Currently viewing the category: "Carrion Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

Timothy Steele, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Kathy Haines liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Subject: Hundreds of American Carrion Beetles freed!
Location: Beaver Bay, MN
September 6, 2014 7:40 pm
Hi, guys! I know it’s been years since I’ve submitted anything but I’ve never forgotten you. I now live in Minnesota and yesterday got to visit Beaver Bay, way north of Duluth. I came across a geodetic marker that was open, and the pipe was full of American Carrion Beetles that had fallen in and got stuck. I put a stick in there and it did not take long for them to find their way out. They all stopped for a quick romantic moment…really, they were. It sure looked like it anyway. Within I’d say, 15 minutes, they had all flown away and all that was left were a few ground beetles.
I’m sending an image of them on the stick, and will also send one of them in the pipe as there is I think, a rare Burying Beetle in there, too.
Much love!
Signature: Joanne, now living in Minnesota (previously Darien and Romeoville, Illinois)

American Carrion Beetles and a Burying Beetle in Geocache

American Carrion Beetles and a Burying Beetle in Geodetic Marker

Subject: A possible American Burrying Beetle
Location: Beaver Bay, MN
September 6, 2014 7:55 pm
As far as I can tell, what I’ve found online shows this beetle to be rare up here. It is lacking the distinctive orange or red dot on the pronotum so it might just be a regular burying beetle.
It is in an open geodetic marker with a billion carrion beetles. I helped them all get out. Will send a note to your comments section and tell you the story.
Signature: Joanne, now living in Minnesota (previously Darien and Romeoville, Illinois)

Carrion Beetles freed from Geodetic Marker

Carrion Beetles freed from Geodetic Marker

Subject: Intersting Carrion Beetle story
September 6, 2014 8:15 pm
Hi Dan and Lisa!  I hope you guys are doing well!  It’s been a few years since I’ve posted here, I know, but I’ve never forgotten about you and still check in on occasion.
Here’s my story of the great American Carrion Beetle Rescue.
Yesterday I was in Beaver Bay, MN (north of Duluth) and in my wanderings I found this geodetic marker that was open. As I peered into it my first thought was “Oh, S***, bees.  I’m gonna die now.”  I slowly backed away and went and got a friend to show her cuz I figured if I’m gonna die she’s going with.  She looked in there and said “No! It’s beetles!”  And so they were.  Hundreds of beetles stuck in this hole in the ground.  They were all crawling on each other.  It was just this constant boiling movement of these poor things.  So I went and found a stick and put it in there.  It took maybe 10 seconds before they started climbing out and maybe 15 seconds before the newly freed beetles started to have what looked like celebratory sex.  They one by one, they flew away.  Within about 15 minutes they were gone, save for a few ground beetles.  It was a truly amazing sight.  I couldn’t get back to close the lid once everyone was free, but the stick is stuck in there pretty good so if any future wandering  bugs should fall in they can still get out.
I also saw a ton of grasshoppers but thankfully I have no chiggers.  Or ticks.  Gah.  Ticks.
Take care and thanks for providing this awesome service for all these years!
Joanne Pleskovich
Anoka, MN
Signature: Joanne Pleskovich

American Burying Beetle (from our archives)

American Burying Beetle (from our archives)

Dear Joanne,
How nice to hear from you after all these years.  The Burying Beetle found amongst all the American Carrion Beetles is NOT an American Burying Beetle, but it is another Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  To the best of our knowledge, the American Burying Beetle is the only rare and endangered species in the genus.  The American Burying Beetle can be distinguished from other members of the genus, according to BugGuide, because the “orange/red pronotal disc is distinctive.”  We only have a single image of an American Burying Beetle in our archives, and we located that image to add to this posting.  Your story is fascinating, and because of your kindness toward all those trapped American Carrion Beetles and the single Burying Beetle, we are awarding you the Bug Humanitarian Award and featuring this posting.  Additionally, we have combined your three submissions into a single posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tomentose Burying Beetle With Mites
Location: Toledo, OH
August 23, 2014 2:03 pm
Hello there! I’ve never been lucky enough to see one of these guys until today, and wanted to share! I’m pressure sure it’s a Tomentose Burying Beetle with Poecilochirus mites.
Thanks!
Signature: Katy

Tomentose Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Tomentose Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Dear Katy,
Thank you for your excellent images.  The “hairy” thorax indicates that this Burying Beetle is a Tomentose Burying Beetle,
Nicrophorus tomentosus, and according to BugGuide:  “dense yellow hair on pronotum distinctive.”  We generally identify the mites as Phoretic Mites, meaning that they use the beetle for transportation purposes, so thank you for supplying a genus name.  According to BugGuide:  “Species in this genus inhabit vertebrate carrion and ride on silphid beetles. They don’t show host specificity, but mix up in larger carcasses where adult beetles come to feed. Those on Nicrophorus ride back on the adult and enter the brood cell and reproduce there. “

Tomentose Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Tomentose Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: She’s carrying her babies on her back!
Location: Mt. Hood, OR
August 22, 2014 9:35 pm
Dear Bugman,
This bug flew into my house tonight. I thought it was a bumble bee at first because it’s about the same size as one and it also has black and yellow markings, When I caught it to let it outside I noticed it was covered in little bugs. I took pictures thinking you might want some. They may not have turned out very well though…
Is it some kind of beetle?
Signature: D

I figured out it’s a burying beetle and those are mites. Thank you for you’re time.

Burying Beetle with PHoretic Mites

Burying Beetle with PHoretic Mites

Dear D,
Sorry about the delay, but we have been playing tour guide to out of town visitors for the past two days.  You are correct that this is a Burying Beetle covered in Phoretic Mites.  Your initial guess was understandable as some arthropods carry around young on their backs, including Scorpions and Wolf Spiders, but very few insects utilize that means of protecting young.  One rarity is the habit of some Giant Water Bugs to have the female cement the eggs to the back of the male Giant Water Bug to protect, but only until the eggs hatch.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Burying Beetle?
Location: Just south of Louisville, KY
August 22, 2014 10:40 pm
I found this guy (3/4 inch?) in my house. In trying to find out what it was I decided it must be a Nicrophorus pustulatus and ran into your website in researching it. Sadly, he or she seems to have expired over-night and my daughter threw it out in the morning. (It did have a pungent smell!) I live in Bullitt county KY on 10 acres and we have always had large(7-8 ft) rat snakes around. I haven’t seen any this year….might there be a cause and effect relationship between not seeing the usual snakes and seeing one of these beetles?
How efficient are they at finding clutches of eggs and do they also attack hibernating adult snakes? (Or sleeping humans?) Do snakes leave the area if they are around or have they been killed off by them?
Any info would be appreciated.
Signature: Dan

Pustulated Carrion Beetle

Pustulated Carrion Beetle

Dear Dan,
You are correct that this is
Nircrophorus pustulatus, the Pustulated Carrion Beetle, which we confirmed on BugGuide.  We would not have thought that Pustulated Carrion Beetles would have a negative impact on the rat snakes in your area, but according to BugGuide:  “Also reported to parasitize the eggs of Black Rat Snakes, Elaphe obsoleta (Blouin-Demers & Weatherhead 2000, Trumbo 2009).”

Pustulated Carrion Beetle

Pustulated Carrion Beetle

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination