Currently viewing the category: "Carrion Beetles"
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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.

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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

 

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Subject: Dime-sized beetle
Location: Bridgewater, MA, USA
August 4, 2014 9:44 am
I spotted a dime-size flat beetle in my backyard here in eastern Massachusetts. He has a dull-yellow head with a prominent black spot; otherwise he is all black. When I captured him he immediately played dead for about a minute–very convincing. Any ideas what he is–I have only seen just this one.
Signature: Jim Slavin

American Carrion Beetle

American Carrion Beetle

Hi Jim,
We posted an image of an American Carrion Beetle and information earlier today.

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Subject: odd beetle with white collar
Location: Lapeer, MI
August 3, 2014 5:29 pm
Can you tell me what type of beetle this is? It is about the size of a dime. I found it in my kitchen sink and it could have come in with some fresh cut flowers I brought last night. It reminded me of the hermit flower beetle, except for the white “collar”. Is it safe to release back in to my garden? Thanks for any information you can give me!
Signature: Pat

American Carrion Beetle

American Carrion Beetle

Dear Pat,
This is an American Carrion Beetle,
Necrophila americana, and according to BugGuide:  “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots) at carrion, as well as some carrion.”  Perhaps there is a dead animal nearby, though they also feed on fungus including mushrooms.

Thanks for responding so quickly!  I had not seen a beetle like that around my property before and was curious.  I set it free and it immediately disappeared under some vegetation.  All kinds of “new to me insects” around my yard this year!
Pat

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Subject: Black and Orange Beetle
Location: South Central, PA
July 20, 2014 6:46 pm
I found this beetle in my orchard. He is about the size of a June bug. I have not seen a bug like this before and wonder if my orchard is in danger. I have not been able to find what he is. Even after searching through this site.
Signature: Jeremy

Burying Beetle

Burying Beetle

Hi Jeremy,
This is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus Nicrophorus, and its presence probably indicates that there is a small, dead animal carcass nearby.  Burying Beetles bury small animals like birds, mice, snakes and lizards after laying eggs on the carcass.  They will not harm your orchard.  You can read more about Burying Beetles on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination