Currently viewing the category: "Carrion Beetles"
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Subject: flying beetle?
Location: Newfoundland Canada,
August 21, 2015 8:21 am
Can anyone identify this flying beetle? They hit the patio in a swarm over the weekend. Not sure if they were loosing their wings after a while or not. You can see wings and orange markings clearly in some of the pictures.
Newfoundland Canada,
Signature: Danny

Red LIned Carrion Beetle

Red LIned Carrion Beetle

Dear Danny,
Though the antennae are quite different, your beetle resembles a Burying Beetle in the genus Nicrophorus enough for us to begin searching with that as a lead.  We found images of the Red Lined Carrion Beetle,
Necrodes surinamensis, on BugGuide and we are satisfied that is your beetle.  The BugGuide description is:  “Distinctive, large eyes, dark body with prominent raised elytral ridges, variable red-orange, sometimes yellow, markings on elytra, though these sometimes absent. Sometimes has red tinge to body. Males have distinctive leg morphology: expanded hind femora with a large tooth on each, and expanded foretarsi.  Also, abdomen of male appears to jut out from under abdomen much more than female.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots), and perhaps some carrion” and “Rather nocturnal and is found at lights, unlike related genera. Adults locate carrion and mate on or near carcass. They feed on fly larvae there. Eggs are laid on soil near carcass. Larvae feed on fly larvae and carrion, pupate in soil. Adults overwinter in under litter(?) or in other protected areas. See Ratcliffe (1) for details. This species is supposed to be attracted especially, to dead birds.”  The shininess of your images indicates they were most likely shot with an on camera flash, leading us to suspect this was a nocturnal swarm.  We suspect this was a recent mass emergence nearby that was attracted to your lights.  In light of the fact that Red Lined Carrion Beetles feed on fly maggots, we would urge you to consider this recent swarm a brief annoyance of a beneficial species.

Red Lined Carrion Beetle

Red Lined Carrion Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: My dog stayed far away!
Location: Whitehorse Yukon Canada
August 10, 2015 10:58 am
Hi there bugman. What the heck is this bug? He came crawling onto the deck of our cabin at around midnight. My dog saw it and pounced but then quickly spit it out and started salivating all over the place. She did not like the taste I guess…lucky for the beetle!
We are in Whitehorse, Yukon Canada. It was mild weather out and had just turned dark when this little trooper made his appearance.
Any info would be great. Thanks!
Signature: Almost Beetlejuice

Sexton Beetle

Sexton Beetle

Dear Almost Beetlejuice,
This is a Sexton Beetle or Burying Beetle in the genus Nicrophorus.  Their common name is derived from the manner in which they provide for their young.  Males and females work together to bury small dead animals, and then they stay close to guard their larvae while they feed on both the putrefying flesh.  According to BugGuide, they exhibit “Remarkable parental care: adults bury a small carcass, lay eggs in it, and stay to feed the young on regurgitated carrion.”  One possible species is
Nicrophorus defodiens which according to BugGuide is found in the northern portions of the Pacific Northwest.

Update:  August 21, 2015
While researching a different genus of Carrion Beetle, we found this statement on BugGuide:  “Has chemical defenses, and smells foul, like all carrion beetles and their larvae.”  That probably explains your dog’s reaction.

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Subject: Unknown beetle
Location: Baker Lake, WA
June 28, 2015 5:28 pm
Hello- I found this beetle on dung on the Baker Lake Trail that runs along the eastern edge of Baker Lake in Washington State. Is this a burying beetle?
Signature: AJ Knue

Sexton Beetle

Sexton Beetle

Dear AJ,
You are correct that this is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus, and we believe based on both its appearance and range, that this Nicrophorus defodiens that is pictured on BugGuide is a likely species identification.

Heather Duggan-Christensen liked this post
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Subject: strange larvae of something or other
Location: Missouri, United States
May 22, 2015 10:21 pm
my friend found one of these awhile back and I submitted it but I understand you’re all busy. turns out I’ve found one now too and I’m very curious so I’m submitting this one too in hopes of finding out what it is!
also it DID seem to emit a foul smelling odor when I touched it if that helps to identify it any.
Signature: Michael

Carrion Beetle Larva

Carrion Beetle Larva

Dear Michael,
This is the larva of a Carrion Beetle in the family Silphidae and you may verify our identification on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots) at carrion, as well as some carrion; larvae eat carrion, maggots, and beetle larvae, may prefer dried skin, bits of flesh after maggots have departed”
which may explain the odor you detected.

Carrion Beetle Larva

Carrion Beetle Larva

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Subject: glischrochilus?
Location: South East France, Drome
November 9, 2014 2:52 am
We found this bug in our garden, in South of France, Valance. We looked at the insect books but were unable to identify it. It is too big to be a glischrochilus. It is two centimeters long.
Signature: Aimee

Burying Beetle

Burying Beetle

Hello Aimee,
This is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  A common European species is Nicrophorus vespillo which is pictured on TrekNature.  The search out small dead animals like birds, mice or snakes, and then bury them after laying eggs.  The developing larvae feed on the putrefying flesh.

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Subject: Burying beetle in Washington St.
Location: Olympic Peninsula Washington St
September 19, 2014 11:02 am
I found a burying beetle covered with mites. I put it in a jar, not knowing what it is. As far as I can tell, it is not harmful, but it is not native to the Olympic Peninsula. I see it is endangered and the mites are beneficial to forest soils. I guess I will let it go, but I was hoping to touch bases with someone else first. Any advice?
Signature: Colleen

Burying Beetle

Burying Beetle

Dear Colleen,
The American Burying Beetle is the endangered species that is not found in your area, however, other members of the genus are local species for you.  This may be a Margined Burying Beetle,
Nicrophorus marginatus, which is described on BugGuideWe advise you to release it.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination