If you know of any book on Dermestid Beetles or a taxidermy book with a good chapter on the beetles please e-mail me. I have been unable to find anything. Thanks so much for your help.
Return to Category Menu
While there are a number of textbooks that summarize methods of cleaning skeletal material of vertebrates, all of the perhaps 25 basic techniques, to get a good summary of the ways to run a dermestid colony you must go to the original scientific literature. Your local library should be able to obtain copies of the papers cited below, or you could travel to the local college library which should have most of the Journals listed in this small subset of relevant articles I list below. You would be best educated by visiting an operating colony - one that is run professionally, perhaps at a University Museum or active Zoology Department.
Borell, A. E. 1938. Cleaning small collections of skulls and skeletons with dermestid beetles. Journal of Mammalogy, 19:102-103
Hall, E. R. and W. C. Russell. 1933. Dermestid beetles as an aid in cleaning bones. Journal of Mammalogy, 14: 372-374
Hardy, R. 1945. Dermestid beetles for cleaning shulls and skeletons in small quantities. Turtox News, 23(4):69-70
Laurie, E. M. O., and J. E. Hill 1951. Use of dermestid beetles fro cleaning mammalian skeletons. Museums Journal, 51:206-207
Matthiesen, D. G. 1989. The curation of avian osteological collections. pages 71-110, in Notes from a Workshop on Bird Specimen Preparation, Stephen P. Rogers and D. Scott Wood Compilers. Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
McComb, N. W. n.d.(ca. 1965?) Preparing skeletons using dermestid beetles. Connecticut Valley Biological Supply Co., Inc., Southhampton, Massachusetts. 8 pp.
*Russell, W. C. 1947. Biology of the dermestid beetle with reference to skull cleaning. Journal of Mammalogy, 28:284-287.
Sommer, H. G. and S. Anderson. 1974. Cleaning skeletons with dermestid beetles -- two refinements in the method. Curator, 17:290-298.
Storer, R. W. 1988. Preparation of bird skeletons. Bird Collection Newsletter, 1:1-5.
Tiemeier, O. W. 1939. The dermestid method of cleaning skeletons. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 26:377-383.
Valcarcel, A., and D. L. Johnson. 1981. A new dermestid repository for skeleton preparation. Curator, 24:261-264.
Vorhies, C. T. 1948. A chest for dermestid cleaning of skulls. Journal of Mammalogy, 29:188-189
All these references, save one, were taken from the Taxidermologists' Handbook.
call Carolina Biological Supply, they sell both the beetles and a booklet
Fantastic information - thanks so much!