Burying Beetle (with phoretic mites) from Scotland

Subject: Strange Red Wasp-like Bug
Location: Scotland
August 2, 2017 3:34 am
My mom found this bug flying and buzzing around our kitchen last night, it kept trying to run into our ceiling light, I thought it was some kind of wasp or hornet but I haven’t found anything resembling it on the internet. It’s the first time either of us have seen a creature like this so maybe it’s some sort of migrating species? Any info is greatly appreciated, thanks!! 🙂
Signature: Claire

Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Dear Claire,
This is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus Nicrophorus, probably the Common Sexton Beetle,
Nicrophorus vespilloides, which is pictured on NatureSpot UK, and it is covered with Phoretic or hitch-hiking Mites.  According to NatureSpot UK:  “These beetles perform an important service in getting rid of carrion (dead small animals and birds). Males and females cooperate to bury this matter, by digging beneath the bodies to provide a food supply for their larvae.”  A more poetic version is available on BugLife where it states:  ” Love at first corpse!  Males and females first meet at corpses of dead and decaying animals such as mice and small birds. When love has struck males and females pair up and fight off any rival couples trying to take charge of the corpse. Once a pair has won the corpse they dig a hole beneath it and bury it, this is where they get their name from.”

1 thought on “Burying Beetle (with phoretic mites) from Scotland”

  1. This just flew into the bathroom at night when i was in the shower, took half an hour to find out what it was, Quite Big, loved the light bulb, Thought it was a wasp, Killed by Dog.


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