Subject: What’s this beetle?
Location: Rocky Moutains (8,000 ft)
September 22, 2016 11:41 am
Moved a board this spring that was near a creek in Estes Park, CO and found this beetle underneath it. The soil was moist and it kept trying to crawl under debris around it. The picture is pretty good I think and I am curious as to what it is and if I should avoid them.
Signature: Ian Taylor
We have determined that because of the “dense yellow hair on pronotum” which BugGuide refers to as “distinctive,” your Sexton Beetle is a Tomentose Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus tomentosus. Though most Sexton Beetles work in pairs to bury small, dead animals like mice or birds after laying eggs upon the carcass, according to BugGuide: “unlike other nearctic Nicrophorus, adults do not bury the carcass but make a shallow pit and cover the carcass with litter.” If you look closely at the head of your beetle, you will see that it is carrying a Phoretic Mite.