed on pollen and other plant parts, here three are visible on the allium looking for pollen.

Needless to say they didn't make it indoors on this occasion.

I plan to photograph the nice white allium again tomorrow, without the carpet beetles.

Darren McLoughlin

Irishman and International travel photographer in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Echtra Echtra and Eonmusic

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about travel in Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

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