larvae on dead mole
October 29, 2009
These larvae were found on a dead mole that had been under a wheelbarrow about a month (October 4-October 27, 2009 in rural Central Missouri). I have a group of children who routinely explore the woods in this area and when we find a dead creature we place it under the wheelbarrow to watch the decay process. We have not encountered these worm like creatures before.
Millersburg Preschool
Rural Central Missouri

Sexton Beetle Larvae eating a dead mole

Sexton Beetle Larvae eating a dead mole

Dear Millersburg Preschool,
Though we write about them often, this is the first photo we have ever received of the larvae of a Sexton Beetle, one of the Burying Beetles in the genus Nicrophorus.  We found a photo on BugGuide of the larvae of the endangered American Burying Beetle that is very close to your image.  We cannot say for certain exactly what species in the genus Nicrophorus your larvae will become, but we are somewhat certain they are not the rare American Burying Beetle.  A pair of Sexton Beetles will work burying the corpse of a small rodent or bird and then lay eggs.  The adults often stay with the developing larvae and care for them.

Thank you for your quick response!  The children will be so excited to know this!

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