Subject: Bug on mushrrom
Location: Southern Manitoba Canada
August 18, 2012 8:13 pm
What’s the bugs name, and what’s the mushroom name (if possible)? There was a bad odour associated with the bug and mushroom – if that helps with the identification. Thanks.
Signature: Gerry Kramer
These are American Carrion Beetles, Necrophila americana. According to BugGuide: “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots) at carrion, as well as some carrion” and “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 (5) 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.” We are not certain if the odor was produced by the fungus rotting or if the mushroom had a bad odor itself. Though most folks associate flowers with having a pleasant fragrance, there are plants like the Corpse Flower, Amorphophallus titanum, that have a foul odor which attracts flies and other insects that feed on decay. The same may be true of mushrooms. The Corpse Flower has evolved so that the foul odor attracts insects that will pollinate it ensuring that it will produce offspring. The Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA is a great place to view the Corpse Flower when it blooms. We do not recognize the mushroom, but perhaps a mycologist will be able to provide that information.