follow Dictionary.com

Do you know ghouls from goblins and ghosts?

skin beetle

any of approximately 300 widely distributed species of beetles in the superfamily Scarabaeoida (insect order Coleoptera) that are also classified by some authorities in the subfamily Troginae in the scarab family Scarabaediae. Skin beetles have a rough body surface, are less than 12 mm (0.5 inch) long, and are dull brown in colour. Skin beetles are beneficial scavengers and feed on dry animal carcasses. They are one of the last insect groups to feed on animal carcasses and are often used in skeletal preparations to clean tissue from bone. They also may play a role in forensic entomology in determining the length of time since death. When disturbed they pull in their legs and pretend to be dead. Because they are small and usually covered with dirt, they are not often seen. The dermestid beetle (q.v.) (family Dermestidae) is also called a skin beetle.

Learn more about skin beetle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for skin

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for skin beetle