Carrion Beetle

Golden BC Beetle with Photo
Dear Bugman,
My 4 year old son found this beetle in the backyard, on the patio. We live in Golden, BC Canada, and today is May 12 2006. I’ve looked through the beetle pages on your site (which took abut an hour, because my son kept saying "Whoa Mum! Look at THAT one! What’s that called?" for every beetle!) I’ve included a picture (which was really hard by the way – you have some amazing photos on your site – I really appreciate the patience that went into those photos) and I hope you can help me identify this beetle because my son is taking it to school tomorrow, and I would like to be able to tell the class what it is called, an keep it alive while it’s in our captivity. It is about 2-3 cm long, it’s a matte black colour all over, and it has an interesting textured pattern on its back. I think it looks like it could fly, but I have seen no evidence to support this. Thank you for your help! PS Another one of your questioners reported using a "bug vacuum" my son really wants to know what that is (presumably because he wants one!) Can you tell me what this is? Thanks!
Dana

Hi Dana,
We believe this is one of the Darkling Beetles, but are waiting for Eric Eaton to weigh in with a possible species identification. Here is Eric’s response: “The beetle from Golden, BC is actually a Carrion Beetle, Heterosilpha ramosa. This specimen is stretched out, which makes the ID more tricky. Normally, they have their head nearly tucked under the thoracic shield. The reticulated pattern of veins on the wing covers is not very evident in the image, either, but the exposed end of the abdomen clinches it. “

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