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

Subject: Mouse eating bugs
Location: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
August 2, 2012 8:30 pm
It’s summer here, August 2nd, and I found these bugs outside in the evening devouring a dead mouse. They could fly, and occasionally they would fight each other. Also, it appeared as though they may have been carrying their babies on their back. They were incredibly active, especially when fighting with each other, any idea what they are?
Signature: -L

Burying Beetles eat mouse

Hi L,
These are Burying Beetles or Sexton Beetles in the genus
Nicrophorus, and Burying Beetles are best know for burying small dead animals and guarding the corpse while their larvae develop in the putrefying flesh.  It appears this mouse is on concrete, and the Burying Beetles are unable to bury it on site and it is too heavy for them to transport.  The babies you mentioned are most like Phoretic Mites which use the Burying Beetles’ ability to fly to hitchhike to a new food source.  The mites will feed on maggots and fly eggs so this is a symbiotic relationship between the Burying Beetles and the Phoretic Mites.  The Mites get transportation and the Bury Beetles benefit because there is more rotting flesh for their young, ensuring that more larvae will have enough food to mature and perpetuate the next generation.  You can get additional information on Burying Beetles on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Insect larvae ID
Location: Peak District…. Northern England
May 1, 2012 7:32 am
Can you please ID these ”mini beasts” found 30/4/12 in the North of England (the Peak District) They are feeding on the remains of a Brown Hare (Lepus capensis) The time was mid afternoon, the weather was fine and sunny after several days of heavy rain.
Thanks and regards Joe Lyman
Signature: Joe Lyman

Carrion Beetle Larvae

Hi Joe,
These are Carrion Beetle Larvae.  We are having trouble locating a photo from the UK that supports our identification, however, we did locate some nice line art, including this image from the Insects and Other Arthropods website and this image from Clipart.  The American Carrion Beetle,
Necropila americana, is a North American species that can be found on BugGuide.  Carrion Beetles perform an important function by contributing to the decomposition of dead animals.  This is an awesome photograph.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

cool bug
Location: Central Iowa
April 29, 2012 7:24 pm
Hey! My son spotted this ”June-Bug” looking bug on our patio here in Central Iowa. I picked it up & it froze up & played dead. It left a pretty potent stench on my fingers…like manure. Can you help me out on the name? I called it ”April”.
Signature: Melissa & Blaedyn

Burying Beetle

Hi Melissa & Blaedyn,
You have discovered a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  With the exception of social insects that form an organized colony like Ants, Bees, Wasps and Termites, Burying Beetles exhibit among the greatest parental care in the insect world.  A pair of Burying Beetles will work together to locate and bury a small animal carcass, like that of a bird, mouse or other small vertebrate.  They then guard the carcass with the eggs and developing larvae and they even feed their brood regurgitated carrion.  You may read more about Burying Beetles on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Smelly Beetle ??
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
August 25, 2011 4:53 pm
Hello Bugman!
A co-worker of mine found this beetle in his boot. Never seen one like this before up here. He had a bad smell to him. I caught him in a cup and took him home, then release him on a Sunflower in the yard and took some pictures. I hope my pictures are clear enough to help!
Maybe you can help Identify him for me ? :)
Signature: -Kla

Sexton Beetle

Dear Kayla,
This is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  A sexton, a somewhat obsolete profession, was a church custodian who cared for the church grounds, including the cemetery, and who was frequently charged with digging graves.  Sexton Beetles bury small dead animals that the beetle larvae feed upon.  Sometimes a pair of Burying Beetles will guard a small animal corpse after burying it, guarding it against other carrion feeders and caring for the young in the process.  Perhaps the Burying Beetle your co-worker encountered had just finished burying a corpse.  You can compare your individual to the species of Burying Beetles that are represented on BugGuide

Thank you so much Daniel.  Its nice to finally know what he is.
thanks again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.
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