Carpet Beetle

Spectre

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Apparently, these things eat skin flakes, hair, feathers, essentially fibrous keratin (as far as my biology goes).

They play dead when you interrupt them.

They spend about nine months as a "Wooly Bear" larval stage.

This one is feeding on my toe-nail clipping. I think I'll keep him/her to see what happens, I'll post updates :).

PA120006.JPG

They then become this:

PA120009.JPG
 

Spectre

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What are you going to call him/her? 🤔
I like @avid idea, the carpet beetle larva is Sgt. Pepper LMAO.

Looking at the second picture, the legs at the front are different. They both have the "gripper" bits to the left. Do these exhibit handedness? The beetle is not symmetrical.

Look at the debris around that toenail, it's really enjoying that.
 

cactikid

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For a minute i thought it was a vine weevil killer of plantsOtiorhynchus_sulcatus_23-8-2007_20-10-41.JPG
 

Spectre

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For a minute i thought it was a vine weevil killer of plantsView attachment 126561
When I first found one, I also thought it was a weevil. Very similar shape. I cant remember the exact differences but I'm sure what I have is a carpet beetle :).

It's still firmly attached to the toenail. Might put a hair in the box for a bit of variety and possibly a callous, if I can find a peelable one on my hands.

I bet when this thing comes out of a cocoon it is something totally different LMAO. Millions of larvae that go straight into the woodwork and eat the building. I might take it to work...
 

Kryton

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When I first found one, I also thought it was a weevil. Very similar shape. I cant remember the exact differences but I'm sure what I have is a carpet beetle :).

It's still firmly attached to the toenail. Might put a hair in the box for a bit of variety and possibly a callous, if I can find a peelable one on my hands.

I bet when this thing comes out of a cocoon it is something totally different LMAO. Millions of larvae that go straight into the woodwork and eat the building. I might take it to work...
I'll contribute if needed mate...im sure i have a few old toe nails and pubes lying about.

You will just need to cover the postage 😉
 

Spectre

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I'll contribute if needed mate...im sure i have a few old toe nails and pubes lying about.

You will just need to cover the postage 😉
I have about twenty months of finger nail clippings in a jar at work, so I'm sorted there :). That is also an ongoing experiment to see what a fingernail collection looks like in a coffee jar. Where else am I supposed to keep them? I threatened to shove a colleague's hand into it if he touched my new monitors a while back. I should have washed the jar out first, as coffee scented fingernail clippings are just weird, I don't like coffee flavoured things.

Anyway, back to sensible things. Sgt Pepper has not left the toenail since the first picture. There was quite a bit "debris" around the caterpillar thing and nail so I shook the box a bit to give him some space. Still loving that nail though. I put a moistened callous in there in case he fancies a change and suppose, at some point, I should put a hair in.

Demolishing that toenail. I assume the ~0.05mm white spheres are Wooly Bear excreta, disgusting...

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Spectre

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thats the 2nd weird part. The first was 'i keep toe nail clippings in a jar at work....'
Only fingernail clippings. I might expand into toenail clipping curation though.

It started as "Where do I put them?" then became "What would they look like in a year?".

Surprisingly small was the answer.
 

avid

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Me thinks this thread should have been called A day in the life🤔
 

Spectre

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Me thinks this thread should have been called A day in the life🤔
Did they have a song about depositing an eyebrow hair into a business card box containing a carpet beetle larva? :) Possibly one of the unreleased ones...
 

Spectre

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What I have thought about is that I can magnify this and zoom in.

I have a Mitotoyu FS-60L with a nearly full suite of objective lenses. AVT Oscar camera on the L port.

I guarantee that it won't look nice, a caterpillar thing gnawing on a toenail.

Will take me a day or two to set up the microscope and get Firewire working. The camera was obscene price when it was made but is 10MP machine vision camera.
 

Spectre

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Not got any close-ups of Sgt Pepper yet but he has totally done that toenail in. Stripped it bare, well, as bare as toenails get, I suppose.

He seems to really like the nail clipping. I'm still unsure if they prefer "softer" keratin so I organised a buffet of callous and eyebrow hair. Which can be seen to the right of the first picture.

He seems to go dormant for a while every so often but that is like someone eating 200kG of food, if not more.

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Spectre

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Getting post too long errors @Mick...

Being somewhat unsure of what he needs to eat, I put another nail clipping in his enclosure.

I have plenty of nail clippings at home, not just at work. I didn't want to skew my research into nail clippings so if I had to cut my nails at home, I kept them to add to the main collection.

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Spectre

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So, the toenail was totally gone by about Tuesday and Sgt Pepper moved to the edge of the box. After a day, I "relocated" him (shook the box) to an area next to the hair, the callous and the nail. Straight onto the nail and is still there.

Should have probably left him to look for food, I hope you can't over-feed these :S.
 
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