Currently viewing the category: "Carrion Beetles"
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Japanese Bugs
Location: NE Japan
July 27, 2011 6:29 am
Hi Bugman
I’ve just come back from a two week trip in Japan and as well as seeing some amazing shrines and temples I saw some pretty awesome bug life that being resident in the UK where very alien to me (like the Giant Japanese Hornet for example and a (sadly dead) Japanese Rhinoceros beetle). I’ve managed to identify most of my pics of the critters I saw but was hoping you might be able to help out with the three pics below.
Love you website by the way
Signature: Michael

Carrion Beetle Larva

Hi Michael,
This is a larva, and they can often be extremely difficult to identify to the species level.  We believe this is a Carrion Beetle Larva from the family Silphidae.  Though it is a different species, it does look rather similar to this American Carrion Beetle Larva from BugGuide.

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Unintended Carnage

Carrion Beetles trapped in Cat Food Can

Unintended Carnage
Location: San Luis Obispo County, CA
July 8, 2011 1:33 am
Dear Bugman,
I have enjoyed your site and for many years. I am a wildlife biologist in San Luis Obispo County, California. For the last 2 years I have been using camera traps to take images of various carnivores that inhabit state lands. Pierced catfood cans are sometimes used to entice critters to come to the cameras. When I recently checked a camera, I found that a couple of beetles committed suicide trying to get at the rotting catfood inside. I think they are black carrion beetles (Nicrophorus nigrita). Sorry for the poor pictures. They were long dead and it was hard to get the dried catfood off of them. I guess the holes I made in the can were just slightly too small… I will make the holes bigger next time.
Signature: Craig Fiehler

Carrion Beetles trapped in Cat Food Can

Dear Craig,
At your suggestion, we will tag this as Unnecessary Carnage, though since this accident occurred in the interest of science, we consider it unfortunate, but excusable.  Your photos are positively surreal.  Thanks for your submission.  We are intrigued with your wildlife camera set up.

Carrion Beetle Corpse

Dear Daniel,
We have been camera trapping the Chimineas Ranch in San Luis Obispo county for almost 2 years now.  Much of our exploits have been described on Dr. Chris Wemmer’s blog, Camera Trap Codger.
http://cameratrapcodger.blogspot.com/
I hope you enjoy some of the wildlife shots.
I also want to say “thank you!” for your tireless efforts to educate the public about arthropods.  I have been enlightened by your website and your book was a joy to read.  I have been trying to educate myself about insects and arachnids that inhabit the areas where I work.   Needless to say, I have much to learn.  But I can honestly say, I learn something new from you site every week.  Keep up the great work!
Best wishes,
Craig Fiehler

Thanks for the update Craig.  We are linking to Dr. Chris Wemmer’s blog and we are thrilled you enjoyed reading The Curious World of Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange intsect.
Location: Southern Ohio
June 18, 2011 7:32 pm
Hello, today I found this insect on the sidewalk, it kinda reminded me of a pill bug/potato bug, but as I looked closer, it looked very strange, it was all black, and instead of a little pill bug’s back end, it was alot longer, it had two spikes at the end. It had six legs i’m pretty sure, and two antennas, from the pictures it may look like a roach, but it didn’t have a solid body, it was more of a pill bugs body, it could bend and turn. It was really fast too.It’s spring still but summer is just in a few more days. It was humid out side very warm.
Signature: Thanks. Jorrdy

Carrion Beetle Larva

Dear Jorrdy,
You encountered a Carrion Beetle larva from the family Sylphidae.  Compare your image to this photo posted to BugGuide.

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ID for this handsome beetle?
Location:  Paso Robles, California
Date:     January 5, 2011 1:15:56 PM PST
he was in our bathroom at paso robles on fake flowers… (oaks and chapparal outside).
i loved his red antenna ends (for which i expect there is a technical term!).
Clare Marter Kenyon

Black Burying Beetle

Hi Clare,
What died in your bathroom?  This appears to be a Black Burying Beetle,
Nicrophorus nigrita, one of the Sexton Beetles.  Burying Beetles mate and then share the responsibility of burying small animals like mice upon which they lay eggs.  Both parents then care for and guard the young as they feed on the putrefying flesh.  The antennae are clavate or clubbed (see BugGuide).

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Beetles devouring toad
Location:  Western North Carolina
July 30, 2010 9:55 pm
I found this congregation of beetles around and on a deceased toad, as far as I know they’re some sort of carrion beetle. I’d never seen such a gathering before!
Dakota

American Carrion Beetles mate and eat toad

Hi Dakota,
Your identification is correct.  These are American Carrion Beetles,
Necrophila americana (see BugGuide) and it appears as though there are several mating pairs in your photo.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots) at carrion, as well as some carrion.  Life Cycle Diurnal, not found at lights (but see comments here). Found on carrion and decaying fungi. Larvae eat carrion, larvae of flies and other carrion beetles. Eggs are laid singly on or near carrion. They prefer larger carrion, Milne (4) states “rat-sized or larger”. Larvae hatch in a few days, feed in or under carcass, and pupate in a nearby soil cell. Larvae may prefer dried skin, bits of flesh after maggots have departed. Adults overwinter.

American Carrion Beetles mating on dead toad

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larva eats snail
July 2, 2010
Hello,
Today I made new photos of this insect
I hope to help you identify it
Best Regards
Dean

Carrion Beetle Larva eats Snail

Hi again Dean,
Thanks for the better view of this larva’s head.  One of our readers, Mardikavana, identified the larva from your previous letter as the larva of a Silphid Beetle or Carrion Beetle.  Mardikavana wrote in a comment:  “
My best guess is that it is some kind of Silphidae larvae (definitely not Nicrophorus sp.) Well that’s the first family that comes to my mind:) and then later: “For example Ablattaria species larvae prey on snails. I think that Silpha atrata larvae should do the same but I couldn’t get any information about their food preferences.”

Carrion Beetle Larva eats Snail

Update from Dean
July 10, 2010
Hi,
I continued my investigation on behalf of insect larvae that eat snails ……… and Bingoooo I think that I found the answer to the riddle. Insect that I shot it’s a larva of Phosphuga atrata (Family Silphidae), know under name Carrion Beetle,
This insect is not American Carrion Beetle, as your reader suggested.
Apparently American Carrion Beetle is a close relative of Carrion Beetle, which is found in Bulgaria
My assumptions are based on the fact that I have seen similar beetle Carrion Beetle, American Carrion Beetle but obviously not found in Bulgaria
See the next link – http://www.commanster.eu/commanster/Insects/Beetles/SpBeetles/Phosphuga.atrata.html
Links of images – http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=Phosphuga%20atrata%20larvae&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi
Links of Web – http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Phosphuga%20atrata%20larvae&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw

Update from Dean
July 10, 2010
Hi again :-)
I found information that the larvae and the beetles of Phosphuga atrata (Family Silphidae), also known by the name European Carrion Beetle, eat snails
See next URL – http://www.sibnef1.eu/gb/Coleoptera/Silphidae/img139/eco139.HTM
and this pic http://www.sibnef1.eu/gb/Coleoptera/Silphidae/img139/00139002970102.JPG
P.S. Almost one month I read info for this insect and still I’m interested, especially when I find new details :-)

Thanks for the updates Dean.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination