biggest beetle iv ever seen
this flying beetle thinggie was spotted and photographed inside of a crushed dishwasher in the metal pile at the dump on nantucket island in august 05.. it was at least three inches long i only got one shot of it before it flew off.. what was it?

Hi August,
This is an American Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus americanus, and our beetle guide says they grow to 35 mm, or just about 1 1/2 inches, which is still pretty large. I guess you found it in the dump as that is probably a good place to find carrion, the larval food source. It is often attracted to lights and is found near dead animals.

Ed. Note: This just in from Eric Eaton. (09/12/2005)
“If that image is indeed an American burying beetle, and it sure does look like it, then you have a “scoop.” The American burying beetle is a federally listed endangered species. It is critical that we identify EXACTLY where this specimen was photographed. It may represent a new record, and/or reflect a successful reintroduction effort. The locality information, and the image, should be forwarded to someone at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Please keep me posted on this most important find. Thanks. Eric”

(09/14/2005) Followup from Eric Eaton:
A quick Google search turned up that they do have a release site on Nantucket Island for the American burying beetle. I found a couple people to e-mail to, so maybe we’ll find out more at some point. Looks like they need to do a bit more public awareness so folks know about the insect! Eric

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