Currently viewing the category: "Carrion Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Alien bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern New Jersey
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 10:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Let the bug free or take it to someone you don’t like.
How you want your letter signed:  Organic Man

American Carrion Beetle

Dear Organic Man,
We vote for “let the bug free” in your garden.  This is an American Carrion Beetle, and it will feed upon dead animals in your garden, including moles, toads, snakes, and birds, and they will even feed on smelly mushrooms.  They will be advantageous to your organic garden since the larvae feed on some of the flesh as well as insects attracted to rotting carcasses.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Orange and Black beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Alameda Creek Trail, Union City, California
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 02:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, Bugman.
Found this beetle clinging to a dried out bush. Went to photograph the insect and it fell to the ground and laid on its back. With a small twig, I turned it over several times, but the beetle insisted to roll on its back and play dead.  What is this bug?
How you want your letter signed:  John

Sexton Beetle

Dear John,
This is a Sexton Beetle or Burying Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  Sexton Beetles locate small dead animals, including mice, voles, birds, lizards and many others, and they bury them after laying eggs.  They sometimes guard the eggs and care for the young that feed on both the putrifying flesh and the other insects attracted to rotting flesh, including maggots.  Because of the red tips on the antennae and your location, our best species guess is the Yellow Bellied Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus guttala, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Daniel,
Before your reply, I had done some research on my own and found what I thought was a Burying Beetle.
Do you know if it is Necrophorus Americanus? Wikipedia lists them as Critically Endangered.
Thanks for the ID, Daniel.
~ John
Hi again John,
This is NOT the highly endangered American Burying Beetle which can be identified by its orange or red thorax.  See BugGuide for additional information on the American Burying Beetle.  Your individual is a member of the same genus, but it is not endangered.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 04/28/2018
Time: 03:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you identify this bug for me please
How you want your letter signed:  Catie

Sexton Beetle

Dear Catie,
This is a Sexton Beetle or Burying Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.  Burying Beetles get their common name because adults will bury small animals including mice, birds and lizards after laying eggs upon the corpse.  According to BugGuide:  “Remarkable parental care: adults bury a small carcass, lay eggs in it, and stay to feed the young on regurgitated carrion.”

Wow! Way cool beetle!!! Very interesting! I had never seen one before!
Thank you for answering.
Sincerely
Catie Lambie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Never seen this before in my life
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern New Hampshire
Date: 09/11/2017
Time: 04:42 PM EDT
I came across this bug today in the house bouncing off the window. It looked like a bee but clearly wasn’t, it had fuzzy tipped antennae and fuzzy front feet with bumps on it’s back end and when I caught it to release it, it released a scent like feces….I’ve never seen anything like it in 27years.
How you want your letter signed —
Thank you for any info! -Kate

Tomentose Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Dear Kate,
This is a Tomentose Burying Beetle, and if you look really closely, you can see that there are Phoretic Mites crawling on its back.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Burying beetle Anchorage,AK
Location: Anchorage, AK
August 20, 2017 4:16 am
I’ve seen more of these this year than any year in the house I’m in now. I have also seen more dead voles in my yard, and more live ones running around than usual. I don’t think my ID is incorrect, but feel free to use my photo and correct me if I’m wrong.
Thanks!
Signature: MsRobin

Burying Beetle

Dear MsRobin,
This is indeed a Burying Beetle in the genus
Nicrophorus.   The Banded Sexton Beetle, Nicrophorus investigator, which is pictured on BugGuide, is a strong possibility for a species identification.  The dead voles you have found in your yard is likely a contributing factor in observing more Burying Beetles this year.  The mystery would be “What is causing the voles to die?”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination