Subject: flying beetle?
Location: Newfoundland Canada,
August 21, 2015 8:21 am
Can anyone identify this flying beetle? They hit the patio in a swarm over the weekend. Not sure if they were loosing their wings after a while or not. You can see wings and orange markings clearly in some of the pictures.
Though the antennae are quite different, your beetle resembles a Burying Beetle in the genus Nicrophorus enough for us to begin searching with that as a lead. We found images of the Red Lined Carrion Beetle, Necrodes surinamensis, on BugGuide and we are satisfied that is your beetle. The BugGuide description is: “Distinctive, large eyes, dark body with prominent raised elytral ridges, variable red-orange, sometimes yellow, markings on elytra, though these sometimes absent. Sometimes has red tinge to body. Males have distinctive leg morphology: expanded hind femora with a large tooth on each, and expanded foretarsi. Also, abdomen of male appears to jut out from under abdomen much more than female.” BugGuide also notes: “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots), and perhaps some carrion” and “Rather nocturnal and is found at lights, unlike related genera. Adults locate carrion and mate on or near carcass. They feed on fly larvae there. Eggs are laid on soil near carcass. Larvae feed on fly larvae and carrion, pupate in soil. Adults overwinter in under litter(?) or in other protected areas. See Ratcliffe (1) for details. This species is supposed to be attracted especially, to dead birds.” The shininess of your images indicates they were most likely shot with an on camera flash, leading us to suspect this was a nocturnal swarm. We suspect this was a recent mass emergence nearby that was attracted to your lights. In light of the fact that Red Lined Carrion Beetles feed on fly maggots, we would urge you to consider this recent swarm a brief annoyance of a beneficial species.