Skull Cleaning Worms

Submitted by Jeff Manders on 09/16/2002. ( )

I am looking for the name of the worms used to clean skulls and bones. Any help is much appreciated.

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Dermestid beetles

This response submitted by raven on 09/16/2002. ( )

Dermestid beetles - rather - the larval stage of them is what you are likely looking for and is what is widely used in museum bone prep. Any bug larvae that eat meat will really work tho. I have often let flies at a skull or bone - fly larvae (maggots) do a wonderful job. A dead easy way to clean bones is to make a box frame coverred in 1/4 inch hardware cloth (Steel mesh). Carve off as much flesh as you can then put your bones inside and staple the top screen on. Set this sumwhere you would expect to encounter bugs.. a garden, forested area etc. The screen keeps all the pieces together, keeps little critters from gnawing at the bones and keeps larger ones from walking off with them. (Weld up or have sumone weld up a frame using 1/4 inch steel rod if you are in an area prone to bear activity - then stake this into the ground.) If you can't do this - or if it gets cold in your area... then dermestids or maggots in an aquarium is a standard practice. Hope this helps =)

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