The Dermestid beetle colony which is housed in CAHID allows the staff in the department to clean bones ready to place them in the comparative osteology collections. The beetles consume any soft tissue surrounding the bones, leaving them clean and ready for storage. Dermestid beetles have a long history of use in the preparation of bones for museum collections since they leave the bone underneath untouched. This lack of damage to the bone means that the active collection of beetles at CAHID is also used to clean forensic specimens if there is suspicion of trauma to the underlying bone.

The beetle colony is highly active and available to clean specimens for collectors on request. Please contact for more information.

The comparative osteology collection at CAHID is an active collection and we are always looking for additions.